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Category: Auto Painting

Protect New Auto Paint by a Body Shop in Austin From the Heat

Summer in Texas is here again and so is the intense heat. The sun rays can be refreshing to see, but they do damage on anything they touch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new auto paint job on your vehicle or the factory paint work, the sun can diminish the quality.

To maintain the value of your vehicle, it not only requires routine maintenance to the operating parts on your car, but also to the exterior. Remember this steps during those hot, sunny days.

Keep Your Car Out of the Direct Sunlight

If possible, keep your vehicle in a garage or under some shade, such as a tree or awning. Your car may still be exposed to heat, but the shade will prevent the sun from damaging the paint.

Remember if you are parked under a tree for shade that birds may be above and leave acidic droppings on your vehicle that can ruin the clear coat.

Keep a Clean Exterior, But Don’t Clean it in the Sun

Following the same rule with parking, don’t wash your car in the direct sunlight. While the cold water from a car wash might keep you cool, washing your vehicle in the direct sunlight is harmful to the car’s paint. The water may feel good to you, but as it touches a car directly in the sun, that water quickly heats up and so can the soap used.

Giving your car a good wash is recommended in the summer to remove debris, but clean it in a shaded area.

To Wax, or not to Wax

There’s an ongoing debate on whether to wax newer cars and when to wax. Even with a clear-coat application that is common on cars made within the last couple of decades, a good wax can serve as a shield for your car’s exterior and provide some sun protection.

The same rule applies with parking your vehicle and washing. Don’t wax your vehicle in the direct sunlight.

If you have an older vehicle that needs a fresh paint job or you would like custom auto painting, give us a call. Our helpful team at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision can schedule a free estimate so your car will have an incredible new look. Just remember to protect it from the sun!

When the first cars were sold, they all came in black because the “luxury” was having a vehicle and not on the color. Cars were finally sold in different colors in the early 1920’s. Today, you can have a vehicle with any color you choose and even colors that change.

The specialty of auto painting has become more than just painting a car one color. It is now an artistic skill that gives a vehicle a unique depth and the car becomes mobile artwork.

Color Choices

When cars first featured a color other than black, that was innovative. Now, vehicles may feature multiple colors or change colors. For example, an iridescent custom paint detail can create different shades of color in different lighting.

And if you really want a color-changing vehicle, several layers of what is known as “thermochromic” paint, or paint that changes with heat, was used on a BMW X6 and when hot water is poured on the vehicle, The Incredible Hulk is revealed.

Bold Colors

When most people think of a bold color for a car, they might think of red since it is bright and stands out from more subtle colors. When car owners pay for a custom auto paint job, they want a unique color. There are very few Molten Pearl Lexus vehicles on the road or Austin Yellow BMW cars because these colors are not offered directly from the dealer and require a paint job by a professional at a body shop.

No matter the price range of the vehicle, some car owners like to get creative with unusual tones. An owner of a Bentley can get it in bright blue or a Rolls Royce owner can have the vehicle in purple with a custom paint job.

Custom auto painting like these examples takes the skill and talent of a trained paint technician. Show off your unique style with a custom paint job from the expert team at Ellis & Salazar Garage and Body Shop. Our team will create the look you want so you can travel the roads different from the rest.

How to Maintain Paint Work from Local Body Repair Shops

A paint job can make a car look new again. Whether the paint work was to update the color or due to a repair after an accident, you will want to keep that new look; especially if you plan to sell your car soon.

It takes some work to preserve the paint job on your vehicle, but it is possible for a car owner to manage.

Cleaning a Car After New Paint

After you pick up your vehicle from the collision repair shop, there is a recommended period, that is typically a few weeks, to wait for washing your car. Use a quality solution, and not household soap, to wash your car. Household soap can remove protective layers of wax. Keep contaminants out of the soapy water by using a second bucket with clean water.

While drying your vehicle, park it in a cool, shaded area and use a microfiber cloth.

Detailing and Waxing the Car

After washing the vehicle, look it over carefully to see that it is clean and no dust or other particles are left behind. The next step is to protect the paint. One of the more common methods is using a compound, but this method is aggressive and should be used by someone with experience. An alternative is using a clay bar to remove the dirt from the clear coat layer. It’s important to remember to constantly fold the clay bar to get a fresh surface or the clear coat will be scratched.

Once the car is detailed, then it is time to wax the car. If you use a buffer, remember not to overuse it. Overusing a buffer can lead to paint removal.

