6 Critical Facts About Collision Repair

When you are involved in a collision, your first concern is for the safety of everyone involved. As the shock wears off, you prepare for the process of getting your vehicle repaired. But one of the first things most drivers discover is that their insurance company appears to be more interested in saving money than getting you the highest quality auto repairs available. And there is much helpful information they might not provide.

Most Impact Damage Goes Beyond The Vehicle Surface

Think of the impact as a shock wave that travels through the entire vehicle and can damage the frame, body panels, interior, and mechanical components. An initial evaluation of the surface damage rarely reveals all the damage. In most cases, the estimate must be amended for added damage discovered when the car is in the body shop.

The Appraisers Skill has A significant Impact On The Insurance Estimate

A seasoned appraiser will know that surface damage is only the beginning. And after years of examining vehicle impact damage, the person will know what to include that is not visible from a general inspection. But in many cases, your auto body shop will discover additional damage and need to contact the insurance company to update your claim.

Totaling A Car Is About More Than The Damage

An insurance company will only consider a vehicle totaled if the cost to repair it exceeds its value. So a new car will require a substantial amount of damage to be considered totaled. However, an older vehicle will reach that point with far less damage.

Your Repaired Vehicle Can Be As Good As New

Many drivers believe that a repaired vehicle will never be the same as a new one. But when you select the right auto body shop, that is not the case. Auto manufacturers work directly with auto body shops to provide extensive training and resources to ensure that vehicles are repaired to meet the manufacturer’s original specifications. The vital factor in the success or failure of the repairs lies in selecting a quality auto body shop to complete the repairs professionally using OEM parts installed by factory-trained experts.

You Can Choose Your Auto Body Shop

Many insurance companies offer a list of preapproved auto body shops to their customers. This means that the insurance company will work directly with the shop to submit cost estimates and payments to the service provider. In some cases, there is also an agreement in place between the insurance company and the auto body shop to offer additional discounts to the insurance company.  However, you are always free to select the auto body shop of your choice. Your vehicle is being worked on, and you have been paying the premiums for the insurance coverage. So never let your insurance company force you to work with a repair shop that you are not confident will do a great job.

The Magnet Trick Is No Longer Reliable

In the past, you could quickly identify a vehicle that had been repaired with a magnet. Filler was used to correct dents in the metal. And a magnet would not be drawn to those parts of the car. However, today’s technology allows professionals to reshape metal body panels without the need for filler. So when you take your damaged vehicle to a reputable auto body shop, it will not be coming back to you patched with putty.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about quality collision repairs, call (818) 643-6971. The experts at Master Craft Auto Body Shop are here to assist you in getting your car returned to the manufacturer’s specifications and looking exceptional.

Do Those Ugly Spider Web Scratches On Your Car Drive You Nuts?

Living in California is fantastic. The weather is excellent, and the sun is shining most of the time. But everything that you love about this fantastic climate is killing the finish of your car. And no matter what you do or how careful you are, there always seem to be spider web scratches on your car’s finish. Those are the light swirls, imperfections, and scratches that resemble spider webbing strung across your vehicle. If only they were as simple to remove as a real spider web. But the good news is that they can be professionally removed. And we are going to tell you how to ensure that they never return.

What Causes Those Annoying Micro Scratches?

Have you ever noticed that those tiny scratches on your vehicle’s paint look a lot like your skin when it is very dry? Well, that is because both conditions are due to a dried-out surface. In the case of your skin, you use an oil-based moisturizer to keep your skin soft and hydrated. And the surface of your car needs to get that same attention. The longer your car is exposed to UV rays and the elements, the more the surface dries out. And eventually, the clear coat that should be protecting your paint job is dry and cracking. In this condition, any abrasion, even a microfiber towel, will add scratches to the damaged finish on your car.

How Do You Correct Spider Webbing

The simple answer is to buff out the micro-cracks in the clear coat to remove the scratches that look awful in just the right light. But before you run to the auto parts store for a few provisions, think about the process. You literally need to sand or buff off part of the clear coat protecting your car’s paint. So to put that in perspective, the average application of clear coat is 1.5 – 2.0 mils thick, or about 35 to 50 microns. A sheet of paper is about 200 microns. So there is very, very little margin for error. Go just a tad too deep, and you will be buffing off paint and everything. This job is best left to the trustworthy hands of a professional.

What About After The Scratches Are Removed

After you have your car professionally detailed and the scratches buffed out of the clear coat, you are going to want to prevent them from ever reappearing. There is nothing better than walking around your car in the bright sunlight and seeing not a single imperfection in the paint. It will look brand new again. And you need to keep the clear coat moist with regular applications of quality wax. The clear coat protects your expensive paint job, but you need the wax to protect the clear coat from the harsh UV rays we have in California.

Who To Trust For Quality Work

When you need someone to buff the scratches out of your car’s clear coat finish, who better than the experts at Master Craft Auto Body Shop? Our business is repairing all types of damage to vehicles, from significant collision body damage to those annoying spider scratches. And each time we work on a car, it needs to look perfect when we are finished. Call us at (818) 643-6971 to schedule an appointment to buff and wax your vehicle to return the finish to that showroom-new look that you fell in love with. And know that our warranty and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee are here to ensure that you get nothing but the highest quality work on your vehicle.

5 Warning Signs Of A Poor Auto Body Paint Shop

You can tell a lot about the quality of an auto body business by the work that they turn out of their paint shop. The quality of the paint job relies on attention to detail, proper prep, application, and patience. If the shop owner is willing to settle for a low-quality paint finish, you never know what other corners are being cut. When you evaluate the work of an auto body shop’s paintwork, look for the following five warning signs that tell you the job is low quality.

  1. Overspray- This is a clear sign that the shop did not take the time and effort to tape off the area to be painted. Not only is this a mess that could be very hard to correct, depending on what surfaces got hit with the overspray, but it lets you know they were willing to skip an essential step in the repainting process. And it makes you wonder what else they felt they could ignore.
  2. Poor Color Matching- Color matching a vehicle’s existing paint is challenging and sometimes time-consuming. But it is one that quality shops invest the time to do right. And they also invest in hiring professionals who know how to do the job correctly. It can be hard to spot a bad color match, especially in low light. Insist on seeing a vehicle in direct sunlight. And if you have a concern about work performed on your car, take it to another body shop or paint shop to ask for a professional evaluation.
  3. Uneven Texture- There is an art to painting a car. It follows a specific process, and there is no way to rush the job. A professional knows that spraying too close to the surface will result in an uneven application that looks like it has ripples or dimples like the surface of an orange. These imperfections can also occur if the shop was in a rush to get the job done and used artificial heat to dry the paint more rapidly. A quality paint job takes the time it takes. And there is no way to rush the job and have the paint look perfect.
  4. Running Paint- There should never be drips or runs in the paint. The proper application is essential to create perfectly smooth thin layers. If a paint shop is in a hurry, they will try to apply fewer, thicker coats of paint rather than the correct number of thin, even coats. Look closely for any runs, drips, or sagging on the surface of the paint. If these issues are present, the car should be repeated.
  5. Poor Sanding Or Repairs- If your vehicle needed some surface repairs before being painted, it is crucial that the area was filled correctly and sanded. Several versions of filler are used in layers to provide a smooth surface finish when sanded. You should not be able to feel any bumps, dips, or bulges on the surface of a repaired panel.

You should never settle for poor quality workmanship on your vehicle. And if you are evaluating other vehicles to locate a quality shop, they should be happy and proud to show off their work. Seeing any of the five issues listed above is a sign that it is time to leave that shop. Instead, call (818) 643-6971 and set up a time to visit Master Craft Auto Body Shop. We take pride in the exceptional work that our team provides to each customer. And we will be happy to show you as many examples of our work as you would like to see.

Spring Cleaning For Your Car’s Interior

Spring is finally making its appearance across the country, and everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy the ideal weather. But no one wants to be planning a road trip or cruising around town in a car with a funky odor. Having the windows up for the winter, not keeping up on regular cleaning, and the shorter daylight hours all contribute to the neglect that your vehicle might have suffered. But now it is time to eliminate those nasty smells and get ready for a great summer.

