Category: Car Care
Nothing ages your car more than bubbling, chipping, or rusting paint. Your car is a large investment that you want to maintain properly, both to save you money over the years and to have a car you’re proud of.
Taking care of your paint is easy. Get in the habit with these tips.
Dirt and grime can become stuck on your paint, and over time, certain road materials can damage your paint. Letting dirt and chemicals from the road stay there can eventually cause rust. Experts recommend washing your car every two weeks, depending on how often you drive and the sort of road conditions you’re driving on.
Use the proper tools when washing
There’s a myth that you can use dish soap as a substitute for car wash soap. This can strip the wax and polymers from your car that protect your paint.
Instead, buy a quality car wash soap in order to remove dirt and preserve your wax. Using a microfiber wash mitt or microfiber towel is also recommended for your paint. Some sites suggest using a T-shirt, but even clean, the cloth can scratch the surface and grind the dirt that may be on the surface into the paint.
Don’t forget to dry
Mineral deposits can be left behind with water droplets. Use a 100% cotton detailing cloth or a sheepskin chamois to gently get the water off.
Use wax and/or paint protectant
All protectants deter oxidation, but paint sealants are more advanced to protect your paint. Many waxes combine enriching oils and protective polymers for an attractive, and hardworking, shine.
Detailing clay can easily be used to clean tough deposits on your paint, such as tree sap, tar, or bug residue. Many recommend using this at least once a year to get rid of stuck-on contaminates.
Parking in the shade will help protect your car paint from sun-caused fading. If you can park in a garage, this will further protect your car from the elements and unexpected damages.
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When a car has been in a wreck, some of the damage will be obvious. You’ll have broken taillight or a dented door, or a crunched hood. What is not immediately noticeable, and may be impossible to see unless you are an expert, is any damage that may be behind the body of the vehicle.
Technicians are trained to look for damage in the operating parts and the computer system within a car. They can determine if there is further damage beyond the cosmetics of the vehicle.
A dent may not be just a dent
Never assume that if a collision is minor that the damage is just a dent. For example, if someone backs into your car and puts a dent in your car door, there could be further damage inside, such as the power windows not operating properly.
If the dents are much larger and caved into the vehicle, the car should definitely be inspected by a technician for safety reasons.
Review the estimate
When you bring your vehicle in to a body shop, the location should give you a repair estimate. This estimate explains the cost for parts and the labor to repair the vehicle. Be sure to review the estimate and ask any questions before the work begins so that you have a good understanding of what you are paying to fix.
Many collision centers, like Fogle Collision, will offer free estimates. To get a preliminary estimate, you can use our new Smartphone Estimating Tool. You will get a repair estimate within 24 hours of submitting photos. However, we can fully determine the damage once a technician takes a close look at the vehicle.
The first cars available for purchase did not offer a variety of color choices. All the vehicles were in black because the luxury was owning a car, not the paint color. Now you have a multitude of options for repainting, changing colors, and customizing.
Auto painting is no longer about applying a coat and making sure it is even. Giving a vehicle depth and a unique appearance takes skill and training.
According to PPG, the most popular car colors are still monochromatic: white, black, and silver. This year has seen a lot of blues and oranges from manufacturers. But custom paints are a whole other game.
Many car owners who want to stand out look for a unique color for their vehicle. For example, a Molten Pearl Lexus or Austin Yellow BMW are not . These colors are not offered by the vehicle makers and it takes a professional auto body shop to do the work.
Bright and unique colors are striking on luxury vehicles as well. A Bentley isn’t offered by the maker in bright blue, but it is possible with a custom auto paint job. If you are a fan of maroon, you can have a Rolls Royce painted that color. And colors are not limited to just one color per vehicle any longer. A car can have a variety of shades and designs.
The possibilities are endless with custom auto paint jobs. Want the exterior of your car to change colors? An iridescent paint detail creates different color tones in different lighting, and is an emerging trend among car enthusiasts.
In 2011, Range Rover created a custom Spectral Amber ChromaFlair option that features tones of lemon and lime.
More unusual, an incredible color changing paint detail was created on a BMW X6 with “thermochromic” paint that changes with heat. As hot water is poured on the vehicle, a painting of The Incredible Hulk appears. While this is definitely on the rare (and expensive) side, it demonstrates the breadth of possibilities for drivers looking to customize their paint.
