Car Detailing: Other Considerations

Protection from the Elements

Aside from keeping your vehicle healthy and sanitary, another important reason why you should bring your vehicle for auto detailing is to give it more protection against the elements. As you drive your vehicle, you are exposing it to a variety of harmful elements that can harm its cosmetic appeal. The ultra violet rays from the sun, acid rain, road salt and others can negatively affect your vehicle’s appearance and make it look old and worn.

All vehicles come with a clear coat finish which is said to provide protection for your vehicle’s paint, but a clear coat can only do so much. It is still necessary that you have your vehicle waxed at least twice a year. Good quality wax applied by professional and experienced auto detailers will not only help your vehicle’s paint look a lot glossier and shinier, but it also helps to protect your vehicle’s paint from oxidation and contaminants and keeps it from looking faded.

Increase Your Car’s Resale Value

With the exception of a few vehicle owners, we can’t always expect keep and use the same vehicle forever. Inevitably, we’ll have to sell our old vehicles or trade them in for a new and more efficient one. However, selling or trading your vehicle isn’t always an easy process, and that’s not just the paperwork and documentation, but also the difficulty of finding a buyer who’s willing to pay you the price you want.

Vehicles coated with dirt and grime both on the outside and the inside do not only sell for less, but rarely gets sold at all. In general, knowledgeable vehicle buyers associate a dirty exterior and interior with lack of responsibility and regular maintenance, and thus form the impression that other important components of the vehicle like the engine are also neglected.  These are often reasons enough for a prospective vehicle buyer to be hesitant when it comes to purchasing a used vehicle. The buyer becomes even more hesitant if the car just obviously came from collision repairs like CGU smash repairs, Ford smash repairs, or Honda smash repairs.

On the other hand, a clean and crisp looking vehicle both inside and out gives the buyer an impression that the vehicle is well-maintained and cared for, thus making it easier for you to sell it. Thus, consider bringing your vehicle to an auto body shop for auto detailing prior to the sale. When your vehicle’s wheels, rims and upholstery looks to be in mint condition, you should have very little trouble selling the car, and you may even sell it at a higher price than you first intended.

Auto Body Shop Basics: What Is Car Detailing and What Makes It So Important?

Maintaining a vehicle entails a lot of work—from oil changes to tire replacements and so on. If you own a car, a van or a truck, bringing your vehicle to an auto body shop for regular maintenance and checks will be a part of your routine. However, there is one maintenance activity that many vehicle owners often forget, and that is auto detailing. But what is auto detailing and why is it so important for a vehicle owner?

What Is Auto Detailing?

Many vehicle owners often mistake auto detailing for customisation. They often think that when they take their vehicle to an auto body shop and avail of auto detailing services, it involves the installation of some decals or vinyl or painting the vehicle with some form of artwork.

Auto detailing, in its most basic sense, is a thorough cleaning of your vehicle and making sure that it looks at its best after the process, down to the very last detail. Most auto body shops as well as some shops that offer smash repairs in Sydney will offer both exterior detailing and interior detailing, which as their names suggests, are cleaning services for the outside and inside of your vehicles.

Exterior Detailing

The very first thing that people notice when they see any vehicle is its exteriors. This is why many auto detailers in reputable auto body shop devote a substantial amount of time and effort into exterior detailing since not only do they want to make the vehicle look clean but make it look as closely to what it was when it was brand new. Auto detailers will work on the various exterior components of the vehicle such as the tires, rims, windows and others.

There are several processes involved in exterior detailing. First off would be the washing and drying stage where detailers will use a high-power washer and mild detergent to remove dirt and debris from the vehicle’s surface. This is followed by clay work which involves the use of a clay bar to remove contaminants that weren’t removed during the washing process. After this, the vehicle is polished to give it a nice shine and then a sealant and wax is applied to further make the vehicle glossy and give it protection against the elements.

Interior Detailing

Interior detailing, as the name suggests, refers to cleaning the inside of the vehicle. Here, auto detailers in the auto body shop will vacuum the flooring and upholstery including the panels and glove compartments. Scrubbing and shampooing may also be conducted and is in fact necessary to ensure that germs and bacteria are eliminated. Once this is done, the vehicle goes through another set of vacuuming for a more thorough clean, and then deodorizer is used to help the vehicle smell fresh and clean.

How Does a Panel Beater or a Repair Technician Carry Out SMART Repair Work?

Purchasing a car is never cheap. Owning a vehicle does not merely remain confined to the cost you pay for purchasing the car. It includes the running expenses as well as the maintenance charges too. This is why you’ll need to protect your investment as best possible. In some cases, despite taking all the necessary precautions, you might find yourself involved in a car collision. In this scenario, once you’ve checked on the safety of the passengers involved in the collision, you will need to take stock of the damages sustained by the car. In many cases, car collisions are not serious. They will typically result in some scratches, dents and dings on the exterior of the vehicle. To deal with these and set them right, you might want to consider the merits of SMART repairs.

