How to find an accident repair centre

If you’ve been involved in an accident, you might still be in shock. How to find an accident repair centre and ways to vet your new mechanic are probably consuming your thoughts. But in today’s 10-minute read, we’re going to help you look for a body shop, get a competitive quote and answer some of the core questions on bodywork that you might have following an accident.

1. What makes a good accident repair centre?

A good accident repair centre will have a high review rating – ideally by your friends and family. But if you’re not local to them, at least on Google or Tripadvisor. They will not ask for the full payment up front and they will let you pay in whatever method is convenient for you. If you want them, they’ll give you the old parts related to any accident repair. And they will provide you with a detailed quote upfront and in writing. If you have a dispute, a good accident repair centre will work with you to address your concerns. Lastly, they will guarantee their work to a reasonable extent and provide reliable quality.

2. How do I find a good accident repair centre?

Finding a good accident repair centre is easy. Start by asking your friends, family and co-workers for recommendations. If they can’t provide anyone they rely on, turn to online reviews. Google and Tripadvisor are great places to go to see what a shop is rated on its best and worst days. When you have a shortlist, get a few quotes. Never just go to the first place you contact. You need to get a range of quotes to make sure your accident repair is being priced fairly. Send in good-quality pictures to make sure you’re representing the damage correctly.

3. How do you know if an accident repair centre is fair?

A fair shop will provide you with a quote in advance based on pictures of the damage. You can compare this quote with 2 or 3 others to make sure you’re getting a good rate. Check Google too. Reviews of the shop can help you understand the experience of other customers who have used their services. Remember to ask about how long and under what conditions they will guarantee this repair. And you may even want to keep the parts they remove just as a precaution.

4. What happens with insurance after an accident?

If you get into an accident, stop. Exchange your contact and insurance details with anyone else involved and record their info. Take pictures and record any details from the location to help with your insurance claim. If the road is blocked, call the police. If anyone is hurt, call an ambulance. Do not apologise or admit guilt and don’t accuse others. When you get home, tell your insurance company. You won’t want them finding out from the other driver. This includes even when you don’t want to make a claim. If the other driver didn’t stop, report the hit and run to the police and your insurance. If you’ve hit a farm animal or dog, tell the police.

5. Do they have to give you the old parts?

If you request for the old parts to be returned to you when you make the appointment then they have to give them to you.  The Motor Ombudsman explains, “As the owner of the vehicle, you are entitled to keep any parts that are removed from your car during a service or repair, regardless of their condition. When booking in your car for work, it is important that you notify the garage at this stage not to dispose of any old parts that are taken off your vehicle.”

6. Do you pay for car repair beforehand?

It’s standard to pay after repairs are completed. A garage may take a deposit. According to the AA, “A garage that has repaired your car has what is known as a ‘lien’. This is the right to keep the car until they’ve been paid for all work done. If you take your car away without authorisation you risk both civil proceedings and criminal prosecution. Apart from legal proceedings or leaving your car while any dispute is sorted out, the only option is to pay the amount demanded, marking the invoice as ‘paid under protest’.” But if the shop is asking you to pay everything up front or in cash, this could be a sign of a dodgy accident repair centre.

7. What’s in a good repair quote?

Providing a quote in writing isn’t usually a legal requirement, but a good accident repair centre will be willing to do this anyway. Remember that an estimate is just that – their best guess at how much time it will take to do the job and what the parts will cost. It’s not a firm or binding price. So, it’s important to get quotes from several sources to make sure you’re getting a good deal. In general, a good repair quote will detail:

  • The make and model of your vehicle
  • Description of the problem
  • Recommended fix
  • Parts & labour
  • Working days to complete

If you’ve not had your car serviced in a while, you may choose to do this first as it will generate a quote for other works. The AA explains, “All services will involve visual checks to your car, like looking for damage to your car’s body or wheels. They’ll also include manual checks [on] things like your brakes and gearbox to make sure they’re working as they should. If you have an electric or hybrid car, the checks will include your charging port, cables and connections.” If you know you have body damage, this will already be one of the things the auto shop checks for in addition to any hidden issues you might not be aware of.

