Joe B

Windshield Repairs vs Windshield Replacement — The Right Choice

Windshield Repairs | Windshield Replacement | Madison WI | Auto Color

Waiting for the light to change, a gust of wind and a chunk of ice fractures your windshield. It could be a little chip or a major break. Either way, you’ll have to decide: “Can it be repaired or must the windshield be replaced?”

Wisconsin winters are known for potholes. Potholes that create ice, rock, gravel and cement missiles targeting you car’s paint, headlights and windshield. Windshield replacement and windshield repairs are high priorities in Madison WI this time of year. When debris hits the windshield, you know something has to be done. The first question is, “What?” Can this crack or chip be fixed or must the whole windshield be replaced? The right choice not only saves time and money, it impacts the safety of your vehicle.

Windshield Repairs for Minor Damage

Minor windshield damage is usually one of two things – a crack or a chip (sometimes a combination). A chip is usually clearly defined by a central point of impact. It may look like a star, a bullseye, a half moon, a gouge or pit.  Cracks create distinctive lines in the glass and can range  from an inch or less to span the entire windshield. You will know these when you see them!

Whether or not the windshield can be repaired depends upon four things: Continue reading

Paintless Dent Repair—A Valuable, Economic Technique for Collision Repairs

Paintless Dent Repair | Collision Repairs | Madison WI | Auto Color

A true “fender bender” is a candidate for repair without the need for new paint

Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a technique for removing dings and dents in both aluminum and steel panels on cars and trucks. It’sproven to be valuable and economical for collision repairs like door dings, parking lot bumps and even large dents and bodyline damage. It’s a popular choice for hail damage, too.

Paintless dent repair has its place, but it’s not a magic touch. If your vehicle’s paint is chipped or cracked it is not a candidate for the paintless dent removal process. But, because modern automotive paints are extremely hard and resilient it’s an option to consider in almost every case. Surprisingly, the size of the dented area isn’t the limiting factor —  the process works on dents the size of a dime or the size of a football. Continue reading

Avoid Winter Driving Dangers and Auto Body Repairs

Winter Driving Dangers | Auto Body Repairs | Madison WI | Auto Color

Winter is pothole season — they seem to appear overnight and are a major reason Madison WI drivers require auto body repairs.

Wisconsin’s roadways pose a host of winter driving dangers. It seems like there are two seasons – one for Orange Barrels and another for huge potholes. Paying attention to the inherent dangers of winter driving can keep help avoid auto body repairs in and around Madison WI.

There are three winter driving dangers that can deliver you to a body shop:

  • Potholes – gaping crevices in the road that seem to appear overnight
  • Rust and corrosion – the deicing materials used to reduce the dangers of ice and snow on the roads can penetrate your paint and eat away at the entire vehicle
  • Collisions – ice and snow make it difficult or impossible to always control where your vehicle winds up, so dings and dents are never ruled out

Continue reading

Interior Car Detailing Keeps New Cars Looking Sharp

Interior Car Detailing | Professional Vehicle Cleaning | Madison WI | Auto Color

With all the different materials and different applications of familiar materials inside new cars, keeping them looking sharp is a challenge even for vehicle detailing pros.

To protect your vehicle’s showroom luster, inside and out, professional vehicle cleaning, including interior car detailing is a wise investment. Especially with the multiple, new materials appearing in today’s modern vehicles. Not only are there new materials, but standard materials are being used in different ways. Applying old interior car detailing techniques to polish and clean new materials leaves the door wide open to costly mistakes.

An old scrub brush isn’t enough anymore – don’t take anything for granted. Proper interior car detailing requires technical knowledge, skill, appropriate tools, the right chemical cleaners and time. As part of a professional vehicle cleaning, appropriate interior car detailing takes an average of six hours. And, there are differing levels of “clean.” Continue reading

Professional Car Waxing – Vehicle Detailing Extends Car Life

Professional Car Waxing | Vehicle Detailing | Madison WI | Auto Color

Attention to every small detail brings back the showroom glow and protects any vehicle’s surface.

