There’s something about coming home after a long day at work and finally parking your car in the garage.  You have made it home and finally your car is parked and you can go inside and loosen that tie or kick your shoes off.  There is something about the sanctuary of our homes after a long day.  The comfort we feel when we can relax in our own space.  Same is true for parking your car.  Once you open that garage door and pull your car into it’s parking space your guard is down.  From all the hazards of navigating through traffic or busy office building parking lots, even the gas station or grocery store lots. You can rest assure that you and your car are safely home until you proceed to open your car door and hit your garage wall, or maybe the clutter laying about.  Now you have a nice size ding or dent in your door and arriving home just got annoying!

What are some do it yourself garage door hacks that can help protect your car when you park it in your garage? Our friends at Parker Garage Doors have some great tips on their website on how to protect your car against dents and dings when parking in your garage!  They even shared that dents and dings from garage parked cars tend to be a lot more common than we realize.  Parker Garage experts recommend first decluttering your garage.  This means that all that extra recreational equipment, tools, and leftover holiday decorations find space and order.  Their first suggestion is to use plastic storage bins that can be stacked up against the walls or in attic spaces.  Shelving that stands out of the main garage space is always a great option as well.  Anything like those old clothes your kids don’t fit in anymore or unused materials that can not find a home in the storage bins or shelving should be thrown away, given away or donated.  The idea is to create a clear as space as possible to allow for more room for your automobile in an already tight space.

Continue reading How To Prevent Dings & Dents In Garage Parked Cars


Vehicle Vinyl Wraps-More Than Just Auto Customization

In our last post we covered hydro printing as a form of auto customization. Today we explore vinyl wraps, which not only offer customization, but paint protection as well.

Vehicle Vinyl Wraps have evolved incredibly throughout the years. Vinyl wraps have been around for awhile and have the availability to applied to many surface, but the ability to apply them to vehicles, boats, and even airplanes has made the industry surge in recent years. Vinyl wraps, which are basically large sheets of adhesive can be applied in any color, texture, or graphics style. This make the choices endless and the options hard to choose from.

From a business standpoint a commercial wrap, applied to a business vehicle or fleet, offers a great marketing avenue with a very large return on investment. One is able to brand their vehicle with names, logos and other company info. This gets a business in front of thousands, if not millions of people that drive on the road every day. With the evolution of large format printers, pretty much any design can be created and applied to a vehicle.

From a customization standpoint, creativity is at your fingertips. Whether you seek chrome, carbon fiber, a hot pink barbie car, or to make your vehicle look like a plane or space vehicle, a vinyl wrap may be exactly what you are looking for. All this at a fraction of the cost of a paint job. Vinyl wraps offer affordability, paint protection, and the removability factor.

Here are a few tips from Phantom Wrapz, a vinyl wrap company out of Lewisville Texas that specialize in vehicle wraps. They have worked in the signage and large format industry for decades. They have experienced the evolution of vinyl films and the ability to apply them on multiple surfaces, including vehicles. This being said, they recommend these top 3 things to pay attention to.

  1. The Quality of Materials– inks, printers, and equipment are not all created equal. Quality matters, especially when it comes to a vehicle wrap. Make sure the shop you work with uses quality films (3M or Avery), inks, and equipment. It makes a difference in the overall quality and longevity of the vehicle wrap, and your overall cost.
  2. Professional & Experienced Installers– although vinyl films are basically like a large sticker, the installation process is a form of art. Not all shops work with experienced installers, in order to reduce their costs. Installation will impact how long your wrap lasts for and the look of the wrap. A commercial wrap is different and more detailed than a color change wrap, so the experience of the installer is essential.
  3. Proper Vehicle Care– The post vehicle care after a wrap is installed matters. You want to get the most out of your wrap. They will typically last 3-7 years, depending on the quality and installation. Once installed, be mindful of the care you give your vehicle. If it’s constantly left in the penetrating sun, your wrap will eventually fade faster. Do not take it through car washes with aggressive brushes. Hand wash the vehicle or take it through a touchless car wash. The shop you work with should provide you with proper care instructions.

And remember, quality film manufacturers offer warranties on their products. Wrap shops will often include their own warranties. So make sure you ask about warranties!

Hydro Priniting

There are a lot of customization options available to vehicle owners these days. From rims and window tint to exotic colors and graphics. In this post I want to discuss an exciting technology that has been growing in popularity over the past decade. It’s called hydro printing.

What is hydro printing?

Hydro printing, hydro dipping, hydragraphics, or whatever you would like to call it is the process of transferring printed graphics to a three dimensional object via water. The process takes place in an apparatus that contains a tub of water that a printed graphic floats atop of with the help of a special chemical placed in the water. The three dimensional object is then placed into the tub at an angle, passing through the printed graphic on top of the water until it is fully submersed into the tub. At that point the object is pulled back out of the tub with the graphic adhered to the exterior of the object. Here is a video to better demonstrate the process.

What Can You Hydro Dip?

People are hydro dipping almost everything. From the full exterior of a vehicle, all the way to cell phone cases. It’s a great option for sign companies and auto customization shops because it can be applied to most substrates; from plastic, fiberglass and wood, to ceramic and metal.

The customization options with hydro printing is endless, if you can print it you can dip it. Additionally, because you are transferring it in water you are able to apply the print to the most detailed and intricate three dimensional objects. Water will fill the smallest crevices and transfer the graphic seamlessly and proportionally. This makes it ideal for specific exterior and interior components of a vehicle, including fenders, bumpers, hood scoops, rims, door paneling, dash’s, and more.

The Process

You take the same steps when hydro dipping that you do when you paint. The surface must be prepped, primed, and painted. However, before applying a clear coat like you would with a paint job, you apply the graphic.

The graphic is printed on a polyvinyl alcohol hydragraphic film, that is gently placed atop the water in the apparatus. The film is water soluble and because of the activator added to the water it dissolves in the tub becoming part of the water. After the object is dipped and dried, the film will have adhered like a paint job, as long as not too much or too little activator was used.

The finished product is a one of a kind seamless graphic that follows the shape of the object perfectly.

Although a hydro printing apparatus does have a decent price tag with it, and the art of hydro dipping does take some time, it’s a great stand alone service or additional service to offer as an auto customization shop.