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Anwers and Tips to Car Owners’ Questions in Montreal

At Clifton Auto Centre Inc. in Montreal, we offer not only high quality services when it comes to taking care of your vehicle, we also provide excellent and clear advice so that you know what to do, and why. As an owner, you have a responsibility towards your car and we are happy to help! We invite you to read our answers to the most recurrent questions we get from our clients. If your specific question does not appear here, please feel free to contact us!

Why should I get my car repaired?

Getting your car repaired is not always affordable, especially when coming out of your own pocket, and that's where car insurance becomes important. You contribute each month to the insurance to ensure that the major repairs can be done when needed. Clifton Auto will embrace your car like one of our own and deal with insurance companies to make sure your get more for your money – and you can get back on the road in your beautiful car as soon as possible.

Should you use your insurance or pay out of your pocket? This is a question many of our customers face. The fear of deductibles going up is valid, but maintaining your car before the damage snowballs into a more expensive problem is imperative. Whenever the paint is compromised, whether through scratches, dents or chips, the metal beneath becomes exposed to air, water, and/or salt. These elements all lead to further corrosion. You will see the exposed areas turn yellowish-orange around the impact, and that's the first sign rust is forming. Clifton Auto is here to tackle these issues for you, thus, prolonging your car's life and lessening the burden on your wallet.

Check out our other help sections to get tips on how to maintain your car yourself. If you feel unprepared or need someone else to do it, contact Clifton Auto, and our professional team will be happy to help you save money on all your repairs whether they be big, small or insurance claims! All repairs by Clifton Auto come with our warranty.


How can I maintain my car's look and improve its longevity?

How can I maintain my car's look and improve its longevity?
In life, if you take care of something, it will last longer - the same applies to your car. We don't suggest doing a full cleansing of your car each day, but regular maintenance of your car's body can make a HUGE difference in the long run, and save you lots of money! Here are Clifton Auto's suggestions to improve the look of your car and prolong its longevity for years to come without breaking the bank. 


• Give the car a full compound job once a year, removing all your tiny scratches.
• Wash the car, over and underneath, at least every few weeks
• Have the car waxed twice a year: once before winter, and once before summer
• Clean and cover any exposed chips or scratches with touch-up paint or nail-polish.


Take a look at our other sections that provide some guidance on these suggestions.


Does compound make my scratches disappear?

Imagine someone threw a tiny pebble at you, would it hurt or caused damage? Probably not. What if someone used a slingshot with the same sized pebble? Obviously, pain and damage would occur. Flying dust works the same way. At low speeds, dust does nothing, but on the highway, these tiny particles are hitting your car at such high speeds that they cause tiny scratches, which you might not notice immediately. Over time, these tiny scratches add up, and you will notice the lustre and shine on your car begin to fade from glossy to matte. Keep in mind, this also applies to the windshield, causing a glare from surrounding lights to distract or block your vision.

Compounding your car exfoliates your clear coat finish. It polishes away tiny scratches and leaves a smooth glass finish. Using an orbital polisher is easy and very rewarding once you have enough practice and training. The rapid spinning and resulting friction can overheat the paint and will peel away the clear-coat and paint in the blink of an eye. Make sure the area being compounded is never more than warm, and keep cool water near by to cool off the surface when needed. Compounding your car without sufficient training is not recommended. Clifton Auto will professionally compound your car removing the tiny scratches and restoring your car to its original shine and glamour.

What should I know about washing my car?

Thoroughly washing your car at least once a month removes all the dirt and grime that collects from the air and roads:

• Winter months in Montreal can be treacherous, and the city salts the roads for our protection; however, this same salt can be extremely damaging to the car, as it does two things: corrodes the car's paint and metal, and can be flung up at high speeds from the cars in front of you scratching or chipping the paint. Wash off the salt before it slowly corrodes your car.
• It is extremely important to wash underneath your car. Although it is not immediately visible and washing it will not make your car look any better, gunk from salt, tree leaves, and other things get stuck within the crevices and will corrode your car without you noticing. Many good quality car washes wash underneath your car, and should be visited once a month.
• Many people neglect to clean under the bumper, under the wheel wells and inside the doors. These are great hiding areas that the gunk mentioned earlier will get trapped. At Clifton Auto, we see rust build here frequently. If rust builds on the main body of the car, it quickly becomes very invasive and a much bigger project to save your car.
• Montreal's bird populations are sweet and gentle, but their droppings are quite the opposite. Birds’ droppings are very acidic and will start to ruin your car's clear coat and eventually your paint. The sap from coniferous trees falls under the same category. Clean these messes with warm water and appropriate soap as soon as possible to avoid staining and eventual corrosion.

If washing your car yourself, please consider these tips:
• Rinse the car off first, helping to remove loose dirt and grime. You don't want to exfoliate your paint with street sand and salt.
• Do not use household soap, chances are it will remove the car's wax, thus taking away any protection and shine.
• Prevent unwanted scratches by using a natural sponge or a lamb's wool mitt to wash your car. Be sure to use different sponges to wash wheels and the car body – wheels tend to carry more sand and brake dust that you don't want to rub all over your car.
• Washing a car in the hot sun is not dangerous, but it only doubles your work. The heat will dry the soap and/or water up quick leaving stains forcing you to wash again. Try in the shade or a cooler day.
• Wash in straight lines and not the stereotypical circular motion most people are familiar with. Despite your best efforts, minuscule lines are created and circles swirls are significantly more noticeable that the pattern of straight lines.
• Use a natural chamois to dry the car. Air drying leaves watermarks and doesn't give you that professional finish every car lover desires. Never use paper towels for any reason on your car's body... paper has natural stiff fibres that will leave tiny scratches.

• For extra protection, wax your car. The wax creates a barrier between your car and the elements around us. The greatest benefit from waxing, of course, it makes your car quite shiny. Check out Clifton Auto tips on waxing.


Why should I use a good quality wax?

A good quality wax or ceramic treatment, when applied properly, will create a temporary layer of protection shielding against bird droppings, chemicals, acid rain, and other hazards.

• Using a non-abrasive cloth, apply a high quality wax to your car's roof, fenders, hood, doors, and trunk
• Using a new non-abrasive cloth, wipe away the applied wax.
• Remove any wax applied to plastic parts or rubber with a good quality glass cleaner.
• Consult a professional or do your homework before using an orbital buffer - if not used correctly, the paint can be burned, and only open up the metal to corrosion.


Special automotive wax or ceramic treatments not only protect your car, but also make your car look like new! Clifton Auto will gladly guide you, or do it for you. Call us and our team of professionals will be glad to help.

What to do with paint scratches and chips?

No doubt, scratched or chipped paint is a problem, but not an emergency as long as you are proactive. The car's body is made of metal and will rust if exposed to the air. Quickly sanding away any existing rust and sealing the exposure with a colour matching paint and clear coat will prevent any further corrosion. Solutions to sealing this exposure include using colour matching paint pens found at automotive supply stores or using a similar colour nail polish. The trick to any of these jobs is a steady hand and are only recommended if there only a few chips. Filling in a hundred chips or scratches, regardless of the solution you choose or having a steady hand will make your car look like it has chicken pox. For the heavier jobs, come see us at Clifton Auto, and we will work together to find the best solution.

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