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Auto Guide & Repair Tips



Welcome. You have come to a very special website. Here we can help you find information about a variety of auto body topics. And it's free!

Want to know how to install your new headlight or taillight? It's easy when you follow our helpful instructions. Want to know how to repair a scratched or broken bumper? Click on Bumper Repair and you are on your way.

We also supply you with how-to instructions for repairs that are a little more complicated. Removing and installing a hood, for example, or a liftgate. Other topics include radiator removal and installation, bumper removal and installation, door removal and installation, and repairing small dents and dings.

The topics we provide also include information about salvage yards, used body parts, used bumpers, and rebuilt/refurbished parts. Check in here for insights into OEM parts, the diversity of car and truck body parts, and the difference between collision centers and body shops. Learn what happens when the experts repair your cracked wheels or rims.

Our free tips will also help guide you in caring for your car, truck, SUV, or van. Car-care topics include tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation, air filters, and even flushing your cooling system and changing your anti-freeze. Other subjects include how to improve fuel economy, and simple things like replacing windshield wipers, complete car washing, installing a battery, and monitoring your oil and coolant levels. Check our car-buying guide, too.

We have categorized the articles below by categories. We hope that you find this material useful for your auto repair work.

Auto Body Work

Body Shop Vs. Collision Center - When an accident happens, it is never a fun experience. Body shops and collision centers exist to help take some of the hassle...

Bumper Repair Tips - Bumpers are not constructed the way the used to be. Today most of the "bumper" part is hidden beneath a plastic shield...

Repairing Small Dents and Dings - Repair small dents and "dings" can be a relatively easy job. Save time and money by repairing them yourself...

Auto Body Repair - Overview - Years ago, all cars, trucks, and vans were built on frames. The body rested on the frame, just as a horse-drawn carriage rested on a frame...

Basic Panel Beating - Panel beating is the art of shaping the metal back to where it is smooth and level again. Learning how to be a panel beater is essential...

Blasting Cleaning Basics - Sanding off rust and old paint is extremely labor-intensive. Someone must have thought, "There must be a better way?!" Enter blast cleaning...

Panel Beating Tools and Their Applications - The basic tools for panel beating are various mallets, spoons, blades, and dollies. Read on for a general overview of these tools and their applications...

More Panel Beating Tools and Their Applications - The following material is a continuation of the link "Panel Beating Tools and Their Applications."...

Types of Body Paints Used for Refinishing - For the home mechanic, using original manufacturers' paints for refinishing is usually not a good idea. Why? Because after applying these paints (called TPA-type paints) you have to bake your vehicle at a high temperature. Doing so requires special equipment and would melt many of your vehicles' plastic parts, including the trim, wires and seats...

Pre-Painting Preparation and Masking Off - Here are some basic instructions for preparing your car, truck, van or SUV for painting. ...

Preparing to Spray and Determining the Paint Over Which You Will Be Spraying - There is a lot to do before you can actually begin spray painting and putting the final finish on your vehicle. Here are some important tips....

Under Coats - The better your preparation, the better the paint job. And good preparation has a lot to do with the undercoat you select. Choosing the right undercoat makes it easier to avoid blemishes and can reduce preparation time significantly...

Using Plastic Body Filler - Part I - After you have appropriately, straightened the body part to be repaired, pried out dented areas, shrunk any high spots, and sanded off all paint and rust, it is now time to use body filler to repair the part completely...

Using Plastic Body Filler - Part II - After you have properly mixed your body filler and hardener, apply it in the following manner....

Welding Plastics - The following process allows you to make structural repairs on most types of plastic components. The process is similar to gas welding...

Preventing Rust - Part I - Manufacturers use steel to make many body parts. Iron, the main ingredient in steel, is mined from the earth in the form of iron ore. After the iron is melted down, the iron is combined with a small amount of carbon and a few other elements to make steel...

