Archive for the ‘Getting The Most For Your Money’ Category

Repairing Car Paint Chips

Posted on: July 2nd, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

repairing car paint chipsIf you’ve owned your vehicle for an extended amount of time, you know well enough that sometimes stuff happens. Scrapes, bumps, hail damage, and things entirely out of our control can impact the aesthetic of your car. One issue that most vehicle owners run into eventually is chipping paint. Luckily, repairing car paint chips is easy to fix, but if you’re not sure what to do to take care of those chips, we have you covered. Note, however, that if you have serious hail damage and paint damage, you should bring your car to professional car painting and matching experts…such as us!

Clean it Up

Before repairing car paint chips, give your vehicle a quick wash with some warm soap and water to clean up the chip area, then grab some automotive body polish and a soft cotton cloth. Rub a small dab of polish over the chipped area to soften up any jagged edges. Be careful not to over-polish, or you could damage the clear coat on the rest of the vehicle, leaving you with a cloudy paint job that’s more of an eyesore than the chip itself.

Prime Time

Once you’ve softened up the edges, you’ll want to prime the area so it’s ready for a fresh coat of paint. Choosing a quality primer will set your repair job up for success, so make sure not to go the cheapest route or you may find yourself facing the same chip in just a short while. Before applying primer, swipe the area with denatured alcohol to make sure it’s truly clean and ready to hold the primer and paint.

Grab the Right Paint

Head to an auto parts store and you’ll find a book with paints from different makes, models, and years. Look up the information that matches your car and you’ll likely see a list of paint colors used that year on vehicles with that make and model. Find the one that matches yours and buy a small bottle of touch-up paint. Make sure not to apply the paint in direct sunlight or if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a layer of paint over the primed area (we always recommend testing the paint on a piece of paper first to make sure it’s the right color) and let it dry. Apply a second coat about an hour later and let that coat cure for several days.

Good as New

Once the second coat has had a chance to cure, there’s just one more step for repairing car paint chips. Take the polishing compound you used to soften up the jagged edges of the chip in the first step and reapply a small amount here to help feather the edges of the repair job and make the new coat of paint look seamless – and your vehicle look like it’s new all over again.

Make Your Car Last Longer

Posted on: May 23rd, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

make your car last longerPurchasing a vehicle is a big investment. It makes sense that you would want to get the most out of your investment as possible. In this case, that means making sure your car runs like new for as long as possible and keeps on running well past when it’s “like new” days have come and gone. As your Denver auto body repair team, we know a good, reliable car can take you well over 200,000 miles and last you years upon years, but there are also a variety of things you can make your car last longer and get every last mile possible out of it.

Regular Maintenance

This first one is really a gimme to make your car last longer, but it’s worth mentioning because though it seems obvious, many vehicle owners space it off. Keeping up with the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle is one of the most important keys to making sure you get the most out of your vehicle. Without proper maintenance, regular oil changes, tire rotations, filter changes and more you are creating an environment that fosters breakdown and issues that may seem isolated at the time only to become bigger issues later in your vehicle’s life. Taking the car in for regular maintenance keeps precious years on its life and keeps it running like new for as long as possible.

Keep it Clean

Along with regular vehicle maintenance, regular cleaning impacts how long your car will last as well. Getting to the car wash on a regular basis may not seem like a priority, but doing so prevents environmental wear and tear on the exterior of your vehicle that can lead to weaknesses in the body. These may leave the critical components of your car open to vulnerabilities. It also protects you from rusting and premature paint decay. All of these things serve both a cosmetic and mechanical purpose when it comes to prolonging the longevity of your vehicle.

Give it a Break

We live in a world where running out of the house and running late is not uncommon – it’s often the norm. But what you might not be aware of is that when you first start your car after it’s been off for a long period of time, it needs to warm up. Let it idle for 30-60 seconds after starting the ignition before you put it in gear and get going. This will give your vehicle the time it needs to get going and run smoothly and to the best of its ability on the road.

Clear Out the Trunk

Here is one you may not consider when trying to make your car last longer. If you’re in the habit of keeping a lot of stuff in the trunk of your vehicle, it might be time to rethink that philosophy. Lots of extra cargo adds lots of extra weight, and if that weight is left in your vehicle over time it can increase the speed at which your tires and bearings wear out. It can also make your car wear unevenly, causing a whole host of other problems.

No matter how great a job you do of taking care of your vehicle, eventually things will start to fail. When they do, make sure you have a trusted mechanic on hand to turn to for the repairs you need.

When to Switch Out Snow Tires

Posted on: March 29th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

switch out snow tires

Temperatures are beginning to warm, we’re getting rain instead of snow, and the sun has been warming our skin a little more often as of late. So you might be wondering – when should I switch out snow tires and swap them for my all-season tires? It’s a valid question, and one you have to consider – keeping your snow tires on too long when winter disappears into a sold spring can damage the tires and make them much less effective when temperatures drop again next year. Living in Colorado, you probably already know this, but there’s really no solid answer. The weather patterns determine more than the calendar, but here are a few rules of thumb to consider.

Spring In Full Bloom

It’s technically spring, but we don’t like to use that as our mile marker here. Anyone who has lived in Colorado long enough knows that the start of spring usually means we’re in for at least a few more solid snow storms, and when they strike you’re going to want those snow tires firmly in place. However, when the average temperatures are 45-50 and above consistently, it’s likely safe to make the swap. But just remember, when we say consistently, we’re talking rarely a day where the high dips below those numbers. If you’re seeing 40s on the horizon, keep the snow tires on, you’ll thank yourself later.

Mother’s Day

Usually, around Mother’s Day, it’s a pretty safe bet that those snowy days are behind us. Mid-May is a good time frame to keep in mind, though there may be years where it makes sense to swap them out earlier, but in general, when you realize you almost forgot to send your mama something fantastic is a good time to switch out snow tires and put them away for another couple of seasons.

Turning on Those Sprinklers

There’s a certain point in the spring, usually a little closer to summer, when you’re no longer afraid to leave your sprinkler systems on automatic timing. Rather than manually turning them on and off when needed and when the weather allows, you can freely set it and forget it without fearing frozen or bursting pipes. When you hit that glorious, summer-is-coming moment, you can also feel good about changing your tires.

There isn’t a one-size fits all formula for when the ultimate best time switch out snow tires and pop on the all-season ones for the remainder of the year, but these guidelines should help you feel more confident in your timing, and help you avoid making an early call that leaves you skidding around without proper traction when that late-season snowstorm hits unexpectedly. If you find yourself in an unfortunate early-tire-switch-caused crash, don’t worry, we can help get your car back in shape and get you back on the road quickly, with extraordinarily high-quality auto body repair work.

Can’t Live Without Car Features for Winter

Posted on: February 21st, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

best winter car featuresBest Winter Car Features

February might be over, and sure, March is TECHNICALLY when it’s supposed to start feeling a little more like spring, but in Colorado we all know that’s not entirely true. And when winter continues to rear it’s ugly head when you’re wishing for warmer temperatures, there are some vehicle features that come in extra handy. Getting through winter is a little bit easier with these best winter car features – how many does your vehicle have?

Heated Seats

Honestly, heated seats are kind of the holy grail of winter driving comfort. Is there anything better than hopping into a car when you’re freezing your buns off and knowing you can just push a quick button and warm those buns up fast. When it gets cold outside, heated seats are the saving grace you need to keep yourself from shivering until the heater warms up.

All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive is a must have if you live somewhere that gets snow, like most of the Front Range. Snowy roads lead to less traction and when traction gets a little sketchy, you want a vehicle that can handle a little slip and slide without spinning totally out of control. By delivering equal power to all four of the tires, all-wheel and four-wheel drive help you avoid getting stuck after a heavy snowfall and keeps you from sliding around in slick conditions.

Advanced Safety Features

Top of most drivers’ minds as winter rages on is safety, as it should be! Luckily, most cars on the market now come with some advanced safety features to keep you on the road and in your lane even when winter weather hits. Things like antilock brakes and stability control can go a long way to keeping you safe on the wintery roads and are now required by government standards. Others, like adaptive headlights, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure prevention, and more may be part of a technology package on some vehicles and will come standard on others. Knowing which safety features your car is equipped with will help you paint a better picture of how safe you are on the winter roads.

Remote Start

Oh, glorious remote start. Like heated seats, this is a bit more of a comfort play, though there is a performance advantage to getting your engine warmed up a bit before you take to the road as well. One word of caution with remote start – it’s convenient and gets your vehicle all toasty warm before you brave the cold, but if you typically park in a garage, make sure your garage door is open or, even better, you’re pulled out of the garage onto your driveway before you hit remote start. Doing this will allow you to avoid carbon monoxide from the exhaust making your garage lethal or even worse, leaking into your home if your garage is attached.

Heated Steering Wheel

Like heated seats, heated steering wheels are an innovative comfort feature that helps big time when you forget your gloves. Even if you do park in a garage, chances are that steering wheel is chilly first thing in the morning after a particularly frigid cold snap. A heated steering wheel lets you drive in comfort without having to remove one hand from the wheel every few seconds to keep it from freezing.

We’re heading into March and while some milder temperatures may very well be on the horizon, we’re still staring down the barrel of some freezing cold mornings and (probably, let’s be honest) more snow. That’s why these features will continue to come in handy as the winter rages on, and for many winters to come. What’s your must-have winter feature for your vehicle?

DIY Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Posted on: January 25th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter car maintenanceWinter Car Maintenance

You may be spending more time holed up in your house as winter rages outside, or maybe you’re heading up to the slopes every weekend you get a chance, but either way, your beloved vehicle still needs care, attention, and regular maintenance. Yes, even when the frigid temperatures make the idea of stepping outside nearly unbearable. If you’re looking to make less trips to your local auto maintenance shop, check out our tips for DIY winter car maintenance this winter.

Oil Change

This is one of the most commonly-DIYs (or attempted DIYs), but a word of caution should be applied before you give it a shot. A properly conducted oil change is necessary for your car to operate at an optimum level, so a misstep here could prove to have worse consequences than anticipated. If you feel confident in your ability to change the oil in your particular vehicle, this can be a big time and money-saver, but make sure you do your research first. What type of vehicle do you have? Some vehicles, like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma make the DIY solution straightforward, but others are a little more complicated to figure out. This might be something you want to continue to leave up to the professionals.

Tire Safety

Checking your tires is especially important in the winter, and it’s an extremely easy thing to do yourself. In general, tire pressure drops 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature. So whenever there’s a significant drop in temperature, you should visually check your tires. Take an official pressure reading at least once a month in the winter months (and it doesn’t hurt to keep up with this practice as the weather turns warmer once again, either). Keeping your tires properly inflated will prevent undue stress and excessive wear and tear. If you’re worried you’ve been too hard on your tires lately, the trusty penny trick is always a good one to employ. Place a penny in the tread of your tire, with the head facing down toward the tire. If Honest Abe’s head is covered by the tire tread, you’re good, but if you can see the top of his head, your tires are starting to wear thin and it’s time to go shopping.

Spark Plugs

If you’ve recently put 30,000 more miles on your car, it’s time to consider replacing those spark plugs! While many shops charge a pretty hefty fee to replace the things, it’s actually quite a simple process as long as you’re willing to take it step by step. Always change just one at a time and make sure to reattach the wires to the first before you move onto the next.

No matter the time of year, your vehicle will always need regular and scheduled maintenance, but if there’s the chance you can take some of those tasks into your own hands safely and armed with the necessary knowledge to get it done well, there’s no reason not to try DIYing some of those things, especially when it’s freakin’ cold out and the idea of leaving the garage is just too much to bear.

But, auto body repair is probably something you should leave to the professional. Even dent repair is something you should have the pros do. If you do need some collision repair, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter car maintenanceSnow is on its way, Jack Frost has started nipping at noses and winter is practically at our front door in Colorado. Heck, we’ve already seen a few flakes and flurries, we’ve had a couple of icy-road mornings. That means it’s time to turn your eyes toward winter car maintenance. Driving in the winter is a very different beast than driving in more temperate conditions, and knowing what needs to be working its best when the heavy snowfall hits are important. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check these things off your list before you embark on any winter road trips, and hopefully you won’t need us for auto body repair.

Triple Check Your Lights

Decreased visibility is far more frequent throughout the winter months. Plus, now that we’ve done the whole “fall back” thing with daylight savings time, it’s getting darker much earlier. You have to know that your lights are working, and working well so you aren’t left driving at night without the ability to see further than a couple feet in front of your car. Vehicles with broken head or tail lights make the road unsafe for everyone on it, so this is a biggie.

Battery

Batteries that are already struggling have an even harder time when the temperatures drop. Checking your battery health is an important step to save you from being stranded on a snowy road with a broken car. Having a volt test performed on your vehicle’s battery before winter strikes is the best way to tell if you’re good to go or it’s time to seriously consider replacing this crucial part.

Survival Kit

This is less about vehicle maintenance but is still crucial for winter preparedness and your vehicle. No matter how much troubleshooting you do, there’s still a chance that something goes wrong while you’re on the road. Having a fully-stocked emergency kit could mean the difference between life and death (it sounds extreme, but when winter temps drop low and snowfall piles high, depending on where you get stuck it could very well be true). Most emergency kits include food, water, blankets, spare clothes, a flashlight, a spare cell phone charger that works in your car’s cigarette lighter or USB port, and jumper cables. It’s also a good idea to keep a shovel in your trunk. This way, if you end up stranded, you’ll have what you need to get you through however long it takes to get someone out there to help you.

Defroster

A working defroster not only saves you time in the morning when you’re running late for work (darn sun not being up as early anymore!) but it also keeps you safe in icy and snow conditions on the road. When the fluffy stuff is falling down, a properly working defroster keeps it from building up on your windshield. It can also help keep your windshield from fogging up and hurting your visibility.

Heater

This one’s about comfort, mostly, but that’s important, too! The worst time to realize your heater doesn’t work is the first day you need it. Test out your heater early in the season and if something seems a little off, get it checked out for peace of mind.

Being on the road during the winter sometimes feels like a necessary evil, but taking these steps to ensure your vehicle is up to the task and ready for whatever the snowy season throws at you allows you to breathe a little easier and keeps you (and those around you) safe and sound behind the wheel.

Keeping Your Car Going

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

keeping your car goingWe’ve been talking quite a bit about getting your vehicle ready for the winter months, but we’d be remiss to not stress the importance of being ready for whatever the weather may bring, regardless of the season. After all, we’re all driving around in giant chunks of metal daily, so it’s important to know what to do to keep it in the best shape possible, keeping your car going and you as safe as possible on the roads. As your auto body shop, we put together some biggies you need to pay attention to no matter what time of year it is.

Keep an Eye on Those Tires

Tires are one of the biggest things that can cause serious, life-threatening problems on the road, so it’s imperative that you keep an eye on yours. The more miles you put on them, and the kind of miles (not all pavement types treat your tires equally) will impact how long they last before they need to be replaced. If you haven’t in awhile, do the quarter test on your tires. Stick a quarter so that good ole’ George Washington’s head is upside down in one of the treads of a tire. If the tire doesn’t come all the way up to cover the tippy top of George’s head, it’s time to get new tires because yours are in serious danger of balding or blowing out. Plus, when there’s no telling what tomorrow’s weather might bring, the idea of poor traction is more than enough to put a knot in most driver’s stomachs.

Don’t Skip Scheduled Maintenance

Oil changes, tire rotations, air filter replacements, you know the shtick. The stuff your mechanic talks to you about every time you get your oil changed – those are the things you should never skip. Scheduled and routine maintenance is a must-do if you want your car to last as long as it should. Those cars that are well into the 200,000 and even nearing 300,000 miles and still running (though at that point we might recommend looking into a new road partner)? You can bet they rarely, if ever, missed a routine maintenance check on their vehicle. When you take your vehicle in regularly to get checked and get the oil changed before it’s running nearly dry, you allow plenty of points at which to spot serious problems before they become major safety issues.

Give Your Vehicle Some Lovin’

Aside from routine maintenance, it’s worth getting your car washed regularly and getting it detailed at least once a year as well. A clean car keeps rust at bay getting it detailed keeps it looking good as new much longer. Especially if you have pets, detailing your vehicle once or twice a year is a great addition to your regular vehicle-cleaning routines. A little extra TLC can only do good things for your vehicle’s longevity no matter the season.

Winter is on its way, and while you should definitely make sure you have snow tires ready to go and winter wipers in place if you need them, it’s also important to remember the tips we highlighted here year-round to reduce your risk of accidents and help keep yourself and others as safe as possible on the road.

Choosing the Right Tires for Winter

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

choosing winter tires

Choosing Winter Tires

The closer we get to November, the higher the likelihood that winter could hit at any moment. It’s that strange time of year in Colorado where it could be fall with a hint of summer one day, and the next day can bring 4+ inches of snow. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to get those winter tires back out and see if they are ready for another year or if it’s time to go shopping. If you’re in the market for new winter tires but aren’t sure what to pay attention to, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to choosing winter tires. And, we can tell you, as an auto body repair specialist, we see countless repairs that could have been prevented if the vehicle had good winter or snow tires.

Will All-Season Tires Do the Trick?

Nope, sorry. I know, it’s hard to believe. Why call a tire all-season if it can’t live up to its name, right? But there are countless driving tests where it’s apparent that all-season doesn’t include the hazards of the road in true winter conditions. There’s a number of reasons for this, but perhaps one of the most important is this – all-season and winter tires are made from different material. While all-season tires are made of a stiffer rubber compound that helps the tire retain its shape while driving on hot pavement, winter tires are generally made of a water-loving compound that stays softer and more pliable in winter conditions and allows you the traction you need on snow and ice.

What About M + S Rated Tires?

According to Les Schwab, some all-season tires have an M + S rating on them, meaning they are tested for mud and snow, but they warn against using these tires in places that experience ice and snow regularly throughout winter. Here’s the thing about M + S tires – they are equipped to provide better traction in wet conditions, but when things start to get slick they still don’t provide the grab you need to keep you safe and sound on the road. If you’re determined to use an all-season tire year round, look for the mountain snowflake symbol. If that’s present, it means the tire has actually been tested and proven to perform in slicker conditions.

What the Heck Is Siping?

When you start searching around for information on winter tires, you’ll see the word “siping” pop up a lot. Most snow tires are already siped, which just means that there are small patterned slits on the lugs that create extra edges for better grip on slick roads. Additional siping can be done on used or new tires for a fee, but this is generally unnecessary unless you are regularly traveling on very slick roads and want the added safety.

There are plenty of other things to consider when winter rolls around – like whether or not chains are necessary and when they might be (hint: if you’re planning on skiing and snowboarding in the mountains this winter we definitely recommend them), studs, and so much more. Ask your tire salesperson what they might recommend or talk with your regular technician to determine what the best choices are for you to get ready for the winter months.

Fixes Before Selling Your Car

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

what to fix before selling a carWhat to Fix Before Selling a Car

When it’s time to sell your car, you want to make sure you get the most money possible. If only it were as simple as snapping a few photos and putting it up for sale. Whether you’re planning on selling it yourself or taking it to a dealer for an offer, there are a few “what to fix before selling a car” items you can do to help ensure you’re getting top dollar for your beloved road warrior. And, it goes without saying, if you need auto body repair, you should get that taken care of before selling your car if you are looking for top dollar.

Tires

Tires an important item when thinking about what to fix before selling a car. If your vehicle is in need, replace the tires to up the resale value. Whether or not you need to put new tires on the car before you offer it up, make sure you get the tires aligned. Improper alignment is one of the things someone will notice right away when they test drive a vehicle, so it can pay big time to make this small adjustment ahead of time.

Brakes

This boils down to fundamental safety, which should not be overlooked when thinking about what to fix before selling a car. For whoever purchases your car, but it may also have a major impact on the value of your car. Fixing the brakes if there are any issues is a must-do before putting your car on the market again. Most buyers will high tail it out of there the second they hear grinding when they try to stop, so keeping brakes in tip-top condition is a biggie, especially if you’re planning on selling the car yourself.

Engine Repairs

Tires, brakes, and engine repairs are the big three that will often determine whether or not you get good cash for your vehicle. If there’s anything wrong with your vehicle’s engine, it absolutely needs to be taken care of if you’re hoping to sell for what your car is truly worth. No one wants to invest in a used car that’s going to cost them a big chunk above the asking price when the engine needs repaired just a couple months down the road.

Keep Maintenance Records

If you want to prove that your vehicle has been well cared for throughout your ownership of it, keeping detailed maintenance records may be another way to bring in some additional bucks for your trade-in or sell. A well-cared-for vehicle will run better for longer than one that frequently missed oil changes, ignored the little lights that come on in the dashboard and overall was not handled well.

There comes a time in every vehicle owner’s life where parting ways is the necessary next step. Whether your life and therefore driving needs have changed, you’re looking for a different style vehicle, or it’s just time for something new, you want to make sure you get the most out of the car that took you so many places while you had it. With these tips, you should be able to fetch a more than fair price for your prized possession and upgrade the way you deserve.

Best Time to Buy a New Car

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

best time to buy a new carWe know that you can’t always predict when you’ll need to buy a new car, but if you can plan ahead, there are some things worth considering. Like traveling, purchasing holiday gifts, booking hotels, and so many other things these days, there are best and worst times to make a car purchase. If you see that purchase coming down the road, try to plan your purchase at one of these times for the best chance of the best deal. So, as your car body repair team, we thought we would give you our “insider” info on the best time to buy a new car.

End of Month

If you’re in dire need of a new car, this might help you save some extra cash. Going to the dealership at the end of the month could equal additional savings if your purchase could help put the manager over their quota, said Mike Rabkin, founder of From Car to Finish. If you really want to make the most of this particular chance at savings, it might be a good idea to brush up on your negotiating beforehand. These end of the month savings aren’t likely to just fall in your lap.

Keep an Eye on Special Offers

If you’ve been in the market for a car in the past (or watch TV pretty much any time) you’ve probably noticed that car manufacturers always seem to have some kind of special offer or seasonal sale going on. It’s such a frequent thing that it’s easy to get lost in the noise, but tune your ears to perk up when there’s an offer including a rebate. Rebate-based offers are a great way to save big because they are typically dealer incentives to clear out a model entirely. Another big offer day to consider is Black Friday. It might be a little hectic at the dealerships, but the savings could be well worth the mania.

New Model Time

When new year models come out, that means the pressure is on to sell off the last year’s models, so it is the best time to buy a new car. If you’re planning to give this trick a try, just remember that new model years rarely come around at the same time as the new calendar year. Check your favorite manufacturer and see if you can anticipate when their new models will be coming around and plan to shop for the previous year around that time.

End of Day

This isn’t just about the end of ANY day, it also pays to strategically choose the day of the week you decide to purchase. While you may save money at the end of the day on any day of the week with an eager salesperson who doesn’t want to lose the sale over a little negotiating, according to a study by TrueCar.com, people who purchased a car on Friday could pay as much as $2,000 more than those who bought the same car at the end of the day on Sunday.

How to Use This Information

If you used these tips to score a great deal on a new car, congratulations!  On the other hand, if you have a car that could use some auto body repair, dent repair or even some new paint, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or visit us online to make an appointment.