We received an invite from EA Detailer for a thorough, state-of-the-art interior and exterior detailing of our car. And the invite was very timely, given the dismal state that our car is in.
Current state of our car
Singaporean car-owners tend to be very car proud, and given how much it costs just to purchase a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), I can totally understand how a car is treated like the owner’s baby, or as some wives say, “the second wife”.
For us, a car is more or less just a mode of transport, and we baulk at spending more than what is necessary in purchasing one. Which explains why we bought a car with less than a year left on the COE, in late 2014. Our friend was looking to sell a hardy sedan with just 60,000km in mileage, so we snapped it up since it was in really good condition for its age. And it has been so reliable that we have since renewed the COE for another 10 years.
Nonetheless, given how elderly our car is, it does look a bit drab on the outside, with pock-mark battle scars picked up through the years.
Plus it was pooped on by some birds just before we were due for our car detailing session. Amazing timing…
So it was not a day too early, that we brought our car down to EA Detailer.
When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to note that a space had been reserved for our car, with my name and car plate on a sign. Initially I thought these reserved spaces were for the shop owners, so it felt really nice that they prioritise customers this way. Don’t think I’ve ever experienced having a lot reserved for me – felt like a VIP.
We were then received by Victor, head of the centre, who took the time to patiently explain every step of the process to us, as they do for every customer! It’s a great way to know exactly what the detailing entails, and whether to decide on certain add-ons. As many other customers testify on their reviews page, there is no hard-selling ever, so the entire experience is always a pleasant one.
Part One: 3.5-Stage Steam Purification – Interior Deep Cleaning
First, our car was comprehensively assessed.
Wise ones always say, what’s on the inside is more important than what’s on the outside. It’s the same for people, and I believe it’s the same for cars. That’s why the first step of deep cleansing, is to ‘detox’ the insides of the car.
This process is called biofumigation because the active ingredient is extracted from a plant enzyme, hence it is both bio-degradable and safe for kids and pets. Pest elimination without toxicity, win-win!
After the car is fogged, the doors are closed, and the fumes allowed to work for 30 minutes. That is usually enough to kill 80% of all roaches and other bugs that are in the car. 20% might not die immediately, but will definitely emerge over the next few days, since the biofumigation would have debilitated them.
For some cars with severe infestation issues, unhatched roach eggs might exist. Eggs take 21 days to hatch, so if any roaches appear 1-2 weeks after the biofumigation, it means that it’s time to do a second round of biofumigation quickly, so that the eradication is complete, and the problem solved once and for all.
When the kids were younger, we used to allow some snacks in the car, mostly to preserve everyone’s sanity during long journeys. But after spotting one too many tiny roaches, we implemented a no-food, no-drink policy in the car. However, given my friends’ experience with this thorough biofumigation process, I fully expected to find some pests.
So… what was our score?
To my great surprise, they only found one dead roach (photo below), one roach scuttling for its dear life as the doors were opened, and one last one whom emerged about an hour later, bringing the grand total to just THREE. *amazed*
Although they look small, they are not baby roaches of the big brown household breed. These are full-grown car roaches, which are of this small size at full maturity.
Here’s our thankfully modest tally, along with the rest in the ‘league table’.
Whilst the car was being fumigated, the staff will start on the exterior cleaning, if you have opted for that service as well. That includes a thorough foam car wash, where even the exhaust pipe, and the interior of the fuel door and fuel cap is properly cleaned.
You can see the accumulated dust and dirt on the car rim in the top-left of the photo below.
For the indoor sanitisation, they start with a detailed wipe down to remove dirt marks and stains that might have been there for a while, using the Wonderkleen Sanitiser.
Next, all the leather seats will be treated to a good shampoo wash, topped off by the use of the Koch Chemie Leather Star Protection product (from Germany), that will soften the leather and give it a matte (and thus not too oily) finish. The dashboard itself is cleaned separately with the Koch Chemie Top Star, which goes to show how serious EA Detailer is about caring for different parts of your car.
