Monday, 25 August 2014

Tyre Safety: Protecting you, your family & your finances.

Tyres are an important but often overlooked safety item on your car and neglecting them can leave you counting the cost. 
A worn tyre is not only an MOT failure but it is also a traffic offence punishable by a fixed penalty notice issued on the spot or referred to a court with a possibly penalty of three points on your licence and a £2500 fine.
Tyres worn below the legal limit also prevent insurance claims from being paid out leaving the driver effectively uninsured & liable for all costs incurred as a result of the accident. When we have VDAs visiting our Lincoln body shop to assess vehicle damage the tyre tread depths are usually the first point of the inspection.
As well as the legal and insurance implications worn tyres can lead to accidents and injury. 

Here are some tyre deflects to check for:

Uneven Wear On One Side
This is caused by a camber or tracking issue and can often be hidden on the inside shoulder of the car. It's easy to check on the front by turning the steering wheel to full lock but often overlooked on the back. After replacing the tyres the car needs a four wheel alignment to rectify the problem. This is a service we offer at our Clayton Road workshop for £70.

Wear In the Middle Of The Tread 
This is caused by over inflation. Your car will have a manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure in the hand book and on a sticker or plate on the vehicle. These are usually located behind the fuel filler flap or in the front door shuts. When checking and setting pressures remember to check what units the pressures are given in and what your tyre gauge shows.

Wear On Both Corners Of The Tread
This is caused by under inflation. Running a tyre under inflated is extremely dangerous and causes the sidewall to rub together as can be seen below.
This weakening of the sidewalls can lead to a blowout which can be fatal at high speed. A blowout is a rapid failure of a sidewall which can cause the tyre to become detached from the rim as can be seen in this photo.
What needs to be addressed is the reason for the wheel losing pressure. It may have a slow puncture or it may be a problem with the wheel itself. Alloy wheels corrode where the tyre bead meets the wheel and the rough surface causes the tyre to leak pressure. At Paint Perfect we can cure this problem for as little as £60 and as quickly as one working day. Cracks in alloy wheels are also another cause of tyre deflation. We can TIG weld alloy wheels for as little as £70. Under inflation of tyres also increases rolling resistance and makes your vehicle less fuel efficient.
These are egg shaped lumps that appear in the tyre side wall and are usually an indication of impact damage usually with a pothole or a kerb. These weaken the sidewall and increase the risk of a blow out. 

If a wheel has taken an impact that causes a bleb there is usually a vibration that can be felt from the wheel. Sometimes it can only be felt at certain speeds, if it is a front wheel it can be felt as a shake through the steering wheel. This is a clear indication of a buckled alloy wheel. At Paint Perfect we can straighten buckled alloy wheels for as little as £70.
In extreme cases you may notice the steering wheel no longer is level when driving in a straight line which suggests the steering has been affected. As mentioned above we offer wheel tracking which can cure this problem.

Sidewall Damage

Cracks in side walls can be an indication of being driven on whilst under inflated. If the side wall has lots of small cracks it is an indication that the tyres are old and require replacement. See our blog post about choosing the correct tyre for more information on dating tyres. Harsh chemical cleaners, incorrect storage and having a vehicle stood on under inflated tyres can also accelerate the ageing process of the rubber.

At Paint Perfect we are alloy wheel repair specialists and offer a full range of services including chemical stripping and media blasting to durable paint and powder coat finishes.
We can weld cracked wheels and straighten buckles as well as souring, supplying and fitting tyres at competitive prices. 
We are located on Newark Road Industrial Estate just to the south of Lincoln High Street. Call in to our Clayton Road workshop for free estimates and advice, ring us on 01522 568247 or e-mail

Saturday, 23 August 2014

What is plastic welding?

Plastic repair is growing in popularity due to the increased use of plastics in vehicle construction. There are a number of types of plastics commonly used that all have different properties and a range of repair methods. Here we will look at some of the methods commonly used and services we offer.


Adhesives are constantly improving and the need to join composite materials in the aerospace industry has seen high tech adhesives filtering down into the automotive market. In fact the McLaren MP-4 12C has a lot of important components joined to the chassis with adhesive and we are seeing increased use of adhesives for joining body panels in conventional vehicle construction. It is critical when using adhesives to use the correct product for the job. 

A previous poor repair attempted with a glue gun is hot stapled & plastic welded by a Paint Perfect Technician 

Plastic Welding

Most plastics used in the automotive market are thermoforming, this means they can be reshaped and joined using heat. Much like welding metals plastic welding melts the surfaces to be joined and uses a filler of a similar material for extra re-enforcement. Done correctly this can be a very effective repair, done wrong it can be extremely weak. 

