Author Archives: Jim Lambert

  • 0

Troubleshoot Your Auto Air Conditioning Before Disaster Strikes

Category : Blog

Many of us love the idea of taking a road trip in the summer, just hitting the open road and enjoying the ride. The one thing that can truly ruin such a trip though – and very quickly at that – is for your vehicle’s air conditioning system to fail. Being stuck in a car that has no AC on a ninety degree day is as close to hell as you can get, or at least that is what it feels like at the time and it can be even worse if you are stuck in Florida traffic on the way to work!

‘Sudden’ air conditioner failure is something a lot of motorists complain they have just experienced when they drop their car of at the mechanic in frustration. Sometimes that may be the case – cars can be funny things, even brand new ones – but often a car’s air conditioning system will give you signs it’s on its way out, you just have to know what these are so that they can be dealt with before you find yourself stuck on the highway someplace melting into the driver’s seat!

Tiny Leaks

It’s not unusual for a car’s AC system, however new and sophisticated it is, to develop tiny leaks that can easily go unnoticed for months. It’s therefore important that you get into the habit of checking for them yourself, before those tiny little leaks become a big problem. At the same time you should also check the refrigerant levels to make sure they don’t need a top up before you hit the road on a warm day, even if you are only headed out for a short trip.

Water in the Car

When a car’s air conditioning system is functioning properly it will drain the moisture it has extracted from the hot air in the car outside the vehicle once it has been parked – you should be able to see the little pool under the car for yourself if you crawl down and have a look underneath. If the AC’s drain is clogged though, that water will begin slowly pooling into the car instead. If you happen to begin to notice strange damp patches in your vehicle check this drain out – before the problem becomes so bad you need to consult with a mechanic to get a whole new system and your car also develops a nasty case of mold!

Strange Noises

When you turn the AC in your car on all you should hear is the low, comforting whir of the fan. Rattling, vibrating or banging noises are usually a good sign that something is obstructing the blower fan which will impact the AC unit’s performance – and probably break it altogether in the end if the problem is ignored.

Nasty Smells

You turn the AC on for a bit of cool but along with it comes a rather unpleasant smell of faint mildew. And that is quite possibly what it is as if the fan is not operating correctly inside the system itself is where mold spores and mildew will start to form, long before their are visible damp patches in the car. To avoid this problem schedule an AC cleaning as a part of the maintenance the next time you take your car in for a check up.


  • 0

Paint Protection and Rim Repair. The Best Job In the World?

Category : Blog

Maybe one of the best things about what we do at Classic Touch of South Florida is the number of amazing cars we are privileged to be entrusted with in order to provide both paint protection and rim repair, rim straightening and wheel repair.   Just take a look at some of the beauties we have had in the shop recently.


  • 0

World’s Most Impressive Police (Super)Cars

Category : Blog


Police cars are no usually the most exciting cars in the world. Or are they? U.S police cars may be pretty dull, if solid, vehicles, but elsewhere in the world the cops get to rock some rather splendid rides.  Here are some of the most impressive police cars in service with police departments from all over the world:

Dubai 

Everything in Dubai is BIG and EXPENSIVE. The world’s tallest hotel is there, as is the world’s largest mall and the world’s most expensive car dealership. Therefore the fact that the police have some very nice cars is really not a surprise. And to be honest, it all makes sense. If the speeder you want to ticket is in a Ferrari or an Aston (both very commonly seen on streets of Dubai along with every other supercar you can name) , pulling up in a clapped out Ford to do so would be rather laughable. 

Therefore the Dubai force make great use of customized cars, specifically, customized Lamborghini Aventadors, resprayed to reflect the department’s official colors and modified to accommodate the odd bad guy or two. 

Russia 



Most people probably imagine that the Russian police man the streets in beat up old Ladas, many because that it how it tends to be as depicted in most Western spy films. That however is not the case, or at least in the Russian cities. There the Porsche Cayenne is standard police issue and actually apparently makes a rather efficient, if overly luxurious, emergency vehicle.