Even a car fresh off the dealer’s lot can benefit from a professional car waxing. Some think modern car finishes don’t need to be waxed regularly. Not so. An overall waxing as part of a vehicle detailing service protects the paint and the clear coat. When you wax your ride in Madison WI you’re preserving the original oils in the factor-applied paint to help prevent oxidation.

There are elements in everyday life that damage a vehicle’s finish, including: Continue reading

Headlight Restoration Gets You Out of The Fog

Headlight Restoration | Restore Headlight | Auto Color

Driving around with a fogged headlight lens is risky business. A simple three-step process can brighten your outlook on everything around you.

Foggy headlights have become a fact of life since manufacturers switched from glass to polycarbonate and plastic. It can happen to anybody, and headlight restoration can make things right.

The cloudy appearance is caused by oxidation. Oxidized headlights aren’t necessarily the result of poor maintenance. UV light, road debris and atmospheric chemicals all contribute to the problem. The resulting cloudiness decreases nighttime visibility and should therefore be repaired by a trained technician at an auto body shop.

Polycarbonate headlights are tougher than the older glass headlights. Glass headlights broke under impact and have been replaced as a safety move. With the new lenses, if they do break, they don’t explode into hundreds of pieces. Continue reading

Benefits of Plastic Bumper Crack Repair

Cracked Bumper Repair |Auto Color | Madison WI

Today’s technology makes repairing cracked plastic bumpers a fast, easy and inexpensive alternative to replacing the whole thing.

Under the winter grime from Madison WI roads you often find dings, dents and cracks, including blemishes that require a plastic bumper crack repair. Not every auto body shop can provide the expertise it takes to make these repairs and provide a seamless restoration of your vehicle’s finish.

Nearly every cracked plastic bumper can be repaired, and usually for less than half the cost of a new bumper. While almost every cracked bumper can be repaired, it isn’t always practical. A plastic bumper crack repair job requires a special plastic welding technique plus the application of structural adhesives. During the process, body paint is blended to match the original color. The finished job provides a seamless, invisible repair. Continue reading

Now’s the Time to Repair Alloy Wheels

Alloy Wheels | Auto Body Shop |Madison WI | Auto Color

With professional care, your precision painted alloy wheels can be returned to prime condition after a cast of curb rash.

Just like a car’s finish, your prized alloy wheels take a beating in the Madison WI winter of salt and corrosion. An auto body shop is the place to get your ride back in shape – including putting the sparkle back in your wheels.

The sleek lines of today’s automotive designs are made to show off accessories. Whether it’s a hard-working pickup or the family SUV, vehicles look and perform better with precision wheels. These wheels may be standard issue or custom aftermarket. They may be polished or painted. Surveys show that more than 70% of the vehicles on the road today have painted alloy wheels. Multiply by four and it’s obvious there’s a lot of potential for wheel damage. And, the potholes and corrosives on Wisconsin highways are a real threat. Continue reading

Car Detailing Pays When Road Salt Assaults Your Finish

Car Detailing | Auto Detailers | Madison WI | Auto Color

Road salt works on ice and a vehicle’s finish. Car detailing professionals fight back.

Road salt and chemical deicers subtly attack a vehicle’s finish and the resulting damage calls for the special talents of car detailing professionals for deep cleaning, polishing and potentially painting repair. Even during a relatively mild winter, the roads in Madison WI are covered in salt and so are the vehicles that travel them.

Road salt and the alternative chemicals used to treat ice or pretreat ahead of a storm adhere to the road surface and continue to work slowly to provide better traction. They work slowly on the surface of your car, too. The chemicals linger and work into the car’s finish. Everything and anything moving beyond a crawl on the road is susceptible to the spray. Continue reading

Body Shop Winter Driving Tips To Avoid Body Repair

Body Shop | Body Repair | Auto Body Shop | Madison WI | Auto Color

Avoiding bad winter roads can keep you out of the body shop in Madison WI

Body shop professionals see it every winter. The snow and ice often trick the inexperienced drivers into collisions. Even more experienced drivers get surprised from time to time, from black ice or unexpected melts that freeze or other drivers that hit them.