Preventing Rust - Part II - The best rust-proofing equipment is the professional type. But it is expensive. You might want to invest with a group of friends or with your car club, and then rent it out to recoup some of your investment...

Preventing Rust - Part III - Continue your rustproofing routine by remove any fiber insulation from under the hood. Then apply fluid to all reinforcing channels and ribs on the underside of the hood area...

Rustproofing Various Surfaces - There must be no traces of rust, old paint, and rustproofer on any body part you want to rustproof...

Painting Plastic Surfaces - Here's how to paint smaller plastic surfaces, for example a bumper that has been in a minor collision...

The Basic Types of Welding - Part I - Anyone who performs body repairs soon realizes that learning how to weld is essential if one is going to get serious about this type of work. Here is a brief overview of the most commonly used welding methods....

Basic Welding - Part II/Welding Safety - MIG welding is the darling of the auto body repair industry. It offers the chief advantages of the other systems but has none of the disadvantages...

Repairing a Plastic Bumper - Because it takes less time, most body shops replace bumpers rather than repair them. But you can repair your cracked or broken bumper, if you desire. To do so, follow the instructions below...

Basic Auto Body Paints - All automotive paints are made up of three different elements. These three elements do different things. ...

Cleaning Your Spray Gun - Maintaining your spray gun can go a long way towards making your paint job look neat and professional...

Sanding Basics - Papers - Sanding is extremely important for obtaining a blemish-free finish. Here are some basic facts about the types of sand paper and how to use them...

Sanding Basics - How to Sand - Here are some basic sanding techniques that can help you obtain a premium finish...

Body Shop Safety - Safety must be the number one concern in any body or repair shop. It only makes sense to observe a few precautions. Doing so yields big dividends. Here are a few simple "Do's" and "Don'ts" to follow...

Fire and Fumes - Fire and fumes pose a potential threat to any person working in or around a garage where repairs are being made...

Salvaging a Panel - There are times when you may want to cut a good panel out of a junked car. You will want to do this if the part is no longer available from the manufacturer or if it is only available as a complete sub-assembly...

Car Care

Changing Your Air Filter - Your engine is literally an air-sucking machine. No, really. Without air, your engine would die. Without air, your engine could not burn fuel. Without the ability to burn fuel, you go nowhere.

Changing Your Oil - Maintaining your vehicle can be a fun, interesting and educational experience. It can also be gratifying to know that the job has been done correctly, because you did it yourself!...

Check Oil and Coolant - It's always good to check fluids in your vehicle so that you can be sure all of them are in good condition and are at the proper levels...

Improving Fuel Economy - In these days of high gas prices, there are many things we as car owners and drivers can do to make sure we get the most out of the money we spend on gas...

Installing a New Battery - Depending on the type of battery you have in your car, truck, SUV or van, batteries last anywhere from about three years to five years or longer...

Rotating Tires - It is an excellent idea to rotate the tires on your truck, van, car or SUV...

Miscellaneous Tips - It's a good idea to check you fluids, your tires, the battery and the windshield wipers on your vehicle so that you can drive with confidence...

Body Maintenance - Keeping the exterior of your car, truck, SUV or van in tip-top condition is a good idea for a variety of reasons....

Carpet and Upholstery - It's a great feeling to get into your car, truck, SUV or van and see that everything - seats, dashboard, carpet, floor - is clean and free of dust, dirt and grime...

Automotive Cleaners - Caring for your vehicle can be a rewarding experience. To make the job of cleaning and maintaining easier, there are a wide variety of cleaners, for a wide variety of jobs, from which to choose...

Lubricants - There are a variety of lubricating products for automobiles, trucks, vans and SUVs. Each has a specific use and application...

Eliminate Air Conditioning Odors - Unpleasant odors may sometimes emanate from your air conditioning system. These odors are usually the result of fungus growing on the surface of the air-conditioning evaporator core...

Water Pump Check - If you water pump fails, the result could be serious engine damage due to overheating...

