Our Current Blog Articles
January 15, 2017
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
If you’ve ever experienced a minor ding or dent in your car, you may have researched what is paintless dent repair and what is involved in the process? At Steve’s Detailing, we provide the finishing touch for this type of repair, which we can attest to being incredibly effective at restoring a vehicle to like new shape. Looking into the service ourselves, it seems that it will save you a lot of time and money, too. So, let’s talk more about what is paintless dent repair.
It has most likely happened to us all, at some point. You walk out of the grocery store, only to find that someone has dinged your car by hitting it with their door or bumper. Also, there are those little fender benders, when we should have given a little extra space between our car and the one next to us. The good news is that paintless dent repair can be just the remedy you need.
Paintless dent repair can rectify a broad range of damage as long as the paint surface is intact. It may be used on both aluminum and steel panels. Door dings, creases, dents, bodyline damage and hail damage, are just some of the more popular issues utilizing paintless dent repair, but not limited to those. It can also minimize the use of body filler when repainting. Usually the shallower the dent, the greater the chances of paintless dent repair being a suitable option. Experienced technicians can fix a large, shallow dent or a crease, to a satisfactory level, but paintless dent repair may not be the proper method for extremely sharp dents or creases. Ask your service shop what they can achieve for best results.
Techniques involved in paintless dent repair utilize metal rods and body picks to push out the dents from the underside of the vehicle body panel. Glue and specially-designed tabs may be used to pull out the dents from the outside of the panel. Finishing touches of the repair involve tapping down the repair to remove small high spots. Experienced technicians can blend high spots to match the texture of the paint, sometimes called orange peel. But if they push too hard, it may create high spots that cause the clear coat to split or crack, which of course is not a good thing. Avoiding cracking or chipping is the ultimate goal. When the damage is so high that body filler is necessary, a paintless dent technician can "push to paint," fixing most of the damage before minor filling, sanding, and painting. This will save you time and money in the long run if the dent is large.
Technicians also use fluorescent lighting, LED lighting, or in some cases a reflection board to help them visualize the deformation of the dent and aid in locating the tip of the tool used to push out the metal, reforming it to the proper height. Without a reflection from a light source or board to read the dent, the fine detail of the process may not be suitable, and the results will be less than satisfactory. Paintless dent repair requires skill and a good eye, so be sure to find a company that knows their stuff and has the experience in this technique.
Since around the 1940s, "dingmen" have been "pushing" or "massaging" dents out of vehicles. An issue arose as the tools they used could not prevent cracking or creasing of the paint, and it looked like the art may be dying. However, in the early 70s and 80s, the auto industry started making thinner, more flexible metals for panels and roofs. This was ideal for the dent repairmen of that time. Cracking paint issues resolved and the quality of paint and clear coat improved. Now, tools have also improved, and dingmen can take out larger and larger dents. You can sometimes even find mobile paintless dent repair.
The pros of paintless dent repair:
- Same day turnaround, versus days in the body shop
- No deductibles or insurance claims
- Restores an original factory finish
- Environmentally friendly
- Repairs are gentle on your vehicle
- Cheaper than body shop repairs
- Repaired dents do not reappear
The cost of paintless dent repair will vary, but in general, you can estimate with these guidelines (without comprehensive insurance). Depending on the cause of the damage, such as hail, your costs will go down considerably if you are insured.
- Dent size and depth location will determine the cost
- Smaller, easier to reach dents will run between $35 to $45 per dent
- Medium sized dents will go up slightly to $45- $55 per dent
- Hard to access areas, such as roofs, jump to $60 to $65 per small dent and $75-$80 for large
Now, you could try to repair your car yourself, but the tools alone can be somewhat costly. Dentcraft Tools are probably the highest quality tools found online, but the 72-piece set alone will run you about $2000. That is much more than the cost to take it to someone who truly knows what they are doing. But if you would like to know how it is done and what type of specialized repair tools are often used to achieve the look, it may be worthwhile investigating the inside steps to how they pop out those little dents and get your car back to new again. The tools look somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle in some respect, so referring the job to a paintless dent repair shop is a good idea!
