Posts Tagged ‘Auto Repair Santa Barbara’

Four Auto Body Repair Tips To Keep In Mind

Written by zeeblu on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. With millions of drivers on the road every day, many of them distracted by phone calls, messy burritos, bad weather or lack of sleep, crashes are inevitable. Luckily, most of these accidents are relatively minor and nobody gets injured. But a minor accident can seriously damage the outside your car. Areas like the fenders and doors are especially susceptible to damage. While it’s generally the insurance company’s job to get your car patched up and back on the road when this happens, there are a few things you should know in order to ensure that your car is properly fixed.

1. You can choose the body shop

Insurance companies can refer you to shops that they work with, but ultimately you can choose who does the work. Most insurance-recommended body shops are reputable and perform high-quality repairs, but there are a few bad eggs out there that cut corners to get the job done faster and cheaper. These shops will entice insurance adjusters with lower repair costs, but that could result in a shoddy repair. Before agreeing to get your car fixed at an insurance-recommended shop, do some research online by searching Yelp or other sites with small business reviews.

2. Avoid aftermarket parts

When you take your car in for repair in, you should inquire about the replacement parts that are being used by the body shop in Santa Barbara. Body shops may use new original parts, used parts or aftermarket parts. While used parts were made by your vehicle manufacturer and perform as well as new original parts, aftermarket parts are often cheap imitations with inferior quality. These parts can corrode, rattle and ultimately diminish your car’s value.

3. Carefully examine paint match

All too often, you see cars on the road with body panels that don’t match in color. Matching a newly painted body panel to the rest of your car is a difficult challenge, and sometimes there can be a big, obvious difference in shade. When you pick up your car from a Santa Barbara body shop , ask which panels are original and which ones were painted. Step back ten feet from the car and see if there’s a difference in color. If there is, there may be additional paint work necessary to get a better match.

4. Check warning lights

After an accident, there are a number of warning lights that may turn on in your dashboard. These can include the airbag light, the low coolant light, the check engine light and others. When you pick up your finished car, make sure all of the problems have been corrected and none of the lights are illuminated. Illuminated lights can indicate that your car’s on-board computer may need to be reprogrammed, or that certain electrical components need replacement. Article sourced from

Cold Weather Care Tips for your Car

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car-Snow-Covered Okay, let’s be honest we don’t really have “winter weather” in Santa Barbara. However, our vehicles still should get some TLC during the cold weather season and in preparation for those road trips that we Santa Barbarans love to take up to Big Bear, Mammoth, or Tahoe. What are some of the things we can do to maintain our cars when it’s cold outside? Per the DMV website, here are some tips:  

Engine Oil in the Winter

The outside temperature affects the internal temperature of your engine. Make sure to use the proper oil for the conditions. When it’s below freezing, which we have approached a couple of times, switch to thinner oil. “If you run a 10W-30 in the summer, for example, try moving to a 5W-30 when changing your oil in the fall or winter. If you are in doubt, refer to your manual or the manufacturer.”

Engine Coolant

The coolant system keeps the engine from overheating and also protects the engine from corrosion. Per the DMV, use a coolant with ethylene glycol to protect your engine. Refer to your owner’s manual or your service technician to find out the proper ratio of coolant to water.

Cold Weather and Battery Capacity

Make sure your batter is in good condition. Cold weather affects the battery’s ability to start easily. Inspect the cables for cracks and breaks, the terminals should fit snugly, and the battery fluid level should be above the bottom of the cap. If it is below, refill it with distilled water. Additional note, check the date of your battery. Especially in the Santa Barbara heat, battery life spans are not as long as they would be in milder climates.

Proper Tires

The DMV recommends snow tires for those living in snowy conditions….ok so that’s not for us here in Santa Barbara. But we do have to deal with the bit of rain that we get which causes slick conditions on the roads. Make sure your tires are in good condition and that they are properly inflated. If you plan on taking a trip up to hit the ski and snowboard slopes, make sure to check the conditions of the roads where you will be driving to and have proper snow chains if required.

Windshield Treatment

After a long hot summer, there’s nothing like trying to turn on your windshield wipers to clear rain or fog only to find them crumble apart because they sat unused all summer and had dried out. Check that your windshield wipers are in good condition and that your fluid is the right type for colder weather. The DMV recommends a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. Just make sure the fluid doesn’t damage your car’s paint.

