Young Entrepreneur, Lalo Tovar, Proves It's All in the Details
Don't let his wide grin and young age fool you, Summit High School senior Lalo Tovar is a driven professional when it comes to detailing cars. As a young child, Lalo, whose father owns a body shop, was shown the ropes when it came to cleaning vehicles once repainted. His father taught him how to clean and care for customer's cars properly, and he fell in love with auto detailing. All that time working under his father's tutelage has paid off as Lalo has just started his own business, Tovar Auto Detailing.
We visited with Lalo at the shop where he currently details cars in a dedicated bay of his father's collision repair facility on 1187 just west of Mansfield. Here's what he had to share with us about himself and what detailing a vehicle is all about.
How did you get started in auto detailing, and how long have you been detailing vehicles?
"In 2010, I started detailing cars that my dad would finish painting. He taught me the basics, and I gained more knowledge as I practiced. Customers would often compliment me, and I would earn tips!"
What do you love most about auto detailing?
"I love to see the customer's reaction once I've finished detailing their car. They get so excited and shocked about how clean it is as if they just bought it off the car lot."
What is most challenging about auto detailing?
"Removing all the swirls and scratches off the body of the vehicle can be difficult. Deep scratches in the paint surface cannot be removed with detailing and can require paint & body services."
What is your favorite type of vehicle to detail?
"I like detailing them all! No matter how old or how dirty."
Why is it important to have your car professionally detailed?
"A vehicle carries millions of bacteria/dirt/dust particles inside and outside that leaves your paint blurry and faded. The inside could still have a horrible odor, even if you've removed all those dropped french fries from under the seats."
How often and when should people get their vehicle detailed?
"I recommend people to have their car fully detailed at least once a year. It gets rid of all the dust build-up, and it also makes regular car washes a lot easier. People who take exceptional care of their vehicles bring them in to get detailed twice a year."
How long does it take to detail a car? Explain the process.
"A full detail can take up to 2 days. I start with the interior, removing the seats to brush out the stains and shampoo them. Taking out the seats also gives me the chance to clean out the tight spots underneath. While the seats dry, I move on to the carpet and go through the same process; brush out major stains and shampoo the floor. I then move on to the body, buffing out all the minor scratches, and polishing the entire vehicle. The next day when the seats and carpet are dry, I put them back in and start cleaning and shining the interior, making sure to get every crevice in and around the consoles/radio/cup holders, etc. Next, I pressure wash the exterior, undercarriage, and engine bay. The last steps include hand-drying the vehicle, spraying on wax, shining the tires, and cleaning all the glass."
What else do you detail?
"Boats, motorcycles, and motorhomes."
What are your top 3 car-care tips?
- "Always keep your leather seats conditioned; otherwise, your seats could split and crack."
- "Clean up any spilled liquids as soon as possible to avoid stains and odors."
- "When washing your car, use a soft brush or scrub mitt so you don't damage the paint on your vehicle."
What are your goals and aspirations after high school?
"I plan to attend UTA and pursue a degree in business management and marketing. I want to educate myself on how to run a business properly. After I earn my degree, I will open my own detailing shop."
What other hobbies or interests do you have? What do you do in your spare time?
"I play golf on the Summit High School varsity team and am a member of the Key Club, which is a community-service oriented organization. I'm very into trucks and love what I did to mine. I keep it clean so that I can show off my work."
Whether you need a basic wash and wax or a full detail, Lalo Tovar of Tovar Auto Detailing says he's always ready to provide exceptional service with a shine - and a big smile. You can contact him through his Facebook account or Instagram.