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 Body Repair, Detailing & Head Light Polish Testimonial

From: Denise T.
Service Used: Auto Body Repair, Detailing, Head light polish

Testimonial:
David and Audi took great care of our minivan after an unfortunate circumstance. They made sure they understood what needed to be repaired, ordered the necessary parts, and made the repairs very quickly. In addition to the excellent repairs, the extra service they provided was outstanding – polishing the headlights and detailing the van inside and out before I picked it up. Our van looks better now than it has in years!

You probably can relate to this experience Denise had with her car. For most of us, our car is more than just a tool to get us from Point A to Point B. It reveals a bit about us, who we are, how we value things, how we see the world. This is why some of us take good care of our vehicles. This is why we at High Tone Auto Body go the extra mile and make sure every single vehicle that goes out of our shop is categorically better than when it came in.

In this case, Denise brought her car in for plenty of body work. But as the car isn’t just an object, David took the time to talk to Denise and understand what happened with the car, and what needs to be fixed from the driver’s standpoint. This conversation helped us better understand the situation so that we can help Denise out with her car. This helping ment that we will go the extra mile and do a full inside-and-out detailing and headlight polish so that Denise would have her car sparkly clean.

She was very happy with the result.

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.

 

Honda CR-V Collision Repair: Rear Bumper, Tailgate & Rear Stop Lights

Collisions in the Aspen-Snowmass-Basalt area are quite common especially during the snow season. Any kind of accident can be stressful for the vehicle owner and it is even more stressful when you cannot find a reliable auto body repair service.
High Tone Auto Body is focused on getting you the best possible auto body repair service and we have served countless clients from Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale, Basalt etc.
Recently a Honda CRV owner stopped by the shop. The vehicle was in a relatively small collision but the damage wasn’t that small.


As you can see from the images here this Honda CRV had plenty of damage:

  • the roof had some minor bumps and scratches
  • the rear stop light needed replacement
  • rear bumper was broken on one side
  • the tailgate was deformed

Our technicians follow an industry-specific repair workflow to ensure proper auto body repair so the vehicle can be as safe and nice looking as before the collision.
Here, we started by removing the tailgate from the vehicle and our auto body specialists worked on restoring the geometry and look of the back side of the car. After the repairs on the door frame and roof we had the area repainted with a few coats of paint and clear coat.

Bumpers are composite parts, and in this particular case the plastic shielding took most of the impact and was broken. When the plastic shielding is broken we replace the entire bumper because bumpers act as safety buffer zones, protecting people in the vehicle, as well as people around the vehicle (bumpers are designed to cushion pedestrians in case if they are in a car accident). The new bumper also got a coat of paint and a coat of protective clear coat.

The rear stop lights on Honda CR-V’s are positioned relatively high, so the only damaged part was the outer glass. We replaced the rear stop light with a new one and did all the necessary wiring checking to make sure that everything works as it should.

While one team did work on the vehicle itself, another team did the needed body work and paint on the tailgate. With the tailgate repaired, our technicians assembled the Honda CR-V and the owner was quite pleased with the quality of work and timely repair.

Click Here For More Collision Repair Info

The best ever auto body repair shop: Testimonial from Alaina

Alaina had a car accident and needed a lot of work on her vehicle. As any car crash can be quite stressful, we at High Tone Auto Body are aware that our clients need our car repair skills but they also need our people skills. We worked hard to make Alaina’s car repair process be as painless and stress-less as possible. A few weeks we got her thank you note:

 

 

Andi,
Thank you SO much for all your help with my car fiasco!
I cant thank you enough for making the esperience MUCH better than it could have been. If I ever have car troubles againI’ll come to HIgh Tone and I’ll recomend you to everyone!

Sincerely
Alaina Dodds