Emergency Kit

Regardless of the weather, I recommend having an emergency kit in your vehicle. The DMV’s Emergency Kit list includes: – Flares – Blankets – Boots – Radio – Engine oil – Washer fluid – Coolant – Flashlight – First Aid Kit – Water – Food (protein bars and snacks in case you are stranded for a bit of time) – Emergency charger for your cell phone – Tool Kit – Coat – A spare pair of athletic shoes or boots and socks so that you aren’t stuck at a break down in your slippers or heels – Cleansing hand wipes – Paper towels For the full DMV article, click here Article sourced from Fox5 and

The Final Word on Headlight Restoration Kits

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car Repair Santa Barbara

Ditch Those Faded, Yellowed, Scratched and Pitted Headlights for Good

Today, I want to talk about an effective way to actually clean up plastic headlights that are seriously fogged. I’m not talking about a headlight that’s a little discolored at the top and has a few sand chips in it. I’m talking about a headlight that has massive amounts of UV damage and that has witnessed a zillion sandblasting road miles. I’m talking about a headlight that hasn’t been clear for years, a light that is brownish yellow in sunlight. Not only do headlights like these look terrible, they don’t perform well. You can lose a serious amount of candlepower to discolored headlight lenses. Imagine covering your flashlight with cheesecloth before you took a walk in the woods. Not so bright.

When it comes to a restoration kit that can truly and properly bring your faded, discolored, scratched plastic headlight lenses back to life. Sadly, you get what you pay for. To get your hands on a headlight kit that is the real deal, you will have to pony up better than twenty bucks. When experimenting, I started out cheap, trying to use basic cleaner waxes to clear things up, then some specialty products that were not only made for polishing plastics, but actually had pictures of repaired headlights on the label. None were even close to being a match for the amount of headlight damage on the 150,000 mile Volvo wagon (that was in desperate need for Auto Repair in Santa Barbara) we used as our headlight restoration test mule.

The answer is the Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit. Kits by be very gimmicky, and I usually shy away from such a pre-packaged solution. But after trying a number of simple polishes and methods, this kit is by far the best value. Even at $23, the results are worth it. And there is enough material in the kit to restore lots of headlight lenses.

Car Repair Santa Barbara

Prep Your Headlights for the Polishing Process

Before you start to use all of the stuff that came in the box, you need to clean any grime or dirt off your headlights with soapy water or window cleaner. Dry them off. Now you need to protect any Car Paint Santa Barbara or plastic areas next to your lights with masking tape. You don’t want to have to do any paint touch up later. If your hood comes down right at the top of your headlights, you can raise the hood and save yourself some masking time.

Car Paint Santa Barbara

Remove the Layer of Crust and Crud from Your Lights

Starting with a clean headlight, you’re ready to begin the renewal process. Attach the 1000 grit sanding disc to the holder. Wet the sandpaper (I repeatedly dipped it in a cup of water) and sand your entire headlight in a smooth side to side motion. Use moderate pressure without pressing too hard. Don’t worry about going too far with it because the rest of the kit is designed to pick up where the 1000 grit sanding left off. After about 5 minutes of sanding, wipe the headlight using the included towel and swap the sanding disc for the 3000 grit paper. This time you will sand in an up and down motion, making sure you over all of the headlight real estate. You’ll start to see things really smooth out now. Do this for about 5 minutes, keeping the sanding disc wet the whole time.

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Polishing Your Headlights to a Brilliant Restored Shine

Wipe the headlight with the cloth again, and install the polishing pad on your drill. A corded drill works best if you have one, but cordless will do fine. Apply a nickel-sized blob of polish to the buffing pad, then press it to the headlight before you turn on the drill. Start polishing the headlight back and forth in sections. Don’t let the polish bake into the light in hot sun, wipe it away if you need to. There’s no limit to how much you can polish the lens. Keep going until you feel it’s shiny enough.

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Behold Your Clear, Shiny, Restored Headlights!

You’ve successfully restored your faded, yellowed, ugly headlights. Not only can you now enjoy them, you have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself. Sit back, admire your work, and then show it off to your loved ones so they can shrug and wonder what all of the fuss is about.

Depending on the model, this is not always an easy job and if not done with extreme caution, damage to the vehicle or paint can be done. Remember to always seek a professional for Auto Repair Estimates in Santa Barbara.

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How to Repaint Car or Truck Wheels

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car Paint Santa Barbara

Facelift Time: Should You Repaint or Replace Your Wheels?

Wheels to a car are like shoes to people. They are often the things you notice first, and when you do notice them, they say a lot about the wearer. Some people buy them because they will be comfortable and perform well. Or at least that’s what they tell you when they spend an exorbitant amount of money on shoes, or wheels. The fact is most wheel purchases are based on aesthetics. If you’ve been thinking of buying new wheels for your car or truck but aren’t sure you’re ready to drop the necessary wad of cash on the project, you might consider repainting your existing wheels.

