Author Archives: Mark Dressekie
Mark Dressekie

Car Paint Repair and Acrylic Paints

When I first came into the motor trade there were basically two ways to paint a car – cellulose or two-pack.

Cellulose paint is a solvent-based paint based on cellulose. It is good but it takes a lot of manual work. Each layer has to be lightly buffed down with wet and dry before a new one is sprayed. And the outcome is very much determined by the skill and attention to detail of the body-shop sprayer. A really good finish has a kind of glass-like finish. A poor quality finish can have a slightly orange peel kind of visual texture. Cellulose was the cheaper option but it was still time-consuming. Then there was two-pack.

Two-pack was always reserved for the really expensive classic car renovations. Two-pack paints include a cyano-acrylate base which sets a bit like superglue. But cyano-acrylates, as the name suggests, are based on cyanide chemicals. So two-pack paint jobs had to be sprayed in a specially ventilated paintshop with the sprayer wearing a fresh-air supplied suit and mask. As you can imagine, that was a lot of kit and a lot of faff. But the results were spectacular. You would get a really perfect finish and one that lasted incredibly well.

More recently the pressure to deliver environmentally-friendly paintshops has meant the industry has shifted over to acrylic, water-based paints. And at the same time the quality of the materials has improved spectacularly. We are able to paint a car better and quicker than previously was possible with cellulose-based paints and really modern acrylic paints are approaching the kind of quality you used to get with the most skilled two-pack sprayers.

And because the time taken to paint the car is shorter the actual cost of labour has come down. Although not every car owner is aware of this and some bodyshops do seem to still exploit this lack of knowledge on the part of customers by over-charging.

Car Accident Repairs and The scandal of insurance companies

If you have ever had to go through the pain of getting car accident repairs after a prang or crash you will have experienced an insurance company telling you that you need to go to one of their specialist approved repair centres.

In our experience the problem is that most insurance-approved repair centres do not do a very good job. Typically they are very large businesses with a huge turnover of both work and staff. You will find your car will be re-sprayed extremely quickly but the actual quality is often suspected. And what most people do not realise is that you can use a local garage you trust to do the work. You just need to insist that they do it.

In addition to actually doing car repairs we also deal with a lot of insurance claims. We actually handle the whole claim on behalf of the customer so we know what goes on from both sides. We work with the insurance companies and we also see the kind of work that a lot of the big insurance-approved centres turn out. And the scandal is that your car would/could be repaired for less money and to a higher standard at a local shop.

But why does this ridiculous situation persist? Why are people being ripped off by insurance-approved centres? The simple answer is that basically you and I the car owners are paying for it with our premiums. The insurance companies don’t care because they are just passing on the cost in the premiums each year. And the repair centres are certainly not going to object to charging more.

But it is still possible to have a quality job done on your car by a reputable local car body-shop like Woodstock Motors. You need to insist that you use your own body-shop. The insurance company will say you need to get a quotation and this is easily done with our online quotation generator.

Happy Birthday Toyota – An Infographic

Toyota as a corporation is a giant. Now in its 77th year, it is still one of the main players in the automotive market. Set up in Japan, the company now sells its cars worldwide and as of 2013 is the biggest selling automotive manufacturer in the world. This is an amazing fact seeing as though the company have, in recent years gone through some major company crises including dealing with the fallout from the Japanese tsunami (which caused colossal damage) and also the ongoing recall issues in the company.

This infographic celebrates the 77 years of this automotive giant and charts some of its history and background.

Happy Birthday Toyota – Infographic

Driving – What’s the Norm Worldwide

Driving is a major part of our day to day lives. We spend time behind the wheel getting to work, going to college or school and generally getting from one place to another. It allows us freedom to move to get to new places. Rules of the road vary worldwide. In some countries they drive on the left hand side and others on the right. There are some historical reasons for this.

Also in some countries, manually driven cars are more commonplace than automatic cars. Automatic cars for example are predominant in North America while manual cars are more popular in Europe. Manual cars are seen as less expensive than automatic cars to purchase and are generally known to use less fuel.

Different countries allow for driving at varied ages. In the USA for example, some states allow teenagers to get a licence from the age of 16. In Europe it varies but mostly a licence can be sought from the age of 18.

