John Harris Body Shop Tips, News, and Helpful Information


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John Harris Body Shop exterior sign

The Holiday Spirit

We are so excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Ronald McDonald House Charities this Christmas season to collect donations. There will be a collection box set up at each of our shops and the donations will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia, and Ronald McDonald House Charleston. If you are not familiar with the Ronald McDonald House charities, they provide vital services and compassionate care to sick children and their families. During Covid and Christmas, donations are greatly needed and sincerely appreciated. If you would like to learn more about RMHC, please visit . 

There is a special box set up at each of our fourteen locations throughout South Carolina and Augusta, GA (to find your nearest location, please visit .The houses  are requesting donations of cleaning supplies, nonperishable foods, office supplies, holiday gifts and gift cards. Please click on the link below to see the detailed list for more ideas!

John Harris Wish List

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H1 Humvee exterior before

The Hurricane Relief Humvee

Humvee Restoration for IOP Police Department

It’s not every day that you get we get asked to help out on special projects, but when the Isle of Palms Police Department reached out and asked if we could love up on this military issue Humvee, we jumped at the chance. We are fairly new to James Island, our newest shop and third in the Charleston area, so we were not only delighted, but honored that we had been asked to partner on this noble venture.

The vehicle was gifted to the Charleston Suburb Police Force a while back, but the department was uncertain how to best utilize such a vehicle, and it had been left to the salt air and natural elements for some time and needed serious TLC to bring it back to life. The IOP explained to our JHBS James Island team that they had envisioned purposing the workhorse as part the Isle of Palms Hurricane Relief force, as well as use it as a show piece that reflected the beachy community spirit when not “on-duty”.

Prep for New Paint

As it stood in the early stages, the Humvee had been spot painted several times and it was covered in uneven layers of cheap paint. Saltwater was eating away at areas and the stripped-out screws buried in the parts of the metal made for a bigger challenge to repair and replace parts. The design team decided that the first step would be to disassemble as much as they could and have the vehicle media blasted to remove the old, chipped up paint and smooth out the surface. Working quicky, the bare metal then had to be primed with epoxy and sent back to our painter, Daniella Johnson, to do her magic. It was decided that unlike the Humvee original paint task (to hide in the background), we wanted it to stand out with BASF matte gray body and black accented doors and trim.

Protect the Interior

All of the interior has been coated with a heavy duty, sprayable bed liner that gives it great protection against severe elements, such as acid rain, salt water and long hours of direct sunlight, that can be harsh on metals. The rails on the sides of the bed will be fitted with wooden slats, so it fits in with the beach vibes of its new home.

Finishing Touches before Delivery

There is still some work to be done and we are waiting on the finishing touches to be added to this one-of-kind addition to the Isle of Palms force. We can’t wait to unveil our creation and hand over the keys very soon. Check back in with us on FaceBook, Instagram and our website for updates and the big reveal!

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employee buffing new paint job

How to Keep Your New Paint Job Looking Fresh and Shiny

Did you recently pimp your ride?

Outdated and wish-it-was-still-on TV show aside, getting a new paint job turns any car into your car.
It’s not cheap, so how do you care for your investment? You can’t just treat your brand new paint job with generic products and expect everything to be OK.

So how do you take care of it to prolong the new paint’s life and keep it looking shiny? You have to replace everything you know about car cleaning with the tips below.

Read on!

No More Car Washes

We’re not recommending you never clean your car again, quite the opposite. But your life of paying a quick $10 at a gas station car wash is over.

Those care washes are meant to be effective – not necessarily gentle. Some of them use things like salt water to rinse with.

What are three things that don’t go well together? Salt, water, and metal. That’s rust city!

So, you’ll need to invest in cleaning products made for nice cars. We’re talking the kind they sell at auto shops, not whatever you find on the shelf at Walmart.

Look for wording on the packaging that says it won’t damage paint. If you can find it, look for a product that specifically says it protects paint jobs. If you can’t find that specific of a cleaner, get the best one they’ve got.

Products to Buy

Along with a high-quality soap product, you’ll want a conditioner and a wax. Paint conditioners deliver a coating of extra minerals to the paint while waxing seals all the good in and all the bad out.

