Author Archives: Jim Lambert

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Top Five Most Stolen Cars in Florida – Is Yours on the List?

Category : Blog

Although it may not be your biggest consideration if you are thinking about buying a new car (or a new to you used car) have you ever wondered just which cars are the favorite targets of the less friendly sector of the Florida population that prefers to help themselves to someone else’s car rather than actually go out and get their own? 

The following is a breakdown of the top five most stolen cars in Florida in 2012, as complied by the National Insurance Institute and some of them are quite surprising: 

Full Size Ford 4 x 4 Pickup 

The most stolen car in the Sunshine State in 2012 was actually the rather noticeable full sized Ford 4 x 4 pickup, proving that car thieves are not exactly discreet. 

2000 Honda Civic Si

The 2000 version of the Honda Civic Si is light years behind its 2013 counterpart in so many ways – it has a cassette player as standard for gawd’s sake, when did you last even see a cassette tape? – and yet apparently this the Civic that is stolen most often, probably because its standard security features were well, door locks. There is no doubt though that the 2000 Honda Civic Si was a great hot hatch for its time, so if any owner has been careful about regular maintenance and cosmetic details like paint protection maybe it is not so hard to understand why it is a magnet for thieves after all. 

1996 Honda Accord 

This one is a little harder to understand. Hondas are, on the whole, good solid cars and many so seem like they run forever, but they are not exactly the best looking, or even vaguely distinctive cars on the road, but maybe that is the point as far as a car thief would be concerned. 

1997 Nissan Altima 

The appearance of this car next on the list proves one thing – Florida car thieves apparently have a bit of a thing for Japanese cars. Maybe its the longevity that they offer or the fairly decent gas mileage or simply the fact that a car this old, unless it has been upgraded in some way, has zero standard security features. 

2011 Toyota Camry 

And.. its another Japanese car, but a much newer one this time and one that did come with far better security features than the others standard. So does this mean that Floridian car owners who chose Japanese are particularly careless with their vehicles or are these simply easier to break into? We’ll leave to decide that one..

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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 you car’s headlights will be protected and safe for years to come?

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

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Interior Car Detailing 101

Category : Blog

If you have invested in Invisibra protection for your car your exterior car maintenance has been significantly decreased but as great as it is there is not a lot that Invisibra can do to help you with the maintenance of the inside of your car. 

If you’re like most of us with busy schedules, it is extremely hard to find the time to run a vacuum over the interior, let alone actually do some car detailing properly . It does then tend to become a dumping ground for all sorts of things and occasionally even a sort of treasure-trove for junk collectors. But it does not have to be that hard to give the interior of your car a good clean and once you have done it once maintaining this new, neat state of affairs should not be so hard. 

Getting Started 

Park your car in a cool, shaded spot as some cleaners can get ‘baked’ to a cars upholstery in direct sunlight which will dry out the natural oils in any leather. Head out with a good stock of cotton, terry cloth towels on applying and removing detail products. 

The first task – cleaning out all of that crud, can be the hardest. order of business is getting all of the crud out of the interior. Have a big garbage bag on hand and you may even want to don a pair of rubber gloves in case you come across something really nasty. On the upside the chances are that you will find at least $5 in change if you do a good clearing out job. 

With all of the bigger rubbish out of the way, step back and really take a good look at the state of your car’s interior now. Are you going to have to tackle just a bit of dust and a few stains or are there nastier food/pet/kid related stains and odors to be dealt with. Assess the damage and then get ready to start cleaning. 

Attach a soft brush attachment to your vacuum and, using a gentle ‘stroking’ motion go over the dash, headliner, gauges and console.  After vacuuming, wipe the whole area down with a damp cloth using a circular motion to remove additional surface dirt before you get down to some deeper cleaning. 

The chances are also good that the cupholders in your car actually see more mileage than the tires and get just as grimy. If you tend to prefer soda when driving you probably have at least some gloopy residue to try and cut through. To do so mix up a batch of baking soda  and water in a 1:4 ratio. Spray the cupholder liberally (but son’t soak it) and then allow the mixture to soak in before wiping with a terry cloth towel. After the goop is gone, wipe the cupholder with a damp terry towel and then dry off. 

Next direct your attention to the front seats, the package tray and rear seats, using the same technique as before to take the bulk of the dust and dirt off. . To reach the the nooks and crannies in and around the seats, console and transmission tunnel attach the crevice tool and have at it.

Hopefully, your floor mats take the brunt of the punishment and the carpet beneath them is in pretty good shape. Vacuum the mats well with the carpet-comb attachment and then remove them from the car. 

Now for the carpet itself . Using the carpet-comb tool, vacuum as much dirt and stuff as you can.  If there are  stains on the carpet and floor mats are that are relatively small or light, a “spray, scrub and vacuum” product such as 3M Scotchgard Carpet Cleaner will more than likely do the trick nicely. If not, you may have to invest in renting a carpet cleaner instead.

