Truck Body Lift Kits vs. Suspension Lift Kits

Body Lift vs. Suspension Lift: Which is Right for Your Truck?

There are different ways and reasons to lift a truck. Some people may want to lift just the body of the truck, while others may want to modify the suspension for a better off-road experience. The two most popular methods to achieve this are a body lift or a suspension lift, both of which can be done using lift kits.

So, what’s the difference between a body lift and a suspension lift? In this blog, we will compare body lifts and suspension lifts and present our findings to help you determine which is best for your truck or off-roader.

Body Lift Kits: Advantages And Disadvantages

A body lift raises the body of your SUV or truck off the frame. This can only be done on vehicles with body-on-frame construction, where the body is separate from the frame.

A body lift provides extra height for your vehicle, allowing you to install larger tires and wheels. However, it does not increase ground clearance or improve the vehicle’s approach, departure, or breakover angles. Therefore, a body lift does not enhance off-road performance or the ride and handling of the vehicle. It is typically pursued for aesthetic reasons, such as creating space for larger wheels and tires and achieving a higher-riding look, rather than for serious off-road use.

Advantages of Body Lift Kits

1.Cost-Effective: Body lift kits are generally less expensive than suspension lift kits. They require fewer components and less labor to install, making them a budget-friendly option.

2.Maintains Factory Ride Quality: Since the suspension components remain unchanged, the ride quality and handling characteristics stay close to factory specifications.

3.Simple Installation: Most body lift kits are relatively easy to install, often taking only a few hours with basic tools.

4.Allows for Larger Tires: A body lift can provide enough clearance to fit larger tires, enhancing the truck’s off-road capability and appearance.

Disadvantages of Body Lift Kits

1.Limited Lift Height: Body lifts are typically limited to 1 to 3 inches. If you’re looking for a more dramatic lift, a suspension lift kit may be necessary.

2.Gaps and Aesthetic Issues: A body lift can create gaps between the body and the frame, which might be unsightly without additional modifications like gap guards.

3.No Improvement in Ground Clearance: While the body is lifted, the undercarriage, including the frame and drivetrain, remains at the same height, offering no improvement in ground clearance.

Suspension lift kits: Advantages And Disadvantages

A suspension lift kit is a modification that involves raising the suspension components of a vehicle. This adjustment provides increased ground clearance and elevates the ride height. Unlike a body lift, which primarily raises the body of the vehicle, a suspension lift leads to an increase in both the frame and body height, maintaining the same distance between the two.

One of the significant advantages of a suspension lift is the improvement in off-road performance. It positively impacts the approach, departure, and breakover angles of the vehicle, allowing it to cruise challenging terrains more effectively. However, it’s important to note that a suspension lift can alter the ride and handling characteristics of the vehicle. This change can be tailored to individual preferences by selecting appropriate components and seeking adjustments from skilled lift kit installers in St. Louis.

If you regularly enjoy off-road driving, then a suspension lift kit should be your choice, as it significantly enhances a vehicle’s off-road capabilities. If you just want your truck to look more aesthetic, then a body lift could do the job for you.

Advantages of Suspension Lift Kits

1.Increased Ground Clearance: By raising the entire suspension, these kits improve ground clearance, allowing the truck to navigate over larger obstacles without damaging the undercarriage.

2.Enhanced Off-Road Performance: Suspension lifts provide better articulation and improved off-road handling, making them ideal for serious off-road enthusiasts.

3.Greater Lift Heights: If you want a significant lift, suspension lift kits offer more substantial height increases compared to body lift kits.

4.Improved Appearance: A suspension lift provides a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing lift, with no gaps between the body and frame.

Disadvantages of Suspension Lift Kits

1.Higher Cost: Suspension lift kits are more expensive due to the extensive components and labor required for installation.

2.Complex Installation: Installing a suspension lift kit is a more involved process that typically requires professional assistance, specialized tools, and more time.

3.Altered Ride Quality: Changing the suspension geometry can affect ride quality and handling, potentially making the vehicle stiffer or less comfortable on paved roads.

Which One Should You Choose For Your Truck?

Consider Your Budget

If you’re working with a tight budget, a body lift kit might be the way to go. It’s a cost-effective solution that allows for larger tires and a higher stance without breaking the bank.

Think About Your Driving Habits

If you primarily drive on highways and city streets, and you’re lifting your truck mainly for aesthetics, a body lift kit is sufficient. However, if you’re a dedicated off-roader who needs enhanced ground clearance and better suspension performance, a suspension lift kit is the better choice.

Evaluate Your Mechanical Skills

If you enjoy working on your truck and have basic mechanical skills, you might find the simpler installation of a body lift kit appealing. For those who prefer professional installation or are less comfortable with mechanical work, a suspension lift kit may require you to seek professional help.

Desired Lift Height

If you want a significant lift to accommodate very large tires and achieve an aggressive off-road look, a suspension lift kit is likely necessary. Body lift kits are limited in how much height they can safely add.

Ride Quality

If maintaining a factory-like ride quality is important to you, a body lift kit is less likely to alter the ride and handling characteristics of your truck. Suspension lift kits can change the driving dynamics, so be prepared for a different driving experience.

Conclusion:

When it comes to choosing between a body lift or a suspension lift kit for your truck, it’s important to consider the specific benefits of each option. Both types of kits are capable of enhancing the overall appearance of your truck, but it’s important to note that a suspension lift kit provides both increased ground clearance and an enhanced aesthetic look for your vehicle.

If your primary goal is to enhance the visual appeal of your vehicle simply, then a body lift kit may be sufficient. However, if you’re looking to take your truck off-road and go on adventures, then a suspension lift kit is the ideal choice. The additional ground clearance provided by a suspension lift kit makes it well-suited for cruising rough terrain and handling off-road challenges.

Whether you need a body lift or a suspension lift kit, we can help you upgrade your truck. As the best suspension lift kit installers in St. Louis, we have helped various truck owners change their trucks the way they desire. With 45 years of experience, At Auto Trim Restyling, we provide various car and truck services in St. Louis. Contact us today to get the best service for your truck or car!

