car exterior

What's the Difference? Auto Body Shop vs. Auto Repair Shop

Hi All, Rico here!

Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between what an auto mechanic or repair shop would do, and what an auto body shop does?

Until you’re faced with the need of either, I’m sure the answer would be "no". (I mean, c’mon, it’s not like most of us sitting around daydreaming about this stuff in our spare time.)

Understand for the future

This information is important to know and understand, in the event you do find yourself in need of auto body work.

Lucky you—I’ll give you a quick lesson on what auto body work actually is, and when you would seek out a shop, like mine, to do the needed work.

So, what exactly does an auto body shop do?

It’s pretty simple to explain. We fix the bodies, the metal frame and components that house and protect the people, the engine, all the parts and things, on vehicles. Ok, that may sound simple, but the art of it is actually very complicated and important.

Body work means more than just making a car look pretty.

An auto body shop ensures the entirety of your car’s body is aligned and in tip top shape. This work really is all about the details! Trucks, SUVs are also welcome to the shop.

When do you need to go to an auto body shop?

Had a bump, slam or major ding? Even a slight bump can shift the body of your car. It could be a panel, bumper, fender or something you can’t see hiding underneath.

A shift, bend or knock to any of these areas can create misalignment and ultimately compromise the safety or integrity of the body of your car.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my lesson, and this has helped to clarify when you could be in need of an auto body repair shop in the future.

As always, we care about the safety of you and your vehicle, and we're always here to help!

Kid's Cars: Body Work & Clean Up While They Are Home from College

Hello and Happy New Year to All! 

Rico here!

I bet if you have a son or daughter away at college, you’ve found yourself thinking about their car at least a time or two.

Are they taking care of it? You’re not alone. I thought about my daughters while they were at school. And let’s be honest, they’re likely not 100% on track with these tasks because they’re busy on this new venture of independence and school.

That’s ok. It's a perfect time to plan to help them out a bit with these “to-do’s” when they’re home on break over the holidays.

Bring their car by for an estimate if there's been any auto body damage in the recent months. Door dings, bent bumpers, side mirror damage. 

And, schedule a nice detail job for their car too. A good exterior wash and interior clean will do a world of good. The kids will feel great in their vehicle and you'll feel great knowing you've got some good protective wax for the paint and a nice clean interior too. 

Take their car to Tom's Automotive, just down the street from us, for complementary services to ours. More along the lines of automotive maintenance, like:

  • Oil changes

  • Windshield washer fluids and new wiper blades

  • Power steering fluid check

  • Brake fluid check

It’s also a good idea to check to make sure that the emergency necessities in the car are stocked up. These are things like a first aid kit, bottled water, tire pressure gauge, flashlight with fresh batteries, etc.

By keeping up on this timeline, it helps to keep the car in tip top shape structurally, but also ensures the utmost safety for your son/daughter.

VIDEO: Detailing Job in the Shop

Rico here,

And today is a bit of an anomaly compared with the weather we've been enjoying....got some showers today, but it's been just beautiful these last few weeks. 

Jump to the video now

So....when the weather gets back to gorgeous, consider getting your interior shampooed...

WHY?

Summer is  -usually!- the best time of year to have this done because the interior will actually DRY! In Fall and Winter, freshly shampooed interiors don't get much of a shot to dry completely

This is excellent weather for a thorough detail job on your car/s!

Enjoy the summer - I'm hoping the sun gets back here soon so I can get back out on my bike. 

Click the image for a short 25 second video, showing how we get started on a detail job...with a wash. 

Pro Tip: Protecting Your Car from Oxidation

Hi. Rico here from Auto Buff.

Starting this twice-a-month posting to give some ideas and how to’s to help you keep your best look to your vehicle. Plus, a few bits about the more interesting jobs to come through the shop.

Pro Tip:
The skiers, boarders and snow-shoers are coming back over the pass in far dirtier vehicles than they first went over in. Is this you? You can make a car easier to clean by keeping a good coat of wax on your car before you head over.

This doesn’t mean you need to pull a Karate Kid - a la “wax on, wax off” - every time you want to hit the slopes. Nah. But here are a couple of things you might not know about protecting your exterior:

Protection from oxidation
Waxing a car actually protects the paint and clearcoat on your car. The wax acts as a barrier and retains the oils in the paints from oxidation. Plus the shine is nice. And this barrier actually makes clean up of a really dirty car easier in the elbow grease department.

Manufacturers of waxing products might say you should wax your car every 45 days. Well, it’s their job to sell wax. So I’d suggest a simple water test.

Test results
One good test is to just see if water “beads up” on your car. If it does, your most recent wax job is still working for you.

if the water “sheets up,” it’s time to wax again.

Keep in mind, we’re in the PNW where “rain happens” so you might want to perform this test more often.

That's all for now -Rico