Read what many of our Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Diego County customers have to say about our auto, boat, and RV detail services. Some of our clients are still with us from way back in the early 1990s.

Posted By: ASLAN1058 

“I have used Paul for about 15 years and he is awesome! He has done my cars and boats and, like everyone else says (see other reviews), he is absolutely amazing. He provides service with a smile and professional attitude! See you soon Paul!”

Posted By: tentimes10 

“Paul and his crew detailed our boat again today and asked me to give an honest review here, and I have to say that I am more than happy to do so. Paul has been taking good care of us and a few others on our street for over 12 years now. They were passed on to us from a neighbor who is pickier than picky…so we knew that we’d be happy with them. 

In the whole 12 years they’ve done work for us, they were late only once, we’ve never had to call them back for a complaint, and you can just tell that they really enjoy their work…and I believe that’s why they are so good at it. If you’ll see the boat in the slideshow of photos here, that boat belongs to one of our neighbors, and it sat in storage for over 18 months without a cover, a wash, or anything…and just look at what it looks like after Paul and his helper cleaned it. The pictures don’t even do it justice! 

I would recommend Lightning Detail to anyone who loves to take good care of their cars and other vehicles. Give these guys a try, and I’m certain you will be happy you did. Good luck, Paul! See you soon.” 

Posted By: kainbrizdad 

“I had them detail my 28′ Conquest Boat in Lake Havasu (where the heat of summer can really take its toll on a boat) and brought the finish back to better than new. If you think you’ve lost that new boat luster, call Paul and he’ll put it back in. Prompt and courteous and priced fair.”

Posted By: kt123333 

“Simply the best! And, here’s a short story to explain: I have a huge motorhome. Found Lightning on the Internet because the guy at the motorhome storage place that claims to detail RV’s gave me the creeps. The first time I had Lightning come and detail the RV, the “creep” was there, washing an RV in the slot next to mine. HE HAD TO BORROW SOAP from Lightning. Imagine! Lightning Detail is the BEST! Competitive, does a great job, conscientious, reliable, and happy. I’ve been using them ever since!”

Posted By: MaKayong

“All of what you have read here about Lightning Detail is true…and much more. Paul has taken care of My mom & dad’s cars since about 1990. We knew him when he was just starting out. He did my Maxima that my parents bought me for graduation. I always remember him for his friendliness and his smile. Of course we love his work, too! Why do you think we’ve been with him all these years?

If you even consider going to another detailer, then I think you’ve bumped your head and need to have it examined. Anyone can brag about how good they are and how much they know. Paul can prove it. Salamat po, Paul!”

The following reviews are from a nationally known review site where we are rated as excellent:

Review Date: March 21, 2012 by Mary A. 

“It has been a while since I’ve had my car detailed. I thought that it would be expensive since they also do boats. But it was worth it. My car shines inside and out. They washed the upholstery (leather). Scrubbed the floor mats. Washed the door panels and the floors, even under the seats! 

They were prompt friendly, did excellent work, and my car was really dirty, inside and out. They cleaned the leather and made my floor mats almost new.”

Comments: “I called and they gave me an appointment for a week later. I told them that the car was pretty dirty and they explained that they would arrive at 8 and probably take them till noon. 

They arrived at 7:50 and went right to work. Two guys and they were very nice. They helped me unload the back of the Escalade and hooked up their gear. I went to the gym and returned at 11. I was surprised they were still here. They waxed and buffed and made my car shine. They wrapped up and were ready to leave at 11:45. They were very personable and I will welcome them back. The final cost was exactly what the original estimate was, and I feel I got more than my money’s worth. 

I made an appointment to have them come back in June. They’ll give me a discount since it won’t be so dirty. I heartily recommend Lightning Auto, Boat & RV Detail.” 

Review Date: February 04, 2012 by Cory F. 

“I was unable to have my car detailed where I live in Santa Monica, so I needed to travel to Paul (the owner). I arrived 10 minutes early, and he was ready to go. I walked to a nearby coffee shop to do some work on my computer, and about three hours later I came back and picked up my car. Given their other gushing reviews on the Member’s List, I was expecting top-notch work and welcoming service, and that’s just what I got. 

