Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
If you have noticed the reddish brown hue of many of the headlamps on the cars in recent times, so have I. So when Automotive Art's Technical Manager for the Caribbean Orville Clarke visited from Barbados recently to take the Stewart's Automotive Group's body shop further into the 21st century, I was intrigued. My headlamps had become very dingy and many attempts to clean them were futile.
Clarke introduced new techniques not currently being done in Jamaica. He toured the island at various paint distributors for Automotive Art. In addition, Stewart's Auto, owners of the Jamaican Automotive Art franchise location, hosted a car-care clinic to demonstrate product lines and car-care tips.
At the clinic, customers were advised on refurbishing their cars, and they received free engine and air-pressure checks from the official Valvoline reps at the location. The Meguiar Car Care Clinic that began at 9 a.m. was accompanied by some great background music and facilitated by some very competent and friendly staff.
Peter Johnson, brand/technical manager at Automotive Art, told The Gleaner that the discolouration in the headlamps is caused by oxidation. As he demonstrated the cleaning process using the specially formulated products, the results were amazing.
Step 1: Rub away the build-up with a low-grade sandpaper.
Step 2: Polish with a compound applied with a special machine.
Step 3: Apply plastix and buff to a shine. It is advised to do this monthly to avoid oxidation.
Automotive Art has locations in Kingston, Portmore, and Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. Clinics will also be held on December 15 and 16 at all locations, and customers will have their discoloured headlamps cleaned free if they purchase supplies at the stores.
Valvoline Brand Manager Wayne Williams says the Automotive Art stores carry a vast inventory including lubricants for the engine, brake fluid, power-steering fluid and coolant.
Services available at the Automotive Art location include: oil change, battery check and change, balancing and fitting of tyres and rims, headlamp cleaning (severe cases are done by appointment), and tinting.
Automotive Art are the exclusive distributors for Dunlop tyres, Meguiar's car-care products, Glassorate paint, Valvoline products, Lumar tinting and Cyclo Car Care products. The branches open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, but Portmore opens every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To remove the oxidation from your headlamps costs $2,500, but severe cases cost $4,500. However, some cases are so bad, nothing can be done about them.