The Cambrian

It’s Your Business: A revitalized car is all in the details

I’d never experienced auto detailing. I always thought it was for used car lots, show cars, and expensive rides, like Ferraris. But when I recently felt too old to clean my car, I decided to look into detailing.

Turns out it’s affordable and cost effective for most people. It’s also morale boosting: My 2002 car looked and smelled new, and I considered the $125 cost a good investment. The unseen benefits were mold, rust and moisture control, which are important here to prevent corrosion leading to expensive repairs. And, had I intended to sell my car, it would have sold quickly at a good price.

These benefits are available from Cambria’s two professionals: Castillo’s Detail Shop, and Custom Mobile Detailing. Both are successful, one-man operations typical of many folks determined to make a living here.

Bob Wilkerson, of Custom Mobile Detailing, details cars, motorcycles, SUVs, motorhomes, trailers, trucks, boats and even airplanes. He says, “I go wherever the work is.” Once a vehicle is detailed, he offers monthly maintenance agreements for $30- $40. His objective: “I make the vehicle look better than new.” Wilkerson claims that all vehicles he’s detailed for sellers have sold within two weeks. His business philosophy: “I serve friends, not customers.”

Wilkerson says he can detail a car using no water, a plus for Cambria. He’s also Earth-friendly, using mostly natural products he’s concocted himself. “I can’t make tires shine that way, though,” he says, admitting that some areas require traditional products.

Diego Castillo of Castillo’s Detail Shop also spiffs up tires — and the rest of the vehicle — in Cambria Business Park. He offers the advantage of indoor detailing when rain, wind or harsh sun threatens work. When customers arrive, he will drive them home, then pick them up when their vehicle’s ready.

In business since 1986, Castillo is passionate about his work: “I do the very best job I can for every customer.” His motto: “I want to be an asset to our community. When I walk down the street in Cambria, I want my customers to smile and say hello.” One that he serves proudly is Cambria Community Council, whose buses transport those who don’t drive. Says Castillo: “I feel that our seniors deserve to ride in a nice, clean bus.” He has also detailed many expensive show cars, earning several trophies for detailing excellence.

Castillo stays abreast of cleaning methodology through trade publications and product salespeople. “Automotive technology is always changing, so cleaning products are, too. The materials used for today’s cars are different than they were several years ago.” On vehicles’ interiors, he now offers customers with vinyl or leather seats a choice of high sheen, low sheen or satin conditioning.

Both businessmen say that car detailing typically requires four to eight hours. Prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition and the customer”s expectations, so an estimate is always given first. Interested? Call Castillo’s Detail Shop at 927-4884, or Custom Mobile Detailing at 975-7421.

E-mail Cambria resident, business writer and Chamber of Commerce member Vicki Clift at