UK



British police departments are divided regionally and some of them boast some very impressive supercars. The Jaguar XFs are in  service in the South of England even have souped up V8 engines that output a respectable 300-horsepower. The West Midlands police get around in Lotus Evoras that were donated to them by the company. And even the standard urban British police car is something of a stunner, a BMW 330d Saloon Interceptor tuned up and tweaked by BMW of England so that the cars are more efficient in high speed pursuits. 

Germany 


The autobahns of Germany are the fastest public highways in the world. In essence the real speed limit on many sections could be aptly described as ’10 kph faster than your car can go’. Therefore whatever police car is supposed to oversee traffic safety is going to have to be pretty speedy themselves. 

Fortunately for the German police they are – these guys get to ride around in customized Porsche 911s. The only question we have about these posh police cars though is if an offender needs a ride to the station and they are more than about three feet tall just where are you going to put them? 


  • 0

How to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle’s Tires

Category : Blog

If you have had occasion to shop for tires recently then you are more than aware of the fact that they could not exactly be termed as cheap, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. Therefore, getting more out of the set you have should be something of a priority, unless money is no object, something that is hardly the case for most of us. 

So how do you do that? Here are a few basic pointers: 

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated 

Try to get into the habit of at least glancing at your tires once a day, either when you park up for the day or better still when you stop for gas (where there will be air nearby if you need it.) A lot of the time you can tell yourself when your tires could use a bit of air. 

If you have a newer vehicle it may be equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which is handy, but you still need to make sure that you know what the optimal tire pressure is for vehicle when that warning light goes off. If you do not have a TPMS your should check all of your tires once a month using a good digital or pencil type pressure gauge. 
Not only will you be helping to extend the life of your tires by maintaining a consistent tire pressure but you can also improve your average gas mileage by up to 3.3%! 

Get Your Tires Balanced and Rotated Every Other Oil Change 

By getting your tires balanced and rotated every 7,000 – 10,000 miles (approximately every other oil change) you will help increase the lifespan of all four of them as the tires on the front of the vehicle wear faster than those on the back. You will also be helping to reduce vibrations that can damage other ‘working parts’ on your car. 

Routinely Check Your Tire Treads 

A tire wearing on its outside edge is often a sign that your wheels are no longer properly aligned. Misalignment (camber and toe-in) will usually significantly reduce the life of your tires, so routinely inspect for uneven tread wear. 

An easy way to check your tread depth is to insert a penny in the tread groove or look at the wear bars (a raised molding inside the groove). If you can see all of Abe’s head or the bars are even with the top of the tread, the tires should be replaced and you should also have your alignment checked when you do put on the new ones. 

Avoid Potholes – Or at Least Go Over Them Slowly 

Potholes are certainly a big enemy to tire health. Depending on your tire’s design and pothole’s depth, even hitting a pothole at 20 m.p.h. can cause significant damage to the tire sidewall, which is not something that can be fixed. 

If a pothole is unavoidable, it is better to slow down and drive through it than try to swerve away from it at the last second, as doing the latter is nothing short of a driving hazard, both for yourself and other cars on the road around you. 


  • 0

What Does Your Car’s Paint Color Say About You?

Category : Blog

If you know a thing or two about colors you may know who Leatrice Eiseman is. If you don’t, the lady is the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and considered to be one of the foremost experts in the world on the subject. Every January everyone from fashion designers to car manufacturers pays attention to what she happens to feel are the ‘hot’ colors for the coming year. And she has had a thing or two to say about car paint color in general as well. 

