•  So occasionally we get questions about the weight of spray cans.  Mostly commonly customers ask “why does a 12 ounce can of paint not weigh 12 ounces?”  The key point to understand is that paint is a liquid and it is typically measured by VOLUME.  So spray cans identify content by volume (NOT WEIGHT).  And since a liquid  is typically measured by volume, the volume does not include the weight of the can.

     Let’s talk about WEIGHT for a moment:  In addition to the weight of paint, weight is also comprised of the weight of the can itself as well as the weight of reducer and propellant.  Paint by nature is very thick – in fact it is typically too thick to apply or even spray.  Reducer is a required additive that decreases viscosity so that the paint will spray.  Propellant creates pressure inside the can and it is the ingredient that allows the can contents to spray out of the can.  Additionally, paint ‘weights’ can have significant variations.  Primers, clearcoats and light colors are generally heavier (more viscous) than darker colors of paint. 

     So what are you getting when you purchase 12 ounces of ‘paint’ from us or one of our competitors (even auto parts stores offerings)?

       -Reducer & propellant: 8.5 oz by volume

       -Paint/primer/clearcoat: 3.5 oz by volume

     As you can see, reducers and propellants are the majority of contents by volume (and weight), not only in spray paints but also for primers and clearcoats.  Our specifications call for 100 grams (3.5 oz by volume) of paint per can.  And the canning system we (and our competitors) use will allow a maximum 3.5oz volume of paint to be dispensed, and we tend to ‘fill to the brim’ the dispensing cap with paint.  The weight by volume of liquid paint will vary depending on how thick (viscous) the paint is (this is why some cans will appear to have ‘less’ paint/primer/clearcoat in them.

     Here are the total (gross) weights of our products:

       -Spray paint (12 oz by volume): approx. 13.5 oz gross weight

       -Primer and Clearcoat (10 oz by volume): approx. 14 oz gross weight

     So why does a can labeled with 12 oz ‘weigh’ as much as a 10 oz can?  This all has to do with the definition of ‘ounces’:  ounces can be used to measure weight OR fluid (liquid) volume.  When we look at the label on a spray can, many times we assume that 12 ounces is the WEIGHT OF THE CAN AND CONTENTS.  However, the actual definition is the VOLUME OF THE CONTENTS!  Furthermore, it is important to note that, practically speaking, the only liquid that both weighs 1 ounce by weight AND volume is water – most other liquids will be ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ by weight.  Paint, reducer and propellants are all ‘lighter’ than water.  However they all have the same volume.  And this is why a can of spray paint actually weighs less than primer and clearcoat.

    Incidentally, we have MSDS sheets (data sheets) for all of these products, and these are also available to you upon request.  And rest assured, you ARE getting your money’s worth when we sell you 12 ounces of paint!  Just be aware that the recipe or formulation includes paint, reducer and propellant.

  • 1. The touch up paint my car dealership sells me is the best way to fix scratches and chips. Not true. The biggest problem is with the applicator: it’s just too large! Most chips and scratches are best touched up with a fine dabber (like we use) or a fine-tipped artist’s brush…the kind used by hobbyists who assemble model cars and airplanes. The second problem with dealership paint is that it tends to be thinned out with clearcoat. On light metallics, this makes the paint transparent. That is…you can see through the paint and into the scratch below. We sell you a small amount of paint without the fillers. Its color coverage is excellent. And it’s the same excellent EOM-quality paint that your vehicle was painted with.

    2. You can’t touch up anything larger than 2 inches. Sometimes true…sometimes not. Blacks, whites, solid reds, and most dark reds, blues, and greens, can be touched up, sanded flat, then buffed to a shine. It’s not a 100% repair, but it can get you out of a $1k+ body shop bill. Silvers, golds, and all other light metallics can’t be touched up beyond 2 inches. The metallic flake in the paint simply does not lay down flat. It reflects light in varying directions and draws attention to the scratch.

    3. You can touch up steel parts, but touch up doesn’t stick to plastic. Not true. As long as the plastic surfaces have been cleaned with wax and grease remover or iosopropyl alcohol, touch up paint will bond permanently.

    4. Touch up paint always looks dull…like freckles all over the face of your car. This is true of do-it-yourself touch ups, which don’t involve the application of the “clearcoat” that gives paint its shine. The professional’s trick is to mix in a small catalyzed (two part) clearcoat with the basecoat (colored paint) prior to applying it to the car.

