Posts in Blog

How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

January 10th, 2021 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog, tips No Comment yet

Deciding how often you should wash your car is dependent upon a lot of factors including the time of year, where you live, how often you drive, and so on. For instance, if it’s the dead of winter and you live somewhere with heavy amounts of snow, you’ll need to wash it more often than you will in the summer due to road salt. If you reside on the coast, snow won’t be much of a concern, but you’ll want to pay attention to how the salty ocean air affects the look of your vehicle. If you happen to live in a heavily-wooded area, you’ll be constantly dealing with pollen, leaves, tree sap, dirt, and bird droppings.

When pressed for an answer, most experts would tell you can’t go wrong washing your vehicle every 10 to 14 days under normal circumstances. More often than that (assuming it’s not getting extremely dirty in the interim) might be considered a bit overkill. But really, the best thing you can do to maintain your vehicle’s showroom look–and this isn’t complicated–is to just wash it whenever it looks like it needs to be washed. It’s as simple as that.

And speaking of washing your vehicle, did you know that regularly washing your car can actually help maintain its value in the long run? For instance, if you’re a buyer, you’ll certainly want your new car to look great from the outside. Fading paint or rust spots can be a good inclination that a vehicle’s owner has been less than meticulous about cleaning their vehicle. And if they’re not keeping up on maintaining the vehicle’s exterior, it’s often safe to assume that regular maintenance tasks and upkeep might have fallen by the wayside as well. In this case, it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.

Is It Bad to Wash Your Car Too Often?

Assuming you’re using the proper washing techniques and equipment–or going to a reputable automatic wash that won’t damage your car–there’s nothing wrong with washing your car as much as you want.

While some might view the act as a bit excessive, if you have the means and desire to grab the hose and sponges every day, then by all means have at it!

Will Salt Damage My Vehicle’s Paint?

Yes, it will. If you live in a region that gets a lot of ice and snow in the winter, you’re surely used to seeing the plows and salt trucks working diligently to keep the roads clear and safe when winter storms are in the forecast. Unfortunately, this salt and sand mixture will almost always mix with the moisture in the air and become adhered to your vehicle. And while it won’t happen overnight, that grimy substance will, if left untouched long enough, eat away at your vehicle’s paint job. So as soon as the storms have passed and the roads are back to normal, you’ll want to get that gunk washed off.

Should I Hand Wash or Use An Automatic Wash?

While running through the automatic machine is definitely more convenient for washing the mud and sludge away, it might not be the best choice when it comes to maintaining the longevity of your vehicle’s paint job. If you must use an automatic wash, try to find a touchless option as opposed to the kind with the giant, spinning or swinging brushes. With as much grime as these brushes see in a given day, they probably won’t be the cleanest or gentlest on your vehicle’s exterior. Touchless washes that spray sudsy soap and water at your vehicle are a better choice, but still not ideal as the jets can just scrape your vehicle’s gunk across its surface. And remember, if the vehicle in front of you in line is absolutely caked in mud or grime, give up your spot and come back later (all that gunk has got to go somewhere). As far as the coin or paid options go, the do-it-yourself stalls are certainly your best bet, but still nothing beats a good old fashioned wash by hand. Just remember to always wash your towels, sponges, and mits and keep them stored where they won’t get dirty before their next use.

There are many good tools and cleaning solutions on the market that can keep your car’s finish looking great and lasting a long time. Your local hardware, auto parts, or department store should have plenty of options to choose from. Your vehicle is a big investment and it’s in your best interest to do all you can to preserve it for as long as you can.

What Should You Do If Your Car Gets Hail Damage?

December 1st, 2020 Posted by Blog, Chesapeake Auto Body Paint, Suffolk Auto Body Paint, winter car maintenance No Comment yet

Weather is oftentimes unpredictable and hail can show up out of nowhere. Frozen precipitation falls and it can come down at varying speeds, shapes, and sizes which in turn can create unique damage on an uncovered vehicle. When the hail is over and you can safely inspect your vehicle it is recommended to a professional body shop to asses the damage. They will look for the following hail damage indications:
– Dents or dings in the hood, doors, and sides of the car, or trunk.
– Cracked or broken windshield, backglass, windows, or mirrors.
– Missing or misaligned mirrors.