If your vehicle needs paint work from a collision or you would like a new paint job, contact our highly skilled team at Ellis and Salazar Garage and Body Shop. A personal service consultant can help you through every step of the process. And through our free, 18-month maintenance plan we will inspect, wash, and wax the area we painted every six months. Contact our team for a free estimate on paint work today.

Austin Body Shop What is Eco-Friendly Auto Paint

As we learn more about what is hazardous to our environment, the auto body industry has made great strides with improving products to be more environmentally-friendly. Most collision repair shops now make eco-friendly choices every day when buying products and disposing.

Despite the best efforts, it is still not possible for a body shop to be completely green. Significant strides have been made over the years for products to be considerably less toxic and auto paint was among the first product to become eco-friendlier.

Auto Paint Becomes Safer to the Environment

A few decades ago, most products used in auto body repairs were not only dangerous to those who used them but they were also harmful to the environment. Chemicals released from those paints over time were determined to be a health hazard.

Today, most auto paints have a low volatile organic compound (VOC), which means they emit almost 80 percent less solvents that are dangerous. These paints consist of about 70 percent water and do not sacrifice the quality of the paint job.

Waterborne paints still release some VOCs which means anyone who uses them should still wear protection such as gloves, glasses, and a mask.

Axalta Nationwide Guarantee

Every collision repair center chooses the paint used on vehicles. At Ellis & Salazar, an Austin body shop, we are committed to being eco-friendly in everything we do. That is why we use Axalta Cromax Pro paint. The paint has been recommended by car show hosts on TV to make an incredible transformation to the look of a car.

Along with using less harmful auto paints, the team at Ellis & Salazar also recycles sheet metal, paper, cardboard, and aluminum as part of our ongoing efforts to be environmentally-friendly.

If your car needs a paint job because of an accident or if you want a custom paint job, contact Ellis & Salazar to speak with a personal service consultant who can schedule your free estimate. Our certified technicians will give your vehicle a fresh new look while using environmentally-friendly auto paint.

Photo by Danox

The assertion that waterborne car paint is better for the environment is essentially beyond dispute.  Waterborne paint has less volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, than traditional paint options.  But why is this important?  Also why are car paint manufacturers moving towards low-VOC paint?  Let’s take a closer look at why waterborne car paint is a better choice for all involved and the planet!

VOCs are Serious Business and They’re Present in Some Car Paint

Environmentally aware homeowners and builders are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that VOCs come with serious hazards and dangers.  First, it is important to note that the term “VOC” is used to cover a wide array of harmful organic chemicals.

Most VOCs are not so toxic that exposure leads to immediate and obvious illness.  Instead, it is prolonged exposure that’s the problem.  This is why VOCs in the home and workplace are of such a great concern due to the fact that people spend so much time indoors.

VOC concentrations peak during the winter because doors and windows are typically closed.  In fact, during the winter, indoor VOC levels can reach four times their summertime levels!  Studies have shown a link between long term exposure and an increased risk of lymphoma and leukemia.

Car Paint Can be the Culprit

Paintings and coatings are a major source of VOC exposure.  Coatings and protective coatings are particularly problematic.  All of these factors are pressuring paint manufacturers to move towards waterborne paints, including car paint.

VOCs from any paint is seen as harmful to the environment.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started a partnership, the Design for Environment Automotive Refinishing Partnership, which is designed to help the automotive refinishing industry move towards cleaner practices and technologies.

Stricter regulations on car paints in California, Europe and Canada are spurring paint manufacturers to take steps towards waterborne paint.  The reason that regulations on paint are beginning to pick up speed is due to the substantial associated health risks.

A Long List of Health Concerns

Solvent based automotive paints contain not just problematic VOCs, but also other air pollutants that decrease air quality and may pose a risk to painters and workers.  Skin and eye irritation are only the beginning of the health problems that painters and workers could face when using solvent based automotive paints.

Other health risks include central nervous system effects.  The organic compounds found in VOCs can also damage internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys.  Alarmingly, organic compounds found in solvent based automotive paint have been linked to cancer and reproductive health issues.  By contrast, waterborne paints have lower levels of organic solvents are thus much less toxic.

Safer Conditions for Everyone

Many may hear this news and worry that these new regulations will mean a lot of new headaches.  However, very little new equipment is needed for the switch from solvent based automotive paint to low-VOC paint.  While there is a learning curve for those providing car paint services, many technicians really like working with the new paint.  Additionally, low-VOC car paint means safer working conditions for everyone involved.

The switch to waterborne paint is better for the environment.  Air quality benefits tremendously and a variety of harmful chemicals are kept out of not just the air, but out of our water as well.  Considering all the benefits, it is no great surprise that countries around the world are making the switch to waterborne car paint.

There are many good reasons to keep your car in a garage.  In cold climates, salt can damage your car.  In warm and sunny climates, the sun’s rays can damage your car’s paint.  Many people are surprised to learn just how damaging UV rays can be to their auto paint.  What will the sun’s rays do to even the best auto paint job?  With enough exposure, you can be certain that your car paint will fade, thanks to intense summertime sun.

 Sun is Your Car’s Enemy

 The best ways to keep your car paint job from fading is to limit its exposure to sunlight.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should only come out at night!  Your car paint isn’t that fragile, but limiting the number of hours that your car logs in baking in the sunlight, especially very intense, direct summertime sunlight, is essential.  If you want to keep your car paint job looking great, following the steps outlined below will keep your auto paint looking great for years to come.

 Ways Around a Garage

If you have a garage, use it!  Many of us don’t have garages or have no choice but to leave our cars exposed to the elements while we’re at work.  There are a few options in this regard.  One option is to pay for covered parking.  If covered parking is cost prohibitive, or not available, there are other solutions.Another option is to look for consistently shaded areas and park your car in those places.  Sometimes following this course of action might mean a longer walk, but a little extra exercise isn’t a bad thing.  In the winter months and in colder climates  you won’t have to worry as much about the sun fading your car’s paint job.  But you want your auto paint job to look great for years, then it’s wise to invest in some preventive and protective measures.

A garage isn’t the only way to protect your car while at home.  If you are a homeowner without a garage, then you might want to consider either building a low cost garage or opting for a car port.  Car ports are an easy way for you to protect your car’s paint from UV rays and they are surprisingly affordable.

Wax On, Wax Off

Waxing is another way to protect your car’s paint job.  If you make waxing a regular part of your car maintenance you will decrease the risk of a faded paint job.

 Give Your Car a Little Protection

Finally, you may have seen people opting for protective car covering. This is usually an option followed by those who have expensive cars.  While car coverings do help, they can also come with problems.  In high density urban environments a car covering can be an invitation to people looking for trouble to mess with your car.  Be aware of the risks of using a car cover to protect your car paint job from the sun and be sure you don’t wind up doing more harm to your car than good!

A little planning can go a long way in preserving the look of your car’s paint job.  Prolonged exposure to UV rays will damage your paint, and getting a new top quality paint job can be both time consuming and expensive.  If you want to keep your car in optimal shape, preventive maintenance is your best choice.

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless Dent Repair, often referred to as PDR, is an auto body repair procedure used as an alternative to conventional auto body repair, according to a local auto body shop owner. Paintless Dent Repair isn’t always an option as a repair method. Sometimes Paintless Dent Repair and conventional repair are needed for the same vehicle. What qualifies a vehicle for traditional repair? What are the advantages of using PDR? Read on for the answers!

How to know if PDR is right for your car

PDR is not an option for all repairs. It is generally used when a vehicle has been damaged by hail, but may be applicable in non-hail dent situations as well. Is the paint damaged? That is the first question. If the vehicle’s paint is damaged, PDR is not an option.

Cost of Paintless Dent Repair

PDR is often less expensive than traditional repair. Why? There are fewer steps involved than in the conventional repair process. Fewer steps usually translate to less materials used and time necessary to complete the repair. Less time and materials working on the vehicle translates to fewer hours and materials billed, making the paintless dent repair process generally a less expensive alternative.

How long does PDR take?

PDR is generally a quicker repair because there are fewer steps in the repair process. Although parts may still need to be disassembled and reassembled, there are no time delays for parts procurement, which can often occur in a conventional repair. Parts are not being prepped or painted with the PDR method of auto body repair, also hastening turnaround time.

How invasive is Paintless Dent Repair?

PDR is less invasive because fewer parts are being disassembled and reassembled. For example: If PDR is being used on a roof, the headliner (soft interior ceiling of your vehicle) may need to be removed to access the roof from the inside, but that is as invasive as PDR gets. When a roof is being repaired or replaced with conventional repair procedures, all glass as well as the interior of the vehicle will need to be removed. This insures that the vehicle is not damaged during the repair or replacement of parts and that proper painting procedures are being followed, but is the more invasive of the repair options.

