Showing posts with label References. Show all posts
Showing posts with label References. Show all posts

Friday, March 21, 2014


What Car Should I Buy?
We really have neglected Jalopnik recently, and we're really sorry.

Our Customer Service Manager, Joel, is helping someone buy a car. We hope this helps.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Microfiber--Worth the (Small) Expense

Get a few microfiber cloths. Almost Everything Autobody recommends them to wash, wax & polish your vehicle. They don't scratch like other cloths.
Folks who are particular about the finish on their cars know that the first time a sponge or towel is used to wash a car, it leaves fine scratches in the paint. Over time, these scratches multiply and cause the car to look dull.

There is no way to avoid this issue completely but microfiber helps a lot. It is high tech stuff. The material is made of super thin, super soft synthetic fibers. It was first developed in the 1950s but it wasn't until 2007 that Rubbermaid introduced the first microfiber cleaning products in the USA. Microfiber holds up to eight times its weight in water, attracts and contains dust and oils and causes minimal scratches to paint. Just be careful to turn the cloth often to prevent grit that accumulates on the cloth from causing scratches to the surface being cleaned. The cloth can be washed & used over & over.

Almost Everything Autobody gave away hundreds of these cloths at the Washington High School Car Show and the Tri-City Motor Rally at Newpark Mall. They proved so popular that we are planning to give one to customers when they pick-up their cars. People have asked where we get ours--we buy in bulk from Maxim Mart.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Do It Yourself Prep

Many of our customers want to save some money by prepping their cars themselves. Here's a list of what we do, the materials we use and our recommendations for do it yourself'ers.

-Dual Action Sander (usually called a "DA")
-Socket tool set
-Phillips screwdrivers (if required)
-Standard Screwdrivers (if required)
-Torx screwdrivers (if required)
-Air Gun

-80 Grit Sandpaper
-180 Grit Sandpaper
-220 Grit Sandpaper
-320 Grit Sandpaper
-400 Grit Sandpaper
-Fine Grit (Maroon) Scotch-Brite pads
-Ultra-fine Grit (Grey) Scotch-Brite pads
-Refinishing Grade Masking tape
-Wax & Grease Removing Solvent
-Cotton Cloths
-Dust Mask

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not Always Obvious. . .

The accident didn't seem that bad. . . the plastic bumper bounced back into place and it didn't look like there was much damage.

Sometimes the damage isn't obvious. Be wary when accepting settlement payments from a driver that hits you or their insurance company. Significant damage to the car below was not visible from the outside. The damage to the bumper reinforcement and rear body is a safety concern if the car is hit again from the rear. And the trunk is going to leak in the rain or a car wash.

Bob, our Master Technician, works on
a car with rear end damage
The bumper cover is removed and things still don't look too bad
But when we take off a plastic cover
you can see the big wrinkle in the metal
on the driver's side of the trunk opening
There is a wrinkle at the weather seal on the passenger side too.
The weld on the bumper reinforcement is broken
The bumper reinforcement is crushed and twisted

Almost Everything Autobody repaired all of the damage on this car, replaced the crushed bumper reinforcement and energy absorber and repainted the damage area with factory paint.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Surviving a Sinking Car

Richard Hammond may be a real life Kenny in the U.K. We like Richard and hope he continues to survive these attempts on his life. . . by his friends.

On a more serious note, a tragedy happened to a young boy in this part of California a few weeks back. I'm a long-time scuba diver and I've always assumed that drivers who die underwater in their cars were drunk, asleep or otherwise incapacitated before hitting the water. After seeing these videos, I understand what should have been obvious to me from scuba. Watch Top Gear's Richard and learn something that could one day save your life--Frank

Friday, December 31, 2010

Car of the Day - 2003 Honda Civic with Peeling Clear Coat

Delaminating Paint

Does your car look like this? A lot of our customers ask if this condition is caused by either a manufacturer's defect or from something that happened to their car.

Most likely you didn't do anything wrong and neither did the manufacturer. The paint is just showing its age. We call this condition delaminating paint, delaminating clear coat or just peeling paint. It is caused mainly by ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun, the same thing that causes sunburn & peeling on humans and the deterioration of your lawn furniture. Weather, chemicals, temperature and other environmental factors also contribute to the paints decline.

In the 1960s & 1970s many people bought a new car every 2-3 years so they never noticed the paint wearing out. On used cars, it was normal to expect to paint the car every 5 years or so. And the average car did not last as long as they do now. Bodies and engines were typically worn out at just 100k miles.

Much has improved since then. Cars often have engine warranties for 100k miles and many last well over 15 years and 200k miles. Because of this, more people are noticing the paint failing on their cars even though the paint is much better than it was 30-40 years ago. Factory paint jobs typically last 7-14 years depending on color, chemistry and environmental conditions.





Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results 2010 Quarter 3

Almost Everything Autobody received a 94.0% or 'A' grade for its 2010-3rd Quarter Customer Satisfaction Score. Almost Everything contracts with CSi Complete, a national provider of customer satisfaction indexing, to survey our customers and provide us with this feedback. The past quarter's score is based on responses received from 296 Almost Everything Autobody customers who had work done during the quarter.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two-Stage Paint

This post is the 2nd in a series on Paint Technologies--What do people mean by single-stage, two-stage & three-stage paint? A previous post discussed single-stage paint. This article describes two-stage paint.

