14 Jul 2015

Hot Tips for When the Heat Hits

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There’s nothing quite like the gorgeous sun of summer to bring out the whinger in you. Conducting car body repairs in Wimbledon, we experience the weather full-on and have developed different ways of coping with it; let’s face it, if it’s not pouring down it’s being inconsistent. But let’s imagine for one minute that Mother Nature’s in a good mood and letting you play out… I’ll give you a minute to get your head around that concept.

OK, sorted? Excellent. When the summer heat hits, being in a car can be incredibly uncomfortable place to be, so there are some tricks to help make your driving experience considerably more pleasant.

Search out Shade

If you can find a shady spot to park, you will have a much cooler car awaiting you on your return. It might be a case of having to put up with the odd extra bit of foliage adorning your car roof and the odd splash of former bird-food, but choose your poison. As we discussed in our blog to help you get your car ready for summer, it’s important to keep your windscreens well cared for and free from stains, but it is also useful to apply sunshades. You’ll notice the advantages almost immediately.

Bad Weather for Leather

If you find your leather heating up, see our previous paragraph, failing that you can try sitting on a towel or cloth. There are few things worse than the back-of-the-leg scald that accompanies a freshly cooked leather seat, so it can be worth keeping a towel in your boot. Likewise, be careful of belt buckles; these guys can practically get up to the same temperature as the sun and, as such, will cook the part of your body it touches to just above medium-rare.

Water, Water, Water

This is an absolute given but you’ll be all too aware how easy it is to run out of the stuff; make sure you bring yourself plenty of water. One way of dealing with the need for cool water is to bring a water cooling container on your travels. You could even freeze bottles of water to rest on the nape of your neck to cool you down whilst driving, with these frozen bottles in turn keeping the other bottles of water cool.

It’s important to keep cool and hydrated in summer, so make sure you take all precautions to keep yourself safe and comfortable. Dress cool, wear sandals, crack a window, just don’t suffer the consequences of poor planning because heat stroke is awful to suffer from, let alone whilst you’re in an uncomfortably hot car.

If you find your car aesthetics are beginning to suffer from the summer sun’s toll or you find yourself with the undesirable scratches that can occur with going on long summer adventures, contact us on 07732 542500 and one of our team of professionals will be happy to assist you and your metal friend and get you booked in.

03 Jul 2015

You Car Not Be Serious

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When it comes to being a responsible automobile owner, some things are necessary, helpful and even vital in keeping your car ticking over healthily. Conducting mobile car body repairs in London, we get the privilege of seeing some absolutely stunning vehicles, however, as you might expect, we also get to see some sorry looking cars. That’s not to say that they are poor in quality, just that they have been subjected to some pretty sketchy aesthetic modifications…

Just as there are cool accessories, like the ever-handy Sat Nav, there are also some pretty dire accessories. The sort of alterations that would make you prefer to refuse a lift and have to walk home in the rain than have to be in the same few square feet as them.

Scissor Doors

Look! It’s Vin Diesel’s car… probably. This neat little feature not only allows your car door to move in a direction it didn’t originally (how zany’s that?!) but also allows the owner to look like they have too much money and the subtle chic of Timmy Mallet. The owner of one of these motor-strocities makes the humble ice cream van owner look like they’re driving, well… the scissor-doored car before they put the scissor doors in.

False Eye-Lashes

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No; it’s a fool… an absolutely massive fool. I’m sure you’ve all seen this accessory; the humour equivalent of blowing raspberries and elbow nudging someone until they go, “Yeah ok! Fine! Yeah, it’s funny! Can I go back to what I was doing now?”

These false eye lashes make the driver appear like an attention starved Big Brother contestant. Perhaps they are, but that doesn’t excuse them. You’d be better off setting fire to your money, although that’s illegal- like these should be.

Fake bullet holes

“I bet that person’s cool,” said no one ever upon glimpsing these #thuglife wannabes. We don’t know if it’s an attempt at looking hard, or if the perpetrator genuinely likes the look of a damaged car, but we think we speak for the rest of everyone-ever when we say, “Stop it. Stop it always.”

