A Driver’s Guide to Deer Dating (Mating) Season

A Driver’s Guide to Deer Dating (Mating) Season

Love sometimes makes us all a little crazy, and deer are particularly unpredictable during mating season. In Kansas this season peaks from late September through early January. Females are in heat and males are chasing them across areas they would ordinarily avoid, like roads, so use extra caution when driving this time of year. In this article, we’ll share some tips for avoiding deer related collisions, and what to do if you encounter one of these Romeos on the road.

A Driver’s Guide to Deer Dating (Mating) Season

Deer collisions are on the rise

Thanks to effective game management, deer populations are increasing across the USA—and so are related auto accidents. There are currently over a million deer collisions every year, causing thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. It’s more important now than ever to have a game plan.

There are currently over a million deer collisions every year, causing thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities.

How to avoid a deer collision

1. Be extra watchful at night, dawn and dusk. Let’s be clear: bucks are completely cuckoo both day and night during the rutting season, but the hours of darkness and near darkness are peak times for their unpredictable behavior. And obviously, it’s much harder for drivers to see anything at night; so slow down and focus on the road—and the side of the road. If you see small flashes of light, it may be deer eyes reflecting your headlights. If you’re driving during the day, watch for deer approaching on both sides of the road ahead.

2. Watch for multiple deer. If you see a deer near the road, it’s time to slow down, in case there are more. Females often travel in groups, and during mating season, eligible, young bucks follow them. If you see one deer, there may be more hiding close by.

3. Pay attention to warning signs. Known high-traffic areas for deer are often marked with diamond-shaped warning signs. Wildlife and highway officials place these in areas known to have large deer populations.

Deer crossing signs are placed where deer populations are dense around roadways

(Deer crossing signs are placed where deer populations are dense around roadways…)

4. Honk the horn in long blasts if you see deer. Leaning on the horn is your best strategy to frighten deer away from the road. Even if you don’t see any, it never hurts to honk periodically if you’re driving through an area with trees, water or growing crops—places where deer usually live—just to let them know you’re there. You may have heard of ultrasonic deer whistles, and it’s okay to mount them on your vehicle if it makes you feel better, but there is no proof that they actually work.

Sometimes it’s best to hit the deer

Here’s an important statistic: most fatalities and serious injuries result from drivers trying not to hit a deer in their path. Yes, if you hit a deer, it’s going to damage your vehicle, but the results are usually worse for drivers who swerve to miss them, i.e., going off the road, careening into other vehicles or hitting something else.

If you see a deer in the road ahead, apply your brakes, grip the steering wheel and try to bring your vehicle to a stop, but keep the vehicle on the road or at least the shoulder.

Wear your seatbelt

Seatbelts save lives in any kind of potential collision, including deer hits. Put it on and keep it on, whether you’re in deer country or not.

Seatbelts save lives in any kind of potential collision, including deer hits.

If you hit a deer

Don’t panic. It’s more important now than ever to keep your wits sharp and follow these steps:

  1. Pull off the road if you can.
  2. Switch on your hazard lights.
  3. Stay in your vehicle, survey the traffic situation, and exit the vehicle only when you’re sure it’s safe.
  4. If the deer is near, stay clear of it, even if it’s not moving. Injured deer may lie still for long periods of time as if dead, but if they move again, they can easily injure you.
  5. Call 911 if there are any injuries or property damage, or if the deer presents a danger to other drivers.
  6. Call your insurance agent.
Should you drive your vehicle after a deer hit?

Your vehicle may be drivable after a deer hit, and it may not. Before driving away from a deer collision, check for broken headlights, an unlatchable hood, parts hanging loose, tire damage, leaking fluids or anything that may render the vehicle unsafe.

Is my care drivable after a deer hit?

Does insurance cover deer collisions?

Most insurance providers cover a deer collision under comprehensive and collision coverage, but a collision policy may not cover you if you don’t actually hit the deer. Contact your insurance agent about the type of coverage you have.

How much does deer-collision repair cost?

There’s no easy answer to this. Call your insurance agent and Auto Paint Repair to learn what kind of cost options are available to make your vehicle safe, drivable and attractive again. For minor damage, you may not even want to file an insurance claim, as this can raise your rates.

Call your insurance agent and Auto Paint Repair to learn what kind of cost options are available to make your vehicle safe, drivable and attractive again.

Myths and Truths about Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film

Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film: Myths and Truths

A car is a big financial investment that deserves to be protected, but it’s more than that. For many people, a vehicle is also a reflection of who they are, and the condition of that vehicle is an extension of self-image. Sadly, normal driving puts wear and tear on any vehicle over time, with a barrage of debris, dust, salt, sand, insects, bird droppings, ultraviolet light, atmospheric chemicals and weather. Paint damage is inevitable, whether it’s from a stray pebble, a door ding or just a general loss of luster under nature’s unrelenting assault. Think of rock chip protection film as a sort of force field around the paint that prevents this deterioration.

Myths and Truths about Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film

Paint protection film is made from military grade urethane backed with an adhesive that’s formulated to resist bubbling and optical degradation. This “second skin” protects the paint from dust, damaging chemicals and road debris, protecting your investment and maintaining that “new car look.”

But there are different types of films, adhesives and ways of applying them, which can be confusing when you’re trying to decide if this is a good option for your vehicle. In this article, we’ll explore myths and truths about professional grade films, as well as the pros and cons of do-it-yourself kits versus professional installation, so you can make an informed decision.

