A Few Auto Body Repair Questions Addressed

When your car’s exterior suffers serious damage, it is important for you to have this problem addressed. Yet, this may be an aspect of car ownership that you do not have much experience handling. If you are unsure of what to expect or how to proceed with repairing your car, you might benefit from having the following few auto body repair questions addressed.

Can You Choose Which Repair Shop To Use?

There is a common concern among some individuals that the insurance company will dictate which repair provider that they can use to fix their car. While this may seem like it would make logical sense, you’ll be relieved to learn that you will be able to choose the provider that you want to use. However, it is common for insurance companies to provide a list of recommended or preferred auto body collision repair services. These providers have often been inspected by the insurance company to ensure that they provide quality repairs and customer service.

Do You Really Need To Have Minor Dents And Scratches Repaired?

Some individuals may assume that a minor dent or scratch is not a serious problem for their car’s exterior. Yet, these problems can often lead to severe corrosion damage if they are left unchecked. It is possible for the paint to be chipped or cracked, which can allow moisture to seep under it. When this happens, it is only a matter of time before the car’s exterior starts rusting. Once rust forms, it will be necessary to remove it before sealant and fresh paint can be applied. If the rust is fairly minor, this can be done by simply sanding it away before applying a sealant and coat of paint. When the rust is severe, it may be necessary to replace the damaged panel, which can greatly complicate the repair process and increase the costs of restoring the damage.

Does It Matter When You Wash Or Wax Your Car’s New Paint?

After your car has been repaired, you may be tempted to wash and wax the fresh pain to help keep it looking great. However, you will need to be careful doing this work because fresh paint can be easily damaged until it has fully cured and bonded to the car’s exterior. The entire curing process can take several weeks, and you will want to make sure that you only hand wash the car during this time, and you will want to avoid using wax because this can prevent the paint from properly curing by trapping moisture in it. While hand washing your car and avoiding applying wax may seem somewhat inconvenient, it can be more than worth it to keep your car’s new paint safe until it has fully cured.

Want To Save Money In Auto Body Repairs? Follow These Three Tips

You likely already save money to pay for regular maintenance for your car, such as for replacement of tires, oil changes, and tune ups. You probably don’t even think about getting into a collision, but if it happens, the repairs can get very expensive. Below are three tips to help you keep these costs down.

Fix It Yourself

There may be times when you can fix the auto body damage on your own. For example, if your car has small scratches on the paint, you can try to repair them yourself. This works great if you only have a few scratches.  Even if you are having some auto body damage repaired at a shop, fixing part of it on your own before you go can save you some money. To make sure you purchase the right color of paint, look in your car’s owner’s manual for a paint code. You may also find this code on the door jamb. Take the code to an auto parts store, and they can find the right color for you.

Ask About Paintless Dent Removal

The auto body technician may be able to use paintless dent removal (PDR) instead of using the traditional repairs. With the traditional way, the auto body shop will fill dents in with body filler or paint. They then match it to the rest of your car’s exterior. When they are finished, your car will look like it did before the accident. This process can take a long time to do, however. With PDR, they will not use any type of body filler or paint, as well as use no sanding to repair the dent.

Go to an Auto Body Shop Instead of Your Dealer

Instead of taking your car to your auto dealer to have it repaired, take it to an auto body shop. In many cases, you will pay premium prices at a dealership, and they will only use new parts. An auto body shop can find refurbished or used parts that will work fine to fix your vehicle. For example, if you have a dented bumper, the auto mechanic may find the same model and year of your car at a car salvage yard that has a perfectly fine bumper.

Take your car to different body shops in your area and get an estimate of what each one will charge for auto paint and repairs. This will help you determine the best place to take your car. Of course, cost is not the only thing you should look at. You should also make sure the auto body shop is reputable.

3 Ways Regular Auto Maintenance Can Reduce Your Chances of Needing Collision Repair

Being involved in an accident that leaves your car in need of collision repair can be costly. If you are hoping to limit your collision repair costs to paint touch-ups or minor dent repairs during the next year, it can be beneficial to invest in regular vehicle maintenance.

