Now Is The Time To Spruce Up That SUV – Save Cash

Porsche Panamera 4S by DetailKing
Source: Flickr

It may be time to spruce up your truck, car or SUV. Perhaps the bird droppings this summer and fall have been hard on your SUV’s finish. Perhaps you wish to you’re your car. Or perhaps you are tired of the colour and just want a change of scenery. It is true that automotive vehicle painting can be quite expensive if you want to have a really great and proper paint job done. Sure there are third party get it out the door shops but is that what you want. It would be as if your new Toyota was badly damaged and the insurance company instead of writing it off wanted to patch it back together. Get the job done properly. Of course, you can find auto body shops that offer really cheap paint jobs. Your car is the image that you portray. Auto painting is one of the situations where you truly get what you pay for. Get your car painted properly. However there are preparatory steps that you can make which will reduce the cash outlay out of your pocket substantially.

A cheap paint job will look cheap. The shop will spend little time properly masking the areas that shouldn’t have paint applied. You’ve probably seen a car where the trunk lock was painted; the formerly shiny chrome door handles were painted over; that is what you get when you elect to get really cheap auto painting.

However, you can get a great paint job and save money by doing some of the work yourself. About 86 % of the cost of auto painting is the preparation before paint is applied to the car. This offers you an opportunity to save money on your paint job if you don’t mind doing some hard work.

When you visit the auto paint shop, ask what you can do to prepare the car and reduce the price of the painting. Many shops will reduce the price if you remove chrome parts in advance. They may reduce the price if you clean the surface and remove old silicone-based wax and grease. To do this, you purchase a good quality wax and grease remover and find a well-ventilated place to work. Don’t perform this task in a closed garage because the fumes can be hazardous and disabling.

You can also remove old wax and grease using scrubbing pads or an abrasive household cleaner like Comet. Use a bit of caution with these procedures because it is really easy to scratch chrome or even glass.

Another step you may be able to perform yourself is the feathering of scratches and paint chips. These areas must be smoothed and evened out using sand paper. The initial sanding can be performed with 80 or 100 grit and change to finer and finer sand paper until the final sanding touches are done with 220 grit.

Ask the body shop if you can do some of the larger masking yourself. Masking is simply the process of placing painter’s tape over areas that should not be painted. Some body shops will not guarantee the quality of paint if you mask the car or any part of it yourself, so be sure this will actually save you money without infringing on the paint guarantee.

Remember laddie it never hurts to ask. Your car is the best representation of ourselves and our self image that we carry around and present to others. Make sure that it is proper.

Profits out of Auto Detailing Hobbies

Porsche 911 Carrera 991 by DetailKing
Source: Flickr


For car owners who put their auto on an upscale position, auto detailing is definitely on their list.
As cars are growing, as so is the demand for better care. That is why auto detailing is generating income of about eight billion in revenue. Who says that there is no income in the knowledge of cleaning and fixing cars? It is all in how things are done and managed. What are the things that you should have when putting up a business like this?

Knowledge
You must know something about cars either small or big. Customers consider their car as part of their family because they have worked hard just to bring in the bacon home. That is why it is of utmost importance that you know something about cars before venturing in the business. If you already have the idea, then all you will need is some background on running the business. Money is just secondary but interest should be a must.

Parking
You need to have a place to do the work. You can do it inside your garage and yet, that would be pretty messy. You can get yourself an executive parking lot to nest your business. You have to get a permit from the city office to form the business in order to acquire permission and authority over that place. This is very much convenient to employees who have no time to drive their cars that would take those 2 hours to drive just to achieve detailing.

In this kind of mobile operation, you will need a pickup truck or van and running water access. There are companies in some cities that customize and convert trucks into auto shops for detailing with its own portable generator and water reservoir.

Million Dollar Cars
Detailers will state that the bulkiness of their business comes from the dealers but in reality, to be able to have a car announced in an auction, one must have their cars detailed first. That is how competitive the market is. However, the market still depends on the cars driving through and from every angle. These are the cars that needs for a detailing job for twice in every year.

