Dangers of DIY Auto Body Repair

Dangers of DIY Auto Body Repair

Owner of Dent Dawg, Chris Coker shares with us some of the tips to look out for out there in the auto dent world. Dent Dawg is the #1 San Antonio paintless dent repair shop and offers a great service to its fellow Texans. Chris says it’s easy to think DIY auto body repair will save you money. That’s because you can easily search for tips and tutorials on how to fix different auto body damages. But DIY auto body repair is not always the right way to go. Modern vehicles are more complex. Some auto body repair processes may seem simple, but they take hours or even days.

What’s more, some of these jobs require specialized tools, equipment, and skills. Even worse, a DIY auto body repair project can backfire on you. Here are some of the dangers of DIY auto body repair.

It Can Go Wrong

DIY auto body repair involves several risks, especially when you’re not conversant with what you are doing. For instance, a rust removal or painting job may look straightforward. However, the following can happen:

  • You can lose the original polished look of your vehicle
  • You can damage your car further
  • You can expose yourself to health risks due to the chemicals you will breathe when painting your car.

Even after spending money and time on a DIY auto body repair job, you might not achieve your desired results. In some cases, you can extend the damage to your vehicle and end up spending more on its repair.

You Don’t Have the Right Skills

Most auto body repair jobs require the expertise of technicians at an auto body repair shop. If you try to do these jobs, you might damage your vehicle further because you don’t have the right expertise. That’s why you should leave your auto body repair to reputable auto body repair shops.

You Don’t Have the Right Equipment and Supplies

Every auto body repair job requires specific equipment and supplies. Without the right equipment and supplies, you will do a shoddy job. For instance, you need the following equipment for a car paint repair job:

  • Gloves
  • Coveralls
  • Eye protection
  • Approved respirator

It would help if you also had supplies like the right auto paint. These cost money, and you can’t do a good job without them.

You risk damaging your vehicle further if you opt to engage in a DIY auto body repair project. Take your car to a reputable shop to have the most qualified experts repair it for you.

How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Car: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right tires for your car is crucial for ensuring safety, performance, and fuel efficiency. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the key factors to consider when selecting tires for your vehicle.

Understanding Tire Basics

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand some basic tire terminology:

  • Tire Type: The type of tire you need depends on your vehicle and driving conditions. Common types include all-season, summer, winter, and performance tires.
  • Tire Size: Tire size is indicated by a series of numbers and letters on the sidewall (e.g., 205/55R16). This code provides information about the tire’s width, aspect ratio, and diameter.
  • Tread Pattern: The tread pattern affects how the tire performs in different conditions. There are three main types: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and directional.
  • Tread Life: Tread life refers to how long the tire is expected to last. This can vary based on driving habits and conditions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Tires

  1. Climate and Weather Conditions
    • All-Season Tires: Suitable for a variety of weather conditions, including light snow.
    • Summer Tires: Designed for optimal performance in warm weather.
    • Winter Tires: Provide excellent traction in snow and ice.
  2. Driving Habits
    • City Driving: Consider tires with a comfortable ride and good fuel efficiency.
    • Highway Driving: Look for tires that offer stability and a smooth ride.
    • Off-Road Driving: Choose tires with aggressive tread patterns for better traction.
  3. Vehicle Type
    • Sedans and Coupes: All-season or performance tires are typically suitable.
    • SUVs and Trucks: Consider all-terrain or mud-terrain tires for off-road capability.
    • Sports Cars: High-performance tires enhance handling and speed.
  1. Budget
    • Tires come in a range of prices. Higher-end tires often offer better performance and longevity, but there are budget-friendly options that provide good value.

Reading Tire Labels

Understanding tire labels can help you make an informed decision:

  • Load Index and Speed Rating: Indicates the maximum load a tire can carry and the maximum speed it can handle.
  • UTQG Rating: Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) provides information on treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance.

Maintenance Tips for Longevity

Proper maintenance can extend the life of your tires:

  • Regularly Check Tire Pressure: Underinflated tires can lead to poor fuel efficiency and uneven wear.
  • Rotate Tires: Rotating your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles ensures even wear.
  • Align and Balance Tires: Misaligned or unbalanced tires can cause uneven wear and affect handling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How often should I replace my tires? A: Most tires should be replaced every 6 years or 50,000 miles, but this can vary based on driving habits and conditions.