Tonneau Cover Comparisons: How To Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your Truck

Truck beds are very important for your truck. It’s crucial to cover the truck bed when not in use to protect it from potential damage caused by exposure to weather conditions and other external elements. This proactive measure ensures the longevity and functionality of your truck bed, providing peace of mind and preserving its value over time.

When it comes to protecting the truck bed, tonneau covers are an excellent choice. These covers act as a lid, completely shielding the truck bed from exposure to the sun and other natural elements. There are several types of tonneau covers available, each with its own unique features and benefits. It’s important to carefully consider your needs and choose the type of cover that best suits your requirements.

Types of Tonneau Covers

1. Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Soft roll-up covers are a popular choice for truck bed covers because they are affordable and easy to use. They are made from durable vinyl and consist of a soft cover that rolls up towards the cab of the truck, securing with Velcro, snaps, or a latching mechanism.

Pros:

  • Easy to install and remove: Most soft roll-up covers can be installed without any drilling or special tools, making them a great option for those who prefer a DIY approach.
  • Lightweight: Their lightweight nature makes them easy to handle and operate.
  • Budget-friendly: They are typically the least expensive type of tonneau cover, making them accessible to a wider range of buyers.
  • Provides quick access to the truck bed: Simply roll up the cover to access your cargo quickly and easily.

Cons:

  • Less secure than hardcovers: While they deter casual theft, they can be cut open more easily than hardcovers.
  • May not withstand harsh weather conditions as well: Prolonged exposure to severe weather can cause wear and tear over time.

Best For: Everyday use, budget-conscious buyers, and those needing quick and easy access to the truck bed.

2. Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Hard roll-up covers combine the flexibility of a roll-up design with the added security of hard panels, typically made from aluminum or polycarbonate. They roll up towards the cab, similar to soft covers, but provide enhanced protection.

Pros:

  • More secure than soft covers: The hard panels offer enhanced security against theft.
  • Durable and resistant to dents: They are more resistant to damage from impacts.
  • Easy to use and install: Many hard roll-up covers feature easy clamp-on installation and smooth operation.

Cons:

  • Generally more expensive than soft covers: The added materials and security features come at a higher price.
  • Slightly heavier: Although heavier than soft covers, they are still relatively easy to handle.

Best For: Truck owners looking for a balance between security and convenience.

3. Folding Tonneau Covers

Available in both hard and soft variations, folding tonneau covers come in tri-fold or multi-fold designs, providing segmented access to the truck bed. They can be made from vinyl, aluminum, or a combination of materials.

Pros:

  • Offers flexibility in accessing the truck bed: You can fold back one or more sections for partial access, or completely fold the cover for full bed access.
  • Easy to install and remove: Most folding covers feature clamp-on installation, making them straightforward to install and remove.
  • Hard folding covers provide excellent security: The rigid panels offer good protection against theft and the elements.

Cons:

  • Soft folding covers are less secure: Like soft roll-up covers, they can be cut open more easily.
  • Can be more expensive than roll-up covers: Especially the hard folding models, due to the additional materials and construction.

Best For: Versatility in accessing the truck bed, for those needing both partial and full bed access.

4. Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable covers are another option available for truck owners. It slides along a track, usually made of aluminum or polycarbonate, retracting into a canister at the front of the bed to provide full access when needed.

Pros:

  • High level of security: The solid construction and locking mechanisms make them very secure.
  • Sleek, low-profile design: Retractable covers sit flush with the bed rails, offering a streamlined look.
  • Allows for partial or full bed access: You can easily slide the cover to access just a portion of the bed.

Cons:

  • More expensive than roll-up and folding covers: The advanced design and materials come with a higher price tag.
  • Installation can be more complex: Professional installation is often recommended to ensure proper fit and operation.

Best For: Truck owners looking for a high-security, easy-to-use cover with a sleek design.

5. Hinged Tonneau Covers

When it comes to hinged truck bed covers, they function similarly to car trunks. Lifting the hinged cover provides full access to the truck bed. These types of covers are commonly constructed from durable materials such as fiberglass or hard plastic, ensuring both longevity and security for the items stored in the truck bed.

Pros:

  • High level of security: The solid construction and locking mechanisms provide top-tier protection.
  • Excellent weather protection: Hinged covers offer great resistance to rain, snow, and UV rays.
  • Can be painted to match the truck’s color: This allows for a seamless and customized appearance.

Cons:

  • More expensive and heavier: They tend to be on the pricier side and are heavier than other types of covers.
  • Can be cumbersome to remove completely: Removing a hinged cover often requires two people and some effort.

Best For: Maximum security and weather protection, those who prioritize aesthetics and a seamless look.

6. Toolbox Tonneau Covers

Toolbox tonneau covers are an excellent option for truck owners who want to combine the benefits of a tonneau cover with the convenience of a truck toolbox. These covers are specifically designed to work alongside a truck toolbox, allowing for easy access to both the bed of the truck and the tools stored within the toolbox. They are available in roll-up, folding, or retractable designs, offering flexibility and functionality to suit different preferences.

Pros:

  • Integrates storage and bed protection: You get the functionality of a toolbox with the security and protection of a
  • tonneau cover.
    Available in various styles (roll-up, folding, retractable): There are options to fit different needs and preferences.

Cons:

  • Limited compatibility with certain toolboxes: Make sure the cover you choose is compatible with your specific toolbox.
  • Can be more expensive: The specialized design can come with a higher price tag.

Best For: Truck owners who need both secure storage for tools and bed coverage.

5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Tonneau Cover

1. Security Needs:

When it comes to prioritizing security for your vehicle, hardcovers such as folding, roll-up, or retractable covers are the most reliable options. On the other hand, soft covers provide basic protection but are more susceptible to unauthorized access.

2. Budget:

Soft roll-up truck bed covers offer a budget-friendly option, while retractable and hinged covers are typically higher in cost. Carefully consider your budget and align it with your specific requirements when choosing a cover for your truck bed.

3. Frequency of Use:

When considering a truck bed cover, think about how often you’ll need access. If you frequently load and unload items, opt for a cover that offers easy and quick access, such as roll-up or folding covers.