Cleaning with clay is another option, car clay helps you get the dirt out of paint pores deeper than soap can. Think of it like a clay face mask. but for your car.

The way you apply your wax polish matters. It’s not Mr. Miyagi’s wax on wax off lesson here.

First thing first, read the directions on the wax product you bought. Each brand has slightly different instructions, so there’s not a one size fit all approach.

Wax Your Car

Once you’ve read the directions on your specific brand of wax, make sure your car is fully dry. That means having a microfiber cloth to go over a section you’re about to wax first.

Once the spot is dry, apply the wax with whatever material the bottle suggests. We like a classic buff wax, but that’s just us.

Make sure you don’t forget about places where cars gather the most dirt, like around wheel terminals (still on the body) and the bumper.

Use the Right Tire Cleaner

Tire cleaners are full of nasty chemicals. They have to be to get all that road gunk off, right? Well. . . yes, but try to find one that’s non-acidic.

When the tire gets wet and the product comes off, it can mist or splat particles of the tire cleaner onto your paint.

That’s like putting corrosive fluid right onto your brand new paint job, every time it rains or you hit a puddle.

Protect Your (Clean) Vehicle

When you’re out on the road, your car is exposed to bugs, mud, dust, rain, grease – you name it. Don’t leave it exposed to bird droppings, plant residue or anything else while it’s at home!

Home is your sanctuary from the world- it should be your car’s too. If you have a garage, always park the car with the new paint job in it.

If you don’t have a garage, can you build a carport? If you can’t, invest in a canvas car cover. You can find them on Amazon for most specific models.

Yes, they’re a pain to put on and off – but not nearly as painful as finding a piece of bird poop soaked into your new paint!’

If you don’t want to keep the cover in your car, get an outside bin – like something you find at home depot and stuff the cover in there. If you want it to blend in with your landscaping, look for a big terra-cotta looking plastic pot.

Spot Treat

Keep a small to-go cleaning kit in your car for when you’re out and about. If you come back to your car to find a new dirt spot on it, you can grab your to-go kit and spot treat the dirty area.

This extends the amount of time between washes and makes sure things don’t get too stuck on for too long.

You don’t want to leave anything sticky on your car for extended periods of time, especially things like tree sap. It attracts more dirt and gets harder and harder to take off!

Treat The Inside Like the Outside

Even though you didn’t have a paint job done on the inside, keeping the interior clean maintains a sense of pride. When there isn’t junk thrown around the seats, the idea of cleaning won’t seem overwhelming.

Keep a small trash can in your car and make it a point to always take your trash out when you turn off the car.

Avoid Over-sized Items

If you try to get a bike or a couch in the back of a car and it’s a squeeze, you’re likely to scratch some paint on your way in. Borrow someone’s truck or something less brand new to haul large items.

Your New Paint Job

In the interest of maintaining your car’s paint and not wasting your money by ruining your investment, make sure you protect your new paint job. It’s easier than you think and it makes a big difference!

Don’t have a new paint job yet, but are ready for one? Check out our services.

We’ll get you looking good-as-new!

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Repairing dents in a car

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless Dent Repair Might be All Your Car Needs

Paintless dent repair can remove minor dents from the body of your car without the cost of a paint job.

If your car has dents smaller than a few inches in diameter an experienced technician may be able to use paintless dent removal techniques to help your vehicle look like new. Is your car a candidate? Find out below.

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless dent repair or removal (PDR) is a restorative process used to quickly remove minor dents from the body of a vehicle.

Why is it paintless? Traditional dent repair is used when a vehicle has had major collision damage. In the traditional process, body filler is placed in the dent cavity, which then has to be sanded and covered with a complete paint job to hide the repair. Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) works by applying pressure on the exterior of the dent to encourage it back to its pre-damage position, without the need for paint. It’s a more cost effective and a faster process, making it the best choice for small dents (under 4”, without paint damage) and dings.

Paintless Dent Repair Techniques

If the dent is small and easy to reach, technicians apply pressure with a metal rod at the bottom of the dent to move it back into place.

