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Real Carbon Fiber Parts vs. Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap

AUTSArticleCarbonFiberWrapCarbon fiber and high-performance exotic vehicles go hand-in-hand. In addition to the sleek, racecar-inspired look or carbon fiber, many drivers prefer this space-age material for its weight-reducing properties. Carbon fiber parts can weigh significantly less than similar parts made from sheet metal, steel, and even plastic, which translates to a lighter, faster car.

But what if you only want the look of carbon fiber? There’s nothing wrong with upgrading your car’s appearance, and carbon fiber will certainly do just that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy real carbon fiber parts for your vehicle. Carbon fiber vinyl wrap looks just as good as the real deal and offers plenty of advantages of its own.

Cost of Real Carbon Fiber vs. Carbon Fiber Wrap

Not like cost is a great concern for most drivers of high-performance exotics and luxury vehicles, but when comparing real carbon fiber parts and carbon fiber wrap it’s an important distinction to consider. According to some industry experts and insiders, automotive carbon fiber costs between $10 to $12 per pound.1 There is also sometimes a higher markup on carbon fiber parts considering the “premium” status of carbon fiber and the types of drivers who usually purchase these parts.

Consider this: it would cost between $450 and $500 to wrap a hood in carbon fiber film. Compare that with the cost of a carbon fiber hood, which is around $750 for a 2008-2012 BMW 3-Series (to give you an example of how much carbon fiber hoods cost).2 Now imagine you wanted to do your entire vehicle in carbon fiber—you can see how wrapping will give you the desired look for a fraction of the cost of buying real carbon fiber parts, if they’re even available at all. Which brings up another advantage of wrapping: you don’t have to worry about finding a specific part or component that’s made from carbon fiber since anything on your vehicle (and inside your vehicle, too) can be wrapped.

Changing the Look of Your Car

Something else to keep in mind when comparing carbon fiber parts with carbon fiber vinyl wrap is how easy you can change the look of your car after going with either option. Vinyl wrap is easy to take off and change, which means you can restore your car’s original appearance if you grow tired of the carbon fiber look or, worse, the carbon fiber look goes out of style. Replacing parts of your car with one’s made from carbon fiber can make it much harder to change the look of your vehicle. For example, unless you keep your car’s original hood in the garage, you’ll be unable to restore your car’s appearance without buying a brand-new OEM hood.

This might seem like a minor point, but it’s an important one to consider if you plan on selling your vehicle in the future. Not everyone shares your aesthetic taste, and certain modifications can lower the value of your car. And besides, if you’re just into the look of carbon fiber now, who knows what look you’ll be into in the future. With a vinyl wrap you can easily go from carbon fiber to matte black to chrome to tiger print to whatever else you can imagine.

If you want to give your ride the look and feel of carbon fiber, visit the luxury vinyl wrap specialists at Auto Super Shield. Our carbon fiber wraps will give your car the high-end, high-performance look you desire. Get a quote online or call (561) 367-0101.



Tips for Shipping a Car to Miami

AUTSCarShippingtoMiamiMoving to Miami? If you have a high-end sports car, luxury vehicle, or priceless collector’s car, moving isn’t as easy as loading everything up in your ride and driving it to Miami yourself. Fortunately, there are car transportation companies that can get your wheels to South Beach in one piece so you don’t have to worry about road debris, reckless highway drivers, or putting thousands of miles on your ride.

If you want to protect your car and eliminate one of the hassles of moving day, here are some tips for shipping your car to Miami from wherever you currently call home.

Shop Around for Car Shipping Well in Advance

To ensure your vehicle arrives in Miami at the same time you do, plan well in advance and schedule transport at least two weeks before the move. The car carrier you hire should provide a window of time in which your vehicle will be picked up and delivered so you can avoid any unforeseen delays. This will also give you time to set up a delivery time and location so you can be prepared to receive your vehicle when it arrives in South Beach.

Compare Shipping Company Reviews

There are lots of car transportation providers, but not all of them are worthy of shipping your expensive vehicle. You’ll get what you pay for with most auto transport companies, so don’t necessarily look for the cheapest carrier if you have a high-end luxury sports car or exotic vehicle. Before you request a quote from any carrier for shipping a car to Miami, evaluate your options and carefully select a handful of shippers based on feedback on reviews. Here are some of the most highly rated and reviewed auto transporters according to Consumer Affairs:

  • Ship a Car Direct – 5 Stars (1,567 reviews)
  • AmeriFreight – 5 Stars (825 reviews)
  • Executive Auto Shippers – 5 Stars (667 reviews)
  • eShip –  5 Stars (526 reviews)

You can also research automotive shippers on the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB assigns businesses a letter grade based on complaints received from the public and how businesses responded and/or resolved complaints against them.

Request an Enclosed Shipping Trailer

If you own a vintage, classic, or luxury vehicle, we recommend you look for a shipping company that offers fully enclosed transport (i.e., an enclosed trailer). This will protect your car’s paint job from road debris, inclement weather, and other elements that might cause chips and scratches. The next best option to enclosed car shipping is “top loading,” which means your vehicle is loaded on the upper deck of the trailer where contact with road debris is less likely.