Budget
You have to consider that for a business to rise from its steeps is to have a sufficient budget. Without money to run the detailing job, it is impossible to expect a lot. You also have to consider the people who will be working for you.

On the other hand, once you have constructed your business, you have to introduce a competitive price that would be accepted by the people who wanted a reachable price. You have to offer what other car wash services do not offer. Comparing prices, it usually ranges from $35 to $70 every detailing service. These prices will also depend on how the customer wanted your their car detail should turn out.

Prices that are this reachable will open a competitive market that provides customer’s stream. Furthermore, you can provide a list of priced services for the people to know what they will avail. If you achieve a quota of at least 5 customers a day, it’s a living.

If the budget still demands, you can go on advertising your auto detailing shop locally so that people will know and maybe, in time, you can expand it.

Tips For Dealing With Auto Detailing Shops

Audi A5 Sportback by DetailKing
Source: Flickr

Communication is the key to a successful result when dealing with auto detailing shops. The first, and most important, aspect is for the car owner to be prepared to explain their wishes in detail. It may be helpful to have an idea or photo of the auto detailing that they wish to incorporate into their automobile. The artists at the auto detailing shop will be able to better understand the owner’s idea and wishes if they are able to clearly relay that through a series of communications and/or photos. For instance, if you want stripes applied, be prepared to explain the color and design. Even if you have to sketch an image or look through an auto detailing guide to get the perfect design, this will be very important in making sure that you are pleased with the finished product.

While explaining the auto detailing that you want, it will be ideal if the car owner could provide a written list of the artwork that they want to purchase. It is also important that the car owner not be overly demanding, but rather allow the auto detailing shop to explain what they can do and how quickly they can get it done. The detailer is a professional who is knowledgeable with cars and what to look for, so it will not make the process any quicker if the car owner is suggesting a completion date before the detailer has had an opportunity to inspect the car.

The car owner should not be embarrassed to ask questions or request more detailed information regarding auto detailing terms. There is truth in the adage that indicates, “there is no such thing as a dumb question.” It is best for the owner to leave a telephone number, at which he/she may be contacted, with the auto detailing shop. The best idea is to request an update, cost estimate and approximate time of completion prior to the actual detail work beginning.

If the auto detailing shop informs the car owner that new embellishments can be applied, the owner should inquire about warranties and any available guarantee. If either exists, the information should be provided in writing and a copy given to the car owner for his/her records. It is also a good idea to inquire about payment options. Some auto detailing shops may allow their customers to make convenient monthly payments after the work has been done, while many require immediate payment in the form of cash, money order, check or credit card.

Your Modern Auto Body Repair Shop

Swift Appearance Paintless Dent Removal, Victorville, CA
Source: Flickr

Most of us never would want to see the inside of an auto body repair shop. At the most we can often smell the solvents being emitted by automotive body vehicle repair shop as we drive by and wonder how those people can make it through a work day never being precise and accurate in both matching the color of car panels and repairing auto, truck and S.U.V bodies after vehicle collisions.

It is only by accident – car accidents that most of us end up inside the premises of our local, dealer or a chain auto body shop.

Most shops now bear little relation to the establishments you may remember as a child – dark and dusty surrounded by both piles of used and new car parts as well as a mean guard dog in the yard. There may be a few of those still around but they are a dying breed. Repairing cars now, especially with the electronics in today’s vehicles, requires both skill, education and training, sophisticated tools and an ultra clean, modern shop.

Modern body shops now seem to be uniformly clean, well laid out and well lit. As well many body shops are laid out in several distinct separate staging areas. Vehicles are estimated in one area, body work done in another, electronic repairs in yet another area, painted in a very separate area, and finally detailed and presented to the customer in a display area.

If the vehicle has major damage, then it is moved to a disassembly area and onto a frame machine. Unibody construction is utilized by most autos today. Unibody is a an automotive and mechanical body term which describes how sheet metal is stamped, formed and welded together to form the structural portion of the car or truck body.
The purpose of the “frame machine” is not to straighten the car frame now – rather it is to straighten the unibody construction of the vehicle.