8. Summary

How to find an accident repair centre is often top-of-mind after a collision. Remember to check reviews, get multiple quotes and compare service records before committing to a shop. If you need a car service, this might help you identify the full range of fixes required without additional steps. And lastly, if you’re not happy with the repair, let the garage know so they can resolve it for you.

How to cut fuel costs

With the recent dramatic increases in the price of petrol and diesel fuel in the UK, it’s unsurprising you’re searching for how to cut fuel costs. After all, no matter how fuel-efficient your vehicle is, if the prices go up, every journey just costs more. But there are some things you can do to cut fuel costs and keep the sting of price rises from being felt so prominently. We’ve listed some below in this 7-minute read.

1. Why are fuel costs so high?

LBC explains, “Price increases began at the beginning of the Covid pandemic as the demand for energy rose, and since then the cost of oil has continued to rise significantly, with the biggest changes coming in recent months. And now, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK is seeing some of the highest prices in 14 years.” And all this translates to pain at the pump for millions of families across Britain. But there are some small steps you can take to save money on fuel.

2. How can I save money on fuel?

One of the easiest ways to save money on fuel is to pay with reward cards, loyalty cards or credit cards aligned with the petrol station. BP, Shell, Tesco, Sainburys and more all have reward programs. And according to Love Money, “Getting a NatWest/RBS Reward Credit Card will get you 0.25% cashback at supermarket petrol stations (and 1% on supermarket spend).” Just by participating in one of these schemes, you can nearly negate the recent price rise and gain other benefits in the process. But that’s not all you can do to get better mileage.

3. Does a full tank get better mileage?

Keep your gas tank full. You may think that less fuel in the car is more efficient but it means stopping more, risking running out of gas, forcing yourself to take worse deals on petrol prices and it’s bad for the car in the long run. Saving Advice explains, “Your gas tank is an empty space, and whatever space is not filled by gas is filled with air. Air contains water [vapour], which can condense on the sides of your fuel tank. This condensation can cause two problems. First, it can cause rust to develop on the sides of fuel tanks which are made of metal, which can cause problems in the future. The water [vapours] can also mix with the gas in the fuel tank, causing it to work less efficiently. This can be a problem for both plastic and metal fuel tanks.”

4. Why does regular servicing help to save petrol?

Regular servicing helps to save petrol. It does this primarily by catching problems that would cause your car to be more inefficient. This could be a number of things including rust developing in the fuel tank, engine problems, incorrect engine oil, clogged air elements, balding or unbalanced tyres, brake issues, gearbox issues and much more. Get your car looked at by a trusted body shop regularly to prevent issues which cost you at the fuel pump each week.

5. Why do aerodynamics matter?

Good car aerodynamics reduce drag. And drag causes you to fight against the car’s engine and make it work harder. When your car is more aerodynamic, it uses less fuel. Think about removing all the things that are creating a drag on your car when they are not needed. These could be roof storage boxes, bike or canoe racks, dollys or moving equipment and the like. Also, consider riding with your windows up to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

6. Does cruise control save petrol?

Yes, cruise control will save petrol. That’s because a computer is better at maintaining a consistent speed (generally) than you are. Motortrend explains, “If you’re cruising along a mostly level highway, electronics generally are far better at avoiding the little speed-up/slow-down events that are inevitably caused by a weary accelerator ankle or an inattentive mind. It’s those changes in momentum that waste fuel because force equals mass times acceleration. Using cruise control is beneficial on mostly level ground, as well as on long, steady uphill or downhill grades. On highways traversing rolling hills, however, you’re better off targeting an average speed and then allowing the vehicle to slow down by 5 or 10 mph when climbing and then rise by a similar amount during the descent.” And that reduction in erratic driving, hard braking and rapid acceleration are what saves the fuel costs for you.

7. What are other ways to save fuel?

Another way to save fuel is to use the highest gear you can at all times. RAC explains, “Probably the biggest secret to achieving high mpg is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit. The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible, probably at around 2000rpm. Remember the faster an engine spins, the more fuel it uses.” Also, try to drive as smoothly as possible and avoid deceleration. You can only do that by watching the road and anticipating what other drivers will do. If you need to pass, do so in good time so you won’t have to speed up or slow down. Combine your journeys to do as much as you can with a warm engine and try not to use the AC or heat unless you really really need to. Both of these features use fuel.

