Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Driving Safety Hazard You Are Probably Overlooking

Category : Blog

One of the most dangerous things that can become a real driving safety hazard on your vehicle if they are not properly maintained is something that many drivers never really give a second thought to. Not the tires, the engine or even the brakes, as most people are very good at keeping an eye on the condition of these safe driving essentials. We are talking about your headlights. 

Chipped, cracked, dirty, cloudy oxidized and/or discolored headlights endanger your safety every time you take your vehicle out after dark or in a rainstorm (and we have plenty of those in South Florida) If any of these conditions are affecting your lights then their function is compromised and your visibility is reduced. It can also make it harder for other drivers to see you coming in time on a quieter, darkened road. 

The average age of a vehicle (trucks and cars) on the road today is approximately eight years old. After just a year or so on the road though, especially in our tricky South Florida driving conditions the outer lens covers of a vehicle’s headlights have already become grimy, pitted, discolored and oxidized and even if you are one of the few people who does pay closer attention to cleaning your headlights the pitting and scratches do not go away. So those temporary solutions in the form of a specialized headlight cleaner as well as being just that, temporary solutions, are also not able to handle that kind of permanent damage. 

For less than $100, we can protect both of your headlights from the everyday hazards the road throws at them on a daily basis, including rocks and gravel, as well as the hazing and yellowing that UV exposure causes. 

The material these kits are made from is designed to last eight years and or even longer. Classic Touch uses quality X-PEL headlight protection film patterns to ensure a perfect custom fit to your vehicle’s headlights.

Being safe on the road not just about making sure your tires have the right amount of pressure, or that your brakes are functioning properly; it also requires making sure that when you are driving at night or in bad weather that you can see clearly.  Why spend money over and over again on a product that will work for a few weeks, when one application of X-PEL protection film means your car’s headlights will be protected and safe for years to come?

Click here to learn more about Classic Touch’s Headlight Protection Services 


South Florida Wheel Care and Wheel Cleaning Basics

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Category : Blog , Wheel Repair

Whether you’ve just completed your project vehicle, or finally purchased that AMG you’ve had your heart set on, you’ve got to have wheels that set your car or truck apart from the rest. And let’s face it- some wheels are more expensive than the vehicles wearing them. That’s why it is important that you care for your wheels in a manner that keeps them looking great for years to come!

Brake dust is the number one cause of dull, unattractive wheels. No matter the composition of your brake pads, or your driving habits, brake dust is inevitable. Other factors include road debris, tar, and the wandering dog or cat (seriously). In some South Florida locations salt from the ocean may also cause a buildup on your wheels that can damage the finish.

Below are a couple of tips for maintaining the luster of your new wheels.

  • Wheels are made available in several different finishes. Make sure that your wheel cleaner is intended for your particular finish whether your wheels are chrome, painted, hypersilver, polished, or a machined surface. You will also need towels, scrub brushes, a bucket of warm soapy water, carnauba wax or similar, a hose and spray nozzle.
  • Before cleaning your wheels, be sure to allow time for your wheels to cool to the touch. You can aid in the cooldown process by hosing the wheels off with cool water from a garden hose. It is best to park your ride in the shade before getting started.
  • Just like the body of your vehicle, most wheels are painted and clear coated. Never use harsh cleaners or soaps to clean your wheels. Lightly dirty wheels can easily be cleaned with a good quality car wash soap and water, but if there is an extra build up of brake dust and road grime a very soft bristle brush will help take it off after washing with soap and water.
  • Regular weekly cleaning of your wheels will help prevent brake dust ever building up and giving you tough cleaning issues. After cleaning, applying a light coat of wax will protect your wheels and help stop brake dust or ride grime sticking to your wheels. If cleaning chrome rims, do not apply wax, as the chrome needs to breathe. Instead, use a cleaner intended for chrome surfaces.
  • Removing the wheel and cleaning the backside can increase the amount of light reflected through the spokes, thus making the front shine more brilliantly. To remove years of buildup, you may have to use a brush to scrub until the surface is clean of all dust.
  • When detailing your wheels, you may come across chips and scratches caused by kicked up debris or perhaps your neighbor got careless with this lawn care techniques, blasting your beautiful wheels with sand and rocks. You may have misjudged a turn or entered an area downtown where you should have brushed up on your parallel parking skills. Whatever happened, your wheels look pitted, scratched and dented. This is known as curb rash.