Hot Stapling 

We use a hot stapler system that adds extra re-enforcement to a panel prior to plastic welding. It is also extremely useful on areas that will come under load and need to flex such as brackets.

Cracked Kawasaki fairings repaired & painted by Paint Perfect

Repairs Possible

Using these methods we can repair a wide range of items including bumpers, headlamps & motorbike fairings. When preparing a quote at our Clayton Road premises we will always look at the cost of replacement parts versus the cost of repairing components and discuss with the customer the most cost effective option that does not compromise the quality of the job.

For more information call us on 01522 586247

Thursday, 21 August 2014

What to do in the event of an accident

Do you know what to do if you are involved in a crash? 

Luckily being involved in an accident is a rare occurrence but as it's not something people are used to it is  unfortunately easy to end up out of pocket and unhappy with the outcome. 

Here are our tips on what to do if you are involved in a crash:

1) Remain Calm.
It is easy to get angry and upset after an accident but it is an important time to take information. The Police will attend if there are injuries or the vehicles are obstructing the traffic. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident without giving details it is a criminal offence and you should call the Police. If the only issue is the damage to the vehicle the Police do not need to be involved.

2) Think Safety!
Turn off the ignition. Do not attempt to restart the vehicle until you have checked it for damage. If possible turn on your hazard warning lights. Remember to apply the handbrake. Take a moment to assess the situation before attempting to get out of the car. Check yourself and those in your car for injuries. Be careful of traffic moving around you when getting out of your vehicle. Once out of your car look for fluids leaking from the car that may be hazardous to yourself or other road users.

3) Take photos.
With the popularity of camera phones it is much easier now to produce proof of fault after an accident. Take photos of both vehicles, ideally at the point of collision. Also take photos of the road as from the direction each driver would have seen it. These photos will show driving conditions and visibility of road signs and markings.

4) Take notes.
Names of drivers and passengers, contact numbers, registration numbers, vehicle make, model and colour of all vehicles involved along with the date and time of the incident. If there are any witnesses it is also wise to collect their contact information if possible. Whilst the information is fresh in your mind it is a good idea to write a report of what happened.

5) Call us on 01522 568247.
We can advise you on what to do next and guide you through the process of dealing with insurance companies. Our expert team can take care of the whole process; recovering your vehicle, providing a courtesy car, handling the insurance claim, repairing your vehicle & legal representation. We will be fighting your corner and getting you back on the road as soon as possible.

If you have questions about accident damage repair or car insurance please e-mail us or visit our office on Clayton Road, Newark Road Industrial Estate, Lincoln. LN5 8RE.  

Please pass this information on to your friends, it may prove invaluable!

It came from the sky....

There are a number of things that can fall from the sky to cause damage to your paint work. The golden rule with contaminants is to remove them as quickly as possible with the least aggressive process possible. It also helps to keep your car clean and regularly waxed. We would recommend waxing at least once a month and using a good quality car shampoo. 

Industrial Fallout
   This is a broad term that covers a large amount of different substances ranging from soot to paint over spray to iron filings. Depending in type and if not left on the paintwork for an extended period of time this can be removed with cleaning and detailing processes.
Tar, Tree Sap & Insects
    Probably the most common of paintwork contaminants and fairly easy to remove with the correct cleaning products however using poor quality or incorrect products can do more harm than good. 
Bird Droppings
      It was widely accepted that the acid content of bird droppings was damaging paint work but research undertaken by Autoglym revealed that it was the effect of the bird poo insulating the paint as it expanded and contracted with changes in temperature that cause the damage to the clearcoat as can be seen in this photo. 
These marks can sometimes be reduced with machine polishing but require repainting of panels to totally removed

    This is one we have seen a few times, usually from a neighbour painting a fence. Creosote type paints can be removed using detailing methods without too many issues. Problems start to arise when the paint concerned is an exterior wood gloss or paints used on metal railings, usually Hammerite or a similar product. We have in the past been able to remove these by carefully sanding and machine polishing but there is always the risk of "burning through" the vehicle paint to the primer below. Thickness of paint applied in the factory differs between Manufacturers and from experience we are able to assess how far we can go.
Acid Rain
    We are lucky in the UK not to have an acid rain problem which has been known to cause serious damage to vehicle paintwork but acids found in poor quality wheel cleaners and traffic film removers can cause damage to paintwork as well as discolouring plastic trims and degrading rubbers.

