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Steam Cleaners for Used Car Dealerships

Steamers for Car Service Departments
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Why Your Car Dealership Needs Detailing Services

Many car dealerships offer washing cars to their loyal customers when they bring their vehicles in for mechanical service. While buyers typically love getting free car washing, does your dealership have the right equipment to offer not only a thorough wash but also detailing that will keep any new or used car looking better than the day it came off the assembly line? Chances are, the answer is no.

Table of Content
- Why Have a Dealership Detail Shop?
- Benefits for customers
- What services can offer your detailing department
- What is Involved in Car Detailing?
- Video of steam detailing

Fortador Steamers: The Perfect Machine for Quality Detailing at a Car Dealership

Whether cleaning the interior or exterior of a car, Fortador steam cleaners are the ideal machines for workers in your dealer detail department to use daily. Up to three detailers can work simultaneously on different parts of a car, streamlining your operation, eliminating the need for buckets and related items, and giving you greater profitability.

The Fortador PRO Max and PRO steam cleaners are multi-function machines that can accomplish all the tasks that a professional detailer must accomplish when working on cars and help increase your business.

Why Have a Dealership Detail Shop?

Like most dealerships, you probably have one or two employees who clean up a new or used car before delivery to buyers. For many people, there’s nothing like that moment when that sparkling car is delivered to them. New vehicles need little detailing, but with a Fortador steamer, you could make that experience even better, receiving positive comments from customers in the process.

Another area where having a dealership operation is beneficial involves used autos, particularly those that are part of your brand’s certified pre-owned program. The manufacturer promotes certified pre-owned cars as the best of the best, providing buyers with a like-new car at a significantly reduced price. Certified pre-owned cars make up a significant percentage of the used vehicles on any given dealership lot. The comprehensive multi-point inspections performed by company workers that these cars go through include checks on virtually every exterior and interior area. Why outsource the required detailing when you can have the job done more quickly and economically when you hire your own dealership-trained personnel?

An idea that has recently increased in popularity is to promote detailing to dealer customers who will keep their cars longer because they are no longer driving hundreds of miles to work each week. While this factor and related ones will ultimately affect business sales, you can recoup some of the lost sales by offering detailing services as buyers will want to keep their older cars in tip-top condition. Detailing service is particularly attractive to high-end dealership luxury car buyers who search for ways to keep the value of their auto high.

Learn more how to prep mobile setup with full set of tools for detailing and offer extra services to your customers or move it between multiple dealership.

upholstery car seats cleaneing

What Do Quality Detailers Do?

To understand why a Fortador Steam Cleaner is essential to your dealership operation, you need to know precisely what car detailing entails. It isn’t just car washing, as it encompasses a multi-step process that leaves the auto looking and feeling much better than previously, resulting in a more enjoyable driving experience.

A thorough detail will make a car look better than new. Why? Professional detailing is an art. This service is much more precise and labor-intensive than simply washing a car. Some dealerships have automated systems through which cars pass for cleaning. However, these systems are one-size-fits-all and often miss cleaning some parts of the exterior. Running the vehicle through the wash may look like it has removed all of the dirt, but in reality, minuscule amounts can remain. Professional detailing is done by hand and involves thoroughly cleaning the interior as well as the exterior.

A professional detailer has the right techniques and the right equipment. An experienced detailer will have proper industry training on how to use detailing equipment and the steps needed to do the job properly. Efficiency is paramount when creating a dealership detail shop. Whether you choose the Fortador PRO Max or the PRO line of steamers, you’ll have the ability to thoroughly clean autos with steamer and shampoo soft surfaces with the washer vacuum extractor portion, eliminating the need for multiple machines. Both lines come equipped with a variety of attachments, which also saves time and money.

car cleaner making car detailing with steam

Why is Car Detailing Important to Dealership Customers?

Thorough detailing returns a car to pristine condition and can keep it that way when done regularly. Unlike car washing, detailing will protect a car’s paint and interior so that it won’t be as vulnerable to the elements and chemicals used to keep drivers safe on the road. Regular professional detailing will help extend the life of a vehicle and help maintain a higher resale value. Dealerships can point out these advantages to buyers considering detailing.

Greater customer satisfaction

Keeping your dealer clientele satisfied is the name of the game. Who doesn’t love driving a gorgeous clean vehicle?

Saves money on preventive maintenance

Sure, detailing has a price, but regular service will save money in the long run. Regular maintenance is essential to good operation. Detailing can help uncover potential problems that your service department can remedy quickly.

Safety and Wellness

Detailing eliminates pests, dust and other hazardous particles, ultimately protecting drivers and passengers from allergies and environmental sickness. With a steam cleaner, this benefit goes even further as the need for harsh chemicals is eliminated. Clean windshields, windows, mirrors and other components help drivers see better, while clean interiors provide an overall better environment.

Types of detailing services at car dealersip

The two main areas in your detailing service involve exterior and interior surfaces. Shops typically offer packages of common detailing tasks involving exterior and interior surfaces along with options that will increase the price of the job.

Exterior Car Detailing services at dealership

Unlike traditional car washing, detailing the exterior of vehicles will make them gleam, minimize surface scratches and whirling. The process will make the vehicle appear brand new and out of water spots.

Wash and Dry

Part of the process is one of the areas where a steam cleaner shines. Steam cleaners operate at a sufficiently high PSI to easily blast away dirt and pests. At the same point, the process uses very little water when compared to traditional methods, reducing the time needed to do the work. The detailer simply needs to wipe the area clean with a microfiber cloth. Steam is an appropriate wash method for all exterior areas, including windows, all badging, chrome and other details. Steaming is particularly effective for cleaning wheels.

If debris is caked onto any areas, detailers can use brushes that are appropriate for the type of metal used, along with mild detergent. Once these areas have been washed and dried, the detailer can apply chrome polish to bring out the shine on the metal.

Paint Clay bar treatment

Use a clay bar to remove contaminants, pests or residue that remains after steaming. Claying results in a cleaner and smoother surface and in greater effectiveness of further treatments.

clean car with steamer

Paint correction | Polishing

With polish, you buff an abrasive compound onto the auto paint to remove small layers of clear coat. This process makes small scratches and paint swirls disappear.

Waxing or Sealing of paint

Applying an additional layer of protection will help keep most of the car’s exterior protected from the elements. However, high-end car wax, which for years has been the go-to protection for cars, only lasts so long. A better solution is to apply a Fortador Ceramic coating to the car after steaming. Fortador offers a complete Ceramic coating kit that you can use to offer your customers even more protection to keep vehicle exteriors looking their best.

Interior Car Detailing at Company Dealerships

Fully cleaning the interior takes more time and effort than exterior detailing. A dirty cabin can result in several complications, which is why detailers should pay thorough attention when working on the interior. Again, cleaning the interior is more than just a wash with soap and water. A dirty interior can harbor allergens, bacteria, viruses and all sorts of undesirable particles. Dirt can hide in many different places in the cabin, most notably in the carpeting and seats, but also in storage areas and even in the headliner. The close quarters can also magnify some particle problems, making for a toxic environment if left long enough. All interior detailing should typically include the following standard processes.

Vacuuming of car cabin

This first step is essential. You need to remove all food particles, crumbs, leaves, dirt and anything else that drivers and passengers may track into the interior. Pay special attention to heavily used areas, but don’t forget to vacuum the cargo area, trunk and shelf. Remove floor mats and vacuum them separately for the best results. For best results, use the thin nozzle attachment that comes with Fortador steamers to wash hard-to-reach areas.

Stains removal and Shampooing

Seating and carpeting often have stubborn stains that will need scrubbing with steamer attachments. Usually, these areas require pre-treatment with a mild cleaner on heavily stained fabric before you wash them with steam.

Steam Cleaning and Disinfection

For some seating and carpeting areas, steam cleaning may be the only process necessary. However, in most cases, your detailer will need to make several passes alternative between scrubbing and steaming to ensure that the area gets as clean as possible. Again, surfaces dry quickly after a steam wash, so there will be less chance of mold or mildew forming following the process.

Odor removal

With steam cleaning and ozone generators you can remove smells from car cabin, caused by smoking, heavy use, long storage or humidity

Leather Seats Special Attention

Leather seating responds well to steaming, but as with other types of seating, you may need a gentle cleaner to properly wash the surface. Make sure you use a mild cleaner made especially for leather. One of the advantages of steaming leather seats is that steaming helps recondition the leather to make it look and feel more supple.