    5. Touch up paint will eventually fall out, buff out, or be removed by car washes. Again, as long as the repair area is completely clean prior to touch-up, the repair is permanent. Touch up paint is of the same formulation as the car’s factory paint (urethane), and there’s no reason it won’t have the same lifespan.

  • You have a hot date or an important appointment and you rush outside, only to find that your car looks like a hazmat zone. Luckily, you still have five minutes to do something about it. But where do you start?

    Take a tip from used-car salesmen and give your car “curb appeal” — a good overall first impression. When you can’t make use of a car wash, even little things can make a world of difference.

    The folks at Meguiar’s Inc. know a lot about making cars look good. The company’s core market is enthusiasts who lavish attention on their cars. But Mike Pennington, Meguiar’s director of training and consumer relations, was willing to talk about the gray area between a few swipes with a car duster and a full-on Saturday morning “bucket wash.”

    “We don’t want to tell people not to wash their car anymore,” he says. “But if you are willing to put a little time into it, you’ll be surprised at how good your car can look.”

    Over at Turtle Wax Inc., Michael Schultz, senior vice president of research and development, says car finishes are more durable and the chemistry of waxes and car-care products has changed. This means that for minor indiscretions — think fingerprints, bird droppings and light dust — you can use a spray detailer to sharpen up the look of your car.

    But one expert, who used to prepare cars for photo shoots, sounded a note of caution: Be careful of too obviously cleaning just one section of the car. It might draw attention to how dirty the rest of it is.

    Here are six tricks you can use to keep up the good looks of your car between car washes. Think of it as triage for a dirty car.

    Triage Tip 1: Clean horizontal surfaces with a spray detailer. You don’t have to clean the whole car, just the obvious surfaces that catch dew or light rain and leave water marks. The eyesore areas are the hood, trunk and rear bumper.

    Schultz recommends cleaning these surfaces in sections, using a spray detailer and microfiber towel, which is finely woven and makes better contact with the car’s surface. For example, divide the hood in quarters and clean the four sections individually. He estimates you could even clean the entire car this way with spray detailer and only four towels.

    Many car enthusiasts worry about scratching or putting swirl marks in the car’s finish. The spray detailer is designed to avoid this by lubricating the dirt so it can be wiped up with a towel. But Schultz stresses the importance of flipping the towel often so you don’t grind dirt into the clear coat — the transparent finish covering the car’s paint.

    Triage Tip 2: A clean windshield is (almost) a clean car. Glass is easy to clean and it sparkles like a jewel once you remove the haze and grime. Visibility is a huge safety factor, but a clean windshield also just makes you feel better about your car. When you’re finished with the outside of the windshield, clean the driver-side window and side mirror, too. And for bonus points, clean the inside of the windshield and rearview mirror.

    Keep a bottle of glass cleaner in your trunk, along with a roll of paper towels or the aforementioned microfiber towels. A foam spray cleaner also works well. For the really lazy folks, there’s a squeegee. In addition to cleaning, a squeegee works well in the morning when there is dew all over the windshield. Squeegee off the morning moisture and your glass won’t be left with those horrible drying marks.

    Triage Tip 3: Take out the trash. It’s a car, not a dumpster. Pull up next to a trash can somewhere and throw away papers, food or other junk that dates from the second Bush administration. Better yet, put a small trash bag in your car and empty it often, Pennington suggests.

    While you’re shoveling out your car, you might find a couple bucks’ worth of change. Use it to buy a car deodorizer. Pennington says car interiors can absorb smells, but there are new products that actually absorb dreaded foul odors rather than just mask them. We’ve tested a few and they seem to work.

    Triage Tip 4: Shake out the floor mats. When time is tight and you don’t have a vacuum, you can simply grab your floor mats and shake off all the gravel, loose dirt, sand or — heaven forbid — used ketchup packets. The mat on the driver side probably is secured, so you’ll have to work it off the anchors first. But the other floor mats are unattached and you can simply whisk them out for a quick flapping.

    Triage Tip 5: Clean the wheels and tires. Pennington says that having dirty wheels on a clean car is like wearing old shoes with a new suit. So it makes sense to make the “shoes” look as sharp as possible.

    The absolutely laziest way to go is just to use a cotton rag to wipe off the flat center section of your rims. (There’s too much dirt on the rims for one of your microfiber towels to handle.) If time allows, work the rag into the spokes or crevices. You also can use a brush for the hard-to-reach areas.