If you have something that is spoiling your car's paintwork why not call the team at Paint Perfect? With years of experience we provide solutions for all kinds of paintwork problems. Call us on  01522 568 247

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Insurance Premiums - How they are calculated & how you can reduce your cost

Insurance premiums are calculated after information has been collected about a driver and as a result each person's premium is unique to them, their vehicle and their circumstances. To put it simply each insurer is looking at how much of a risk you present and how likely it is that you will make a claim. In this blog post we will look at just some of the factors that affect the price of your insurance premium. The key thing to remember when giving your information make sure it is 100% correct and truthful. In the event of the claim the insurance company will be looking for reasons to save money and not to pay out. 

Personal Factors

Age - This is the obvious one that comes to mind, driver's at both ends of the age range are seen as increased risk. 
Gender - This used to make a difference but after a European Court of Justice ruling in 2012 gender is no longer allowed to affect your premium on the grounds of gender equality. 
Occupation - Your job title affects your premium and certain occupations are seen as more of  risk. People can sometimes reduce their premium by using an alternative job title and websites such as this one have a tool to do that. The insurance companies are looking to close this loophole and now might ask you for your job title and the sector you work in. 
Location - The insurer will look at your postcode and the crime rates in the area.
Claims History & Penalty Points - Purely looking at you as a risk the insurer will look at how many penalty points are in your licence and what they were awarded for, if you have any motoring convictions past or present and your claims history which includes dates of claims, circumstances, fault and costs incurred by the insurer at the time. 
Extra Driving Tests - Young drivers will see a reduction on costs if they complete a Pass Plus course. Similar reductions may be given to advanced drivers. 

Insurance Cover

Usage - Commuting or business use will increase the cost of your insurance. One piece of small print you need to look for is "commuting to one place of work" This can catch people out and leave them technically uninsured if they commute to multiple sites. If the vehicle is a classic car or a camper van you might have the option of a limited mileage agreement that will reduce the cost of your cover but be wary of penalties if you exceed the agreed annual mileage. 
Telemetry - "Black Boxes" and accident witness cameras are increasing in popularity and helping to reduce premiums. There are some companies offering telemetry boxes for young drivers which is making premiums more affordable. 
Voluntary Excess - Every policy has a compulsory excess that is paid by the driver in the event of a claim. You can choose to pay more in the event of a claim with a voluntary excess which helps to reduce the premium. Don't be confused by the word voluntary, once you have agreed the amount it must be paid when making a claim!
Type of cover - A choice between third party (your insurance pays for the person you hit's vehicle), Third Party, Fire & Theft, as before but cover for your vehicle being stolen or burnt out and Fully Comprehensive which is all the above plus cover for damage you do to your own vehicle.  There are terms and conditions on all of these which are worth checking so if you've left your car running, unlocked with the windows down and it gets taken don't expect a payout!
Named Drivers -  Adding more drivers to a policy will increase the cost. There used to be a trend for older drivers to insure a vehicle in their name and add a young driver to give them a cheaper premium. This is called fronting and is illegal. The person taking out the policy must the main driver of the vehicle. 

Vehicle Factors

Type -  All cars are given an insurance group. The old system was 1 to 20 and was replaced in 2010 by a system that grades cars from 1 to 50. One being the cheapest, fifty being the most expensive. As with all things insurance these are ratings based on risk (performance, desirability/theft risk, vandal risk) and cost of repair. 
Security - Fitting extra security features can reduce your insurance. Alarms if not fitted by the manufacturer need to be Thatcham approved and professionally fitted with all receipts and documentation. GPS Trackers can also bring down the cost of your cover. 
Storage - Putting the vehicle in a locked garage overnight will make your insurance cheaper than leaving it out on the street. 
Modifications - Any parts fitted to the vehicle that differ from manufacturer's specification need to be declared. If you don't declare your modifications the best outcome is the insurer won't pay out when your expensive audio system gets stolen, the worst case is they void your insurance and refuse to pay out on any claim whether or not the modifications are involved. Don't get caught out with winter wheels! If you run your car on after market wheels with winter tyres during the bad weather it's highly advisable to inform your insurance company!
Imports & Classics - Some insurance companies will not cover imported vehicles and it may be more costly to insure an import car due to higher repair cost in the event of an accident. Classic cars, subject to driver age, are eligible for specialist classic car policies that can reduce premiums and bundle together useful features such as breakdown recovery and a agreed vehicle valuation.  