Confirm the Carrier’s Liability

Before you go with an auto carrier, make sure the shipper provides at least $50,000-$100,000 in liability coverage. Some carriers have liability coverage as high as $250,000, which might be necessary depending on the type of vehicle you’re shipping and how much it would cost to repair or replace should anything happen during the move. You should also check with your insurance provider regarding the details of your policy in case your vehicle is damaged in transport.

Document Your Car’s Condition

After you select a carrier and schedule pickup for your vehicle, thoroughly document the condition of your car by taking pictures and videos of the entire interior and exterior. Pictures and video may be necessary to prove the carrier damaged your vehicle in case you notice scratches, dings, or dents when it arrives in Miami. Make sure the pictures are dated and well-lit, and that you document your car from different angles. The car shipping industry as a whole has a remarkably low damage rate so you probably won’t have to make any sort of claim, but it only takes a few minutes and can save you thousands of dollars if something happens during transport.

After your car safely arrives in Miami, visit Auto Super Shield and we’ll make sure it looks as good as it did when it got off the truck for years to come. Auto Super Shield is South Florida’s premier car wrapping shop. Our line of high-quality, premium vinyl wraps and paint protection films provide a super-strong barrier against scratches, paint chips, sun damage, corrosion, and most all other forms of paint damage you can think of. We also specialize in aesthetic car wraps if you want to transform the look of your ride. Contact us online or call (561) 367-0101 to learn more. Welcome to Miami!

How Much to Wrap a Truck?

AUTSHowMuchWrapTruckMost online searches for “how much does it cost to wrap a truck?” yield disappointing results, but that’s because it really is hard to give an exact amount without knowing more about your truck and the type of wrap design you have in mind, among many other important factors. The best way to get a straightforward answer is to request a quote from a vehicle wrapping shop in your area.

If you aren’t quite ready to make a phone call, read on to learn more about some of the factors that affect the price of wrapping a truck. These factors are the same regardless of whether you’re wrapping a truck for personal use or as part of a mobile branding and marketing campaign. There’s not much difference between personal and commercial vehicle wraps, so the following pricing factors will come into play regardless of your situation.

Truck Wrap Material

The quality of the vinyl can make a big difference—not just in terms of cost but also in terms of performance and appearance. Calendared vinyl is cheaper than cast vinyl, but there’s a reason truck wrap installers use high-quality cast vinyl from manufacturers like 3M: the finished product looks better and lasts longer. Of course, you can purchase cheap vinyl kits online or go with a less expensive material, but paying a little extra now will amount to greater satisfaction and better wrap performance for years longer than the cheap stuff.

Custom Truck Wrap Design

What kind of wrap job do you have in mind? Straightforward color change truck wraps can be easier to put on than very intricate, custom-designed wraps, and therefore may be less expensive. If you want a custom wrap for your truck you may also pay extra for working with a designer who will need to translate your idea onto a template before it can go on your vehicle.

If you’d prefer a custom truck wrap and have some ideas in mind, here are a few ways to go from dream design to real wrap:

  • Do it Yourself – If you have a clear vision and the do-it-yourself attitude, you can design your own custom truck wrap using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or any other graphic design software you prefer. Here is a great tutorial on how to design a vehicle wrap that will help you get started.
  • Hire a Graphic Designer – So maybe you have an idea of what the wrap will look like but don’t have the time or know-how to design it yourself. In that case, you can hire a graphic designer to do the work for you. You can either hire a local graphic designer or graphic design company, or hire a freelance graphic designer using a site like 99designs or Fiverr.
  • Consult a Wrap Pro – Not sure where to start? Don’t have the budget for a graphic designer? Just bring your ideas to an automotive wrap shop and let the professionals take it from there. Bring pictures of wrap designs you like or basic sketches of your idea and the shop pros will take care of the rest.

Full Truck Wrap vs. Partial Truck Wrap

Another factor that can affect the cost of wrapping a truck is how much “real estate” you plan to cover. In other words, do you want to wrap just a few areas like the hood and roof or cover every square inch?

Partial truck wrapping is obviously less expensive as it involves fewer materials and takes less time to do. If you’re on the fence about a full or partial wrap, get a quote from a professional wrap shop in your area before you decide. A full truck wrap will certainly cost more, but if your heart’s set on a decked-out, full-blown truck wrap then the difference in price between a full and partial wrap might not be enough to change your mind.

Size of the Truck

It might go without saying, but for the sake of being through it’s worth mentioning that the size of your truck can also affect how much you pay for a wrap. For example, a single cab, short bed pickup would cost less to wrap than a four-door, long bed truck because it would require fewer materials. In addition to the size of your truck, any major exterior elements or aftermarket parts—such as a camper shell or truck box—may also increase the cost if you wish to have these elements wrapped as well.

