A Quick Guide to Buying Auto Body Parts
Any problem, when not addressed accordingly, can get blown out of proportion and cause you even more predicaments. So whether the problem is in your car’s interiors or exteriors, the best solution would be to address it immediately. With almost 2,000 individual parts in your vehicle, there will come a time when one of them will need replacement. And when this happens, you need to be prepared to purchase new auto body parts that will take the place of the old, busted components. Here’s a quick guide on some of the things that you need to consider whenever you buy new auto body parts for your vehicle repairs.
The components that make up your ride are typically offered in different kinds of materials. For instance, bumpers are either made out of steel or aluminum. The choice will always be up to you, so make sure you know these materials well.
- Stainless steel
Steel is one of the most common materials used to create auto body parts like bumpers, roof racks, winch plates, etc. It’s known for its durability and ability to withstand high temperatures as well as rust.
Aluminum is commonly used to create throttle body spacers, caliper covers, etc. Like steel, it’s valued for its ability to deter corrosion. But aside from that, it’s also lightweight, which is always important if aerodynamics is an issue.
Plastic is commonly used to make body kits and many other components. It comes in different forms that are usually easy to mold such as urethane, polyurethane, thermoplastic, etc. Aside from being lightweight, plastic is also favored for its cheaper cost.
Rubber is commonly used to create components like seals and body mount kits. Aside from its elasticity, rubber is also valued for its sealing capabilities.
When buying a replacement component, make sure you take note of its location and position—whether it’s in the front or rear, driver’s or passenger’s side, etc. This ensures you get the right component for your repairs.
If you want seamless fit, always go for direct fit components that are especially made for your vehicle make and model.
Aftermarket auto body parts will come in different colors and finishes that can confuse you while you shop. However, if you want something that will blend right in with the rest of your ride, always choose neutral colors like black or gray.
Car Maintenance 101: How to Keep your Auto Body Parts in Tiptop Shape
Since they make up the vehicle’s exterior, your ride’s auto body parts are among the most susceptible to scratches, stone chips, rust, and other forms of damage. So it is but right to give them the kind of maintenance and protection they deserve.
Here are some tips on how to keep your vehicle’s auto body panels in good shape:
Wash your ride regularly.
Regular car wash can rid the vehicle of bird droppings, bugs, road salts, and other elements that may damage the paint or cause rust spots if not removed in time. Also, spraying the auto body parts with some kind of protectant can help preserve the vehicle’s finish.
Wax the vehicle at least once a year.
Besides giving your ride a shiny finish, the car wax also protects the paint and conceals those small mirror scratches and stone chips, therefore putting off corrosion. A car wax that’s of good quality can stay on your ride’s auto body parts for a couple of months. That’s why it’s okay to apply it just once or twice a year.
Rust-proof your ride.
This is particularly important if you live near the coast or in areas where road salt is used during winter months. Proper rust-proofing will protect the vehicle’s metal body panels from corrosion.
Repair minor scuffs and stone chips.
The easiest way to do this is to use touch-up paint that matches your ride’s base paint. To get the right paint, you need to take note of your ride’s “C/TR”, which can be found on the label in the driver-side door jamb. Get a touch-up paint with the exact color code as the one written on the door jamb.
You can also use spray paint. But, instead of spraying paint on the affected area, you just have to pick a small amount using a sharp, wooden stick and carefully fill up the damaged area.
Remove minor scratches.
If the scratch isn’t so deep, you can easily fix it using a fine polishing compound and a foam applicator. Make sure the affected auto body part is clean and dry. Spray some water into the affected area and buff in circular motion. Once the scratch looks less visible, wash the area and buff it using regular wax.