Truth: Thermoplastic Urethane Film was Developed for Military Use

Vehicle rock protection film is made from thermoplastic urethane, a material that was originally designed to protect helicopter rotor blades from debris and other flight hazards. The film then became available for commercial use by new vehicle manufacturers. Now the technology is widely available for repair and aftermarket applications, with templates available to fit virtually any vehicle. Like a coat of wax, the material is virtually invisible, but unlike waxing, protective film looks great on matte paint finishes, as well as gloss finishes. And it lasts many times longer than wax.

Myths and Truths about Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film

Truth: Rock Chip Protection Film can be Washed and Waxed

We wax our vehicles to protect the paint and maintain resale value, and waxing is effective, but it’s only a temporary measure. Thermoplastic urethane film is a longer term solution that can be installed on the hood, side mirrors, fenders and other panels, and it doesn’t require you to change your normal car care habits. You can still wash and wax your vehicle, just like you always have, to maintain a clean, polished appearance.

Myth: Protective Film is Expensive

Rock protection film costs considerably more than a tin of Turtle Wax, but it’s a small investment compared to the cost of a new paint job, and it lasts for years. Custom paint jobs are especially good candidates for protective film because they can be particularly expensive to redo if you have damage, but no auto paint job is cheap, so urethane film is a cost effective protectant for any vehicle.

Myth: Urethane Film Doesn’t Last Long

There’s a reason that many protection film installations have multi-year warranties: this stuff is tough. Not only does it last years, but it also protects the paint beneath from damaging ultraviolet radiation, retaining the paint color and finish for years. With proper, professional installation, these adhesive films will perform well for years.

Myths and Truths about Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film

Myth: The Film Can’t Be Removed

Some types of film and vehicle wraps can be difficult to remove without damaging the paint, so this is not a complete myth. At APR, we use professional grade film with a patented adhesive that leaves no residue when removed, even after months and years. With professional installation, you should have no damage to paint, should you decide to remove or redo your film at a later time.

Myth: You Can Do It Yourself

The quality of the film itself is important, but equally important is the quality of the installation, if you want your rock chip protection to last. Adhesive film leaves no room for error because you only get one chance to place it on the vehicle. Make a mistake, and you’ll have to buy a new piece of film. If you fail to completely remove all dust and contaminants from the vehicle’s surface before application, you’ll have to buy a new piece of film. Simply stated, this product is not easy to apply, and it’s a job best left to professionals.

Yes, there are cheap, do-it-yourself kits available for many vehicles, but clean, accurate application requires skill, practice and a clean work environment. APR technicians are experienced installers who use professional tools in a dust-free setting that assures your film installation will look great for years, with no bubbles or adhesion problems.

Myths and Truths about Vehicle Rock Chip Protection Film

Truth: Urethane Wraps Keep Car and Truck Paint Looking New

Urethane film helps paint hold its color and shine by filtering UV radiation and shielding against dust, debris, insects, bird droppings, atmospheric contaminants and just about anything else that can degrade vehicle paint. It even protects against minor door dings and parking lot damage. If you really care about your vehicle’s paint, rock chip protection is a worthwhile investment.

Questions? Call our rock chip protection experts at (316) 262-8888 or visit the shop at 1100 South Washington in Wichita, KS.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

This is an important question because headlights are an integral—yet often neglected—part of driving safety. To understand the importance of headlight maintenance, let’s take a look at the effects of lens condition on nighttime visibility. Here are a few startling facts you may not know:

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

1. Forty percent of all fatal car accidents happen at night. And reduced visibility contributes to many of them. This is a problem that can affect young and old people, alike. Fifty-eight percent of all crashes involving teens occur after 9 p.m., and recent studies show that the average 50-year-old drivers needs twice as much light as the average 30-year-old driver to safely see nighttime road hazards.

2. Hazy headlights can cut visibility in half. So that’s a 75 percent light reduction for the average 50-year-old! But clear headlight lenses make a huge difference, at any age.

3. Motorists traveling at moderate to high speeds in darkness can give themselves up to four seconds of additional reaction time by restoring foggy headlight lenses.

Prevention of Reduced Nighttime Visibility

Headlights are obviously a crucial driving safety feature, but headlight maintenance extends beyond the changing of a light bulb from time to time. Keeping your headlight lenses clear is as crucial as keeping your windshield clean. Most cars spend much of their lives exposed to UV rays, rain, snow, debris and atmospheric pollution. Over time, these conditions cause yellowed, hazy headlight lenses.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

How Headlights Work

Headlight illumination is produced using one of two designs: projector or reflector technology. Projector headlights focus light by directing it through a lens into the right pattern on the road. Reflector technology uses a smaller light source that is “bounced” from a surrounding, reflective housing. In either case, foggy lenses diminish the intensity and projection pattern of the light.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

Types of Headlight Bulbs

There are several bulb types on the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Halogen lights are the most popular. They are composed of a filament surrounded by halogen gasses encased in glass. They are usually cheaper than other bulbs, but they often last longer than other designs.

Xenon bulbs, also known as High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs, produce the brightest light of all the designs, and they do it at lower temperatures than halogen. The distinct blue color is a product of the xenon gases used to create the illumination. They typically cost more than other bulbs, but they’re brighter and more energy efficient than halogen.

