Category: Car Lovers
No one can truly avoid accidents. We can do our best to stay alert and drive defensively, but it’s no guarantee. We do, however, have control over other preventative measures to deter damage. Small or large, these damages can cost money and age your vehicle.
Park away from other vehicles when possible
Many new car owners choose to walk a bit farther to their destination if it means fewer dents and scratches. New or not, parking a little way out may prevent getting hit by shopping carts or other car doors.
While little scratches probably won’t bother the average car owner, they accumulate and make your car look older.
Hide valuables out of sight
Theft happens, and thieves are often tempted to break in when they see something valuable. Hide your expensive sunglasses, electronics, or handbags in the glove compartment, in the console, or in the trunk of your car. Keeping valuable items hidden makes it more of a gamble to thieves who aren’t sure which cars will be worth their while.
Keep it covered
Putting your car in the garage or under an overhang can protect it from the elements. Hail damage is rare, but when it does hail, you’ll be glad to have protection over your car. The sun can also chip and fade your paint. This will make your car look old and unkept when your paint starts bubbling enough to be noticeable.
Aside from weather, you might want to put your car in the garage to prevent it from getting scratched by kids playing around it, or a potential hit from another car if you’re parking on the street.
Park on higher ground
If you live in central Texas, you probably know someone who’s had flood damage to their vehicle. Flooding can cause mildew and mold on wet carpet and possibly rust or corrosion inside the vehicle.
Try to park on higher ground when you hear about a flood watch. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee if you live in a flood zone, but making the effort to park somewhere safer could save you from damage.
*Also, TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN. Don’t try to cross low-water crossings when there’s water. Not only could this total your vehicle but doing this also risks your life.
Keep it clean
Dirt, road salt, and other harmful elements can sit on your paint and cause small scratches as well as causing discoloring or rust over time. Wash your car periodically, especially after a road trip when your car has probably picked up a lot of grime.
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We all know that when it comes to car work, a customer’s decision is made on trust. What company, repair tech, or information do they trust most? A recent survey found that out of a late-night host lineup, Jimmy Kimmel has earned the most trust with car owners.
The Car Care Council asked more than 22,000 car owners nationwide which late-night TV host they would trust the most to fix their cars. The lineup includes Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Trevor Noah.
Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! barely beat out Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s Tonight Show for the title of Most Trusted to Work on My Car.
“April is National Car Care Month, and with trust being a strong determining factor in choosing care maintenance and repair professionals, we thought it would be fun to ask vehicle owners which late-night TV host they would trust most work on their cars,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
While no one is asking you to get serious work done by a celebrity, it’s important to do research on the body or repair shop you want to go to before bringing your car in.
The team at ProCare Automotive & Collision, a body shop San Antonio, Texas residents have recommended for nearly 20 years, focuses on operational excellence and providing you with the highest quality collision repair. Our technicians are certified, and we provide a warranty on repairs and paint.
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Not all parts are the same when it comes to car repair. There are OEM parts, original parts created by the manufacturer, and then there are aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are off-brand and have a wide variety of price and fit.
If you want quality and a warranty with parts, then OEM is a safe choice. Certified auto body shops will be likely to offer OEM parts with their repairs because they are proven to fit and work correctly.
Are OEM parts worth it?
OEM parts cost more than aftermarket because the vehicle manufacturer makes them. An OEM part will match perfectly with other parts on your car.. The cost is often twice as much as what you may pay for an aftermarket part.
Most OEM parts come with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, should anything happen to the part.
Should I save money with aftermarket parts?
There is a greater selection of aftermarket parts, but this also means they come in variations and the odds of getting a poor quality part are greater.
However, some aftermarket parts are similar quality or even improved from the original OEM part. Doing your research on specific aftermarket parts can help you determine if there’s a better option out there. This can be time consuming, but for some, the offset cost is worth it.
Aftermarket parts may decrease the car’s value. If you lease a vehicle, you need to look into what it could cost you long-term. Additionally, most aftermarket parts do not offer a warranty, so be sure to ask about a warranty if you choose these parts.
When our certified technicians at ProCare Automotive and Collision, a San Antonio body shop, make repairs to a wrecked car, we believe in providing the highest quality collision repair and use OEM parts. Should you want aftermarket parts, we work to find the best part that works with your vehicle.
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Manufacturers continuously modify what they use to make cars, and more vehicles are now being made with aluminum. More than a million cars on the road are now aluminum, and they require a different kind of training to repair body damage.
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. This is good news for car owners who will pay less in fuel.
But repairing aluminum vehicles presents a challenge. Because it is not widely used, few shops are certified to work on aluminum. When looking for a collision repair shop for your vehicle, 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.
Shops need a certification from Ford to make manufacturer-standard repairs.
More aluminum on the roads
It is not just Ford producing aluminum-made cars anymore. 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 body shops. Consequently, collision repair shops will have to invest thousands of dollars in tools and training to make the repairs.
ProCare Automotive and Collision, a body shop in San Antonio, has aluminum certified technicians. Our technicians train with manufacturers for long-lasting professional repairs.
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No parent wants their teen to have an accident and wind up searching for an auto body shop. Driving for the first time can come with mixed emotions for any teen. They can be extremely excited, nervous, or overwhelmed. Parents can also feel similar emotions as they teach a teen safe driving.
There are a few ways to demonstrate good driver responsibility to your teen.
Drive by example
AAA recently surveyed driving instructors. According to the survey, parents today do not prepare their teen drivers as well as parents did a decade ago. The instructors reported parents setting bad examples through their own driving behaviors. Research shows that young drivers will mimic the driving of parents and other family members.
Remember when your child gets closer to learning how to drive to be aware of how you operate a vehicle. Re-familiarize yourself with traffic and safety rules. Reduce behaviors you wouldn’t want your teen driver to do. This includes reducing distractions like cell phone use and obeying the speed limit.
Having a soon-to-be driver in your car can help you get back in the practice of responsible driving.
Practice, practice, practice
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” The more experience that your teen can get behind the wheel will help your new driver respond better to a potential accident. It is better to expose them to different driving situations with you in the car next to them so they can learn from you can put your guidance into practice in the future.
Young drivers often do not get enough practice in inclimate weather, night driving, and heavy traffic – situations where they’re most likely to get into a crash.
Encouragement is important
Every parent knows that praise is helpful when their teen is doing the right thing, especially when they are driving safely behind the wheel. Positive reinforcement of good driving can be encouraging and help your teen build driving confidence.
But encouragement in other ways is also important. Have discussions with your teen to let him or her know it is a good thing to speak up if they don’t feel safe driving or to also speak up with their peers about unsafe driving. Sometimes discussing what to do or say in social situations can help your teen set boundaries (and a good example!) with other young drivers.
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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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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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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.