Hard-to-reach repairs, like roof dents, might use a special glue formula and paintless dent repair tabs. Technicians apply the material to pull up the dent from the topside of the body panel. Although these techniques get the bulk of the dent out, there may be some evidence of the damage that remains. A certified technician is trained to make sure that the repair is tapped down and evened out. By carefully tapping the area, the small high spots blend into the body as if the dent was never there. If too much pressure is applied, it might create high spots that damage the clear coat and possibly the paint, causing it to crack or chip after the procedure. It’s important to find a reputable body shop, with trained technicians who understand the process and pressure needed.

When Paintless Dent Repair Is a Good Idea

Paintless dent repair is a good idea when your car has one or more small dents that damage its value or ruin its aesthetic. PDR is ideal for cars with damage from:

  • Hail
  • Shopping carts
  • Door dings
  • Small dents (under 4″) without paint damage

PDR fixes the damage done to your car by simply driving it.

Major accidents or auto body work still require traditional dent repair, especially when paint damage occurs.

Things to Look Out For Before PDR

The premise of a paintless dent repair is to avoid an expensive paint job.

While high-quality technicians work carefully to avoid cracking or chipping the paint on most cars, some are more likely to see chipped or cracked paint after the procedure. If your car has already been repainted it is far more likely to crack than an if it had an original paint job. Heat reduces the likelihood of paint damage on all cars, but repainted surfaces still see a greater chance of damage.

If the area has repaired before, a more detailed repair may be in the cards to get the best results.

Can I Just Push the Dent Out Myself?

Paintless dent repair sounds simple in theory. While DIY dent removal may seem like a cheaper option, it may cost you more in the long run.

Applying too much pressure could send the dent in the opposite direction, or cause the dent to actually increase in size, making the situation worse and requiring more expensive work to be done to fix the new damage too.

Remember, PDR isn’t as simple as pushing the dent out. The technician takes the time to measure the dent, skillfully applying pressure at critical points and protecting the paint along the way. You are more likely to restore your car (and its value) when you use a professional paintless dent removal service.

Keep Your Car Looking New

Taking the car out of the garage means wear and tear. Dents show how many miles you drove and memories you made – or how many times you parked too close to the shopping cart bay at the grocery store.

Dents, scratches, and nicks are inevitable as long as you’re driving your car. If you’re curious how we work, check out our car repair process page to see a detailed infographic of our process, and to see a time-lapse video of a car repair in only 30 seconds.

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Everything You Need to Know About Vehicle Scanners

If you drive a modern car, you’re sitting in a technological wonder.

When Karl Benz patented the first car in 1885, there’s no way he could have envisioned the features we enjoy today. Things such as video-assisted rear-view mirrors, adaptive steering, and now self-driving software make driving a more enjoyable experience.

There is one major disadvantage of this new technology. Collision repair specialists have a harder time diagnosing vehicles. Cars are so complex that even basic repairs require vehicle scanners.

One scanner, the asTech unit, rises above the competition and helps collision repair experts service your car. Read on to learn what the asTech diagnostics unit is, why it’s the best on the market, and why you should make sure your collision repair shop uses it.

How Shops Use asTech Vehicle Scanners

Once you take your car to a repair shop, the collision expert plugs the asTech unit into your vehicle’s OBD-II port. They then email your vehicle’s information to a team of diagnostic specialist at asTech’s headquarters.

Within 30 minutes, they’ll receive a report back within 30 minutes containing an itemized report of your vehicle. This gives technicians the information they need to diagnose your vehicle and fix whatever problems are there.

After repairs, technicians scan your vehicle again to make sure nothing happened to your car during the repair process.

Why Would Something Happen During Repairs?

Cars, newer models, in particular, are more complicated than they were 20 years ago. The electronic components of cars take up to 100 million lines of code; for comparison, all of Facebook has 60 million lines.

Even the slightest change could throw something off. It’s like the nervous system in humans. Unintended consequences happen in places collision specialists might not expect.

What The asTech Vehicle Scanners Mean For Customers

First, customers save time and money. It only takes 30 minutes for a scan to take place. Technicians don’t have to waste valuable time diagnosing problems. Customers benefit from lower labor costs and having their cars fixed right the first time.

Shops also save money with the asTech unit and pass those savings to customers. Many collision experts outsource cars to the dealership because of the costs of diagnosing problems.

