Click on one of the following to quickly get to that topic.
- Caring for Your Vehicle
- Buying and Selling a Vehicle
- Been in an accident?
Caring for Your Vehicle
The most important and easiest way to protect the finish of your vehicle is to simply wash it. Washing it removes dirt and debris that can scratch or damage your paint. This is especially important during summer months when the sun is extremely hot and can damage the clear coat of your vehicle. Below is a list of helpful hints to keep your car looking great.
- The color of your vehicle – darker colors heat up faster in the sun and cause things like leaves and bird droppings to penetrate your clear coat. The darker the car is the greater care should be taken in removing these items. Remove droppings and leaves as soon as possible especially on black. (note: new vehicle warranties do not cover damage to paint caused by droppings or leaves)
- Never use dish detergent – Dish soap is strong and will cause your paint to fade quicker. Always try to use car specific soap.
- Always use a soft and clean sponge, mitt or wash broom – Make sure there is no dirt trapped on the mitt that can scratch your car. If the mitt or sponge is dirty rinse it with water.
- Rinsing your vehicle – make sure to rinse your vehicle before you start washing it. This will remove any loose dirt and debris that can become trapped in your mitt or sponge.
We often get a lot of questions regarding waxes, polishes, rubbing compound, swirl remover and glazes. For the most part these are all names for polishes and wax. Most companies have what they call polishing systems. These systems usually contain polishes to remove scratches and a wax to protect the paint. Unfortunately because there are so many different brands the systems do vary on how complete they are. The more popular readily available systems are Megiuar’s and Mothers.
Polishing a vehicle is essentially using a polish/rubbing compound to slowly remove clear coat until the area is shiny. It is much like sanding a rough surface smooth with sand paper. Some polishing applications are to remove scratches and shine dull paint. This is why it is important when you are polishing by hand to rub the area until the surface is shiny or the scratch you are trying to remove is gone. Using a polisher will usually make this process better. The tough part is to determine what grade of polish you should use when polishing your car. Darker cars have the tendency to leave swirl marks caused by the grit of the polish. In many cases you will need to use a more abrasive polish followed by a finer polish to remove some of the swirls. If however you are just trying shine your vehicle up then you can use a fine grit polish.
Cut polishing involves use a fine grit wet sand paper (using water to wet a piece of sand paper) to remove deep scratches before you use polish to shine it back up. This process is extremely technical and care should be used when proceeding as you can sand through your clear coat.
- Start with a 1000 or 1200 grit wet sand paper
- Follow with a 2000 grit wet sand paper
- Finish with a 3000 grit wet sand paper
- You can now polish the area to a shine
Waxes often have many different names and determining what is a wax or polish often becomes difficult. Some common names for waxes are glazes and swirl remover. Even paint sealers such as Diamond Kote are essentially a strong wax. It should be noted that we do not recommend using sealers on fresh paint for a minimum of four weeks as this allows paint vapors to escape from underneath the clear coat. Before you wax, it is often recommended that you polish and then use the wax to protect the polished area. Make sure your vehicle is clean and dry before waxing. Applying a wax is simple. You apply the wax and let it haze and then buff it off. Any wax you purchase will have the instructions on the back.
Undercoating is a rubberized spray on coating to help protect the under carriage of your vehicle. This is especially effective when your vehicle is exposed to harsh weather conditions such prolonged exposure to snow and salt. The undercoating also helps reduce road noise. A common question is “do I need undercoating.” This really depends on where your vehicle will be driven. In the greater Vancouver area it is not really required as we usually only have a few days of snow fall. However if you do visit locations with snow often then you may wish to have this done. If you are unsure or have any further question you may wish to consult with a professional.
- It is important to keep your interior clean by vacuuming and cleaning your dash.
- Keeping the dirt off the carpet will prevent your carpet from staining.
- Using a rubber mat will help your interior stay clean especially during winter months
- Do not use silicon based protectors on your dash such as Armor All. These products will dry your dash and cause cracking in the future. A better solution is to use water or an available interior cleaner such as our Extra Foamy.
- If you find that your vehicle has a foul smell, don’t try to mask it. Instead always locate the source of the smell and have it cleaned. If left mould can grow which can be dangerous to your health.
Buying and Selling a Vehicle
Buying and selling a vehicle can be a scary process if you do not know what to do. Fortunately ICBC has many resources to help you purchase your new or used vehicle problem free. It’s important to do as much research as possible and to find good technicians to evaluate the vehicle before purchase. Remember that it is “buyer beware” when purchasing goods and below are a few great links to help you get started.
Vehicle history reports:
Buying and Selling Cars:
Determining Vehicle value:
Been in an accident?
The most important thing to remember is that you need to protect yourself. Remember to report the accident as soon as possible despite what the other party wants to do. Just because you report an accident does not mean that you have to fix it through insurance. You are more than able to let your insurance company know that you are trying to work it out privately. Below are helpful links when involved in an accident.
Reporting an ICBC Claim:
Many individuals do not know where they are on the claim rated scale and often choose to fix privately instead of through insurance. Many do this because they do not fully understand how an accident affects their premiums. No matter how big or small, the accident affects your premiums the same. This lack of understanding can ultimately lead to the incorrect repair path and can incur unnecessary repair costs. For more information on how to best approach an accident please call a ICBC or Pender Auto Body Representative. See below for more info.
ICBC Claim Rate Scale:
Any time you are dealing with insurance you must be properly covered in order to protect yourself. In most cases the difference in cost is minimal but the consequences can be life changing. Different factors affecting your policy can be region, type of use, and principal operator. One of the areas that are often over looked is insuring a teenage driver.
Car seats are an important decision for parents and often it is hard to find information regarding what to use and how to use them correctly. As a parent you want to keep your child safe in the event of an accident and Transport Canada has a detailed, easy to use guide.
In the tuner world it has become quite common to add aftermarket products to your vehicle. Whether it is for performance or strictly for cosmetic reasons, you must always make sure you do your research. This is important not only for legal reasons but also to make sure you are receiving a quality product.
We often run into individuals asking about installing a body kit onto their vehicle. Because it is almost impossible to predict the quality of a body kit, it becomes hard to put a price on the painting and installation. In most cases a low cost body kit will end up costing as much as an expensive kit because you will end up paying more for fitment. Fiberglass is usually a lower quality product than polyurethane kits. The latter is more flexible and less likely to crack or break.
OEM kits are of the highest quality and should always be pursued first. Many kits such as the mazdaspeed kits fit well and do not need any fitment and modification time.