Ford F-150 Aquapel Treatment During a Basalt Trade Show

A customer of ours came in to have an Aquapel windshield application done on his Ford F-150. The application only takes about half an hour, but the results are amazing.
Aquapel is a glass treatment product that repels water, ice, and dirt by completely sealing the windshield with its patented formula. One application will last up to six months under normal conditions. It bonds to the windshield instead of just creating a thin layer of protection like other products. This unique feature allows for normal windshield cleaning without removing the Aquapel.
On Aquapel-treated windshields water drops instantly bead up and run off vastly improving visibility in rain. The unique formula continues to protect the windshield from dirt and debris, and always dries spot-free.

Application on a Ford F-150

Below is a step by step workflow of how our technician applied Aquapel on this Fort F 150 truck windshield:

  • Our technician extends the wiper arms out to prepare the windshield for cleaning. He thoroughly cleans the windshield to remove dirt, bugs, and any other debris on the windshield. The technician will also check the windshield several times to make sure that the entire surface is free of any dirt or debris. It is essential that the windshield is perfectly clean before the Aquapel application.
  • Next, the technician applies Aquapel to the driver’s side of the windshield. Since the F-150 has a large windshield, doing half first will prevent premature drying. He does a thorough up and down, and side to side motion to assure full coverage of the windshield.
  • The technician then thoroughly coats the driver’s side of the windshield with Aquapel. After that he carefully polishes the drivers side with a special microfiber cloth to make sure the Aquapel layer is completely dry.
  • Then the technician moves on to the passenger side of the windshield to carefully apply the Aquapel paste. He uses the same up and down, side to side motion to assure complete coverage of the entire windshield surface.
  • He then polishes up the passenger side of the windshield with a microfiber cloth until the Aquapel paste is completely dry.
  • After the entire windshield surface has dried up, it is safe for the wipers to go down, and the aplication of the Aquapel paste is complete.

Our technician was able to apply the Aquapel quickly and correctly. Having a professional perform the Aquapel application will assure proper installation throughout the entire windshield surface, and it will last much longer.

As you can see from the images below, using a solid ladder helps technicians to not touch the Aquapel surface with their clothes, and this also helps not to damage the paint. There is no climbing and reaching over the vehicle here. It is such attention to detail that sets us apart from the rest.

 

Keep a Clean Windshield & Avoid Glaring: Aquapel Glass Treatment

In several previous posts we talked about the crucial role a windshield has for vehicle safety, and safe driving in general. Today, as is only to be expected, let’s talk about the issue of heavy snow or rain, and how that affects your driving experience. Also, for night driving, we will touch on the problem of glaring which is especially a challenge for people with glasses.

Aquapel repells water and dirt, prevents glaring
Two months after application and Aquapel still works flawlessly
  • Have you ever found yourself driving at night and the glare from other car headlights blind you?
  • Have you ever wished that your car wipers worked just a bit faster during heavy rain?
  • Do you have problems with snow pileups on your car windshield?

Glaring, heavy rainfall and snow buildup are among the most annoying situations we face almost daily. Research shows that under heavy rain and snow, visibility significantly drops. Things get even worse at night. Thankfully, there is a solution to combat all three.

What does Aquapel Do?

Unlike many wax based water repellants, the Aquapel Glass Treatment System is a Fluoropolymer, which forms a strong, water-resistant bond with the glass surface. This means that the Aquapel solution will last a lot longer, up to 6 time longer than any other wax based water repellant solution, and makes driving a lot easier:

  • prevents raindrops from sticking on the windshield
  • prevents snow from bonding on the glass surface
  • minimizes glaring from sun and headlights
  • Reduces windshield streaking.

Take a look at the dramatic difference Aquapel makes in keeping your windshield clean, and helping you drive safely:

The Harvard Nanoscale Systems lab analyzed the Aquapel solution and concluded that it is insolvable in water, and is resistant to temperature. This means that you can wash your vehicle even with windshield cleaning solutions and the Aquapel system will remain firmly attached onto the glass surface. In fact, it helps cleaning the glass further:

  • Makes it easier to clear ice, snow, and even dirt and bugs.
  • Helps reduce water marks and salt water residue.
  • Lasts for months in normal driving conditions.

