at 747 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, 90036-4208 United States
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Get Several Estimates Taking your car to several auto body shops for repair quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges, Mallette notes. "I'll tell people to go get some estimates and bring 'em back to me. I'll match estimates if I can." And while it's important to protect against being overcharged, you shouldn't simply take the lowest quote. "You might get some kind of midnight guy who will say he can do it really cheap," he says. "Stay away from those guys, because there is something they're not doing. You could have major problems down the road."
Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop Pay Attention to Word-of-Mouth Any business can advertise, but you'll do better with a shop that friends, family or acquaintances recommend. It's a business that has proven it can satisfy customers. And it might not be the biggest or best-known shop in your area. Mallette went to a shop years ago on such recommendations and found that the owner was a "real stand-up guy.... He doesn't advertise on the Internet; it's a family-owned shop," Mallette says. "But, golly, if you take your car there, you'll get a fair price." In some cases, you might get a recommendation for a small shop where the owner works on the cars himself. "That's how I like doing business," Mallette says. "To me it seems so much more personal and then you can understand what's really going on with your car."
BLOCK SANDING TIPS It is good practice to follow a sequence when block sanding. By alternating direction of blocking, it will help you see what areas of a panel may need more sanding. A suggested order is to cross hatch the panel at 45 degree angles, then sand vertically and then horizontally, (see illustration below). Follow this sequence over the entire panel fairly lightly one time. This will sand the guide coat off the flattest and highest areas and create a sort of "relief map" of the panel. Then, alternate the sequence again and, always keeping the block moving in overlapping strokes, repeat until the panel is completely blocked. This is a very general order and can be changed to suit each panels shape. The only thing that is strongly suggested is the final few strokes with sandpaper and block should be in the direction shown in #4. That is, the final sanding strokes should always be with the line of sight. This way, should any shrinkage occur and sanding scratches become visible, they will be along the line of sight and will be much less noticeable.
Washing Cars Here are few general tips for car washing. Never wash your car in direct sunlight if you can help it. Strong sunlight will cause water spots. Always make sure the bucket is absolutely clean and use clean water. Always start with a clean cloth and rinse it out often. Use lots of soapy water to "float off" grime. Start at the top, and work your way down. The lower part of the car is generally the dirtiest with grit and road grime. By washing the lower sections last, it will help prevent any grit from being picked up by your wash cloth and damaging the upper, more visible areas of your car. Wash the top down to the windows on all sides. Then do the hood and trunk areas, then the sides down about half way or to the side moldings on both sides. Then do the sides below the moldings, then the rocker panels, and lower valance areas. And finally, do the wheels and tires. When drying with a chamois, do the glass and chrome first. This will help soften the chamois. Also, glass and chrome will water spot first, so drying them first will help prevent this.
Whether it's a serious door ding, a minor fender bender or a full-blown car accident, damage to your car is not just unsightly, it can be costly to repair and can mean higher car insurance rates.