Measuring the vehicle body for correct unibody alignment is more than critical. As little as one millimeter error is all that is allowed by most car, truck and S.U.V. manufacturers. Laser measuring systems are used by many body shops along with the frame machine to ensure that everything is straightened accurately to the decimal point.

With the unibody of the vehicle straight, the car, truck or S.U.V. moves to the metal work area where new sheet metal is mounted and damages area straightened. This work is still done by skilled technicians and tradesmen using hammers and dollies, but even the work done by body shop technicians has been changed by modern technologies. Overhead vacuum lines are connected to the grinders and sanders to pull dust and dirt away from this part of the shop. Modern body shops can remain very clean and dust free- indeed modern electronics , and even the most modern hi tech electronics of hybrid vehicles demand this.

With the entire metal straight, it’s on to the paint preparation area, commonly referred to as “paint prep”. Quality shops will use dust extraction systems to remove the dust when sanding and spraying the paint primers. Infrared lighting systems may be used to cure primer paint quickly and properly. These infrared lights can shorten the cure time from 24 hours remarkably to as little as 20 minutes. All of these procedures both help you to get a higher quality assured job and get you back on the road in a minimal time span.

Painting the final colors and clear coats is done in a paint booth. There are many types and brands of paint booths, however it is generally accepted the best are the “downdraft” units where fresh filtered air enters the top of the booth and any underspray is pulled downward and out through grates in the floor. The downdraft procedure of paint booths can produce the best and most consistent of paint finishes. In addition a well trained operator can make a great difference in final paint and appearance quality and consistency. A dust free paint booth of any design is better than a dirty and dusty paint booth of the highest end. Before spending your money or committing yourself to the job or repairs it is always best to ask to examine several examples of the shops work on several vehicles. In addition ask to see finished examples of several different body types – cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Look for smooth finishes with minimal dust specs and colors that match from panel to panel. These are the signs of a quality paint job done by a skilled and professional painter.

It goes without saying that a professional paint shop will be proud of their faculties- the layout, equipment, training of their staff – and most of all their people.

Such a shop should have no trouble, barring practical logistics, of allowing you a tour of their facilities. Indeed after all of their careful efforts they should be most proud to give you a tour and point out their strong points and capabilities as well as examples of their finished product.

After all it’s your vehicle that is being repaired – whether it is your new S.U.V, car, truck, van or bus.

Car Valeting and the Secrets to Detailing Products

DSC04891
Source: Flickr


Being in the auto valeting and detailing products may be a tough job.
Owners of such business should know how to maximize the use of their valeting and detailing products to reduce cost and at the same time, aim for higher profits. Detailing products are not that expensive but if you know how to use them properly it can help save thousands of dollars.

Try to check on your valeting and detailing crews. How do they use the wax or wash soap? Most of the time, this product is wasted depending on how it is used. Tell your detail crews that for every 5-gallon bucket use one cap of the wax or wash soap. If the car is very dirty, you can use 2 or 3 caps of the wax or wash soap. If your detailing crew follows such proportions, you can save a lot on the wax or wash soap.

When using cleaners and degreasers, a pint of the solution is already enough to clean ten cars; whitewall figures should be cleaned using stronger solutions. Heavy-duty degreasers should be used for rims to achieve desired results.

For the glass cleaners, mix 50% distilled water and 50% glass cleaner. If you have window cleaners instead of the glass cleaner, mix 75% distilled water with 25% window cleaner.

Leather cleaners should be used according to the right proportions. There are lots of leather cleaners to choose from so make sure that you choose a cleaner that is of good quality and it should also be affordable. Avoid wasting leather cleaners by using too much of it.

Clay bars can last for many months but always keep the bars moist. You can store the clay bars in a container where there’s moisture.

Car scents should never be sprayed on the car’s dashboard. You can squirt the product two times under the car seats so that you can conserve the product. You don’t need to spray too much of the car scent.

These are only some of the detailing products used if you are involved in a car detailing service. Educate your valeting and detailing crews on how to conserve the products. Teach them the right product proportions to use so that the detailing products are not wasted. If you can save little by little, then the cost for obtaining such detailing products will be reduced and that is a positive point for your business.