Q: Can I mix different types of tires on my car? A: It’s best to use the same type and brand of tires on all four wheels for optimal performance and safety.

Q: What is the importance of tire rotation? A: Tire rotation ensures even wear and extends the life of your tires.

Q: How do I know if my tires are worn out? A: Look for signs such as low tread depth, cracks, or bulges on the tire sidewall.


Choosing the right tires for your car is essential for safety, performance, and fuel efficiency. By considering factors such as climate, driving habits, vehicle type, and budget, you can make an informed decision. Regular maintenance, including checking tire pressure, rotating tires, and ensuring proper alignment, will help extend the life of your tires and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Road Trip Essentials: Choosing the Best Cars for Long Drives

Road Trip Essentials: Choosing the Best Cars for Long Drives

Top Cars for Road Trips


Embarking on a road trip is an adventure that brings excitement and a sense of freedom. However, the car you choose can significantly impact your experience. This guide aims to help you select the best vehicle for long drives, focusing on fuel efficiency, comfort, space, safety, reliability, and entertainment options.

Fuel Efficiency and Performance

Fuel Efficiency: On long drives, a fuel-efficient car can save you money and reduce the need for frequent stops. Look for vehicles with high MPG ratings and efficient engines. Hybrid and diesel models are often great choices for their fuel economy.

Performance: It’s also essential to consider the car’s performance. A vehicle with a smooth ride, good handling, and sufficient power makes long drives more enjoyable and less tiring.

Top Picks:

  • Toyota Prius: Renowned for its fuel efficiency.
  • Honda Accord Diesel: Offers a great balance of efficiency and power.

Comfort and Space

Interior Comfort: During a road trip, comfort is key. Look for cars with supportive seats, ample legroom, and adjustable features.

Space: Adequate space for passengers and luggage is crucial. SUVs and minivans typically offer more space, making them ideal for family trips.

Top Picks:

  • Subaru Outback: Spacious with comfortable seating.
  • Ford Explorer: Known for its roomy interior and cargo space.

Safety and Reliability

Safety Features: Advanced safety features like lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and collision detection can provide peace of mind.

Reliability: Choose a car known for its reliability to avoid unexpected breakdowns. Regular maintenance before the trip is also vital.

Top Picks:

  • Mazda CX-5: Excellent safety ratings.
  • Toyota Camry: Highly reliable with advanced safety features.

Tech Features and Entertainment

Technology: Modern cars offer a range of tech features like GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and climate control, enhancing your road trip experience.

Entertainment: Features like premium sound systems, satellite radio, and rear-seat entertainment can be a boon on long journeys, especially with kids.

Top Picks:

  • Honda Odyssey: Offers great entertainment options for families.
  • Audi A8: High-end tech and luxury features.


Q: What is the most important feature in a road trip car? A: Comfort and reliability are the most crucial. Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and comfortable for long hours of driving.

Q: How important is fuel efficiency for road trips? A: Very important. It can significantly reduce travel costs and the environmental impact of your journey.

Q: Are SUVs better for road trips than sedans? A: It depends on your needs. SUVs offer more space and versatility, while sedans can be more fuel-efficient and easier to drive.


Choosing the right car for a road trip can dramatically enhance your experience. Consider factors like fuel efficiency, comfort, safety, and entertainment to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Whether you opt for a fuel-efficient hybrid, a spacious SUV, or a feature-rich sedan, the key is to find a vehicle that suits your specific road trip needs. Happy travels!

Modern Car Body Work Methods to Consider

Modern Car Body Work Methods to Consider

When it comes to modern car bodywork methods, there have been several advancements in recent years that offer improved efficiency, durability, and aesthetics. Here are some techniques to consider:

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

Technicians use PDR to remove minor dents and dings from the car’s body without repainting. Skilled technicians use specialized tools to gently massage and reshape the metal from behind the panel, restoring it to its original shape. This method is cost-effective and preserves the original paint finish.