8. Summary

In summary, you can save fuel by participating in reward programs and petrol credit card schemes. You should also run as close to a full tank as possible doing as many errands on a warm engine as you can. Also, take off anything creating drag, keep the windows up, the AC off and the cruise control on in the highest gear you can for the speed limit. Lastly, get regular servicing so something you don’t know about isn’t costing you at the pump.

What makes a body shop great car mechanics?   

If you need car repairs, you’re probably looking for a good mechanic. But what makes a body shop great car mechanics in general? What qualities should you look for? How should they interact with you? And what recourse do you have if something goes wrong? We’ll help you understand in this 7-minute read.

1. What qualities make a good mechanic?

Everyone will likely agree that a good mechanic knows how to fix nearly every car that rolls onto the lot, first and foremost. They’ll have access to a wide array of resources and knowledge to diagnose and repair any problem with your vehicle. And they will charge you a fair price to do so. They won’t try to confuse or confound you during the process. Lastly, they will get your informed consent at each stage before carrying out the work. And they then guarantee the quality of that work for a reasonable period of time.

2. How do I find a good car mechanic?

There are a lot of ways to find a good car mechanic. First, and most commonly, you could do a search for local mechanics in your area. Read the recent reviews (especially for similar car complaints) and see how other customers found the experience. But asking friends and family for recommendations shouldn’t be overlooked either. They may be able to make a personal referral and get you seen sooner than if you simply rang up. Remember to always check the garage has the right certifications & training to make whatever types of repairs your vehicle requires.

3. How do you know if your mechanic is scamming you?

Well, the easiest way to know if your mechanic is scamming you is to get a second quote. But that’s not always possible or easy if the car is totally broken down and in the possession of the garage. So, look for these subtle clues:

  1. The car is never ready when they say it will be. While issues do happen, if they are always late in fixing your vehicle it might be that they’re not as experienced with your make and model.
  2. If they won’t give you a quote or require full payment upfront. You should never pay more than half upfront for a repair with an honest shop.
  3. If they seem to be trying to scare you about how serious a problem is. Walk away if you’re being given the scare treatment, especially if it’s not for the issue you came in to repair.
  4. If they only take cash. If a problem does arise, cash is a very insecure form of payment.
  5. If they won’t show you the old parts once they replace them. Basically, if you can’t see what’s wrong, it’s possible nothing was wrong in the first place.
  6. When they won’t explain anything to you. Fixing a car is hard but it’s not rocket science. If the mechanic won’t tell you what is wrong and what they need to do to fix it in simple terms, they are probably just trying to run up the clock.
  7. If they have mostly bad reviews online. Don’t think you won’t join that trend.
  8. If they suggest a workaround, not a fix. This may mean they are trying to cut corners or don’t have the skills needed to do the job.
  9. If they don’t guarantee their work. Sure, they don’t have any control over how you drive, but only a scammer will provide no guarantees at all.

4. How do I know if my mechanic is honest?

You can tell you’re dealing with an honest mechanic if they give you a full quote in advance and explain in detail what, how and why you need this repair. A good mechanic will insist on good quality parts and won’t force you to pay in cash. They’ll show you the old parts so you can understand where they failed. Lastly, they will provide a guarantee of some sort regarding their work and provide you with the details of that on your receipt.

5. Do mechanics have to give you the old parts?

Yes, as long as you tell them that you want them, then the mechanic has to give you the old parts. According to the Motor Ombudsman, “As the owner of the vehicle, you are entitled to keep any parts that are removed from your car during a service or repair, regardless of their condition. When booking in your car for work, it is important that you notify the garage at this stage not to dispose of any old parts that are taken off your vehicle.”