Here are three ways that maintaining your car can help you reduce your chances of being involved in a collision in the future.

1. Replacing burned-out blinker bulbs can help other drivers avoid hitting your vehicle.

Being able to anticipate the move a fellow driver will make can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the number of collisions that occur on the nation’s roadways each day. Blinkers play an essential role in identifying your intentions to the drivers around you.

If you fail to replace a blinker bulb that has burned out, you could increase the risk of being hit by another driver. Replacement bulbs can be purchased from your local auto parts store and will help you prevent the need for major collision repairs in the future.

2. Replacing worn windshield wipers can increase your visibility in adverse weather.

Sometimes a crash occurs because you are unable to see a stopped vehicle in time to stop your own car’s forward momentum. With visibility playing such an important role in accident prevention, having a good set of windshield wipers installed on your car at all times is a must.

On average, windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six months to one year, but if you begin to notice a decline in your visibility during adverse weather then you may need to invest in new windshield wipers sooner. Doing something as simple as keeping fresh windshield wiper blades on your vehicle at all times can help you reduce the amount of money you spend on major collision repairs each year.

3. Replace worn tires.

Keeping fresh tires on your vehicle is essential when it comes to safe driving. Worn tires can be a contributing factor when it comes to auto accidents. Researchers found that 5% of all the vehicles included in their study experienced tire problems prior to crashing.

When you notice the tread beginning to thin on your car’s tires, replacing them could help you avoid a serious accident that will lead to extensive collision repairs in the future.

When you take the time to carefully maintain your vehicle, you can avoid the types of accidents that require major collision repair. This frees you up to spend money on minor collision repairs like paint touch-ups and dent removal without breaking the bank. If you do need to get your car repaired, though, contact a service like Lombard Body & Fender Inc.

Faqs About Custom Hydrographics For Cars

Customizing your car can help it to not only stand out from others, but in some cases, it can add value. One method of customizing your car is to add hydrographics. If you are thinking of getting custom hydrographics, here is what you need to know.

What Are Custom Hydrographics?

Hydrographics is a relatively new process of transferring print to cars. The car’s exterior is soaked with water and a printed film is affixed to it. The print is soaked with water once more and then a coat of clear paint is applied. The result is a smooth decorative finish to your car that does not require all of the hassle that sometimes comes with manually painting a car.

You can opt for a high gloss, satin, or flat coating on your car. The finished product is scratch and UV resistant, which ensures that your print lasts for a considerable amount of time.

Hydrographics are thought to be a more economical alternative to other printing methods, such as wraps. You can obtain an estimate before agreeing to the print.

How Do You Prepare Your Car?

If you do decide to get a custom hydrographic print on your car, there is very little prep work that you must do. At the most, wash your car to give the technician a clean work surface. Any other prep work is handled by the technician before the hydrographic is applied.

Are There Limitations to Hydrographics?

There are very few limitations on which surfaces the hydrographics can be applied. Rubber parts of the vehicle, such as the tires, cannot have the print. Technicians rely on tanks in which to dip the items to be printed. It is because of this, the exterior finishes of your car will need to be removed so they can be properly soaked in water.

Depending on the auto body shop you use, there might be a limitation on which prints are available. For instance, if you want to replicate the interior wood grain pattern on your car on the exterior, the shop may or may not be able to accomplish this. In some instances, the shop can obtain the paint combinations used to create the pattern and customize a print to match.

Consult with an auto body technician who specializes in custom hydrographics to learn more about the process and to get help with selecting a print for your car.

Three Things You Can Do With Custom Car Wraps Besides Make Your Road Vehicle Look Pretty

Custom car wraps are decorative applications for your vehicle. They can transform a sports car into a hot muscle car, or make your “punch buggy” hippy-chic. However, there are lots of other things that custom car wraps can do too, and they go beyond making your road vehicle pretty.