Get Your Truck Professionally Wrapped

Whether you’re wrapping a work truck or want to transform the look of your lifted pickup, let the professionals at Auto Super Shield help. Our team of designers and installers will make sure wrapped truck is exactly what you imagined. Contact us online or call us at 561-367-0101 to find out how much it will cost to wrap your truck or discuss any wrap ideas you have.

Car Wrapping 101: How to Wrap a Car

AUTSHowtoWrapaCarAuto vinyl wrapping is one of the hottest trends in aftermarket car customization and for good reason. Car wraps allow you to instantly change the look of your ride for a fraction of the cost of a new paint job, and wraps are easy enough to put on and take off that you can transform your vehicle as often as you like. Go chrome for a while, then try out matte black or carbon fiber or alligator skin; whatever you can think of, vinyl wraps make it easy.

For the best results, leave car wrapping to the pros. But if you have the DIY spirit and a desire to wrap your own car, this article will serve as an introductory how-to guide of sorts to help you get started. Just make sure you purchase a high-quality vinyl wrap kit to get maximum benefit from wrapping your car.

Car Wrapping Tools

If you want a professional-looking car wrap, make sure you use professional wrapping tools. Learning to use the tools is another matter, but first make sure you have the right stuff in your toolbelt:

  • Squeegee – Medium tension squeegees will come in handy for most of the vehicle’s surface, but you should have a soft squeegee on hand for conforming film into tricky areas like shallow recessed areas and around bumpers.
  • Multi-cartridge utility knife – A multi-cartridge utility knife with 9mm snap-off blades will come in handy when trimming corners and hard to access areas. Professionals recommend 30° angle blades as opposed to the standard 45° angle blades for cutting on vehicles.
  • Snitty vinyl cutter – The “snitty” is a plastic-encased cutting tool that protects the vehicle from cuts and scratches while trimming off excess film.
  • Plastic removal tools – These allow you to easily remove plastic trim, molding, and door panels without scratching the vehicle or damaging the hardware. Pick up a plastic removal tool kit with multiple sizes for use around the entire vehicle.
  • Tucking tools – Micro-squeegee tucking tools are specifically designed for tucking film behind soft molding around windows and doors without risk of damage the vehicle or the wrap film.
  • Car magnets – These come in handy for holding film panels onto the vehicle so you can trim the panel into sections or hold the film in place securely while the backing paper is removed.
  • Infrared thermometer – Post-heating is critical for getting vinyl wrap to stay in place in recessed areas, and an infrared thermometer will help you reach the exact temperature directed by the manufacturer (typically around 180 degrees).
  • Heat gun – A strong blowing heat gun is essential for car wrapping. This is one tool you don’t want to skimp on, so look for a quality heat gun from a reliable brand for best results.

Prepping the Car for Vinyl Wrap

One of the keys to a great car wrap is making sure the vehicle is totally clean and dry prior to laying down the vinyl panels. In fact, the initial prep is just as critical as the film you use to wrap the car. First, wash the vehicle down with soap and water (use a mild detergent, and only a drop or so). Pay extra attention to door seals, wheel arches, and other hard to reach and overlooked areas. Allow the car to dry for 24 hours.

While the vehicle is drying, let the vinyl film outgas by leaving it standing vertically and loosely wound. Out-gassing will help the vinyl feel less tacky during installation, which will result in an easier application and a better fit and finish.

After the vehicle is clean, spray down the vehicle with isopropyl alcohol and wipe dry with a lint-free microfiber towel or chamois. This will remove any dirt, oil, grease, or soap residue remaining on the vehicle.

Car Wrapping Pro Tips

The car wrapping process is pretty straightforward, but there are some nuances to doing it well that can have a big impact on the finished product. Here are some helpful pro tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the squeegee at a lower angle to avoid wrinkles and remove bubbles
  • Apply the vinyl to the flattest part of the body panel you are working on to create a base line and work from side to side instead of top to bottom
  • When stretching vinyl, always pull outwards from the largest area to spread the tension and avoid ripping the film
  • To remove wrinkles in the film around a corner or tight edge, heat the film to 180 degrees and then let it cool for a few minutes to relax the vinyl before smoothing out with a soft, flexible squeegee
  • If wrapping in cold weather, do so in a temperature-controlled indoor environment and let the vehicle sit in the workshop or garage for at least 24 hours to avoid “shocking” the film, which can cause the wrap to shrink or come apart from the vehicle

Benefits of Professional Car Wrap Installation

You can learn to wrap your own car, or you can leave it to the pros. Unless you plan to start a car wrapping business or change the look of your car every week, investing in new car wrap tools and taking the time to learn the trade probably isn’t worth it. When you take your car to a professional car wrap shop, all you have to do is tell them what you want, leave the keys, and come back in a few days to find your car wrapped to perfection.

If you have a high-end car, you deserve a high-end car wrap. Auto Super Shield is the premier luxury car wrap dealer and installer in South Florida. Browse our selection of premium vinyl car wraps or high-quality paint protection films, or call (561) 367-0101 to talk to one of our experts.

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