I had solicited estimates from a couple other detailers, and Paul was both the most praised and the most expensive, but I’d never had a detailing performed before and didn’t want to cut any corners. His final charge before tip was commendably less than his original quote, but I bumped it back up with a well-earned tip. 

This was my first detail so I have no other experiences to compare it to, but I’m fully satisfied and can’t think of any aspect of it that didn’t live up to expectation. Paul was friendly, prompt, and clear in communicating beforehand. The car looks as fantastic as I had hoped. If and when I need detailing performed again, Paul will be my first choice. I can highly recommend this business without any reservations.” 

Review Date: December 31, 2009 by Marilyn and James S. 

“I had Paul Burner detail the interior & exterior of my silver 2000 Toyota Celica. The car lives on the street or in the driveway and needed hand and machine polishing and buffing to remove pollution, oxidation, and restore its luster. The alloy wheels also needed attention to restore their finish.” 

Comments: “I called and spoke to Paul on the Wed. before Christmas. He was articulate and professional and I set up an appointment for Sat December 26 between 11:30 am / 12 noon. He actually called me around 11ish and asked if it was convenient to come now and start the job. When he and his assistant arrived they were polite, personable and went right to work on my vehicle. Paul told me it would take about 2 1/2 hrs. to complete the job 

I stood and talked with Paul and his partner while they worked feverishly on the car. One worked on the interior while the other worked the exterior. The two front alloy wheels had something on them that posed a problem for Paul, but he worked until he conquered them. At first I thought the price was a little high, but I went with this company because of the excellent reviews on the Member’s List. To my surprise, when they were finished I noted that my car had not looked that good since it was new. 

They did an excellent job on my car and I was very pleased. The job was completed on time, they cleaned up everything and left me with a bright sparkling car. I would certainly use them again. The final cost was higher than the original estimate, but I got more than my money’s worth. I would hire them again.” 

Review Date: September 10, 2009 by Victoria R. 

Description: Exterior detail with the goal of removing surface paint scratches caused by branches and off-road brush. 

Comments: “My son had taken our 2002 Jeep Liberty off-road and had sustained lots of ‘brush scratches’ along both sides of the car. I chose Lightning Detail primarily because of the reviews on the Member’s List, but was convinced I had the right company after talking to Paul on the telephone. He reassured me that the scratches could most likely be removed and made an appointment to come to our home the very next morning. 

He arrived, as promised, at 7:00 a.m. and went right to work. His truck was fully stocked with professional-grade equipment and materials. When they finished, the Jeep looked better than new. I would definitely use his services again. His estimate was right on, and I got more than my money’s worth.” 

Review Date: February 23, 2009 by Lori and Gary B. 

Description: Detailed my husband’s 1997 Chevy S10 truck interior and exterior. 

Comments: “I had my husband’s well worn, dog hauling, furniture hauling, loaned out to friends for hauling, drive to the office 1997 pick-up detailed as a surprise for his birthday. I needed someone to come out to the house to have this done so I searched the Member’s List, found a likely company, called, got a timely call back, got an estimate over the phone and set up a time and date. 

On the morning of the appointment I gave my husband the bums rush out the door and less than 5 minutes later the crew showed up to start work. They worked long and hard to make that old truck look almost like new. Washed, waxed, buffed, vacuumed and an industrial protectant on tires and dash. Paul is very nice, very generous, hardworking and I was very happy with the end results. He made an old work horse look beautiful. 

My husband was surprised and very pleased (he is keeping it clean) he is so pleased he wants Paul to come back out and do my old car as an anniversary gift to me. The estimate was a little higher than quoted over the phone but it is an old truck, never covered and not washed often so I was not surprised. Will use them again, and I definitely got my money’s worth.” 

Review Date: April 04, 2008 by David B. 

Comments: “They set up their equipment in place, then they washed, buffed and waxed the exterior and vacuumed the inside of the RV and cleaned the dash and inside front windows. Turned out better than I thought it would; I am so extremely pleased with his work. 