    As tires degrade, the rubber takes on a brownish hue that makes them look dull, Schultz says. So after you’re finished cleaning the wheels, apply tire black with a sponge. Easier still, just use a spray product to get a quick shine.

    Triage Tip 6: Clean anything you touch or look at. When you’re in the car, you spend a lot of time looking at the gauges, the dashboard and the center console. So take that microfiber towel you used on the car’s exterior and quickly clean off a few strategic areas inside the car. The plastic covering for the gauges is a must. Then, wipe the dust off the dashboard and sweep the fingerprints from the center console. Our experts recommend keeping car cleaning wipes in the glove compartment for quick interior touch-ups.

    Now that you’re finished, here’s one more suggestion to make your life easier: Be very careful where you park. Sprinklers can undo all your hard work. And if you leave your car under the wrong tree, you might return to find it looking like a rock in the Galapagos Islands.

    Quoted from Edmunds.com.

  • A member of the Dodge Challenger owners’ forum was buying a new car from a dealer and noticed green valve-stem caps on all four tires. The salesman told him that the tires had been filled with nitrogen, which would keep the tire pressure and temperature more consistent and that it would prevent tire rot from the inside out. It wasn’t a free add-on, though. The “nitrogen upgrade” was a $69 item on the supplemental window sticker. Another forum member later posted that his dealer was charging $179 for this same “upgrade.”

    Some dealerships and tire stores claim that filling your tires with nitrogen will save you money on gas while offering better performance than air. But a closer look reveals that nitrogen has few benefits and much higher costs. For starters, a typical nitrogen fill-up will cost you about $6 per tire.

    Why Nitrogen?
    The Get Nitrogen Institute Web site says that with nitrogen tire inflation, drivers will note improvements in a vehicle’s handling, fuel efficiency and tire life. All this is achieved through better tire-pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler-running tire temperatures, the institute says.

    This sounds great in theory but let’s take a closer look at each of those claims.

    Better tire-pressure retention: Over time, a tire will gradually lose pressure. Changes in temperature will accelerate this. The general rule of thumb is a loss of 1 psi for every 10-degree rise or fall in temperature. The institute says that nitrogen has a more stable pressure, since it has larger molecules than oxygen that are less likely to seep through the permeable tire walls.In 2006, Consumer Reports conducted a year-long study to determine how much air loss was experienced in tires filled with nitrogen versus those filled with air. The results showed that nitrogen did reduce pressure loss over time, but it was only a 1.3 psi difference from air-filled tires. Among 31 pairs of tires, the average loss of air-filled tires was 3.5 psi from the initial 30 psi setting. Nitrogen-filled tires lost an average of 2.2 psi from the initial setting. Nitrogen won the test, but not by a significant margin.
    Improved fuel economy: The EPA says that under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. The theory is that since nitrogen loses pressure at a slower rate than air, you are more likely to be at the correct psi and therefore get better fuel economy.If you are proactive and check your tire pressure at least once a month, you can offset this difference with free air, and you won’t need expensive nitrogen. We think this invalidates the “better fuel economy with nitrogen” argument.For many people, however, this kind of maintenance is easier said than done. Most people either forget to regularly check and top off their tires, or never learned how to do it in the first place. Even Edmunds employees (typically a pretty car-savvy group) were under-inflating or over-inflating their tires, according to a tire-pressure study we conducted a few years ago.

    And though tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) now come standard on cars, a 2009 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that only 57 percent of vehicles with TPMS had the correct tire pressure. That’s because most systems are only meant to signal that a tire has very low pressure, not to show that the pressure is optimal.
    Cooler running temperatures: When air is pressurized, the humidity in it condenses to a liquid and collects in the air storage tank you use at the local gas station. When you add compressed air to the tire, the water comes along for the ride. As the tire heats up during driving, that water changes to a gas, which then expands, increasing tire pressure. Because nitrogen is dry, there is no water in the tire to contribute to pressure fluctuations.But this fluctuation in temperature isn’t as significant as you might think. A 2008 ExxonMobil studyplotted the changes in temperature over the course of various inflation pressures. The lines on the graph were virtually on top of each other. In other words, the change in temperature when using nitrogen was negligible.
    Prevent wheel rot: Nitrogen proponents will also point out that water in a tire can lead to wheel rot. A tire engineer who anonymously maintains Barry’s Tire Tech, a blog on a number of tire issues, says this isn’t really a problem with modern cars.”Alloy wheels don’t really have a problem with water inside the tire,” the engineer writes in a post on nitrogen inflation. “They are coated to keep aluminum from forming aluminum oxide, which forms a crust, which isn’t very attractive. But even then, this crust protects the aluminum from further corrosion from the water.”Where wheels have problems is when the aluminum alloy contacts steel, such as the steel spring clip used on wheel weights. It’s a particular issue when salt is present, the engineer writes. “But this problem is totally independent of the inflation gas,” he says. “Steel wheels only have a problem if the paint is damaged.”

