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  1. #1
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    Mike Phillips Detail Training Credentials - Know and trust who's teaching your class

    Mike Phillips Detail Training Credentials - Know and trust who's teaching your class

    Mike Phillips machine compounding after machine sanding a 1932 Ford 3-window coupe

    When choosing a detailing class to attend, the most important consideration is the instructor. Anyone can detail a car or even make a video on how they detail a car and post it to YouTube, but that does not automatically mean they are a great teacher. The most common comment you hear people say or share on social media about Mike Phillips is he is a great teacher. He makes learning how to detail cars and boats easy. And that's what you want. You don't want to attend a class where you're either bored out of your skull because the instructor simply cannot share information in a way anyone can grasp it or because you have to work at understanding what they are trying to teach.

    Academic Classes versus Hands-on Classes

    There are two general types of detailing classes.

    The academic class
    This is where you sit in a chair and wade through a power point presentation while the instructor talks. At some point there may be an actual demonstration by the instructor or their assistant. If you're lucky, you might actually get to use a tool or try out a product on a demo hood. Rarely do you actually get to train by detailing multiple real cars.

    The hands-on class
    This is Mike's teaching style. He always says, people learn by doing, not sitting in a chair. There is no PowerPoint. Oftentimes at offsite locations, there are no chairs but that's okay because he covers so many tools, products, topics and techniques that the only way to cover everything advertised is to be on your feet working on cars. And when it comes to training - you train on cars, not demo hoods but the real deal. It's only when you train on real cars that the training has impact so that you learn. And even better, because he teaches both high end paint correction as well as one-step production detailing, he will often times have incredible cars for you to work on plus normal daily drivers. As Mike says, I use real show cars to teach show car detailing.

    Below is some information that Mike typed up to share his background as both a detailer, an instructor and a writer and it is all three of these experiences that set him apart from any other instructor or detailing class.

    About your instructor, Mike Phillips

    I have been teaching classes on car detailing since 1987, that's 32 years as I type this in the year 2019.

    The picture below was taken in 1987 after I taught my first detailing class using student's cars as well as my 1970 Sanger Flat Bottom Drag Boat as demo panel for machine compounding and polishing techniques with rotary buffers.

    At this time I was a Trainer for Meguiar's for the territories of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. My primary job was to call on body shops, detail shops and dealerships and teach their staff how to use Meguiar's Professional Line to wetsand, cut and buff fresh paint or detail cars.

    Overcoming adversity
    In 1986, at the age of 26 I was in a boating accident involving my own boat. I never let this slow me down or hinder me from my passion for polishing paint and teaching others the craft of detailing cars and the art of polishing paint.

    Published Author
    To date I have five how-to books in print, iBook and ebook forms. I'm the only detailer and detailing instructor with how-to books written for car detailing in general, boat detailing and specific books for both FLEX and RUPES tools. All of the work shown in the books is performed by me as well as the majority of the photos.

    You can get your own copy of any of Mike's books here,

    Mike Phillips Detailing Books

    TV Show Host

    I've been the host for two of Autogeek's TV Shows including Competition Ready on Velocity channel with my beautiful co-host Adrienne "AJ" Janic.

    I was also the host of Autogeek's first TV show - Autogeek's What's in the Garage

    Guest detailing expert

    I've been the guest detailing expert on multiple TV shows including,

    Chasing Classic Cars with Wayne Carini

    My Classic Car with Dennis Gage

    Truck U with Bruno Massel and Matt Steele

    Bruno Massel accepting his class certificate

    Matt Steele and Mike Phillips shooting a how-to DVD

    Two Guys Garage with Bryan Fuller

    Two Guys Garage with Kevin Byrd and Willie B.

    Motorhead Garage with Sam Memolo and Dave Bowman

    Ship Shape with John Greviskis

    Online Car Detailing Articles
    I have approximately 500 unique articles on all facets of car and boat detailing on Every topic is covered in full detail with step-by-step easy to follow directions and high resolution color pictures showing, before, during and after results.