Used Auto Body Parts

Salvage Yards - Like most things, salvage yards have a good face and a not-so-good face...

Used Body Parts - It's a snap! If you are in the market for a body part, buy a used one and you save at least 50% on your purchase. But you can save as much as 70% -- just by buying used...

Used Bumpers - Bumpers are an essential component for the safe operation of your vehicle. They help insure the safety of you, the driver, but also of your passengers. And bumpers help reduce damage to your vehicle as well as other vehicles. That is part of their function...

Choosing Salvageable Body Parts - Buying new, OEM or aftermarket body parts can be very expensive. That is one of the reasons why visiting your local salvage yard can be an uplifting experience. Buying salvage body parts can save you as much as 70%...

General Information

Anti-Lock Braking System - General Information - Your anti-lock braking system is versatile, technical apparatus that can help you brake better and safer. It does this by helping prevent your brakes from locking up...

How a Clutch Operates - The purpose of the clutch is to connect and disconnect the power of your engine power. It does this at the transmission. A lot of torque is required to move the weight of the engine, the body, all your vehicle's internal components, your passengers and any cargo...

Fuel System - General Information - This general description of your fuel system should help you understand how it supplies fuel to your motor and allows you to operate your vehicle. The description applies to a fuel-injector type system...

Helpful Vehicle Information

Car Care - Anti-Freeze Facts - The coolant in your vehicle is a mixture of water and a chemical. It's purpose is to protect your engine, both in cold weather and in high-temperature conditions...

General Information - Engine Cooling System - A vital area on your vehicle is the engine cooling system. Without it, your engine could not function because it simply would get too hot and the metal would begin to melt....

General Information - Activating Mechanisms - A number of sensors in your vehicle provide information to the on-board computer or PCM (Powertrain Control Module). The PCM is also connected to a variety of "output actuators" - activating mechanisms - which respond to the conditions that the sensors monitor...

General Information - Miscellaneous Sensors - A number of sensors provide information to your vehicle's on-board computer or PCM (Powertrain Control Module). The PCM and sensors work together to monitor engine components to achieve optimum performance, efficiency and fuel economy...

General Information - More Sensors - Below are a number of examples of the different types of sensors inside your vehicle......

General Information - On-Board Computer and Emission Control System - Emission control systems and components are integral parts of the engine management system under the hood of most cars, trucks, vans and SUVs produced today. Emission control systems are Federally-mandated to help reduce emissions, improve fuel economy and protect the environment...

General Information - Interior Heating System - It's nice to have a heating system that works properly in your vehicle. Those drives through frigid winter nights are a lot easier with heat. All it takes is one time when the heater doesn't work to remind us how important this system is...

Removal and Installation Guide

Bumper Removal and Installation - Been in an accident? Is your bumper smashed, crashed, broken, beat-up or busted? Obviously it's time to replace it...

Door Removal and Installation - If one or more of your doors is smashed in, rotted out, rusted, or wrecked, it's time you considered replacements...

Hood Removal and Installation - If your hood is scratched, dented, bent from a collision, or rusted, maybe it's time to think about replacing it. You don't have to buy new. Salvage yards often will be able to fit you with a hood for your car, SUV, van or truck that fits perfectly. And it should, because most likely it is from the exact same vehicle as yours...

Liftgate Removal and Installation - Your station wagon, SUV, or van liftgate may occasionally need replacement, if it is rusted, bent, broken, or heavily scratched. ..

Radiator Removal and Installation - If your radiator is leaking, if it is corroded, or if the fins have been damaged or substantially bent, it is time to think about a replacement or a repair...

Replacing Headlights & Taillights - If a headlight burns out, it is usually not necessary to replace the entire headlight assembly. If the lamp has burned out, you can simply replace it...

Replacing Power Steering Pump - Your power steering pump is an important under-hood component. The pump works hard so you don't have to in steering your car, truck, SUV or van. It also helps reduce over-steering in an emergency...

