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PDR Technician: Leather Care Part IV

 

Conditioning Leather Types:

How to condition leather and the whys of conditioning if it is a water/oil repelling, is subject for the great debate. In this post we are going to get down to business and leave the great debate to others. It’s simple, just do it the way that I say and trust that I have read and understood all there is out there about which is the best way.

The most important fact is that you cannot use the same conditioners for the Pigmented (Protected/Coated) as you would for the Aniline or Semi-Aniline leather.

You would be making a big mistake to use what you would use for the Aniline leather. These types do two different things, so if you were to use an Aniline Oil on a Pigmented leather it would simply sit on the top with no penetration. The same is true if you were to use the oil meant for Aniline and used it for Pigmented. It too would simply sit on top. This means in both cases that it’s not penetrating or conditioning. It’s a waste of product and time.

With that said, stay away from products that contain Neatsfoot oil, lanolin, mink oil, collagen, or aloe these types of conditioners for the Pigmented type of leather, they will leave a very greasy film on the surface. You will need to get very familiar with products that don’t have these ingredients.

Some Tips:

  • Don’t allow grit, dirt or dust build up to excessive levels. These are the things that accelerate the degradation of the top-coat.
  • When cleaning leather, use mild pressure and, if needed, a soft nail brush, never rub hard on the leather surface.
  • Maintenance is key. Wiping the surface on a regular basis, every week or two, with a damp cloth will remove surface dust and dirt.

 

 

 

PDR Technician: Leather Care Part III

Now onto the last type of leather that you will have to work with. Pigmented/Protected/Top Coated/Painted Leathers are the most commonly used leather in the automobile industry. 95% of all manufacturers will use this type of leather. Most likely, this is probably the leather you have in your car now. It’s top grain or corrected grain leather that is pigmented (painted) and has a finished top-coat. This is the type of leather that can withstand changes in temperature, body oils, sweat, UV radiation, rubbing, spills and more. In addition, you won’t even notice leather markings like scars, cuts and more.

The overall look of the leather is a semi-gloss or matte. It also has a nice uniform look and color all over except for the fact that it will have a grain pattern, well-defined, which usually means it is an embossed grain.

How to Clean it is simple.

  1. Saturate a sponge in a bucket of lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze the sponge so it is moist and put some product on the sponge.
  3. Work the product into the sponge until you have a foam to work with.
  4. Apply the foam to one panel at a time – this is important…work in small sections. Gently rub the sponge over the panel for agitation – in some cases you may have to use a soft-haired brush (such as a nail brush).
  5. Wipe the panel clean with a microfiber towel to remove the soap residue and suspended soils.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the entire seat/section of leather. Keep in mind that those areas of your upholstery that get exposed to skin will require special attention.
  7. After you are finished wiping down the leather with the cleaner product you should buff the leather with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess cleaner from the seams and cracks as well as dry the surface and prepare it for the conditioner.

You will note that the process is the same because it’s a good process. All three of these types will use this. Next we will cover conditioning.

PDR Technician: Leather Care Part II

In Part I we discussed Aniline Leather and what it is and how to clean it. Now we are going to discuss Semi-Aniline Leather:

Semi-Aniline Leather is leather which has been dyed, very similar to Aniline Leather, except that there is a protective coating on top. This coating is usually extremely thin allowing the leather to feel very natural and supple. With this type of coating it can be clear, tinted, or dyed. Unfortunately, this thin coating does not hide defects of any kind so only a few are treated this way. For instance, if the hide is dyed red, then the coat used over it will be clear.  The dyed clear coat is very unforgiving so you will need to be very careful.

With this type of leather you will need to keep it treated by frequently cleaning and vacuuming it. You can find Semi-Aniline leather in, for example, the Ford King Ranch. This type will repel water which protects it from stains but as mentioned above it will show scars, cuts, natural surface grain and more. This would be exactly like what you would expect for Aniline Leather.

How you would clean it:

  1. Saturate a sponge in a bucket of lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze the sponge so it is moist and put some product on the sponge.
  3. Work the product into the sponge until you have a foam to work with.
  4. Apply the foam to one panel at a time – this is important…work in small sections. Gently rub the sponge over the panel for agitation – in some cases you may have to use a soft-haired brush (such as a nail brush).
  5. Wipe the panel clean with a microfiber towel to remove the soap residue and suspended soils.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the entire seat/section of leather. Keep in mind that those areas of your upholstery that get exposed to skin will require special attention.
  7. After you are finished wiping down the leather with the cleaner product you should buff the leather with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess cleaner from the seams and cracks as well as dry the surface and prepare it for the conditioner.