Waterborne Paint Systems

Waterborne paint systems have gained popularity due to their environmental benefits. These paints use water as a base solvent instead of traditional solvents, reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and promoting better air quality. Waterborne paints also provide excellent color match and durability.

Computerized Color Matching

Computerized color-matching systems use advanced technology to match your car’s paint color precisely. By analyzing the vehicle’s paint code and utilizing a database of color formulations, technicians can achieve accurate color matching, resulting in a seamless repair that blends seamlessly with the existing paint.

Plasma Cutting and Welding

Plasma cutting and welding are advanced techniques used in car body repairs. Plasma cutting allows for precise and clean cutting of metal panels, making it easier to remove damaged sections. Plasma welding, on the other hand, provides solid and durable welds with minimal heat distortion, ensuring the structural integrity of the repaired body.

Automotive 3D Printing

Autobody repair technicians are increasingly using 3D printing technology in car body repairs. It allows for the fabrication of complex parts and components with high precision. In bodywork, technicians can use 3D printing to create custom details, such as trim pieces or interior features, offering quick and cost-effective solutions.

Smart Repair Systems

Smart repair systems utilize advanced techniques and equipment to efficiently fix small to medium-sized damages. These systems often involve procedures like spot repair, which allows technicians to repair specific damaged areas without repainting the entire panel. Technicians can use smart repair systems for scratches, chips, scuffs, and other minor imperfections.

Ceramic Coatings

Ceramic coatings are a protective layer that technicians can apply to the car’s exterior to enhance its durability and appearance. These coatings provide excellent resistance against scratches, UV rays, chemicals, and environmental contaminants. They also create a hydrophobic surface, making the car easier to clean and maintain.

It’s worth noting that the availability of these methods may vary from one location to another. Also, their availability may depend on the specific body shop you choose. Consulting with a professional body repair specialist will help you determine the most suitable methods for your car’s needs.

Modern Car Body Repair Techniques Every Vehicle Owner Should Know

Modern Car Body Repair Techniques Every Vehicle Owner Should Know

Modern car body repair techniques help restore the appearance, structure, and safety of a vehicle damaged due to an accident or normal wear and tear. Automotive body technicians use various tools and equipment to diagnose, assess and repair any damage that may be present in a vehicle’s bodywork. Here are the most commonly used modern car body repair techniques:

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

This technique helps remove minor dents and dings without the need to repaint. Technicians use special tools to gently massage out the mark, using gentle pressure and heat.

Smart Repair

Auto body shops use this technique to repair minor scratches, chips, and scuffs without needing a full repaint. The technician uses paint-matching technology to match the vehicle’s original color and then applies a small amount of paint to repair any minor blemishes.

Spot Welding

Car body shops use this technique to repair cracks in vehicle body panels. Technicians use a welding gun to heat two pieces of metal and fuse them using spot welds. And this is often done in conjunction with panel slamming (see below) for optimal results.

Frame Straightening

Auto body repair technicians use this technique to straighten bent or warped frames. They use a hydraulic ram and jig to pull the frame back into place precisely.

Auto Paint Matching

This technique enables auto body shops to precisely match the original car paint. A technician uses computerized spectrophotometers and color-matching software to check the original hue accurately.

These modern car body repair techniques can help restore a vehicle’s structural integrity and cosmetic appeal after an accident or wear and tear. As such, all vehicle owners need to be aware of these techniques to make informed decisions when dealing with auto repairs.

What an Auto Body Shop Can and Can’t Do

What an Auto Body Shop Can and Can’t Do

You must take your car in for collision repair when you are unfortunate and are involved in an accident. Ultimately, you want the auto body shop to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition and look almost new. 

There are a ton of services that an auto body shop can and cannot do. Here is what an auto body shop can do.

Paintless Dent Repair

After an accident, an auto body shop will perform paintless dent repair for more minor dents and dings. Paintless dent repair is not as costly as full collision, so motorists opt for this service.

Work With Your Insurance Company

Lately, most auto body shops work closely with your insurance company. Moreover, they will even arrange a rental car while you wait for them to fix your vehicle to its original state. Along with that, an auto body shop will work with your insurance company since they are the ones to pay for what the auto body shop will do on your automobile.