Now that you know what is paintless dent repair, the frustration of seeing the initial damage to your vehicle will certainly be an easier pill to swallow. There’s no need for a full, heavy-duty body repair at an expensive dealership or auto body repair shop. And there’s no need to go without your car for days on end. Of course, once your paintless dent repair specialist has finished bringing your car back to life, come to Steve's Detailing for a buff, polish, and wax to make your vehicle feel brand new.
December 13, 2016
Is Your Car's Interior Making You Sick?
Most of us can agree that the smell of a brand-new car is intoxicating. What is it about that smell that so many of us love? Some manufacturers have even made air fresheners that carry that same "new car" fragrance, so we can forever feel like our car just rolled off the assembly line. But before you bask in the aroma a minute longer, you may want to ponder on this question. Is your car's interior making you sick?
Here at Steve's Detailing, we know all too well the hidden dangers of a new interior. We will neutralize these threats using tried, tested, and true products and help you eliminate these toxic smells that could be making you sick.
The following toxic chemicals found in your interiors and the air inside your cars may sound foreign and confusing, but they are important to note. Some of these toxins are exceeding levels well above air quality standards. Believe it or not, more than 275 different chemicals are used in car interiors. Some of these chemicals are even worse than the well know "toxic building" syndrome that has surfaced in the news. It is little wonder we are a nation of ill human beings, suffering from unnecessary diseases.
- VOCs, including benzene, styrene, and formaldehyde
- Brominated flame retardants
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Lead and heavy metals
- Carbon monoxide
- Nitrogen oxide
What are these toxic substances really doing to our bodies? Well, for starters, fire retardants, which are in all interiors are linked to cancers, autism, obesity, and male infertility. PVC plastic is probably the worst plastic out there and is harmful to pregnant women, babies, and can disrupt the endocrine system. It seems hard to believe, but the facts are real and rather disturbing. Of course, not everyone will be affected in the same way, but people with respiratory issues or chemical sensitivities will be at the most risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has a lot of useful information about this subject, and worth the read.
To remedy the situation as best you can, the easiest solution is to get some air flow in your vehicle. Open all the vents and windows to help dilute the concentration of odors and have a good filtration system. Of course, the other option is to remove the source of the smells, but for obvious reasons, that will not always be possible, especially in a new car. You can, however, do your research when buying a new car to see which makes and models use the best environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques. In one study of over 200 vehicles tested for chemicals that "off-gas" from 2011-2012, the Honda Civic came out on top. The worst, Mini Cooper, VW Eos, Kia Sportage, Chevy Aveo 5, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Mazda CX-7, Kia Soul, Chrysler 200 SC, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
If you do opt for buying a brand-new car, why not "bake" it? What does that mean? Well, you can speed up the release of chemicals by "baking them out." This process either involves leaving the vehicle in the hot sun with the windows down or cranking the heater on for a while. Afterward, open all the windows and doors and ventilate with fresh air. From here you can grab a microfiber cloth and start wiping down the entire interior, being careful to pick up all the dust and debris. If you are super sensitive to chemicals, you may want to repeat this process a few times. The first six months with a new car are the most toxic, so perhaps wait it out if you can before making a purchase.
Let's not forget about the mold factor too. If you are buying a used car, there is a good possibility it has mold lurking in it due to moisture, especially in warmer humid climates. But it is not just hiding in the seats; a common problem is faulty air conditioners. Be sure to have yours checked out and read up on the Lemon Law to see if the manufacturer will buy the car back if affected with mold. Also, ensure that bacteria from food, animals, and dirt are not lurking in the crevices. It is so important to keep a clean vehicle. In the meantime, here are some great tips to follow:
- CLEAN THE INSIDE OFTEN, microfiber clothes are the best, just wet and wipe, no need for chemical cleaners.
- REPLACE YOUR TOXIC AIR FRESHENERS with natural ones such as essential oils on cotton or in a diffuser, or baking soda.
- CAR AIR PURIFIERS are excellent, especially if you have respiratory issues or wish to breathe cleaner air
- REPLACE YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPER FLUID if you are sensitive to it. Vinegar and water with a tad of liquid soap works great.
- KEEP YOUR DISTANCE of at least three car lengths to avoid exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle.
- DON'T KEEP YOUR VENTS CLOSED always because bacteria will build up. Be sure to open and close often.
- DO NOT IDLE CAR in the garage. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause headaches and even be fatal.
- AIR OUT your vehicle whenever possible, winter and summer.
Japan is leading the countries in trying to eliminate this toxic cocktail in vehicles by cutting out 13 of the compounds in interiors, including formaldehyde and styrene. Hopefully, the U.S. will catch on and join the bandwagon on making America's vehicles safer for everyone. Ford is also on their way to improvements, and it won't be an easy transition, but it is a necessary one. And just imagine all those chemicals sitting in the hot sun, this is extremely dangerous because it adds fuel to the fire, so to speak, heating up these already toxic materials to even stronger levels with the solar exposures. Use solar reflectors whenever possible and park in the shade when you can.
Japan and Europe are putting their best face forward and are ahead of the toxic car syndrome in many ways. We are even starting to see significant organic changes in interiors such as car seats made from raw materials like palm and soybean oils, plant-based foams, and plastics made from petrochemicals, and even the hibiscus tree and a particular type of grass utilized in today's vehicle interiors. The technology is incredible and exciting, to say the least, and it is something everyone will be pleased with in the long run.
At Steve's Detailing, we will do our best to ensure your car’s interior is not making you sick. With years in the industry as a trusted and knowledgeable vehicle detailing shop, we know what it takes to provide our clients with safe products and the added experience to eliminate or reduce the toxic overload your car may be emitting. Ask us today how we can help you know, is your car's interior making you sick. If your vehicle is on a weekly or monthly detailing regimen, there is no doubt that your exposure to toxic materials will decrease or be eliminated. Steve's Detailing can get the job done with superior expertise.
November 15, 2016
What Causes Condensation Inside Cars?
At Steve’s Detailing in Denver, we get quite a few customers who are frustrated with having to either keep a rag in their vehicle or use their expensive new sweater to wipe away excess moisture from their car’s windows. Many of them ask us what causes condensation inside cars. Here, we’ll provide you with the answer so that you can take steps to prevent it.
Steve's Detailing knows that humidity can wreak havoc on interiors, leather and more. So, if you are continually plagued by a condensation issue in your car or truck, bring it to us for helpful advice and superior cleaning, inside and out. In the meantime, let’s discuss what causes condensation inside cars.
Condensation occurs when warm and humid air meets a cold surface. When someone gets into a cold car, their breath and body carrying warm moisture-rich air meet a cold windshield. This, in turn, causes the moisture from the air to collect on the glass. It can also happen if you have wet seats or clothing in the car, leftover food and wrappers, a coffee mug with remnants of yesterday's beverage still in it, damp carpets, leaks from a sunroof or vents, wet umbrellas, floor mats, dog blankets and even coolant leaks.
Now you know what causes condensation inside cars, follow these simple steps to keep the inside of your vehicle dry:
- Leave at least two windows slightly open on a sunny (preferably warmer) day in the winter to help circulate the airflow, but be sure to close them by nightfall to avoid dew from settling in.
- Invest in a moisture absorber, but be sure to keep an eye on it when it needs emptying.
- Look for signs of dampness, especially under a rear wheel well.
- Use your air conditioning. Yes, even in winter! This will pull the moisture out of the air, keeping your AC system in tip-top shape and your car from smelling bad when you turn it on. It will also be ready for the arrival of summer.
- Ensure your recirculating valve is off, or you won't be doing yourself any favors. Keep that fresh air coming it.
- Try to avoid anti-fogging products, they seem just to leave a blurry mess on windows.
- Air your vehicle out often by opening the windows and putting the heat on at the same time while driving.
- Park in the garage with the windows down if possible.
- Avoid using unbreathable car covers.
- Check for a windshield washer fluid leak.
- Check all your door and window seals.
Condensation is not ideal for any interior because eventually the moisture will destroy and break down the fibers in the materials, causing cracks in leather or even mold, odors and possibly discoloration.
Now that you’ve learned what causes condensation inside cars, also know that when a car isn’t clean, the dirt particles attract moisture as well. Feel free to leave it all to the professionals at Steve's Detailing in Denver. We can help you maintain a clean and dry vehicle inside and out. Our prices are competitive so that you can enjoy your ride and keep condensation issues at bay. Come in for an auto detail today.