The University of Michigain did a study to see how the Aquapel System helps to improve visibility during heavy rain and snow, as well as its positive effects on glaring. Using complex measurement systems the scientists discovered that the combined effects of water repellant and anti-glaring properties account for a 100% improvement in visibility when driving at night during heavy rainfall.

The High Tone Auto Body team is very experienced in Aquapel Application services, and our clients in the Aspen-Snowmass area say that we are excellent at customer care and high level of service.

Experts say that everybody who has Aquapel applied to their car windshield has a safer driving experience: there is no glaring, no snow pileups, and any water or dirt just rolls off the windshield. Vehicles with Aquapel have 32% better chances to aviod a car crash than vehicles without Aquapel.

Here are some quotes from people who now have Aquapel applied to their vehicle windshields:

Aquapel 2 months later and still working great for today’s wintry weather. This should be standard on all motorvehicles.

I applied it about 6-8 weeks ago and I was driving in the rain yesterday without my wipers (except when going under 45mph). The slope of the Civic windshield helps, too.

It never really wears away entirely it seems. Over time it becomes less and less effective (for example the water beads get larger), however, it keeps on going! Also as it gets older if the glass is dirty and you clean it or swipe the wipers over it to clean the glass, it restores the effectiveness a good bit. I’ve had it on for a while now, it’s still working pretty well!

Repair & Repaint of Saturn Vue

We all love a scratch-free car. Especially if we buy it new, we would love it to stay shiny and clean forever. Unfortunately, that shine we all love will not last. In fact, even if you never scratch it, the shine will simply go away thanks to UV radiation which slowly damages the clear coat.

Paint repair on a Saturn VUE

It is almost impossible to protect your car from scratches and dents. The bottom line is that you own your vehicle for your convenience, and as months turn into years you lose that initial respect for your car. Before you know it, every single panel of your car has at least one scratch or dent.

This is what happened with this white Saturn VUE. The owner was a family person, she had kids, dog, did regular trips to camps and slowly but surely her Saturn slowly lost its charm. She took her vehicle in for a face-lift. This meant that we needed to work on every single panel, and some of them were quite badly damaged from those unavoidable supermarket parking lot door-to-door encounters.

To do a thorough job, we removed all the panels that needed some body work. After smoothing out the metal and plastic panels, it was time for make-up.

Repairing the paint on a Saturn Vue
Disassembly of all right side panels to be repaired and replaced.

The right back door and right quarter panel actually had more damage from a person backing up a few inches too far into this Saturn.  So, to do a proper yet affordable repair, our technicians had to remove the back door panel, do the body work and then repaint it, as shown on the image below:

Repainting a tailgate of a Saturn Vue
Applying sealer to the hood and other panels that were damaged.

 

Our certified paint technician adds a coat of sealer to all panels for corrosion protection.

Painting the trunk and back door panels
Applying white base coat to the right side panels

 

Painted panels awaiting the clear coat layer.
Urethane sealed panels awaiting base coat application.

Once the base coat was dry, the paint technician added two coats of clear coat that serves as a protective layer that keeps the white base paint from scratches and harmful UV rays.

Saturn Vue panels, painted clear-coated and ready for installment.
Saturn Vue panels, painted clear-coated, baked and ready for installment.

Thanks to the qualified technicians and the clear coat, the car panels got their like-new sparkly shine.

 

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

To ensure a safe and hazard-free winter season, below are four helpful tips geared to prepare the exterior of your vehicle for the road conditions and cold Aspen winter weather:

  1. Headlamp polish/restoration if your headlamps are fading and it is difficult to see.
  2. Wash and wax the exterior of the vehicle to protect the paint of your vehicle.
  3. Aquapel application to your windshield to help improve winter driving visibility.
  4. Clear bra application to help protect your vehicles paint job.