This is not something, unfortunately, that any amount of wax, or polish with “buff out”. Curb rash calls for South Florida wheel refinishing, the kind we specialize in here at Classic Touch of South Florida. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.


South Florida Bent Rims FAQs

Category : Uncategorized

Rims are an incredibly important part of your vehicle because they serve as the link between the axles and the tires. In a perfect world, rims would remain in pristine shape forever, especially considering they can cost so much.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Sometimes a rim gets bent and throws the entire vehicle out of whack. Many customers ask us questions about bent rims and how to deal with them, so we decided to put together this list of FAQs.

1. What Causes a Bent Rim?

The short answer is a heavy impact on the wheel. Even though rims are made of aluminum alloy, chrome, or steel, they’re still vulnerable to impacts caused by potholes, curbs, speed bumps, and other road hazards.

2. What Happens If I Have a Bent Rim?

If not caught in time, a bent rim can cause the tire to leak air, which leads to decreased fuel economy and poor handling. It may even result in a flat tire or blowout, which can be pretty dangerous, especially at highway speeds. Bent rims can also cause wheels to wobble at speed, making your vehicle unstable, and they can interfere with steering too.

For all these reasons, it’s wise to take care of a bent rim as soon as you notice it.

3. What are the Symptoms of a Bent Rim?

The most common symptoms of a bent rim include:

Vibration in the steering wheel
Vibration in the seat (a sign that one of the rear rims is bent)
Less responsive handling
Tire scallop
Decreased fuel economy
A thumping sound while driving
4. Is it Possible to Repair a Bent Rim?
It depends on the level of damage to the rim and the type of wheel you have.

If you have steel wheels, and a bent rim is your only issue, you can usually have the wheel repaired.
If you have alloy wheels, there is typically no way to repair a bent rim. Even minor bends can crack if you try to repair them, so it’s usually a good idea to just buy a replacement wheel.

Not sure if your rim would be a good candidate for South Florida Rim Repair? Contact us to find out.

5. Why Are Replacement OEM Rims So Expensive?

Replacing an OEM alloy wheel typically costs several hundred dollars – far more than you’d pay for a single aftermarket wheel, but not quite as much as a set of inexpensive aftermarket wheels. This is intentional, as replacement wheels are a great source of profits for most automakers.

It’s for this reason that you may want to look to South Florida rim repair to solve your problems before you ditch the rims for good.


wheel repair

South Florida Wheel Repair: How to Fix Curb Rash

Category : Blog

Curb rash occurs when there are scratches or dings on the hubcaps of your car. While the damage can appear merely superficial, these scuff marks can leave room for rust spots and grit damage, especially here in South Florida where there is a lot of moisture in the air.

When looking to get your wheels repaired, taking care of curb rash for both the improvement in aesthetic appeal and physical health of your tires is crucial to avoid major damage in the future. It’s important to look for a South Florida wheel repair shop that you can trust to restore your hubcaps to their former glory and avoid unnecessary costs down the road.

ASSESSING CURB RASH DAMAGE

If your wheels have curb rash, you will see slight to moderate scuffs around your hubcaps. This can be due to bumping a curb when parallel parking, general wear and tear on the roads, or a remainder from a close call with another car in the past. If you do a lot of city driving, your vehicle is even more susceptible to curb rash.

Curb rash can also occur on the outer edge of the wheel, leading to an increased chance of popped tires as the tire walls are more easily punctured when worn down or scuffed.

FINDING A WHEEL REPAIR SHOP

When looking to repair your wheels, it is important to pick a shop that specializes in South Florida wheel repair. You want to make sure you are getting the best value for your money, because solid-performing wheels are critical to the efficiency and safety of your vehicle. In the case that the damage to wheels is superficial, your shop will recommend wheel repair for your precise wheel type, such as surface repair and refinishing.

WHEEL REPAIR IN SOUTH FLORIDA

If you are looking to have your wheels repaired, give the pros at Classic Touch of South Florida a call for a free quote. Our shop is dedicated to repairing mild to severe wheel damage at a fair price and with high-quality materials, and best of all we’ll come to you, so there’s even less hassle.


Think a Bent Rim is a Cosmetic Problem? Time to Think Again..and Call a South Florida Wheel Repair Shop

Category : Blog , Wheel Repair

There are some very powerful centrifugal forces at work when rolling, turning, and propelling a vehicle into motion, which means that its wheel rims need to be in almost perfect balance and shape for everything to function as it should.

