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Smart Body Repairs

Smart Body Repairs Published: 28th Sep 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
Smart Body Repairs
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Body repairs needn’t be expensive if you opt for the modern repair methods used by specialists such as ChipsAway. Here’s what we discovered…

Keeping any classic in concours condition is just a dream for most of us who don’t have the luxury of vast garages for storage. So we end up with a car kept in a cluttered lock up where it gets damaged. Or use as a daily driver where it suffers the usual scrapes and scars of motoring life; we don’t have lottery-like savings to afford and perhaps justify a bare metal respray, either.

Most enthusiasts are happy to tackle mechanical repairs but bodywork rectification is something they shy away from and with good reason because it’s so hard to get it right, even small local damage. And let’s face it, anything other than a top job sticks out like a sore thumb.

The skilled eyes of a body repair expert can spot a simple repair from ten paces that would go undetected to average motorists. And penny-toa- pound that the next used car you buy – contemporary or classic – will have had a degree of bodywork rectification at some point as it’s said that one in eight cars on our roads have been in some type of accident!

Modern technology and classics rarely go together but body repairs are different thanks to the latest technology and ‘smart repairs’ can work a treat on your old car plus make cost-effective minor repairs and enhancements either in a conventional workshop or a mobile one where work can be carried out at your home or work base, whatever is more convenient.

According to the UK’s leading smart repair experts ChipsAway (http://www.chipsaway.co.uk), it isn’t rust that accounts for the bulk of its repair and rectification work but rather minor scuffs and dings with bumper refurbishments taking 80 per cent of its work, the remainder being minor dents and alloy wheel repairs via its 300 odd mobile technicians and 40 dedicated Car Care centres.

Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, all ChipsAway repairs carry a lifetime guarantee for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Minor paint rectification specialists ‘smart repairers’ are shooting up everywhere offering similar services on exterior and interior repairs but not all are experts.

For example, it’s virtually impossible to get an exact paint match due to so many variations of just one particular shade being available – and not simply metallic hues either. ChipsAway relies on a James Bond-sounding ‘Colour Spectrophotometer’ machine which is placed on the bodywork to take a ‘snapshot’ of the finish before downloading its findings onto a lap top which then comes up with suggested best matches – it’s all scientific stuff.

ARE CLASSICS COVERED?

You may say that these types of repairs are fine for modern cars but not older classics with their pre-two pack paint finishes but this isn’t so. In fact, quite the opposite as the clever techniques allow for more small localised repairs and so retaining as much originality as possible. Indeed, the Car Care centre we visited for this feature in Basildon, Essex is no stranger to taking classics in for such repairs and only recently carried out work on a Jaguar Mk2 and an Opel Manta. Don’t worry about the use of two pack on a car still wearing cellulose either (which is both increasingly hard to obtain and repairers are reluctant to use) as it can be successfully toned down to match the duller finish which cellulose achieves.

As an experiment, we sampled several services that ChipsAway provides; scuff repairs, body colour coding and plastic bumper repairs – more details are to be found in their relative pic strips.

Prices will vary according to location but as an example, ChipsAway says a typical bumper scuff (which on average takes 2.5 to 3 hours) costs around £130 per repair but in many cases, on older vehicles, other deterioration will be found and it’s better to have the entire bumper sprayed for around £250. A scraped door mirror can cost £80 which is also the going rate for a kerbed alloy wheel – all typical motoring scars.

Repairing a smashed bumper (as on our project Nissan Almera GTi in the pic strip) can cost up to £300 depending upon damage but that’s usually half the price of a new replacement – if you can still obtain one that is as our GTi’s bumper is of the hen’s teeth variety.

Finally, be careful killing your new second-hand car with kindness. Regular washing is always a good thing but according to one paint expert, the high power jet washers used by many of these £5 car wash emporiums are hostile to car paints and can actually drive grit into it rather than clear it off! Now see how the experts do it.

 



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