The ASTec diagnostics unit gives dealers all the tools that the dealership has at a fraction of the cost. By avoiding dealerships, collision repair shops also shave days off of their cycle time and improve repair times. Freeing up space for more cars increases volume, which in turn lowers the amount they need to charge each customer.

You’re probably wondering how one device can do these things. Let’s look at what makes The ASTech scanner different.

What Makes The asTech Unit Different From Other Scanners?

When shopping for vehicle scanners, it’s undeniable that you have a broad range of options, including different models and brands. But several reasons make asTech a viable option for all your diagnostic scanning needs.

Lower Costs For The Shop, Lower Charges To Clients

When shops purchase vehicle scanners, they face huge up-front payments and monthly or yearly update fees. Often, one scanner isn’t enough. If a shop services Mercedes, for example, it could cost them $30,000 for the equipment they need.

When this happens, the only way for them to get a return-on-investment is charging more money to customers.

A collision shop with ASTech doesn’t have this problem. They pay an up-front cost of around $2500 with no yearly update charge. For this investment, they receive access to over $170,000 worth of OEM diagnostic scan tools.

Faster Updates Save Customers Time

Many of the OEM scanners roll out their updates to small shops later than national chains. Sometimes, it can take a full vehicle model year to receive updates, meaning that if you have a 2018 vehicle, your collision shop might have to send your car to a dealership.

This step could add days to the time it takes to get your vehicle up and running.

The asTech scanner works with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that owners of their scanner receive updates at the same time they do. A shop with this equipment can service your car faster and get you back on the road in no time.


The cost of OEM devices causes many shops to purchase after-market devices. Often, the devices register dash codes, but not other electrical components like door locks and Bluetooth.

For customers, the failure to read everything leads to incomplete work. If the job isn’t finished the first time, you’ll have to take your car back for more repairs. This costs you more money and keeps you off the road longer.

Long-term, incomplete repairs might lead to a total failure of your vehicle. Hidden damage caused by a collision or improperly working vehicle warning lights are dangerous to your car’s life.

How will you know if something is wrong if your service light doesn’t work? How do you know that the collision you were in didn’t lead to something worse than what was diagnosed the first time? With the asTech diagnostics unit, you’ll find out before leaving the collision repair shop.

If you are ever in an accident or need vehicle repairs, call shops and ask them if they have the asTech scanner. If the answer is no, keep looking. You’ll save money and time if the collision shop has the right equipment.

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car scratch repair

Car Scratch Repair: Why You Need a Professional

You probably paid or are in the process of paying thousands of dollars for your car. So you want it to look its best at all times.

A scratch can really affect the look of your vehicle and bring down both its appearance and its overall value. It’s why most car owners want to have car scratch repair done as quickly as possible.

If you’re in the process of trying to repair a scratch on the surface of your vehicle, you might be thinking about trying to DIY it. After all, how hard could car scratch repair really be?

But the truth is that you should leave the job to the professionals. Take a look at some of the reasons why attempting to repair a scratch on your own is not a good idea.

Car Scratch Repair Is Nowhere Near as Easy as It Might Look

If you pick up a DIY kit for repairing car scratches, it might make it look like a pretty simple job that anyone can do. But that isn’t the case at all.

While fixing a car scratch on your own might have been doable a couple decades ago because of the way cars were made back then, today’s vehicles feature sophisticated parts and paints that are way more advanced than they used to be.

In order to do car scratch repair properly on a modern vehicle, you need to have some level of training. You also need to have experience doing it in the past.

Car scratch repair often involves everything from filling in a scratch to sanding, buffing, and even painting over where the scratch was. It can be a huge undertaking for someone who doesn’t have the faintest clue as far as what they’re doing.

You Won’t Be Able to Assess the Damage Yourself

How bad is the scratch on your car?

To the naked eye, one car scratch might look like another. But there are different types of scratches, and you will have to determine which category your scratch falls into before you make any repairs.