6. Do you pay for car repair before or after?

Do not pay the entire cost of repair upfront under any circumstances. Wait until the repair is completed and the full actual cost is calculated, then pay for your repairs. If the body shop asks you to pay 50% in advance, this is reasonable if it’s an expensive repair with costly parts. Remember to put down in writing precisely what repairs you are authorising them to undertake and if further repairs require your direct sign-off. This can help prevent costly misunderstandings while the work is ongoing.

7. What can you do when a mechanic rips you off?

First, you should always try to seek a resolution with the garage first. You don’t need to pay while you’re disputing a bill and they can’t sell your car while the dispute is ongoing. Citizens Advice explains, “If you need the car back but aren’t happy with the amount you have to pay, you can pay ‘under protest’ then continue with your dispute. This means you are paying the full amount but letting the garage know that they can expect further action. Write the words “paying under protest” clearly on their copy of the repair order sheet and any copies of receipts that the garage [makes].” Then you can try to get your money back through the courts or via any motoring standard agencies the shop is a part of.

 

Want to work with a professional body shop? We’ve been delighting clients for years. Check out some of our client reviews here.

6 Most Common Motorcycle Problems and What to Do About Them

There are more than a million motorcycles registered in the UK alone and they are certainly a popular way of getting around. Many people ride classic or older motorbikes and take loving care of them.

If you’re a new bike owner, here we look at some of the most common problems you are likely to find with older bikes.

1. Fuel Tank Rust

Rust as a general issue is common in older bikes and can occur practically anywhere. If you leave your bike for a long period with a half-full tank it can lead to problems over time. It’s more likely to happen if you are parked in an area where there is relatively high humidity.

It’s important to check your tank at regular intervals and, if there is a rust problem, get it sorted straight away. The best way to stop it from developing at all is to ensure that your tank is filled with gas most of the time, especially if you are leaving your bike parked up for a while.

2. Vacuum Leaks

Your carburettors produce an air/fuel mix for optimum running. A vacuum leak happens when extra air gets in, most often around the carburettor holder.

This has a rubber seal that can dry out and degrade over time so it’s important to check every so often. Leaks can often be misdiagnosed but if you have a problem with erratic idling or loss of power it’s worth checking out if this is the problem. It’s a good idea to take your bike to your local friendly mechanic to get a proper diagnosis and repair if you are not sure.

3. The Carburettor

These are complex bits of the engine and most older bikes suffer from problems at some point. The carburettor mixes the petrol and air to ensure the smooth running of the engine.

Like most mechanical parts they wear down over the years and that can lead to the carburettor having too much air to too much oil. If the parts are worn down or there’s something like a seal that needs replacing, it’s important to get this carried out by a garage that knows what it’s doing.

4. Fork Oil Leaks

The forks on your older bike are also quite complicated parts. They are filled with a viscous oil that helps handle the weight of the front end. The wrong oil or a leak can cause friction and damage your bike. You’ll know there is something wrong if you start feeling every bump in the road.

The forks are probably the most ignored part of the bike when it comes to riders and problems can often develop because of it. It’s important to have these checked out whenever you have a service. If you do start to feel every contour on the road and your ride becomes uncomfortable, you should check the oil levels or whether there is a leak. On some bikes, the fork assembly can be complicated so if you are not mechanically minded it’s important to consult an expert mechanic.

5. Old Tyres

Perhaps more than with cars, worn tyres are a pretty big danger when it comes to two-wheeled motorbikes. New tyres are a lot tougher than they used to be but it’s still important to check the tread regularly and replace wheels that look worn or have some damage on them.

6. Engine Oil Leaks

Another common problem you might encounter is an oil leak from the engine. This can be down to a faulty gasket on the crankcase, oil pan or cylinder head, for example. It’s critical to get this diagnosed properly, however, if you are unsure where the issue is located. An oil drain plug can be replaced in about 15 minutes but the cylinder head gasket can be more problematic because you have to take the engine apart.

If you want to maintain your motorcycle or have issues that you are unsure of, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced garage. At White’s Bodyworks, we have a fully equipped garage and can ensure we get your motorbike back in tip-top condition in next to no time. Contact us to find out more.

Common Car Repair Scams and How to Avoid Them

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make our blood boil at White’s Bodyworks, it’s garages and mechanics that take advantage of their customers.