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Car owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles’ tire quality. Insufficient tread or air pressure leads to more than just a flat tire. In 2017, tire-related crashes resulted in 738 fatalities nationwide. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped in the past decade, they can still happen and cause serious damage.
Every car owner should take a few routine steps to check and maintain the quality of the tires on a vehicle.
Maintain proper air pressure
Experts recommend checking your air pressure once a month, and every time before you take a road trip. Most vehicles have a tire pressure sensor, but it is best to manually check.
You can find your recommended air pressure on the tire, the inside of the door frame, or in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to tire damage, and over-inflated tires can lead to a blowout.
Good tire tread is necessary for traction and to maintain the durability of a tire. When tires look smooth, they need to be replaced.
A simple way to measure the tread is to insert a quarter with George Washington’s head facing down into the tire. If the top of his head shows, the tire is worn and should be replaced.
Having tires rotated regularly helps them wear more evenly and not as quickly.
Good alignment and balance
Maintaining proper alignment and balance on a vehicle can prevent a tire from wearing excessively. If your car doesn’t track in a straight line when your hands are off the wheel, you might need an alignment. Signs you may need your tires balanced include steering wheel or floorboard vibrations.
At Fogle Collision Center, we recommend everyone to maintain their tire quality to prevent a blowout. If you do get in a collision, contact our expert team to vehicle repaired and get you back on the road.
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As a car owner, you have a decision to make about repairs if you have a dent in your vehicle that isn’t major damage. The smaller dents may be the result of hail, a minor accident, or anything else that struck your vehicle. More significant damage requires a visit to an auto body shop.
With smaller dents, you could choose not to make the repairs, especially if the repairs could cost more than the value of your vehicle. However, the fix may be easier than you think.
What is paintless dent repair?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a process of removing dents from a vehicle without altering the finish on the vehicle.
Often, these dents are fixed by gently working out the dent from the back side of the panel. Some can be fixed pulling or suctioning the outside of the dent to pop it back out. This method is often for small dents, like hail damage.
This doesn’t work as well for fixing dents that have a crease or have damaged paint. The dent may be able to be popped out, but you’ll still need paint work to make it look like new. These, or bigger damage, are better fixed by traditional body repair.
Finding the right repair
As with any auto body work, the best process to finding the right place for repairs is shopping around. With damage from a major collision, the repairs must be made at an auto body shop. If the damage consists of smaller dents, you may have more options. Some repair shops that don’t specialize in body work will offer PDR.
If you have a regular body shop, ask if they provide PDR and what the price difference would be for that service versus collision repair.
Listen to the recommendations from auto technicians. If more than one suggests collision repair over PDR, it may be because the damage is greater than it appears. For example, a dent in a door may not look significant but could have unseen damage to mechanisms inside. This would require collision repair to fix the internal problem.
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Many drivers fear to have a tire blowout while behind the wheel. It can create a sense of panic, and loss of control if you are not prepared.
Here are a few of our tips on how to handle a tire blowout.
Recognizing when a tire blowout occurs
A driver must know the signs of a tire blowout so the driver can react quickly and properly. A tire blowout typically starts with a loud, popping sound followed by a “whoosh” of air leaving the tire. As the tire goes flat, the driver will likely feel the vehicle slow down and pulling the car in the direction of the damaged tire.
Reacting to a tire blowout
When a blowout occurs, remain calm and do not panic. It can be tempting to become startled by the sudden pop and change in the car’s handling, but quick and unplanned maneuvers, such as an abrupt turn of the wheel or slamming on the brakes, can create a recipe for disaster. Experts recommend holding on to the steering wheel and allow the car to slow down gradually. Once you know you have control, pull your vehicle over and turn on your emergency hazard lights.
Preventing a blowout before It happens
There is a simple step that drivers can take to reduce the odds of a blowout from happening. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure and look at your tires regularly. Underinflated and damaged tires are a leading blowout contributor. Most vehicles made within the last decade feature tire pressure monitors, but a quick inspection of the tire’s condition is helpful.
Remember, if a blowout happens, stay calm and drive through the blowout until you can safely and slowly pull over. Our expert team at Fogle Collision & Automotive in San Antonio is here to help you with towing, wheel alignments, and car collision repair. Give us a call today to have your vehicle checked so you can get back on the road worry-free.
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