LED or Light Emitting Diode headlights are made up of hundreds of small light light sources. LEDs are very bright and need very little power to operate. However they require electronic control systems to function, and a component failure in the control system can result in complete headlight failure.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

Why Headlights Discolor

The lenses that cover headlight bulbs are commonly made with high-tech plastic. But even these materials breakdown and discolor over time due to heat and all the environmental factors mentioned above, reducing the amount of light available to illuminate the road during nighttime driving.

Professional Headlight Restoration

Replacing old bulbs may restore some headlight brightness, but it won’t help with the primary cause of light loss: hazy lenses. Refurbishing the lenses can restore headlights to up to 95 percent of their original clarity. APR offers professional headlight restoration services using industrial-grade tools and polishing media. After restoring the headlights back to a clear finish, our professionals apply a waterproof, UV-protective, weather-resistant coating to battle the extreme conditions that the headlights will continue to encounter under normal use.

Do-It-Yourself/DIY Headlight Restoration

There are ways to restore your own headlights, but they’re generally less effective than professional methods, and they can damage surrounding paint, chrome and the lenses themselves.

One popular method of DIY headlight restoration is to rub insect repellent on the lenses. It definitely clears the lenses, but it does so by slightly melting the plastic surface, compromising its integrity and ultimately causing more dust and contaminants to stick to the lens.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

Toothpaste is another solution that uses at-home materials to clean up the haziness. Again, it does the job, but the abrasives used in toothpaste are not designed for headlight use, and the results can be varied. This method can also dull any chrome or paint around the headlights. Professional technicians use strictly specified polishing media, and they meticulously mask off surrounding hardware to avoid damage.

DIY headlight restoration kits provide polishing compounds, buffing pads and sanding media, but the procedures can be difficult to perform correctly, and the process is time consuming.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Headlight Lenses?

You probably perform a number of regular maintenance tasks on your car or truck: you change the oil, replace the air filter, rotate the tires, and so on. But even the most conscientious drivers often neglect the headlights in their maintenance schedules. The best policy is to put a reminder on your calendar to inspect the headlight lenses once a year, maybe more, if you drive a lot of miles. When they start looking dull—and they will, eventually—give us a call at APR. Headlight restoration costs a small fraction of the price of a replacement assembly, and it can make a dramatic difference in your nighttime driving safety.

Does Headlight Restoration Really Help Nighttime Visibility?

All About Window Tinting

All About Window Tinting

Window tinting is a relatively low-cost way to give your vehicle a new touch of class, an added elegance that transforms a previously ordinary car or truck into an eye-catching road machine. But it’s not just an ornamental luxury; it also enhances your overall comfort and driving experience. In this article, we’ll cover the whole spectrum of window tinting knowledge, so you can make an informed decision if you’re considering adding it to your ride.

All About Window Tinting

The Benefits

For most of us, a car or truck is something of a personal statement, like classy clothes or a nice home, so the cosmetic enhancement that window tinting bestows on a vehicle—for a relatively small investment—is definitely a big benefit. But window tinting can also block up to 99 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. This lowers your risk of skin cancer and keeps your interior from fading and cracking. In terms of heat reduction, window tinting film keeps your car’s interior an average of 60 percent cooler. It’s provides a considerably more comfortable driving experience in the summer, and it may save you a couple of bucks on fuel because you don’t have to run the air conditioner as much.

Darker windows also make it more difficult to see what’s inside your vehicle, like the stereo, the GPS, and other valuables. Most thieves are less likely to spend the extra time it takes to evaluate the rewards of breaking into a car if they can’t easily see inside.

Window Tint Installation

Installation is a fast process but one that takes skill and expertise. The procedure usually doesn’t take more than an hour or two and can be a relatively cheap customization. Some shops even offer services starting at $50. The process is one of precision and craftsmanship, as the tint adheres to the glass immediately as it’s applied, and therefore not easily removed. Do-it-yourselfers sometimes find themselves feeling like they’ll be been caught in a spider web, and poor workmanship can lead to bubbling.

All About Window Tinting

The State of the Art of Window Tinting

Basic window tinting technology was born in the 1960s when 3M introduced a flexible film that blocked UV rays. In recent decades, the technology has found its way into auto glass applications, but tint films and application techniques vary from shop to shop, and the cheapest option is seldom the best one.

There are even DIY kits available to do your own window tinting, but kits—as well as lower quality professional installations—can leave you with discoloration and bubbling a few months after application, so it’s important to find a good window tinting shop with a proven track record. Your window tint should look great when it rolls out of the shop, free of wrinkles, discoloration, bubbles and scratches. These kinds of impairments interfere with driver visibility, reduce the life span of the product, and let’s face it: they look awful, which is not what you’re going for when you get a window tint.

Removal and Updating

When it’s done well, and high-quality materials are used, window tinting should last at least 10 years. Still, like any other part of your vehicle, the film should be maintained with proper cleaning, and it should be replaced if damaged areas or natural wear start interfering with driver visibility.

Window Tint Care

Window tint film is tough stuff, but a little common sense in order, if you want to keep it looking great:

1. Cleaning

It’s best to wait one to two weeks after initial installation before cleaning the film because the mounting adhesive needs time to cure properly and fully adhere to the glass. After that, any glass cleaner—or plain old soap and water—work great. Use only a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scrapes and scratches. Avoid abrasive scrubbing techniques, paper towels and bristle brushes. Clean your film often to keep it free of dirt and debris, as this can cause minor scratches during cleaning.