4. Weather Conditions:

Living in harsh climates requires a hardcover that can offer superior protection against snow, rain, and UV rays. It’s important to look for covers with excellent seals and high water resistance to ensure maximum durability and protection for your truck bed.

5. Aesthetic Preferences:

Hinged covers can be custom-painted to perfectly match the color of your truck, creating a seamless and uniform appearance. Additionally, retractable and certain folding covers offer a modern, sleek, and low-profile look that enhances the overall aesthetic of your vehicle.

6. Compatibility with Other Accessories:

When selecting your tonneau cover, it’s important to ensure that it is compatible with any other accessories you currently have or are planning to purchase, such as a toolbox or bed extender. Compatibility with existing or future accessories will ensure that everything works together seamlessly and meets your specific needs.

Looking for the perfect tonneau cover to safeguard your truck bed can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from. If you’re feeling lost in the sea of choices, don’t worry. As one of the top tonneau cover installers in St. Louis, Auto Trim Restyling has the expertise and experience to assist you. With our extensive knowledge in truck and car services, we can guide you in selecting the ideal tonneau cover that suits your truck’s make and model.

Ready to buy your perfect tonneau cover? Contact Auto Trim Restyling today! Reach out to us for any truck and car services! Reach out to us to get a quote!

10 Essential Truck Accessories You Should Consider Installing In Your Trailer Truck

Pickup trucks are versatile vehicles that can be used for a variety of purposes, from hauling cargo to transporting passengers. However, to make the most of your pickup truck, it’s important to have the right accessories. Truck accessories can help you get the job done more efficiently, whether you’re hauling heavy loads or navigating rough terrain. These tools can come in handy at any time, and having them on hand can make a big difference in your overall productivity and safety.

Essential Truck Accessories You Should Consider Having In Your Truck

1.Mud Flaps

Mud flaps are rubber mats that attach to the rear of the rear wheels of your pickup truck. Their purpose is to protect against nicks from road salt and thrown gravel. They also protect other vehicles from mud thrown by your truck. Mud flaps are especially handy during rainy days. Opt for mud flaps with an anti-spray and anti-sail design that extends beyond your truck’s tires for maximum protection.

2.Tonneau Cover

Keeping your truck bed safe from external factors and potential theft is of utmost importance for any truck owner. By installing a tonneau cover, you not only ensure the security of your cargo but also protect it from harsh weather conditions. In addition, a tonneau cover also helps to reduce aerodynamic drag, which can lead to a significant improvement in fuel efficiency.

3.Toolbox

If you are a professional who relies on a truck for work, then you know how important it is to have your tools organized and within easy reach. A toolbox is an essential accessory for your truck that offers you the convenience of storing your tools securely while on the go. You can choose from a range of toolbox styles like crossover, chest, or side mount, depending on your preference and the size of your truck bed.

4.Bed Liner

Taking good care of your truck is crucial if you want to keep it in top condition and preserve its value. One area that requires particular attention is the truck bed. Constant exposure to heavy loads and rough cargo can cause scratches, dents, and rust, which can be both unsightly and expensive to repair. Fortunately having bed liners installed can protect your truck bed from these types of damage.

5.Lift Kit

If your truck needs to tackle challenging terrains or you simply want to enhance its appearance, lift kits offer a great solution. By providing additional clearance, lift kits are designed to meet various requirements. With a lift kit, you can not only enhance the performance of your truck but also give it a distinctive look that reflects your personality. Whether you prefer a more aggressive stance or increased ground clearance, a lift kit offers both functionality and style.

6.Running Boards or Nerf Bars

Installing running boards or Nerf bars on your truck can enhance its accessibility and functionality. These accessories provide a practical and safe entry point for passengers, making it easier to get in and out of the cabin and bed. Moreover, they can shield your vehicle against road debris, rocks, and other hazards that may cause damage while you’re off-roading. By investing in high-quality running boards or nerf bars, you can enjoy the convenience, comfort, and protection that your truck deserves.

7.Bed Extender

If you need more space for transporting longer items such as lumber, kayaks, or motorcycles, then a bed extender flip might just be the perfect accessory for you. This attachment flips out over your tailgate, effectively extending the length of your truck bed, and providing you with a safe and secure way to transport oversized cargo. With a bed extender flip, you’ll be able to easily and conveniently haul all of your gear and equipment, without having to worry about it falling off or getting damaged during transit.

8.Cargo Nets

When transporting heavy equipment, it is important to ensure that it is properly secured to prevent any accidents or damage to the cargo. This is where cargo nets come in handy. A cargo net is designed to cover and protect heavy objects during transportation, providing the essential support needed for safe travel. These nets are connected to the truck bed, which provides additional support to the heavy objects being transported. Whether you’re moving furniture or other bulky items, a cargo net is a reliable and effective solution for keeping your cargo secure during transit.

9.Hitch Reciever

Trailer trucks are incomplete without the essential tool of hitch receivers. These devices provide a safe and secure space to mount other vehicles or tow heavy loads. Especially if your trailer truck is intended for towing purposes, a hitch receiver is an indispensable accessory that ensures the safe and efficient transportation of goods.

10.Electric Winches

Electric Wnhis high-quality winch is equipped with a convenient free spooling clutch that enables you to quickly deploy or repel up to 100ft of galvanized cable. Its universal mounting bolt pattern makes it easy to install, and its electric power source ensures efficient and reliable towing. With this top-of-the-line equipment, you can confidently tackle any towing task with ease and precision.

Truck accessories are not only practical but can also elevate the appearance of your vehicle to the next level. These versatile accessories can be incredibly useful in a variety of situations and can bring a whole new dimension to your driving experience. From bed extenders to running boards and everything in between, the options available in the market are vast. Choosing the right accessories for your truck can make all the difference in functionality and style. So, take your time and choose wisely to make the most out of your truck.

Confused about choosing the accessories for your truck? React out to us! At Auto Trim Restyling we provide high-quality truck accessories in St. Louis. With more than 45 years of experience in the field we can help you choose the right truck accessories according to your needs. Contact us today for your truck and car needs!

Drop-in Vs Spray-on Truck Bedliner: Which is Right For Your Truck?