If you feel there is any chance you have hail damage, you can call a local repair shop to do an inspection for you. Thinking chips in a windshield are caused by hail is a common misconception. Hail will not chip the glass, it will break it. If you have small chips, they were likely caused by rocks or road debris and had gone unnoticed. Since hail has so many variables, damages could look very different on one car compared to a car one or two subdivisions over. Due to storm and wind patterns, typically one side of the vehicle is left heavily damaged and the other may be very lightly damaged. The roof is almost always as badly damaged as the heaviest side. Hail damage can range from very minor damage resulting in as little as a few dings to massive damage resulting in panel and glass replacements. A vehicle may even be deemed a total loss due to severity.

Should I Turn in a Claim for Hail Damage to My Car?

It depends on the severity of the hail damage and your deductible amount. Some hail can be repaired with PDR (Paintless Dent Removal) and that can be more cost-effective than conventional body repairs with paint. If the damage is light the repair cost may be near or below your deductible amount. Any reputable repair shop can take a quick look at your vehicle and ballpark if it will be near or above your deductible to help you make the decision. You don’t have to make a claim the day it hails if you are unsure if you should make a claim or not. Just document the day and time so when, or if, you have to make a claim you can provide the date and time details of the storm that damaged your vehicle.

Will a Hail Claim Increase My Premiums?

Coverage for hail and its effects on premiums will vary based on the carrier and state laws. Generally speaking, acts of nature are filed under the comprehensive portion of the policy and wouldn’t have a negative impact on your insurance rates. Even though your rates may not raise due to a hail claim, the number of claims made against your policy can still affect your rates if you are calculated to be a higher risk due to the number of claims or frequency of claims. It is always best to speak with your agent or insurance provider for the best answers.

Do I Have Hail Coverage on My Insurance Policy?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle you should be covered for hail damage. Comprehensive coverage can also be referred to as “other than collision”, covering nature caused incidents as well as vandalism and theft. It is always best to discuss any insurance-related questions with your agent and carrier to make sure you have the right coverage for your needs.

How to Avoid Hail Damage

As we mentioned, hail can be unpredictable and come in quick with little warning. Here are some steps to help prevent hail damage:
– Turn the alerts on for your weather app to get alerts when bad weather is coming.
– If you anticipate bad weather, try to park in a garage or covered parking area. If you are driving, stop under an overpass or pull into a covered gas station.
– If you don’t have shelter, consider investing in a hail protection blanket. This may not be 100% effective but will reduce the damage. A quick substitute is to use your vehicle’s floor mats, which can be especially helpful for protecting the windshield.

How Is Hail Damage Repaired?

As mentioned above, sometimes hail (or other dents) can be repaired using PDR. This method is effective for dents and dings that have not broken the paint on the vehicle, are not positioned on a body line (manufacturer crease), and are not too sharp/deep. PDR requires a special molded tool that’s used to massage the metal from the backside forward reshaping the metal, leaving the paint undisturbed. For damage too severe to qualify for PDR, a conventional body repair method is used to reshape the metal, fill, prime, and refinish the damaged area. A reputable repair facility can recommend the best repair method for your damages.

What’s More Important, Your Safety Or Facebook?

October 13th, 2020 Posted by Cars for Sale No Comment yet

Let’s be clear: this article is not talking about you. You’re a special driver with extraordinary talents, so texting behind the wheel comes easy to you. No safety risk whatsoever when you pull out an Android at 75 miles per hour. No, sir.

No, we’re talking about everyone else when we say that the steady increase in traffic fatalities since 2005 has been correlated to texting. Fatalities increased 10 percent in the first six months of 2016, and it’s steadily getting worse. The numbers clearly demonstrate that, although a lot of people think they can text and drive safely, they really can’t.