Advertisments You Can Remove and Change at Will

If you use your vehicle as a moving advertisement, you can put your business information right on the side or back of the vehicle. Wraps can be made for any type of car, truck or SUV, and the print on them can be as large and in charge as you want. If you also want a “trademark font” for your car wrap, that is easily printed onto your wraps as well. Better still, anytime you need to change the information, say, your telephone number or email address, you can reprint the same custom wrap but just change the information. Most of the companies that offer car wrap services keep your custom wrap info and style on file in case you want to print duplicates or make changes.

Camouflage Your Vehicle

If you like to hunt, you can camouflage your vehicle with a car wrap. In doing so, you will no longer need a tree stand; you can shoot from inside your camouflaged vehicle. Want “urban camouflage”? You can get a wrap that does that, too (make your vehicle look like brick buildings and such).

Apply Car Wraps to Watercraft

Most people do not realize that car wraps are not limited to cars and trucks. Wraps can be applied to any plastic, metal or fiberglass surface. If you have a boat that is a bit “plain Jane,” then you can customize and purchase a wrap for the hull of your boat. Customers who choose this option often select duck hunting camouflage or blue water camouflage to fool fish into swimming up to the boat. However, as with the road vehicle wraps, you can choose whatever you like to make a boat wrap, including hot rod flames, sharks, etc.

Changing Your Wrap Is Similar to Changing Your Mind

You never have to purchase the first wrap design you create (or that the company creates for you). You can change it as often as you like before settling on and purchasing the one you want. In fact, some companies even offer online design galleries to give you ideas and allow you to post your designs so you can see it side by side with others. In the event that you purchase a car (or boat!) wrap, apply it to your vehicle, and change your mind weeks or months down the road, you may be able to get a refund or exchange it for something else. Custom car wraps are easily applied and easily removed, so changing them is very similar to changing one’s mind.

3 Tips For Reducing Nozzle Erosion Rate When Sand Blasting

Sand blasting, also referred to as abrasive blasting, involves the use of forcibly streaming abrasive materials, like glass beads or silicon carbide, under high pressure conditions to sand down and smooth a rough surface. It can also be used for shaping purposes. The nozzles used for sand blasting are the most vulnerable to the abrasive materials, and frequently need to be replaced due to excessive wear. Here are 3 tips on how you can reduce nozzle erosion rate, so you don’t have to replace the nozzles as frequently.

Choose Harder Nozzle Materials

If you find that you are replacing the nozzles way too often, you might be using materials that are a bit too abrasive for the nozzle to handle. Your best bet is to simply spend a little bit more on nozzles made from harder materials to reduce the erosion rate. There are several different types of tips that you can choose from: carbide tips, ceramic tips and steel tips. Carbide tips can be further broken down into composite carbide, boron carbide and tungsten carbide.

Carbide nozzles tips are highly recommended when harder abrasives like silicon carbide and aluminum oxide will be used. Although these tips can cost anywhere from $30 to $170 (while ceramic tips only cost $0.50 to several dollars apiece), they will be worth it in the long run and can actually help you save a substantial amount of money because you won’t be changing nozzles as often.

Reduce Hardness or Grain Size of the Abrasive Material Used

Although harder and larger abrasive materials can get the job done faster, you are literally throwing money away if you are spending more on abrasive materials and more on replacing nozzles. If the nozzle erosion rate seems too high, you should consider whether the hardness and the grain size of the abrasive material really is suitable and considered necessary for the job that you are performing. If you can, reduce either the hardness or the grain size of the abrasive material used.

This might cause you to have to spend a little more time on smoothing out the surface you’re working on, but you’ll save a substantial amount of money by not having to replace the nozzles as frequently. Keep in mind that the metal binder of the nozzle is the first to be worn down. Once the metal binder is gone, the nozzle becomes substantially more brittle.

Improve the Flow of Abrasive/Air Mixture

Other than switching nozzle material or abrasive material used, you should also take a look at the sand blasting equipment itself and whether the settings are compatible with the job. In particular, you want to make sure the blast hose, which moves the abrasive from the blast machine to the blast nozzle, is able to pump in a sufficient amount of air. The ratio of the abrasives and air mixed together is crucial, as it affects the overall flow of the sand blaster. If the mixture of abrasives and air cannot flow properly and freely, the erosion rate on the nozzle will increase significantly.  Don’t forget to check whether the sand blaster is experiencing any loss of pressure, as this can also cause accelerated wear.


Sand blasting can help make your job a lot easier, as it simplifies many procedures that need to be performed. When sand blasting, you have to be familiar with the type of nozzle and abrasive material that you are using, as it will have a huge effect on the quality of the finished product or project. Contact a company like Powder Coating Specialties for more information. 

Answering Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Auto Body Repairs

If your car has been unfortunate enough to suffer body damage, you may be feeling a tremendous sense of stress about getting it repaired. Often, much of this stress comes from a lack of knowledge about the auto body repair process. After you learn the following answers for some commonly asked questions, you should have a much better understanding about repairing damages to your car’s body.    

Will The Repairs Be Covered If The Other Driver Did Not Have Insurance?

Paying for repairs to your car’s body can be expensive, and while insurance will usually cover these repairs, there are some important limitations that you must know about. There are many drivers that only carry liability insurance on their cars, and this type of insurance will usually only pay for damages that you cause to other cars or pedestrians. Unfortunately, this type of insurance will not cover damages to your own car, and this means that you will be liable for the full cost of repairs if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. 

By opting for a comprehensive insurance policy, you will be covered from damages to your car as well as any damages you cause other drivers. As a result, if you have a comprehensive insurance policy, the auto body repairs caused by an uninsured driver will be covered, and you will only need to meet your deductible. 

Do Hail Damage Repairs Always Require The Damaged Portions Of The Exterior To Be Removed?

Hail damage is another common type of auto body damage that you will likely need to have repaired at some point during your life. Unfortunately, there are many drivers that will delay having hail damage repaired because they are concerned that it will be extremely expensive due to replacing large sections of the car’s exterior. 

Luckily, it is often unnecessary to replace these segments of the car’s body. This is due to the development of paintless dent repair. These systems use a tool with a strong suction cup that can pull out the small dents that hail stones cause. 

Auto body damage is a problem that you are all but guaranteed to encounter at some point over the time you own a car. However, these repairs are often misunderstood by people, but understanding how your insurance policy will cover damage from uninsured drivers and the options for repairing hail damage will help you to go through this repair process with a sense of confidence. 

For further assistance, contact local collision repair professionals, such as those from Chehalis Collision Center.

Tips On Keeping Your Vehicle’s Paint Job In Good Condition This Summer

Summer is often a time when car owners love to take a joyride down the highway. It can be nice to put the windows down, enjoy the warm breeze and just see where the day takes you. Summer may not seem like it poses as many dangers to your vehicle as the icy chill of winter, but there are still some dangers you will want to keep in mind if you want to avoid having to take your vehicle to an auto body paint shop for repairs at season’s end. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you want to protect your vehicle’s pant job this summer.

Beware of Parking Near Trees

Normally when people think of something falling on their car from a tree, they think of falling leaves in October or November. But parking on the side of a street under a tree during the summer could be a bad idea. Tree sap can very quickly and easily cause a stain on your car’s paint job if you don’t keep an eye out for it. You’re also not likely to notice just a couple of drops until it’s too late. If you must park underneath a tree, inspect your vehicle afterward for signs of sap.

Wash Your Car After That Drive By the Ocean

Normally when someone thinks of salt damaging their car’s exterior, they are thinking of the salt that gets put on icy roads during the winter. But the salty air of the ocean can be just as damaging. If you go on a vacation with your vehicle and spend a good amount of time down by the ocean boardwalk, that ocean breeze you feel is going to leave salty moisture all over your vehicle. If you keep your vehicle by saltwater for any significant length of time, wash your car on a regular basis before any permanent damage can be done.

Protection From The Sun

You wouldn’t go outside to the beach or swimming pool without putting suntan lotion on, so why do you leave your car sitting outside under the same conditions. Make an attempt to park your car indoors in a garage or other parking structure to shade it from the sun’s rays. If you must park it outside for significant length of time, there are car covers you can buy that will shield your paint job from the UV rays. This also has the added benefit of helping to keep the inside of your car cool for when you return.

If you do need your paint job repaired, contact Collision-One, Inc. or a similar company.

How To Patch A Rust Hole On A Car

Fixing a hole created by rust can help stop the rust from spreading to the rest of the car. Here is a step-by-step set of instructions to teach you how to patch a hole in your car.

You will need the following items:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Sandpaper
  • A metal file
  • A metal mesh body patch
  • A can of automotive body filler
  • A plaster trowel
  • A can of primer paint
  • A can of paint that matches the color of the car

1 – Start by putting on the gloves and safety glasses, which should be worn throughout this job. The glasses will prevent possible dust and debris from getting into your eye while you work. The gloves will prevent any of the rust of painting from coming into contact with your skin throughout this entire process.

2 – Begin scraping off all the loose pieces of paint around the rust by sanding it off with sandpaper. Make sure that no loose pieces of paint remove before you proceed with the removal of the rust. Use a hard abrasive type of sandpaper like a 60-grit to ensure you remove the paint and get down to the metal.

3 – Using the metal file to file down to the rusted area and get rid of all spots of rust. Make sure that the area is filed down to the metal and then sand off any rough edges that remain afterwards.

4 – Inside the hole where the rust was filed down insert a metal mesh body patch to fill the hole. The patch will act as a filler that will allow the automotive body filler to adhere to and stick to the rest of the vehicle.

5 – Over top of the metal mesh body, apply the automotive body filler over top using the plaster trowel. Make sure you apply enough to cover the entire surface area and ensure that it is spread evenly over the spot. Smooth out any rough spots with the trowel and then let the area dry for a full twenty-four-hour period to allow the body filler to harden.

6 – Sand down the hard body filler with sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and then apply primer over the area and let it dry to touch.

7 – Apply a final coat of paint over top. Make sure that you match the paint to the correct color of the car otherwise you will be able to visibly see the difference in paint on the car. Let the paint dry for a full twenty-four hours to complete the job.

If you have any problems patching the car or there are multiple holes, you should take it into an auto body repair shop (such as CARSTAR Tim’s Collision). The repair technicians at an auto body shop will have experience in dealing with all types of rust spots and can salvage the body of the vehicle.

How To Fix Minor Car Scratches

A minor scratch can be an eyesore on the side of a car. Scratches can accumulate very easily by simply being bumped by the door of another car or even any rough material that slides up against the door. If the scratches go left untreated there is the potential to have them develop into rust spots, which will create a much larger issue. Rust will eat away at the frame of the car and cause serious problems to the body of the vehicle. Treating minor scratches is fairly easy and can be done with a simple a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray and the following instructions.

To complete this task you will need the following items:

  • One can of penetrating oil and water-displacing spray
  • Rags
  • One bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Soft cloth rags

1. Start by cleaning the scratches with soap and water. Fill a bucket about half full with hot water and then add a couple squirts of dish soap before mixing them together. After the water is mixed, take a rag and dunk it into the water and get wet and soapy. Apply the rag to the scratches and pay special attention to any dirt that is contained inside the scratches. Make sure to scrub the area with the wet cloth and make sure that all the dirt is removed before proceeding.

2. Rinse of the side of the car where the soapy water touched the vehicle. Make sure that there is no soapy residue left on the car, and then take some soft dry rags and dry the surface area that is wet. Make sure the area is completely dry to the touch before you proceed to the next step, as the water will repel the application of the penetrating oil and water-displacing spray.

3. Spray some penetrating oil and water-displacing spray onto a dry rag, and apply it directly to the surface of the scratches. Make sure that you coat the inside of the scratches as well as their entire surfaces to ensure that every portion of them is penetrated. You should begin to see the scratches start to blend back into the paint and not be as noticeable as they once were. The scratches will still be on the side of the car, but they will be extremely hard to notice to the human eye unless you are right directly up close to the vehicle.

If you follow the steps outlined above and the scratches are still noticeable, you need to take the vehicle into an auto body specialist like Clint’s Body Shop & Rental Cars that can buff them out. A professional auto body specialist will also be able to repaint the car if necessary and can make the exact shade and color of the car.