There are a few different scams that are regularly employed by less scrupulous businesses and it’s worth being aware of them.

MOT and Servicing Scams

It’s important to work with a garage that you trust and can depend on. When you take your car for an MOT and too many faults or unusual problems are coming up, then you might want to get a second opinion pretty quickly.

MOT time is a good opportunity for scammers. You want to get your certificate renewed and your car back on the road so you’re probably less likely to ask questions and simply pay to get a ‘problem’ fixed.

Choice of garage or mechanic is the key here – try to get a recommendation from someone you
trust or check garages for their reviews.

Mark-Up on Parts

Another thing that unscrupulous garages can do is put a big markup on parts. The reason why this is such a successful scam is that many of us simply fail to check prices at all – something that can easily be done online.

Many garages buy parts wholesale and they’re within their rights to have some markup. If you’re paying way over the odds, however, it’s time to complain.

Imaginary Parts

This is one that really does get our collective goat. Sometimes bad mechanics will say that you need a replacement part urgently, you pay for it and get the car back and all seems well.

Unfortunately, they haven’t replaced anything and have simply charged you for imaginary work. Most people don’t know a lot about the workings of a car and many parts are hidden from view – how would you know if they have been replaced or not?

If a part is to be replaced, ask the garage to give you the broken component so that you can take a closer look. If they refuse, you can probably guess what’s going on.

The Amazing Quote

Getting a low quote for work to be done can be a relief if you’re on a tight budget. However, when the bill arrives this often turns out to be much higher. The mechanic will give all sorts of reasons for the extra work or effort they had to put in. Most good mechanics will contact you if there is an issue that might raise the cost from the original quote and ask permission to carry on.

There’s another sign of scamming that we dislike at White’s Bodyworks and that’s trying to blind customers with science. Modern cars are a lot more complicated nowadays and it’s easy to spin a yarn about why certain work needs to be carried out.

The best way to avoid scams such as these is to choose your garage carefully and build a relationship with them that you can trust. The reason White’s Bodyworks has so many customers coming back to us, again and again, is our commitment to an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. We explain issues in plain language and always keep customers well-informed at all times.

If you need a garage you can trust, contact the team at White’s Bodyworks on 01273 933633.

Common Car Problems That Happen in the Summer

Everything from flash storms to high heat levels and long drives can have an impact on your car over the summer. We often think that winter is the worst time for everything on four wheels but that’s not always the case.

At White’s Bodyworks, we regularly see common car issues that are linked to the warmer weather.

It’s not just down to the heat of the sun, however. For instance, we’re more likely to have longer drives, heading out to holidays, than during the winter. Motorists often forget the basics such as checking tyres and oil and making sure that all-important air conditioning is working before they start a long journey.

Here we look at the most common car problems that tend to happen more in summer.

1. Overheating Engines

It’s quite easy for engines to overheat even in a country like the UK. If you’re stuck in a tailback over the bank holiday weekend, this can be even more likely. The days are getting hotter because of climate change and the risk of prolonged sunny periods is growing. While this is great for those going on holiday, there is a downside when it comes to your car, especially for older vehicles.

Make sure that your cooling fan is working properly and that the coolant is topped up properly. If you’re going on a long journey, it’s worth having your car checked out by a qualified mechanic to make sure there are no problems.

2. Wear and Tear

We often get out and about more during the hotter summer months and that can cause greater wear and tear on engine parts. The biggest strain gets put on areas like the clutch which can be affected by sitting in slow-moving traffic or towing an extra weight like a caravan. Driving on unfamiliar roads also means that we are likely to use the clutch more.

If you find that the pedal is feeling heaving or you can sense a higher clutch bite, it’s worth having things checked out especially if you’re planning a long journey.

3. Punctures

Tyres can be affected by high road temperatures. If there’s a minor fault such as cracking in the tread this can get worse during the hotter weather. One of the big problems for motorists is tyre pressure. We tend not to check it regularly enough and that can mean we’re driving along on underinflated tyres. Extra weight in the car when we’re off on our holidays can also make a difference.