    I'm a speed typist by nature and to prevent carpel tunnel I use ergonomic arm holders while typing.

    As a part of my job duties for Autogeek, I answer car and boat detailing questions on the detailing discussion forum.

    Professional Background

    Meguiar's Corporate Writer

    In 2002, I was hired by Barry Meguiar to be the Corporate Writer for Meguiar's. I took over all of the writing responsibilities for the company that Barry Meguiar' normally did himself.

    Meguiar's Internet Technical Specialist

    In 2004 I transitioned from the Corporate Write position to Meguiar's Internet Technical Specialist where I brought up from scratch, the car detailing discussion forum and answered questions on Meguiar's products. I was also the primary instructor for all the car detailing classes at the corporate office in Irvine, California.

    Internet world to real-world training classes
    On July 31st, 2002, I organized a detailing class at Meguiar's Corporate Office for the members of the online Mercedes-Benz club through a Mercedes-Benz discussion forum. What I didn't know was that there were not only Mercedes-Benz club members at the class but there were also members from other car clubs at this first class, which was organized through a discussion forum. I took pictures and documented the class and shared them on the Mercedes-Benz forum because at the time, Meguiar's did not have a discussion forum.

    The next week students at this Mercedes-Benz class started calling and e-mailing me asking,

    When can our club have a class?

    That snowballed to become so popular that the first Saturday classes I taught back in 2002 continues to this day. Management at Meguiar's came to me and told me they loved the passion I was creating for the Meguiar's brand by teaching classes and sharing the pictures and the passion online. Not knowing how to classify what I was doing they asked me to write my own job description which I did and this included, being the online voice for Meguiar's as well as being the primary instructor for the Saturday Detailing 101 classes and the Saturday Advanced Classes. Down the road a few years I started the Thursday Night Classes known as TNOGS, and then the Meguiar's Roadshow Classes plus the Extreme Makeover Classes.

    Saturday Detailing 101

    Saturday Advanced Class
    Many people that attended the Detailing 101 classes wanted to take their skill and knowledge to a higher level and this led to the advanced class where the topics of hand wet sanding, machine sanding and using rotary buffers were taught.

    Meguiar's Online Car Detailing Discussion Forum
    Back in 2002 I started advocating to Meguiar's management to bring up their own forum. Because at that time, Meguiar's did not have a car detailing discussion forum and it would be years down the road before Facebook and other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Periscope would be invented and then taken public.

    I would share the pictures from the Saturday classes on my own forum and also on the car detailing forum. After detailing a 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 and then posting the pictures and the how-to information to my own forum, I then printed out the write-up and gave it to the Vice President of Meguiar's (at the time), Atticus Firey. A month later Atticus said to me,

    I love these write-ups showing people how to use Meguiar's products but how come you're always posting them to your own forum?

    That's when I explained to Atticus that I shared them to my own forum (and the Autopia forum) because Meguiar's didn't have a forum.

    That's when the light bulb went off and it final sunk it. That's when Atticus understood what I had been talking about for almost 2 years when I kept was asking for the resources to bring up a Meguiar's discussion forum.

    Atticus then said,

    Make it happen

    On January 24th, 2004 the car detailing discussion forum went LIVE and the first post was a write-up I created by documenting a Saturday Detailing 101 Class I taught for a local Mini Cooper Club. That's also when I first met Richard Lin and together we detailed Richard's popular Mini Cooper Lil'Octane replacing Zaino Z2 with Meguiar's NXT.

    Lil Octane

    (That was the start of the Zaino vs Meguiar's Wax Wars but that's another story for another time)

    I also started the Thursday Night Open Garage Classes in 2006 and taught them until leaving Meguiar's to join Autogeek in 2009. Most people don't know this but I originally started these mid-week classes on Wednesday nights but due to schedule conflicts, I moved them to Thursday nights. These also continue to this day.