Deodorizing

The night before you are ready to undertake deep cleaning of your vehicle’s interior, get a head start on the odor problem. Sprinkle a good amount of fresh baking soda on a plate or in a large pan and place it in your car. It will absorb some of the rank smell. If you know that part of the offending odor is due to floor mats that have seen some moisture and abuse, sprinkle a light coating of baking soda over them and leave them in the car overnight as well. Vacuum the mats thoroughly the following day. If you don’t have baking soda, a few pieces of charcoal on a plate will work as a complete space deodorizer, but it will need 24-48 hours to do the job.

Vacuum

The carpets and fabrics in your vehicle absorb odors quickly. A good vacuuming will remove any odor-causing particles that have settled into the material or carpet. And it will pull a substantial amount of air through fabrics to rid them of odors. If the floor mats still have a tinge of smell, think about steam cleaning them for a deep, deep cleaning.

Surface Cleaning

Many surface wipes and liquids claim to clean and rejuvenate your dash and other surfaces in your vehicle. But when you are trying to clean and eliminate odor, an old favorite is always the best choice. Mix up a spray bottle of vinegar and water at a 50/50 rate. Spray each hard surface and quickly wipe it down with a lint-free cloth or micro-fiber towel. The vinegar will neutralize odors and leave your entire car smelling fresh and clean. Repeat this cleaning process monthly to eliminate dust, dander, and other particles that can cause allergies to act up and add to your car’s unpleasant smell.

More About The Floor

The floor mats in your vehicle protect the carpet from all of the moisture and debris tracked in on your shoes. But they are not always enough to protect all of the floor space. So in the springtime, it is good to invest some extra time in a good carpet vacuum and cleaning if necessary.

Remove the floor mats and vacuum away the baking soda if you have used it for deodorizing. If the mats still look a little rough, you can clean them with a scrub brush and soap or vehicle carpet cleaning products from your local auto parts store. Ideally, you might only need to spot clean your car’s carpet if the floor mats were doing their job. For all rubber replacement floor mats, try scrubbing them with dish detergent to remove any oil or gasoline odor and discoloration before leaving them in the shade to dry.

If you can’t seem to find the time that your car deserves this spring, call (818) 643-6971 to schedule a deep cleaning and professional detail at Master Craft Auto Body Shop. Our pros can make any repairs needed and have your car, truck, or SUV looking fantastic while you take care of other tasks.

How To Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Your vehicle is a significant investment. In most cases, your car, truck, or SUV is the second largest purchase you will make behind your home. But unlike your house, your vehicle drops in value the minute you drive it off the lot. But because it is a big chunk of money, you should be conscious of protecting your investment as much as possible. Providing some TLC and proper maintenance will go a long way to keeping your ride looking great and providing you with reliable transportation for many years to come. And these simple tips are pretty easy to follow once you establish them as part of your routine.

Park Wisely

Even if you have a garage or carport, you will be parking in lots, on the street, and in garages regularly. So be selective about where you park your car. Squeezing into a tight space next to a vehicle that is parked crooked in a spot is not worth saving a few steps. But it is a great way to return to your car to find door dings, scratches, and other damage that could have easily been avoided.

Also, be aware of natural surroundings. Parking under a tree could result in branches falling on your car if there is high wind. Or equally as annoying, you could return to find your car covered in bird droppings. If not removed promptly, the acid in bird droppings will destroy your vehicle’s paint.

If you are forced to park in a less than ideal location, be sure to look for any damage when you return to your vehicle. Minor scratches, dings, and dents can quickly and easily be repaired at your favorite body shop before they turn into significant damage and rust.

Wash And Wax

This is where the TLC comes in. Hand washing your car is the best way to protect the finish and ensure no damage from the automated washing tunnels. The high-pressure wash and chemicals used in commercial washing tunnels and machine car washes can turn a tiny scratch into a gaping wound on your car before you know what happened.

Instead, use a soft sponge and proper automotive cleaner to wash your vehicle. Rinse each section, then scrub with the sponge and rinse thoroughly. And be sure to rinse the undercarriage carefully to remove road dirt and debris. Then quickly dry with a microfiber towel to avoid damaging the surface.

Wax is not necessary after every wash. But follow the recommendation of your favorite wax to provide the best protection to your car’s finish. A good coat of wax will protect against sun damage and fading, ice damage, and paint damage from things like tree sap and bird droppings.