All About Driving - An Infographic

Road Safety Week – An Infographic

The statistic from the World Health Organisation’s Road Safety Report that approximately 1.24 million people are killed annually on the world’s roads is difficult to digest. The number is colossal and surely it is fair to say that some could be prevented.

Some countries operate stringent road safety laws and the resultant figures from those countries show that relevant road safety laws do have a correlation to lower road death statistics.
This infographic covers the topic of Road Safety laws around the world and coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week which falls on April 23rd to the 29th.

The infographic has a number of statistics on road safety that will shock and surprise including it highlighting a connection between income levels and road safety.


Cleaning Your Car at Home

Keeping your car clean is important for a number of reasons. It helps to prolong the life of the car in terms of the exterior body work. Furthermore, doing this will assist keeping a good resale value should you decide to sell the car at some stage. Taking pride in your car and how it looks will also make drivng it a more pleasurable experience.

Cleaning of your car
What to Clean

When cleaning your car, it is important to clean it extensively both inside and out. There is no point in have a beautiful exterior to the car if the interior is not pristine also.

Tips For Cleaning The Car
Use a stiff brush to remove tougher stains from carpets. Do this prior to vaccuming the rest of the car so that you can pick up any loose material that comes free.
Use a soft, slightly damp cloth and a small amount of hair conditioner to clean leather upholstery
Use your vacuum cleaner to also clear out the air vents as this is an area where dust tends to gather a lot.

  • Use a non acid based cleaner on the wheels
  • Don’t use household detergents to wash the car exterior as this can damage paint. Instead use specific car wash detergent with a large sponge.
  • Buy a good wax polish for your car and follow the instructions to get a top finish.
  • Clean the glass internally and externally last of all the cleaning tasks with an ammonia free cleaner. Use a microfibre cloth or old newspaper to get the best results.

Good Routines
If you get into the habit of timing the DIY cleaning of your car with your regular car service you will get into a regular routine and it won’t seem like such a chore.

What’s in a LOGO – An Infographic

Branding in today’s modern world is vital if a company wishes to have longevity. While logos and branding are often seen as something that larger, more corporate companies should focus on, this is not necessarily the case. Smaller companies who fail to recognise the importance of branding and logos will lose out in terms of business because a company, however small must have an identity.

Over the years we have seen the establishment of some iconic brands and logos. If a logo is memorable enough, it will stand alone in representing the brand. Therefore the logo should be chosen wisely as it will appear across most company literature and signage.

This info-graphic charts some of the more famous logos that we have seen over the year and it gives us some history also behind their development.

Dealing with a Car Accident

What to do if you have a crash

Road Traffic Accident
It is not a pleasant experience to be involved in a road traffic accident however small it may be. Even the most trivial of incidents on the road can affect people so it is important to know what to do if you are unlucky enough to be caught in this situation. Firstly, stop the car safely. Turn on your hazard lights in order to alert other drivers of danger. If there are injuries involved immediately call 999 for an ambulance. If the road is obstructed you should call the police also.

Finer Details
Avoid admitting that you were in the wrong to the other driver even if you believe this to be the case as you don’t know what circumstances affected the other driver. You are obliged to supply your name and address to the other parties involved. It’s important to note also that if for example, you crash into a parked car you need to leave your details on the windscreen of the damaged car (if it is unattended).

What to do if you have a crash
Other Details
Be sure to get the name and contact details, including insurance details from the person involved with you in the accident. If at all possible you should take a photograph of the scene including the other car registration; you could simply use your Smartphone for this. Also make a note somewhere of the weather conditions at the time and any other important details relating to the scene such as witness names and contact details.

Next Step
Your next step should be to inform your own insurer of this incident. Failure to do so within the time scale set out in your policy documents may invalidate your cover, which would make the situation a lot worse. Give the claims department of your insurance company all the details that you have including any crash site information. If you want to continue with your claim, your insurance company will let you know what you need to do and they will sort out issues such as car body shop repairs. If other people were involved in the accident, your insurance company will contact the insurance companies of the other people and they will resolve the claims.

Recommendation: Let’s be honest, dealing with insurance claims is a sweat at the best of times, we actually run a free claims handling service so check this out for more: