Category: Car care
Hailstorms in Texas take a toll on vehicles. They can leave behind a Texas-sized path of destruction to property, including cars. That leaves many car owners in need of hail damage repair. According to a recent study, Bexar county comes in at number 11 for the most wind and hail insurance claims during the past decade. This explains why, after a hailstorm, body shops are busier than usual.
Monitor weather reports to protect your vehicle in a garage or under an awning to prevent hail damage. A severe storm can leave sizable damage to your car.
Assess the Damage
Once the storm has passed, take a look at your car. If the hail was large in size, the damage may be obvious. Your vehicle may not be drivable if it has a smashed windshield. Walk around the entire vehicle to check the condition of the headlights, taillights, and the roof of the car.
With smaller hail, the damage may not be visible until you get close to your car. If you can, get your vehicle in direct light. When the light shines on the car, you may notice a dimple effect that looks like a golf ball. Look for missing paint.
Take close-up and wider photos to show the full extent of the damage. This will be helpful for the insurance company and auto body shop.
Review Your Insurance Claim
You may recall what your insurance policy covers. However, it is always good to refer back to it when you have damage. Find out what it covers in relation to storm damage and, specifically, hail.
Depending on the type of policy you have, it may cover hail damage under collision repair. It may also include coverage for paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR typically costs less than collision repair. Some insurance companies will cover the full cost of PDR, depending on the type of policy. If you have coverage for both, this will be helpful if you have the option for PDR.
Types of Hail Damage Repair
When you get an estimate, find out if the technicians are certified by the manufacturer and to perform PDR. This ensures the repairs meet your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your car needs auto body repair, or if paintless dent repair will be sufficient. Take a close look at the damage, and weigh the pros and cons of hail damage repair before making a final decision.
PDR works well to repair most hail damage. It has been proven to be effective enough for hail damage repair that some insurance companies will set up temporary PDR facilities after a hailstorm to take care of the damage. This method saves time and money, compared to collision repair.
Because it leaves the original paint in place, your car will maintain its original factory paint. You’ll want someone well-trained to perform this repair because it requires accessing the back side of the panel where the damage is located, then rubbing and shrinking the dent with special tools. This is a faster process than standard auto body repair.
However, if you have paint damage caused by the hail your vehicle will require collision repair. Take your vehicle to a certified collision repair shop when you need this type of dent repair. This ensures the paint work matches the original factory paint. Also, any dents close to a panel’s edge or large dents may require collision repair and not PDR.
Buying a Hail Damage Car – Repair it or Not?
Depending on how significant the damage is to the car, you may find a great deal on a car with hail damage. In many cases, a hailstorm may only cause cosmetic blemishes, but do your homework if you plan to purchase a used vehicle with any signs of hail damage.
Have a technician take a close look at the car. There could have been more damage and only some of it was repaired. Also, contact your lender if you are financing to make sure you can finance a damaged vehicle. Notify your insurance agent of the damage and inquire if you are still eligible for comprehensive insurance.
It is up to you if you choose to have the vehicle repaired after you purchase it or if you don’t mind driving with some dents on the vehicle.
Find a Body Shop
Hailstorms are the perfect example that you never know when you may need hail damage repair. Your car could be parked in front of your home when a storm passes and within minutes, you have damage. That is why it’s beneficial to do some research to find the right collision center before anything happens.
Whether you use PDR or collision repair, you will want to find a location that offers certified collision repair. This means the technicians have been trained by various manufacturers to properly make repairs for the car to return back to its factory condition. When researching various shops, find out if the technicians are trained by your vehicle manufacturer and how often they are certified.
At ProCare Automotive & Collision, a San Antonio body shop, our technicians are trained and certified to perform PDR or collision repair. If you have hail damage, use our Smartphone Estimating Tool for a free and quick estimate. You can also contact one of our locations near you to speak with someone directly. Our goal is to provide you efficient auto body repair, so you can get back on the road.
Your car has auto body damage, but you can drive it away from the scene of the accident. If you are not concerned about the looks of your car, you may ask, “If my car still runs, why should I fix the damage?”
There are several reasons why auto body repair is necessary, no matter if the vehicle has minor or more significant damage. If repairs are not made, there are some circumstances where it could cost you to keep the damage on the vehicle.
Damage Causing Other Damage
The cosmetic damage to a vehicle may appear minor, but it takes a highly skilled auto technician to know if there could be more damage than meets the eye. A damaged fender could cause strain to a wheel, tire, or parts under the hood. At minimum, it is best to get dents repaired to avoid further and costly damage to your car.
Necessary Functions No Longer Work
If certain features do not work on your car, such as lights or opening your hood, it might lead to a ticket. All lights, such as headlights, taillights, and turn signals must be functioning for safety if you plan to drive at night.