A reliable truck bed is crucial for your truck. It is an indispensable component that plays a crucial role in transporting your heavy equipment from one place to another. However, continuously moving heavy equipment in your truck bed can cause excessive wear and tear, leading to damage and reduced efficiency. Fortunately, you can avoid this by installing a bed liner. Bed liners are a must-have accessory that offers vital protection for your truck bed. They not only safeguard it from heavy equipment but also protect it from the damaging effects of the sun and other harsh weather conditions. With a bed liner, you can rest assured that your truck bed is well-protected and ready for any challenge.

Types Of Bed Liners Available For Truck

Drop-in Bed Liners

Drop-in bed liners are perhaps the most traditional option available. Made from materials such as plastic or rubber, these liners are designed to fit the specific dimensions of your truck bed. They are relatively easy to install and remove, making them a popular choice among truck owners who value convenience.

Spray-on Bed Liners

Spray-on bed liners offer a more permanent solution for protecting your truck bed. Typically made from polyurethane or polyurea, these liners are applied directly onto the bed of the truck using a specialized spray gun. Once applied, they form a durable and watertight barrier that is resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion.

Bed Liner Mats

Bed liner mats are an affordable and versatile option for truck owners who want to protect their truck beds without committing to a permanent solution. These mats are typically made from rubber or carpet-like materials and are designed to lay flat on the bed of the truck. Bed liner mats are easy to install and remove, making them ideal for truck owners who frequently haul large or dirty items.

Which Bed Liner You Should Choose for Your Truck?

Truck owners are often faced with the decision of choosing between drop-in or spray-on bed liners when it comes to protecting their truck beds. Drop-in bed liners are known for their durability and are made of materials such as plastic or rubber that can withstand heavy loads and resist scratches. On the other hand, spray-on bed liners offer a seamless appearance and are a popular choice for truck owners who want a custom fit.

A Comparison Of Drop-in Bedliners Vs Spray-on Bedliners

To make a good decision about the best solution for your truck bed, it’s essential to compare the available options. That’s why we’ve come up with a comprehensive comparison between two popular choices – drop-in bed liners and spray-on bed liners. By evaluating the pros and cons of each option, we can help you choose the best one for your specific needs.

Installation

  • Drop-in Bedliners: These are typically made of rigid materials like plastic or rubber and are designed to fit precisely into the truck bed. Installation involves placing the liner into the bed and securing it with bolts or clips.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: These are applied directly onto the truck bed surface as a liquid coating, which then adheres and dries to form a protective layer. The application process usually involves spraying the coating evenly onto the bed surface.

Customization

  • Drop-in Bedliners: They come in pre-formed shapes and sizes to fit specific truck models. While they offer some level of customization, options may be limited compared to spray-on liners.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: Provide more flexibility in customization as they conform to the contours of the truck bed during application. This allows for a seamless fit and coverage, even in irregularly shaped beds.

Durability

  • Drop-in Bedliners: These liners are durable and offer good protection against scratches, dents, and chemical spills. However, over time, they may become prone to shifting or warping, especially if not installed properly.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: Known for their superior durability, spray-on liners form a thick, permanent bond with the truck bed surface. They resist peeling, cracking, and fading better than drop-in liners, providing long-lasting protection.

Maintenance

  • Drop-in Bedliners: Maintenance typically involves removing the liner periodically to clean the bed underneath. The liner itself can be cleaned with soap and water.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: Require minimal maintenance as they are seamlessly integrated into the truck bed. Cleaning usually involves hosing down the surface or wiping it with a mild detergent.

Cost

  • Drop-in Bedliners: Generally, these are more affordable upfront compared to spray-on liners. However, costs may vary depending on the material and brand.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: Tend to have a higher initial cost due to the specialized equipment and labor required for application. However, considering their long-term durability and protection, they may offer better value over time.

Aesthetics

  • Drop-in Bedliners: While functional, they may not provide the sleek appearance that some truck owners desire. The visible seams and edges of drop-in liners can detract from the overall aesthetics of the truck bed.
  • Spray-on Bedliners: Offer a smooth, uniform finish that enhances the appearance of the truck bed. They can be color-matched to the vehicle or customized with different textures for a more appealing look.

And The Result

For truck owners, protecting the truck bed from scratches, dents, and rust is a top priority. While drop-in bed liners offer some protection, spray-on bed liners provide a superior level of protection and aesthetics making it an ideal choice for someone who prefers protection and aesthetics. This makes spray-on bed liners a better choice than drop-in bed liners.

If you are looking for reliable custom spray-on bed liners in St. Louis, look no further than Auto Trim Restyling. With over 45 years of experience in the industry, we are a trusted name in the St. Louis community. We offer a wide range of truck services and accessories to meet all your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help protect your truck bed for years.

Ceramic Coating Your Wheel – Can it really protect your car’s wheel?

Driving around the city can be an enjoyable experience, but it can take a toll on your wheels. After a long trip, your wheels can become damaged and dirty with dust and debris. While cleaning them may provide temporary relief, the problem will likely go on.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem – ceramic coating. It can help protect your wheels from damage and keep them looking great for longer.

Why You Should Ceramic Coat Your Wheel?

You probably would have heard about the ceramic coating. It can protect your car’s paintwork, by acting as an invisible shield from, sunlight, UV rays, etc. But did you know that ceramic coatings can also be applied to your car’s wheels? By doing so, you can extend the life of your wheels and keep them looking shiny and new, even after years of use.

When it comes to safeguarding your wheels, ceramic coating can provide an added layer of protection from oil and the pesky dust that tends to accumulate on the wheels due to frequent brake applications.

Have you ever noticed the build-up of dust near the brakes? Every time you apply the brakes, the friction generated causes sand and dust to cling to the wheels. Over time, this accumulation can result in a permanent dusty appearance that detracts from your car’s overall aesthetic appeal. With ceramic coating, you can ensure that your wheels remain free from unsightly dust and maintain their polished look for years to come.