It’s a good idea to check your tyre pressure at least every couple of weeks and ensure that your wheels stay in tip-top condition. Tyre tread can also be an issue, especially if there are flash floods or storms over the summer.

4. Flat Batteries

Winter does put stress on car batteries, especially for older vehicles, but so does the summer. This can be a problem if you have an older battery because extreme temperature changes can make a difference. It’s not unusual for motorists to wake up ready for their vacation to find that the battery is dead and they’re going nowhere.

5. Air Conditioning Problems

Certainly, older cars can suffer from air conditioning leaks that make driving in hot weather very uncomfortable. On newer models, air conditioning systems are often complex and they can break down over the summer more often than during the winter. The easiest way to prevent issues such as leaks is to have your air-con serviced regularly.

6. Bodywork Damage

Roadworks tend to be more prevalent during the summer and that can mean all sorts of debris on the road. It’s easy for loose stones to hit the bodywork and cause damage to your car so it’s important to be extra aware and stick to the speed limit when you’re going through roadworks.

If you have any problem with your car over the summer, it’s important to find a garage that can put it right quickly. At White’s Bodyworks, our professional team and fully equipped garage will ensure we get you car back on the road as quickly as possible. Contact us on 01273 933633.

A Quick Guide to Shot Blasting

At our garage in West Sussex, White’s Bodyworks offer a range of different services from the full restoration of classic cars and accident repairs to fixing dents, dings and full body resprays.

New and old cars will get covered in dirt and dust, be susceptible to scratches and dents and suffer from problems such as rust. One way to solve this problem and lengthen the lifespan of your vehicle is to have the bodywork shot blasted and then resprayed.

While it is invasive, shot blasting is a key part of many classic car restorations. If you want to change the colour of your car, you also need to remove the original paintwork. Shot blasting has a wide range of applications and finding an expert service is critical.

What is Shot Blasting?

If there is damage to the surface of a car or an area like the engine, shot blasting is probably the most economical and quickest way to get rid of it. We often use this method when a car comes into us for a respray and we need to completely remove the old paintwork.

Shot blasting uses a high speed mechanical or centrifugal force to propel a material against the surface being treated. As you might expect this is a highly technical undertaking and requires not only the right equipment but plenty of training and expertise. The good news is it’s something our team at White’s Bodyworks have plenty of.

  • Shot blasting can be used:
  • To smooth over damaged or uneven areas of your car.
  • Prepare a car for a repaint and get rid of rust.
  • Cleaning surfaces that have contaminants or where there is ageing and erosion.

While it sounds aggressive, shot blasting is a safe way to prepare surfaces and remove longstanding dirt and other contaminants. It’s often a process that is used in the restoration of classic cars and the skill of the person carrying it out is in the amount of pressure used, the materials selecting for blasting and the care that is taken to clean a surface but also protect the underlying bodywork.

Shot blasting is used in preference to sandblasting when deeper penetration is required and the surface is fairly sturdy – often to remove things like baked-on pollution and caked rust.

Sandblasting is generally used for more delicate surfaces where a smoother finish is required.
Another process that we use at White’s is called bead blasting which uses find glass beads fired at high speed. This removes tarnished areas and is mostly used when the finish needs to be uniform. We can also perform soda blasting which uses liquid rather than a solid material and is widely used in classic car restorations.

Why Choose White’s Bodyworks?

It’s important when you are choosing a garage to make sure that it has the right equipment in place, particularly if you are looking at restoration, as well as the best expertise. Most garages don’t have the appropriate shot blasting equipment on-site and will have to send away cars and motorbikes at an extra cost to the customer.

Over the last 27 years, we’ve invested a lot in getting state of the art equipment for our garage in West Sussex. That’s one reason why we’re often the first port of call for classic car owners who are looking for a team to help them with a restoration.

Our team are fully trained and skilled in the use of the latest shot blasting techniques so you can be sure that your vehicle is in good hands. With the equipment we need here at our garage, we can use this to reduce the cost of work for our customers.

If you are intending to get your vehicle resprayed, for example, we can handle the whole process from start to finish without sending it to third parties. Not only do with have the best shot blasting facilities on-site but our respray areas are fully kitted out too.

