How Much Does It Cost To Wrap My Car?

Cars come in all different shapes, sizes, models, colours and brands. I often get asked many times, “How much would it cost to wrap my car?”, and all those times, I have to go in depth with these potential customers about their different needs and wants. Many first timers often think that car wrapping has one uniform pricing, which changes on size, but there is so much more to it than they realise. Let me break it down for you here.

Car Model:

As mentioned above, all cars are different. Take, for instance, a Volkswagen Golf. Others may see just a standard hatchback, but as professional car wrappers, we have to look beyond the body type. Firstly, we have to break down the trim level. Does the car have a body kit? Are there any distinct changes in the styling? Is there a sunroof? What sort of bumpers does it have? Are the headlights different? Are there any prior scratches, dents or marks on the car? These are just some of the questions we must be able to answer, which is why we never are able to give out proper quotes, unless we see the vehicle in person. Sometimes, we can give quotes on the spot as some vehicles don’t differ, but this is a rare case.

Vinyl Type:

This, thankfully for me, is much easier to breakdown for us. A good car wrapping company, such as ourselves, should have a database complete with all our available material. Material can alter the price quite a bit. Depending on the finish, such as matte black, gloss blue, metallic red, satin yellow, chrome orange etc… all of which can affect the pricing. The material brand also can affect the pricing. Depending on where you go, some workshops may use cheap, inferior brands of vinyl. Fortunately, companies that have a high degree of care only use the best, with vinyl coming exclusively from 3M and/or Avery Dennison, both of whom are some of the biggest vinyl and adhesive product suppliers in the world. It’s important to ensure that wherever you get your car wrapped, the workshop uses brands such as 3M, Avery Dennison, Oracal and/or Arlon. These are the top shelf brands that ensure your wrap not only looks good, but can look good over a long period of time

Body Panel:

This may be an odd consideration, but sometimes, car wrapping business may get customers who just want specific parts of their vehicles to be wrapped. Parts such as the roof, door handles and bonnet are the most popular option that is requested. There are also requests for stickers and/or decals to be put on, mainly stripes that run down the body panel, or side skirts. This, combined with the different custom stickers we can design, often go into the final decision making part of the costs of car vinyl.

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Is Engine Steam Cleaning Safe for Vehicles?

Engine steam cleaning uses hot, high-pressured water to remove particle build-up and accumulation in a vehicle’s engine and motor compartment. It is intended to clean the engine and promote smoother and improved performance. Many automotive service shops that provide this service will also use a degreasing additive to assist in the removal process. These products break the oils and grease down, making it substantially easier to remove them.

After some time, some drivers will choose to have their engine’s steam cleaned to remove the years of built-up dirt, grease, and oil. But many drivers are hesitant to steam clean their engines because they believe it might be damaging to the motor. The reality is, if implemented properly and professionally, engine steam cleaning can be highly beneficial to a vehicle. But if not done properly, it can have the potential to cause some interior damage to a vehicle’s engine. It can even completely total a car engine, rendering it a total loss.

Engine Cleaning Services

The most important precaution to take in the process of engine steam cleaning is to make sure water does not get inside the engine, including the air intake and under the distributor cap. If water enters these areas, there can be problems. The other precaution to take in terms of engine cleaning is using the high-pressure water wand properly as to not remove paint and manufacturer decals. These reasons are why it requires the skill of a trained professional to implement a safe engine steam cleaning job. Not only do they have to constantly move and maneuver the water wand to ensure exterior damage is avoided, they must also have the skill to comprehensively clean the engine and compartment proficiently and without causing water to enter the engine.

Engine Maintenance and Care

It is important to follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Always be sure your car has all the required fluids it needs to operate safely and properly, and have these fluids flushed, changed, or re-filled as necessary. After several thousand miles, it is important to have your motor serviced, to inspect everything from timing belts and spark plugs, to distribution caps, transfers cases, and much more. An engine tune-up is necessary after 60,000 miles or so. Talk to your local trusted mechanic about your vehicle’s necessary maintenance schedule, and catch up on all the services you need now, before the winter is here!

