Here is a recent publication that was in the paper about my clinics, whoever missed the Fox Valley seminar and wants to attend one, click on my web site for more info. (www.perfectautofinish.com) If the club wants to host one exclusively that is possible also. Auto detailer educates do-it-yourselfers Thursday, July 15, 2004 By Jennifer Golz, The Star Auto detailing doesn't have to be an expensive treat reserved for luxury vehicles. Gary Kouba, owner of Perfect Auto Finish, Roselle, said any car owner can complete a professional detail job on their vehicle for less than $100 (which he said is a high estimate). For the novice, the task can seem daunting, but Kouba puts the job in perspective with know-how and insider tips which he presented to a group at the Lockport Library Monday. Lockport reference librarian Shannon Pohrte said she learned so much information that she left the class with a headache, "but not in a bad way. "Gary is very easy to understand and was very open to questions," Pohrte said. "He brought all kinds of stuff from presentation boards, lights and buffing machines, to different things you would buy from Pep Boys or AutoZone." Kouba, who used to work for a commercial detailer, said he didn't like the quantity over quality approach. He learned the type of ethics and morals he would like to encounter as a customer and applied them to his business, and now his classes. "I've been criticized by peers for sharing secrets of the industry," Kouba said. "But my detailing classes focus on the educational aspect on how to use different things and how to care for your car." Kouba said there are many detailing products out there, but there's "not one company that makes a full line of outstanding products. I pick and choose those that I feel are exceptional and incorporate them into my detailing." Kouba takes the techniques he uses in his shop and condenses them into a two-hour auto detailing presentation from A to Z. Kouba begins each class with the generalization of different car care products and how he believes consumers can often be misled by marketing. He follows with his six-step complete exterior and interior car care process, including leather cleaning and treating. Kouba said he also introduces people to the use of a clay bar. "People look at me like I'm talking in another language," he said. "But it's the No. 1 most effective tool professionals use to remove surface contaminant." He also suggests people use microfiber towels for drying, as most surface scratches occur during the drying process. Kouba said microfiber towels are the softest and most absorbent cloth on the market. "It's almost like I've been eating at Burger King and now I've had steak at downtown Chicago," Kouba said of his customers' reactions to microfiber towels. The last process in the car care process should be the application of a paint sealant, rather than a wax. Kouba said paint sealants are easier to apply than waxes and often times are more affordable. Kouba said he has seen day-to-day drivers to the owners of collector cars come through his detail business, from the housewife with a minivan to the business executive's sports car. "I want to make sure what I do is a value to people and they know what they are agreeing to for their investment," Kouba said. "No one has ever brought a detail class to the end user." While the presentation at the Lockport Library was free and open to the public, Kouba charges approximately $200 for a professional six-hour detail in his shop. But the reason for the class was not for a sales pitch, Pohrte said. "His main point was not to sell. He didn't want to push, he wanted to educate," Pohrte said. "Gary used real examples people would encounter in real places. He made it very applicable." Jennifer Golz may be reached at email@example.com or (708) 802-8816.