If you are searching for a local garage in West Sussex that can handle all your needs, contact the expert team at White’s Bodyworks today on 01273 933633.

5 Things a Classic Car Team Offers That Ordinary Garages Don’t

There are thousands of classic car enthusiasts around the UK. Here in West Sussex, we’ve got more than our fair share of them. Over the years we’ve had everything from an MK2 Lotus Cortina to a fabulous Rolls Royce Silver Cloud come across our forecourt.

Just like the owners themselves, our passion when it comes to classics is unfettered.

There’s nothing that gets our enthusiasm going other than a vintage vehicle that requires some tender loving care. Some owners want us to restore or rebuild, others may want repairs or a new paint job. Some simply come to us for a quick service or MOT.

As classic car experts, we’ve got the skill, knowledge and equipment to do a great job, whatever you need. It’s one of the reasons why customers tend to come back to us again and again.

1. Knowledge and Expertise

The first big difference between a business such as White’s Bodyworks and other garages is the range of expertise specifically related to the world of classic cars. You might think that one car is much like another but that’s not strictly true. When it comes to things like bodywork repairs or fixing an engine, specialist knowledge and skills account for a lot.

Check out the work we did recently on this Austin Healey.

For nearly 30 years, classic car owners from far and wide have trusted us because we know what we’re talking about and have all the right equipment in place.

2. Access to Parts

One of the challenges for classic car restorations and repairs is finding the right replacement parts. Over the years, we’ve built amazing networks and resourced rare parts for a variety of different customers and different makes of car.

Most general garages don’t know where to start and often settle for solutions that aren’t appropriate for the age or model of car or motorbike.

3. The Right Equipment

To carry out successful restorations and repairs on classic cars you need a whole range of kit. From our dedicated respray booths to the heavy-duty equipment on-site, we tick all the right boxes when it comes to everything from bodywork to engine removal and reconstruction.

We’ve invested in the garage because we know that our classic car customers expect the best and we’re determined to deliver it.

4. Full Range of Services

Because we have most of the equipment on-site, we can offer classic car owners the full range of services you might expect. Maybe you just want your MOT and service handling. Or perhaps you’ve invested in a car and now want to carry out the restoration work. Whether the job’s big or small, we’re here to support you.

All our team are fully trained and come with their individual areas of expertise which means there’s always a great solution to be found.

5. Flexible Approach

There’s no doubt that many classic car owners want to get involved themselves with a restoration. This can certainly be a passion that extends beyond simply driving the vehicle around.

The team at White’s Bodyworks always try to be as flexible as possible – we’re here to support and do those jobs you aren’t equipped to get done or don’t know where to start. We keep our customers fully informed all the time and ensure they are involved in the entire decision-making process.

It’s important to have a garage that you can trust for any vehicle. For classic car owners, that trust is even more important. Over the years, we’ve seen hundreds of classic cars, helping to repair, restore, repaint and service them.

If you’d like to see the kinds of cars we’ve repaired over the years, check out our portfolio here.

White’s Bodyworks are one of the leading classic car garages in the Home Counties and we take great pride in our work and the service that we offer to owners. If you want to find out what our team can do, give us a call on 01273 933633.

How to Protect the Underside of Your Car

Many people spend a lot of time washing and polishing the top of their car but few consider what happens underneath it. If you bear in mind that this part of your vehicle is closest to the road and the most likely to get damaged fro grit and other material, taking a bit more care with what happens here makes a lot of sense.

This area of your car is certainly at greater risk during wintertime as the weather conditions are a lot more inclement and the roads get gritted regularly. If you also live close to the coast, the salty air can also cause greater problems, getting into the bodywork and causing corrosion quicker than if you were driving about further inland.

Rust and Your Car

The truth is that most rust problems don’t start with the side panels, roof or bonnet of your car. It usually begins underneath, where few of us bother to take a look.

This area is normally protected by hard plastic panels that stop the worst of the damage that UK roads can offer. While these protect areas like the exhaust, for example, that doesn’t mean damp, dirt and other elements can’t get in.