Total Loss Engines

If your car engine breaks down on you, and the cost to replace it is more than the total value of your vehicle, your vehicle is probably considered a total loss. However, this does not mean that you are at a total loss! You can sell your used or broken car engine to a local junk car buyer for cash on the spot. Then put this profit toward a new vehicle!

Car Detailing – Improving the Look of Your Car

Car detailing is defined as the process of meticulously cleaning, polishing and protecting all the parts of an automobile from top to the bottom and from inside the car to the outside of the car by using special tools and other products that are not normally used by car cleaners. It does not include heavy body repairs or paintwork of the cars, but sometimes does include restorative light cosmetic work depending upon the vehicle condition and the person or Detailer attending to it. The main aim of car detailing is to thoroughly enhance and significantly restore the original looks of the vehicle involved.

Car detailing helps in the elimination of light scratches or marks on the paintwork of the car. Car detailing is classified into two major types-exterior detailing and interior detailing. Exterior detailing involves restoring, vacuuming and surpassing of the original conditions of the exterior parts of the vehicle like wheels, tires and windows among the other components. Products generally used for exterior detailing are wax, polishes, degreasers and detergents.

INTERIOR CAR DETALING

Interior car detailing involves the cleaning of the inner parts of the car or vehicle that is components like plastics, leather, vinyl, natural fibers and carbon fiber plastics. For cleaning of the interiors of the car various different techniques like vacuuming and steam cleaning are used. Interior detailing requires more time and effort when compared to exterior detailing. Interiors of a vehicle are prone to bad odor, allergens due to dust, stains, grits, which can cause switches to be prone to failure, hazy windows which obscure the driver’s view etc.

Standard processes include vacuuming along with steam cleaning and brushing for interior car detailing. Vacuuming of seats, trunk, shelf, headliners and the rear area for cargo is necessary. Floor mats should be cleaned separately and air compressor can be used for areas which cannot be reached by a vacuum cleaner. Brush and steam cleaning are done for the cleaning of mats and carpets. Mats are thoroughly scrubbed to remove any blemishes or stains and for more effective results, steam cleaning is used. Glass cleaners are used for cleaning the window glasses of the vehicle. For leather parts, leather soap, saddle soap and a leather cleaner are used and wiped with a damp cloth.

Re-vacuuming and wiping of the car parts is important so as to remove any left over dirt and this helps restore the original shine of the car.

EXTERIOR CAR DETAILING

Exterior car detailing involves processes like washing, drying, claying, polishing, sealing etc. In detailing of the car, washing is done by spraying with a high powered specialized spray followed by hand washing thoroughly the different parts of the car like door jambs, tire rims, glasses etc.

The next step is using a clay bar for removing impurities like residues or overspray traces. Polishing of the car helps give it back its original shine and a sealant is applied to give the car a rich and glossy shine.

Using Microfiber Cloths for Car Detailing

Microfiber is a very practical cleaning material that is common in a wide range of industries. It is made from man-made materials like finely woven polyamide and polyester fibers. The fine polyamide is appreciated for its ability to create a great softness, while the polyester helps to provide its strength and durability. By combining these materials, it is possible to create something that is able to easily stand up to hard-wearing use and a great option for waxing or detailing a car.

There are several types of microfiber cloths, pads and mitts that can be used in the process of giving the car a very good clean. Here are a few of the different options:

General purpose

The most common type of cloth is created with a standard terry cloth weave that is a combination of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. This is a great all-purpose option and useful for wiping leather, plastic, vinyl, glass and paint. Also, it helps to have a relatively good thickness for this cloth.

Glass and polishing

The preferred cloth for a lot of glass cleaning and polishing work is certain to be 100% lint free. It will have short naps compared to the general cloth, but must still offer sufficient scrubbing power. This cloth must be able to remove streaks or other marks left by water. Also, a microfiber cloth with no edge is a great choice because it will minimize the risk of scratching a delicate surface.

Drying

The preferred options for drying include the microfiber cloths with a waffle or terry cloth weave. Cloths with a very short terry loop are practical for drying. It is best to avoid cloths with a plush, heavy nap because it will be difficult to wring out in the event of getting wet. The waffle and terry cloth are both great at absorbing water, but the waffle pattern is just a little more effective at holding water longer to limit the number of times it becomes necessary to wring the cloth out.

