Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Perks of Detailing Your Vehicle

We all crave that new car smell and feel. When you pull a new one off the lot, and it’s pristine, no smells waft out of the seats when you plop down and there’s no ground in goldfish from your kids in the backseat… That new car feeling is desirable, so what if you can get that feeling with the car you already own? There are many benefits to having regular details done on your vehicle, from the mental benefit of feeling clean, to impressing your friends with your sweet ride. What if detailing your car could up the resale value? Guess what, it does. Regularly detailing your vehicle has tons of benefits, and so here’s a couple of reasons why:
  • Having your vehicle professionally detailed will clean out any excess salt from your wheels, undercarriage, wheel wells, engine compartment, and all the other nooks and crannies in your car. This prevents potential corrosion. 
  • Even small scratches in the paint can oxidize, and having those scratches buffed out and sealed protect your vehicle from rust. Professional detailing products contain UV protectant's that will help keep your paint from fading. 
  • The interior of your vehicle will fade from the sun, as well as absorb all kinds of random odors that are faint to you, but evident to others. A professional detailer can eliminate those odors and restore your interior with various products. 
  • They will clean out your engine compartment. You read that right, a lot of people will wash their vehicle and forget that the engine compartment also needs to be taken care of! When you’re selling or trading in your vehicle, a clean engine compartment will instill confidence in the potential buyer by showing them that you maintain your vehicle. 

Market experts say that detailing can up the value of your vehicle by 15%. That’s an incredible jump for any car, especially if you’re in the position to purchase a new vehicle. If you know that you’re going to be in the market for something new in the near future, or even if you’re planning on keeping your vehicle until the end of time, taking care of your belongings will make them last longer. Get your car professionally detailed today for the peace of mind, and to protect one of the larger investments in your life.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Help Us Help You

You know your car better than anybody else, you drive it each day, you know what weird kinks it has, and what new damage has occurred. Before you bring your car in for an estimate or repairs, look over each panel on your car and make sure everything you want fixed is being pointed out to your estimator. We will do our best to return your vehicle to its original pristine condition, but without your help, we can’t meet your expectations.

During the repair process, we aim to get everything accident related taken care of and approved by insurance, but there are times where damage can be overlooked and assumed to be unrelated prior damage. If you know that a dent was part of the accident, then bring it up during your initial drop off to make sure the damage is properly taken care of.

In some instances, there’s a scratch that you hate seeing every day. Let us know, and we can do our best to get it taken care of. If you’re looking for a more thorough fix, we can take care of the damage while your vehicle is in the shop. Getting everything sorted out prior to drop off will keep your time without your vehicle shorter, and will save you time in the long run. 

When you return to pick up your vehicle, make sure to do a thorough walk through with your estimator. If there’s damage that we missed, let us know so we can properly take care of you and your vehicle. There are many standards we have set for a repair, and want to make sure we’re doing the best we can for you. Let us know if anything was missed, or if you feel things were ignored.

Look over your car to make sure it’s been properly washed and vacuumed. We provide clean up to restore your vehicle to how it was dropped off, so make sure the panels are clear of salt or other road debris. Pay attention to any panel gaps, or non-matching painted panels, verify that your repair was properly completed and fits your expectations. Make sure to test that all your lights and electronics are working properly before leaving, so you can safely return home. If you make it home and find you’re unsatisfied with our repairs, give us a call so we can sort it out for you. Our goal is to return your vehicle to pre-
accident condition, and we plan to do the best we can for you.

Monday, December 18, 2017

How Serious Is That Check Engine Light

 Have you ever been in a rush, on your way to work and your dash suddenly lights up like Christmas? In today's vehicles, there are so many electronic pieces and sensors that we can’t always be prepared for whatever is flagging that check engine light. It’s hard to know if that light indicates a small problem, or a serious issue. Unless your car is smoking, it’s unlikely you’re in any extreme danger, but there could still be something wrong with your vehicle. The check engine light exists to keep you aware of engine irregularities and sensory malfunctions. The engine control unit in your car makes sure that the engine is running properly, but as that’s not always the case, what do you do when that frustrating light turns on?

