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.

Mercedes Front-End Collision Repair

One of the most common collision repairs is the front collision repair. Front collisions usually result in a damaged front bumper cover, the reinforcement beam and absorber, headlights and sometimes there is damage to the grill and radiator. If the crash is more severe, there may be damage to the radiator support and other items related to the cooling system.

In this case, the Mercedes had a severely damaged front bumper, the reinforcement beam was deformed, and there was damage to the fenders on both sides. Take a look at the image below. There is plenty of damage on this vehicle but on the positive side, the headlights and hood were intact so the dollar damage was not as big as it could have been.

Front bumper, beam, hood, side panels: Severe crash with plenty of damage
Front bumper, beam, hood, fender panels:  Severe crash with plenty of damage

We stripped out all the damaged parts and panels to prepare the vehicle to be shipped to our sublet shop for engine removal. The collision was significant and in order to do a solid repair job, we needed the engine out of the engine bay so our body technicians can make the repair to meet factory specifications.

Stripped of all damaged and removable panels, this Mercedes awaits engine removal
Stripped of all damaged and removable panels, this Mercedes awaits engine removal
A sublet car repair shop removed the engine and the Mercedes is ready for auto body repair
A sublet car repair shop removed the engine and the Mercedes is ready for auto body repair

With the engine and damaged parts out of the way, our auto body technicians did the necessary body work on the panels that could be repaired, and replaced all the parts that were beyond repair:

  • Front bumper cover and support brackets
  • Reinforcement  beam
  • Fenders
  • Wiring for the bumper indicators and fog lights
  • Chrome grill and Mercedes emblem

The repaired and replaced panels were painted, the Mercedes was then reassembled for an invisible repair.

Our Snowmass client was very happy with the end result, the time of repair and the reasonable price of this collision repair project.

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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

What Causes Clear Coat Peeling & How To Repair It

Most vehicles have a base color coat that is covered with a clear coat of paint over it. The clear coat is the layer that is directly exposed to harmful and damaging conditions like:

  • Age of the vehicle’s paint job
  • Aspen’s cold winters
  • Ultra violet rays of the sun
  • Irregular car washing and waxing
clear coat peeling from UV radiation
Clear Coat Peeling: Damage Done By UV Radiation And Rock Chips

How Cold Weather Damages the Clear Coat

Cities like Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Snowmass get cold winters with heavy snow. Cold weather and salt on our roads eat over the clear coat so the color coat is exposed and gets damaged over time. This is why regular waxing is required especially at the beginning of winter in order to protect your vehicle paint and prevent damage such as clear coat peeling from ever happening.

Sun radiation and clear coat damage

UV rays cause the clear coat to dry out or become oxidized. Dry clear coat begins to flake and peel, showing white flaky areas where the coat is peeling. In most cases the base color paint is not damaged but to prevent further damage, you should get your vehicle in for clear coat repair as soon as you notice flaking.

Why should you repair the clear coat as soon as possible?

If the clear coat peels out and the paint layer is damaged, your vehicle will need a complete paint rework which is an expensive process. Fixing clear coat damage at an earlier stage will not only save your money but also time and frustration. Also, the clear coat offers added rust protection which makes clear coat not only a cosmetic but a structural part of your vehicle.

DIY Clear Coat Repair or Professional Service?

One danger here is that people opt for Do-It-Yourself Clear Coat Repair Packs and end up doing more harm than good. Repairing the clear coat is a precise technical process and only a skilled technician can perform a solid clear coat repair job.

professional clear coat repair is a precise process
Professional Clear Coat Repair: Scientific Preciseness In Measuring The Needed Chemicals

By bringing your damaged vehicle here at High Tone Auto Body you can rest assured that it will get a high-end auto bodywork and detailing with a satisfaction guaranteed. Our technicians will also give you key info you need to know about the clear coat and how to go about washing/waxing your vehicle after the clear coat repair.