    The Meguiar's Roadshow Class
    The Meguiar's Saturday classes became incredibly popular. Because I shared pictures and documented the cars, the clubs, the fun and the passion online, people in other states asked if they could have a class in their hometown. With management's approval I started the Meguiar's Roadshow Classes conducting a total of 6 of these classes before leaving to work for Autogeek. This was another first in the industry.

    The below pictures are from the 2006 Tampa, Florida Roadshow Class of which Todd Helme (RUPES) and Dwayne McPeeks, (Poorboys) attended.

    That's Dwayne McPeeks in the baseball cap behind me

    Todd Helme is wearing a blue jersey shirt with white stripes around the sleeves and the number 6 on it

    Today - 2019

    Today I'm the Director of Training for Autogeek and Marine 31. I teach the 3-day Detailing Bootcamp Classes three times a year at Autogeek's Training Center in Stuart, Florida. I also teaches the only hands-on 2-day boat detailing classes in the United States (and probably the world), where students learn all aspects of boat detailing both inside and outside.

    Demonstrating technique at a 3-day class at Autogeek

    Showing how to use a rotary buffer in a boat detailing class

    Learn from the real deal...

    If you are looking to take your skills and knowledge to a higher level and you want to take a class from someone that has bonafide credentials then get signed-up for any of the classes I teach. I promise and guarantee you will not only learn a LOT but you will also have a lot of fun and make new friends.

    What to do?

    If you would like information about ANY of our classes, like prices, topics, dates and locations, click the link below.

    Click here for more information about all of Autogeek's detailing classes

    If you would like to host a Roadshow Class at your shop or facility, then give me a call or shoot me an e-mail

    Office: 1-800-869-3011 x206

    I'm happy to answer all your questions.

    Hope to see you at a future class!

    And here's how the car in the first picture of this thread came out...

    Little Deuce Coupe - Hotrod Detailing

  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Phillips Detail Training Credentials - Know and trust who's teaching your class

    Thanks Elliot for posting this thread.

    I see more people claiming to teach classes and if they have the experience and passion to take what they know and share it with others, (and they are actually good at detailing and just as important good at teaching), then I whole heartedly encourage them to follow their passion.

    I also believe they should create a list of their credentials to show others they can be trusted with their hard earned money.

    I'm always willing to put my credentials up against anyone else. And for anyone reading this into the future and/or trying to decide who's class to take, before signing up for a class, do your due diligence and research the person teaching the class and see if you can validate their credentials.

    "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up." -Dizzy Dean

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Phillips Detail Training Credentials - Know and trust who's teaching your class



    Testimonies from the last 10 years teaching classes here at Autogeek. With each testimony I will include the link to where you can validate it.

    Bootcamp Class Review

    Quote Originally Posted by JY3722 View Post

    First of all, thank you Mike for all the preparation, effort, and hard work that you put into the class.

    For me, the class was an experience of my life. If you are thinking of taking the class, DO IT. It's worth more than you expected. Even if you've been detailing cars before, you will pick up many good tips from the class. I thought working on cars for 3 days was going to be long and slow, but the class was totally the opposite. Just like what Mike told us on the first day, the class was fast paced, and people learn by doing.

    Before I know, 3 days were gone, and I wish I could stay for a little longer.

    I will probably never get to try that many tools and products anywhere else, and I'm definitely NOT sitting in a chair for most the time. Also, I learned using the tools on real cars, not just some scratched up hoods. Now, not only I know how to make the paint shine again, I understand how it works. These are what I went there for, to try a lot, to understand better, to know more.

    I don't know what more I can say... but after walking out of that class, I'm fulfilled with knowledge, and I'm very happy that I went.

    If you love making cars to shine, and want to learn how to do it, this is the place to go...

    Testimony can be found here - Pictures from February 2018 Comp Ready Detailing Class!

    Boat Class Review

    Quote Originally Posted by clearchoicedetailing View Post

    Read This!

    For those of you who want to get your detailing skills to the next level, this class is for you! Not only will you figure out what the process is and the different combinations of the tools to use, you can also meet and network with other people in the detailing industry!