If you have a scratch on your car, you might have a:

  • Hairline scratch: This type of scratch barely touches the surface of your car’s clear coat. There’s a chance you could have one on your vehicle and not even notice. It will affect the very top of the clear coat and can often be taken care of with a good waxing.
  • Minor scratch: This type of scratch makes it down below the surface of the clear coat without reaching the paint base coat. It will be more noticeable than a hairline scratch but likely won’t require a massive repair job.
  • Deep scratch: This type of scratch is the worst kind. It reaches below the clear coat and actually makes its way into the paint base coat. You will need to have a pretty extensive repair job done if you have a scratch like this.

If you misdiagnose your vehicle and try to repair one type of scratch when it’s really a different type, you won’t get very far.

A professional will be able to offer a proper diagnosis before a car scratch repair is made.

You Won’t Have Many of the Right Tools at Your Disposal

When you get your DIY repair kit home and start trying to make repairs on your own, you’re probably going to notice that you don’t have many of the tools it’s going to take to get the job done.

And why would you? You don’t usually need them!

Those who repair car scratches for a living are equipped with the proper tools and won’t have to run out and buy them to make repairs.

You could very well end up spending more money on tools than you would have if you had just brought your car into an auto body shop in the first place to have the necessary repairs made.

You Will Likely Have Trouble Matching Your Paint Color

Once upon a time, there were only a few paint colors that were used on vehicles. But that has obviously changed a lot over the years with auto manufacturers introducing more and more new paint colors into the mix.

If you have to paint your vehicle while doing car scratch repair, you will find it almost impossible to find an exact match for your paint on your own. You simply won’t have the experience or knowledge it takes to match up paints.

By going forward with your DIY project anyway, you will likely end up with a different color paint on the part of your car that was scratched. It will be an eyesore just like the scratch was, and it will leave you wondering why you didn’t decide to have a professional handle the paint on your vehicle.

You Won’t Have to Worry About Damaging Your Car Further

Right now, you probably have a relatively small scratch on your car. It doesn’t look great, but it’s also not the end of the world.

By attempting to do car scratch repair on your own, that small scratch could turn into a much larger scratch. You might also end up doing extensive damage to an entire panel of your vehicle or breaking parts while trying to fix it.

When you call on the pros for help, you won’t have to worry about making the situation even worse than it already is. It will be their job to manage the frustration that can come along with doing a car repair while ultimately seeing to it that your scratch is gone by the time they hand you back your keys.

At the end of the day, bringing your vehicle to an auto body shop for scratch repair is the simplest solution. It will ensure your car looks great again and eliminate the risks associated with taking the DIY approach.

Schedule a Car Scratch Repair Today

When it comes to doing just about any type of car repair, trying to do things on your own is almost always the wrong decision. You should trust a qualified technician to do it for you so that the job gets done right.

Contact us for all of your auto body repair needs.

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dent removal

Dent Removal: DIY or DI-Don’t?

Taking your car to the auto body shop can be such a pain, especially if the only thing wrong with your car is a small dent.

Can’t you just fix that on your own?

Well, yes and no.

DIY dent removal kits are designed to give you the tools and directions you need to pop out a minor dent on your own at home. The problem is this doesn’t always turn out the way you want it.

Let’s take a look at whether DIY repair is really worth it or if you should just stick with the professionals.

Does DIY Repair Really Work?

Sure. In some cases, a little bit of DIY work is all you need to get that dent out of your car.

If you have the time, patience, skills, and tools you need to get the job done, you may be able to pop that dent out on your own. This DIY dent removal method does work, and it can save people money.

But only if those people are extremely careful and have a pretty good idea of what they’re doing.

DIY dent removal repair, even if you get one of those DIY dent repair kits, is a lot more difficult than it seems.

Because DIY Dent Removal Doesn’t Always Work

You can do all the preparation in the world, but sometimes DIYing your way through it simply doesn’t work.

Either the dent doesn’t change at all or you go too far and make the dent bubble out the other side of the car.

DIY kits come with shaping tools that are supposed to keep that from happening, but popping the dent out the other side of the car is so easy, you probably won’t even notice you are doing it until it is too late.

Once the dent is bubbled out the wrong way, it’s much harder to fix.

That’s Why You Should Always Hire a Dent Removal Pro

It might seem frustrating to spend more money on a problem you can “fix on your own,” but if you don’t get the dent fixed just right, you’ll end up cause more damage and spending more money anyway.

When you think of it that way, hiring a professional right away will actually save you money and time.