August 29, 2016
Six Requirements For A Perfect Vehicle Shine
Is your car looking dull, dreary, and lackluster? What happened to the days when you could see your face reflection when looking at the hood? If these questions have you wondering, then don't waste any more time and read on about the six requirements for a perfect vehicle shine, every time. For starters, depending on how old and worn your car is will determine just how much effort will be needed, clearly, if some neglect was involved then get ready to roll up your sleeves and get on your workout gear.
Here are the six basics: the paint should be in good condition, there should be no surface contaminates, polish, glaze, protect, wax. Yes, in that order. So, if you have maintained your car over the years, the paint condition should be relatively good. Oxidation and cleaning the paint should be minor. A car washed weekly is recommended. Contaminants should be removed immediately, for example, any type of sap falling from a tree, bird droppings, old decaying leaves, dust, etc. These pollutants can be extreme hazards to the life of your paint color and if not removed the wax will not benefit. Now we move on to the polish which will require removing any dents, pits, swirls, scuffs and blemishes. You will know you have done the job right when your rag glides with a minimal effort across the surface. Glazing will help fill small surfaces to achieve that smooth look. Next, you will protect with a sealant and finally, wax.
Here are some directions on the steps and procedures: Start by washing and completely drying your vehicle using a glossing shampoo or high concentration shampoo. Next up, if your paint is not perfectly smooth, you will need to use a clay cleaning system and lubricant. Use a rubbing compound or scratch remover to finalize the smoothing process and follow with glazing unless your paint is in really good condition, then you may skip this step. Now your paint is ready to be sealed with a microfiber cloth, and a great suggestion of a product would be Klasse all in one. Finally, let's make this baby shine like a diamond by using a high-quality carnauba wax to bring a ripple looking effect to your car like a glistening lake with the sun shining off of it. And that is the six requirements for a perfect vehicle shine to any automobile you own. Yes, there will be some time spent and a lot of energy and effort, but nothing is more pleasing or rewarding than walking out to a vehicle that just oozes spectacular, and hey, your vehicles should be worth it. Protect your investments with the help of Steve's Detailing if time is an issue for you. They have the knowledge and years of expertise in this field, and they most certainly will treat your vehicles with the same respect that you would expect. Maintaining your vehicles can be fun and rewarding when you have the right products and by following these six requirements
August 14, 2016
Hiring a professional detailer for your car, what to know
When you are hiring a professional detailer for your car, what you need to know is that not all detailers have the same work ethics or professionalism, and knowing which detailer to hire could save you a lot of time and money in the future. There are many reasons to maintain your personal vehicles, especially if you plan to sell it in the future, or you are leasing a vehicle that will need to be returned at some point. Hiring a professional detailer for your car will be an investment you will not regret because the products they use are of a professional grade and will get you the fastest and most desired results without a whole lot of effort. Steve's Detailing is a great place to start and ask questions on how they can help maintain your investment and keep your vehicles looking as good as new. A professional detailer can annihilate bad odors using technologies and products that are hard to come by for the average consumer; they can offer packages and scheduled services at discounted rates which give you peace of mind and most definitely convenience.
Nowadays, detailers are adding so much more to their lists of services, from just the basics to specialty services such as window tinting, leather treatments and more. You will be amazed at how they can take a badly cared for vehicle and make it like new once again. What you need to know when hiring a professional detailer for your car is that by spending a bit of time and researching the testimonials or checking out their work will help you make the right choice for a lifelong detailing company. Be sure to ask around and get some feedback as well. Everyone loves the way a clean vehicle makes them feel, and a protected investment is one you will not regret. There are a few professional organizations for detailers, like the National Association for Professional Detailing & Reconditioning and the Professional Detailers Association. These do not guarantee competence but is a great place to start. Good detailing is 90% application and 10% good product, just remember that! Also remember that sometimes our best intentions could cost us unsightly damage and irreversible repair if we do not know what we are doing, that's why we have professionals to take care of the details. Not only will a place like Steve's Detailing save money but think about how much more time you will have to get your chores done when someone else is regularly maintaining the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Hiring a professional detailer for your car is truly a "no brainer" in today's busy world. Now you know what to know before you invest in a company that will help keep your "ride" looking sharp, savvy and spectacular. Professional detailers are most certainly the way to go for all your autos, be it a hot rod, work vehicle, motorcycle or other.