Cleaning

The microfiber options for cleaning have a very course and tight nap with strands that aren’t split. This type of cloth isn’t intended to give the most reliable option when it comes to soaking up water. It should be used for basic janitorial work and not the fine car detailing steps. A few of the good options include the polishing and waffle weave cloths for this work.

How to Keep Your Car Interior Clean

If you take pride in your car ownership, you will certainly want to invest a little time and effort to maintain its all-round appearance. This will involve taking the necessary steps to keep the interior clean, tidy and dirt-free. Let’s take a look at a few things that can keep the car interior clean:

Collect trash

Keep a small trash bag handy to avoid a slow build up of unwanted mess in your car. Most cars don’t have a designated place to put the trash, so a conveniently place bag will ensure the trash is kept in one place and is easy to remove when necessary.

No food

A simple method to avoid the build up of mess in the car is to avoid creating it in the first place. Eating food is likely to be one of the major reasons that leads to unwanted mess and smells in the confined space of your car. Try to eat before taking a drive to maintain a much cleaner and fresher smelling car.

Use air fresheners

A simple method to keep the car smelling nice is to use an air freshener. It doesn’t take much for a car to start to get a little stinky, so the consistent use of fresheners will help keep the space smelling fresh. Also, the typical gas-station air fresheners aren’t very long-lasting. For this reason, it benefits to invest in few at once and replace them at regular intervals.

Vacuum as needed

Giving the car a good vacuum is one of the most basic steps to keep the interior clean and free of everyday dirt and debris. Use the vacuum as you preliminary step to get the worst of the mess out of the car before starting to work on the more detailed cleaning methods.

Stain remover

Leave a simple stain remover tool inside the car. This can resemble something as small as a pen and designed to stop a wide range of spills from becoming a permanent mark on your car. They are particularly good for food or drink spills, such as tea, wine, coffee, BBQ sauce, ketchup, tomato juice, etc.

Clean regularly

A regular car clean is the most effective way to stay on top of any potential trash or dirt issues. If trash is left behind after a meal or dirt from your shoes is left to build up on the carpets, the interior will soon become a very unattractive mess.

The Different Types of Car Modifications

The day you get your first car is a step into a new chapter of your life. Your first car will also give you a sense of freedom to be yourself including creating an image for yourself on the street. Car modifications can be expensive but, at the same time, it boosts your confidence and gives you real street cred. Here are the different types of car modifications that you could try.

  • Cold Air In-take Installation – Installing one of these not only enhances the performance but it also assists the engine with cooling. Long journeys or intensive driving can cause the engine to overheat so what better item to install than an air in-take?
  • Short Shifter Installation – This modification is purely for having a good time on the roads. The short shifter minimises the distance before having to change gears. Often, a short shifter also assists the driver with increasing speed which could be useful when overtaking those slow drivers.
  • Car Wrapping – Car wrapping is for those car owners who don’t want to get the chassis painted. There are also more patterns, colours and styles that can be used and is much cheaper than getting the car repainted. The downside to having your car wrapped is easy damage to the material. Once the material has been damaged, the car will have to be rewrapped.
  • Spoiler Installation – There are tasteful and useful ways of installing a spoiler kit and then there are pointless and ugly spoiler kits that many people install. This wing was designed to assist the car with aerodynamics and the correct shapes make the chassis look good. Other spoiler kits look disproportionate to the rest of the car.
  • Chrome Trimming – Adding chrome trimmings to the exterior of your car gives it a little bling without over doing it. The shininess of the chrome also makes the doors and wheel well look good. The end result of adding chrome features enhances the look of the car.
  • New Tyres – Make sure that you select the correct size tyres for your car. Some tyres have not been made to fit within the wheel well. Low profiles look good with any car whether it is new or old.
  • New Wheels – Wheels are always the best item to get when customising and detailing your car. There are so many different sizes, styles, colours and materials at a wheel supplier that can really make the car pop on the road.

