If it's been a while since you had your car thoroughly cleaned and detailed—or if your car has never been detailed at all—it's time to bring it in. Detailing your car is about more than just making it look clean or nice. The process has additional effects that help extend the life of your car and that can help you if you are trying to sell the car. Even if your car is old and not in the best shape to begin with, detailing can give it some new life.
Identifies Trouble Spots
One of the benefits of detailing is that the work can uncover issues that had been hidden by dirt and other damage. For example, removing dirt and dust from trim can uncover chips or spots that have begun to rust. If you let those spots sit for too long, all you get is more rust, more corrosion, and a weaker car body. But detailing uncovers them and lets you target those next for repair work.
May Act As A Shield
It shouldn't be this way, but many car owners will tell you it is: if your car is dirty, dented, and generally in bad shape, other drivers around you aren't going to be as careful as they might be around newer cars or cars that are in better shape. There's this idea that one more little ding won't be noticeable, or one more scratch isn't going to lower the value of the car any more than it already has been. A car that looks good, though—even one that's dented but that is clean and that looks like someone is trying to care for it—garners a little more respect from nearby drivers. Without detailing, you may find others aren't so concerned if they open their car doors and ding yours, for example. So in a way, that detailing can act as a shield of sorts.
Helps Resale/Trade-in Value
A car that's in better condition allows you to command a higher price when selling or trading in the car. That's no joke; check out resale guides to see the differing amounts suggested. While detailing won't compensate for giant crumpled zones and other major damage, an older car that's dirty and scratched won't be considered to be in as good a shape as one that's clean and comparatively fixed up.
Detailing shops often have different levels or packages of services. Talk to them to find out what they can do for your car and how far they can go to get the car into excellent shape.