Keep It Clean Inside Too

The fabric, carpet, and other surfaces on your car’s interior need some care as well. Regular vacuuming will reduce the dust and dirt that gets ground into seats, floor mats, and carpet. These particles not only contribute to that old worn look but also that odd odor. Be careful when eating or drinking in the car to wipe up spills and crumbs, and never leave the trash in your vehicle. There is no odor more annoying than old, stale grease from a burger and fries.

Following these few tips will help keep your car looking great and the value as high as possible. And when you discover minor damage, call (818) 643-6971. The pros at Master Craft Auto Body Shop will get the issue repaired quickly and cost-effectively. Remember, fix the minor damage before it becomes more significant and far more expensive to correct

 

All You Need To Know About Car Damage From Road Debris

It can be upsetting to think that your vehicle can be damaged when you are just driving down the road. But it can and does often happen due to road debris. In many cases, the driver feels that he or she was doing everything right. But there are a few tips you can follow to reduce the potential for damage to your vehicle from road debris.

Stay Alert

It can be easy to slip into a state of mild distraction when you are driving. Especially on a long drive or when you are tired, your mind tends to wander, and you lose your focus on the road and your surroundings. And that is when you can miss seeing that branch or piece of metal in the road until it is too late. You hit the obstacle or run over it and damage your tires or even the panels on your vehicle as the debris gets tossed in the air. Other distractions like a cell phone, the radio, and even reaching for a drink can cause you to take your eyes off the road long enough to hit debris in the road. Stay alert to avoid costly auto body repairs from stray road debris.

Avoid Tailgating

Staying a safe distance from the car in front of you is simply a safe practice. But it can also help to reduce damage to your vehicle. Giving yourself more space between your vehicle and others allows for more time to brake if the other driver slams on the brakes. And this practice also allows you more time to avoid any debris that the other driver runs over.

Navigate Around Road Debris

When you see debris on the road, begin to slow down but do not slam on the brakes. That can result in a collision when the person behind you does not slow down quickly enough. Be aware of all the vehicles around you to avoid veering into another car when avoiding the trash in the road. Safely change lanes if possible to avoid the debris or gently steer around it when space is available.

Avoid Sharp Fast Turns

You would like to avoid hitting any road debris. But it is not worth rolling your car to miss a piece of tree branch or trash. Avoid sharp turns and slamming on the brakes. These maneuvers can result in a severe accident. Even if you hit the debris, any damage to your vehicle will be minor compared to a rollover accident.

Drive At A Safe Speed

In most cases, the posted speed limit is an appropriate speed. But if you are in an area with a great deal of road debris or the visibility is very low, a slower speed is warranted. It allows you more time to react to and avoid hitting anything in the roadway.

Watch Other’s Driving

If you see other cars suddenly begin swerving, slow down. The actions you are seeing are likely to be caused by road debris. Be prepared to take evasive action to avoid something blocking the road or other vehicles that have collided when trying to avoid road debris.

Be Aware Of Road Conditions

Understand that evasive action in wet or icy conditions could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Make slow and slight adjustments to avoid an object in the road while maintaining control of your car.

When you need a repair to your car due to a collision with road debris, call (818) 643-6971. The pros at Master Craft Auto Body Shop are here to get the job done quickly and cost-effectively.

The Most Common Auto Body Shop Services

Many vehicle owners never think about visiting an auto body shop unless they have been involved in a serious accident. They don’t realize that even though we work with almost any insurance company when the repairs are part of a claim, we are equally prepared to work with individuals. And there are five main areas of vehicle repair where we specialize. 

Dents

Dents can occur in a variety of ways. Small dents happen at the grocery store from another car door, shopping cart, or backing too far into a parking space. And some happen in what is often called a fender bender or minor collision. But no matter what caused the damage, your auto body shop is the place to go for reliable and affordable dent repair. The paint and sealant layer of your vehicle is essential to protecting the metal from our environment’s hazards like water and salt air. So get a quote soon after the dent occurs to prevent more extensive and costly rust damage.

Paint

Your car’s paint can take much abuse from car doors to keys or shopping carts. But when those scratches or even rock chips expose bare metal, it is essential that you have the damage repaired while it is still very minor and inexpensive to fix. If ignored, water and salt air are sure to turn that tiny scratch into a large patch of rust. And rest assured, there is no one more skilled at matching your vehicle’s existing paint than the pros at your favorite auto body shop. Once the touch-up is completed, you will never know that there was ever any damage to your car’s paint job.