Preparing Your Wheels Before Ceramic Coating

If you want to give your car a long-lasting shine, ceramic coating is a great option. However, when it comes to coating your wheels, the process is a bit different than coating your car’s body. You need to prepare your wheels properly before applying ceramic coating, especially if they haven’t been cleaned in a while. It’s essential to give your entire car a thorough cleaning before starting the coating process. Be prepared to get your hands dirty if you decide to clean your car yourself. Alternatively, you can save yourself the hassle and bring your ride to the top ceramic coating professionals in St. Louis. They have the expertise and equipment to provide the essential cleaning and ceramic coating your car deserves, leaving it looking like new. Here’s how they prepare your car’s wheels for ceramic coating:

Dismantle the Wheels

Dismantling the wheels is the first thing you have to do. It’s important to take them off so that you can clean and coat them properly. It’s recommended that you work on one wheel at a time to ensure that you don’t miss any spots and to keep track of what you’ve done.

It’s best to keep the tires on the wheels while you work on them, as they can help keep the wheel flat and stable, depending on the model of the car. This way, you don’t have to worry about lining the floor with cardboard or rags. If you have a rolling wheel stand, it can make the job a lot easier, but it’s not necessary if you’re just working on your car in your driveway or garage.

Cleaning And Decontamination

Once you’ve taken apart the wheel, the next step is to give it a thorough cleaning. Proper cleaning techniques can make all the difference in achieving a flawless ceramic coating for your vehicle. By partnering with top ceramic coating services in St. Louis, you can ensure that your ride is looking its best. Here are the methods they can clean your ride’s wheel.

Acid-Based Wheel Cleaners

Acid-based cleaners are effective in breaking down grime and dirt on wheels, but they can be harmful to some types of wheels like chrome-plated or alloy wheels, even if they have a pH of 5.5 to 6 (with 7 being pH neutral).

pH Neutral Wheel Cleaners

pH-neutral wheel cleaners are the most commonly used by consumers. These cleaners contain agents that are pH neutral and work by breaking down brake dust and road grime through agitation when sprayed on the wheels. They also contain foaming agents and surfactants that help lift and remove debris.

Pressure Washer

For those with access to a pressure washer, this can be a time-saving tool for cleaning wheels. Use a wide-angle nozzle and keep the pressure moderate to avoid damaging the finish or causing water intrusion into sensitive areas like wheel bearings. Pre-treating the wheels with a cleaner and allowing them to dwell before rinsing can improve results.

Wheel Woolies

Wheel Woolies are specialized brushes with synthetic wool heads that are gentle yet effective at cleaning wheels. They’re particularly useful for reaching behind spokes and into tight spaces where traditional brushes may struggle. Pair them with a wheel cleaner for optimal results.

Choosing The Ceramic Coating For Your Wheel

After completing the task of cleaning your car’s wheels, it is recommended to apply a ceramic coating to enhance their durability and appearance. There are various types of ceramic coating methods available in the market that can be used to coat your car wheels. It is important to select the one that is most appropriate for your ride to achieve optimal results. Here are some of the best coating options available for your wheel

Nano-ceramic Coating

Nano-ceramic coatings are a type of protective layer that is applied to the surface of wheels using nanotechnology. This layer offers exceptional durability, as it bonds at a molecular level to create a hydrophobic barrier that repels water, dirt, and other contaminants.

SiO2 Ceramic Coatings

SiO2 ceramic coatings are another type of protective layer that is formulated using the properties of silica. This coating offers excellent heat resistance, making it an ideal choice for wheels that are subjected to high temperatures due to braking and friction. These coatings are known for their ease of application and can be layered for increased protection and shine.

Graphene Ceramic Coatings

Graphene ceramic coatings take protection to another level by incorporating graphene, a highly durable and flexible material, into the formulation. This advanced coating provides unparalleled strength and resistance to scratches, chips, and abrasions.

Hybrid Ceramic Coating

Hybrid ceramic coatings combine the benefits of traditional ceramic coatings with innovative additives to enhance performance. These coatings typically contain a blend of ceramic particles, polymers, and other protective agents. Hybrid ceramic coatings offer improved chemical resistance, making them resistant to harsh chemicals found in road grime and brake dust.

When you consult with wheel ceramic coating experts in St. Louis, they can help you choose the right coating option, that suits your car model and make.

How To Maintain Your Ceramic-Coated Wheels

Cleaning and polishing the wheels can be a difficult task, especially if there is caked-on brake dust. However, once the wheels are ceramic coated, maintenance becomes much easier. All you need to do is wash your car weekly, you can simply wash your wheels using the same car shampoo and a soft brush to get rid of any accumulated dust. This will easily remove the dust accumulated in your car.

Wrapping it Up,

If you’re looking for a reliable way to safeguard your vehicle’s wheels, ceramic coating is an outstanding choice. After the application of ceramic coating, your wheels can remain protected from various harmful elements such as dust, rust, and corrosion for an extended period, even up to several years. With ceramic coating, you can rest assured that your wheels will keep their shine and appearance, while also being shielded from potential damage.

Looking for wheel coating experts in St. Louis to protect your Wheel? Look no further than Auto Trim Restyling, Reach out to us today, for all your car needs.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating – Which Will Protect Your Car Best?

Maintaining the car’s paint job is of utmost importance for a car owner. However, the road can be unforgiving and there are various ways in which it can harm the paint of your car. From rock chips, dust, and UV rays to the dreaded bird droppings, these things can easily damage the aesthetic appearance of your car. Fortunately, there are various ways for you to protect your car’s exterior, ensuring that it looks its best all the time.

Two popular options for this are paint protection film (PPF) and ceramic coating. Both have unique benefits and advantages, making them suitable for different types of vehicles, including high-performance sports cars, practical family SUVs, and daily commuters.

What is Paint Protection Film and How Does It Work?

Paint protection film (PPF) is a transparent thermoplastic urethane film that is applied to the exterior surfaces of vehicles. Initially, it was developed for military use to protect helicopter blades from flying debris. However, PPF has now become a popular choice among car owners who want to maintain the look of their vehicles.

How Does Paint Protection Film Work?

The magic of paint protection film lies in its composition and application. The secret to its effectiveness lies in its unique composition and the expert application process. When applied carefully by professional paint protection film installers in St. Louis, it forms a strong, invisible barrier that shields your ride from any potential damage caused by debris, scratches, or other external factors. Let’s break down the process:

Material Composition: PPF is typically made up of several layers, each with its function. The top layer is a clear coat that provides resistance to scratches, stains, and yellowing due to UV exposure. Underneath the clear coat is a urethane film that absorbs impacts and disperses them across the surface to prevent damage to the underlying paint.