Here at Paint Perfect we are always on hand to give impartial advice on your car insurance issues and can guide you through the process of making a claim and discussing the options and the impact it may have on your premium. We undertake retail and insurance work for private customers and businesses from a bumper scuff to crash repairs. Our claims assistance team can take the stress out of making an insurance claim and our fleet of courtesy cars can get you back on the road as soon as possible. It's this service that sees many of our customers coming straight to our Clayton Road office in Lincoln for guidance before making an insurance claim. Call us on 01522 568247 or e-mail You can find us at Unit 11 Clayton Road, Newark Road Industrial Estate, Lincoln. LN5 8RE 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Choosing The Right Tyre For Your Car

Tyres are an extremely important part of your vehicle that is often overlooked. Not only can they transform the way your car drives but they are an important safety item. 

Choosing The Right Tyres
Each car manufacturer will specify a tyre size along with a speed and load rating for each wheel size offered on each of their models. It is important to stick to recommended specification. There will be a range of different tyres at different prices available for each size and spec. A cheap tyre may be false economy in the long run as it may wear quicker or not perform as well. To make this choice easier each tyre carries an EU Label listing it's properties. 

EU Tyre Label
The EU tyre label lists three basic properties of a tyre; Fuel Efficiency, Wet Grip & Road Noise. Rating for the former two are A to G with A as the best and G as the worst and the latter lists the road noise generated by the tyre in decibels. 

Tyre Size
A tyres size is stamped on the sidewall in the format of three numbers, a slash, two numbers, R or ZR & two numbers. e.g. 225/45 R17
The first number is the tread width in mm.
The second number is the profile (sidewall height) also called the aspect ratio. This is given as a percentage of the width. In this example 45% of 225mm = 101mm
R stands for Radial tyre construction as oppose to the classic crossply.
The last number is the diameter in inches. 17 indicating the tyre will fit a 17" wheel. 

Load & Speed Rating
Following the size there will be a number and a letter. The number is the load rating, the weight each tyre can carry. For example 62 = 265KG and 109 = 1030KG
The speed rating is the maximum speed the tyre is designed to travel at. For example K= 68MPH and W=168MPH
There may also be markings indicating if the tyre has a reinforced sidewall or if the tyre is a run flat type. 

Tyre Date
All modern tyres carry a four number code indicating their date of manufacture. The first two numbers indicate the week (01 - 52) The last two the year.
For example:
0514 = The fifth week of 2014 

At Paint Perfect we can help our customers choose the right tyre for their vehicle. Often when carrying out an alloy wheel refurbishment we source, supply & fit new tyres and the customer can drive away with wheels and tyres back to showroom condition. Our range of alloy wheel repair services includes chemical stripping, media blasting, wheel straightening, welding of cracked alloys, solvent wet spraying and powder coating. Call us on 01522 568247 or visit our Clayton Road workshop for more information. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Protected No Claims Bonus Explained

"It's alright, I've got protected no claims..."

This is a phrase we hear on a weekly basis here at Paint Perfect and unfortunately it proves that people don't really know what they are paying for when it comes to car insurance. Whether you have had a crash, or just a small accident in a car park, making an insurance claim is a totally new process to most people and a lack of understanding can leave a driver counting the cost.

Here is our guide to understanding the protected no claims bonus:

  • A No Claims Bonus is a percentage discount given as a reward for a number of years of driving without making a claim or having a claim made against you by a third party. 
  • Protected No Claims means you will not lose this percentage discount if you make a claim or have a claim made against you. 
  • The Insurance Premium is the price you pay for your insurance cover. This is calculated on your risk as a driver (taking in factors such as vehicle usage, type of vehicle, occupation, age, location and claims history)
  • The Excess is the amount of money the insured driver pays when making a claim. These are usually made up of a compulsory excess and a voluntary excess.
  • Voluntary Excess is the amount of money a driver has agreed to pay in the event of a claim. Increasing the voluntary excess when taking out a policy is a way of reducing the premium. 
The key thing here is that the price you pay for insurance is based on how much of a risk you are. If you have protected no claims and choose to make a claim your percentage discount remains the same however as you have made a claim you are seen as an increased risk and therefore your premium will rise. All too often we have heard stories from drivers that have claimed and expected to pay the same price for their renewal because of their protected no claims bonus. 

The thing to keep in mind when getting a quote to get your car bodywork repaired is to look at the bigger picture. Paying more than your excess for a repair may be a much cheaper option in the long run. At Paint Perfect we always try and help our customers by giving them as much information as possible. If you have questions about making insurance claims or repairs to car bodywork call our Lincoln office on 01522 568247 or e-mail Alternately come and see us at the workshop on Clayton Road, Newark Road Industrial Estate, Lincoln, LN5 8RE