Steam Cleaning / Tornador Intensive Cleaning
To thoroughly rid the car of microscopic dust mites, heat is necessary. Enter the Steam Clean Machine and the Tornador Gun (pictured in bottom-right of photo above).
Steam Cleaning is applied on the car roof, floor and boot to tackle mites that hide in fabric. This is also particularly effective in ridding car stains and the smell of vomit or urine, which parents of young children can (unfortunately) only be too familiar with!
The Tornador Gun is hooked up to a machine that expels a strong emission that has a spiral effect (hence the name), combined with a cleaning agent.
(More photos on this at the Car Seat Sanitisation section below, as the same process was used.)
ProMed Ozonic Treatment and Viral-Rid Anti-Bacteria Sanitisation
Because it comes into contact with humans everyday, car interiors are fertile breeding grounds for allergens like dust, mould and bacteria. Together with the dead skin cells we readily shed, these allergens accumulate in the seats, upholstery, floorboards and carpets, seriously compromising the quality of air we breathe in.
This is especially so since the air-conditioning re-circulates the air within the car, which could exacerbate problems for those with sensitive airways or skin (especially kids with eczema, poor dears).
Together with other steps to thoroughly physically sanitise the car interior, the ProMed Ozonic Treatment specifically rids the car and aircon system of bacteria, chemical residue and odour. Importantly, this step effectively removes any leftover odour from the biofumigation process earlier as well.
Did you know that ozone is up to 3000 times more effective than chlorine at killing bacteria, mould and deactivating virus? Micro organisms also do not build up immunity to being treated with ozone. The US Food and Drug Administration has even approved for ozone to come into direct contact with food products as an antimicrobial agent, with no restrictions for use on organic food products either.
After the Ozonic Treatment, the Viral-Rid Anti-Bacteria Sanitisation lends the finishing touches to the disinfecting process. It declares all out war on the germs that cause sickness such as H1N1, and the dreaded HFMD. This Hospital Grade Disinfectant is actually medically certified by SGH, to be proven as 99.99% effective against HFMD. It’s even used in preschool centres.
After all the purification was done, when we ran the aircon, the entire car smelt really new (with the scent of the Viral-Rid disinfectant). The seats felt buttery soft as well as most importantly, squeaky clean and rid of all the sweat and dirt that probably accumulated from us driving home after a run in the reservoir or park. Really impressive!
Here’s a detailed rundown of the entire process:
1. Anti-Pest Biofumigation
2. Comprehensive Wipedown and Multiple Checks
3. In-depth Jet Vacuum
4. Wonderkleen Sanitization (Physical Sanitization)
5. Koch Chemie Leather Star Protection
6. Koch Chemie Top Star to protect your dashboard
7. Carpet Jet Vacuum
8. ProMed Ozonic Treament (Sanitize whole cabin inclusive of Aircon System to remove bacteria, any chemical residue, odour smell)
9. Complete with Viral-Rid Anti Bacteria
(Products used for Interior are ISO and SGH certified)
Duration: Up to 6 hours (Depending on Vehicle size and Cabin interior clean up)
Normal (one session): $209nett
Trial session: $128nett
10. With Steam Vaporising
Normal (one session inclusive of items of 1-10): $369
Trial session: $200
Additional surcharge of $50 applies for MPV/SUV/Large Flagship Luxury Sedans.
Part Two: 3-stage Glow Paint Rejuvination – Exterior Polish Paint Correction
Next, our car was treated to “Exterior Polish Paint Correction” or what I call a good facial.
After the foam wash, EA Detailer’s staff will use these elcometers to find out the depth of paint that covers your car. Jackson was the manager in charge that day, and he also explained each step as they went along.
After ascertaining depth with the elcometers, they carry out claying (with a clay bar or cloth), to remove fine impurities that might be on your car’s paintwork).
With these tools in the photo below, they then carry out further Compound Polishing and then apply a nanosealant to your car so that there is a layer of protection against minor scratches, water stains, and paint oxidisation.
