Those who know me know what i am somewhat particular about the visual upkeep of my cars, so much so that i’d much rather leave my car dirty than have it sent to a car wash or to have someone else clean it. Coupled to that, a rather not so pleasant experience (chemically disfiguring my previous car’s plastic trims) with an unfamiliar groomer was why i was initially quite hesitant to take up EA Detailer’s very generous offer of a complimentary grooming session.
Of course to be fair, i did some googling and turns out EA is situated just a few minutes drive away from home, at Jalan Tua Kong, home to some great tasting mee pok. Their description of the grooming process was also quite interesting, with a very strong emphasis on deep cleaning the interior piquing my curiousity. With such attention to detail on the insides of the car, i figured they should be pretty decent. (For the car cleaning geeks, they even make use of an Ozone machine!)
Also, since my old girl has never had any grooming done and was covered in “love marks” (swirl marks) from the previous owner, i decided it was as good a time as any to send her in for some pampering, so an appointment was scheduled. The entire process was to take at least half a day, and the E34 was sent in on a sunny Saturday morning.
The interior deep cleaning i talked about? Here’s the breakdown.
First, the interior gets properly fumigated (ULV Benzatide Fumigation) to get rid off or kill any nasty creepy crawly bugs that might be hiding inside the car. Being a pretty OCD owner with a strict “no eating in the car” policy, i was wondering if they would find anything at all inside.
After the fogging, a comprehensive wipe down commences and multiple checks are done to find any recently deceased bugs. Even with my super anally retentive behaviour towards having any food in the car, the staff still managed to find 3 dead baby roaches inside. Which might sound icky, but is actually a little below the average of 5. For those interested, they have managed to find over 20 roaches on a few cars, so not that bad for me right?
With the bugs removed and bug killing residue wiped away, the car gets a thorough vacuuming before a proper sanitization process begins.
Supporting the interior deep clean process is a host of Koch Chemie products for the seats and the dashboard. A nice touch from EA is the use of a less shiny (greasy) product on the interior surfaces of the car (a huge gripe of mine).
With another session of vacuuming done, it’s time to bring out the Ozone machine. In a nutshell, what this does is to give the interior an Ozone Shock treatment, sending pure ozone (O3) deep into every crevice of the car (even into the air conditioning system), penetrating deep into the upholstery and padding, destroying odorous compounds that cannot be removed by conventional methods. It’s pretty much de-odorizing brought up to 11. I rarely see an Ozone machine used in a local grooming shop, so this was pretty cool. Upon completion of the , the interior is then topped off with a complete Viral-Rid Anti Bacteria treatment.
It’s also worth nothing that the products used are all ISO and SGH certified safe, so that’s some peace of mind there for those such concerns.
The end result is an interior that not just only looks but feels great to be in. To be honest, i was somewhat skeptical how big a difference an interior “deep clean” can be, but seeing and more importantly, feeling the end results has got me rethinking how significant an interior refresh can be.
All the previous dust particles i was used to seeing inside the cabin is now gone, the air really is fresher inside and an interesting side effect is the air conditioning feels slightly colder. Perhaps it’s the crispness of the cleaner air that gives off this feeling, i can’t be too sure, but i think it’s a pretty good side effect to have.
With the interior taken care of, work now begins on the body of the car. Stuff we’re more used to, the usual washing and claying (to bring out the beauty of my swirl marks… not!)
Anyway, back to the cleaning, with the car clayed and dryed up, the exterior is given a once over to determine the paint’s condition and depth. For the geeks who follow Larry Kosilla’s series of Drive Clean videos, the folks over at EA also make use of a paint depth gauge (i love this) on various points of the car before they start work with the machining.
For cars with a less than stellar condition of paint, a 3-step process will be used with a stronger cutting compound initially used to remove as much paint defects as possible, thereafter a medium compound and finishing off with a softer buffing last stage. On our E34, they went with a 2-step, doing away with the heavy buffing as the paint on our car was still in pretty good shape.
The engine also gets a nice cleaning without the use of water or a hose down, which i’m quite particular about especially on older cars like ours. Instead, another Koch Chemie product is used, being liberally applied and carefully wiped down. Much effort from EA, much appreciation from me.
At the end of the day (it took slightly longer than expected but was totally worth it), we present to you the pièce de résistance.
Well, not really, unlike most shops which at the end of the process simply hand back the car to you (nothing wrong with that), EA goes a step further, with a pretty comprehensive inspection process for customers collecting the car. First the car gets shifted into the showroom where final touchups are done and when ready, a white gloved inspection (seriously) is conducted with the owner. Going through every nook and cranny of the car, highlighting just how much attention to detail was given when cleaning up your car. Once again, for the geeks, they even brought out a Gloss meter!
I really have to give credit where credit is due, the people over at EA Detailers have done a fantastic job on the E34 and i also have to applaud them for their willingness to take in feedback from all their customers. For those who believe in the well being of your passengers or just want to try out what a proper interior clean can do to elevate the ambience of your ride do give EA Detailers a call. And also, those of you living in the East who have previously lamented the lack of a quality groomer in the vicinity, you know where to go.
A week after the grooming session, still resplendent. So clean and shiny i had mixed feelings about driving her out.