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10 Steps to Getting Your Vehicle Showroom Ready

10 Steps to Getting Your Vehicle Showroom Ready

At ReconLogic, we’re all about improving the quality of your vehicle via photography & video spins – let’s talk about what you can do as the dealer to improve your vehicle before it appears on camera.

Detailing the vehicle is an important part of getting your vehicle “Showroom Ready” – it makes a huge difference in whether or not your car sells at the highest possible price. Below are 10 steps to ensure your vehicle is properly detailed and camera-ready.


The first step in detailing your car is to pre-wash the vehicle. This includes soaking and soaping the car, scrubbing off bugs and tar, and using a heavy degreaser on the rims. Make sure to only scrub and rinse the wheels, as you don't want to get the degreaser onto other parts of the vehicle.

Engine Bay Wash

Now is the time to clean a dirty engine. Start by spraying the degreaser on the entire engine and letting it sit for a few minutes. Then use a brush or sponge to scrub the degreaser into the engine. Rinse with water and dry with a towel. If your car has an undercarriage, this is also a good time to clean it. Use a hose to spray the area and then use a brush or sponge to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse with water and move on to the exterior.

Wash Exterior

When detailing a car, the exterior of the car is first on the list. Use a soft brush to wash all panels and do not forget any small spaces in between door handles for example. Then use another even smaller brush, scrub areas with tight spaces such as around emblems or anywhere there are grills.

Rinse and Dry

Rinse off the vehicle with cold water. TIP: Make sure the water you use is not hard, as it will leave water spots on the car's surface. You'll want to have an air compressor to dry off the vehicle; blow all the access water away and get air into all areas to blow out any water you can't see. Use a microfiber towel to dry off any remaining water.

Clay Bar

The clay bar is a crucial step in the process. Claying an automobile is an act of removing debris that has bonded to your vehicle's surface after washing alone would not remove it. Knead your clay bar until it's flatter, then spray it with a detail lubricant and buff it with your clay bar. While claying, be sure to keep the clay bar well-lubricated. 

Detail Exterior

After claying, polish the paint to remove any scratches that weren't revealed by the clay. Trim, mirrors, and other moldings should all be detailed. Wax is used to bring out the luster and provide a protective layer. Some automobiles may require minor paint repair work, such as scratch removal, before being waxed. Using an applicator pad or a microfiber cloth, apply your dressing or tire gel to the pad and massage it into the pad. Then, using a toothbrush or other brush, work the solution onto the trim surface.

Detail Interior

When cleaning your automobile's interior, start by removing any trash and scanning the glovebox and other compartments. All dirt, sand, and debris should be blown away with a brush to help bring dirt to the surface. It's recommended that you wear eye protection during this stage.

Scrubbing seats and carpet using a brush and cleaning solution is next. After the scrubbing is complete, the seats and carpet should be rinsed. Finally, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the water and suds. Continue to vacuum the inside of the vehicle, using different attachments to get into confined places and crevices.

Wipe down the dashboard with a cleaning solution and shine solution. Avoid greasy or oily substances that leave a film on the surface. Remove and wash the floor mats.

TIP: If you have leather seats or moldings, it's important that you avoid using products that contain alcohol or ammonia. Instead, use a gentle soap and microfiber cloth to clean areas with leather. After completing these steps, your automobile's interior will be clean and free of dirt.

Wheel and Tire

Cleaning and dressing your tires will bring a vehicle detail to life. Make sure your tires and wheels are clean and dry. Wipe your tire down with a generous coating of tire dressing and allow it to penetrate. Inspect the wheel for tar spots. Use tar remover and a rag to remove any you find. Finally, hand buff the tire and apply a second coat of dressing.


Use a tiny amount of glass cleaner to minimize streaking. TIP: Using newspaper rather than cloth can help reduce window streaks. If your windows have been tinted, avoid using ammonia-based glass cleaners. Ensure that you clean both the interior and external windows, as well as all corners.

Whew! You're Done! 

Your automobiles on your property will look better than ever before! Customers value a well-detailed vehicle, and so will your sales staff. There are several other methods to detail a car that isn't mentioned here. The steps listed above should get you off to a good start at your dealership, and if you're interested in working with our team, reach out and we can provide more information on how to work with your team.

Now that you know the basics, it's time to get started!

These are a few quick steps for you to improve your vehicle quality on your end – contact ReconLogic to learn about how we can help improve your video quality.



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