These four steps are geared to keep your vehicle protected from the elements and keep you safe on the road:

1)  Headlamp Polishing

Get your headlights polished for safe winter driving
Polished headlamps will significantly increase the light intensity and provide you with a safe driving experience.

Among the most influential safety factors during winter is having visibility. Increasing visibility will help you see the road situation and react faster and safer in terms of breaking or avoiding collision. Headlights fade and lose luminosity because the protective plastic lens gets damaged and the transparency decreases. In fact, it is not glass but plastic that is not immune to the Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun, temperature extremes, de-icers, sand and gravel put on the road.

Read more for headlight polishing services in the Aspen/Basalt area

2)  Wax your vehicle to protect your paint

Driving up and down the Roaring Fork Valley on Highway 82, our vehicles are exposed to environmental factors as well as debris on the road.  Washing the undercarriage of your vehicle is important to remove build up of ice, mud, rocks, salt and other debris.  These items sometimes get caught in the nooks and crannies of bumpers, brackets, wheel wells and splash guards.  When this build up of ice, mud, rocks and salt (Magnesium chloride) sit and stay moist they have a tendency to start the corrosion process on anything containing metal and aluminum.  This is why it is so important to clean both the undercarriage as well as the exterior of your vehicle frequently throughout the winter season.  Having High Tone Auto Body apply a quality wax to your paint helps minimize the amount of time the corrosive mixture can stay on your paint and do damage.
Wax all painted panels and get any body or paint repairs done before winter hits!
The Aspen area is famous for heavy snowfalls and long winters. This means that for several months our vehicles are exposed to moisture that can result in paint peeling and rust. This is especially true if you keep your vehicle out side and it regularly gets plenty of snow on its roof. The roof of your vehicle is always exposed to the elements, and often times the paint peels and the metal is exposed. Given enough time, this exposed metal rusts and causes even more paint peeling.

In order to prepare your vehicle for the winter, it is best to take the time and repair any paint cracking and peeling before the winter starts. When done on time, these repairs are only cosmetic and are therefore significantly cheaper than if rust appears and the repair turns into an auto body repair.

Clear coat and paint peeling gradually grows from invisible specs to large chunks of paint falling off. Preventing this process is the smartest and cheapest way to go.
Clear coat and paint peeling gradually grows from invisible specs to large chunks of paint falling off. Preventing this process is the smartest and cheapest way to go.

 

The image above shows how the layers of clear coat and paint starting as invisible specs, and over time they grow in size and entire patches of paint will delaminate. In order to avoid such defects, it is smart to visit High Tone Auto Body and fix any paint problems before winter comes.

To find out how car paint damages appear, visit this page.

3)  Have a Hydrophobic coating applied to your windshield

Aquapel is a coating that can be applied to your windshield to help repel rain, sleet and snow.  The water will bead up and race across the windshield out of your viewing area.

It is also beneficial to get new wiper blades installed for the winter season.  Clear your windshield free of ice and snow before using your wipers.  This will help improve the longevity of your wiper blades.

 

4)  Clear Bra Installation Prevents Rock Chips Damage

With snowfall our roads are regularly treated with sand and salt.   During winter the roads really become littered with debris that causes significant paint damage and regularly plays an important role in windshield damage as well. After the snow melts, driving behind a truck becomes as annoying as flying through an asteroid field.  Eventually your vehicle will become damaged from sand and rock chips.  Bumpers made of steel can rust where rocks and other debris has impacted the painted or chrome bumper, while plastic bumper covers do not rust but they do chip and become pitted and will need to be repaired and repainted.  Once the bumper is either replaced or repaired a clear bra installation will help prevent rusting and chipping of the paint.

This is why it is very smart to invest in clear bra installation that will protect your vehicle hood, bumpers, fender tips, etc from rock chips.

The cheapest and smartest way to protect your hood from paint damage and rust spots is to install a clear bra before winter begins.
The cheapest and smartest way to protect your hood from paint damage and rust spots is to install a clear bra before winter.