What if I Can’t Be Without My Car for That Long?

We all have busy lives, and sometimes it’s impossible to be without our cars for the time it takes to get them repaired. Even one small dent could keep your car in the shop for an entire afternoon.

But that’s not a good excuse to try the repair on your own. Most auto body shops offer a service called paintless dent repair.

This process is inexpensive, simple, and, most importantly, fast. In most cases, you only have to be without your car for a few hours total.

When Should I Use Paintless Dent Repair?

This service only applies to minor dents, and a good way to tell if your dent is small enough is to look at the paint job.

If the paint hasn’t scratched or cracked (in other words, if the paint still looks nice) on the dent, it’s small enough to be fixed with paintless dent repair.

Dents where the paint has scraped off or looks bad needs a more detailed repair.

I Don’t Know… It Still Seems Like I Can Just Do This on My Own

Well, like we said, sometimes people can use DIY dent repair kits and get good results. The choice to try DIY dent removal is entirely up to you.

But remember, it may not go how you planned.

That said, DIY repair can have some benefits. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of DIY vs professional dent removal repair.

DIY Repair

If you have some experience working with cars or fixing dents already, DIY may be a good choice for you.

DIY Pros

  • It can save money
  • You don’t have to go without your car while it’s in the shop
  • You have control over your own repair

DIY Cons

  • It takes a lot of time out of your already busy schedule
  • The job may not look professional
  • You can easily make the damage worse (remember bubbling the dent out the other side?)
  • You might be risking your safety

This last one is the most important of all.

When you take your car to a professional for dent removal, they know what they’re doing. They can see at a glance what has been damaged and what needs to be repaired.

You can’t necessarily see what a professional will see.

Sometimes dents are just a symptom of more damages to the rest of the frame. If this damage isn’t taken care of properly and you get into a car accident, you risk your car ended up in bad condition and getting seriously injured yourself.

Professional Repair

DIY repair only works if you already know what you’re doing and have the tools and time to spend on your car. If you don’t have those things, you should stick with the professionals.

Professional Pros

  • They know what they are doing
  • They can find and fix underlying damages
  • They can save you money (if you try DIY repair and mess up, you’ll have to spend more money in the long run)
  • It saves you time (because you don’t have to do it yourself)
  • It gives much better results (the car will look as good as new)
  • Keeps the value of your car up
  • Gives more life to your car (because it was repaired professionally, it will last longer)

Professional Cons

  • You have to be without your car for a few hours
  • It does cost more than a DIY repair kit

There aren’t very many cons to having your dent repaired by a professional.

It may take a bit more time, but if you don’t know how to fix the dent properly on your own, it could actually save time. DIY repair kits may cost less money, but the quality result from a professional far outweigh the look of a DIY repair.

Choose Professional Dent Removal

Taking your car to a professional will save you a lot of stress and hassle. And, at the end of it, you’ll get a car back that looks good, protects you the way it should, and has a high value.

Ready to send your car into the auto body shop? Take a look at some of the service we offer.

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body shop repairs

Top 6 Most Common Body Shop Repairs

Nobody likes a damaged automobile.

While mechanical issues are everyone’s worst nightmare, body shop repairs are no fun either. From accidents to break-ins, to a nasty key scratch from an angry ex, there are a million reasons why you could be bringing your car in.

What’s the Difference Between Body Shop Repairs and Mechanical Repairs?

It’s not always an easy answer, but in general, body shops take care of the external parts of the car, from windows to frames to dents and scratches. Mechanics work on the running parts of the car.

Being knowledgeable on the most common types of body shop repairs can help calm your nerves about bringing your car in, and give you an idea of whether to bring your car to a mechanic, or a trusted body shop. Read below to find out about these repairs, and know what you’re in for before you bring your car.

Dent Removal                

Dent removal is one of the most common types of body shop repairs. Dents can occur due to weather, car doors, and many other random accidents. I once dented my dad’s car with a poorly kicked soccer ball.

Dent removal is also an extremely popular do it yourself repair, but isn’t always the best idea. Removing dents yourself can often lead to paint damage, which is often a more expensive repair.

Your best option for dent removal is to take it to a body shop. Since dents are one of the most common issues with a car, they’re often one of the cheapest to fix as well.