Window Replacement and Repair

After an accident, your car may have broken or cracked glass. If that is the case, take your vehicle to your preferred auto body shop for your safety. Remember that cracks compromise the integrity of your car, so an auto body shop will repair that crack before it worsens.

But there are things that an auto body shop can’t do, which include:

Regular Maintenance

An auto body shop is a place you can take your car for repairs or upgrades but not regular maintenance. So, for routine preventive care, including oil changes and tire rotations, take your vehicle to your dealership or a familiar auto mechanic. 

The Bottom Line

Your car may need an auto body shop if it has sustained damage in an auto collision. Choose a trustworthy auto body shop that delivers everything per your requests for excellent results. In the end, there are services that an auto body shop offers and others it can’t.

Frequently Asked Questions about Car Hail Damage Repair

Frequently Asked Questions about Car Hail Damage Repair

Hail storms are common weather elements, which impact different kinds of car damage. Although car hail damage can manifest through more minor scuffs and scratches on the paintwork, it could also affect more significant dents on the body panels. Nevertheless, all kinds of hail damage will ruin your car if you don’t fix them on time. So, here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about car hail damage, with relevant answers. 

How Long Does It Take to Diagnose Hail Damage?

Like other car repairs, hail damage requires a preliminary inspection to determine the specific defects, affected parts of the vehicle, and severity of impact. Depending on the dent, the process usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes but may also take less or more time. 

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage Repair?

Car insurance can cover hail damage, but the amount of coverage depends on the type of policy. However, car insurance policies that include cover for climate damage will undoubtedly pay for hail damage repair. 

What is the Turnaround Time for Hail Damage Repair?

Intense hail storms can impact severe damage to your car, far beyond what the eyes can see. Your auto repair specialist will only determine the turnaround time after conducting a full inspection, based on the extent of the damage. Fixing minor hail damage can take a few days but, significant defects may last two to three weeks. 

What is the Best Way to Repair Car Hail Damage?

Car repair experts use various techniques to fix hail damage, depending on the specific defects and severity of impact. However, Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is the most popular and effective strategy for fixing car hail damage. 

Driving through hailstorms can leave your car with significant body damage. Even if the defects may appear small and minor, you should always engage an auto repair professional to inspect and fix them before they develop into larger dents. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Windshield Replacement

Frequently Asked Questions about Windshield Replacement

The windshield is an essential part of your car regarding visibility on the road and safety. A sturdy windshield is critical to maintaining a vehicle’s integrity, while a cracked or damaged one could put the driver, other passengers, and road users at more significant risks. In accidents, the windshield absorbs the impacts, preventing the car’s occupants from being thrown out. However, a damaged windshield cannot sustain the pressure, leaving the car occupants at risk of injuries and even death. Nevertheless, the following are some of the frequently asked questions about windshield replacement. 

How Can I Know When to Replace My Car’s Windshield?

Most people usually have difficulties deciding whether to repair or replace their windshields. However, you can make the right decision by performing the quarter test on your windshield. Take a quarter and place it on the damaged sections of the windshield. Any dents more minor than the coin qualifies for repair, which ensures a quick turnaround time. However, cracks and dents that peak out and are more extensive than 1.25 inches will need replacement. 

What Differentiates OEM Windshield from OEE Windshield?

An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) windshield is an auto glass manufactured by the same company as your car’s original windshield. On the other hand, an Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) has similar standards to the original car glass, but a different company manufactures them. You can use either of them when replacing your car’s windshield but, OEM parts are usually the best since they carry a warranty. 

How Long Does Replacing a Windshield Take?

A typical windshield repair usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes but, a replacement can be lengthy, ranging between 45 minutes to one hour. Besides, windshield replacement requires a waiting period of at least a few hours for the adhesives to cure and bond with the frame perfectly. 

Although the ones discussed above are fundamental questions regarding windshield replacement, you may still want to make additional inquiries with your car service provider. That will offer you better insights into the common issues about windshield replacement and the steps involved in the process.