Application:

Applying PPF requires skill and precision. A trained technician will carefully cut the film to fit the contours of the vehicle’s body panels. Before application, the surface is cleaned and prepared to ensure proper adhesion. Using a combination of heat and pressure, the film is then carefully positioned and adhered to the paint.

Self-Healing Properties:

One of the remarkable features of some PPF products is their self-healing capabilities. Thanks to advances in technology, certain formulations of PPF can “heal” minor scratches and swirl marks when exposed to heat, such as sunlight or warm water. This occurs because the molecular structure of the film can rearrange itself, effectively erasing the damage.

UV Resistance:

PPF also guards against the harmful effects of UV radiation. UV rays can cause paint to fade and degrade over time, leading to a dull and lackluster appearance. By acting as a barrier, PPF helps to preserve the vibrancy of the paint beneath, keeping your car-looking showroom fresh for years to come.

Benefits Of Applying Paint Protection Film For Your Car:

Easy Maintenance:

Paint protection films are an excellent solution for car owners who want to maintain the appearance and value of their vehicles. PPFs require minimal maintenance, and regular washing and occasional waxing are sufficient to keep them in good condition. Unlike traditional wax or sealant coatings that need to be reapplied periodically, PPFs offer long-lasting protection, which saves time and money on upkeep. Additionally, PPFs repel dirt and grime, making it easier to clean the car’s exterior.

UV Resistance:

One of the main benefits of PPFs is that they contain UV inhibitors that prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from damaging the paint surface. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause paint to fade and deteriorate over time, but PPFs reduce UV exposure, preserving the car’s vibrant color and finish for years to come.

Customizable Coverage:

Paint protection films come in various thicknesses and can be custom-cut to fit specific areas of the vehicle. Car owners can choose the level of coverage that best suits their needs and budget, whether they want full-body protection or targeted coverage for areas prone to damage. This flexibility allows for tailored solutions that address the unique requirements of each vehicle, ensuring comprehensive protection where it’s needed most.

PPF is an excellent option for protecting your car. It offers several benefits and safeguards your vehicle at the same time. However, ceramic coating is another popular alternative that provides similar features and gives tough competition to PPF. Let’s take a closer look at how ceramic coating can protect your ride!

What is Ceramic Coating And How Does It Work?

Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied to a vehicle’s exterior surfaces. It bonds chemically with the factory paint to create a protective layer that enhances the car’s appearance and provides long-term protection against various environmental contaminants. Here’s how ceramic coating works:

Preparation:

Before applying the ceramic coating, the car’s paint surface is thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated to remove any dirt, wax, or residue. This ensures that the coating adheres properly to the paint.

Application:

The ceramic coating is typically applied by hand using an applicator pad or microfiber cloth. It’s important to apply the coating evenly and in thin layers to achieve the best results.

Curing:

After application, the coating needs to cure or bond with the paint surface. This process usually takes a few hours to several days, depending on the specific product used and environmental conditions.

Protection:

Once cured, the ceramic coating forms a strong chemical bond with the paint, creating a protective layer that repels water, dirt, UV rays, and other contaminants. This helps to prevent scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, and fading, keeping the car’s paint looking glossy and new for an extended period.

Benefits Of Ceramic Coating Your Car

Protection From Environment:

Ceramic coatings are highly beneficial for protecting your car’s surface from environmental damage. These coatings create a barrier that safeguards against UV rays, bird droppings, acid rain, and tree sap. They prevent contaminants from bonding to the car’s surface, making it easier to clean and reducing the risk of paint damage. Ceramic coatings help maintain the car’s pristine appearance and preserve its resale value.

Enhances the Gloss And Shine Of Your Ride!

Ceramic coating enhances your car’s gloss and shine. The coating creates a hydrophobic surface that repels water and dirt. This results in a smoother and more reflective finish, which deepens the color intensity of the paint, giving your car a showroom-worthy appearance. Furthermore, ceramic coatings can help reduce the visibility of minor scratches and swirl marks, further improving the overall aesthetics of the vehicle.

Provides Long Lasting Protection:

Ceramic coatings are more durable than traditional waxes and sealants. They offer long-lasting protection, lasting anywhere from one to several years, depending on the product and application method. This durability not only saves time and effort spent on maintenance but also reduces the need for costly paint corrections and touch-ups. With proper care, your ceramic-coated car can maintain its shine and protection for an extended period, providing peace of mind to car owners.

Which Is Good For The Car, PPF Or Ceramic Coating?

When it comes to choosing between Paint Protection Film (PPF) and Ceramic Coating for your car, your decision should be based on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize comprehensive protection against physical damage, especially for high-impact areas like the front bumper and hood, PPF might be the better choice. It provides a physical barrier against scratches, stone chips, and other forms of damage, offering unparalleled protection for your car’s paintwork.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for long-term gloss and easier maintenance, Ceramic Coating could be the preferred option. It forms a strong, transparent layer over the paint surface, enhancing its gloss and making it easier to clean while providing moderate protection against environmental contaminants.

Confused about choosing between PPF and Ceramic coating? To make the right decision for your car, contact Auto Trim Restyling Today! We can help you choose the one that best suits your car!

Llumar vs Xpel: Which Window Film is Right for You?

Preserving the longevity of your vehicle involves strategic investment. When we talk about this no one can forget the elephant in the room – window tinting and paint protection.

Do you know that the tinting market is expected to grow by a whopping $1.57 billion by 2030? Pretty staggering, yes? it’s only going to grow more and you should join the bandwagon too! Window tinting and paint protection offer a number of benefits, from shielding against harmful UV rays to minimizing interior fading and enhancing privacy. So, here people tend to have a lot of confusion between Xpel and Llumar, two of the popular choices for window tinting.

In this blog, let’s delve into a detailed exploration of the strengths of Llumar and Xpel. We’ll provide you with valuable insights to make an informed decision aligned with your preferences. Let’s jump right in now, shall we?

Why Lamar and Xpel?