Windshields

Your auto glass provides an essential layer of protection to you and everyone in your vehicle. But if the glass is cracked or even chipped by something, your level of safety drops substantially. Sure, it is frustrating to have a tiny rock take a chip out of your crystal clear windshield. But even more frustrating will be the glare or vision impairment created when the setting sun is hitting the imperfection in the glass. Don’t take any chances. As soon as you see damage to any of the glass on your vehicle, stop into an auto body shop for a price quote for a glass repair or replacement.

Bumpers

Your vehicle’s bumpers are designed to absorb the impact and damage of a low-speed collision. They provide a basic level of protection for the rest of the vehicle’s components. And they are easily replaced. While they are not genuinely disposable, they can be repaired or replaced very affordably. And once that repair is made, they are back to their job or protecting the more delicate and costly parts of your car, truck, van, or SUV. When you experience any minor damage to your bumpers, be sure to have the area checked out at an auto body shop. You never can tell if there is additional damage concealed under the bumper.

Fenders

Fenders are the metal pieces that frame your vehicle’s wheel wells. And they can be easily damaged in a minor collision. If you have damage to a fender after an accident, visit your auto body pros to have them inspect the alignment, steering, and tires for additional damage.

While auto body damage might appear minimal, it is always smart to call (818) 643-6971 for an appointment with the pros at Master Craft Auto Body Shop to check it out. Our team will determine the extent of the damage and provide you with a price quote for any necessary repairs.

 

How To Prevent The Sun From Damaging Your Vehicle

Living in sunny California has many, many advantages. But one of the most costly drawbacks of all of our beautiful weather is the damage the sun and heat can do to your vehicle. Even though today’s paint and sealants are tougher than ever, you will still notice gradual deterioration as the sun takes its toll. And unfortunately, the damage is not limited to the exterior of your vehicle. But you can follow a few tips to minimize the damage that the sun and heat do to your car, truck, van, or SUV.

Protecting The Exterior Finish

Even if you are fortunate enough to have a garage or covered parking, your vehicle is still exposed to the sun’s harmful rays the entire time you drive around town. And just like your skin, your car’s exterior needs some UV protection to remain looking great. A coat of quality wax acts as an added layer of protection from the harsh sun. And it also helps keep abrasive material like sand from scuffing the paint and causing it to deteriorate more rapidly. With a fresh coat of wax every three months and a weekly car wash, your vehicle’s surface should remain as attractive as the day you bought it.

To get the most protection possible out of the wax, try to park in a shaded or covered space whenever possible. This will extend the life of each wax application and reduce UV damage to your vehicle’s paint. And it will also go a long way to reducing the heat buildup inside your car. You will be more comfortable when you jump in, and the interior materials in your vehicle will also breathe a sigh of relief.

Protecting Your Vehicles Interior Surfaces

Whenever you are parked in the sun, your vehicle’s dashboard is taking a beating. The sun’s intensity is magnified by the windshield, making it more damaging than ever. The heat bakes and dries the dash material until it becomes very brittle. The best way to avoid this problem is with a sunshade that will cover the entire dash. You can grab one for a few bucks at the auto parts store or even order one online. But this simple tool will do wonders for reducing the sun damage to your vehicle’s dashboard. But remember, it will still get pretty warm in your vehicle, so take the time to apply a cleaner that removes dust and restores the moisture to your dash. This step will help avoid that nasty grey bleaching that makes your dashboard look old and unattractive.

The other part of your car that suffers at the hands of both extreme heat and UV rays is the seats. Cloth and leather both dry out and fade from long-term exposure to heat and sunlight. Seat covers are a sure way to protect the surface of your seats. And they are easy to remove and clean. If you are not a fan of covering your seats, the windshield sunscreen will also help reduce the sunlight and heat that will damage your seats’ surface. Regular cleaning is also essential to remove dust and dirt that is abrasive and can damage the surface. And for leather seats, be sure to apply leather protectant to moisturize and protect the leather.

If you are reading these tips a little too late, there is still hope for your sun-damaged vehicle. The team at Master Craft Auto Body Shop is here to help you restore the beauty of your vehicle. Call us at (818) 643-6971 or stop by our location for an estimate.