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Category: Car Lovers

A close-up of a shiny silver car, light reflecting on the hood and windshield.
Aluminum cars may not look different, but they require different care at the body shop.

Manufacturers continuously modify what they use to make cars, and more vehicles are now being made with aluminum. As a result, more than a million aluminum cars on the road. Because of this, experienced body shops are getting certified to work on aluminum body work.

Using aluminum weighs less, making the vehicle more fuel efficient and attractive to car buyers. Adding aluminum reduces the weight of the vehicle by hundreds of pounds. That is good for car owners.

But repairing aluminum vehicles presents a challenge. Because of this, if you own a vehicle made from aluminum you need to find a certified collision repair shop. Ask if that body shop has aluminum certified technicians.

 

Why Aluminum Collision Repair is Different

The debut of the aluminum Ford F-150 presents a new challenge for some auto body repair shops. Repairing vehicles that are not made primarily of steel takes training and the right tools. This can be costly for some smaller collision repair shops.

Repairing the trucks means shops need certification from Ford to make repairs. As a result, Ford modified the process and added certification requirements to other vehicles, including the Lincoln Navigator. Certified shops qualify to fix Lincolns with an additional training course from Ford.

More Aluminum on The Roads

It is no longer just Ford producing aluminum-made cars. In addition, GM is launching a “mixed materials strategy” with its 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. The company says training from the manufacturer will be necessary for any San Antonio body shops. Consequently, collision repair shops invest thousands of dollars in tools and training to make the repairs.

ProCare Automotive and Collision, a body shop in San Antonio, has certified technicians. Our technicians train with manufacturers. They know how to repair a vehicle precisely to the manufacturer’s specifications. Contact our team, or use our Smartphone Estimating Tool, to get a free estimate for collision repair on your vehicle.

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A silver Lamborghini sits in a driveway.
A Lamborghini is an expensive car, and even more expensive to repair after a collision.

If you’ve been in an accident before, you know there’s a cost to auto body repair. There are the repairs to your vehicle and any other vehicle or property you may have damaged. Some cars are more expensive than others, however. Here are some of the pricier crashes in recent years.

When you see a repair bill, think about how small it is in comparison to these expensive crashes.

A Record Attempt Damages A $5 Million Dollar Car

One of the most expensive car collisions happened at the famous Nürburgring in Germany. The driver of a Koenigsegg lost control and crashed into a barrier, while attempting to set a lap record. The driver was treated and released from a hospital.

After the crash, the car caught fire, damaging the back end. There are only seven Koenigsegg One:1 models in the world.

Not Just One Luxury Car

A 14-car pile-up is bad no matter the types of vehicles involved. But when a group of car enthusiasts were travelling together on wet roads in Japan, it resulted in disaster. Eight Ferraris, one Skyline R33, one Lamborghini Diablo, three Mercedes-Benz, and, interestingly, a Toyota Prius, were among the cars involved in this accident.

The damage for this accident was estimated at $3.85 million. No one was seriously injured in the accident, but all vehicles involved were totaled.

Crashing a $35 Million Dollar Sports Car

When you think about the unexpected cost of your collision repair, think about the owner of a Ferrari 250 GTO. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured when he lost control of his luxury car during a race and crashed it into another car. Less fortunately, his vehicle was valued at $35 million.

Collision repair for a rare luxury sports car can be costly. The parts to replace the damaged sections are rare because only a limited number of these vehicles were made. If the luxury vehicle owner has the money to repair the damage, the owner may choose to have auto body repair, but the value of the car may already be diminished without original parts.

The highly trained team of certified technicians at ProCare Automotive and Collision can repair commuter cars to luxury vehicles back to factory specifications. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate and we’ll get you back on the road.

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Get the most miles out of your hybrid and pay less at the pump.

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.

Economy Mode

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 Stops

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

Turning off accessories while driving can save on your fuel mileage in a hybrid vehicle.

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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Two dash cameras are suspended from the windshield, recording the scene in front of the car.
Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular.

Examining the Dash Cam Trend

Dashboard cameras – a type of technology that, in the past, were mainly associated with officers of the law – are rising in popularity among drivers in the US. Both the reasons drivers use dash cams and the legal issues surrounding them are complex.

An Objective Eyewitness

Perhaps the most obvious motivation behind the on-board cameras – or “dash cams” – is the hope that the captured footage may help in case of an accident or ticket. Many people opting for dash cams are professional drivers whose livelihoods depend on maintaining a good driving record. Many use it as a witness in case of an accident, where the video provides time-stamped proof of the driver’s actions.

In one example, a driver who was pulled over for using his cell phone while driving was found to be innocent when the footage from his two-way dash cam revealed that he was merely scratching his ear, not violating the law. Dash cam footage might also help assign fault in insurance claims, helping victims avoid both undeserved rate increases and deductible expenses when they take their car to their body shop.

The cameras can provide a more objective account of an incident than humans might be able to provide. Regardless of good intentions, high-stress events like car accidents can result in less-than-perfect recall from the people involved.

Could Cameras Create Better Drivers?

Some dash cam proponents suggest that on-board cameras could be used to create better drivers. For example, parents of new teen drivers could use dash cam footage to monitor their young drivers and provide feedback. It might be helpful for a teen driver to watch how they are displaying reckless habits before they lead to an accident or ticket.

What’s more, some dash cam users feel that having the devices in their car has made them into more responsible and mindful drivers. The very awareness that you are being recorded might curb reckless driving habits. And in reviewing footage, drivers have the opportunity to spot bad driving habits they weren’t aware they were guilty of. The practice of reviewing the video from on-board cameras might be beneficial for both new drivers and veterans behind the wheel, though studies to confirm this idea are still needed.

What Does the Law Say?

Generally speaking, dash cam use is considered legal and the footage the units provide can usually be used as evidence in a court of law. But, different states have different rules about the devices’ footage and their physical placement in the vehicle. Texas allows dashboard cams with some restrictions.

Regulations about where and how the cameras can be mounted might vary, as can a state’s restrictions on recording people (like passengers in the vehicle) without consent. If dash cams continue to grow in popularity, the rules regulating their use will likely become more established.

The next time you are dealing with car damage, regardless if you captured the incident with an on-board cam, call the expert team at ProCare Collision, a San Antonio paint and body shop.

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.

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