They came out to my house and gave me an estimate after looking at my 36′ Rexhall motor home. Showed up on time at 7:30am at my house to start the job in my driveway. Very professional all the way. Worked non-stop until around 4:00pm. The owner and one employee did all the work. Very knowledgeable on how to bring out the shine after sitting outside for two years. Did not miss anything and you could tell this man took pride in his work and worked hard to get it the best it could be. 

Nice to have someone show up on time and do the work they said they would with no hassles. I found this business on the Internet and called and talked to him several times before I had him do the job. I will use him again for any of my needs that his service provides. Actual cost was higher than estimated, but I got more than my money’s worth.” 

FAQs, Hints, and Tips

[Q] What is the difference between buffing, polishing, and waxing?

[A] Buffing and polishing are the same. They are either done by hand or with a high-speed buffer. Machine buffing removes oxidation, scratches, and light paint overspray and brings out the shine in your paint or fiberglass to make it look new again.

Wax is used as a final step in protecting your finish and sealing in the shine. A polymer or other type of sealer could sometimes be used after or instead of the wax for even further protection.

[Q] What is a ClayWax?

[A] There is no such thing as ClayWax. The proper terminology would be a clay bar treatment and hand wax, abbreviated as clay/wax. We don’t recommend or offer a ClayWax because the clay bar or decontamination sponge picks up the particles from your paint and then causes micro scratches that get filled in by the hand waxing. Still, those micro scratches reappear as the wax deteriorates.

We never offer a clay bar treatment unless we machine-polish the vehicle immediately afterward and then hand-wax it. We always do what’s right, no more and no less. 

[Q] How often should I detail or wax my car, boat, RV, etc.?

[A] Most manufacturers of quality waxes say their wax is good for at least 6 months, but this depends on how often it’s exposed to the sun’s UV rays and soaps, especially heavy-duty or detergent soap. Never wash your vehicle with dish soap, laundry soap, or any other soap other than a wash-and-wax type of soap. 

You’ll strip off your wax and leave a dull film. Then, you’ll need to see us again to straighten it out. Save yourself some pain and use a small amount of mild soap and synthetic chamois to dry it. You’ll thank us for this advice later. 

Even though 6 months is the estimated life span for most wax, why wait until your wax is completely gone before it’s reapplied? We recommend a good wash and wax every 3 months for most cars, sooner for dark-colored cars, and less frequently for cars that are garaged and seldom driven. We’ll discuss it in depth after we’ve finished the detail job. We love to give advice, hints, and tips for aftercare. 

Re-detail your car, boat, RV, etc., whenever you think it needs it. Some people do it every 6 months, while some do it every 2 years. It’s all up to you and what you want and need. We recommend once a year if you don’t keep up on the wax, less frequent if you do, and every 6 months if you really like your stuff clean. 

Tan, silver, or gray fiberglass RVs or trailers should absolutely be machine-buffed and waxed every 6 or 8 months, as that colored gel coat just doesn’t last. The worse it is before we get to it, the more often you’ll need to have it done. 

[Q] What is oxidation, pollution, fallout, and overspray?

A] Oxidation is your car’s paint or your boat’s fiberglass that’s been damaged by the sun and/or detergent soaps, to name just a couple of causes. 

Industrial fallout, pollution, and rail dust are all much the same in varying combinations. You’ll see them and feel them as little brown, black, and orange specks on your paint. We remove them with oxalic acid if they’re really bad and/or a clay bar that was developed for the removal of pollution and paint overspray from cars. 

A decontamination sponge is the newest thing in pollution removal. Paint overspray, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is when your car gets sprayed with paint when someone is spray-painting something nearby. 

[Q] Should I use chamois or towels to dry a car?

[A] A good synthetic chamois is always better than using a towel to dry your car. Towels leave fine micro scratches on your car no matter how soft they are. A nice synthetic chamois will last you for years and can be tossed in the washer with a very small amount of soap and kept damp in a plastic bag. 