Proactively investing some time and money to install a clear bra will go a long way in protecting your vehicle. The image above shows how a detailed and proper clear bra installation is done. With such a protective layer, your car hood will be safe from rock chip damage.

Get your car ready for winter today! Please don’t hesitate to call us to schedule your complimentary estimate at (970) 927-4351.

Auto Headlamp Restoration on a BMW SUV

You have probably seen many vehicles where the headlamps are faded, the lens cover seems scratched, hazy or even burned and if you get behind the wheel of that car at night, you will have problems seeing because the headlamps aren’t putting out as much light as when they were new.

Faded headlights can be a big problem for drivers at night, and it can be quite dangerous too.  Reduced visibility can pose a significant risk for night driving. This is why auto headlamp restoration is a must for any driver that owns a car with fading headlamps.  In areas of extreme weather like we have in the Aspen-Snowmass-Basalt area, with heavy snow and plenty of sand and salt on the roads, headlamp restoration is a smart thing to do.

Why Auto Headlamps Fade

Headlamp lens (coverings) are made from poly-plastic materials.  Not all plastics are the same and not all plastics have the same UV protection added to them when manufactured.  But before you go on to accuse car manufacturers for replacing glass-based headlamp lenses, bear in mind that this shift was done so that vehicles would be safer for pedestrians and in collisions.  Glass fragments from headlights were responsible for numerous injuries.  Moving toward plastic-based headlamp coverings is a smart move toward car safety.  Besides plastic is lighter weight and more shapeable for our aerodynamic cars in todays market.

The reason headlights fade over time is because of UV radiation from the sun, oxidation and environmental factors the vehicle has been exposed to.  But for our area, the Aspen-Snowmass-Basalt-Carbondale valley, headlight fading has plenty to do with our greater exposure to the harmful UV rays from the sun due to our elevation.  Age (the sun breaks down the original protective coating from the manufacturer), magnesium chloride (de-icer) salt, sand and rock chips all play a part in reducing the amount of light being projected through the headlamp lens cover.  These factors can cause pitting, scratches and the plastic to turn yellow or even opaque.

Restoring Headlights for Better Road Safety

Here is an example of a vehicle from the Roaring Fork Valley:

This BMW SUV has gone through several winters and the headlights were so faded that the owner had concerns driving at night especially in snowy and rainy weather.  After some research on a headlight restoration shop in the Basalt area, they called High Tone Auto Body and signed up for a headlamp restoration service.  After the headlamp polish, the difference was dramatic, as you can see on the image below:

Before and After: how headlights should look like
A Dramatic Difference:  Professional Headlight Restoration Service

This vehicle started off with headlights that had a significant drop in luminance power.  Because of the severe UV radiation and pitting effect of sand, salt and rock chips, the hazed or oxidized plastic of the headlights acted as a barrier that allowed only 60% of the light to come through and illuminate the road.  With such a severe fading effect, the driver had a tough time seeing especially at night or in bad weather.

Headlamp restoration desperately needed for this BMW
2007 BMW with faded headlamps

For severely oxidized headlights it can take up to a half hour for each headlamp to be restored.  A step by step process of sanding and polishing  is followed carefully to achieve a smooth, shiny and transparent restored headlamp.

Don't wait too long, get your car headlights restoration and save hundreds of dollars.
Despite the oxidized headlamp, this headlight restoration exceeded the customers expectations.

In some cases, owners wait too long before they get a headlamp polish.  The polishing/restoration can only be used as a temporary solution but it can definitely prolong the usefulness and life of the headlamp. Once the plastic surface has gone too far without restoration, it will have to be replaced with a new headlamp because the UV radiation and pitting effect of sand and salt creates deep scars in the plastic surface which cannot be fixed with headlamp restoration.

If your vehicle has faded and oxidized headlights, stop by and we will inspect them for you.  The sooner you do a headlight restoration the better your chances are of avoiding a costly headlight replacement.