Since you’re already in the car detailing service, why not consider offering car valeting? This is a very good service that you can offer to people who want to have a valet visit their homes for a more personal car service. Many people want a more personalized car valet so that they can have someone attend to their car’s needs while they’re out working or doing something else.

Putting up and maintaining a car valeting and detailing business may be hard but if you know what you’re doing, you will succeed in this business endeavor. By incorporating a car valet service, more and more people will be attracted to your business. Your usual clients will surely spread your new service by word of mouth.

Soon, your car valet service will also become popular especially if they provide the best car services. With the secrets to efficient use of valeting and detailing products, your business will keep on earning profits because of the reduced costs on the raw materials (products).

Hot Cars Take Time and Effort

DSC04779
Source: Flickr

Auto show hobbyists find themselves meting new challenges as they begin the process of preparing their entries, whether they are working on an antique, a classic, or a new vehicle. Finding how to use the best automobile detailing supplies to achieve the wanted results is a matter of trial and error. Proper planning helps find the logical sequences for the best results. Also, the hobbyist must become an expert in many areas, knowing how to detail the tires and wheels of their cars as well as knowing how to clean automotive upholstery. (See the article, “Automotive Detailing: How to Clean Automotive Upholstery.”)

Preparing the wheels, wheel wells, tires, spokes, and hubcaps of a vehicle for a show demands consistent time and effort – and the proper auto detailing cleaning products. Detailing on a regular schedule (for instance, once a month) prevents a final detailing before a show from being an overwhelming task. Working on this area first also saves time and effort. Tires, wheels, etc., should be detailed before the rest of the car because the products that are most efficient for this job can be harmful to the finish of the car’s paint and can, at the least, spoil the polish job. You won’t be accidentally splashing the just waxed body of your car with the tire cleaner. Perfection in the tire area truly gives the look of “showroom” condition.

Be sure to work in the shade and not in the heat or full sun. This is not the kind of hot car you are aiming for. Full sun can cause streaks. Have your automobile detailing supplies laid out and ready. Remove your hubcaps or any other part of your wheel area that can be taken off. This way, you can really get at the tires, and also wash all sides of the removable parts. Some serious detailers will even remove the tires. Take the time to wash, rinse, and dry each tire before moving on to the next one. Completing each in turn will prevent any water spots from drying on the surface of the wheel.

Begin by carefully rinsing away any dirt or mud that might have coated the underbelly of the car or wheel wells. A second type of soil that is found on the tire area is brake dust. This material is gray in color and caused by the wear and tear on the brake pads. Do not use an excessively forceful water stream to rinse your tire area, since small rocks or sand could spin with the force of the water and scratch the surface of the car. You may use a soft brush to dislodge soil as you rinse. Try a soft bristled brush like Fuller Brush’s Vehicle Wash Brush. Mix a mild degreaser with water in a large bucket. Gently wash each tire and wheel with a soft wash mitt (or sponge. Each time you are ready to dip your mitt in the bucket of degreaser, remember to first rinse off your mitt so any particles of rock or sand will be removed. That way, you won’t be simply moving the soil around, and you won’t risk scratches to the wheel surfaces. (Also, to avoid scratches to the finish on the body of the car, use a different mitt for that area.) Finish with a detailing brush like Fuller’s Wheel and Spoke Detailing Brush. You will be able to thoroughly clean every bit of dirt from your tires without a scratch, and you will be ready for the next step, dressing and polishing the surfaces. Pay special attention to your manufacturer’s directions when you choose a treatment or polish for this part of your car. The wheel area and hubcaps can be painted or non-painted, and be made of a variety of different materials. Choose automobile detailing supplies that will be most effective for the materials in your car. Don’t worry about treating the tread of the tire. It will just rub off. Treating it may also affect your warrantee.

As soon as the tire area is completely detailed, you are ready to move on to work on the rest of the car. Before you know it, others will be noticing your “hot car.”

What’s The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Automotive Insurance?


Liability insurance, which covers the cost to repair damages caused by you, is usually your state’s minimum automotive insurance requirement; however, if you are still making payments on your vehicle, your financer may require you to purchase additional automotive insurance coverage until you own the vehicle.

There are many different kinds of additional automotive insurance, and collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance are probably the most popular kinds of additional automotive insurance. But what is the difference between collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance? Don’t they both cover everything?

No. Collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance are actually quite different.

Collision automotive insurance is automotive insurance that will cover the cost to repair damages to your vehicle that result in an accident caused by you. If repairs to your vehicle cost more than the value of your vehicle, the automotive insurance company may deem your vehicle a total loss, in which case you will be compensated for the current and actual cash value of the vehicle.

Collision automotive insurance is usually the most expensive of the additional automotive insurance options, which is understandable since the automotive insurance company is paying for damages caused by their own policy holder.

On the other hand, comprehensive automotive insurance is insurance that will cover the cost to repair damages to your vehicle that result in an accident for which you are not at fault. These damages may be caused by incidents involving natural disasters, theft and vandalism, fire, and animals (think of deer running out in the road during your innocent drive home). Comprehensive automotive insurance will compensate you for the total cost of your vehicle before the accident.

Although many people opt to purchase only liability insurance since it’s usually the only insurance required, consider paying extra for these additional automotive insurances. You never know when you, or an animal, will be the one to cause damage to your vehicle.

Great Detailing Products For The Do It Yourselfer

Thanks for visiting and finding my article. What follows is information that I have pulled together from several sources. I hope you find it both interesting and helpful.

Who makes the best quality detailing products or where can I get professional quality detailing products for my own car seems to be what a lot of people are asking.

You may be able to get the best products on the market or the same products that auto detailers and the serious hobbyists use. It is quite well known that if you intend to win auto show competitions you need the best quality detailing products to get that mirror finish. Young men also know that if their car is not looking at its best, their chances of getting a date will be tough. No one wants to go out with someone with a dirty car. For most people, their car is a reflection of themselves and are very particular of its appearance.

Do it yourselfers have asked if there is a special product they can use on their car to make their baby shine. You can find some excellent products online and they will ship them direct to you. One line of products was the American Shine Product Line of auto detail products. It is easy to order online and it comes within a week. The ‘Gift Pack,’ the Tire Dressing and Carnauba Liquid Wax are all good.

After following the instructions, the results were great. The Rubber and Tire Dressing had good shine, but did not have the stickiness, which would attract dirt or blowing dust. The Carnauba Liquid wax was not difficult to use and gave a good shine, but you must make sure the surface has been properly cleaned first. To insure a proper wash, we used carnauba car wash soap, which is recommended.

Although these products are usually made for street rods, motorcycles and customs, these products also worked great on a motor home and a 4-door maroon Ford with mild oxidation. The results were all on their website stating they were pleased with the shine.

I want to thank you for visiting. Go ahead and look around for additional tips and information.

Sourcing Parts At Reasonable Prices For Your Classic Corvette

With any classic vehicle finding a source of auto repair parts can be a major concern. So it is with classic Chevrolet Corvette as well as Chevrolet Stingray autos.

Corvettes have always had distinctive wheel covers and are a refreshing change from slotted mag wheels. The wood steering wheels add a rich touch if you are lucky to ever find one.

Interest has been spread into the 1968 and later models, especially car equipped with the lift out roof panels. In these cars, the excellent General Motors (G.M.) Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was the desired feature. Indeed one of the most valuable vehicle of this group has been the 1970 LT-1 350. Chevrolet itself had offered some good gymkhana suspension parts for this group of cars that are relatively inexpensive and greatly improve handling qualities.

Where can you find used parts for your classic Corvette? First of course are local swap meet and car clubs in your area. If you can shop close to home better be it.

You actually hold and fondle the part, inspecting it yourself. Why have to arrange and pay shipping charges. As well you may make valuable contacts for your Corvette restoration projects. Often one local contact will lead to another good source for parts as well as classic car restoration expertise.