Dashboard cleaning

Surfaces like the dashboard and steering wheel receive frequent use, making them prime breeding areas for pathogens. A steam wash can help reduce undesirable particles and the illness that accompany them. Cup holders, glove boxes, door jambs and panels, foot panels, gas and brake pedals, grab handles, and vinyl floor mats respond well to steam cleaning.

Glass Cleaning

Instead of using harsh chemicals, which can leave streaks on interior glass, steam them clean instead. Steaming eliminates car windows streaks, making them clean while also removing wax, tar and anything else that may have accumulated.

Interior auto detailing removes odors, including those from smoking, along with pet stains. Fabrics and carpeting are thoroughly refreshed, and surfaces dry quickly after the wash, requiring only a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth to remove any lingering moisture.

Additional Auto Detailing Services for Company Dealerships

Your dealership can offer other detail and wash services as extras for customers who wish to give extra protection to their cars. Some of the more popular services include headlight polishing, trim and paint repair. Once customers have their looking just the way they want, getting extra protection is the next step.

Fortador Ceramic Coating

This strong, heat-resistant synthetic fiber has various uses, but one of its most popular is as a ceramic coating that prevents swirls on metal surfaces. It’s also great for protecting cabin surfaces from the stains and spills that can occur anytime, as well as road salts and other chemicals plus dirt that drivers regularly track inside. With a Car Ceramic Coating Kit from Fortador, you can offer ceramic coating as an additional detail service that will make your customers even happier.

Engine Detailing

Steaming cleaners are perfect for cleaning engines, as this method doesn’t damage engine parts, as do some others. Via steam cleaning, detailers can uncover any problems that may have been previously obscured by dirt, grime and oil can become apparent. In addition, a clean engine leads to better operation and longer life.

Cleaning Cabin Vents

An often overlooked aspect of car detailing for dealerships is washing a car’s cabin vents where pests can accumulate. Like residential duct cleaning, a car ventilation system should be cleaned regularly to remove microscopic particles and pathogens. Instead of vacuuming the vents, steam cleaning offers a more though method of refreshing the ventilation system.

steam cleaning at car dealership

Commonly asked questions

How Long Does Dealership Car Detailing Take?

The average time for detailers to complete a job is 2.5 hours, yet there is no set amount of time that one should expect. A high-end intensive detail can take as long as five to 10 hours. However, several factors affect how long a job takes. The larger the car, the longer the detail will take as more surfaces will require a wash. Secondly, the amount of dirt is a factor, with grimier cars needing more time.

Age of the vehicle and dirtiness often go hand-in-hand, as well as how much time has elapsed since the last detailing. Some materials are also easier to clean than others, which allows for a shorter processing time. Dealerships should take all of these factors into consideration when scheduling detail appointments for an owner.

How Much Should My Detail Shop Charge for Auto Detailing?

Again, there’s no hard and fast rule on how much detailing costs as several factors affect the final price tag. Those factors include the size of the vehicle and the services included. Also, the area of the country can affect the price because of labor costs for workers. Prices can range anywhere from $50 for a basic job to $300 for an intense one. The average cost is around $160.

Read about Top 5 Car steam cleaners available now

Ultimate Conservation
Steam greatly reduces exterior wash time. The traditional method of car washing is a five step process (pre-rinse, soap, rinse, dry and wax). Using steam, there are only two steps. Step one, the operator sprays the vehicle’s surface with steam and then dries the surface with a microfiber towel. Step two, the operator applies a surface protectant. Use steam to avoid damp interiors. Steam is a light, super-heated, vapor. Steam penetrates dirt quickly, kills bacteria and removes odors. With dry vapor-steam, upholstery dries in minutes, not hours.

Fortador Ceramic Coating for Cars

Paint, Leather, Plastic, Glasses and Fabrics.
All in One. Complete Ceramic Coating Protection System for all materials


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20 bar / 295 PSI
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16 bar / 235 PSI
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12 bar / 175 PSI
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Portable steam cleaner

7 bar /100 PSI
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Kyle Bryant
Hi-Definition Auto Detailing, Austin, TX
Thank you for the great tool, I like my Fortador Pro and hope to get more in a few months.
Gerard Suico
Miami, FL
I was so excited to get my equipment, and i was the second customer in FL who got the machine, special offer covers all my expenses for delivery and now are starting make money with my steamer.
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