The terms "single-stage, two-stage & three-stage describe different types of auto painting processes. Each "stage" is a step in the process. Think of the stages like the layers of rock in the photo below. Each "stage" is like one of the different color bands in the formation. It is a layer of material:

Two-Stage:  It can also be called 2-stage, bi-stage, base-clear, base coat/clear coat, B/C, etc. In this case the 1st of the two stages is the base coat. It contains the colored paint. The 2nd stage is the clear coat--layers of clear paint that go on top of the color paint to provide protection & gloss. So in relation to the rock formation, 2-stage paint is equivalent to two bands of rock stacked together. Auto manufacturers in the USA phased-out single stage paints and transitioned to two-stage or base coat-clear coat paints in 1987.

Any paint is designed to protect the car against damage from sunlight, acid rain, bird droppings and all of the other environmental hazards that your car gets exposed to every day. Reputable shops like Almost Everything Autobody will apply 2-3 coats of base-coat AND 2-3 coats of clear-coat to your vehicle. 2-stage paints cost a little more initially than single-stage paints but are generally a more economical choice when it is important to keep the vehicle looking good, when you want to maintain resale value or you plan to keep the vehicle for more than 3 years because they are easier to maintain, last & look better longer.

Some advantages of 2-stage paints are:
  • Better UV protection & resistance to fading from sunlight
  • Easier maintenance with ability to remove scratches that don't penetrate down to the color layer
  • Better resistance to chipping
  • More variety, better looking & more vibrant colors & metallic finishes
  • Better gloss & "wet" look
  • Easier to achieve uniform color appearance
  • Possible to address cosmetic issues like dust specks and paint runs
  • Generally look better, longer than single stage paints
The process and materials used in 2-stage paints result in a more uniform layer of color that causes metallic paints to be more brilliant. The single-stage process is not capable of achieving the same results and certain colors--especially golds, silvers, champagnes and bronzes--can look dull and grey in single-stage when compared to 2-stage. When color is important, choose 2-stage paint to achieve the right hue & luminosity.

I began to type "disadvantages" but I don't think that the following is really a disadvantage as much as a difference between single-stage and 2-stage paints that may affect the type of paint you choose. When 2-stage paint reaches the end of its useful life, usually 7-14 years after the car was originally built and painted, instead of fading like single-stage paints, the top, clear layer turns cloudy and if not repaired, can start to peel and expose the more fragile color coat and even the metal underneath. We call this delamination. Many customers find failing clear coat ugly and more objectionable than the relatively uniform fading that is found on older-technology single stage paints. It is important to remember that 2-stage paint provides great protection and looks better longer than single-stage paint but, in our opinion, it does fail less gracefully when its time is done.

It is a good idea to get a car re-painted when this delamination starts to happen for a number of reasons--number one being cost. The longer the car goes without new paint, the more damage that happens to the existing paint, the greater the chance for rust and the more work that is required to fix the problem, not to mention, the car becomes embarrassing, looks worn-out and starts to quickly lose value. You should not allow anyone to put new paint on top of delaminating paint. The old, delaminating paint will continue to peel under the new paint and the new paint will quickly peel off just like the old stuff was doing! Don't waste your money on new paint if you don't plan to get the failed paint reconditioned first.

One note of caution, there are cheap paints out there--any of single-stage, two-stage or three-stage can be painted with poor materials that produce lousy results and don't last long. Almost Everything uses only top quality paints from the supplier used on NASA's Space Shuttle, the Golden Gate Bridge and just about every car make & model since the Model T Ford.

We will be posting additional articles that deal with color matching, gloss, texture and "orange peel," wet sanding or color sanding, solids, metallics & pearls. Feel free to drop by our shop if you are near to us and we will be happy to discuss with you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Using Wikipedia as an auto body & collision repair reference

We use Wikipedia all the time to get specific information about car models & the years they were made. Check it out. There are usually photos of each different version of a particular model. Makes it easier to find alternate parts if the part you need for a particular year is not available.

All of the photos below were taken from Wikipedia's public domain images collection.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Single-Stage Paint

What do people mean by single-stage, two-stage & three-stage paint? It's pretty simple. They are different types of auto painting processes. Each "stage" is a step in the process. Think of the stages like the layers of rock in the photo below. Each "stage" is like one of the different color bands in the formation. It is a layer of material:

Single-Stage:  It can also be called one-stage or 1-stage. Only one type of paint is used to paint the car. The color is uniform in the paint.  So in relation to the rock formation, single-stage paint is equivalent to a single color band of rock.

Single-stage paint is the type used on cars before 1987. After 1987 all manufacturers switched to 2-stage paint. Consider that virtually any house paint, or almost any other type of paint, is a single-stage paint. The single-stage paints available for automotive purposes can be very good stuff. The technology is mature and well understood. Single-stage polyurethanes are available that survive very well against sunlight, acid rain, bird droppings and all of the other environmental hazards that your car gets exposed to every day. Single-stage does NOT mean only one coat of paint. Any reputable shop will apply 2-3 coats of paint to your vehicle. Note that there are also some extremely cheap paints out there--any of single-stage, two-stage or three-stage can be painted with poor materials that produce lousy results and don't last long. Single-stage paints are generally less expensive than 2- or 3-stage paints and can be a great choice for vehicles that you only plan to keep for 1-3 years.
The Lotus Esprit Turbo with single-stage paint from Almost Everything Autobody
There are some things to consider with single-stage paints. We will be posting additional articles that deal with color matching, gloss, texture and "orange peel," wet sanding or color sanding, solids, metallics, pearls. Feel free to drop by our shop if you are near to us and we will be happy to discuss with you.

One note of caution: color match is more difficult with some golds, silvers and champagne colors in single-stage paints and in general, these colors are not as vibrant as with 2-stage paint. We've seen this issue on vehicles painted with any of the top quality paint manufacturers (DuPont, PPG, Sherwin-Williams). That is a big reason why 2- and 3-stage paints were developed.

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