Giving your car a regular wash underneath as well as on top is one way to ensure you don’t get a build-up of contaminants. It’s also important to check for rust and to repair this as soon as it gets noticed.

Causing Damage to the Underside of Your Car

Poor driving habits like going over speed bumps too fast can also cause damage to the underneath of your car. For example, hitting a bump will potentially cause cracking of the protective cover so that the engine and fuel tank are more open to the elements. You may find the same issue if you drive on roads with potholes.

In short, it’s always important to check things out if you hear a noise that sounds out of the ordinary as you may have incurred some damage.

Suspension Problems

Also underneath your car are important components like the wheels and suspension. Again, hitting potholes can cause damage to these areas, making your car more dangerous to drive.

If you notice any squeaking or rattling that sounds out of place, it’s essential to pay a visit to your local garage and have it assessed. Leaving this kind of damage not only potentially makes the handling of your car harder, but it can also prolong emergency stopping speed and put others at risk.

Fluid Leaks

Another thing to check for is evidence of leaks or spills from your car. If you notice a stain after you’ve been parked, this could be an oil leak or something like brake fluid both of which are likely to have a big impact on the safety and the performance of your car. Even small leaks need to be repaired as quickly as possible to help prevent further damage.

Especially if you own an older car, pay more attention to the underside of your vehicle and, if you notice something wrong, get it repaired as soon as possible.

At White’s Bodyworks, we handle all kinds of repairs for cars of any type. Based in West Sussex, our team of expert mechanics can have your car undercarriage ship shape and ready for action in next to no time.

Contact White’s Bodyworks today to book an appointment.

Has Your Car got a Water Ingress Issue?

Cars are designed to be watertight which is why you have tight seals in places like the doors, windows and various parts of the engine. Maintaining these seals is important for vehicles of all types and failure to do so can lead to damp patches inside the cabin as well as rust developing.

Older cars and those that are poorly maintained often suffer from a problem of water ingress.

When it’s an area like the window, this is easy to notice – during wet weather, you may notice patches of damp or see visible dripping, for example, from the driver’s window. But many times, problems with water ingress remain hidden and nothing is noticed until there are problems with the car’s infrastructure.

What is Water Ingress?

Essentially, this is where water gets into any part of your car where it shouldn’t. The most common of is water dripping through because of broken and brittle seams or gaskets in the roof, windscreen and windows. Areas like blocked AC drains and heater core links can also be issues, especially for older cars.

For example, your roof is usually attached with a rubber gasket and this can be the victim of wear and tear over the years. Water may seep in through a small break and start causing rust of the surrounding metal. Water can also get trapped and expand when it freezes in winter causing more damage.

Some vehicles such as VWs and Audis are more prone to water ingress than others as they age but any car, van or motorbike can have this kind of problem. Obviously, it’s more likely to happen with older and classic cars where there has been significant wear and tear and vigilance in checking for leaks is important here.

How to Fix Water Ingress

In most cases, water ingress is down to damaged seals and gaskets and the main solution is to replace these as quickly as possible. If there are no visible signs, it can be difficult to find out if there is a problem with water ingress which is why you may need the help of a professional mechanic. In general, it’s a good idea to give your vehicle regular checks, especially if it’s an older model.

If the inside of your car smells a little sweet, it could be a leak from the coolant, for example. The heater core is like a mini radiator and located on the driver’s side and if this corrodes it can leak into the cabin. This is more difficult than a door seal which is relatively easy to replace. The heater core can be hard to access and may need a qualified mechanic to locate, remove and replace it.

At White’s Bodyworks we know everything there is about car seals and the potential damage that water ingress can cause. This is especially important if you have a classic car and want to protect its value. Replacing seals and gaskets not only maintains the integrity of your vehicle but ensures you don’t have much to worry about this problem in the future.

If you are concerned that your car may be affected by water ingress, our specialist team of mechanics will be able to check everything out for you and initiate repairs. Contact the team at White’s Bodyworks today.


01273 933633 / repairs@whitesbodyworks.co.uk
Unit 23, Firsland Park Estate, Henfield Road, Albourne, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9JJ