As Madison’s premier spot auto body repair shop, we want to help Madison WI drivers avoid as many dents, dings and collisions as possible. However, when those minor collisions do occur and you need a body shop, we are prepared to be your body shop of record, providing the best repair options for your situation. Continue reading

Time Required for Auto Body Shop Repairs

Body Shop | Body Repair | Auto Body Shop | Madison WI | Auto Color

The severity and the type of damage directly impacts the time your vehicle is in the body shop in Madison WI. click to enlarge

Body shop repairs take time. In the industry it’s called “cycle time,” or how long an auto body repair to be completed. Each repair is unique and there are multiple factors affecting the time in the body shop.

The severity of the damage on your car definitely affects how long it will be in the body shop as well as the nature of the damage. Is the damaged area a glancing blow or a direct hit? Was the impact at a higher or lower speed? Was the collision straight or at an angle?

All of these factors contribute to a unique auto body repair. Continue reading

Tips To Finding A Good Auto Body Shop In Madison WI

Body Shop | Auto Body Shop | Body Repair | Madison WI | Auto Color

Be sure you are comfortable with the auto body shop you choose in Madison WI

Selecting an auto body shop to provide the body repair you need is not quite as straight forward as buying a car.

When you bought your car, most likely you did a little homework. You were able to…

  • Consult consumer reviews
  • Check reliability ratings
  • Review crash-safety ratings
  • Assess the value of features available
  • Judge trunk space and legroom
  • Test drive models you were interested in
  • Get your friends’ opinions

Continue reading

OEM Parts And Your Auto Body Repair

Body Repair | Body Shop | Auto Body Repair| Auto Color | Madison WI

Nearly every auto body repair can use OEM, aftermarket or recycled parts.

When you are considering an auto body repair after an accident, there are many things to consider.

If your body repair is going to be covered by insurance, often times insurance companies insist a body shop uses OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. The insurance company goal is to make the insured individual whole by specifying your body shop use replacement parts be from the manufacturer.

However, when you are doing a body repair on a car and not filing an insurance claim, budget can influence how parts are selected. OEM parts for auto body repair are usually more expensive than using replacement parts manufactured by a third party. These parts are often called “aftermarket” parts. Aftermarket parts are almost always less expensive and are created to match the same specifications as the OEM parts. Continue reading

Car Hail Damage – How To File An Insurance Claim

Car Hail Damage | Paintless Dent Repair | Auto Color | Madison WI

Car hail damage is often repaired by paintless dent repair techniques in Madison WI

Volatile summer storms in Madison WI can result in car hail damage.

And, depending on the actual extent of your car hail damage, you may have a tough choice to make. Do you go through the insurance claims process, live with the hail damage or fix it yourself without an insurance claim using paintless dent repair techniques?

Assuming your car hail damage isn’t so severe your car is totaled, an insurance claim may be something to consider. If you are going to contact your insurance company about your car hail damage, the following steps will assist you in the process.

Contacting Your Insurer About Your Car Hail Damage In Madison WI Continue reading

Why Choose A Detail Pro When Car Detailing

Detailing | Car Detailing | Auto Color | Madison | Middleton

Car detailing is tougher than many think – and it shows in the results

Detailing your car is an easy concept to understand. However, to actually detail a vehicle and achieve the results a car detailing professional can is another challenge all together.

The first question to ask yourself is, ‘what do I think I know?’. This question is often very difficult to answer because you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’. And, not knowing when it comes to car paint and finishes can be expensive. Consider the following – Continue reading

Auto Body Repair Basics – OEM vs Aftermarket Parts

Body Repair | Auto Body Repair| Madison WI | Auto Color

OEM vs Aftermarket parts can impact the total cost of your auto body repair in Madison WI

Auto body repair sometimes requires replacing damaged parts with new parts. Selecting the correct “new” parts is as much an art as it is a science.

When technicians are planning an auto body repair, they are most concerned with the Fit, Function and Finish of the replacement parts. After all, the goal of the repair is to make it look as good as possible given the damage it has and the budget the car owner has. Continue reading

Choosing The Right Auto Body Shop In Madison WI

Body Shop | Auto Body Shop | Madison WI | Auto Color

Get multiple estimates before selecting an auto body shop in Madison WI. Be sure to select the right repair and consider a Body Shop Alternative to do it.

Selecting the right auto body shop can save you thousands of dollars.

It is fairly common to get an estimate from an auto body shop that is very different from another. Depending on the damage to be repaired, the amounts can swing wildly. Then the questions start.

• Will you really get what you are paying for?
• Will the lower estimate be of equal quality work?
• Is there more than one repair for each type of damage?
• Do I really need a “perfect” repair for this car?

Continue reading

Conventional Dent Repair Basics – Madison WI

Dent Repair | Dent Removal | Madison WI | Auto Color | Middleton WI

Conventional dent repair requires damaged paint to be repaired and the stretched metal to be pulled as close to original, but still slightly concave

Conventional dent repair and paintless dent repair are often times confused.

Most people just want their cars fixed and the dent repair completed. They would also like to have a high quality dent repair and spend as little money as possible.

Too many people who have had the option of using a paintless dent repair process, the concept of just “popping” out a dent is an easy one. However, for this option to be used, there are a couple of factors determining whether paintless dent repair is even an option.

First – the finish cannot be broken with a scratch, scrape or chip. If the finish is broken, while the dent can be removed, the broken finish will eventually allow rust.

Second – the metal cannot be stretched. If the metal is stretched, it will have more surface area than the dimensions of the dent itself. In other words, there will be too much surface area to fit into the original contours of the panel with the dent. If the metal is pulled out too far the panel would actually have a lump. Continue reading

Paintless Dent Repair Defined In Madison WI

Paintless Dent Repair | Dent Removal | Madison WI | Auto Color

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, can remove dents when the finish of the car is not harmed or broken

Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR, is an auto body industry recognized dent removal process. It involves the removal of hail dents and other types of damage on exterior surface panels without disturbing a vehicle’s finish.

How Paintless Dent Repair Works

In the majority of cases, the paintless dent repair procedure involves using specialized tools for applying pressure to the backsides of panels to remove surface indentations.

A second paintless dent repair technique involves bonding a “tab” or another device to the exterior of a panel. When the “tab” is affixed, the dent is then pulled out from the outside of the panel. Continue reading

Interior Car Detailing Requires Time, Knowledge, Equipment, Supplies And Skill

Interior Car Detailing | Madison WI | Auto Color

Interior Car Detailing requires, time, knowledge, ability, proper tools, special equipment and appropriate chemicals and solvents.

Car detailing has many levels of clean.

And, for many reasons, there are cleaning tasks auto detailers can do better and more efficiently than nearly all car owners. Consider the following –

  • Time Required – A pro will take up to six hours to properly complete an interior car detailing. And that is with professional equipment, chemicals and knowledge to use them. What can you supply to the project beyond the time?
  • Knowledge – with interior car detailing, stains, scratches, rips, and other problems all require specific knowledge in how to correct or repair a problem. Car detailing professionals know when to use water based solutions and when to use cleaning agents or chemicals. They also know how to agitate on the area needing attention to get the best results. And, the pros can do this without harming the surface being treated.

Continue reading

Why Choose A Detail Pro When Car Detailing

Detailing | Car Detailing | Auto Color | Madison | Middleton

Car detailing is tougher than many think – and it shows in the results

Detailing your car is an easy concept to understand. However, to actually detail a vehicle and achieve the results a car detailing professional can is another challenge all together.