Auto Body Painting

Auto body painting is another extremely common body shop repair. This repair can be for protecting the exterior of the car from weathering, or simply for cosmetic reasons. Let’s start with the important stuff, painting to protect your car.

You could need a paint job due to direct damage, such as an accident or a deep scratch on the exterior. While the damage may seem purely cosmetic, oftentimes scratches and chips could open your exterior to increased paint damage, cracking, and rust issues.

If you aren’t sure whether you need a paint job to protect your car, check out this handy guide.

Sometimes, you don’t need a paint job, you just want your car to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that! From flashy colors to elaborate designs, there are endless ideas to make your car stand out.

Collision Repair

Collision repair is one of the most common body shop repairs, and also one of the most important. Collision repair can involve multiple fixes and is often vital to the life of your automobile.

Auto collisions happen all the time, and often it’s easy to brush the damage off as simply cosmetic in order to save time and money repairing your car. However, it’s incredibly important to have an auto body repair shop examine your car after a collision to make sure the damage won’t have a long-term effect on the life of your car.

In the case of a collision, oftentimes the repairs can be covered by insurance, so there’s no excuse not to get the damage checked out. Even if the exterior looks fine, there could be damage to the frame, which could lead to huge problems.

Window Replacement and Repair

We’ve all suffered through window damage. It can come in all shapes and sizes, and for a variety of reasons. Within 6 months I had to have my windshield repaired due to a dust storm in the California desert, and had one of my side windows replaced after a break in.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a chip or crack can be repaired, ignored, or completely replaced. You should always bring your car into an auto body shop to find out from a professional. Remember, most body shops will give you a free estimate on the repairs.

There are also cosmetic reasons to replace your windows as well, such as tinting. Window tinting laws vary by state, but your local auto body repair shop should be well versed in the regulations.

Frame Repair and Alignment

Frame repair can often go overlooked because it’s not immediately noticeable, but it’s vitally important for the health of your car. If you notice that your car pulls to the left or right, or if it shakes while driving, this could be a sign that you need an alignment or frame repair.

While frame repair may seem like a job for a mechanic, it’s actually an example of body shop repairs and is often done in conjunction with collision repair. Whether you’ve been in an accident, or you simply notice that your car isn’t driving like it should, bring it to a professional to check if your frame needs repair.

Car Detailing

Not all body shop repairs have to be necessary for the health of the car. Sometimes, you just need to feel good about yourself, and a great way to do that is by detailing your automobile!

From touching up the paint to cleaning the interior, to polishing the headlights and taillights, car detailing takes care of all the small details that can really make your vehicle stand out.

Car detailing can also have value beyond simply making your car look good. Detailing is a great way to increase the resale value of your car.

Finding the Right Body Shop

Now that you know the most common body shop repairs, the next step is finding the right body shop to do the work. As with mechanics, having the right people working on your car can make all the difference.

Listen to your friends and colleagues when choosing a body shop. The best way to find out about a shop is from someone who’s already been there.

Get estimates from multiple shops. Many shops will provide free estimates, sometimes even from the comfort of your home!

If you need more advice on body shop repairs, John Harris Body Shop has the expert staff and advice you need, along with free estimates from wherever you find yourself. Don’t ignore body damage just because it doesn’t seem to directly affect the way your vehicle drives. Get it checked out, and get it fixed.

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Changes Coming to Sumter Location

Look out, Sumter! A new and improved John Harris Body Shop facility is coming your way.

Construction on a brand new, state-of-the-art facility began just a little over a month ago and we couldn’t be more excited.

And – don’t worry – there’s no need to break out a map to find it. The new facility will not be far from our existing, central Broad street location – we’re only moving about 1.5 miles down the road. We believe this top-of-the-line facility will help us better serve the Sumter, South Carolina community.

Construction should be completed in just a few months and we can’t wait for you to see what’s in store! Check back with us for updates on this exciting new development.

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auto body painting

5 Signs You Need Auto Body Painting Services

Lots of car owners go years without considering a new paint job for their car. Some owners find themselves needing to get their car repainted just a few months after driving off the lot. There’s no telling when you’re going to need an auto body painting service for your car.