According to Ms. Eiseman, people, when shopping for a new ride, are drawn to car colors that reflect their personality. The following, she says, is how car colors and car owners usually match up: 

Silver: Elegant, cool, loves futuristic things. 
White: Fastidious
Red: Sexy, speedy, high-energy and dynamic
Light to Mid-Blue: Cool, calm, faithful, quiet
Dark Blue: Credible, confident, dependable
Taupe/Light Brown: Timeless, basic and simple tastes
Black: Empowered, not easily manipulated, loves elegance, appreciates classics
Neutral Gray: Sober, corporate, practical, pragmatic
Dark Green: Traditional, trustworthy, well-balanced
Bright Yellow-Green: Trendy, whimsical, lively
Yellow Gold: Intelligent, warm, comfort food lover. 
Sunshine Yellow: Sunny disposition, joyful, young at heart
Deep Brown: Down-to-earth, no-nonsense
Orange: Fun loving, talkative, fickle and trendy
Deep Purple: Creative, individualistic, original

So how well does your car’s color reflect who you really are? Whatever it is though any car’s paint finish, if not properly protected, will fade over time, so that sleek, sexy red may eventually become a lot less appealing. Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra Paint Protection system can help prevent car paint from fading, cracking, peeling and from the everyday hazards a car faces every day on the roads, preventing a sexy, speedy, high-energy and dynamic ride from becoming a washed out, sad old mess. 




  • 0

Think a Bent Rim is a Cosmetic Problem? Time to Think Again..

Category : Blog

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. 

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. 

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 rim repair, we may be able to repair and restore even severe damage for just around $100. 

Learn more about Kwicksilver Rim Repair at Classic Touch of South Florida. 


  • 0

Are Your Headlights Aging Badly? Headlight Protection is the Answer

Category : Blog

As we age most of us find that our vision is not quite what it used to be. The same actually also holds true of a car’s headlights. 

The vast majority of the cars and trucks manufactured over the last two decades leave the assembly line with a plastic cover over the headlamp fixture. In the old days it used to actually be made of glass, but most vehicle makers have made a wholesale switch to plastic, citing safety (broken glass at the scene of an accident is more dangerous than plastic) and cost issues. 

There is nothing really wrong with this, except for the fact that over the years unprotected plastic headlight covers tend to become cloudy, however much you clean them. This is because of the lens coating that was applied when the car was made. Initially it is there to help protect the headlights from scratching but as it ages it also oxidizes, resulting in a permanently cloudy appearance that reduces the effectiveness of the headlamps themselves. Which is a real safety hazard. 

Minor headlight fogging is not that hard to fix, as the vast majority of common car polishes will remove most the oxidation, with a bit of effort and a little elbow grease. It is only a temporary fix though and eventually the oxidation will eat through the plastic itself, leaving you with an expensive bill for headlight replacement on your hands. 

There is a way to prevent all of this though, active headlight protection. A part of Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra system is headlight protection using XPEL’s Ultimate Paint Protection Film. Precision cut film, matched perfectly to your car’s headlights, is applied that then provides protection from oxidation, fogging and scratching for eight years and or even longer, guaranteed. 

Learn more about Invisibra and our XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection headlight protection system. 


  • 0

Everyday Hazards You May Not Realize are Killing Your Car Paint

Category : Blog


Everyone knows that keeping the paint on your vehicle in the best possible shape is important to its appearance and its potential resale value, but it also is the only barrier between the sheet metal and the elements, so damaged car paint can also damage the car in general. 

Some things can obviously easily damage car paint – gravel roads, parking lot dings, an angry ex with a key – but some of the thing that regularly damage car paint are less than obvious. 

Tree Sap – Do you ever park your vehicle under a tree, or several trees? If so then it is at risk for damage from tree sap. Wiping it off usually does not work very well either as it tends to just smear and get rubbed even deeper into the porous paint where it will slowly eat away at it. 

Bugs – Florida has bugs, lots of bugs and many of them meet their end by crashing into a car. The nasty mess that is left behind after a bug/vehicle collision is more than just ugly though. Bug guts, for want of a better description, are acidic, so will begin eating into your paint right away. 

Sprinklers – Do your lawn sprinklers reach as far the driveway where you park your car, even if the spray is very light? If so you are damaging your car’s paint this way as well. How could plain water cause car paint damage? Because standard household water is chock full of minerals, many of which are not at all paint friendly. 

Jokers – Have you ever let your car get dirty enough that some joker has written ‘Wash me’ in the dirt? Or your kids have figured out that the dirty surface makes a great drawing board? Such things seem easy enough to wipe off, but dirt acts a lot like sandpaper when it’s dragged across car paint, which can make the marks last long after the dirt is gone.

Regular waxing can help protect your car paint from these – and all of the other – hazards that it faces every day, but that is a temporary, time consuming and ultimately expensive solution. Car paint protection in the form of Invisbra obviously involves a higher initial investment than a can of wax, but it lasts an awful lot longer and provides far more comprehensive protection. You can even still wax your car occasionally if you like, but whether you chose to or not Invisibra is there at all times, defending your car’s paint for years. Guaranteed. 

Learn more about Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra car paint protection system. 


  • 0

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T Spyder Becomes the World’s Most Valuable Ferrari

Category : Blog , Uncategorized



The world’s highest priced Ferrari has just been auctioned off for a cool $27.5 million, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T Spyder. 

The car is one of ten that were produced and, believe it or not, really is a one owner from new vehicle, even though Steve McQueen once tried to buy it off that owner, Eddie Smith Sr, a Ferrari collector and businessman from North Carolina, as he had crashed and totaled his own. 

Smith however preferred to hold on to it and apparently continued to drive it regularly up until his passing six years ago. His son, Eddie Smith Jr, decided to sell though, and donate the proceeds of the sale to charity. The winning bidder was Tommy Hillfiger exec Lawrence Stroll who now owns the second most expensive car ever sold at auction, behind only Fangio’s $29.6 million 1954 Mercedes W196 racer. So what do you think, did he get his money’s worth? 



  • 0

A Mexican Super Car – Really? Meet The Vuhl 05

Category : Blog



No one really thinks ‘Mexico’ when they reel off car manufacturing countries of note, let alone sports car manufacturers, but an intriguing new sports car that is in the final stages of testing is aiming to change that. The Vuhl 05 – pronounced voo-ul – is an almost bare bones but with some tricks up its sleeve sports car that will be hitting the shores of both the UK and the US sometime in early 2014.

The Vuhl 05 is a super car that is the realization of the long held vision of a pair of race car obsessed siblings who call themselves the Echeverria brothers, who are toting the car as the ultimate ‘sports car for the masses’. It is a minimalist affair, no roof, no windshield, and only the most basic of sports style bucket seats, but it is not a car that is being sold based on its comfort level anyway. for comfort. It is instead, the  Echeverrias say, designed for the kind of thrilling speed and real race car experience that most every day drivers have never really experienced before.

At its heart is a 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost mid mounted in the center of the car. According to one of its creators Iker Echeverria this was not the first engine they considered though. Initially they tested an Audi engine but it turned out to be too heavy and did not have the sound that Iker was looking for. He says that for his car he was hoping emulate the very distinctive engine sounds of the 1970s Cosworths and as it turned out the Ecoboost almost exactly him the effect he was looking for. 

In terms of power the Vuhl can crank out 285bhp and 310lb ft of torque. As it is such a light car, with a featherweight aluminium monocoque chassis it also boasts a  power to weight ratio of 400bhp per tonne. This will translate as a 0-62 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 152mph. Not the fastest thing in the world, but certainly thrilling enough.

Iker also had another classic in mind when it comes to the car’s handling, stating he hoped that it is like the Lotus Elise, a car that handled a lot like a race car but drives did not actually need not actually need years of Formula 1 experience to handle it proficiently. 

Although it is a bare bones car the Vuhl does boost some nifty tech stuff. The primary key for the car not only unlocks the fuel cap holds it open as well, ensuring that your racing whites, should you choose to wear them, remain clean and pristine. 

There is also a rather neat camera – an HD camera at that – mounted on the center console. This allows you to film your laps right up until the second you cross the line, or spin off, depending upon your skill level ,and then auto post your epic run, or embarrassing failure, to YouTube with the press of a button.

There is no word yet about the actual price of this car despite the fact that the Echeverrias say that this is a car for the average driver. What that actually translates as in terms of cash still remains to be seen. 


Call for a Free Quote

954-254-5955