Before we move on, we should first understand the brand itself to begin with and why these are the preferred ones for many. In the tinting sphere, both Xpel and Llumar have carved a niche for themselves, offering an impressive range of products, from carbon to ceramic tints. What sets them apart are their innovative features, including heightened UV protection, effective IR rejection, and so on.

Llumar is a globally recognized brand that delivers premium quality products like Llumar classic window tilt, Llumar CTX tint, and so on. The window title is painted with a delicate charcoal black that not only looks good but protects from heat and provides much needed privacy for the people inside the car. Needless to say, it looks stunning and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes!

Xpel is pretty much synonymous with the Llumar, Xpel introduces products like Xpel Prime XR and Xpel XR. These offerings showcase advanced heat and UV rejection capabilities. Boasting a 99% UV rejection rate, it serves as an excellent protector of the vehicle’s interior.

And yes, Both have an impressive track record when it comes to tinting and no one can deny that!

Which is the Best One?

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper to answer what’s the best one and what to go for.

Heat Rejection

In the Heat rejection department, both LLumar and Xpel get the job done effectively. Llumar employs nano-ceramic technology to create a cooler interior, while Xpel utilizes a multi-layer, nano-ceramic construction for impressive thermal insulation. Whether it’s Llumar’s commitment to cool interiors or Xpel’s multi-layered approach, both brands will improve your driving experience by significantly reducing heat intrusion.

UV Protection

When it comes to UV protection, both Llumar and Xpel prioritize shielding your vehicle’s interior from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. These brands excel in providing excellent UV protection, with both Llumar and Xpel reducing up to 99% of harmful UV rays!

Warranty

Just like the other two points we discussed, a warranty is offered in the same range for both of these brands. Both offer a year-limited lifetime warranty for you.

Since the comparison is going hand in hand, you might be wondering, which one should I go with? Well, we do have a suggestion and it is Llumar! Why you ask? Let’s see why real quick.

Why Should You Choose Lumar?

Reputation

Llumar stands tall among the competitors when it comes to reputation. Llumar was established in 1977 in the United States and stepped into the global market in 2001. Having this long year in the industry makes Llumar the best option for you without a doubt.

Tailored Variety

Llumar understands very well that your preferences vary. Offering a diverse product range, Llumar accommodates different tinting needs, whether it’s heightened privacy, reduced glare, or reliable UV protection. The brand ensures that your choice aligns perfectly with your style and functional requirements!

Quality Assurance

Opting for Llumar is a deliberate investment in quality. The brand’s legacy of innovation and commitment to excellence for more than 40+ years ensures that each tint reflects a pleasant blend of performance, longevity, and an unmistakable touch of automotive sophistication.

And of course, the aesthetics are just a chef’s kiss!

To Wrap Up,

Our conversation, both Llumar and Xpel excel when it comes to providing the best and most reliable window tints for us. Where Llumar shines the most is its reputation and quality assurance and these go way back to the 1970s.

If you have made the decision and want the best window tinters in town, ATRSTL is your answer! you can entrust our 45 years of excellence when it comes to any of your automotive needs. So, don’t hesitate to give us a call and tell us your requirements!

Professional Detailing vs DIY: Which You Should Choose For Your Car?

Cars are more than just a means of transportation – they hold a special place in the hearts of many citizens in the United States. According to a recent study, 64% of Americans consider their cars to be their friends, indicating a unique and strong bond between the car and its owner. This deep connection suggests that cars play an important role in the lives of Americans, beyond just getting them from point A to point B.

It’s perfectly normal to consider your car as a close friend. As with any friend, you want the very best for them. Seeing your ride dusty and weathered can be disheartening, but fear not! That’s where the meticulous process of car detailing comes in. By thoroughly cleaning and restoring your car, detailing helps to keep your companion looking at its best.

What is car detailing?

Car detailing is a meticulous cleaning process that encompasses a range of services for both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. This process involves a series of techniques, such as eliminating blemishes and scratches, getting rid of grime and dirt from the car’s body, and polishing the exterior to restore its shine and luster. The overall goal of car detailing is to renew the car’s appearance and condition and to provide a high level of cleanliness and protection for the vehicle.

When it comes to car detailing, you are faced with two options- opting for professional car detailing services in St. Louis or doing it yourself (DIY). Both options have their pros and cons, and it is essential to weigh them carefully before making a choice.

Professional Car Detailing

When it comes to restoring the shine of your car, professional car detailing can be a game-changer. This process involves taking your vehicle to a specialized automotive detailing showroom where skilled technicians use their experience, expertise, and a range of specialized tools to thoroughly clean and restore your car’s interior and exterior. From polishing and waxing the exterior to deep cleaning the carpets and seats, professional car detailing goes beyond a basic car wash and provides a comprehensive solution for keeping your car looking its best.

Pros Of Professional Car Detailing

1. Expertise:

Experienced car detailing professionals possess the necessary skills and expertise to cater to the specific needs of different car makes and models, regardless of the year of manufacture. This makes them the ideal choice for anyone seeking top-notch car detailing services that are tailored to their vehicle’s unique requirements.

2. Quality Service

When you choose to have your car professionally detailed, you can expect nothing but the highest quality service. From top to bottom, every inch of your vehicle will be meticulously cleaned and polished to perfection. You can trust that your car will regain its original shine. With professional detailing, you can simply drop off your car and leave the rest to the experts, knowing that your vehicle is in good hands.

3. Time-Saving

If you opt to take on the task of cleaning your car by yourself, be prepared to invest a considerable amount of time and effort. It could take you up to a whole day if not longer, to thoroughly clean both the exterior and interior of your vehicle. However, if you choose to leave your car in the hands of a professional, you can save yourself the hassle and time-consuming process of cleaning it yourself.

4. Protection

In addition to providing a sparkling clean finish, detailing experts can also offer you a range of efficient plans that are designed to protect your car’s paint and aesthetics in the long run. Whether you’re looking to prevent paint damage, protect against harsh weather conditions, or simply keep your car looking its best, a professional detailing service can help you achieve your goals.

Cons Of Professional Car Detailing

1. Cost:

As you may know, the price you pay for professional car detailing can quickly escalate depending on the variety and quality of services you opt for.