Except you, of course. Your brain responds with supernatural speed no matter how many things you’re doing at the same time. You’re like Jackie Chan in that one movie, like ballet and Kung Fu all mixed together. You’re awesome.

But for everyone else, AAA measured the brain activity of normal people while texting and driving in several types of vehicles, and the results were conclusive: The brain’s ability to safely control a car is dramatically reduced while using electronic devices—even hands-free.

Of course, we’re leaving you out of this discussion because you’re a special case. Your brain can do what science has proven the human brain cannot. You’re some kind of supernatural driving ninja. You are truly a superhuman.

But everyone else should stop using computers while they drive, and save some lives. To those millions of drivers with ordinary human brains—and to them alone—we say: please stop texting while you drive. Please focus entirely on keeping everyone around you safe on the road. After all, you’re not that superhuman ninja guy; you’re only human.

Top Reasons You Should Choose Mobile Windshield Replacement

September 8th, 2020 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog No Comment yet

Having to get your car or truck windshield replaced is no fun, but having to drive to the windshield repair shop and waiting for the work to be done can make it even more of a pain. With mobile windshield repair, the technician brings tools and equipment to your location and does the work there. Here are the top six reasons why mobile windshield replacement is a great option for many people. 

  1. Mobile Windshield Replacement is Quick and Easy

In our day and age, everything is go-go-go, and it’s a drag to have slow down. That’s why mobile replacement fits into so many lifestyles. Windshield damage can literally stop you in your tracks, but it doesn’t have put your day on hold while you sit in a waiting room. With the mobile option, a repair technician comes to you with all the tools and equipment needed to replace the windshield.

In-shop replacement is fine, too; it typically takes only an hour or two, but when you go to the shop, the schedule can get sketchier because you’re competing with other customers for staff time. When the mobile technician comes to you, they concentrate their entire energy on your vehicle and get the job done quickly.

Mobile windshield repair service appointments usually take closer to one hour than two, unless the windshield frame needs extra work or you drive a very unusual vehicle that makes the process more time consuming.

The technician can even do the repair on a rainy day, as long as you have a covered area for them to work. You’ll need to keep your vehicle out of the rain before your appointment and be sure to keep it covered for at least one hour afterward to allow for proper drying and setting of the adhesives.

  1. Mobile Auto Glass Repair Cost is the Same as In-Shop

There has to be a catch right? No, there’s no catch. Most windshield shops don’t charge extra for coming to you (we don’t). They don’t skimp on tools, and they use exactly the same processes they would in the shop. You save gas money by having the technician come to you, so mobile auto glass repair actually turns out to be a little cheaper.

The average cost of windshield repair is between $100 and $400, but bear in mind that not all windshield damage requires replacement. If your damage is light enough, you may be able to have the windshield repaired—rather than replaced—for as little as $50. If you think you’re a candidate for repair, it’s best to take the vehicle to the nearest Auto Craft location and have it evaluated. In many cases,when repair is an option, your insurance company will pick up the tab. And in some instances, if the cost of the windshield is extremely high, you can make an insurance claim under the comprehensive portion of your policy, which usually carries a lower deductible

  1. You Can Watch the Work Being Done

You should never have to worry about what a reputable windshield repair shop is doing to your car, but it can be reassuring to be able to watch the technician work. And if you have questions, you can ask. Think of it as having a personal chef rather than eating at a restaurant.

If you have a passion for mechanical things, it can actually be pretty interesting watching an auto glass replacement technician work. They have to consider several aspects of the windshield’s purpose when performing a replacement, not all of which are as simple as shielding passengers from the wind and rain. You car’s windshield is considered part of the vehicle’s structural safety system, as it supports the roof and helps protect you from injury in case of a vehicle rollover. A good auto glass technician evaluates any damage to the windshield frame that could compromise that protection. The windshield is then mounted with an automotive-grade urethane adhesive that makes the upper part of the vehicle stronger while sealing out the elements.