Engine Bay Detailing
This is a thorough clean of the engine bay, without the use of water or blasting any air within, so as to prevent rust and any damage to the electronic components of the engine.
As the engine bay can be the dirtiest place out of the whole vehicle, what this step achieves is to clean out grease and dirt (which could spoil the rubber hose) using cloth, brushes, and Koch Chemie products.
With a clean engine bay, it is much easier to see small leaks before they get out of hand. Much care was also taken during the cleaning process, to remove any leaves or twigs that might have fallen into the engine area.
This 3-stage Glow process includes:
1. Foam Wash
3. Compound Polishing
– Heaviest Cut
– Shine with nanosealant
4. Engine Bay Detailing
Normal (one session): $209
Actually, EA Detailer has an impressive range of Car Exterior Detailing Treatments – just scrolling through the options is an education in car grooming in itself.
For instance, there is this DiamondBrite Glass Coating treatment, where they will apply three layers (as below) such that there is a thin layer of glass over your car. The products are from the UK, with a 6 year warranty, and are of a 10H coating level, which is most effective against paint oxidisation. It usually costs $849, but is going for a promotional price of $698 now.
Worth it if your car is a beautiful luxury model – makes sense to coat it with a protective layer! It’s a bit like getting a glass protector over one’s phone screen – at least if there is any damage, it’s on the protector. With the DiamondBrite Glass Coating, the imperfections can be polished off in future, leaving your original paintwork unscathed.
Part Three: 360 degree Child Car Seat Deep Sanitisation
There is no job too small for EA Detailer as well. The same amount of attention is given to thoroughly sanitising a child or baby’s car seat. Having two kids, I am keenly aware of how dirty a car seat can get.
Especially for younger kids, they drool all over the car seat, and then sometimes bite on the neck straps etc… giving the seats a deep cleanse periodically might save yet another trip to the doctor, not to mention saving the discomfort experienced by a sick child (and their poor tired parents).
For the car seat sanitisation, first, Steam Vaporising takes place, where steam is used to liquify and dislodge stubborn dirt. Dirt particles expand faster than the surface they are on, and thus can be easily wiped off when heated. The steam cleaner is perfect for child car seats in that no chemical is used in the process, just good old H2O in its hottest state.
The same SGH-certified Anti-Viral Sanitiser is also used together with the steam cleaner, which is great since kids tend to catch germs so easily.
And below, it’s the Tornador gun at work, zapping off all the dirt with its strong spiral gust.
The result? A clean car seat, devoid of all ickyness, for once.
Cost: $69 per car seat
Duration: 1.5 hours
Once everything is done, they drive the car into the showroom, for the final touches, and to go through the white glove test with you. Even the exhaust pipe was really clean!
Here’s the final result – ta-dah! The cleanest our car has ever been, both inside and out. I didn’t even want the hubby to sneeze after that, since it was all germ-free already!
It takes an average of about 5 hours to complete all of the above, depending on the number of jobs they have on hand that day. For us, everything was completed in about 4 hours, which was very impressive.
Subject to availability, their in-house valet driver can also send you to your next destination, and pick you up once your car is done – wow! So you could drop your car off, get driven to work, and then check if their driver can pick you up again to collect your car. Some people even drop off their car before a short holiday, and EA Detailer are happy to take care of your car for a few days, after sending you to the airport.
For us, we spent most of the time in this comfortable showroom, apart from a break for lunch. Hubby even spent some time playing the car racing simulator game, which was quite fun.
There’s a promotion now on Full Detailing Werkz so you get 3 Stage Exterior Detailing (as outlined below) plus 3 Stage Interior Cabin Sanitisation (worth a total of $418) for only $198! Give them a call now to book your slot.
EA Detailer Showroom
Address: 51 Jalan Tua Kong Singapore 457250
(To make an appointment, contact 9837 5603 – SMS/WhatsApp/Call)
They are also opening a branch at 130 Dunearn Road soon, so watch out for that!
EA Detailer is really Premium Auto Detailing at its best – detailed, professional, and trustworthy.