Now it is time to turn your attention to cleaning the dash and seating surfaces. If your vehicle has leather upholstery, opt for a quality leather cleaner such as Lexol-ph Leather Cleaner or Mothers Leather Cleaner. Use separate cleaners and conditioners, rather than an all-in-one product as this allows for better deep cleaning and the best possible protection for the leather.

Leather cleaners generally come in two forms: spray and liquid paste. The spray types are usually a spray-on, wipe-off affair. Liquids have to be “massaged” into the leather to be effective. In either case, follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper application.After cleaning, you’ll need to condition the leather and dash in order to restore the natural oils and retain its original suppleness and deter aging. 

Cloth seats have become more and more resistant to staining, thanks in part to new formulations in fabric treatment, which were originally developed by the 3M company in the 1980s. The use of “Scotchgarding” (the correct term for 3M’s Scotchgard product) adds a barrier to help repel water and oil-based contaminants from staining cloth and velour fabrics. Therefore, cleaning a stain-resistant cloth interior is relatively easy, compared to cleaning a leather interior. Nearly all cleaning products for cloth interiors are produced as an “all-in-one” cleaner and protectant, in spray, scrub and wipe/vacuum form, such as 3M Scotchgard Cleaner and Protector. 

Finally it is time to pay a little attention to the windows. There are lots of window cleaning products out there, but good old fashioned Windex is still a great choice but if you have tinted windows stick to distilled water only as the ammonia in Windex can create little ‘pits’ in the film. 

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The BMW i3 Arrives – Was it Worth all the Hype?

Category : Blog

So it’s here, almost. The all electric BMW i3 BMW’s first production car venture into the world of the EV was debuted to the world last week and, as expected, it caused quite a stir, with the love/hate being expressed on Twitter coming fast and furious as the live event unfolded (start the video above at 12.00 minutes, there is nothing of note before then) 

If you cannot spare the time to watch the video right now though here are some of the basic facts and specs: 

The BMW i3 will start at $41,350. The BMW i3 with Range Extender will start at $45,200 and both will be available in the US in early 2014. 

The basic electric engine boasts 170 hp and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft and a 0-60 speed of 7 seconds and a limited 93mph top speed. The standard range is 80-100 miles on a single charge and, using a 240 volt socket charges in three hours or the optional SAE DC Combo Fast Charging allows for 80% charge in just 20 minutes. Adding the Range Extender will take you a little further (up to 200 miles) by allowing a 2 cylinder 650cc combustion engine to maintain a charge to the lithium-ion battery until you can get to a charging spot. 

There are three drive modes –  Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+ and an uber tight turning radius of 32.3 feet that is designed – according to BMW – for tricky city driving. 

The car itself is also being billed as the world’s first mass-produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) -constructed electric vehicle, and weighs in at around 2,700 lbs. 

The base Mega World comes standard with 19-inch extra-efficient forged aluminum wheels, BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive with eCall, the BMW i Remote, an alarm, 7.4 kW on board charger and LED headlights, DRLs and tail lights. The interior is decked out in bright, lightweight Sensatec and sustainable cloth, which is made from recycled materials. It also features a leather trimmed steering wheel and grained dash trim. And yes, you do have to live with that black hood, whatever color you choose. 

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The Importance of Sunscreen …For Your Car. Paint Protection for Hot Weather Cars

Category : Blog

A few days ago, headlines were made when researchers from Stony Brook University in New York suggested that, after much research, that drivers in sunny states like Florida were as much at risk for skin cancer as if they spent hours lying out in the sun, eve if their cars were all mice and sealed up, as while UVA rays can be deflected by a car’s body and windows the more harmful UVB rays penetrate right through such things. 

The suggestion was that drivers remember to wear sunscreen at all times when driving to minimize the risks. However, if the UVB rays are that strong what on earth might they be doing to your car’s paint finish, which is directly absorbing both kinds of rays every minute it is being driven along the sunny highways and byways of the ‘Sunshine State?’ 

The simple answer is a lot of damage. Fading and oxidization eventually leads to peeling and cracking, which in turn leads to rust and permanent body damage. Essentially your car gets sunburnt, and literally looks far older than it really is. The perfect answer would be if you could provide your car with a sunscreen of its own, which happens to be exactly what you could think of Invisbra paint protection as being. 

The Invisibra 3M Paint Protection Film resists all of those damaging rays in the same way as your high SPF sunscreen does for your skin, except the protection lasts much, much longer (up to eight years in fact) We can also protect your headlights, which can be just as easily damaged by the sun, by applying X-PEL headlight protection film patterns at the same time as your Invisbra treatment to ensure that your car is fully protected from the sun at all times, and will not succumb to premature aging just because you happen to live in one of the sunniest places in the US. 

To learn more about Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra paint protection services, click here

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