It’s always best to bring your vehicle in to a professional. Best case scenario, the engine light is on due to a loose gas cap or something easily fixed on your own. If the engine light comes on and you haven’t noticed any extensive differences in how your car drives, you don’t need to seek immediate service. Ignoring the problem can further the issue and create a bigger backlash in the long run, so it’s best to get in to have the vehicle looked at upon your earliest convenience.

You likely don’t need to worry if your car is:
  • Behaving normally
  • Getting the same gas mileage
  • No smoking, no strange smells and no noises

There could be a more serious problem if:
  • You see smoke
  • Experience a huge decline in gas mileage
  • Strange smells or noises coming from the engine
  • There’s a major loss of power

Regardless of how the vehicle is doing, if the sensor has been triggered and you’re unsure at all of why, bringing your car in can give you peace of mind and ensure your safety.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Get That Chip Fixed

Winter is on it’s way, and before it’s here in full force you need to give your car an in depth inventory of potential repairs. Look over your car and make a list of things you might need before salt and grime eat away at your mode of transportation. One of the most overlooked items that should be on your list of repairs before it freezes are rock chips in your windshield. While they may be minimal at first, those chips can quickly turn into large cracks that span your windshield all because it dropped below freezing overnight. They are frustrating and not something to be ignored. Even the smallest of cracks can turn into large unrepairable ones due to the cold temperatures we face.
If the crack is less than six inches in length, it is unlikely you will need a full windshield repair. They have aftermarket kits that are available to patch and repair small kits, but it should be looked at by a professional to verify the crack has not penetrated the plastic shield that prevents the windshield from shattering. In the chance that the damage to your windshield is a shallow crack, they will smooth down the glass and fill the crack with a glue that dries clear. This option does not make the
crack any less visible, but it will keep it from spreading and causing additional damage.
Windshield repair is a simple process, and does not take long. A technician can assess the damage by evaluating the age of the windshield with the length and depth of the crack, as well as where it lies in your line of sight. A technician will almost always recommend full replacement if the crack spans your line of sight, and provided you have glass coverage with your insurance, it should be covered. Full glass replacement is a quick fix, but some sealants require it to sit for 24 hours following the repair.
Both rock chip repair and full windshield replacement are not costly items. If you need a recommendation for a place, please give us a call!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter

Winter is on it’s way, and just like with your home or your attire, your car needs to be prepared to survive the cold weather we’re about to face. The snow and cold brings about lots of new challenges for your day to day life, and is about to bring a bit of havoc to your vehicle.Preparation is the key to getting you and your family through this winter safe, warm and happy.
Put together an emergency kit. This is a good tip for year round travel, but should be edited a bit to include items you’ll need to survive in case of a break down mid-winter. Your kit should include these basics: a change of clothes, a first-aid kit, road flares, a flashlight, a bag of sand, an ice scraper, extra pairs of gloves, and some high protein snacks like nuts or jerky. It’s a good idea to keep an insulated poncho and hand warmers in this kit as well, to try and stay warm.

Do a thorough check of your antifreeze and coolant levels. Make sure to look at all the fluid levels in your vehicle, but these especially. Antifreeze does what it’s name says - keeps your engine from freezing in the dead of winter. It’s best to check these before you make trips, and to look at your vehicle's manual to verify you’ve got the proper level and mixture.

If you don’t have them already, switch to an all season or your winter tires to face the icy roads. Regardless of the tires on your vehicle, check to make sure that you have proper tread depth and tire pressure. Tire pressure can be checked with simple tools from auto stores, and if you’re unsure check with someone at your local auto parts clerk to verify where your vehicle should be at. You can test your tread depth by performing the “Lincoln test.” Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head pointed towards your tread, if you can see all of his head it’s time to replace your tires.

The next time you take your car in for an oil change, switch to winter grade oil. The colder it is outside, the thinner you want the oil in your vehicle. While you’re at it, switch your windshield wiper fluid to a winter-grade option. It will help keep your fluid from freezing on your windshield when you need to wash off all that road salt.

