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a young driver in a red checkered shirt sits with their hands on the wheel.Do you know your driving rules? It’s important to follow driving laws to prevent accidents and unsafe driving behavior.

Test your knowledge with our driving rules quiz:

How well do you know your driving rules?

Sure, you may be a safe driver, but that doesn't always mean you're following the rules. Answer these driving law questions to find out how familiar you are with driving laws.

A person stands behind the hood of a grey car looking at the engine. They are stopped on the side of a small road surrounded by green grass.
Is it time for a new car yet? Costly repairs are a big factor in many car owners’ decision to buy new.

You love your car. You’ve been taking good care of it for years, but after the last accident, you’re not sure how much more repair you’re willing to pour into it. But buying a new is also a huge financial commitment. Here are a few considerations as to whether or not you want to commit to a new vehicle.

Safety

Obviously, newer cars are safer. They have the latest technology to keep you and your vehicle out of harm’s way. If your car is more than 5 years old, compare the safety features of your car to newer vehicles. Some things can be added on to your current vehicle, but others cannot. Features like automatic emergency braking, backup cameras, and blind-spot monitoring are almost standard safety now. If there’s a serious gap in the safety of your car and newer vehicles, it’s probably time to buy a new one.

Also, if you are looking for your teen driver, safer cars are the way to go. Anything that helps an inexperienced driver navigate the road will benefit them.

Saving money

If you find yourself at the repair shop often, you may feel like your car is costing you more than it’s worth. However, the cost of a new car is much more burdensome. Not only would you probably be paying more in monthly payments, but you’ll also pay more in insurance and registration fees.

A new car loses about 20 percent of its value in a year. This can leave you “upside down” in payments before long: You’ll owe more than what it’s worth. While this is a normal part of getting a new car, you’ll likely be stuck with it when this happens – for better or worse.

However, if your current vehicle is a gas guzzler you’ll likely save money on fuel by switching to something more efficient. This would be a great reason to trade in your vehicle.

Peace of mind

A pair of legs with white tennis shoes stick out of the drivers window of a car.
Knowing you have a safe vehicle with a current warranty can help you enjoy your car rather than avoid wearing it down.

Sometimes the worry of an old car breaking down is not worth holding out to buy a new one. Repairing an old problem doesn’t guarantee another major problem won’t happen sooner than later.

You may just be fed up with an ongoing problem in your vehicle: An annoying engine noise, a broken radio, worn upholstery…there is a multitude of everyday annoyances and worries getting a new car can fix. Constant trips to the repair shop are stressful and can leave you several days without your vehicle.

Buying new comes with the peace of mind that you’ll probably not be in the shop for a repair. And if you do, you’ll probably have a warranty to cover it for several years to come.

Sentiment

If you’ve had a car a long time, you may have a sentimental attachment to it. Saying goodbye can feel like abandoning an old friend. While this isn’t necessarily a big reason to keep the vehicle, it may influence a decision to keep your old car. Think about it this way: Sentimental value makes the car more valuable to you than it would to anyone else.

Making a decision

While multiple factors have to be considered in your decision, there are a few instances we’d recommend buying new:

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

Cars sit in a Wegman's parking lot, with more cars close to the store, and fewer farther out.
Parking farther away from other cars can prevent unwanted dings and scratches.

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

A road sign sticks out of water, which is apparently higher than normal.
High water can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Park on high ground and avoid driving through water.

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

A hand washes the hood of a bright-red car with a sudsy yellow sponge.
Washing your vehicle can prevent paint damage and corrosion later on.

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.


For more tips like these, follow ProCare Collision on Facebook.

A cartoon of five late-night hosts fixing a red car. The title says April is National Car Care Month.
Which of these late-night hosts would you trust to fix your car?

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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various tools and headlight parts sit on a grey slate surface
Not all car parts are created equal.

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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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. 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

A silver Ford F-150 sits in a bright room.
The aluminum Ford F-150 came out in 2015.

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.

stress safe teen driving to prevent visit to auto body shop san antonio tx

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.

For more tips on safe teen driving, follow us on Facebook.

An outside view of two dash cameras attached near the top of a windshield.
Dash cameras are becoming increasingly popular, filming the outside or inside of a car while driving.

We live in a world where much of what we do in public is on camera. If you go inside a business, you may be on a security camera. When attending events, you may be in someone’s video from a smartphone. And now, more drivers use dash cameras than ever before. Many people use them in their personal vehicles to capture various perspectives while driving.

There is not a specific law in Texas that pertains to dash cameras. However, there are privacy and driving laws that drivers using a dash camera should know.

Privacy rights

With cameras that surround us in public and people using their smartphones, it is easy to forget that we do have rights to our privacy.

Recording video from a dash camera while driving is not against the law in San Antonio, as long as it is hands-free. Mount the camera on the dash and never maneuver it while driving. If you are recording audio, remember the privacy laws in Texas regarding consent to being recorded with audio.

Also, it is not against the law to record a traffic stop, or any interaction with police, in Texas.

Keep a clear view

If your dash camera is mounted on the dashboard or on your windshield, do not put it in a location that blocks your view. Make sure your camera doesn’t prevent you from seeing vital road signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles.

Also, never depend on a dash camera as your view for driving. The camera can serve as a different perspective of what you see while driving and can become an extra set of eyes, but should not be relied upon for safety.

Benefits of dash camera video for a collision center

Close-up of a front bumper and headlight, dented and misaligned.
Dash cameras can help drivers when talking to car repair technicians and their insurance.

Drivers who get into a wreck can provide the video footage to their body shop for repair technicians to review. Technicians can then have a better understanding of the impact to the car and possible damage.

The video can also be helpful for insurance agents, determining blame for an accident, or viewing your driving behaviors that may have caused the crash.

At ProCare Collision, a body shop in San Antonio, we have provided high quality collision repair to vehicles for more than 60 years. The more details you have regarding the accident can help our technicians provide the most accurate repairs to your car so you can get back on the road.

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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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