Brake Disc Inspection, Removal and Installation - Below are some simple instructions on how to inspect, remove and install brake discs....

Drum Brake Shoe Replacement - Part 2: New Shoe Installation - Here are some instructions on how to install new brake shoes...

Drum Brake Shoe Replacement - Part 1: Removal - Here are some general drum brake shoe removal instructions. (New shoe installation can be found in Part 2)...

Replace Disc Brake Pads - If you hear a grinding noise or your vehicle does not have the stopping power it once had, it is wise to have your brakes inspected...

Clutch Disc and Pressure Plate - Removal and Installation - You may find it is time, after many miles or extreme usage, to replace the clutch disc and pressure plate on your manual transmission car, truck, SUV or van...

Buying/Shopping Tips

Car Body Parts - When you think parts, like most people you probably think "new." And new parts, whether OEM or aftermarket, are to be had everywhere, including auto parts stores, new car dealerships, and online stores...

Car Part Buying Tips - Looking for that specialty part? Looking for common but necessary part? You have many alternatives for buying either type of part...

OEM parts - Perhaps you have heard of OEM parts. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer...

Refurbished and Rebuilt Parts - Look here for refurbished and rebuild auto, truck, van and SUV parts...

Truck Body Parts - Trucks have always been popular, for hauling, moving, and off-road activities. But over the past decade, the number of truck owners has soared. That means there are more trucks out there than ever before and more truck parts...

Body Shop Tools and Equipment - It may take a lifetime to accumulate all the tools you want. But, there is no time like the present to start your collection...

Types of Spray Guns - Spray guns are essential tools in the field of auto body repair. You will use them to apply various types of paint, plus primers, sealers, and undercoats. Below you will find a brief description of the various types of spray guns available for home and shop use. But first a little history...

Auto Repair Advice & General Tips

Cooling System Flush and Repair - Radiator coolant is usually a 50/50 mixture of anti-freeze and water. This coolant keeps your engine operating at the proper temperature...

Tune-Up Tips - Tuning up a vehicle is not like it used to be. You used to have to tune-up an engine every 30,000 miles...

Wheel/Rim Repair - If your wheels are scuffed, "curbed," cracked, dented, or bent, if may cost thousands of dollars to replace them. Not to mention the time involved choosing and mounting new wheels...

Wheel Refinishing - If you have painted, chromed, or polished wheels and they have become scratched, scuffed, pitted, or chipped, you could replace them. But this means you could end up spending thousands...

A/C Compressor - Removal and Installation - If your air conditioning system is not supplying enough cool air to your car, truck, SUV or van's passenger compartment, it may be time to replace your air-conditioning compressor...

A/C System Maintenance - To keep you your air-conditioning and heating system operating at top efficiency, periodically perform these maintenance tasks...

Car Care - Adding Refrigerant to You A/C System - An effectively operating air-conditioning system is not only a comfort factor - it can be a matter of health, especially for the sick, the very young and the elderly...

Fuel Filter Replacement - Contaminants in the fuel system can result in poor engine performance. Dirt or rust can cause clogged fuel rails and/or fuel injectors...

Heater Core Replacement - Not getting enough heat? Not getting any heat? It could be your heater core. Here are some simple instructions on how to replace this vital winter comfort component...

Thermostat Check and Replacement - If your cooling system is not working properly, it could be your thermostat. But make these checks first, before replacing it...

Water Pump Removal and Installation - If you water pump fails, the result could be serious to your engine damage due to overheating...

Anti-Lock Braking System - Diagnosis and Repair - The anti-lock braking system (ABS) on your car, truck, van or SUV is a technical apparatus that can help you stop safer and quicker...

Fuel Injector System - General Check - This is general check to help you determine if your fuel injectors are getting the power they need, and if they are, to also determine if they are operating properly...

So this is your website for helpful information about body parts and supplies for your car, truck, SUV or van. Bookmark it now. We hope you visit often.

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