Some people do feel that if a bent rim is hard to see it is probably not worth spending the money to get it fixed just yet. However, a bent rim can lead to far more than just a visible blemish and should be accessed as soon as possible by a South Florida wheel repair specialist. 

The Damage Can Get Much Worse

Any bend in a wheel rim will quickly damage and weaken the integrity of the wheel itself. The bend is a weak point which, if it is stressed again, or worse still hit by road debris, the wheel rim itself may crack, resulting in a dangerous critical failure.

Misalignment

A bent rim can also throw a vehicle’s overall wheel alignment right off. The result of that, as most drivers know, is uneven tire wear, tires that wear out far faster than they really should have done and the car itself pulling and tugging to one side as you drive. If you pay for a wheel alignment but still do not address the bent rim issue then the problem will only reoccur again and again. One visit from a mobile South Florida wheel repair specialist can pay for itself in the decreased need for pricey alignments alone. 

Wheel Vibrations

A wheel rim that has to medium to severe bend in it will often lead top some very noticeable, and disconcerting wheel vibrations. This does not just making driving harder though. If the situation is allowed to continue the vibrations will damage your vehicle’s transmission, and we all know how expensive that is to fix and/or replace. 

Having a bent rim repaired is therefore not just a matter of helping to restore the beauty of your vehicle’s overall experience but it is also crucial to the safety and integrity of your vehicle. At Classic Touch of South Florida, using the Kwicksilver method of wheel and rim repair, we may be able to repair and restore even severe damage for just around $100. 

Learn more about Wheel Repair at Classic Touch of South Florida. 


6 Sensible Tips for Safer Nighttime Driving

Category : Blog

Summer is over, winter is here. One of the things this means for drivers is that they are likely to spend more of their time driving in the dark, as the days get shorter and sunsets occur far earlier.

Even if you consider yourself ‘used to it’, nighttime driving, especially winter nighttime driving, can be especially challenging and, at times, dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 40% of fatal automotive accidents in the United States occur at night, partially because driving after dark often affects peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to distinguish color for even the most experienced drivers.

There are some measures you can take to make your after dark drives safer though. Here are some of the most important.

Take Extra Care of Your Headlights

Ensuring that your vehicle’s headlights are functioning as efficiently and effectively as possible at night or in other low-light daylight conditions – rainy days, foggy days, snowy days, all of which are common during the colder months – is a must. This does not simply mean checking the bulbs though. Your headlight covers need to be kept clean, so you should wipe them off at least every few weeks or so. You also need to check the angle of your headlights and adjust them if they are not aimed properly. You should also consider getting them some much needed headlight protection as foggy, scratched headlights really can prove catastrophic, especially when driving at night.

Windshield Care is Crucial

For safer nighttime driving your windshield needs to be as clean and clear as possible, and the same is true of the rear windshield and your side and rearview mirrors too. Fog and ice can still cause problems on even the cleanest windshield though. There are all kinds of treatment products that can be found in auto stores that will help prevent icy build up and/or fogged windscreens and mirrors and at just a few dollars each they are often a wise investment.

Finally, before the bad weather really sets in check your windscreen wipers and replace them if necessary. Getting stuck with broken wipers on a cold dark night is no fun and it certainly isn’t safe either.

Light Up Earlier

Don’t wait until it is pitch black to turn your headlights on. Instead use sunset as your cue and ‘light up’ at that point instead. This is not so much to improve your vision but to help ensure you are as visible as possible to other vehicles on the road.

Keep the Cabin Dark

Keeping the cabin of your vehicle as dark as possible will help increase your nighttime vision. If possible dim your dash lights (most newer vehicles do offer that option) and avoid using map lights or courtesy lights while driving.

Watch Your Distances

Do not be tempted to “outdrive” your headlights and be conscious to maintain a safe stopping distance between your vehicle and the road – and traffic – in front of you. In fact, helpfully, you can use your headlights as Headlights a measuring tool: on average low-beam lights have a 160-foot visibly range and high-beam lights have a 500-foot visibility range.

Don’t be a Deer

You know all about what happens when a deer gets caught in the headlights don’t you? Well exactly the same thing can happen to a human if they stare directly into the headlights of the oncoming traffic. Which is not a good thing at all. Oh and speaking of deer remember to be on the lookout for them – and other woodland creatures – as well.