How Living on the Coast Affects Your Car

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Living near the ocean can offer a lot of perks. You get the cool ocean breeze, the calming sound of the waves and beautiful views of the sparkling sea. But, while life along the coast may seem ideal, it may not be easy on your car. In fact, certain environmental factors present in coastal locations may cause or accelerate vehicle corrosion and damage.

car driving next to oceanOcean Air and Paint Damage

The coastal environment can affect a vehicle’s paint. The combination of the sun and salt air near a coast can destroy a car’s finish. That’s because the hot sun increases the pores in the paint, which results in greater absorption of salty moisture — and ultimately, more corrosion.

Humidity, Dew and Corrosion

Other parts of the vehicle, including brake calipers, nuts and bolts, can corrode as well. Salty humidity and dew are among the largest factors in progressing corrosion, particularly during certain times of the year.

The longer cars have been exposed to the ocean, the more damage you will notice.

And if the body of the car is extremely corroded it is sometimes cheaper to replace the car rather than try to fix and repaint it.

Preventing Ocean-Related Car Damage

If you are moving to a coastal location or have recently purchased a new car that you want to protect from the coastal elements, there are steps you can take to help slow salt damage to cars. If you are just a few blocks from the beach we suggest the following practices to help you prevent ocean-related damage to cars:

  • Park in a garage or use a vehicle cover, particularly in winter.
  • Wash and wax the paint regularly.
  • Don’t drive on sand or into ocean water. If you do, rinse the underside of the car with a hose after it has cooled off.

Living near the ocean may have negative effects on your car, but if you understand why the damage happens and take the appropriate steps to help limit or prevent it, you can enjoy coastal living with minimal corrosion to your vehicle.

Keeping Your Car Cool

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA hot car during the summer can be the absolute WORST! After a day at the beach or long work day, stepping into your car can be almost painful on a hot sunny day. The inside of your car can be around 20-30 degrees warmer then it is outside, so doing everything you can to keep it cooler is important.

Notice: During all times of the year, never leave children or pets in an unwatched car even if you follow these tips.

To stay a little cooler this summer, follow these tips to keep your car cool!

Park In The Shade: If possible, park your car in the shade, or in a parking garage, especially during the warmest times of the day.

Turn Your Car Around: While it isn’t always possible to park in the shade, you can try to turn your car around so most of the sunlight hits the back of your car. This will help your steering wheel or seat from getting too hot.

Cover Up The Windows: Window covers will ensure that sun doesn’t directly hit the seats of your car. It can make a difference and wont make your body sting when sitting down.

Window Tinting: Tinting your vehicles windows can be a really good way of keeping your car much cooler. Whether you are driving or your car is parked, this can be a big help.

Air Ventilation: To get some air flow through your car, crack at least two windows open. This will help with circulation. Just make sure you dont leave your windows so wide open that someone could break into your car.

Blast A/C: When all else fails, turn your Air Conditioner on full blast before you get in. Giving your car just a few minutes to cool down can make a huge difference.

 

 

Driving Safety Misconceptions

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speed limitMost people think they are good drivers and while they may be, there are things you aren’t doing correctly. Traits or knowledge that you have learned throughout the years may not be the actual right way to do things. Read these tips to ensure you are following the right safety protocols.

1.  The Signs Speed Limit is Safest – The speed limits on roads are calculated and provided under the case the conditions are perfect. If it rains or snows, you should drive slower then the posted speed limit.

2. Left Lane is the Fast Lane – People believe that since the left lane is filled with people driving faster, that it is the “fast lane”. This is not correct. The left lane is the “passing lane”. People should only use this lane to pass people, not to travel on.

3. Hands Free Phone Use Means You’re Safe: People think that phone use is safe if they have a hands-free device. This is not true as using your phone at all, automatically makes you more of a distracted driver. If you can avoid any phone use, this is your best bet to stay safe.

4. Fog Lights Always Help: A lot of people think that fog lights can be used all the time, and even at night. Using them during clear conditions can blind other drivers on the road.

5. Larger Car Means You’re Safe: Some believe that a larger car will keep them safe. It is true that if a crash happens between two cars, the larger one will fair better. But, larger vehicles have the tendency to change direction and slow down less efficient. This could increase your chance of crashing in a single-car accident.

New Audi A4 vs BMW

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Audi A4A recent article by the business insider dug into the emergence of the Audi A4 and how BMW is going to have to step their game up. For decades, the BMW 3-series has been the top dog when it comes to compact sport sedans. Since 1995, when Audi released it’s A4, Audi has been pushing to pass BMW ‘s reign.

In 2015, Business Insider tested a sporty variant of the A4 and noticed it to be extremely comfortable and also highly competent in terms of performance. While they liked their Audi test, they did notice the 7-year-old design and how it felt dated.

As for 2017, Audi released the 5th generation sedan. It looks sleek, and seems to still have all of the traditional charm and style of an A4. Along with that, the new A4 will have many features that we are continuing to see in recent releases.

Quick Notes:

  • The 2017 Audi A4 will force the BMW 3-series to step up their game after being the gold standard for over 30 years.
  • The 5th generation A4 will look completely different the current model
  • Lightweight materials will be included to make the A4 up to 265 pounds lighter
  • One largely noticeable difference will be the interior. A massive improvement shows a stunningly nice look.

Automotive Specialties is a collision center that specializes in working with luxury vehicles. We are also Audi certified meaning as of only a few shops in Massachusetts, Audi themselves suggest that you work with us. We are looking to see 2017 A4 hit showrooms this spring! Keep your eyes peeled for it’s arrival.

For more information please feel free to give us a call at 617-364-1722 or stop by our location at 12 Providence Street, Hyde Park, MA 02136.

 

How Do You Choose The Right Collision Center?

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Choosing the right collision center can be a stressful experience. If you are either new to the area or have yet to find a reliable center, how can you know what the best collision center is? While pricing is important and we often see estimates range, what is the difference between shop A & shop B?

Word Of Mouth

Any shop can advertise but the true key is to ask your friends and family to see what they recommend. A business that has satisfied customers far and near are the ones that are getting the job done right.

Operations’s Location & Overhead

Where customers get hit by extra charges is labor hours. Large body shops with a lot of front office workers will have to bump up their per hour rates to pay for these workers. Each shop may have their own reason and way for developing this per hour rate.

On the other side of things, high end shops may charge more because they look around for everything in the “gray area”, meaning that those things they “may” have to do in order to fix a problem.

Look Around At Estimates

Bringing your car around the area for multiple estimates is the best way to ensure that you don’t get over charged. While it’s important to make sure that you don’t get over charged, you shouldn’t also just go with the lowest cost. The really cheap guys could sound like a good idea now but they could lead to major problems in the future.

Ask Questions

Don’t go into an auto body and collision center with your pocket book open. Go in and ask important questions, such as: Do you provide a written warranty? If so, how long?  What does your warranty cover? Each shop may have a different warranty and that is important.

Also be sure to ask what type of products the shop is using. Are they new, used or aftermarket parts? Obviously new parts are the best but they don’t offer the best savings that people are looking for. Some aftermarket parts based off the damage, can save a lot of money and can be just as good as the manufacturers originals.

Follow Your Gut

Finally, be sure to follow your intuition. If a shop is always empty that may because people have had bad experiences and they are avoiding it. If the shop is filthy, cluttered and all over the place, maybe that reflects on the work they do?

For more information about how Automotive Specialties Inc can help you, we would be happy to talk. Ask us questions! We can be reached over the phone at (617)364-1722.

Best Way To Polish Car Headlights

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foggy headlightsYour vehicles headlights are absolutely crucial to effectively and safely travel in the dark and in poor weather conditions. You are driving down the highway in the morning when a tremendous fog hits the area. Luckily, you turn on your lights but quickly realize that you still can’t see very well. This is a tramendous safety hazard and you must slow down and pay extreme attention until you get back home. Once you get home, you investigate your headlights to find out they are dirty and frosted over. It’s not just dirt, but it’s also cloudy.

While it may not come to your attention but you, yourself can buy a few materials to completely clean your cars headlights. Below are some helpful tips:

Mask Off

Wash your entire car to remove any and all surface dirt on the vehicle. You should then at least wax within a few feet of the headlight. This way any polishing applied to the headlights will be less likely to adhere to the car.

Apply some blue masking tape and mask around the area around the headlamp that needs to be polished.

Elbow Grease

3M and Permatex sell kits that contain everything you need for just around 10 dollars. If you would like you can also buy the polishing material and some sandpaper separate. Start the process by places some of the polish on the lenses and then clean the area in a circular motion with either a flannel or microfiber cloth. Over time, the polish will dry out and get ground into the cloth; this is what lifts much of the haziness off. Don’t be discouraged if it’s not all coming off right away, as it usually takes around 10 minutes per lens.

It Didn’t Work

In the case that you have been scrubbing one corner of a lens for a few minutes and it’s not perfect, there is still something you can do. Take a 1000-grit piece of sandpaper and let it soak in cold water for around 10 minutes. Take the sandpaper and lightly sand the lens in straight strokes back and forth. Next take a higher grit sand paper, maybe around 1500-grit and sand the lens in the a straight light but at a right angle from previously before.

Finally you can re-polish to the rest of the lens to remove any last bit of haze.

These steps don’t take too much time and they can be extremely important for your safety and other driving on the road.

 

Should You Put Snow Tires On Your Audi?

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If you have been looking into puAudi Car Logorchasing an Audi or already own one, you most likely know about its quattro technology. Since 1980, the all-wheel-drive system has been synonymous with Audi. While it’s designed to handle weather conditions from rain and sleet to snow, many drivers still wonder if they should get snow tires.

Audi’s quattro System.

The engineers at Audi developed quattro while they were building an all-wheel-drive sports car. This iconic system works by using a special component that allows the engines torque to be divided equally between the wheels, even if they are rotating at different speeds.

Do I need Snow tires if I’m already equipped with quattro Technology?

Some Audi enthusiasts believe that quattro technology is enough protection during the winter months. However, we really believe it matters on where you are driving. Snow tires are still highly recommended in areas with harsh winter conditions, like New England. Even with the all-wheel driving system, there are still great benefits that you can gain from tires designed specifically for snow and ice.

For more information on Audi quattro technology or getting snow tires, please feel free to give Automotive Specialties Inc. a call at (617)364-1722 or fill out our online contact form.

How To Prevent Car Road Salt Damage

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As we all know, winter brings new levels of hazards to everyday driving. As snow & ice related dents to your car are quite noticeable, road salt damage is silently attacking your car all winter long. The risks that come along with road salt damage includes body damage and brake & fuel line damage.

What is Road Salt Damage?

Salt truckTo help with the driving conditions during winter storms, trucks dump down high levels of sand and salt before during and after the snow has fallen. Salt is used to reduce the freezing temperature of snow and ice, so roads can stay clear and unfrozen at very low temperatures. Salt also provides tires with additional traction on these dangerous roads.

While salt helps us, it also can hurt us. Salt is a corrosive material that can do a number to any vehicle. Without maintaining your vehicle, road salt can rust your car. Luckily on your end, their are a few tips to prevent any of this rust damage from occurring at all.

Before the Snow Falls

  • Late in the fall season, wash your entire car, especially the underneath side. The underside of your car is more susceptible and extra sensitive to rust damage.
  • Now that your car is completely clean, it is time to apply a coat of wax and wax sealant to protect the paint.
  • Check your car for any current rust damage and look at the brake and fuel lines. Corrosion in these places are dangerous and will only get worse with the upcoming winter.

Winter Maintenance Tips

  • Keep your car floors clean throughout the winter. Any slush build up on your shoes could contain salt which may result in floor rusting.
  • After driving in the snow, be sure to remove any buildup behind the wheels.
  • As often as you can, try running your car through a car wash in the winter. Spots such as the hood, top and rear decks should be targeted as they are the most sensitive to rust.
  • After bringing your car through the wash, be sure to re-wax & seal as you did during the fall.

 

 

 

How To Clean Stains Off Car Seats

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car seats stainOne obvious way that people can notice the wear and tear in a car is stains and spots all over car seats. Whether it be a cloth wool or leather fabric, seats are bound to get dirty. To make your car look a few years younger and to make yourself feel better there are some things you can do to clean stains.

Here are a few things you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp Dish Soap
  • 2 tbsp Washing Soda
  • 2 cups Hot Water
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Clean Towel
  1. Begin the process of cleaning by vacuuming your seats or quickly removing all bits of dirt, food or trash from the fabric before refreshing.
  2. Take all the needed ingredients and mix them together.
  3. Dip the cleaning brush within the mixture, and then slightly dampen your car seats in a circular motion.
  4. After adding the mixture to the car seats, clean them with a towel. Work on the seats until they are all cleaned. After you are finished simply open the windows to let them air dry.
  5. After the drying has finished, vacuum one last time and spray a linen spray.

Your car will smell and look like brand new!

 

e-tron, Audi’s Approach Toward Sustainability

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Audi e-tron a3The Audi e-tron is a family of cars developed by Audi that brings together the concept of electric and hybrid. This revolutionary concept was first shown in 2009 and has since been unveiled in 2012 and then first released to customers in Europe in 2014. The latest vehicle slated for release is the A-3 Sportback e-tron.

This vehicle is far from your typical hybrid. It’s an electric plug-in hybrid that combines Audi’s sportiness and luxury. The 2016 A-3 has the ability to run purely on electricity, gas or even a combination of the two. The electric motor offers 243lbs-ft of torque for a beautiful, quiet and smooth ride. The electric motor is joined by a gas engine that delivers 204 horse power for responsive acceleration.

Through this innovation, Audi is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. For more information, check out Audi’s website.

Automotive Specialties Inc. specializes in Audi repair work. We are always looking at new industry leading innovations and are happy to share them with you.

 

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