Will my car need a new paint job?

PDR repaired vehicles do not get re-painted, therefore paint matching is not a concern. Paint matching can be a challenge with traditionally repaired vehicles. Multiple challenges can arise when a part needs to be painted during the traditional repair process, including; matching the paint color and blending with adjacent panels so the color will look as natural as possible.

Schedule an estimate for your dent repair

If you are unsure whether or not your auto body damage may qualify for PDR, schedule a free estimate to find out. When getting an estimate for auto body repairs, don’t be afraid to ask our service writers questions about the repair plan offered. Find out why PDR is being used, or why it is not.



Spring is in the air…

Along with insects, birds, pollen and tree sap! Insects, birds, pollen, and tree sap are not only a chore for our homes; they are a chore for our vehicles too! Give your vehicle the same “spring cleaning” attention you give your home with this Spring Cleaning Car Care tip list.

1. Check your engine’s air filters and cabin air filters

These air filters can become heavy with pollen affecting the performance of your vehicle. Replace air filters when necessary to keep your vehicle happy and running at its best!

2. Remove leaves and debris from the cowl screen

Remove leaves and debris from the cowl screen where the hood and windshield meet, under the wipers and all crevices. Leaves left in the cowl screen can breakdown creating sediment that can clog the evaporator drain. This can cause a much more time consuming and costly auto repair. Leaves that are left in crevices absorb and hold water, like a sponge, which can cause rust. Make cure to clear leaves and debris regularly.

3. Wash your vehicle often to remove tree sap and bird droppings.

Believe it or not, the acidity in the sap and the droppings can damage your paint and clear coat! The eating away of your clear coat and paint begins quickly, especially if the vehicle is sitting in the sun! Insect splatter can also cause damage when left on paint and not washed regularly. Be careful to wash often and consider a coat of wax a couple of times a year. The wax will act as a protective barrier.

4. Follow up with a soft clean shammy

Dry wiping your vehicle with a paper towel or any other similar paper product will scratch the clear coat. Make sure to use mild soap and water to wash the affected area. Then follow up with a soft, clean shammy for drying.

5. Check your air pressure.

As temperatures rise, the air expands in your tires. You may need to let some air out to maintain the proper pressure levels for optimal tire performance.

Take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you! Stay ahead of possible damage and a potentially costly auto repair by routinely following these 5 Spring Cleaning Car Care Tips!



New year, same set of wheels. But who says your car can’t look and drive like the latest model? In that case, it’s time to stop by your most trusted Austin auto mechanic shop and say “hi” to our experienced certified mechanics. Whether you’re in need of car body repair, or in search of some routine car maintenance work, Ellis & Salazar has you and your car covered.

A Fresh Auto Body Paint Job Means a Fresher Austin

If it’s an auto body paint job you’re looking for, then our auto service experts know how to make your car look as if it just left the showroom. Also, this year we’re continuing our commitment to “paint every car green.” So don’t worry about chemical solvents coating your vehicle because at Ellis & Salazar we use water-based paint to make any auto body scratches a thing of the past. We also make a conscious effort to recycle such items as sheet metal and aluminum from body damage repair jobs.

Which got us thinking: What are other ways to hit “green” lights on the road this year? First things first, your car should always be a well-oiled machine. Just like your body, if your car is in good mechanical shape, then less energy (fuel) is required to power the engine. Lower fuel consumption means fewer greenhouse gases are released into the air. So in addition to safety reasons, it’s important to check that your brake pads aren’t worn-out and that your tires aren’t low in order to shrink your carbon footprint. Keeping your tires inflated properly when the temperature changes with the seasons reduces rolling resistance and increases fuel efficiency. A properly inflated tire will wear evenly and burn less fuel. (Imagine a fully inflated ball rolling down the road in comparison to a flat ball trying to roll down the road.) We assess all of these features and more when you schedule your car for a tune-up with one of our friendly auto mechanics.

Other tips to consider when driving green are to keep your car body weight and speeds low. Shedding some pounds is a common New Year’s resolution. This can apply to your car too. Heavier vehicles require more fuel, and the same goes for higher speeds. We recommend removing any excess weight from your car’s interior and reducing your average speed, especially on highways. By making these small changes, you’ll not only improve your fuel mileage, but also help us paint our beautiful town of Austin green in 2012.

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