  1. The Auto Glass Replacement is Done on Your Schedule, Wherever You Are

Whether you run a business on the go, work from home or drive to a job every day, mobile glass replacement can bring the service to you at a time that’s convenient. If you have a long meeting at a client’s office, set the appointment there, and the tech will work in the parking lot while you take care of business. If your vehicle typically sits in your employer’s parking lot all day, set the appointment for a time when it’s convenient for the technician to connect with you and get your key. If you can’t—or don’t want to—be onsite for the repair, no problem. Of course, we’ll still need your vehicle key, but you’re free to go about your schedule.

  1. It’s Safe

Safety is the most important reason to have your windshield replaced, as it compromises your vehicle’s mechanical integrity and often limits driving visibility. You should never drive your car or truck if visibility is compromised. This, alone, is enough reason to opt for mobile repair rather than in-shop auto glass replacement.

But again, the windshield is so integral to your vehicle’s safety system, that it’s always best to get the repair done sooner rather than later.

  1. Mobile Glass Replacement is Guaranteed

In terms of quality, mobile replacement is every bit as effective as in-shop replacement, so of course, you get the same quality, processes and warranty in either case. But it’s on your schedule, at whatever location you choose.

Learn more or schedule an appointment by calling 757-488-5108

How Much Should You Pay For A Small Dent Repair?

August 13th, 2020 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog No Comment yet

We all know what happens when there’s a big bada boom. Calculators are brought out, seemingly endless forms are filled out, rental cars are deployed, and all the auto body technicians go to work, pulling out the big guns to rescue your vehicle from the brink of oblivion.

But what about the little dings? The ones that bruise your ego and patience more than your car? That’s where this neat technique called PDR comes in. Minor dent repair cost is significantly cheaper than full-on auto body work and – yeah, we have to admit – it’s pretty cool.

You perked right up when you heard “cheaper” didn’t you? But how do you know if it’s the right tactic for your car’s current injuries? Glad you asked. Here’s the thing – we’re experts in collision repair, but this is something different. When we talk about Paintless Dent Repair (PDR), it’s not for the kind of accident that typically brings you to our front door. It’s for the little things.

PDR employs a number of very cool, very scientific techniques that can inexpensively repair damage from day-to-day foibles like parking lot dings and dents from car doors or runaway shopping carts. It can even fix up some of those shallow craters left behind in the wake of unpredictable Kansas storms. Essentially, for any vehicular injury that doesn’t fold metal or require paint to repair, PDR might be the best choice for you.

Think of it like a soothing massage for your car. PDR technicians are trained to relieve and release the minor knots and bumps that your car acquires over time. And many times, this technique can be offered as a same-day service to get your vehicle back on the road and looking as good as new in no time. Sounds like magic? Maybe! But it’s just one more tool in the mighty arsenal of a well-trained auto body technician.

On top of all that, PDR maintains your car’s value. If you’re dreading the call to your insurance company to discuss getting rid of that elbow-shaped reminder of a late night out with Loud Cousin Larry, fret no more. If PDR is right for you and your vehicle, we can restore the body of your car without affecting your factory paint finish or the resale value of your car.

So, how much can you save? The easy answer is “a lot,” but the first step is to give us a call or use our online cost estimator to get started. Whether it’s a door ding, hail dents or some other unsightly cosmetic damage, PDR might be the cost-saving option you’re looking for to restore your car to its former glory. Now just try to stay away from any BIG bada booms.

Top Tips For Teen Drivers

June 8th, 2020 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog, tips No Comment yet

Ahem. Hey parents. We need a minute alone with the young adults in the family. You can come back later, but this Very Special Episode is just for them. If you don’t leave the room, they may not stop rolling their eyes long enough to read this whole article. We all want to prevent every possible teenage accident, right? So…bye Felicia. Old folks gone? Great. Let’s get to it.