Name Stickers

Unless it says ‘Del Boy’ and ‘Rodney’, and it’s done ironically, and… nope. Actually, there’s no excuse. I can’t even begin to imagine the mindset of an individual who goes out of their way to order a bespoke name sticker half the size of a windscreen, who then has to go through the effort of putting it on the window, ironing out the bubbles at the foot of the word ‘Tina’ with the nearest flat object they have to hand (probably an ash tray or Kaiser Chiefs’ first album) and then standing back and exhaling with pride, “That… is blooming excellent.”

Under-Car LEDs

A car accessory for the avid sun-fancier who loves tanning so much that they want to drive a sunbed. Not satisfied at the fact their Tron-motorsunbed is burnt into your retinas, the usually accompanying deafening bark-wannabe-meow will wake you up at all hours making you think there’s a cat at the window, until you realise it was actually the embarrassed whir of a dignity-less car.

Nodding Dogs

Nodding dog owners are the life and soul of the party, able to imitate a northern accent as they exclaim, “oh no, no, no, no, no,” to the delight of all their fluffy dice owning mates. Well, nodding-dog-owners; no, no, no, no. No.


The Retraction…

OK, OK… maybe we’re being a littler unfair. Everybody should be entitled to doll up their car in whichever way they like, and the fact that people are opting to express themselves, in whatever fashion that may be, is actually pleasant to see in its own way. We’re happy that people can get so much enjoyment from their car. We just hope the car enjoys it as much as them.

At Smartway, we like a happy vehicle. So if your vehicle needs a little bit of body shop based love, we can offer our professional body shop solutions and bring a smile to your vehicle without buying it a literal stick-on smile. So if you would like to hear of our services and how we can help you and your motor-buddy live a happy life, contact us on 07732 542500 and one of our friendly team of professionals will be more than happy to help.

19 Jun 2015

The Devil’s in the Detailing: Car Cleaning Tips From the Experts

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Car people as a rule like to keep their pride and joy sparkling clean and are prepared to spend a lot of time to make sure they stay that way. Go to any car club meeting and you will no doubt see several members that keep a chamois handy to make sure that bugs that meet their end on the paintwork, don’t stay there long.

As experts in car body repairs in Wimbledon we like to think that we know a thing or two about keeping cars in pristine condition, and we even have a few car cleaning tips of our own. Thankfully we are a benevolent bunch so we have decided to share some of the best tips with you;

Rinse First!

As you drive along dirt and small stones land on your car and paintwork and it is vital to get them off before you start cleaning properly. If they are left on whilst you clean, they can cause permanent scratches and damage so get them off!

A warm rinse is usually best as it loosens the sap and bird droppings that often hold stones and gravel.

Put a Grid at the Bottom of Your Bucket

Known as a grid guard insert these grids allow any stones and gravel that may remain on your car to drop through and ensure that they are not dragged around the paintwork. This may seem like a small thing but once a scratch is there it can require new paint to repair it.

Be Gentle on Tough Stains

Far too many car cleaners are tempted to go at those tough stains with a sponge or a chamois and scrub them hard until they disappear. This shouldn’t be the case as this can permanently damage the top coat of your car.

A great way to loosen tough stains is to place a damp hot towel onto the area affected by stains and leave it for half an hour. Once you take it off the stains should wipe away nice and easy leaving your paintwork undamaged.

So, if you have set aside a couple of hours to get your car back to showroom condition this weekend then bear these tips in mind. If your car requires a little more than cleaning and you need a repair then don’t hesitate to contact us and our friendly team will be more than happy to help you out.

03 Jun 2015

6 of the Most Expensive Car Crashes in History (Part 2)

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In our last blog we looked at some of the most expensive single car crashes in history and it was a veritable smorgasbord of exotica. This time, expensive crashes are making another appearance in the form of 3 of the most expensive pile ups in history.

As it has been observed throughout history there is no correlation between driving talent and personal fortune. This point has been proven by rich drivers time and time again as they stuff their expensive and powerful motors into the nearest barrier. Sometimes though these affluent drivers even get together and go for a drive, this is where the real damage can be done.

Below we have picked 3 of the most expensive accidents involving more than one car that you are ever likely to hear of. And to start the list, three cars have an argument right here in Blighty.

Bentley, Lamborghini and Mercedes Pile Up

As you will see in the video below, the damage in this crash could have been far worse. One thing that we know for sure though is that it will take more than a little T-cut to put these expensive cars back together. Let’s survey the damage;

  • Mercedes C63 AMG = around £60,000
  • Bentley Continental GTC = at least £130,000
  • Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder = around £140,000

All this combined for a grand total of at least £330,000!

Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes Pile Up

It is almost as though this crash looked at the previous pile up and took it as a personal challenge ‘I see your 3 cars and raise you one more!’. This pile up was unfortunately down to only one driver whose lack of control caused a 4 car pileup involving some serious exotica. Let’s tot up the damage;

  • Bentley Azure = £240,000
  • Porsche 911 = £80,000
  • Aston Martin Rapide = £150,000
  • Mercedes S Class AMG = £120,000

For a total of £570,000 worth of damage! Hey at least there wasn’t a crowd to witness it though…

14 Car Ferrari Pile Up

As we promised last time, here is a pile up that involves not one, not two, but eight Ferraris!

The crash took place in Japan and 14 cars in total were involved and all received severe damage. This is almost certainly the most expensive pile up ever and is utterly painful to see for any car lover. Regardless of the pain that it causes us though, let’s see just how much damage the crash caused;

  • 8 Ferraris of at least £100,000 each = £800,000
  • Lamborghini Diablo = £250,000
  • Nissan GTR = £70,000
  • 2 Mercedes CL’s of at least £70,000 each = £140,000

All of this as well as 2 other far less expensive cars means that the minimum cost of this pile up was £1,260,000… Ouch!

Here at Smartway London we have years of experience in car body repairs in Wimbledon but have thankfully never had anything quite this bad come through our workshop. Unfortunately though accidents can happen to your car whatever it cost you and repairing them can be difficult. With our professional service, we make the process, quick and easy and can get you back on the road in a showroom fresh car in no time at all.

For a quote on your repairs simply contact us and our friendly staff will be more than happy to help.

18 May 2015

6 of the Most Expensive Crashes in History (Part 1)

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Crashing a car is undoubtedly something that should be avoided like the plague. Aside from the potential for injury, the sheer damage that can be caused can be financially ruining. Like most terrible things in life though, sometimes a crash is unavoidable.

As experts in car body repairs in Wimbledon and surrounding areas we have seen our fair share of car accidents and pride ourselves on getting them back to showroom quality. Despite the fact that the average price of repairing a car crash is less than a thousand pounds, there are certain crashes that stand out from the rest with their monumental repair costs.

In this special two-part blog we thought that we would take a look at some of the most incredibly expensive car crashes ever to have occurred. In this first part we are going to look at crashes involving only one car, first on the list is one of the fastest cars ever;

Bugatti Veyron Driving into a Lake

The numbers involved with the Bugatti Veyron are frankly a little intimidating, 1000 horsepower, 253 miles per hour, £1 million. With numbers like this you can be pretty sure that even the tiniest scratch on it would be a huge problem, so to have to recover it from a lake… that would be a nightmare! Check out this link to see the event unfold.

Mclaren F1

A limited edition car that once held the crown as the fastest car in the world, with a top speed of 243mph, isn’t going to come cheap is it? Nowadays an F1 (if you can find one) will set you back over… are you ready for this?… 8 million pounds!

One of those who are lucky enough to have owned one from the start is actor Rowan Atkinson, who unfortunately crashed his car in 2013 and the damage was pretty phenomenal. Rather than consign it to the scrap yard though, the car was fixed and while there is no official word on how much the repair cost it is rumoured to have been the most expensive repair in history.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Hand beaten aluminium, hand crafted V12 engine, only 39 ever made, all of these things are not things that you would traditionally associate with the word ‘cheap’ and indeed this is one of the most expensive cars in the world. With a price tag of £23 million nowadays you can imagine that crashing one would leave you pretty unhappy.

Well, in 2012, during a vintage road rally, American GTO owner Chris Cox crashed causing significant damage to the car. There are no figures on the official price for the repair but taking in to account the fact that it was undertaken by Ferrari themselves and took over 2 years you can be sure that it cost a pretty penny.

Check out the car post-repair below;

We hope that this little roundup of some of the most expensive single car crashes in the world wasn’t too upsetting for car lovers out there. Tune in next time for our round up of the most expensive pile ups ever; as a little spoiler, one of the pile ups involves 14 Ferraris…

For expert repairs to your pride and joy, no matter its price, don’t hesitate to contact us and our friendly staff will be more than happy to help.