All About Window Tinting

2. A Little Extra Care

Use caution when you load and unload the vehicle cabin, being careful not to scrape objects against the film. And pay a little more attention to safety belts as you put them on and take them off, as some of the hardware many blemish the film.

Window Tinting Laws in Kansas and Elsewhere

Extremely dark window tints can make people inside the vehicle invisible to people on the outside, and some state and local law enforcement agencies consider this a safety concern for their officers, who want to be able to see inside vehicles during traffic stops. Some states have no regulations whatsoever, some limit tint darkness to 20 percent visible light transmission (an 80 percent reduction in visibility), while others only allow 70 percent. In Kansas, 35 percent is the maximum allowed. Here’s the Kansas regulation.

Some window films contain metallic components, giving them a mirrored look. Not only does this have the advantage of reflecting more light, it can also repel more glare and heat. However, some states have laws about reflective window tint, as it may momentarily blind other drivers.

All About Window Tinting

A Good Investment in Your Driving Experience

Window tinting is a relatively inexpensive addition to any vehicle. It improves your driving comfort, enhances vehicle security and guards against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Oh, and it makes your car or truck look sharp, really sharp. If you’re thinking about a new tint for your vehicle, give us a call at (316) 262-8888. We’ll have you looking and feeling cooler in no time, without breaking the bank.

How Much Will that Damaged Windshield Cost You?

How Much Will that Damaged Windshield Cost You?

You car’s windshield obviously keeps you from getting smacked in the face by dust, rain and the occasional bug, but did you know it’s also an integral part of your vehicle’s structural safety system? The windshield provides rollover protection, improves the vehicle’s overall structural integrity and guides the airbag during deployment. It’s amazingly tough and well-designed, but it can still take a beating, even in normal use. Some types of damage can be repaired, while others require replacement of the entire windshield. In this article, we’ll go over the potential costs for various types of windshield damage.

How Much Will that Damaged Windshield Cost You? - Be safe, get your cracked windshield repaired or replaced!

Most Important: Don’t Ignore Windshield Damage

Most people do a great job of taking care of car maintenance basics: washes, fluids, tune ups, and so on, but many don’t take windshield dings and dents as seriously as they should. Ignoring even a small windshield ding for a few weeks can make it nonrepairable, and ignoring more significant damage can put you and your passengers in jeopardy. So how much will it cost? To answer that, you need to know whether it can be repaired or will require replacement.

Repair vs Replacement

A windshield repair may cost as little as $50, while a new windshield can cost hundreds. Generally speaking, small areas of damage that are not at the edges of the glass can be repaired, while larger areas usually require replacement. Here’s what we can fix:

A windshield repair may cost as little as $50, while a new windshield can cost hundreds.

And here’s what we cannot fix:

    • Old cracks or dings that have “worn-in” dirt • Damage directly in the driver’s line of sight • Damage at the edge of the windshield

Windshield Repair Overview

Let’s hope you have a small ding or chip that is not at the edge of the windshield because damage at the edge of the glass compromises the vehicle’s structural integrity—yeah, the windshield is a really important part of rollover protection and several other precisely engineered functions in the vehicle’s safety systems. The other place you can’t repair windshield damage is directly in the driver’s line of sight because, as amazing as this repair process is, it can very slightly distort the optics of the glass, so that’s not allowed under insurability standards. Finally, damage can’t always be repaired if it’s full of dirt because, if contaminants can’t be fully cleaned out of every microscopic crevice, the resins used in the repair will not adhere properly. So, again, don’t procrastinate when you get a windshield chip because it can cost you a new windshield as opposed to a simple repair.

A windshield crack that is probably to far gone to replace. Be sure to not procrastinate when you get a windshield chip because it can cost you a new windshield as opposed to a simple repair.

Some insurance companies provide complementary windshield repair with no deductible, so be sure to check with your provider.

How it’s Done

Windshield repair is an interesting invention, and a pretty simple one, as most good inventions are. After VERY thoroughly cleaning the damaged area, technicians place a vaccum frame against the glass that allows them to create a surface mold over the damage that matches the smoothness of the surrounding windshield. They inject into this space an epoxy that closely matches the optical properties of auto glass, then apply pressure to a pump that forces it into all the tiny voids in the glass. It’s a very quick process, which is why you may only have to spend $50 for a windshield repair job.

Windshield repair is an interesting invention, and a pretty simple one, as most good inventions are. Check out the detailed tool/ inventioned used here to fix the windshield damage.

Windshield Replacement Overview

If the damage is more extensive, you’ll have to replace the entire windshield. For most vehicles, auto glass replacement ranges from $125 to $500. For less common models and specialty vehicles the cost can be as much as $700 – $800.

The good news is that most insurance policies cover windshield replacement (although deductibles vary). Also, the process doesn’t take long. APR will have your vehicle back out on the road the same day you bring it in—often in a couple of hours.

Why are Windshields so Expensive?

Windshields are made of laminated glass (layers of plastic sandwiched into layers of glass), which tends to break in sections and sheets rather than exploding into thousands of razor-sharp pieces. This technology has saved countless lives, but it’s not cheap to produce. Add to that the fact that windshields are precision manufactured to fit many different vehicle models, and their cost starts to make sense. But they work do their jobs, as long as they’re properly installed.

Here is a new windhsield glass that is properly being installed on a white import car.

Our technicians know how to install windshields so that they provide the same level of safety as the original. The structural safety of the vehicle is preserved, the optics are clear, and most noticeably, dust, rain and occasional bug stay out of your face while you drive.