Car modifications are a way that you can express yourself without overspending on a brand new performance car. It is also easier to get simple appearance modifications that make an impression on other drivers.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Re-Conditioning Your Vehicle (Exterior)

The most appealing part of a vehicle is the appearance. For the most part it helps if you have minimal body damage ie: dents, scrapes, dings, scratches etc. I usually recommend having major dents and body damage professionally repaired. It may cost more upfront but in the end it will retain the value and aesthetic demeanor of the vehicle over time.

1) A Good Wash

  • Go to your local automotive store or and buy a wash bucket, microfiber wash mitt, a good car wash soap and a good medium grade clay bar. Most stores you can find these items in a kit or kits ranging from anywhere from $20-$50. You can also get this step done at your local detailing shop costing upwards of $250-$500, but if you are trying to keep costs down a DIY is the way to go!
  • Use warm water and clay bar the vehicle first. you may have to repeat this step 2-3 times to get all the dirt and grime off that is not visible to the naked eye. Let’s say its like a facial cleanser for the surface of the body panels.
  • Get your bucket use a generous amount of soap and add water. next rinse off the vehicle to make sure all contaminants are off. Give the vehicle a good scrub and rinse repeat 2-3 times depending on how dirty the vehicle is to begin with. dry off with a cowhide or micro fibre cloth or let it air dry under the sunlight.

2) Exterior Polish/Wax

For this step I recommend taking your vehicle to a professional as if you have not polished before you run into the risk of burning through the clear coat and paint thus costing even more money than what you set out to spend. Basically, what a good 2 step polish does for the vehicle is bring back that deep lustre and high gloss shine giving the vehicle a “like” brand new look again. You may also polish your head lights, tail lights and wax your windows for a great finished look. For the DIY you need a good multiple speed polisher, polishing pads, and a good 2- step polishing kit. These items can also be found at your local Automotive store or online detailing stores. For the do-it-yourselfers I will have another article available on the step by step on how to polish and wax.

Wheels and Tire Shine

Wheels are also important in the exterior appearance. Have any curb rash.damage repaired, or the wheels re-finished as whole itself will add significant visual points to the exterior presentation. Lastly don’t forget to shine those tires up with a good tire shine product.

For the most part this is the key ingredients for doing a “like new” re-condition to your vehicle. These methods can he also used on motorcycles, boats, rv’s etc.

Paint Protection Film – What Is It?

Everything you purchase, you seem to want to keep safe from harm. Whether it be screen protectors and cases for your phone, or sleeves for your laptop, you want to ensure it remains scratch and damage free for as long as it can survive. So why then, do people not care the same about their cars? I mean sure, you wouldn’t give two hoots if the car you drive is just some beat up old lemon, but there are more new cars on the road now more than ever (FCAI 2017). New cars today are more fragile, delicate, and quite frankly, aren’t exactly built to last like old cars. No wonder you hear the passing comment of “they don’t make ’em like they used to”. So it makes sense to want to ensure your car will last as long as it possibly can.

Now, there are preventative measures, such as ensuring it’s well maintained, cleaning it, and driving carefully. But, what about factors you can’t control. For instance, a small piece of gravel that’s been kicked up by a semi-trailer, and ricochets off your bonnet, or roof, or mirror, or any part. This is where paint protection film steps in. Its purpose is similar to that of bulletproof glass (please do not shoot at a car with paint protection film). It’s job is to absorb the impact by acting as a barrier. Its composition is made up of a polyurethane film, not too far off the stuff used on armoured glass. The use of paint protection film is to ensure that little to no harm comes to your vehicle. I mean, it’s not going to protect you if you another car slams into you at 60km/h. That job is reserved for your seatbelt and airbags. It will, however, stop those unruly scratches, stone chips, and even minor abrasions. It even protects your paint work from pollutants and contaminants, such as bird droppings, tree sap, dirt, dust and other unfavourable things that could damage your paint. Paint protection film can save you a tonne of money in the long run. While more affordable alternatives, namely ceramic coating, are available, they do not provide the protection against scratches and rock chips. Paint protection film does.

Paint protection film is also a fantastic way to preserve your vehicles colour, especially if it’s a custom colour! It’s a preferred product for classic cars, you know, the ones that were “made like they used to”. These cars are often high end classics, with discontinued paint finishes, so it’s no wonder they would want paint protection.