    Cost and Convenience
    Let’s say a person bought a set of tires at Costco, a place that uses nitrogen to fill all the tires they sell. If he needs to top off the tires with more nitrogen, he won’t be able to go to just any gas station. He can use regular air if there is nothing else available, but that would dilute the nitrogen in the tires. He’ll have to go back to Costco and wait until the tire technicians can attend to the car. On a busy day, he could be there awhile.

    Nitrogen is free at Costco and at some car dealerships we called, but these are rare cases. We called a number of tire shops that carry nitrogen and found that the prices for a nitrogen fill ranged from $5-$7 per tire. Assuming our consumer was diligent about checking his tires monthly, he could potentially spend about $84 a year on nitrogen alone per tire. Compare that to the most gas stations, where air is free or a 75-cent fill-up for all four tires at the most.

    Finding tire shops with nitrogen could be an issue, too. We called a number of large chains, including America’s Tire Co., Discount Tire and Walmart. None carried nitrogen.

    Is Nitrogen Worth It?
    The air we breathe is made up of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and a few other elements. To get the desired benefits for tires, nitrogen needs to be at least 93 percent pure, according to nitrogen service equipment providers quoted on Tirerack.com. So we’re basically talking about adding an extra 15 percent of nitrogen and getting rid of as much oxygen as possible.

    Based on cost, convenience and actual performance benefit, we don’t think nitrogen is worth it. A much better use of your money would be to buy a good tire-pressure gauge and check your tires frequently. This is a good idea even if you have a tire-pressure monitoring system in your vehicle. The warning lights aren’t required to come on until you have less than 25 percent of the recommended tire pressure. Having the correct tire pressure will get you many of the benefits of using nitrogen and will ensure that your tires last longer.

    Quoted from Edmunds.com.

  • When you take your car to the dealership’s service department for repairs, you know you’re getting Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts. However, if you take your car to an independent shop, you’ll most likely get aftermarket car parts. Is there anything wrong with that? Does a less expensive part mean a poorer-quality part? And in what situations should you use only OEM parts?

    To answer these questions, we’ve created a list of pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision when choosing what parts go into your car. In this way, you can strike a balance between cost and quality.
    Aftermarket Parts

    An aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not sourced from the car’s maker. If the parts are direct replacement parts, they will not void your car’s warranty. A number of companies make parts designed to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original. Tom Torbjornsen, host of America’s Car Show, estimates that about 80 percent of independent shops use aftermarket parts. “Be an informed consumer,” said Torbjornsen.”Shop around, make sure you’re dealing with a good mechanic and request high-quality aftermarket parts.”

    PROS

    Less expensive: Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts; how much you save varies by brand. Shop around to find the best price and to get an idea of how much that part usually costs. If the price of a part seems too good to be true, ask questions about its quality.
    Quality can be equal to or greater than OEM: In some cases, you may end up with a better part than you started with. “The aftermarket companies reverse-engineer the part, and work the weaknesses out,” said Torbjornsen. For example, when an automaker designs its brake pads, it has to strike a balance between cost, durability, noise levels and performance. If you want better performance and don’t mind some extra brake noise (some brake pads squeak even though they are stopping the car effectively), an aftermarket pad may be your best choice.
    More variety: There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts. Some specialize in specific parts, and other companies, like NAPA, make almost any part you can think of. More variety means greater selection and a wider range of prices.
    Better availability: You can walk into any gas station, auto parts store or local mechanic, and they’re bound to have a part that fits your car. This gives you more options on where to take your car for service.

    CONS

    Quality varies greatly: The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here. Some aftermarket parts are inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials. Stick with aftermarket brands you’re familiar with or are recommended by a mechanic you trust, even if these parts cost a bit more.
    Overwhelming selection: If you’re not familiar with aftermarket brands, the selection could be overwhelming, and there’s some chance you may get a bad quality part. Even a part as simple as a spark plug can be made by dozens of different companies and comes in numerous variations. Consult your mechanic for advice or simply stick with the OEM part when the price difference isn’t significant.
    May not have a warranty: To keep costs down, some aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty.