Before you find yourself hashtagging #FML with an Instagram of your banged-up starter car, we’ve got a few pretty excellent tips on how to navigate your first years behind the wheel. Look, we know you’re a mature, responsible high schooler with just the one B-plus in Trigonometry and a part-time job at the local coffeeshop. But absolutely every driver is at-risk for accidents, especially less-experienced drivers. The last thing you need is another reason for your parents to lecture you, so we’re here to share the rookie mistakes you need to avoid.

Step 1: Get the right ride
Whether it’s a hand-me-down clunker, a junkyard rescue, or you’ve saved up enough holiday cash from Grandma over the last 15 birthdays to procure your own sweet ride, it’s vital to have a car you can rely on to be safe and dependable. Luckily there are plenty of smart people compiling safety ratings on the best car for teenagers and sharing their wisdom with the rest of us. So, before you settle on the car of your dreams, check the list to see if it also meets the top criteria for teen safety:

  1. Avoid High Horsepower
  2. Big, Heavy Car
  3. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  4. Great Safety Rating

Step 2: Put the phone down
It’s your direct connection to everything. Fine. But every text, like, comment or snap will still be there when you get to where you’re going. And, let’s be honest – if you let all the cyber-attention accumulate for more than six minutes, your double-digit notifications are going to really make you feel special when you finally sit down to review them all. The truth is this, though: Not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law. If you need to map your destination, plug in the coordinates before you ever turn the key and keep your hands free. There’s no text that’s ever important enough to risk your life. We can quote research about the average length of distraction and how that connects to increased risk all day long. But you’ve heard that all before. So, just do yourself a favor – turn the sounds off and set the phone down.

Step 3: Get smarter
Maybe the last thing you think you want to do is sit at another desk in another classroom. Voluntarily. But seriously, the last thing you actually want is to total your primary source of transportation because you just didn’t have the tools you needed to be a safer driver. So consider taking some accident prevention courses through the Virginia Insurance Department. You’ll be smarter, safer and heck, the potential discount on your car insurance ain’t half bad either.

Step 4: Slow down
When you’re on the road, it’s easy enough to recognize you’re cruising past the speed limit. It might be fun, but you know it’s not safe. But truly, more speed-related incidents occur where posted limits aren’t as obvious: parking lots and private property. They’re like a hornet’s nest of inattentive drivers, pedestrians and tightly packed obstacles.  All it takes a little bit of a lead foot to earn your first fender bender badge. And when it comes to parking lot accidents, there’s a high likelihood that a term called comparative negligence will rear its ugly head. All that means is that with nobody to blame, your insurance bill takes the hit.

Step 5: Stay focused
Whether it’s the radio dial, a cellphone, a car full of friends or hazardous visits from unexpected woodland creatures, a distracted teen driver is a dangerous teen driver. Focus on the road and ride solo as often as possible. Risk for accident increases considerably for every teen passenger in a car with a teen behind the wheel.

These tips are no guarantee you’ll be 100 percent safe in your first years of driving. But they’re a great place to start. Now, go tell your parents they can come back inside. It’s hot out there.

Re-Opening Update

May 5th, 2020 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog No Comment yet

Amidst social distancing, shelter in place rules, working from home and school closures, our days are different and our challenges, unique. Parents are trying to figure out how they can work and educate their children at the same time. The elderly and home-bound are more isolated than ever before. Grocery stores and retailers are facing extraordinary demands on supply chains and millions of people are finding themselves with dramatically reduced work or no job at all.

As a result, collectively our lives have drastically changed and our concern – for ourselves, for our communities and for one another – is heightened.

We want you to know we are in this with you and committed to serving our community with the upmost attention to safety – both for our operators, team members, staff, and their families. As we navigate this ever evolving and challenging situation, we want to share with you some of the principles we are using to inform our decisions specifically during these difficult times.

In the coming weeks, you may see some businesses open their doors for again and begin operating as usual. Guests may notice changes inside our business, including plexiglass partitions and hand sanitizer stations available. We will provide contactless purchases and ordering. We will ask guests to practice social distancing as they wait in line. Look for signage to help you navigate any operational changes within our restaurant.