There are a few real benefits to repainting your wheels. First, since they are already on the car and in use, you know that there will be no surprises concerning fitment or drivability. There’s nothing worse than gazing at your car sitting on beautiful new wheels only to discover there is a clearance issue or something else that will keep you from enjoying the ride. Second, if you repaint the wheels you are already using, you can definitely keep your tires. Often with new wheels you will need a different size tire to match. Or common sense will tell you that if you’re paying to have tires mounted and balanced it may be a good time to replace the tires, even if they have some life left in them.

Ready to paint your wheels? The procedure is the same whether you are going to use a professional grade wheel paint or you want to go with a more temporary solution like Plasti-Kote.

Car Paint Santa Barbara

Preparing Your Wheels for Paint

The first step is to get your wheels very, very clean. If you are just painting the outside of the wheels, you can get away with leaving them installed on the vehicle through the whole process. Your wheels get very dirty with use. Road grime, grease, paint, tar — all of these things can coat your wheels. You’ll need to clean them first with soap and water, then again with something sure to cut through the goop like mineral spirits.

Once you have the wheels clean you need to prepare the surface to hold paint. If something is too smooth and shiny, paint won’t stick to it well. You’ll get a great paint job that starts to fall apart within a few weeks or months. No thanks! The glossy finish needs to be removed or at least compromised before you respray the wheels. The easiest way to do this is using steel wool. Steel wool allows you to break the surface of the old paint without the risk of adding any deep scratches or grooves that will show up through your new paint job. Scuff the entire area that you plan to paint. When you’re done, clean the wheels again.

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Masking and Painting Your Wheels

With everything ready to go, you’ll need to protect your tires from the flying paint. Use masking tape to cover the entire tire. Be sure to get it as close to or underneath the lip of the metal rim so you don’t get any spray on your tires. With masking tape, small strips — 6 inches or less — overlapping each other seems to work well.

TIP: You never want to paint the area where the lug but contacts the wheel (known as the seat). To keep paint out, sit a set of lug nuts in the seat while you’re painting.

You’re ready to actually spray the paint on the wheels! The trick to painting is to spray many, many light coats rather than a soaking. You’ll know that you’re applying the right amount of paint because it will look like it’s going on smoothly, not pebbly or gloppy. Experiment with the speed of your strokes to control how much paint is going on. Put at least three coats on your wheels to be sure you get a lasting finish. When they’re dry, pull off the tape and enjoy!

Painting your tires can be an easy alternative to keeping your tires looking fresh. If you are looking for coat of Car Paint Santa Barbara to match those tires. Call today for Paint or Auto Repair Estimates in Santa Barbara.

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Common Car Paint Problems: Their Causes and How to Repair and Prevent Them from Happening – Part 2

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Prestigious Auto Body Paint

In the first part of this common car paint problem series, you were made aware of five of the many hitches your car paint could possibly meet during its painting process or over the time of its usage. In this article, we will bring to your attention more glitches that you can fix yourself and can prevent from occurring, since you are already made aware of them.

Here are the four other possible problems you could face when it comes to your Car Paint in Santa Barbara:

Chemical Etching or Staining

Also known as acid rain, spotting or discoloration, this kind of problem is characterized by irregularly shaped etching, discoloration or pitting that appears on your car’s paint film.

When damaging natural contaminants like tree sap, acid raid, road tar and bird droppings, among others, stick to the surface of your car for a long period of time, a chemical change happens and will cause staining or chemical etching.

You can mend this kind of blemish by washing your car with hot water and soap, rinsing it and then drying it thoroughly. You can also do some solvent cleaning using the proper surface cleaner. You can also wash your car using a solution of baking soda and water before rinsing it well. The appropriate mixture for this solution is one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in every quart of water.

If washing will not suffice, you can compound the blemished surface and polish it after so its gloss will be restored. If polishing does not work, you can wet sand the problem area with 1500-2000 grit sandpaper before doing the compounding and polishing process. Should refinishing be needed, you must sand the blemished area with the right sandpaper and wash it with the baking soda solution before you finally refinish. In severe chemical etching cases, you must remove the finish right up to the bare metal of your car’s surface.

Always remove harmful contaminants that can be dissolved by water through regular washing with the use of clear water and detergent. You should also wax or polish your car occasionally. As much as possible, do not park near factories that may releases chemical byproducts into the air. You should also refrain from parking under electrical wires where your car may be subjected to bird droppings or under trees where it may get contaminated with tree sap.

During your car’s refinishing process, it is also best if you will make use of an acrylic urethane basecoat and clearcoat system so your car will be given maximum protection from chemical or natural elements.