Call Now, if You Have a Problem

Bottom line: you’re safer when you take care of windshield damage promptly. Even slight damage can reduce driving visibility, especially at night and in bad weather conditions. And small windshield problems are notorious for turning into big windshield problems that may cost significantly more to deal with. Give us a call when the damage occurs. We’ll work with your insurance company when it makes sense, and we’ll always try to give you a deal so reasonable that you can afford it even when you don’t want to make an insurance claim.

Bottom line: you’re safer when you take care of windshield damage promptly, like this Dodge Challenger owner did.

For more information, check out our web page on this topic: Windshield Repair and Replacement in Wichita.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

There’s a Cheaper Kind of Auto Body Work …

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

Traditional auto body work can be painfully expensive, sometimes costing more than a vehicle is worth. For heavy damage, traditional body shops often use grinders, putties, paint booths and frame-bending equipment to effect repairs. But when the damage is minor, you may have another, lower-cost alternative: Paintless Dent Repair or PDR.

Types of Damage That Can Be Repaired With PDR

Parking lot dings and dents are commonly repairable with PDR, as is light hail damage. As long as there are no hard creases and the paint surface is intact, PDR can be a fast, affordable solution, costing a fraction as much as traditional body work. PDR does not require grinding or repainting. As we’ll discuss below, technicians essentially “sculpt” the vehicle body back to its original shape.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)? - A man performing dent repair

The Benefits of PDR

PDR Saves You Money

The biggest benefit to PDR is the price. It’s far less expensive than traditional body repair. It requires no heavy equipment investment by the body shop, which keeps the cost low. A PDR technician’s toolkit looks more like a selection of surgical instruments than a body shop.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)? - A Paintless Dent Removal Tool

No Painting is Required with PDR

The PDR process keeps your vehicle’s original paint intact, which is more important than you may think. When areas need to be repainted, the new color has to be matched to the old—not an immediate issue with modern color-matching technologies, but over time, the new paint may fade differently than the original coat, making the repaired area visible. Keeping the original paint intact maintains the value of your vehicle, should you decide to sell it in a few years.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)? - A dent repair light

PDR Saves You Time

PDR is a very quick procedure compared to traditional body work. Many jobs are completed in an hour or less, so you don’t have to live without your vehicle for days at a time while the work is done. No replacement parts need to be ordered, as the original body and paint are simply “massaged” back into shape.

Paintless Dent Repair is Environmentally Friendly

Because PDR maintains the vehicle’s original paint, no harmful fumes or chemicals are used. When you can opt for PDR repairs, you’re keeping the planet a little cleaner.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)? - A PDR technician performing paintless dent removal

How Paintless Dent Repair Works

Paintless Dent Repair is a process of making small adjustments to the vehicle’s “skin,” using custom tools to coax dents back to their original shape. Technicians also use profiling lights to cast lines across the work area, allowing them to see surface details and irregularities as small as a few hundredths of an inch.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

It’s fast and inexpensive, but it takes skill and practice. You can buy do-it-yourself PDR toolkits, but unless you spend a lot of time practicing with them, it’s unlikely you’ll get great results.

What Types of Damage are Not Repairable with PDR

PDR doesn’t work on every kind of vehicle damage. If the paint is damaged, or if there are hard creases on the body, it will have to be done the traditional way, with fillers and new paint. A skilled technician can assess the situation and determine whether PDR is an option for you.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)? - A tattered hood beaten from strong hail damage.

How do they do that PDR stuff, Anyway?

PDR is actually a stable of techniques designed to correct specific types of imperfections on the vehicle surface. The most common method is to push against the underside of the body with a carefully selected tool from the kit, gently coaxing the dent back into place. The technician may remove interior or exterior panels, depending on where the damage is located. In some cases, a heat gun many be used to help make the paint pliable. Amazingly, some damage is worked from the outside with a technique called “tapping,” which is pretty cool to watch.

Are You a Candidate for Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

Affordable Dent Repair

PDR is less expensive than any other body repair technique. No replacement parts are needed, and since the original paint is left intact, no matching or repainting is needed. And with the faster turnaround of PDR, you won’t have to rely on a rental car while the work is done. Not a bad deal. Call 316-262-8888 for more information on Paintless Dent Removal.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair

Alloy wheels are popular for their eye-pleasing appearance, but did you know they have practical benefits, as well? Sometimes you have to repair alloy wheels when damage occurs, to keep them functioning properly, and more often, people have them repaired for cosmetic reasons. After all, you pay a pretty penny for them to make your vehicle look cooler, and when they get “curb rash” or other damage, it usually costs a lot less to repair them than it does to replace them. In this article, we’ll go through the basics of professional alloy wheel repair, why it’s usually a good option when you have damage, and how it can help maintain driving comfort, brake performance and fuel efficiency.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair

Why Alloy Wheels are Worth Maintaining

They’re More Efficient than Steel Wheels

Alloy wheels are manufactured with greater precision than traditional steel wheels, so they’re more perfectly round, providing a smoother ride. They’re formed from lighter metals than steel, so they add less weight to the vehicle. They also have more accurate lug placement than traditional wheels, so they align more perfectly with the vehicle’s lugs. These reductions in weight and rotational friction improve fuel economy, so alloy wheels are a “greener” alternative for environmentally conscious drivers.

Alloy wheels are manufactured with greater precision than traditional steel wheels, so they’re more perfectly round, providing a smoother ride.

The more perfect roundness of alloy wheels also improves traction, which allows the vehicle to hug the terrain more closely, enhancing vehicle handling and decreasing “wheel hop.” This consistent road contact also improves sound and vibration isolation, providing a quieter driving experience. When you damage an alloy wheel, you may actually feel a difference in smoothness and handling. With some types of damage, repair is a necessity in order to maintain these efficiencies. With others, the repair is more a matter of cosmetics and preserving your investment. Both are good reasons.

Improved Brake Durability

Aluminum and magnesium conduct temperature better than steel, which more efficiently dissipates heat from the brakes. Add to this the fact that alloy wheels tend to have more open designs for better air flow, and the heat dissipation is even greater. This improves brake performance and life span.

Professional Alloy Wheel Repair Versus Do-It-Yourself Options

Professional wheel repair technicians use precision metal-working equipment, and they employ industrial masking systems, space-age fillers, professional paint-matching technology and high-tech coatings to overhaul alloy surfaces, correcting structural damage and restoring wheels to their original, bold designs.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair - kits rarely facilitate proper texture and paint matching and are more of a band-aid than an actual wheel repair

A cheaper alternative to professional repair is a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit, available online and from local auto supply stores, with prices ranging from a few dollars on up. Although generally inexpensive, these kits rarely facilitate proper texture and paint matching and are more of a band-aid than an actual wheel repair. DIY kits may also lead to problems later because a proper repair requires specific equipment and skilled craftsmen to insure that the wheels are brought back to their full cosmetic and mechanical integrity. Professional technicians can reapply corrosion protective coatings to help preserve the wheel and extend its life span.

Professionals can also go beyond cosmetic repairs, in some cases correcting the mechanical soundness of the wheel. In cases of more severe damage, they can reshape the wheels so that driver comfort and wheel performance are restored.

A Brief History of Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels were first produced in the 1920s by casting aluminum, magnesium or a hybrid of both. Uncommon and expensive at the time, alloy wheels were usually manufactured for high-end sports cars because of their lighter weight and superior handling. The “mag” wheel remained popular through the 1950s and 1960s but was still only available in limited numbers. It wasn’t until later that advances in alloy casting made them more cost effective, and they soon became the wheel of choice for a wide variety of motorsports because of their superior performance characteristics.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair - A Brief History of Alloy Wheels

As manufacturing techniques became more streamlined and costs continued to drop, sales became more widespread among normal consumers who wanted a lighter and more visually appealing wheel. Alloy wheels offer numerous finishes and intricate designs thanks to the verstility of the casting process, and their popularity continues to grow.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair - A broken custom alloy wheel being welded with an aluminum welder

An Investment Worth Maintaining

Alloy wheels are attractive, they improve driving efficiency, and they make your ride look cool. They’re light but bold, they help maintain brake durability and improve tire grip on the surface of the road. Alloy wheel techniques have changed over the decades since their invention, becoming increasingly daring in design and more cost effective to consumers. Repair usually costs much less than replacement, and well-maintained wheels provide better driving safety, comfort and efficiency.

Top Reasons to Consider Professional Alloy Wheel Repair - A chart showing the types of alloy wheel damage.

Do You Know How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair?

Is there such a thing as cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS?

When you have an auto accident, no matter how it looks, it never feels “minor,” but in the collision repair business, there are two categories of damage: “major collision” and “minor collision.” The “major” category includes body damage that extends to the engine and/or frame of the vehicle, which can get very pricey—sometimes expensive enough to declare the vehicle totaled (too expensive to repair). Minor collision repair covers everything else, typically costing between $200 and $2,000—often at the low end of that spectrum. This article will help you identify the extent of damage to your vehicle and understand the differences between major and minor collision shops. If your vehicle falls into the “minor” category, this information will also help you identify a good, cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS and provide some advice on whether you should pay for the repair out of pocket or risk higher monthly premiums by filing a claim with your insurance company.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair

Understanding the Difference Between Major and Minor Collision Repair Shops

Most of the body shops out there perform major collision repair rather than specializing in the minor stuff. And because they repair body damage that involves structural and engine damage, they have to invest in more specialized tools and technicians than the minor repair shops do. For example, a frame-straightening machine can cost from $15,000 to nearly $100,000 for some types of frames, so this is a big investment for the shop. Add to that the wages for technicians qualified to use the equipment, and they have to charge more for all their work in order to cover the increased overhead costs.

A smaller number of body shops in Wichita perform only minor collision repair. If you have major damage, they’ll send you somewhere else, but if minor damage is all you have, these shops often charge significantly less than the major repair companies would for the same damage. This can open the door to paying for repairs out of pocket to avoid higher insurance premiums in the future. Bottom line: if all you need is minor collision repair, it pays to call a minor collision repair shop.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair

:What Should You Expect to Pay for Minor Collision Repair

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Every auto body repair job is somewhat unique, but you can often expect to costs to fall within certain ranges. Let’s look at a few:

  • Paint touch-ups/small areas on the vehicle – from $65 to $300
  • Fender repair – average $75
  • Mirror damage repair – average $100
  • Hood damage – average $150
  • Bumper damage $300 – $400
  • Single stage full paint job – $600 to $2,000
  • Multi stage full paint job – up to $5,000
Dings and Dents Don’t Have to Cost Much

Some of the most common types of damage are minor dings and dents. The simple solution is to find a body shop that isn’t “tooled up” with extravagant equipment and staffed with expensive labor. One repair technique, paintless dent removal (PDR), is a cheap option that can sometimes cost less than your insurance deductible (the amount you have to pay out of pocket on any claim). As an added benefit, PDR usually allows you to drive away the same day you take the vehicle in.

the most common types of damage are minor dings and dents

PDR technicians carefully coax dents back to their original shape, without affecting the paint. Bear in mind that PDR can only be used when there is no damage to the vehicle paint and there are no major surface creases. This technique requires very little time compared to others and can cost as little as $100.

