Is your car in need of a good wash? Rainy days are such a bane to car cleanliness but you don't need to break a sweat to get your car all polished and squeaky clean. Leave it to the professionals who will get it done in a jiffy, while you're out with your family, getting your shopping done.

We tried four Singapore car groomers, who promise to have your vehicle looking as good as new.


Groom and shine: We review four Singapore car
grooming shops. Image: Corbis

1. STEAM JET CAR SPA

VERDICT: 8/10.

A disinfectant, eco-friendly steam jet bath is used for both the exterior and interior – only 2 litres of water is needed, compared to 200 litres with a regular high-pressure water jet. Clay bars were used to unhinge the remaining tiny but stubborn particles. They followed this with a polish and finished with a sealant.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • The interior was spotless and the steam refreshed the aircon system. Oil and coloured pencil marks, and even stubborn stains and scratches were gone. The windows and mirrors were spotless. One week on, rain continued to slide off without leaving marks and a quick wash with just water brought the shine back.  
  • Service staff are knowledgeble and polite. Service-wise, the groomers, who have been in the business for five years, did well to explain the process. The staffers were polite and knowledgeable. 
  • Efficient service. The staff delivered on their promise to finish the job within three hours. 

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • No engine compartment-cleaning service. They did apologise for not being able to clean the engine compartment saying they are restricted by HDB rules. 

The Ultimate package is priced between $128 to $198, depending on the size of your car. Steam Jet Car Spa is located at Block 712A, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, Deck 3B multi-storey carpark, tel: 6554-1173. Open daily from 9am to 6pm; go to www.steamjetcarspa.com for more information.


2. OUR RAVE: REVOL CARZ MAKEOVER

VERDICT: 9/10

After washing, Revol used the claying method to remove paint defects, including watermarks and stains from birds dropping.

A protective sealant – claimed to be the only paint protection system to prevent white paintwork from turning yellowish – was used. A high pressure drycleaning system was used on the engine compartment and the inside of the bonnet.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Thorough cleaning and excellent sheen. The interior was spotless and the leather seats and steering wheel had a nice sheen. The rubber lining inside the doors and the engine also looked like new. The faint scratches on my car exterior were either eliminated entirely or greatly reduced in appearance. The windows were sparkling and my headlights were shiny as well.  
  • Excellent customer service. The staff were very polite and friendly. 
  • They offer a courtesy car for multi-session package holders – a convenient service. 

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • The location. Revol Carz Makeover is located in an industrial area and it does not have a waiting area. 

The Prestigious Exterior & Interior Grooming is priced between $180 to $240, depending on car size. Sign up for a four-session package ($480 to $720*) to get a free Paintless Dent Removal service. Revol Carz Makeover is located at 10 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A, #01-12, AMK Autopoint, tel: 6746-6281. Open daily from 8.30am to 6pm; for car wash, 6 to 8.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 5 to 8pm on Sundays. For more infomration, visit www.revol.com.sg.


3. GROOMWERKZ

VERDICT: 9/10

The groomers prep the car surface before the usual car wash. After washing, they used a clay bar to remove particles “in the pores of the paint”.

Polishing was done by machine and in an enclosed room. A groomer also examined my car’s paintwork and pointed out scuffs and scratches, and informed me whether each could be removed or minimised.

 WHAT WE LOVE

  • Its dust-cleaning method. In order to not scratch the door pockets and gearbox area, they used an air gun to blow out the dust.  
  • Impressive shine; almost scratch-free after the polishing. The exterior shine on my six-year-old car was impressive; most of the scratches were polished away. The engine looked black and shiny. The rain repellent treatment removed almost all watermarks.  
  • Member perks. Members enjoy perks like the use of their courtesy cars and ferry service.  
  • Range of services and resources. Groomwerks also offers paintless dent removal for minor dents and they will tap on their network of contacts and recommend a resource for almost any of your car needs.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • The service took longer than expected: The entire service took longer than the four hours indicated but I was kept updated at regular intervals. 

The Groomwerkz Comprehensive package ranges between $150 to $240; prices are dependent on the size of the car. Groomwerkz is located at 51 Jalan Tua Kong, tel: 6246-1661. Open hours: 8.30am-6pm, closed on Tuesdays. Visit www.groomwerkz.com for more branches.


4. COMPLETE AUTO RESTORATION SERVICES (CARS)

VERDICT: 7/10

The exterior washing and buffering is done entirely by hand. Polishing and waxing follows a three-step process.

 WHAT WE LOVE

  • Clean sheen, without the oiliness or the odour. The dashboard, interior plastics and steering wheel had a nice sheen without feeling oily, and there was no lingering odour of the cleaning products used.
  • Thorough vacuuming and cleaning. Vacuuming was thorough. The crew also made the effort to remove the two child seats in the car to clean under and behind them. The windows and windscreen had no streak marks or detergent residue. My 19-inch sports rims, which are a challenge to clean because of their multispoke design, were also spotless and sparkling. Tyre sidewalls shone, and looked almost brand new. Even the engine bay was nicely dressed.
  • Convenient outlet locations. CARS’s 14 mall-based centres make it convenient to drop off your car and go shopping for a few hours.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • The shine was superficial and not as deep as I would have liked. Minor scratches were still visible under good lighting.
  • The service took longer than expected: It took two hours longer than the four indicated.
  • Minor gripes: They did not re-attach a knick-knack organiser and my child seats properly.

CARS’s vehicle grooming services are priced at $235 (non-members) for a Threestep restoration service; $1,888 for the VIP 60 services package of 10 services. Call 6846 0663 for branch locations.

All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine's publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer August 2011.

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