It is imperative for you to take note as well that when you are buffing or sanding a basecoat and clearcoat finish, you should see to it that the clearcoat film’s thickness should be at least 2 mils as this helps sustain proper protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Should mending a blemished area result in the removal of more than .5 mils of clearcoat, refinishing is definitely advised.


Also termed as alligatoring, checking, crow’s feet, spitting or crazing, this problem usually appears as lines or cracks in your car’s topcoat. Appearing like the cracks on dried mud, these marks usually come in different widths and lengths.

There are a number of things that could result in the cracking of your car paint. These include excessive thickness of your undercoat or topcoat’s film, force-drying of undercoats with the air coming your spray gun or inadequate flash time after every coat.

The non-thorough agitation or stirring of the paint ingredients or the improper mixture or excessive usage of hardener are also two other possible reasons. Then, there is also the use of standardized hardeners or reducers or the breaking down of your car’s finish due to the continued exposure of your vehicle to direct sunlight, extreme changes of temperature or moisture.

There is nothing else you can do to fix this kind of blemish, but to get rid of all the cracked paint film and then refinish.

Even during the painting process, you can already prevent cracking from happening and it can be started by the proper application of all paint materials according to all the directions on their labels. Before starting with the refinishing procedure, remove all the cracked or crazed finishes completely.

Only use the recommended paint additives and mix these thoroughly with all the other ingredients. Each component must be added according to the recommended sequence and proper ratio for mixing. All materials should be agitated or stirred meticulously as well before using to make sure that all the ingredients are mixed into the solution.

Never use air from your spray gun to force dry undercoating. Be sure to use only the recommender reducer or thinner and hardener and measure them accurately before application. If you want maximum durability and gloss for your car, you should always use a two-component undercoat and topcoat system for it.


Also known as stone pecks, nicks, bruises or chips, this kind of car paint problem is represented by damage to the paint film, which leaves a notch, void or nick in the job’s finish.

Loss or lack of the paint film’s adhesion to the substrate is what usually brings about this kind of blemish to your car. This is usually due to an impact from such hard objects as stones.

Damaged areas should be sanded and feather-edged to get rid of the chips, before it must be refinished.

Areas of your car that are likely to get chipped should be applied with a flex agent in its undercoat or topcoat system and this should be of the top grade two-component quality for maximum protection.

Dust Contamination

These blemishes, which are commonly known as dirt in the car paint’s finish, are actually foreign particles that have been set in in the paint film.

There are several reasons behind the dust contamination problem of any car painting job. These include a dirty and dusty environment used for the spraying process, insufficient cleaning of the surface that needs to be painted or improper work or filthy work clothes that may have lint, fibers or dust.

Unfiltered air going inside the spraying booth or poor air filtration, the use of a substandard masking paper or particles coming from depreciating air supply lines are also other probable causes for the problem. If you used an unclean spray gun or you removed your car from the spraying booth even before the paint finish is free from dust, then it is also possible that dust contamination could happen.

You can mend dust-contaminated areas of your car paint by sanding it with 1200 grit sandpaper. You can also use one with a finer grit, if you wish. After the blemished areas have been sanded, you can start compounding and then polishing to regain the gloss of your car. Just like with the air entrapment problem, you can actually do the sanding, smoothing and refinishing procedure if you have found dirt in your car’s paint finish.

Keeping your work area and spray equipment clean and free of any foreign particles is the first thing you can do against dust contamination. You should completely blow off around the doors, windows, jambs, moldings, wheel openings, trunk, engine compartment and hood. All the surfaces that need to be painted as well as the masking paper should also be wiped off with the use of a tack rag. Masking materials should all be of high quality or else you might find your paint job contaminated with wicks from newspapers, which tend to break off and blow right into your wet paint.

Appropriate air filters should also be installed in your work area and not the furnace-type filters that are usually used in residences. You should make sure that any leakage in your spray booth due to gaskets, doors, filters or seams that have been poorly fitted are repaired. Faulty air lines must be replaced or repaired as well. You should also make sure to wear a paint suit that is free from lint during the painting process. Unless your car finish is free from dust, you should keep you vehicle in a clean environment.

You should take note of the fact that fine dust particles that may fall on your car’s still tacky surface may be set into the finish, thus creating a mark that may appear the same to solvent pop. This blemish usually happens on vehicles that were removed from the spray booth while it is still tacky and left to dry completely in a different location. You can get rid of this kind of contamination by sanding and then polishing the affected area. However, if the problem is really solvent pop, the finish will have small craters or pinholes right after it has been sanded.

Prestigious Auto body is a full service Car Repair and Auto Body Shop, serving the Santa Barbara Area that takes pride in our quality work. Call us today for Auto Repair Estimates in Santa Barbara

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