In Texas, there is a checklist used when inspecting a vehicle. If any items are damaged, such as lights or a mirror, the car will not pass inspection until the damage is fixed. Waiting to get repairs to pass an inspection could delay getting a renewed registration, in which case, you could get a ticket for an expired registration. That’s money that could be spent on the auto body repair.
If you file an insurance claim, receive money, and then don’t repair the car, it could cost you if you have another accident. An insurance company can deduct pre-existing damage from a future settlement. It is recommended that if you receive money for a claim, to use that money on auto body repairs. To keep the money could amount to insurance fraud.
Depending on the extent of the damage, it could affect your vehicle’s resale value. In some cases, the cost to fix the vehicle can be less than the amount your car might depreciate if it has noticeable damage.
When it comes time to repair auto body damage on your car, contact the experts at ProCare Collision, an auto body repair shop in San Antonio. Our highly skilled technicians are trained to work on any make and model of vehicle and repair it to the maker’s specifications. We can get your car fixed so you avoid further damage and costs.
If you own a hybrid vehicle, you probably purchased it for the fuel efficiency. Texas is a hot spot for hybrid electric vehicles. But are you really getting the best fuel mileage out of your eco-friendly vehicle? Here are our top five tips to more MPG on a hybrid car.
Most hybrids come with a feature that uses the car’s sensors to help a driver automatically save fuel. Check to see if the economy mode or a similar mode is turned on. This feature may limit acceleration and other features of the car’s performance but it will conserve fuel and save you money in the long run.
Keep Battery Charged
A well-charged battery on a hybrid helps drivers use less gasoline and more electricity. Read the owner’s manual to your hybrid for the maker’s best recommendations for charging the battery.
Gradual braking with your car has multiple benefits, including generating power for a hybrid. As the brakes are applied in a hybrid, the electric motor becomes a generator and converts the energy from braking into electricity and stores it in the battery. This way, you’re using more electricity to power your vehicle during your drive than gasoline.
Pulse and Glide
The pulse and glide method in a hybrid car gets the vehicle to stabilize the energy use between the electric and gas engines. For many hybrids, this is somewhere between 30 and 40 mph. A driver can find this level by gradually accelerating to this speed and then applying a quick press to the gas pedal. Some hybrids will give an indication on the screen to show the energy use has been stabilized.
Limit Accessory Use
Minimizing the use of internal accessories, such as air conditioning or the radio, can save fuel on any car. But in a hybrid, a driver can save fuel and electricity by minimizing the use of any accessories that are not needed during the drive. The economy mode may also help adjust settings to the air conditioner and other accessories to save on power, but turning them off altogether will save even more energy for driving.
Remember, if you need your hybrid vehicle serviced, ProCare Automotive and Collision is more than a San Antonio auto body shop. ProCare is Hybrid Certified and our experts are trained to provide specialized service for your hybrid vehicle’s needs. Call us today and let our technicians give your hybrid the check-up it needs.
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For many people, knowing how to change a flat tire is one of those things you learned to do when you were young, but forgot over the years. But even if you take preventative measures to keep your tires in great condition, it is extremely important for your safety and for your convenience to know how to change a flat.
You might be thinking, “I always take in flat tires to the mechanics at my San Antonio body shop,” or, “I pay for a AAA membership so that I get roadside assistance and don’t have to worry,” or maybe even, “My friend loves working on cars and always takes care of my flats for me.”
The excuses for not knowing how to change a flat tire yourself are almost limitless, but, as it turns out, so are the important reasons for knowing how to do so.
In this day and age, we have come to depend very heavily on our cell phones. However, it is not hard to imagine a situation where you find yourself with a dead cell phone and a flat tire, unable to call roadside service or a friend for help.
Even more serious would be finding yourself in a remote, secluded area without cell phone service but with a flat tire. There are many reasons that cell phone calls may not go through, even if your cell provider promises coverage in an certain area. Landscape, weather, locations of antennas and cell network capacity can all interfere with your ability to make a call.
Even if you are able to get through to your roadside assistance, that doesn’t always guarantee quick flat tire assistance. Severe weather, road conditions and traffic can cause major delays between when you need help and when that help is able to arrive. Not to mention if you are in a rush: say you are on the way to an important meeting or need to catch a flight. Being able to solve the problem yourself and fix the flat tire quickly can save you time and money.
Although it is easy to pretend otherwise, you could very well find yourself in a position where the best or only option is to change a flat tire yourself. Educating yourself on how to do so is an excellent way to be a prepared, safe and responsible vehicle owner.
To learn more about caring for your vehicle, or need car repairs, contact ProCare Collision, an auto body shop in San Antonio, Texas.