We put the health of guests and team members first and continue to follow relevant state and local health guidelines. In all of these changes, practicing safe-service is our first priority.

As some states begin to ease restrictions on the closure of local businesses, we are going to take additional time to review our operations and ensure we have necessary precautions in place to protect our guests and team members before we reopen fully. In the meantime, you can still enjoy our services through online ordering.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, our restaurant began supplying staff with face masks or other face coverings. In addition, we have set up multiple hand sanitizing stations for our staff to frequently sanitize their hands.

We look forward to continuing to serve you and our local community even with the changes that have taken place.

Covid-19 Update

March 29th, 2020 Posted by Cars for Sale No Comment yet

As our communities continue to feel the increased impact of coronavirus, we feel it is important to share with you what we are doing to help keep people safe and healthy. Please be assured we have protocols in place and are working with the CDC and local public health officials.

We strive to take great care of the people in communities in which we serve, from our employees, to other businesses and operators.

As part of our protocols, we have heightened our cleaning and disinfecting procedures to maintain a healthy environment for our guests and team members. We’ve instructed anyone who is not feeling well to stay home out of an abundance of caution and self-monitor their symptoms. In addition to following CDC guidance and partnering with local health departments, our business has been equipped with recommended procedures to follow if the community, or someone from the company becomes impacted by the virus.

As the situation evolves, we may implement additional preventative measures to ensure guest and team member well being, including staffing or service modifications.

In addition, actions we have taken over the past several years have helped us prepare for scenarios like this and throughout this process, we have been continuously refining and implementing new procedures. From staff safety to health and hygiene to cleaning and sanitation, we have allocated an abundance of resources into our guidelines that go above and beyond FDA requirements.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we navigate this challenging situation one day at a time and determine how best to continue serving our communities, while maintaining our focus where it belongs: on our valued customers and employees.

Our doors remain open at this time, but please call ahead of time as our hours of operation could change at any time due to the current situation at hand.

portsmouth body shop

Body Shop: Choosing The Right Auto Repair Garage in Portsmouth or Chesapeake

October 13th, 2017 Posted by Blog, body shop, Cars for Sale, tips No Comment yet

I have never met anyone who loved looking for a body shop. Once perusing Portsmouth, Chesapeake, or Suffolk body shops you may not get the same magical feeling you had when you were shopping for that new car. The new car that is now damaged and needs repair. It probably feels more like getting a doctor than anything else.

On top of that most people in Hampton Roads have no idea what to look for, what to watch out for, and what to expect. It is new territory. Well hopefully this article will give you some key information to add to your repertoire of experience. I will say that I could not possibly go over every thing you need to know here. I am saying that knowledge is power and any tidbit can help you get the best price, value, experience, and deal.

body shop in portsmouthAuto Body Shop: Tip 1

Am I paying for more than I bargained for?

This question may seem a little sinister but I am referring to overhead costs that you are paying for that you really shouldn’t. I saw an article by Edmunds that mentioned you are paying for that great location a body shop is in. Yes, one body shop may be pristine with a coffee machine, new couches, television, and other mini amenities except there is one problem. The problem:

good value body shop in portsmouth, virginiaYou Are Paying For It

Yes those fantastic freebies are not free. They are costs being passed back to you in the form of higher fees. It also means a garage or auto body repair shop may be more aggressive in selling more things than you may need. Hey, overhead is overhead. It has to be payed for somewhere and businesses are there to make money, not give things away.

Did I mention Labor?

All labor is not created equal. In fact one auto body repair in one part of town may have to pay more to staff than another. And guess what…those costs are passed on to you. Do not judge a book by it’s cover, labor in one part of town will cost more if costs more to live in that area.

The solution

Check out Mack’s Body Shop. Our prices are reasonable and our prices are great! Contact us for an estimate. We work with insurance companies as well.


Our Location

We are conveniently located in Portsmouth, Virginia


 

 

Categories