    OEM Parts

    OEM parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. These match the parts that came with your vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line.

    PROS

    Easier to choose your part: If you go to the parts counter at a dealership and ask for any part, you’ll usually get one type. You don’t have to worry about assessing the quality of different brands and prices.
    Greater assurance of quality: The OEM part should work exactly as the one you are replacing. It is what the vehicle was manufactured with and provides a peace of mind in its familiarity and performance.
    Comes with a warranty: Most automakers back up their OEM parts with a one-year warranty. And if you get your car repaired at the dealer, they’ll usually stand by their labor as well.

    CONS

    More expensive: OEM parts will usually cost more than an aftermarket part. When it comes to bodywork, OEM parts tend to cost about 60 percent more, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). There is more of a burden on parts and service to increase a dealership’s profit, since the sales departments have been underperforming. But the gap in pricing might be closing, says Torbjornsen. “We’ve seen a balance in the scales; dealers are now trying to compete with independent shops.”
    Need to be bought at the dealership: Even though there are other ways of buying OEM parts (eBay, online wholesalers), most people will go to a dealership to buy their car parts. This limits the number of places you can buy from. You can request OEM parts from your local mechanic, but it may take longer to get your vehicle repaired since the parts must be ordered.
    Quality may not be superior: You paid the extra money for an OEM part, hoping that it was vastly better than an aftermarket part. But that may not always be the case. As Torbjornsen mentioned earlier, some aftermarket parts are equal to or in some cases better than OEM parts. So you might be paying extra just for the name.

    When Should You Request OEM Parts?

    When it comes to collision repairs, make sure you are getting OEM parts, since aftermarket body panels may not fit properly or have proper crumple zones for crash safety.

    If you lease your car, there are also economic considerations. Since aftermarket parts decrease a vehicle’s book value, using them to repair your vehicle’s body may cost you part or all of your security deposit.

    But here’s the rub: In 21 states and the District of Columbia, a body shop’s repair estimate does not have to indicate whether aftermarket parts will be used. You’ll often find that your insurance company will favor aftermarket parts because they are cheaper. If you request OEM parts, some insurance companies ask you to pay an additional fee. Check with your insurance provider beforehand, to see what parts they will cover.
    Which Is the Best Way To Go?

    All aftermarket parts are not created equal — but all OEM parts are. This creates its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re familiar with a number of brands or work on your own car, aftermarket parts can save you a lot of money. If you’re not familiar with aftermarket brands, prefer to have everything done at the dealership and don’t mind paying a bit extra for that peace of mind, OEM is a good choice for you.

    Quoted from Edmunds.com.

  • The answer is: Probably. Waxing has always made cars extra shiny. That’s still the case today, but both modern paint jobs and wax formulations have improved a lot in recent years. Paint used to be just thatpaint. A new car got a layer of primer and a few coats of colored lacquer, and that was it. Wax not only gave the paint a good gloss, it was also the only line of defense against scratches.

    Beginning in the 1980s, manufacturers started adding a layer of clear coat, which seals the paint and adds to the shine of the car. The clear coat also takes the environmental abuse. Things like ultraviolet light, ozone, exhaust, salt, dirt, rain, bug guts, and bird poop build up tiny scratches and oxidation on the clear coat’s surface. As the paint ages, that damage causes the surface to get hazy and the shine to subside, but there’s generally no damage to the color layer below. Not waxing will leave the car looking dull and the clear coat vulnerable to accelerated wear. If you don’t particularly care how the car looks, you can be lazy and never wax itjust keeping the car washed will leave it looking reasonably nice (use a gentle soap made for carsno detergents). Waxing provides a sacrificial layer on top of the clear coat so that when you remove dirt and such you’re not directly rubbing the paint.

    Things have changed substantially since dads spent Sunday afternoons rubbing carnauba wax onto lacquer car paint. Now even that classic formulation has additives that make it easier to wax on and wax off. New synthetic formulas are even simpler to apply and offer longer-lasting protection, and spray-on waxes can be applied with almost no effort at all. Plus, you don’t need to wax that often. Even if you obsess over your paint, four coats of wax a year are plenty, and you can use spray-on wax to maintain the shine. We like to wax the car at least twice a year, once before winter and once in the spring.

    Quoted from:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a3255/do-i-really-need-to-wax-my-car-15829917/