Benefits of Polishing and Waxing Your Car

Whether you have owned a car for many years or just bought a new model, it is practical to put in place a proper maintenance schedule. There are many things to consider in the process of maintenance. It is essential to keep on top of the mechanical maintenance to ensure the vehicle is kept running. However, you also want to invest time on the general appearance inside and out. Keeping the vehicle in top condition relies on a variety of methods such as washing, polishing and waxing.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of polishing and waxing your vehicle:

Polishing

A proper polishing session is a wonderful way to restore the paint. Polishing is practical for correcting a variety of issues, such as problems related to etching, water spots, swirl marks, scratches and stone chips. Applying polish to improve the appearance is only practical if the chips or scratches are surface marks. If the vehicle has deep penetrating marks, the process of applying polish on its own isn’t enough to restore the original look.

Once the polishing is complete, the vehicle will have a nice protective layer that lasts for quite a while. There will be fewer issues with dirt and grime because a clean, smooth surface is more difficult to stick to. This should mean it is a lot easier to keep the vehicle clean in the future.

Also, the polishing process should only take place when it is actually needed. It can include certain degrees of roughness which is needed to remove the minor signs of damage. If a vehicle is polished too often, there is a risk of compromising the all-round quality of the paint.

Waxing

Out of the two options, waxing is the least harsh cleaning method because it does not feature abrasive compounds that can impact the paint overtime. But, it is still useful to provide a great protective layer on the paint to minimize issues with scratches, chips, or general contaminants in the air. Plus, a regular waxing session is certain to leave the vehicle looking sparkling clean and makes the basic process of washing significantly easier. Even though waxing is a practical choice to minimize the surface marks and scratches, it isn’t a reliable option to restore the paint like a high-quality polish. Also, it is necessary to use the waxing method more often than polishing to help maintain the all-round appearance of the vehicle.

Exclusive Car Detailing Services

The best car detailing service providers should be able to offer friendly services, attention to detail, honesty, and value. It is also very important that the needs of the customers be placed first at all times.

It is also essential for such a car detailing service provider to be fully covered or insured. The services that you can get include headlight restoration, machine polishing, and cutting. Engine detailing, rubbers and plastic rejuvenation and restorations, leather conditioning and cleaning, upholstery and carpet disinfection and shampoo extraction, exterior and paint finish treatments, and high-pressure cleaning.

What is car detailing?

Car detailing is the performance of thorough finishing, restoration, and cleaning of a vehicle to come up with the highest level of cleanliness as well as polish. The car detailing can be done on the interior and/or the exteriors of the automobile.

Professional services, as well as product sales to hobbyists and professionals, are a representation of a high presence commercially where the vehicles are the primary transport mode. This industry enjoys a very high revenue as compared to other auto areas.

The components

Car detailing can be split into the interior or exterior categories. There are some services and products that focus on the specific areas. Exterior detailing usually involves the restoration and cleaning of the finish on the car surface. This usually has to do with paint followed by a glossy finish. It also has to do with all the visible components on the exterior of the vehicle, including the tires, the wheels, the windows, and even the chrome trim.

When handling the exteriors, many techniques and products are used and this is usually based on the surface of the vehicle as well as the condition. It also has to do with the preference of the detailer. Products used include polishes, waxes, detail clay, detergents, and acid-free degreasers. All these have a role and others may be included in such cases. For thorough work, including towels, brushes and all sorts of applicators are needed.

Interior detailing usually deals with deep clean of the entire cabin interior. The interiors of the vehicle comprise things such as plastics, carbon fiber composites, natural fibers, leather, vinyl, as well as carpet upholstery made of synthetic fibers. So as to handle all these materials, a variety of products and techniques need to be applied. Vacuuming is actually standard. The stains in upholstery can be easily removed by the use of foam chemicals, liquid chemicals, or even steam cleaning. The surfaces that are nonporous can also be polished.

The auto body

The detailing process is extensive, but normally, it does not include any corrective actions like the repair of the body especially when they are major. It is restricted to paint restoration through dial action or a polisher that eliminates any swirl marks.

Detailing is now an existing business venture and it is growing fast. Many people are now finding it a lucrative opportunity for purposes of investing. You need to choose a car detailing service provider who is experienced and one who offers the best services.