When you visit an auto body shop to deposit your car after a collision, you’ll likely want the repair technicians to get rid of all the scratches and scuff marks resulting from the collision. To accomplish this, the SMART repair technicians will:

  • First clean and dry the affected area for removing the dirt and wax that could affect the repair work
  • Mask off the neighbouring panels and details (including the badges, lights and moulding) carefully to protect them during the repair process
  • Sand back the damaged area for revealing the paint and the primer layers – this is especially so as many repair shops rebuild the colour of the vehicle on a layer-by-layer basis for a better quality finish
  • Prime the vehicle with a grey base and cure it with an infrared lamp
  • Start applying the paint in thin layers with the help of a spray gun
  • Heat the paint to ensure that it dries between each application
  • Cure the entire area with the help of an infrared lamp
  • Remove any paint nibs with extremely fine grain paper after the area has cooled sufficiently and,
  • Polish and buff the panel

What Are Smart Repairs?

Contrary to popular opinion, smart repairs do not refer to time or money-saving ways for repairing your car. Rather, the word ‘SMART’ is an acronym. It typically means ‘Small to Medium Area Repair Techniques’. For the past couple of decades, SMART repairs have become increasingly popular. In the past, not many people considered these repairs with any merits. Today, SMART repairs have become a part of the mainstream as far as professional car repair services go.

In the past, automotive dealers carried out all bodywork restoration with traditional equipment and techniques. Thus, even for minor damages, they would paint or repair all the affected and adjoining panels. SMART repairs initially emerged as a viable alternative to full re-sprays for chipped paint. Over the years, it evolved into a distinctive discipline that provided worthwhile solutions for repairing all the everyday damage that vehicles were likely to experience. Today, SMART repairs typically constitute the following disciplines:

Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) for removing dents and dings
Paint Spot Repair for removing chips, scuff marks and scratches from the car’s bodywork
Alloy Wheel Repair for scratched alloys and kerbed alloy rims
Plastic Trim Repair for dealing with cracks in the mirror casing and bumpers
Interior Repair such as cracked dashboards, fading upholstery etc. and,
Windshield Repair

It is worth highlighting that SMART repairs are not ideal for repairing seriously damaged vehicles. Such vehicles tend to have a lot of structural damage. Thus, the repair specialists will need to replace several panels because they are damaged extensively or corroded beyond repair. In contrast, SMART repairs typically feature various specialised techniques. The repair technicians at any auto body shop use these techniques on small, concentrated areas of cosmetic bodywork and interior damage. SMART repairs are ideal for dealing with incidents of single panel damage.

How Do Car Repair Specialists Assess the Expenses Associated with Honda or Ford Smash Repairs?

Whenever two cars run into each other or if a car smashes into another object, people term the incident as a collision. As mentioned earlier, a vast majority of such collisions are not fatal. Hence, they do not lead result in serious physical traumas or injuries. Severe accidents will probably involve the loss of life. In addition, the vehicles will usually experience significant damage. Insurance companies will usually write such vehicles off. This is because the cost of repairing these vehicles vis-à-vis the value of the vehicle does not warrant repairing the damaged vehicle. Alternatively, situations are likely where the damage to the vehicle is so extensive that even the best of repairs cannot restore the vehicle to a roadworthy condition.

When a damaged car arrives at an auto body shop, the technicians at the shop will inspect the vehicle. They will try to ascertain the extent of damage to the car. In many cases, cars sustain damage at the front or the rear ends in collisions. To minimise the impact of such collisions, many car manufacturers make front and rear bumpers strong enough to absorb the impact of the collision. This helps in minimising the shock and damage to the vehicle, the occupants of the vehicle and any pedestrians involved in the collision. In addition, strong bumpers can prevent damage to various expensive mechanical components as well. Such components could typically include the brakes, the suspension, the transmission and the engine.

Experienced technicians can remove the front and rear bumpers, the side panels and the doors easily. This is especially so if they need to repair these sections. In many cases, the technician might only need to remove scratches on the surface of the car or provide a little paintwork. For this, the specialist will remove the surrounding components such as the handle of the door, the mould or the door lock. Then, the technician will sand down, fill in and re-spray the affected area. This would typically involve a few hours of work. In some cases, the technician might need to replace some parts. Based on the extent of damage, the requirement of additional parts and the quantum of work needed, the repair shop will provide a detailed estimate. If the owner of the vehicle agrees with the estimate, the repair work will commence.

What Are Some of the Aspects that You Would Need to Factor In Prior to Handing Over Your Vehicle for Collision Repairs?

