If you’ll excuse the pun, the success of Greg’s Auto Detailing is in, well, the details. “Detailing a vehicle takes a lot of time,” says owner Greg Honke, 47. “A lot of people think detailing is an hour or two and you are out the door. But if you take pride in what you do and you want to do a good job, then you must spend a lot of time on it. It’s like most things, it takes time to do it right.”

Greg has been doing things right at Greg’s Auto Detailing since opening his Sarnia business in 1999. “Before opening, I worked for other people, but that just wasn’t working out. I wanted to detail cars in a way that shows the time and care I put into my work, which was a lot easier to do on my own. So I just decided to go into my own business.”

Taking pride in his work has served Greg well over the years. It is something, he insists, that started at an early age. “I got my start at 17 years old working for Bayview Chrysler Dodge here in Sarnia.” As part of the nighttime crew, he would detail cars that were being sent to auction. “A well detailed car would get more money at auction and that meant I would get more money in my paycheck every two weeks.”

One of the difficulties of car detailing is getting people to understand that proper detailing may cost a little more than they are expecting. “People will come in and say, ‘My car is just dusty,’ ” Greg says. “Then I go outside and open the door and there’s an inch of dirt on the steering wheel and the blinkers and the rest of the car is filled with dog hair. That takes a lot of time to make that car look perfect again.”

The process of detailing a car is very hands-on and requires an eye for detail. Not to mention all the in and out, plus bending and twisting. That’s why the cost of detailing often depends on the size and condition of the vehicle. “Say you are doing a black pickup truck. For one person to do it properly, doing all the right steps, it could take up to 6-8 hours. I could do a simple wash and wax, but it’s not going to look good. It’s not going to look like it did when it came out of the showroom. With my skill and equipment, and enough time - I can do that.” Detailing at Greg’s can include everything from mitt washing to fabric protector applications and the application of paint and sealant polymers. “This isn’t like putting your car through a drive-thru wash.” 

To set himself apart from his competitors, Greg prioritizes customer care. “When I started this my main goal was to look after the customers. People come in for a quick polish of their headlights and if it only takes me 20 minutes, there is no charge. I’ve been here for 25 years. Others come and go, but I’m still here. That pretty much says it all.”