Should You File an Insurance Claim?

It’s worth having a conversation with your insurance agent before you decide whether or not to file a claim for minor collision repair. The math is pretty simple, once you have three numbers in front of you. For example, if the cost of repairs is $300, and you have a $250 deductible, your insurance company will only pay $50 for the repair, and you’ll pay the rest out of pocket. If your monthly premium goes up by $10 a month as a result of the accident, you’re losing money after the first five months at a higher rate. If you have the cash in hand, it can make sense to pay for the minor stuff out of pocket.

It’s worth having a conversation with your <a href=insurance agent before you decide whether or not to file a claim for minor collision repair.” title=”It’s worth having a conversation with your insurance agent before you decide whether or not to file a claim for minor collision repair.” width=”100%” />

How to Find a Good Minor Collision Repair Shop

As with any significant outlay of money, it’s important to do your research before you commit to a shop. Start by looking online for companies that have been around for a while. Not that the new guys on the block are untrustworthy or unskilled, but running a business is tough, and not all new companies will still be around in a few months, should you run into a problem with their work.

After you’ve narrowed your list, look at Google reviews for the shops you’re considering. Keep in mind that even the best companies get bad reviews; it just takes one customer with possibly unreasonable expectations to lower a body shop’s star rating. In these cases, take a closer look to see how responsive the shop is to the negative review. If they’ve ignored it, this could be a sign that they are not entirely focused on customer service. On the other hand, if they reply to the complaint in a timely manner and make a concerted effort to rectify the problem, that’s a pretty glowing testimony of their commitment to keeping customers happy.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair. Is there such a thing as cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS?

Look at each company’s Facebook reviews—and their Facebook page in general. Not only will this provide a better sense of their overall quality, it can also give you a glimpse of the “personality” of the company, which can also be useful information.

As you shorten your list, we hope you’ll keep APR in mind. We’ve been in Wichita for 12 years, and that experience pays off in efficiency—and cost—when you need minor collision repair. We also keep a very clean shop, which matters when you’re dealing with the aesthetics of vehicle paint and bodywork, and it makes for a positive experience when you visit one of our Wichita body shop locations.

Why is auto detailing so important?

The Importance of Auto Detailing

All vehicles are slowly punished by the elements, whether it’s from the weather or from pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye but can nevertheless damage the exterior. Normal vehicle use also deteriorates the interior. Maybe it’s unwanted odors that have made their way into the upholstery. Or dust, spills and stains that have become gradually embedded in the carpets and hard surfaces. And don’t they always seem to happen in the most inconvenient places, like under the seat or in those tough-to-reach nooks and crannies? Auto detailing is a way to renovate your vehicle’s appearance and protect it from future damage.

Why is auto detailing so important? An APR Work Blog

Why Do I Need Vehicle Detailing?

A common misconception among car owners is that if a vehicle has “clear coat” protection, then it’s safe from the elements for life. The truth is, this is not a permanent solution. Even paint and “clear coat” require regular, protective maintenance. The vehicle’s interior also takes a beating, with stains, chemicals and dust burrowing into vinyl and upholstery over time. Professional detailing includes a deep cleaning of all surfaces, followed by the application of products that beautify and protect paint, tires, vinyl and upholstery.

Essentially, auto detailing is a gamut of services designed to refurbish and protect your automotive investment. This will not only help maintain your car’s lifespan but also sustain its value. This is why regular auto detailing is so important.

Essentially, auto detailing is a gamut of services designed to refurbish and protect your automotive investment.

However, detailing isn’t just about maintaining value over time. It’s about rekindling the sense of pride you felt when the vehicle was new. Let’s take a look at what professional detailers do, beginning with the interior.

Interior Vehicle Detailing Services

Interior auto detailing is a meticulous, step-by-step, deep cleaning and reconditioning of upholstery, vinyl, vents and other hard-to-reach areas. The clean-up process routinely includes steam cleaning of carpets, mats and upholstery; hard surface cleaning with professional products; and may include ozone treatments (very effective for ingrained odors you thought you would never get rid of). Chemical shields are applied to carpets and upholstery (whether it’s fabric, vinyl or leather) that make future spills easy to wipe up before they seep in and become stains.

Interior auto detailing not only maintains a car’s value; it also improves driver comfort.

Hard surfaces in the vehicle are cleaned, reconditioned and coated with products that protects against future staining and ultraviolet radiation (UV is what causes those ugly cracks and splits you see in the dashboards of older vehicles). Specific techniques vary from car to car, depending on your needs and the vehicle’s age and condition.

Interior detailing not only maintains a car’s value; it also improves driver comfort. Over time, vehicles collect stains that are hard to clean and smells for which you can’t even find the source. That doesn’t make for a pleasant driving experience. But professional technicians have the tools and know-how to bring your interior as close as possible to new condition.