Are You Maintaining Your Own Small PDR Business Website?

It’s a fact that about a third of small business owners are managing their own websites. That’s not a bad thing unless you are missing some important information that needs to be added or needs a more professional touch. The last thing that you want to do is to cause your potential customers to leave your site because it’s not user friendly or does not have Mobile Optimization on it. These and many more mistakes could be quite costly to a small business. So let’s look at how you can avoid those pitfalls.

One of the biggest mistakes by small businesses is that they have no social media site connections on their website. This could be one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Adding Social Media Links creates an environment of opportunity for your customers. If they are truly happy with your services then they will want to share that with their friends. In fact, you should be asking them to please promote your business. Not only will the customers friends see the information but there is a huge possibility that many others will see it too.

Another huge disservice you may be causing your site is no SEO or poor SEO management. This is so important to your site and must be monitored daily. This requires the correct use of Keywords, Meta Descriptions, and Titles. As a matter of fact, 26% of small time businesses have a Zero Google Score because the owner has not understood or did not care to vamp this up. If you’re one of the 26% you need to change this, your potential clients cannot find you online otherwise.

Another is no Call To Action. This is surprisingly one of the biggest mistakes made. In fact, 93% of small businesses don’t have their email on their site and 49% lack any phone number for the customers to contact.

These are all simple, yet costly mistakes. They are however, ones that you as a business owner can correct in less than an hour. Need advice? Contact King of Car Care to get tons of student advice.

 

Could You Be Sabotaging Your Morning PDR Business Routine?

The truth is that you most likely are sabotaging your morning routine. Do you find that the first several hours of your day feel like you have gotten nothing done? Nothing to show for your efforts? If you feel this way everyday, then it is probably safe to say that you very possibly have habits that are truly sabotaging your PDR business efforts.

What you do, first thing in the morning, can either make or break how the rest of your day will go. The first thing you will need to do is to write down your exact movements first thing after waking up. Just journal your every movement for about an hour. Once this has been done you can start to consider if in what you wrote, is there anything that could be sabotaging your morning routine? Following are some things to consider, and if you find that you display any of these sabotaging behaviors, then hopefully you will consider changing them:

1. Going Online-This is the single most disrupting practice you could do. Everyone knows that once you start to check your emails it’s easy to get sucked into answering all of your emails and running all over the web. It’s a lot of fun surfing the web but for the sake of staying focused, let’s say that you don’t do that until 10am or so.

2. Turning on the TV-Avoid this at all costs first thing after waking up. Yet another vortex.

3. Don’t answer the phone-This again is a time sucker. Unless it’s a customer or an emergency, talk later.

4. Do the work that will yield the greatest progress-If you need to call customers to try and drum up business, call them first. Or, if you have new sales leads, call them first. Whatever is going to yield the best for the future of your business.

Changing the things that stand in the way of success should be your very first priority. Any questions? King of Car Care is here to help.

Entrepreneurs Can Be Lonely People, Are You?

Becoming an Entrepreneur can be a freeing, wonderful experience, at first. You’re living the American dream. You don’t have to answer to anyone, you clock in when you want, if you’re late-well then you’re late. If you’re not working on any cars for the day, you can stay in your PJ’s all day long while making business calls or working on your website. It’s awesome, well until it’s not.

In our day and age, being an Entrepreneur is commendable. People look up to you when you work for yourself, it’s practically heroic. From your point of view it’s an amazing freedom. But then suddenly, after weeks and months go by, you begin to feel a bit isolated, lonely. Once you go out on your own, you’re truly on your own. Fortunately for you, as a PDR Technician, this job offers you the opportunity to work with many types of people. But even so, are you the type of person that can find a way to work through the loneliness? Or, will you find that it has consumed you? This is a true issue and something to deal with. Think about it before jumping in.

Something else to consider is the fact that you would now have no steady income. For the first time in your life, your living expenses are in your hands. This creates a lot of stress. You need to know that you can make it no matter what. It takes time to get to the point of making enough to sustain your life.

The truth is, becoming an Entrepreneur can be quite wonderful but not without its own issues and trials. It’s not ‘the big pie in the sky’ that it has been portrayed as by the masses. It takes a lot of work and determination but it’s not impossible. If you have your eyes wide open from the beginning, your chances for success are much better.

But with King of Care on your side, you don’t have to do it all alone. We are here to help. Request our catalog to get started. We’re looking forward to joining your team.

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