The first question to ask yourself is, ‘what do I think I know?’. This question is often very difficult to answer because you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’. And, not knowing when it comes to car paint and finishes can be expensive. Consider the following – Continue reading

Headlight Restoration With Lifetime Warranty In Madison WI

Headlight Restoration - Madison WI - Auto Color - Middleton

Headlight restoration can rejuvenate the looks of your car very quickly

Headlight restoration of foggy headlights is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your car look fresh again.

There is no doubt that after headlights have yellowed or fogged, they make even the nicest cars look old, weathered and dumpy. That is true whether you are driving a Lexus, Cadillac or a Ford.

Glass Headlights Did Not Require Headlight Restoration

Older cars had glass headlight lenses and they were always clear. The bad news was the lenses were more susceptible to cracks or breaking. The new poly carbonate headlights are much tougher than their glass predecessors and if they do break, they will not explode into scores of pieces and shards. There is just a crack in the molded lens. Continue reading

Alloy Wheel Repair In Madison WI

Alloy wheel repair | Madison WI | Auto Color of Middleton

Alloy wheel repair on damage like this can make make a tired looking car look fresh again

Alloy wheel repair has become one of the most used appearance services offered by Auto Color of Middleton, serving the Madison WI area.

It’s no secret contemporary car designs look great and function more economically. Sleek aerodynamic lines are accentuated by alloy wheels with painted finishes. In fact, 70% of the wheels on modern cars are alloy wheels with a painted finish.

The result is the sheer number of cars on the road dictates the need for alloy wheel repair. Scratches, scrapes, scuffs and other damage requiring alloy wheel repair occur daily, making the most beautifully designed car look tired and tattered. Continue reading

Reality In Auto Body – Touch Up Paint Repairs

Touch Up Repairs - Auto Body - Madison WI - Auto Color - Middleton

Touch Up Paint Repairs are less expensive than traditional auto body refinishing

There are often misconceptions of what touch up paint repair is and what the expected final result of a repair should be.

So, the question is…’what is a touch up paint repair?’.

The answer – touch up paint is a very small quantity of paint made to imitate the original factory paint color. It is formulated to be applied with a touch up brush onto the damaged, chipped, scratched or gouged surface for improved protection or appearance.

Touch up paint is applied over rough damaged and imperfect surfaces. It will only add color where color was absent. However, touch up paint repairs will not change the smoothness or texture of the damaged surface. Touch up paint provides mostly cosmetic value and is appropriate to use on top of primer, basecoat, or existing clear coat. Continue reading

What Is The Best Car Paint Repair?

Car Paint Repair - Body Shop - AutoColor - Middleton WI - Madison WI

A car paint repair can be represented by varying degrees of attention. AutoColor does them all. A body Shop may trend toward larger, more expensive repairs

To many drivers, a car paint repair is seen as a complete refinishing covering multiple panels of a vehicle. The desired result is having a finish looking as if it just came out of the factory. And, in many cases that is exactly what is done, especially when the repair is done in a body shop.

The reality is the finish your car has when delivered had better be preserved in a photo, because there is a chance it will never quite look like that again in Madison WI.

Types of Car Paint Repair

The perfect paint repair for a vehicle has a different definition depending on the owner.

The equation for a perfect repair is as follows – Owner’s circumstance + a chosen type of repair = perfect repair. This differs from a single, insurance driven body shop repair. At AutoColor the definition of a proper car paint repair is up to the vehicle owner. Continue reading

Auto Touch Up Paint Repair – Can You Touch Up Paint?

Auto Paint | Touch Up | AutoColor - Madison WI - Middleton

Auto paint chips often require expert paint mixing and skill in applying touch up paint effectively

The big question is ‘should you, not can you, attempt an auto touch up paint repair?’

Many think they can repair a stone chip in their car paint because the can buy auto touch up paint and equipment at a supply store. However, what is the real difference between paying a professional auto paint touch up service like Auto Color of Middleton to repair stone chips on your car or performing a car paint touch up yourself? Continue reading

Headlight Restoration – Restore Your Foggy, Yellowed Headlights

Headlight Restoration | Foggy Headlights | AutoColor Middleton WI - Madison

Headlight Restoration is a specialty of AutoColor of Middleton WI – restore your yellowed, foggy headlights

Headlight restoration is a service that was not needed 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago headlights were made of glass. Glass transmits light extremely well and is easy to clean. So why change? The reality is glass breaks easily and cannot be formed into the various forms demanded by car stylists.

In recent years,glass headlights have been replaced by new style polycarbonate lenses that are impact resistant and can be styled as needed. They also can transmit light nearly as well as glass lenses.

Why Headlight Restoration Is Needed

Polycarbonate plastic lenses have many positive qualities. However, like most plastics, it can be scratched and the surface deteriorates when exposed to ultraviolet light (the sun). To overcome these realities, polycarbonate headlights are given a UV-resistant coating. This coating lasts for a number of years, but dirt and grit from the road, frequent washing and UV light gradually wears the coating down. When the coating is worn away, the polycarbonate is exposed to the elements and eventually you will have foggy headlights and will require a headlight restore. Continue reading

Lease Car Inspection and Returns

Lease - Car Inspection - Madison - Middleton - WI - Auto Color

Drivers can save money by doing a lease car inspection and repairing excessive wear and tear prior to returning the car

The process of returning a leased vehicle can result in unwanted surprises. If there is more wear than the leasing company deems “normal wear” in any part of the car, there will probably be corresponding charges to correct any problems.

Most drivers are aware of mileage limits and expect a per mile charge if mileage exceeds the expected level. Similarly, the return of a leased car in need of cosmetic body repair beyond what the leasing company allows can be a rude awakening for drivers.

Since the leasing company is really just a finance company, you can expect to be charged handsomely for them to handle the logistics and markup on the cost of any repairs. Each leasing company and car company has their distinct set of standards. For example, some car manufacturers providing customer financing offer allowances for some minor damage they deem “normal wear and tear” over the term of the lease.  Honda for instance, has provided up to $1500 of allowances for their particular definition of what “wear and tear” means. Continue reading

Car Scratch Repair – Auto Paint Repair As Needed

Car scratch repair can range from the smallest, superficial marks in a car’s clear coat to key marks or deeper scratches reaching the metal of a panel.

Car Scratch Repair - AutoColor Madison-Middleton-WI

Car scratch repair options vary depending on depth and the final outcome a car owner desires

Car scratch repair can be approached in several ways. The good news is car owners have options. From the smallest superficial car wash scratches to the notorious key scratch, the one size fits all repair solution offered by many auto body shops and collision centers for car scratch repair is often overkill and doesn’t necessarily suit the needs of the customer or their vehicle.

The methods used for car scratch repair by a specially trained technician can vary depending on a couple of variables.

The first variable is the depth of a scratch. Very shallow scratches such as those in the clear coat (# 1 in illustration) can be polished out. A skilled professional can polish around the scratch because the clear coat is still thick enough under the deepest point of the scratch to allow for scratch removal by polishing (which is abrasive in nature).

Paintless Dent Repair – What Is It

Paintless Dent Repair - AutoColor - Madison-Middleton-WI

For as little as $85 many common door dings can be repaired using paintless dent repair methods

Paintless dent repair, when possible, is a great option in many different ways.

Car owners benefit in a variety of ways when paintless dent repair is used. It is a method by which door dings and small dents are pushed back into their original shape. No traditional repair methods using body filler and repainting are required. Below is a list of attributes paintless dent repair has –

It’s fast – paintless dent repair usually can be completed on the same day. Often within an hour.

Protects Original Finish – if the integrity of the finish is not harmed (such as the paint being cracked), paintless dent repair can restore the original shape of your car without altering the finish.

Works Great On Common Problems – paintless dent repair can correct many common problems such as door dings, hail damage and dents up to the size of about a football. Continue reading