2. Availability

It’s important to keep in mind that when you take your car to a detailer, there may be other customers ahead of you in line waiting for their services as well. Additionally, depending on the level of service you require, you may need to wait for a few days before your car is ready.

DIY Car Detailing

DIY car detailing is a cost-effective and satisfying way of enhancing your vehicle’s overall appearance. It involves using a range of readily available tools and products to clean, restore, and protect your car’s interior and exterior surfaces.

Pro’s Of DIY Car Detailing

Cost Effective: If you’re planning to give your car a thorough cleaning, opting for DIY car detailing can be a cost-effective solution. You can achieve excellent results by investing a minimum to a low amount of money, depending on the detailing supplies and equipment you choose to use.

Satisfaction: Many car enthusiasts find joy in cleaning their vehicles, as there is a sense of satisfaction that comes with performing DIY car detailing. Taking the time to carefully clean and maintain one’s car can be a rewarding experience for those who take pride in their vehicles.

Con’s Of DIY Car Detailing

Takes Time: If you plan on undertaking DIY car detailing, be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to the task as it involves several labor-intensive activities. Depending on the condition of your car, you might need to spend an entire day or even several days to achieve the desired results.

Requires Tools: Professional car detailers possess a wide array of specialized tools and equipment at their disposal, allowing them to achieve a level of precision and perfection that may be difficult to replicate without the proper gear. Attempting to detail your car without such tools can lead to suboptimal results and an imperfect finish.

Which is the right option for you Professional Car Detailing or DIY?

The decision to either detail your car yourself or hire a professional service significantly relies on your personal preferences. If you are someone who takes pleasure in giving your vehicle a thorough cleaning and doesn’t mind investing time and effort, DIY car detailing could be an excellent choice for you. On the other hand, if you are pressed for time or simply prefer to have a shiny and polished-looking car without getting your hands dirty, opting for a professional car detailing service may be the ideal option for you. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make based on your priorities and convenience.

Build Files: Custom Lexus TX350 on 22s

We customize Lexus’ Newest addition to their SUV lineup with full Chrome Delete, Wheel and Tire upgrade, and more.

We started by dropping the headliner to remove the factory roof rails, and worked our way down to remove the rest of the aluminum and chrome trim from the car. This included the front “mustache” and rear badging. The chrome trim around the windows was wrapped with gloss black vinyl. We tinted the windows to get rid of that fishbowl look, and then swapped the boring factory 20″ wheels for some 22″ Asanti Black Label gloss black wheels and wrapped them with some Nitto NT420V tires. Upon re-assembly of the now painted factory trim, we also added some sporty roof rail cross bars that we sourced from a Toyota dealer. Lexus doesn’t offer cross bars, but we did find that the Toyota counterpart Grand Highlander did have cross bars that would fit.

 

 

 

Build Files: Lifted 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

We customize Hyundai’s new addition to the compact truck market

See how we gave Hyundai’s new truck the ATR treatment with a host of aftermarket accessories and complemented this great platform.

The 2022 Santa Cruz is a new addition to a new truck market: Compact Trucks. Truck shoppers for the last decade have really only had two broad category options, the full-size truck and mid-size truck. With this new category of trucks being based on already existing CUV platforms, the accessories available to them is much different than your traditional truck accessories. Through this write-up we will share with you our thoughts and images of our first lifted Santa Cruz.

First Step: The Lift Kit

Because this vehicle is so new to the Hyundai lineup, and not many of them have made it onto the road due to production issues, there hasn’t been an overwhelming outcry for aftermarket parts from Santa Cruz owners. Because of this short inventory of Santa Cruz, not many lift kit manufacturing companies have gotten their hands on one to develop parts. As of March 2022, there are only 3 that we know of:

Truxx 1.5″ Front-Only Level Kit

Adventure Offroad Custom Built Lift kit

ReadyLift 2.0″ SST Lift Kit

Because of ReadyLift’s long history of dedication to quality engineering for suspension upgrades, this is the part we went with. Not only did it give us slightly more lift than the other options available to us, but it is backed by a 5 year 60k mile powertrain warranty.
The kit is composed of laser cut steel fabricated strut-spacers for the front, and 1″ billet aluminum coil spring spacers for the rear, and sway bar link extensions and shock extensions as well. Because ReadyLift already had engineering history with the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, it took minor adjustments to previous engineering to get a solid fit for the Santa Cruz. The 1″ rear spacer left the truck with just a little bit of forward rake, so that added wait of a small trailer or bed cargo won’t squat the truck to the point of instability.
Hyundai Santa Cruz lift kit

Second Move: Wheel and Tire

While ReadyLift says the recommended wheel & tire size is a 255/70 on a 17″ diameter wheel, we opted for 265/60 on 18″ wheels instead. This overall tire size we used ends up being slightly smaller than the max tire size recommended, but left us open to a better selection of tires.
We sourced a set of Black Rhino Boxer 18×8 wheels in matte black finish, and paired them with 265/60 Falken Wildpeaks. This gave our lifted Santa Cruz an aggressive style without compromising ride quality or having unbearable road noise from meatier tires.

Finishing Touches: Performance Films

With the Lift Kit and Wheels/Tires installed, there was only the cherry on top left to do.
We tinted the 2 front windows with Llumar Ceramic Tint, and added rear tailgate inlays to give the back end of this truck some extra flair. These tailgate inlays are super easy to install with a soap and water wet application.

Overall: A Great Package

At Auto Trim Restyling of St. Louis, we pride ourselves on being the best area Restyler and truck accessories installer. We design and build great looking packages just like this lifted Santa Cruz package every day.
It is important when accessorizing your vehicle to make sure to buy the highest quality parts with a good warranty, bring your vehicle to a certified shop for installation, and to verify that these modifications to your vehicle are safe to do.
On this Santa Cruz, the ReadyLift parts we installed are FMVSS compliant, our wheel and tire package does not rub or hit any body or suspension components, and our films are compliant with local tint ordinances.

When accessorizing your car, make sure to be safe, and always remember:

Life is Too Short to Drive a Boring Car

Lifted Hyundai Santa Cruz