Never touch a dry chamois or towel in any car, especially a dark-colored car. We’d even go so far as to tell you to bring your chamois to the car wash and have them use it instead of those towels that have been used and re-used on a dozen different cars that day. 

Note: a brand-new chamois will grip your car and be quite difficult to use until broken in. Wash it a couple of times and then use it. It’ll pay off in the end, and you will thank us later. Feel free to ask us the best place to get one. 

Horror Stories

“A few years back, my crew and I went to Newport Harbor to Detail a 26′ Skipjack in the water for Fullerton’s then Chief of Police. One of my crewmembers recognized a guy buffing a 36′ boat nearby, as a liquor store clerk in nearby Costa Mesa. When he asked, “Hey, Jose, how long have you been detailing boats?” Jose replied, “only 10 days now.” His co-worker gave the same reply. They were both left alone, with no supervision, with only 10 days experience. WOW.” 

“I got a call from a couple who owned a white Toyota pickup truck. The husband had noticed an increasing amount of brown, orange and black dots on his truck (pollution, acid rain, industrial fallout, and palm tree pollen), and had taken a green nylon kitchen scrub pad to them. I almost fainted when I saw the many, many areas of pretty deep scratches on his hood and roof of their fairly new truck. 

I compounded, polished, and waxed them all out…but please, NEVER use anything rougher than a wash mitt on your vehicle! Leave the tough stuff and problem solving for me. I’m only a phone call away, and I could always help you solve problems over the phone, or by email.” 

“The owner of a plant, flower and shrub nursery called me to clean the engine of his 1999 Class C RV. Seems like rats had gotten into his engine compartment and nested. Not only that, but they peed and pooped all over his engine and chewed on his wiring under the hood, too! I had to completely cover his driver compartment with masking tape and plastic sheeting, and go to town with a pressure washer from inside the cab of the RV as well as from under the hood. 

An hour or so later, all traces of rats and their mess was gone. We came back the following day to detail the exterior of the RV, and the owner has since placed MANY rat traps around where his coach is parked; particularly around the engine.All problems solved, and he was soo happy.” 

“Years ago, my crew and I detailed a really nice 38′ sportfishing boat in Dana Point Harbor. He was sooo happy with our service that he told his surrounding boater friends about us. One of them promptly hired us to detail his 36′ boat two weeks later, and another had us do his a couple weeks after him. When we arrived at the boat at 7am, the first boater with the 38 footer was complaining that our wax job hadn’t held up very well; water wasn’t beading up on it, and it was looking a little dull already. 

I asked him what he used to wash it down with, and he stated that he and his ‘wash down service’ guys had been using Palmolive dish soap mixed with Pine Sol in a bucket of water to get all the fish guts and blood off his boat. Suuuuure, it works great…but there went his almost $700. boat detail, right down the drain. 

I just can’t stress enough how important it is to use a mild, ‘Wash – N – Wax’ type soap on your boat that won’t strip your wax and leave a dull film. Keep it waxed every 3 months, and detail it at least once a year. Call me. Email me. Text me…I’ll help you solve problems, give advice.” 

“Another example of this comes from a former next door neighbor of mine. She had a nice, new black Toyota MR2 and washed it with Spic ‘n Span powdered detergent. Her car was filthy because she hadn’t washed it in a month or more, and she figured she’d wash it with some heavy duty soap to get it good and clean FAST! 

Problem was that the whole black car now had a white film on it, and the car looked a cloudy shade of milky gray/white. I can’t even tell you what a nightmare it was to get that car back to looking new.” 

Folks, we often think we’ve seen it all. But just when we think we have, another nightmare problem presents itself. After recovering from the shock, we really do welcome the challenge to solve a puzzle. We have found some amazing solutions to seemingly impossible problems on your cars, trucks, boats, and RVs and have often surprised ourselves with the results. 

If you come away with anything from this website, we hope you’ll have complete confidence in our ability to solve your problems properly and with a smile, especially when we finish the job and you’re happy! 

Please feel free to call us at 800-774-4637 anytime or email us at PaulBurner@LightningDetail.com.