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 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 on the road is susceptible to the spray from anything moving beyond a crawl. 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

Do You Need To Wax A Car?

Time to wax a car - AutoColor - Madison - Middleton WI

When you do not wax a car, blemishes like this will abrade your finish (see below)

One of the most common questions we hear is exactly what the headline asks, ‘do you need to wax a car?’. People think modern car finishes are made to not be waxed, but it simply is not true. You should wax a car to protect the paint and clear coat. When you wax a car you preserve oils in the paint helping to prevent oxidation.

It’s not uncommon for car owners to be diligent with regular engine maintenance of their vehicle and ignore the exterior completely. This can lead to a great running car with a dull finish, or even worse, a finish with ugly, uncorrectable blemishes. These blemishes actually are spots or areas where the finish has been compromised. Reduced protection leads to oxidation, rust and overall failure. And, if you think your car is not exposed to damaging elements, think again. Listed below are common, everyday threats to a car’s finish that should motivate car owners to wax a car. Continue reading

Plastic Bumper Crack Repair

By specializing in plastic bumper crack repair, AutoColor offers a unique and valuable service to Madison area drivers.

Plastic bumper crack repair - AutoColor WI - Madison WI - Middleton WI

Plastic bumper crack repair can be done on nearly bumper crack

In nearly every situation AutoColor professionals can make an undetectable repair to a cracked plastic bumper. This keeps cars looking sharp and will save up to sixty percent of the cost of a new plastic bumper. Continue reading

Auto Body Repair, Auto Detailing and Appearance Services in Madison WI

In the coming weeks, the Auto Color staff will be using this blog to introduce you to top-notch repair and “replenishment” services for your car or truck. Our services range from minor auto body repair to making your wheels and interior look like new.

We will share with you how we can repair your car in such a way that it looks great (and you do not break the bank). Our unique process of assessing damage and delivering focused repair and treatment give you the best opportunity to get great value with an auto body repair, a detailing or any other appearance service.

If there are any topics you would like us to cover, just call or send us an email request, and we’ll do our best to help.

In July we will be discussing an auto body repair problem where car owners routinely pay too much for repair or replacement – plastic bumpers. Cracks, dents scuffs and paint scratches occur all of the time. Our upcoming series of posts will show you how to make your bumper look new for a fraction of the cost of a replacement bumper and installation.

Be looking for our new post in July!

Have a great Fourth of July and thank you for reading.