The uncertainty of life is something that affects everyone. Hence, accidents can happen to anyone at any time and at any place. Thousands of vehicles ply on Australian roads on any given day. As such, the possibility of two or more cars colliding with each other is not impossible. In some cases, drivers might be distracting by phone calls or text messages. In others, the lack of sleep could lead to moments of carelessness. Such moments could result in collisions. Similarly, poor visibility or bad weather conditions could lead to accidents as well. Thus, car crashes and accidents are often unavoidable. In many cases, they could be inevitable too.

As mentioned earlier, a vast majority of car collisions are minor in nature. As such, your passengers and you might not suffer anything more than minor injuries, if at all. But, the interiors and exteriors of the vehicle might sustain serious damage. In many cases, the damage sustained by the vehicle would depend on the impact at the time of collision. In such collisions, the doors and fenders often experience the most damage. Thus, when you’re looking for the best quality of repairs, you will need to:

  • Select the best auto body shop in your neighbourhood for providing top-quality repairs, while liaising with your insurance company
  • Avoid body shops that use aftermarket or used parts while carrying out the required repairs
  • Ascertain and compare the original panels with the repainted ones to ensure that the colours of both sets of panels match perfectly and,
  • Ensure that the repairers have dealt with all the other problems in the vehicle including those involving the warning lights such as the airbag light, the check engine light, the low coolant light etc.

What Does the Frame and Chassis Realignment Typically Involve?

Any reputed auto body shop will know the value and significance of realigning the frame and chassis of the vehicle. For the uninitiated, the chassis of the vehicle is nothing less than the basic structure (or skeleton) of the vehicle. Auto manufacturers usually use tough and robust materials for making the chassis of vehicles. This is because they will mount the engine, the suspension and various other mechanical components on the chassis.

Vehicles featuring a perfectly aligned chassis will be both safe and reliable. This is especially so in case you’re driving the vehicle at high speeds. On the contrary, even the slightest misalignment can enhance the difficulty of the driver. A misaligned chassis could lead to jerky steering behaviour. Alternatively, it could make it difficult for the driver to handle the car. Both sets of issues could increase the chances of accidents in the future.

Because of the importance of the chassis in the overall functioning of the vehicle, auto mechanics exercise a great deal of prudence when performing accident repairs. In many cases, these professionals will completely strip the chassis of all its components. This would enable them to identify any damages to the chassis easily. Some of the best auto body shops do not shy away from using advanced tools for realigning the frame and chassis of the vehicle. For instance, many mechanics use laser alignment systems for ascertaining whether any portions of the frame became bent during the collision.

Situations could arise where the repair specialists find that portions of the frame have lost their shape because of the collision. In this scenario, these individuals would straighten the bent portions of the chassis. Thereafter, they would realign the chassis to ensure that the drivers can handle the vehicle safely after the completion of the re-assembling. Similarly, situations could arise where sections of the chassis might be damaged beyond repair. To resolve this, the mechanics would typically need to cut out the damaged portions of the chassis. Thereafter, they would need to weld the new frame sections securely. This would go a long way towards maintaining the structural integrity of the vehicle.

What is paint less dent removal?

Paintless dent removal or PDR is a method of repairing dents and dings from vehicles. However, unlike the traditional or conventional methods of repairing dings and dents, PDR does not require detaching the damaged panel from the vehicle. In addition, there is no need to repaint the damaged area after PDR is completed – meaning there is no need to sand, apply fillers, and put a fresh new coat of paint on the repaired area. The process of PDR indeed has a lot of benefits, including cheaper service fees and quicker completion time since there is lesser work to be done. This service, although still gaining some traction in the world of automotive body repair, can be availed of in many reputable and professional auto body shop.

Auto body shop – Important auto body repair tips

With millions of drivers on the road every day, accidents are inevitable. Luckily, most accidents are minor and nobody gets injured. However, minor accidents can cause damage to the fenders and doors. There are few important tips which can ensure that your car is properly fixed.
Insurance companies can recommend you to an auto body shop, however you should do your own research and choose an auto body shop which guarantees high quality repair. An auto body shop may either use original parts, used parts or aftermarket parts for auto body repair.
Paint matching can be challenging, however the auto body shop must ensure that the body panels match in colour. Check for warning lights after an accident which may include the low coolant light, airbag light, engine light among others. Illuminated lights may indicate need for reprogramming or replacement of critical electrical components.

Auto body shop – Finding the best body shop for your vehicle

For high end vehicle owners, it is very important to protect their investment by always choosing professional and high quality auto body shop. Find an auto body shop which services the brand and model of your car. The auto body shop should have certified professionals who have an expert understanding of how to keep your car looking as good as new.
The skill set and competency of auto body shop professionals represent their commitment to repair and car detailing services. The body shop representatives should communicate well with customers about their need and also clearly explain the approach and cost for every services they provide.
A detailed written estimate is extremely useful as it offers a clear idea and allows the customer to compare different auto body shops for the best deal. For any additional work required for hidden damages, the auto body shop should contact you for the estimate and ask for authorization before proceeding with the repair.