Exterior Detailing

The most obvious benefit to exterior detailing is that it protects your vehicle’s “paint health.” Professional detailers do much more than wash and wax. For example, they use clay bars to lift corrosive micro-pollutants from the grain of the paint. If these chemicals are not removed before waxing, they will continue to degrade the paint over time. But when professional detailing processes are followed up with comprehensive waxing, the life of the paint job is measurably extended.

Professional detailers use clay bars to lift corrosive micro-pollutants from the grain of the paint.

Dirt, mud and salt deposits build up under the chassis and in wheel wells, and eat through both paint and metal over time. Professional detailing removes these corrosive deposits.

Tires take a beating, not only from the road, but from UV radiation and chemicals in the atmosphere. Auto detailers thoroughly clean the tires, then apply a chemical shield that prolongs the life of the rubber. This “tire dressing” is available in both gloss and matte finishes, depending on your taste.

Headlight restoration can also be part of the detailing process, if needed. This is as much a safety issue as a cosmetic one because, as headlight lenses break down over time from heat, abrasion and UV, they become foggy and discolored, making it more difficult see—and be seen—at night. Headlight restoration makes them look and function like new again.

Vehicles age and lose their luster over time. There’s nothing you can do to prevent it, but you can help significantly slow it down and prolong the life—and value—of your vehicle with periodic detailing.

Vehicles age and lose their luster over time. Help it significantly slow down and prolong the life—and value—of your vehicle with periodic detailing.

Benefits of Auto Detailing

The most immediate benefit of detailing is that it keeps your vehicle looking great, inside and out. It also maintains the value of your car or truck, so it’s also a good investment. If you love your car, and you love driving, periodic detailing should be a part of your regular maintenance.

For more information about auto detailing, contact APR today at (316) 262-8888.

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

Auto collision repair is often expensive, so many drivers assume they should file an insurance claim after any accident. But is it always the best option? Which types of damage cost more in the long run when you file a claim with your insurance company, and which types should you let them pay for? This article will help you answer the big question you should ask after any vehicle accident: “Should I file an insurance claim or pay out of pocket?”

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?

Understanding the Rules of the Game

Insurance is like a gambling game, one in which insurance companies get to set the house rules. Like any for-profit business, they establish rules that not only provide an important service to drivers, but also create profit for the company. Auto insurance is a great deal when you have frame and engine damage after an accident because costs can run very high for these types of repairs. In these cases, you usually come out ahead by filing a claim, letting the insurance company pay for the damage, then shouldering the resulting, higher monthly premiums for a few years.

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

But filing an insurance claim for lesser types of damage can work more to the insurance company’s advantage than to yours. If your vehicle only has $600 of damage to the body, and your insurance deductible is $500, they’ll only pay $100 toward repairs, and you’ll pay the rest out of pocket. “That still saves me $100,” you might say. Not necessarily. It’s very common for insurance providers to raise monthly rates for drivers after an accident. If your rates go up $10 a month for next 36 months*, you’ll end up paying more in the long run.

This is part of what we mean when we talk about the “claim game.” Is the insurance company taking advantage of you when you file a claim for minor damage? No, it’s just how the business has to function in order for these companies to turn a profit and keep making their services available. But it does mean that you should explore different options when you find yourself in this position to make sure you’re coming out on top in the long term.

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

Cutting Red Tape and Controlling Repair Costs

The least convenient part of an auto insurance claim for many people is that it adds extra steps to the repair process. Estimates have to be performed according to specific guidelines, and extra paperwork has to be filled out. Furthermore, you lose all control over costs because insurance companies pay preset amounts that have been contracted with repair shops. This is the other side of the claim game; you find yourself caught in a business matrix that adds time and red tape to the repair process.

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

But when you pay out of pocket, you have much more control over costs, and it often takes less time to get your vehicle back on the road. When there is no damage to the engine or frame of your vehicle, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by seeking out a minor collision repair shop. APR falls into this category because we simply don’t work on major collision damage. While most shops invest in expensive equipment for frame bending and engine repair, we have chosen instead to specialize in the cosmetic end of the spectrum. Because we don’t have to make payments on the big equipment, we can charge considerably less for most repairs than a traditional, full-service shop.

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

Also, we can usually offer you some lower-cost repair options if you pay out of pocket. When insurance companies pay for the repair, they require that it’s done in certain ways, but when you’re in control, you can opt for less expensive repair methods and paint techniques. For older, less pristine vehicles, these methods may be all you need to bring the vehicle back to its former glory, and they may cost significantly less than full-scale, insurance-certified body shop work.

Winning the Claim Game

Winning the auto insurance claim game begins with looking over your policy and talking to your agent about how a claim may affect your monthly premium rates. Most agents are happy to disclose this information and make sure you get best deal for you situation. And, yes, it’s safe to talk to the agent about this. From the insurance company’s standpoint, if no claim is filed, no accident happened (unless you were ticketed for the accident, in which case the citation may cast its own shadow on your rates).

What is the Auto Insurance “Claim Game?”

If it makes financial sense for you to pay out of pocket, you’ll probably find the repair process to be very quick and painless because there’s no third party involved in the procedure; just you and your body shop. And after the disorienting experience of having an auto accident, it can do a lot for your mindset to have a sense of control over the situation.

*These numbers are arbitrary and for demonstration purposes only. Rate increases and the duration of those increases vary from one claim to the next based on a variety of factors.