If you do nothing else on this list, at least make sure to include an emergency kit for the winter. Accidents happen, and it could mean the difference between life or death for you and your loved ones if you’re stranded. Drive save this winter and stay warm!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Flat Tire On The Freeway

Imagine driving down the freeway at a brisk 72 mph, top down, your favorite song blaring on the radio... sounds like a carefree trip, right? Now imagine your tire blows, a loud pop followed by *thudthudthudthud*. What do you do now?

The best reaction to a flat tire on the freeway is no reaction. Keep your steering wheel straight and resist all urge to turn the vehicle in either direction. Your car will try to pull away from you, and because one end of the car will be lower than the other it can be very hard to combat this. Your car will try and spin around the flat, so be aware of which tire has blown. It should be obvious depending on how bad the flat is. You can generally see a tilt in the vehicle to either side.

As counterintuitive as this sounds, give it some gas. Your newly flattened tire is making your vehicle decelerate and you need to keep going at a reasonable speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles traveling around you. Once you’ve assessed the situation you’ll need to start to ease off the gas and guide yourself onto a shoulder, or into a residential area if at all possible. Try to let the car lose momentum on it’s own. If you can, avoid using the breaks as it could cause you to spin out and potentially hit other vehicles. If you have blown a rear tire, make sure to be especially careful when slowing down, as they’re a bit more volatile than blown front tires.

Depending on which side of the vehicle your flat is on, ease yourself off of the road and onto a shoulder. If there's available space and no traffic, go to the side where your tire isn’t closest to the freeway. It’s safest for you, your vehicle and for other drivers on the road. Take it easy, and don’t turn your steering wheel too sharply. Slow and precise movements will keep your vehicle under control and allow you to be as safe as possible. Once off the road, call for help or start the process of changing your tire on your own, provided you know how.

Proper tire care can keep you from having a flat, but they do happen to even the best mechanics out there. Make sure you’re checking your tires air pressure regularly, and get them rotated at least every 6 months, or every 6,000 miles. Remember that with the changing of the seasons, you also need to check your tires for low air! Prevention won’t always save you from a flat, but it will minimize the chances. If you have any additional questions about flat tire, stop in today!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Keep Your Feet Down

We’ve all heard those country songs, the ones that tell you to throw your worries out the window, relax and put your feet up on the dash and enjoy the ride. If you’re a routine passenger, that’s likely a position you’ve sat in and enjoyed because it IS more comfortable. Unfortunately, that comfort is not worth the potential pain you could face if presented with an accident. Have you ever considered how unsafe that could be in a collision?

Riding around as a passenger in a vehicle is a common thing we’ve all done, and on long trips it’s normal to face mild discomfort and to try and find a comfortable position. This often includes putting your feet up on the dash, and while it’s comfortable for a moment, the consequences could be detrimental. If you’ve ever been the unpleasant victim of a deployed airbag, you know how painful that is. An airbag takes 1/20th of a second to deploy, and deploys between 100 and 220 mph depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Imagine being in a collision, the airbags deploying, and forcing your knees into your face, or the force of the airbags breaking the bones in your legs. The airbag is in your vehicle for safety reasons, but will only protect you when used properly. 

That horror story is what happened to Audra Tatum in August of 2015. She rode with her feet on the dash of her husband's vehicle, and they were in an accident. Two years later, she’s still facing extreme difficulties. She’s now using her story to caution other people from the severe pain and trauma that she endured by trying to be comfortable on a car ride. No matter how quickly you think you can pull your feet down, the airbag will always be quicker.

While on long drives it may make sense to put your feet up for comfort, or to get in a quick nap before your shift of driving, you’re putting yourself at risk. Even though you haven’t been in an accident in years, or your girlfriend is a wonderful driver, do yourself and your family a favor and keep your feet planted with your seat belt on. 

If you are interested in reading Audra’s story, you can find it here: