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The Interesting Evolution of Car Paint



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People often view cars one monolithic entity that just work, often failing to consider the multitude of jigsaw parts and pieces that work seamlessly together to get them from Point A to Point B safely and, of course, stylishly. Auto paint is one of those pieces, and its evolution over the last 100 years is something we think you will fascinate you.

Not only has you car’s paint evolved from simple natural products of your great, great grandparent’s generation to fully synthetic ones, but the method used to apply them has also advanced from strenuous hand-brushing to fully-automated methods. This article, courtesy of the folks at Tyler Chrysler Dodge, provides insight into the history of automotive finishes.

Like horse-drawn carriages, automobiles were painted entirely by hand in the early part of the 20th century using natural-based paints (linseed oil with natural pigments for color, in most cases) in a process that took days to complete. With painting being a necessary but serious bottleneck in automotive manufacturing, automakers eventually turned to paint companies to come up with a quicker, less expensive process.

DuPont rose to the occasion in the 1920s and developed a greatly improved paint system that used its hallmark lacquer paints. The paints were based on nitrocellulose and were applied via spray guns, a technique that managed to significantly speed up vehicle assembly time.

DuPont’s lacquer paints weren’t perfect, however, as multiple coats were still needed and drying had to occur in between coats. Additionally, the poor resistance that lacquers have to certain solvents make them susceptible to damage, such as from repeated exposure to gasoline spills during fill-ups at a gas station.

In the 1930s, another major development in paint technology was introduced — enamel paints. Enamels were sprayed on vehicles using spray guns and then baked in ovens. Not only did this speed up the manufacturing process, but it also produced a rock hard finish that — addressing the major weakness of lacquers — was resistant to solvents.

However, like lacquers, enamel paints also had a downside, particularly their tendency to oxidize and fade quickly in direct sunlight. This drawback was improved considerably with the 1960s’ introduction of ‘acrylic enamels’, a solution that had much better durability to oxidation and offered a wider, more eclectic range of bright colors, especially metallic.

The late 1970s saw the arrival of a new type of finish called “basecoat/clearcoat,” which is basically a type of paint hybrid that consists of a pigmented enamel basecoat followed by an ultra-hard clear enamel top. This combination provided a great deal more flexibility in the composition of the base coat (more colors and metallics) since the top clear coat incorporated UV absorbers to function as a protectant. The basecoat/clearcoat paint system became widespread by the late 1980s, and today almost every car benefits from it.

While the basecoat/clearcoat paint system is far superior to conventional one-coat enamel paints in many respects, it too has a few disadvantages. The clearcoat, in particular, has a greater tendency to show marring when rubbed by foreign materials, so car owners need to realize that the days of waxing and buffing are virtually gone. You can still wax your car but you need a special non-abrasive formulation that doesn’t erode the clearcoat. Just don’t expect to be doing it a lot, if at all.

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Auto Tech

8 Of The Best ‘Old’ And New Car Features Of 2019



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The future in auto tech is already here, and it’s very exciting.

As cars become safer, more fuel-efficient, and more comfortable, it’s harder and harder for the average motorist to imagine how they can be even better. However, for car manufacturers, there seems to be endless possibilities everywhere.

Be it improvements in autonomous tech, electric drivetrains and heads up displays, or upping a car’s luxury, the automotive industry is bringing us many exciting things. Here are eight of the best ‘old’ and new car features of 2019.

1. Blind Spot Sensors

Many of the features in cars focus on driving safety. Blind spot sensors detect when cars are out of the typical range of mirrors and alert you of their presence. This doesn’t remove the importance of taking a quick glance over your shoulder before changing lanes, but it will definitely help reduce the number of accidents caused by blind spots.

2. Phone Starter

Imagine a blistering cold morning, One where the ground is covered by snow and you’re frantically scraping your windshield clean of ice while you bitterly await the car’s heater to put out its end of the bargain. Well, situations like this are a problem of the past as of 2019.

New vehicles can connect to your wireless device and power on remotely, allowing to take on the cold winter months with confidence knowing you will have a heated car waiting for you. In addition to the climate control system, your car’s door locks, alarm, interior and exterior lighting, and liftgate or trunk can also be operated remotely.

3. Heads Up Display

Touch screen menus now have a second cousin. Heads up displays (HUD, for short) are the hip new feature in today’s cars. They are usually in the form of a small display on the front windshield above the steering wheel and below your eyes’ normal field of vision that shows speed, gas levels, and even directions to minimize any reason for you to take your hands of the steering wheel and/or look away from the road.

4. Automatic Parallel Parking

For those of you who have visited small beach towns in Florida or driven through the crowded, narrow streets of San Francisco, you know that parallel parking is a must-have skill. But parallel parking is difficult, and car manufacturers seem to agree, explaining why many 2019 vehicles now come equipped with automatic parking assist systems.

If you’ve been thinking of moving to that bustling Florida town, you can take comfort in knowing there will be a car to handle the tight street parking for you anytime and anywhere, be that car be from a Mercedes Benz dealer near Coral Springs or a Honda dealer in Seattle.

5. 360 Cameras

You know those rear-end cameras that help with reversing? Those are so 2018. Now you can expect full 360-degree cameras to cover all four sides of your car. This comes in handy in many situations and can prevent unforeseen scratches or bumper damage.

6. Individual Climate Zones

Thanks to advancements in auto tech, the driver and the passengers can now create their own microclimates inside a of car. By giving each person the power to set his or her own temperature, there will be less bickering over the AC dial.

Many new cars offer dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front passenger, and some can even be equipped with “tri-zone” or “quad-zone” climate control so that rear passengers aren’t left in the cold, so to speak.

7. Pre-Safe Pulse

For those who want to take safety to the next level, the Pre-safe Pulse is a new crash safety measure for side impacts. When the car senses an imminent crash about to take place, the driver and passenger seats automatically move closer to the center of the vehicle. For side accidents, even a minimal five-centimeter difference can reduce the impact felt to passengers by one-third.

8. Mirrors with Auto-dim

If you drive a lot at night, you’ve probably noticed that headlights have gotten much more powerful over the years. In some ways, this is tremendously beneficial. Being able to see further and with more clarity is important. However, being on the receiving end of these lights is not only annoying, but it can be dangerous.

Drivers are less inclined to check their mirrors if they get blinded every time they try. For this reason, newer vehicles have equipped mirrors with auto-dimming. These reduce the glare caused by headlights behind you and keep your focus on the road.

Cars Are Getting Smarter

The results of these new features are that cars are getting smarter and drivers now have the tools they need to make better decisions. This combination of factors will surely decrease the number of car accidents and make driving a safer, more efficient and reliable method of transportation.

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Auto Tech

Fiat Chrysler Unconnect Now Lets You Order Pizza Using Your Car



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Uconnect has consistently been one of the best infotainment system on the market, and Uconnect Market will make it even better.

Not to be outdone by General Motors, which has been a dominant force when it comes to offering in-car commerce, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has has given its Unconnect infotainment system a new Market platform that treats Jeep, RAM, Chrysler, and Dodge owners to most of the same convenience features enjoyed by owners of GM vehicles.

Unconnect Market allows a variety of third-party companies to offer connected buying services directly through the infotainment system. With it, you will be able to order and pay for food, reserve a table at a restaurant, fill your tank at pump-and-pay gas locations, locate and pay for nearby parking, and even schedule service appointments.

Adding a credit card when setting up a Uconnect Market account gives you authorized card-free fuel fill-ups at participating Shell stations.

The Unconnect Market platform rolls out via an over-the-air (OTA) update in the second half of 2019 for current 2019 model year or newer Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with Fiat Chrysler’s 8.4-inch touchscreen.

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Auto Tech

You Can Order Domino’s Pizza Using Your Chevrolet



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Don’t have 60 seconds to phone in a pizza order? This is for you.

General Motors has updated the infotainment systems on Chevrolet vehicles with a new Domino’s pizza ordering tool.

As part of the American automaker’s growing in-car Marketplace ecosystem, the app lets drivers place orders for carryout or home delivery using the in-vehicle touchscreen interface and Chevrolet Marketplace portal.

It would be too distracting and downright unsafe if the system let you configure an entire pizza from scratch, so you are limited to just saved and recent orders.

General Motors has been steadily growing Marketplace since its launch in 2017. In April 2018, Chevrolet partnered with Shell to allow in-car gas purchases, sparing you the trouble of using the gas pump’s magnetic reader and being the victim of credit card skimming. In November of the same year, Buick added Yelp compatibility to its infotainment system, allowing you to make restaurant reservations on the go.

The new Domino’s app works with any 2017 model year or newer Chevrolet vehicle that runs Marketplace.

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