Your car could be asking for a new paint job without you realizing. Your paint job doesn’t just keep your car looking good. It has an effect on how long your car will last.

While you may think that you can let your car go without a paint job for a number of years, you could be watching your car deteriorate without a retouch. If you get any kinds of repairs or have any issues with the exterior of your car, you could be up for a retouch.

Look for these 5 signs that you look for auto body painting services.

1. Accidents

Having any kind of accident can be a perfectly good reason to examine the exterior of your car. Any sort of ding or scratch from a minor bump to a full-on collision could open your car up to serious issues.

While it may drive just fine, an exterior with paint chipping or bubbling off could open your body up to rust.

A major freeway wreck will ruin your car so irreparably that you might need to replace whole parts of the body. But one that left your car’s body intact might with just a few scratches and dings might be more trouble than you notice at first.

If you want to get your car looking like new, have an auto body painting specialist look at your car. Waiting could result in an exterior that chips, cracks, and leaves your whole exterior up for massive deterioration.

2. Paint Is Fading

If your paint job is noticeably fading, it means its beginning to wear. This is probably the number one reason people talk to an auto body painting expert.

There are lots of that your paint job might not look as new as it used to. If you’ve left your car out in the sun, it could lead to fading. If you’re considering buying a new car, you might want to find a place to store it.

The same issue can happen if you leave your car out in the snow. The temperature could adverse effects on your car’s exterior.

If you fail to wash your car enough, dirt and grime could leave an uneven film that leads to damage to your paint job. Additionally, if you don’t wax your car enough, you could find your car needs to be repainted sooner than if you do more upkeep.

Your paint can even just fade over time. If your car still drives like a dream but is missing the shine that it had when you bought it, consider talking to an auto body painting service.

3. The Clear Coat Is Peeling Back

Your first line of defense against your paint starting to chip off is your clear coat. Once you lose that, your car is vulnerable to the elements and anything else that life throws at it.

If you think you’re seeing paint peeling from your car, it’s probably just the clear coat separating from the base coat. But once that clear coat is gone, the base coat could lift from the body and expose your car to all kinds of damage.

Bubbles and discolored areas on the body of your car are one of the first signs of clear coat failure.

Bring it to a pro and see what they recommend. Your auto body painting service will likely call you with some options on how to keep your car looking fresh and new.

4. Deep Scratches

If you get sideswiped on the highway, scratched up in a parking lot, or ended up having someone key your car, your paint job is going to need to be treated. Have a pro take a look at any scratches and see what they recommend. An auto body professional will take you through their process and talk through the options.

Some scratches can be buffed out. Some can be buffed out in a DIY manner. Others need a little more work.

If you end up needing to repaint your car, an auto body painting professional can help figure out what you need.

Always drive carefully, whether in your grocery store parking lot or pulling into your garage. When backing out of a tight space, always check behind you. And double check those mirrors when you’re merging into another lane.

5. Rust Issues

If you live in a colder climate, you know there are lots of things that can attack your car through the winter.

If your car survived a tough winter, you’ve still got some work to do. Always be sure you get the underside of your car wiped of any salt that can eat away at your car. Once winter’s over, you might have some scratches or rust that’s accrued.

That can lead to quick deterioration and worse, holes. Have your paint job examined if this is the case.

If winter is coming, have your paint job added to your overall winterization to-do list. Any problems with the exterior could lead to rust which will quickly be accelerated by salt and low-temperature damage.

Living in a humid climate comes with its own set of issues. Humidity can lead to paint bubbling. This will lead to exposed body parts and end up leading to rust.

Rust will bring a whole lot more headaches than having your car repainted.

Auto Body Painting Brings Lots Of Benefits

Along with the overall health and longevity of your car, a car with a fresh and shiny paint job will make you confident in your car, no matter the age.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should get your car repainted, contact us to see what can be done to get your car’s body looking fresh again.

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The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is to endorse your insurance claim check and submit it to the shop. Of course, cash and checks are always welcome. Credit cards may also be used. We accept Visa, Master Card and Discover. For more information, please see our Payment Policy.

If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay us when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.

You will be notified by phone when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. You can also check this website. You will see a message next to the last picture of your vehicle telling you that your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your advisor during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

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