Category handy stuff

Testing services: paintless dent repair in Phoenix

paintless dent repair in phoenix

Probably there are only a handful of drivers in Phoenix who at least for a once in their life have not experienced an unpleasant surprise in form of a dent or scratch on their car body. This warm winter with its mud and salt has fairly good camouflaged small dents and dings decorating the car body, but sooner or later everything will become visible to even the grubbiest owner. As it’s impossible to find the responsible person, luckily there is super cool service offered by DRP in Phoenix that is called paintless dent removal, which harmlessly solves all of the above stated problems.

paintless dent repair in phoenix

Development of car engineering and design has enabled ultra-modern car model structures, but on the other hand it has created significant drawbacks in terms of usability and practicality. Let’s take for instance moldings. Few years ago it was a typical thing that any class car has these protective shields. As of now, only a couple of cars actually have it, but American and European cars are not amongst them. It has been a major sacrifice to gain a more elegant and appealing side lines of any given vehicle. So now you can park in a narrow parking space and, believe, there will be someone who will leave a huge dent on your brand new vehicle. It’s just a matter of time when it will happen, and you can never know how large the damage will be (and repair bill too) and how much you’ll regret it.

But dents and door dings are not only an object to small and restricted parking spaces. You may become a victim of vandals who love to hit random cars out of omission. Or wind may throw a branch on the roof of your car. Typically, you would search for repair shop in Phoenix under such conditions. You would have to wait in long lines for days or even weeks before even somebody can have a look at your ride. On top of this, there’s a pretty good chance that the dents on your car would leave a big dent in your wallet, too. There are many testimonials circulating internet where people complain about dent repair costs in excess of thousands. But what would you say if I told that such defects can be prevented within an hour, keeping the original paint in place and it would cost you close to nothing?

Invitation to see paintless dent repair in action

At the end of March, Dent Removal Phoenix owner Chuck Garrick invited me and other interested persons to assess the results ensured by paintless dent repair – elimination of small defects like dings, dents, scratches without any finishing or painting right here in Phoenix. But it must be noted that this service is mobile – it serves other nearby locations like Scottsdale AZ as well.

In the customer acceptance room the first thing I notice is the relatively new Audi A6 next to which the owner of the place Chuck is standing. He introduces us to the magic equipment applied during the paintless dent repair process – set of custom tools. He begins the show by applying a special lighting to illuminate the dent on rear side of the car. Technically, the dent is visible without the equipment, since it’s of the size of a shoe. But ok, once we are introduced with the inspection stage of the paintless dent repair, it’s time to finally get our hands dirty.

example of hail damage repair in phoenix_before and after

Chuck moves fast and accurate, commenting his every move. Half an hour and the foot sized dent on the vehicle’s doors have disappeared. The audience is left speechless.

Paintless dent repair is not only popular in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Then he explains that paintless dent repair is not something only available in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any other city of Arizona, but actually has been long used in Europe by world’s leading vehicle manufacturers. For instance, when a new car rolls out of the factory, every vehicle body component is checked and every error is outlined with a special pencil. Then marked dents are pulled out before the vehicle is sent to any local dealer, including the ones we have here in Phoenix.

Paintless dent removal is also popular in the Alps regions where hail storms frequently damage cars with grains much larger than we have here in Phoenix. It’s worth to mention that the most skilled paitless dent repair technicians have advanced their craftsmanship in a manner that they are able to eliminate hail damage and other dents that are 10-20 times larger than typical hail caused defects. And Chuck has personally proven this in our presence!

Probably the greatest paintless dent repair achievement ever recorded is elimination of more than 1,500 small dents caused by hail damage to a roof of a premium segment German import. It took masters more than one and a half month to get everything fixed. Of course, traditional panel beating and simple re-painting would occupy less time, but don’t get fooled. Anyone who is looking for such an expensive vehicle, will probably tests the car paint thickness with a simple but fairly useful gadget – car paint thickness meter, just like these, for instance. If the paint thickness is greater than 200 microns, it’s a clear sign that the car has been re-painted, hence, it would be nearly impossible to sell it at a price you would want.

Major advantages of paintless dent repair in Phoenix or any other part of the USA comparing to traditional body repair is reduced repair time – most of the moderate complexity dents can be removed within a day. Next, the original paint job remains intact – it’s an important aspect once you decide to sell it. To continue, clients don’t have to worry about different color tones that are a typical problem after a traditional repair. Last but not least, the price will be much sweater.

To sum it up, paintless dent repair in Phoenix is a great opportunity to remove dents, hail damage and other body flaws at a relatively low cost and within a reasonable time.

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Three scenarios for beautiful wheels

There is a saying that every car’s appearance defects can be removed by pdr method, but design mistakes can be corrected with beautiful rims. But what should be done if the rims are the ones who urgently need a correction? Here is some practical advice…

Cosmetic defects

The most common types how to get dents and other car body damages: being inattentive you drive along a road border and the wheel that was proudly shining in the bright sun now has got some ugly scratch. What to do?

If you’re not a perfectionist, just leave it alone. It’s probably not the first and definitely not the last visual damage to your car in its life.

However, if you are willing to do something about the problem and the scratching on the wheel is superficial, give a try of polishing. Or matte it and varnish afterward. Just be honest about your skills and abilities. If you have any doubt about them, better seek professional help. This will not only save your time but also you money on materials and amount of work.

In the case the defect is deeper, repair process is a bit more complicated. First of all, wheel must be removed from the car and the tire dismantled. Now you can start preparation process beforehand painting. Chemical treatment is applied in order to dissolve and remove any dirt. When it’s done, wheel’s surface is processed with sand, ball or soda flow to reveal a nude metal in front of you. Then it’s time for an additional heat treatment and powdering can begin. At a workshop this whole job will cost you somewhere between 50-100 dollars per wheel.

Bent or torn discs

If a wheel is deformed in a result of an impact, to restore the initial condition there are two possible options: either to weld or expand the disk. But do you really need it?

If the wheel has cracked, the smartest thing to do is to get a replacement and write off the old one as the life’s lesson. For security reasons it can also be pretty difficult to pass the technical inspection.

When the wheel is bent but not broken, it can be expanded. During the expansion process it’s possible to recover the initial positioning of the wheel (it costs somewhere between 20 to 70 dollars) and, if necessary, edges can be grinded. Ruptured disk repair will cost 50 dollars on average depending on the severity of damage.

It will be a rather challenging objective to achieve good results and avert any damage on chiseled wheels. It’s simply because the material is denser and hence much stronger than a material out of which a typical wheel is produced. These chemical properties grant the product more resistance to damage but in the same time a harder repair process.

Regardless of the necessary repair type, it must be considered with a cool mind. If you can’t asses it on your own, ask a pro to check it out. Also remember that your and your passengers’ safety is the top priority at all times.

Wheels look okey, but not perfect

The visual improvement of an alloy set of wheels is limited only by your own imagination. The simplest tuning option is repainting them in a custom color; it will cost you around 200 dollars per set. If this is too mainstream for you, choose a combination of custom painted inner edges and polished outside edge supplemented by a logo in the middle. Still not enough to stand out in the crowd? Go for a fluorescent color!

There is also an alternative to all of the above mentioned called hydro graphics. The wheel is soaked in water on which a label is applied beforehand. This makeover will make a 200 dollar dent in your wallet but will definitely be worth it.

You can also get yourself steel discs instead of more traditional alloy wheels. They might be heavier in some cases but fit better for some older car models. These wheel types have their own benefits in everyday and sports driving.

Upon an impact steel disk is curved but not torn in pieces so there are greater chances that tires will hold their pressure. Although it’s not a preferred method, the flexibility of steel wheel allows you to make an emergency quick fix by a hammer. Another argument in favor of the steel is lower price compering to the competing products.

Last but not least it’s worth remembering that a superb effect can be achieved by minimal effort: wash and wax your wheels regularly. This will also prevent the brake discs from dirt and other environmental factors.

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How to choose your first car?

As soon as you have passed the driving tests and received the driver’s license, most probably you will be starting to look for your first car. But how to choose one? For most users, common sense is not a factor when deciding about the make and model, instead, emotions take over. Youngsters simply want to show off in front of their friends, not thinking about other important factors like fuel consumption, insurance costs, repair and maintenance costs etc. So, the decision must be made carefully, without any needless rush, or you will end up feeling unfortunate with your purchase.

First car for a new driver should be a used one. Ideally – heavily used car. Admittedly, hardly anyone knows how to driver properly, without any damages straight after receiving their driving license. Most of young drivers sin during the first few month, for instance, slightly scratching the side of the auto because not taking a proper look in a mirror beforehand, cracked headlights cause of not noticing a column, small parking space resulting in folded number plates, etc. That is why a new driver’s first car must be such that nobody will have any sorrows for making few dents or couple of scratches.

What are the factors to consider?

  1. Select a car that has a simple, easy to repair construction. Why? The easier it’s to repair the car, the lower the charges and the more repair shops will be able to perform the work. You won’t have to drive the car across the whole state in order to change the light bulb, for instance. It’s also known that the smaller amount of extras the car has, the less things can break down and fall on your nerves.
  2. Look for a smaller car. Small cars in contrast to large pickups and SUVs are easier to handle, requires less money for maintenance and service works, and, what’s also important, are easier to park in the city.
  3. Check whether a car is economical. Less money spent on the car, more money for other things – clothes, education, entertainment, health, sports, food, booze etc.
  4. Car should have a valid technical inspection. As a result, you will not have to pass many formalities. For the same reason, the best to buy a used car, which already is equipped with a spare wheel, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a jack. You can negotiate with the seller to leave all these things in the car, especially if the seller does not want to drop the price of the car.
  5. Get the additional equipment and other gadgets such as radio controls on the steering wheel or heated seats. If you are new to this, don’t overspend on this, as you don’t know yet exactly which of the additional options you will use and which not. Get a car that drives and is in fairly good technical condition. You can always get a better car once the driving skills are improved.
  6. Go for a car that has a tidy cabin without any obvious defects. If you are not a mechanic yourself, don’t know anyone who is a mechanic and could fix your car for a bargain, don’t fall for the claims of the seller that everything is in a perfect condition. Get a car that is in perfect driving condition and does not require any additional investments. Clean and not worn out cabin interior will make the driving experience even more pleasant.
  1. Try to find such a car, which has shown itself well in Crash tests. Don’t select a too powerful car, as many young drivers fall to a temptation to test the car at a full capacity despite the lack of necessary skills to handle one. Choose a car equipped with a power steering, safety features like ABS and airbags for both the driver and his passengers.
  2. If possible, choose a FWD (front wheel drive) car. Driving a RWD (rare wheel drive) car or AWD (all-wheel drive) demands much more skills and experience on the roads, especially on slippery and snowy roads.
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How to beat the heat?

man adjusting climate control settings

We will soon once again be hit by a super-hot and dry weather. Sun recklessly heats everything it can reach and the abandoned vehicles are converted into real ovens. For those, who have only an air conditioner in their cars, there will not be much of opportunities to change the situation except turning the fan on max output. Those who have a climate control, on contrary, will be able to enjoy certain advantages.

German technical surveillance association (abbreviated GTU) gives simple and practical advice on what should be done to regain a normal cabin temperature as soon as possible. This is important not only from the comfort point of view, but also for safety reasons – overly hot temperature inside the cabin negatively affects the driver’s reaction speed and capabilities to assess the situations on road appropriately. There are calculations claiming that at a 45 degree temperature the risk of getting into an accident increases by 6-7%, but at the temperature of 90 degrees – by more than 15%.

First of all, we can influence this by changing our habits, for instance, try to park the car in shade of trees or buildings when possible. Next, before getting in spend a couple of minutes to ventilate the heat out of the cabin by opening all windows (or doors if possible). Additionally, put the car’s equipment in action – adjust climate control or AC to work at a full capacity. Once you start driving, it’s recommended to keep windows open for around 2-3 minutes. When the time has passed, close the windows and sunroof if any and set cabin temperature at about 70 degrees.

It should be noted that the climate is a great assistant in cooler temperatures and rain, too. If the air flow is directed to a window and the internal ventilation option is selected, window demisting is prevented. You can turn the internal ventilation off after a moment, and adjust the fan speed to a medium one. If you are willing to make sure that your car’s climate control serves you long, experts advise to run it for at least 10 minutes every week. This ensures that the coolant is moved through the system and seals are prevented from drying out.

German GTU gives few more suggestions: under the tree ambient temperature is about 60 degrees lower compared to the areas in direct sunlight. If you don’t have an option to hide your car in shadows, at least try to park it in a manner that the rear part of the car is exposed to the sun, and not the front part. If you have few extra dollars, it could be a wise decision to get a foil that you can put at the top of the front windshield that blocks solar-generated heat. If you have more spare money to spend, get an ice bag. You will be able to get a refreshing drink or meal no matter how hot the weather outside and temperature inside your car is. If these are not options, remember about throughout vehicle ventilation hack. There’s actually nothing else you can do, so keep calm and enjoy!

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How to save money on fuel

visit gas stations less often

Are you looking for a ways to improve your financial situation or become more environmentally friendly? We have prepared some helpful information on this and hopefully you will know how to take advantage of it and start saving on energy and reduce CO2 emissions

Eco driving is a modern and clever way to get around, unless you have any of these dangerous habits behind the wheel. For the best results, we recommend visiting eco driving training where qualified instructors share their knowledge with you. If you are not ready to do that, don’t worry, below are few easy to implement steps you can start doing right away. Fuel consumption will probably decrease by somewhere in range of 10-50% depending on the environment (in a city or in countryside) you use your vehicle the most and old driving style and habits.

Here are the rules:

  • Plan your route in advance to ride without haste, traffic jams and road repair sites. When planning a route try to find a combination that allows to drive at a steady speed;picture of a gps navigation
  • Don’t keep unnecessary stuff in your vehicle – additional weight is extra load for the engine, thus increases the fuel consumption;
  • Remove roof racks, bicycle racks and other accessories when you don’t need them – impaired car’s aerodynamics also increases vehicle’s fuel consumption;
  • Maintain your car with engine oils that have low internal resistance and get yourself energy saving tires;
  • Check the tire pressure at least a month. It must meet the manufacturer’s set criteria – if it’s lower you are wasting your fuel and money. Also, it’s a relatively significant safety issue;
  • Keep the windows shut at higher speeds. Opened they increase resistance and disturb a smooth air flow around the car;
  • Cold engine consumes more fuel and emits more CO2 that warm one. So let the engine warm up properly before you take off;
  • Don’t use your vehicle for short trips, go on foot. You won’t just save money and time in most cases, but will also take care of your health in the long run;
  • If you run into a traffic jam that does not move forward, as often as possible switch off the engine;picture of a traffic jam
  • All of the electrical equipment, including air conditioning and electric seats, notably increases fuel consumption. Don’t use them if not necessary! Less the energy is consumed, the less money you are spending and the richer you are becoming;
  • Your entire focus should be on the road: this improves not only driving safety, but you will also be able to keep the car in steady motion. Plan all your moves in a timely manner;
  • The distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you should be about 3 seconds. This mitigates collision risks as well as enables an opportunity to drive at a constant speed;
  • Use the first gear only to initiate the movement – not longer than the length of your vehicle;
  • Use the accelerator evenly, avoid any rapid or deep movements that can rocket your vehicle’s fuel consumption;
  • It’s a good practice to switch gears before 3,000 rpm. Use the highest possible gear, but don’t allow the engine neither to get exhausted or work with interruptions;
  • When the road is inclined, instead of pushing the gas pedal, allow the gravity and physics to accelerate the vehicle;
  • Don’t break or stop without a need; these two actions are a major threat to the fuel economy;
  • And, finally, keep up with the manufacturer’s specified maintenance schedule. Well-groomed cars emit less CO2 emissions and consume less fuel than similar models which owners have not taken a good care of them.

Eco driving is a combination of a mindset and technical skills. You can get better at this only through practice, so start now!

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