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You may have maintained your car well and have it running optimally. However, the body work may be less than perfect. Maintaining your car’s body in good condition is just as important as ensuring that all the vehicle’s systems are operating optimally. You need to know how to keep your vehicle’s body looking good. You also need to know what to do in case your paintwork is faded beyond the level where routine cleaning cannot revive its gleam, or if you have an accident which causes dents or other serious damage. The following tips should help you to keep your car looking prim for a long time to come.
You will most likely prefer to get your car cleaned at an automatic car wash. While this option may be fast and convenient, it is not without its disadvantages. It has been observed to cause scratches and faster depreciation of the paint work due to the high pressure water jets and tough rotating brushes involved. It also does not come cheap and may overlook certain blemishes and hidden spots. It would be good for you to regularly clean your car yourself as this gives you an opportunity to note any problem with your car’s body work. Plain water from a hose is recommended although a mild car shampoo may be used for any stubborn grime. Waxing and buffing the car after washing helps to seal in the paintwork in a radiant state.
After long exposure to the elements, even the best paint work starts to show signs of fading. A paint restoration at this stage is advised. If the faded effect does not go too deep, and your vehicle has no dents, you can use a rubbing compound to remove the dull top layer of the paint to expose a new and shiny layer. You can then wax the vehicle to enhance and retain the new effect.
There are instances when the paintwork on your car is too deeply degraded and a superficial restoration cannot bring it back to its original luster. What you need is a re-spraying job. Any dents on the automobile have to be removed before any spraying can be undertaken. Dent removal can either be done by push to paint methods, where no filler is used, or through the use of filler to cover the dents. The existing paintwork is then deglazed by use of sand paper before the new coat of paint can be applied. It is recommended that between 2 and 4 coats of paint are applied for the best effect. Spraying has to be done in dust free conditions otherwise the paint finish will not be immaculate. Proper spraying bays are sealed in from dust, and have extractor fans to draw away any stray paint droplets and other particles in the air.
While you may always strive to drive carefully, you could inevitably find yourself getting into mishaps on the road since other drivers might not be as careful as you. You will realize that at times it is difficult to avoid accidents. It is hoped that you will not have a serious accident where your car is written off and you land yourself in hospital, or worse. The damage caused by minor accidents, however, are often relatively easy to fix. The method of performing an accident repair is dependent on the depth and extent of damage. There are several options of auto body accident repair as can be seen below.
1. Complete Panel Replacement
If the damage is restricted to a particular panel, the whole panel can be replaced with a new one. This is usually possible with most recent models of vehicles. If the vehicle is an old vintage, or a rare imported model, ready panels may not be available from any local dealer. Other ways would then need to be considered to repair such damage. For some modern vehicles, panel replacement is the only way to repair accident damage since unique composite materials are used to construct the bodies.
2. Panel Beating
Vehicles, whose replacement panels are not readily available, require panel beating to give them their shape back. The process of panel beating entails the following process;
• Straightening the deformed body panels
• Filling out the shape irregularities with body filler
• Shaping out the hardened filler through grinding and filing
• Filling out the small fissures caused by the grinding using spot putty filler
• Using emery cloth to smooth out the area to a smooth finish
• Applying paint primer
• Spray painting with up to four coats of the correct paint
Inasmuch as some accidents cannot be avoided, it is important for you to drive carefully. Auto body repair is not cheap and too much of it depreciates the value of your car.