Is A Low-Cost Paint Job Really A Bargain?

According to a recent study, most people keep their cars longer than they did in the past. What was once a 48 or 60-month ownership is now nearly 80 months. And the average car on the road these days is over a decade old. Part of this is due to the improvements in technology and the durability of vehicles. And some of this longevity can be credited to advances in repair and repainting processes. Now a repainted vehicle can have the same luster and beauty as the factory paint job. But when it comes to getting that new paint application, car owners need to know that there are many reasons a low-priced paint job is not the bargain you might think it is.

How To Get The Best Price When Selling Your Car

When you are getting ready to sell your car, truck, or SUV, you want to get the best price possible, but you don’t want to invest much money to do it. The pros at Master Craft Auto Body Shop understand your dilemma and have a few tips to help you get your vehicle ready to make a great first impression on potential buyers. And the best part is that these tips take little money and will have a considerable impact on the appearance of your vehicle.

Common Hazards That Drivers Must Avoid

When you think about driving around town, you picture the great sunny weather and many beautiful sights. But what most drivers don’t often think about until it is too late are the hazards that you encounter every time you head out for a drive. Some are hazards that you can see, while others lurk just out of sight. But they are all hazardous to your safety and the safety of your vehicle.

Common Causes Of Car Accidents

Car accidents continue to be a severe problem, even with new safety features and technology coming out each year. In 2018 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 2.7 million injury victims due to car accidents. But what might be even more alarming is that more than 36,000 people died that year as a result of injuries from a car accident. These staggering numbers leave drivers asking what is causing these accidents and how they can be reduced.

The 5 Services Auto Body Shops Have Perfected

When you spend much time driving around, it is not unexpected to find a dent, ding, or minor paint damage on your vehicle. Some drivers choose to overlook this minimal damage, but the wise choice is to get the minor issue repaired before it leads to more severe and costly problems down the road. But who has the time or money to go to an expensive dealership? The smart option is to head to your local auto body shop for a professional and cost-effective solution.

Every day, highly skilled professionals work on dozens of vehicles to repair dents, paint damage, windshields, bumper, and fender damage. Even better, these smaller facilities offer more personalized service and lower prices than the huge assembly line dealerships with massive overhead and almost daily employee turnover. Here are the services that these experts provide to keep your car, truck, or SUV looking great.

DENTS

Dents and dings are the most common damage to vehicles in the area. They can result from a minor vehicle collision, a rouge shopping cart, or a door flung open in a hurry. But the result is always the same. You are left looking at annoying small dents. Left unrepaired, they can lead to further damage to the protective surface of your vehicle. The sooner you can get to an auto body shop for a repair, the less likely you will have any further issues with that area of your car’s paint and protective coatings.

PAINT DAMAGE

Scratches to the surface of your vehicle can happen almost anywhere. You can discover them after parking in a store lot, parking meter, a city parking lot, or even in your driveway. While today’s automotive finishes are more durable and effective than ever before, they are no match for small rocks and debris projectiles, a bicycle handlebar, or an annoyed person’s keys. Once that protective coating is compromised, you need a pro to get the damage fixed quickly. Your local auto body shop has a team of experts who can color match the paint, so you never see that there was any damage. And there will be no more worries about moisture damage to the surface of your vehicle.

WINDSHIELDS

Cracks, chips, and scratches on your windshield are dangerous. It’s that simple. They can compromise the integrity of the glass and your level of protection. And in certain lighting conditions, they can leave you blinded by glare or haze. Visit your favorite body shop as soon as your windshield is damaged to ensure your safety.

BUMPERS

As the name implies, your car’s bumpers are meant to take impact and lessen the damage to other parts of your car, truck, or SUV. Even a minor collision can result in cracks and dents. But that is what this piece of equipment is designed to do. However, without repairing a damaged bumper, you might suffer much more significant damage from another collision. Visit an auto body shop ASAP to ensure your vehicle’s future safety.

FENDERS

Fenders are the metal structure that frames your vehicle’s wheel wells. Their job is similar to a bumper, but they protect the wheels and the steering components of your vehicle. Once damaged, they can alter your car’s steering, tire wear, and alignment. Like your bumper, repair any fender damage immediately to ensure the safety of your vehicle and your passengers.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about auto body shop services, call (818) 643-6971. The experts at Master Craft Auto Body Shop will assist you in getting your vehicle back to being perfectly safe and looking great with professional and affordable repairs.

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