Next on the list are magazines – such as – Corvette Enthusiast, Vette and Corvette Fever. It might be said that Corvette websites on the internet might be next on your list. However the actual magazines may provide a source for you first. Why not whittle down your Corvette resource list first rather than searching through the websites that may or may not have stock and be of the stature they claim. Websites can be made and put up easily. Magazines articles usually have current sourced lists; will place the vendors in some ranking. If there are ads – those ads have to paid for – which is an indication of the solvency and current resources of the firms involved. As well you may get additional good tips form the articles in the magazine. Classic car magazines such as Hemmings are also very useful.

Next for resources are actual websites devoted to this passion. The sites can be Corvette specific – such as vetteweb, the general motors website itself, The Corvette Club of America etc. Google the term “Corvette Links”, “Chevrolet Corvette Links” or “Stingray Links”. One link will always lead to more and additional links. Corvette enthusiasts are like that – always trying to be helpful and to share.

A terrific resource always is eBay. EBay is the premier online auction site. It can easily be found on the web at its home of ebay.com as well as various worldwide specific sites – whether they be ebay.ca in Canada or ebay.uk in the United Kingdom. EBay has both its original sales areas as well as the more specific and distinct eBay motors. The beauty of eBay is that somewhere in the world someone may have exactly the part, component or technical manuals that you are looking for.

In essence it may be “just lying around” and be of found money to them and yet be exactly what you require. It may be that that item is not available in your local area or the locals may want a killing for it. Either way eBay can be a very useful resource. Some of the items on eBay are on an auction basis; some are on a “buy now” price. Some are both. The beauty of eBay is that it has advanced features which may make your search for that exact hard to find Corvette car part easier. You can conduct product searches on eBay easily and specifically. If you are an eBay member (no cost to register), then you can have the eBay system email you the moment someone lists that part. Then you can either bid on the item, or if it is a buy now you can choose to purchase it. In addition eBay has a buyer request area where you can put out feelers and a request if anyone has that part or knows of contacts or leads that have that component available. Remember though with eBay that shipping costs are major component of the final and real cost of any good purchased. All that matters, if evaluating cost, is what the product costs when it arrives at the door of your shop.

Lastly never forget your local or area Chevrolet dealer themselves. There is both an amazing and remarkable amount of early Corvette parts still in the parts inventory of some Chevrolet dealers as well as some General Motors Chevrolet dealers who specialize in classic Corvette and Corvette Stingray car, mechanical as well as body parts.

Tips For Dealing With Auto Detailing Shops

Communication is the key to a successful result when dealing with auto detailing shops. The first, and most important, aspect is for the car owner to be prepared to explain their wishes in detail. It may be helpful to have an idea or photo of the auto detailing that they wish to incorporate into their automobile. The artists at the auto detailing shop will be able to better understand the owner’s idea and wishes if they are able to clearly relay that through a series of communications and/or photos. For instance, if you want stripes applied, be prepared to explain the color and design. Even if you have to sketch an image or look through an auto detailing guide to get the perfect design, this will be very important in making sure that you are pleased with the finished product.

While explaining the auto detailing that you want, it will be ideal if the car owner could provide a written list of the artwork that they want to purchase. It is also important that the car owner not be overly demanding, but rather allow the auto detailing shop to explain what they can do and how quickly they can get it done. The detailer is a professional who is knowledgeable with cars and what to look for, so it will not make the process any quicker if the car owner is suggesting a completion date before the detailer has had an opportunity to inspect the car.

The car owner should not be embarrassed to ask questions or request more detailed information regarding auto detailing terms. There is truth in the adage that indicates, “there is no such thing as a dumb question.” It is best for the owner to leave a telephone number, at which he/she may be contacted, with the auto detailing shop. The best idea is to request an update, cost estimate and approximate time of completion prior to the actual detail work beginning.

If the auto detailing shop informs the car owner that new embellishments can be applied, the owner should inquire about warranties and any available guarantee. If either exists, the information should be provided in writing and a copy given to the car owner for his/her records. It is also a good idea to inquire about payment options. Some auto detailing shops may allow their customers to make convenient monthly payments after the work has been done, while many require immediate payment in the form of cash, money order, check or credit card.

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