    I really enjoyed this class, "hands on" training with different polishing machines to choose from, I now have a really good idea of what products to use, we went through every inch of these boats using many different cleaners and pads and protectants, it was great!

    I learned how to properly clean all the mildew from the interiors, I also performed wet sanding and final coatings!

    The boats looked brand new when we were done with them - Nice job!

    If you really want to step up your detailing skills, this is the best class around!

    Thanks Mike and Andre ~

    Mark G
    Clear Choice Detailing
    Testimony can be found here - Pictures: 2018 Boat Detailing Class at Autogeek with Mike Phillips

    Roadshow Class Review

    Quote Originally Posted by m3nt0s View Post
    The Roadshow Detailing Class was absolutely fantastic. I've been waiting for one of these to come to my area, and within 15 minutes of getting the email that it was happening, I signed up for both days without hesitation.

    I have been an enthusiast detailer for a number of years, and have learned what I know about the detailing craft through various YouTube videos (many featuring Mike Phillips) and through these very forums (also, through Mike). While my skills have gotten better over time, I've had a great deal of trepidation when it came to abrasive detailing or anything that involved picking up an orbital machine spinning faster than my eye can see. Among my group of friends I am the "resident detailer" - they trust me with their cars, and I knew that I would have to expand my skill set at some point to make all of our cars better than ever.

    Before the class even started, I received roughly a half dozen emails from Mike himself about a week in advance, informing the class of everything we would need to be ready the first morning. I was about 5 minutes early on day one, and could already tell this was going to be serious because I was pretty much the last person to arrive. The garage setup was incredible, with beautifully laid out products that looked like a detailer's shop dream (at least my dreams, anyway!)

    Mike promised us from the get-go that we would get an incredible amount of hands-on time using tools and chemicals on cars. With approximately 22 hours of class time across both days, I can honestly say - when Mike says you get to be hands-on, he means you will get HANDS-ON!!! I learned more in the 2 days of this class than I have in the last 2 years of scouring the internet. Tips, tricks, methodology, fundamental skills, advanced techniques - Mike shares ALL of it with the class. He is 100% genuine, accessible, and open to any question. If you've seen Mike in his videos on YouTube or on Competition Ready, I can say that the guy you see online and on TV is the SAME guy you'll meet in person. The other class participants are also real enthusiasts - everyone is highly motivated and incredibly careful with the cars that are volunteered for the class. I would absolutely trust everyone with the surface of my car if another class were to come to my area!

    Ultimately I came away from the class with a plethora of new skills that I can't wait to try out. Now I feel confident that I know how to detect and identify issues on the surface of a car, the proper way to safely and effectively handle serious tools, how to work on a variety of surfaces and materials, and how to appropriately communicate these skills to perspective clientele.

    I was fortunate that Mike selected my friend's 2010 BMW 128i (white with black vinyl graphics) for one of the final 12 cars to be detailed over the weekend. The reception from the owner and his family has been outstanding - the car has gone quite some time since its last wash (much less wax or sealant). The owners and class participants were equally shocked upon seeing the car literally changing color after removing that heavy layer of road film!

    Big thanks to Pete, Christy, Axel, and Andre for helping me with literally every question I came up with across both days. Working side by side with these folks is seriously fantastic! I hope anyone who takes these classes in the future has the chance to work with them.

    Huge thanks to Autogeek, I'm loving the RUPES detailing belt and the swag from the #AGroadshowNJ contest. These tools are being put to the test this coming weekend!

    Finally, special thanks to Rahul at Shield & Sheen for opening the doors to us so we could use (and hopefully not abuse!) his shop for the weekend. It's a great facility and he has a wealth of knowledge.

    Looking forward to attending my next class, hopefully a 3-day class next time!

    - John Lee
    Testimony can be found here - Pictures & Comments - 2018 New Jersey Roadshow Detailing Class

    More to come...

    Info on all detailing classes available through

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