Category: Body Shop
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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Texas has miles and miles of highways. With all those roads, thankfully the Lone Star State does not rank at the top for the most dangerous highways in the country. California ranks number one in that category. But maybe you’re curious, what are the most dangerous roads in Texas?
If you travel near any of the major cities, take note of some of the most dangerous highways.
Topping the List in the San Antonio Area
A recent study showed that a 14-mile stretch of I-410 claimed most of the 176 fatalities that occurred from 2013 to 2015. The study also showed that I-35 is on the list and in the San Antonio area, there were nine accidents near mile marker 101 that resulted in 13 fatalities. Eleven more crashes occurred near mile 128 that resulted in 11 total fatalities.
Two areas of Interstate 10 also ranked in the top 25 on the list. U.S. Highway 90, FM 2252, SL 13, and SL 1604 were also on the list. As many San Antonio residents may know, some of these are in high traffic areas which increases the risk for major collisions.
What drivers can do on dangerous roads
Knowing which areas are at a greater risk for accidents can help drivers be more aware and possibly avoid the need for auto body repair and reduce the risk for injury or death. They should always be aware of their surroundings and other vehicles.
In high traffic areas, it’s especially important to watch your speed, watch for road signs, as well as erratic or careless drivers. High speed can lead to serious accidents (and we know how SA drivers love to speed). Slowing down can give you more reaction time if you need to drive defensively.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision we not only work in San Antonio, but we also live here. We care about our neighbors and our community.
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You may be familiar with technicians performing a scan on a vehicle to find issues. Most auto body repair shops perform a vehicle scan to estimate your bill. When you get auto body repair estimates, find out that shop’s methods.
There are two scans to ensure that technicians find anything that is not working and to make sure all parts are working after repairs.
Pre-scan before repair
After a collision, there is likely visible damage to the body of the car. What may not be as obvious is any damage to the car’s safety or other features. A pre-scan determines not only what is not working, but damage as a result of the collision. This scan captures the diagnostic trouble codes.
Determining damage that happened during the collision is important for the insurance claim, and also if you choose to pay out-of-pocket for repairs. The scan may determine issues unrelated to the collision, and distinguishes them from those that are collision-created.
Post-scan after repair
As you choose a San Antonio auto body shop, ask about the post-scan process. You want a quality control process that guarantees any damage related to the collision, and any others set during the repair, are identified and cleared.
A post-scan will also determine if any new issues developed during repair, which is uncommon but sometimes happens. Some codes require a brief test drive to clear or driving a specific number of miles.
Some manufacturers require shops with certified technicians to perform both scans as part of its certification process. GM is among those manufacturers that mandates both scans, along with calibration to bring the car back to its pre-crash condition.
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When you have an accident, you might not feel like you have the time to research collision repair shops before deciding where to go. After you type “collision center near me” into the Google search, use these steps to determine if it’s a quality shop.
1. Does your insurance have a DRP?
Your insurance may suggest a direct repair shop (DRP). This means they know and trust this shop, and consistently monitor their quality of work. Working with a DRP means the process is also more streamlined. These shops do not have to wait for an insurance adjuster to write the estimate and order parts.
You have the choice to go to another shop based on your preferences or the shop’s credibility, but your insurance may not cover as much if you go elsewhere.
2. Get an estimate
When the technician can view your car in person, the estimate will be most accurate. To get an idea of approximately how much the repairs may cost, most shops offer free estimates. Some has estimating tools online or through mobile apps.
With our store, for example, you can use a Smartphone Estimating Tool to get the process started. Photos work for an initial estimate, though a technician needs to further examine the car to determine if there is any hidden damage.
3. Is the shop certified?
Before committing to a collision repair shop, ask if the technicians are certified by the manufacturer of your car. This means that the manufacturer trains the technician specifically on their cars. They understand how to make repairs specific to your car and by the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Also, find out how often the technicians train, especially if your vehicle is brand new. Up-to-date methods are important, especially with newer technology in cars.
4. Learn about their warranty
Many auto body shops put a warranty on their work. Some with guarantee a lifetime limited warranty for as long as you own the vehicle, while others may be more restrictive. DRPs typically have warranties, but if they don’t, some insurances will guarantee the work as long as you use the recommended parts and shop.
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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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You may first be attracted to a new vehicle model because of the exterior design. Today’s cars consist of more than just looks and how it rides though. A variety of technology packages now available keep everyone in the vehicle safe. Technology and certified collision repair go hand-in-hand with new cars.
What is certified collision repair?
Certified Collision Repair means your body shop makes sure it’s employees regularly train with the manufacturers. Each manufacturer has different standards and specifications of repair. The certification makes sure techs are on the same page with the manufacturer about how to repair their vehicles – not just functionally, but exceptionally.
What does it have to do with my new car?
With increasingly advanced technology, techs need more training to keep up-to-date on how to repair that new technology. Manufacturer certifications help them understand new changes to the car’s body and technology.
If an accident damages a feature such as the automatic emergency braking (AEB), the technician must know how to repair it to the manufacturer’s standards so it will operate safely again. Repairing it with older methods may not fully repair the damage, or even make it worse.
Everyone gets in accidents, unfortunately. If you get in one, you’ll need a body shop that will get the job done correctly the first time.
When you’re looking for the right shop, ask questions. You should ask the auto body shop if the technicians are certified with your vehicle’s brand. Then find out how often the technicians train. Knowing that your body shop is up-to-date on training will give you extra assurance when you drop off your vehicle.
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If you have an accident in a GM vehicle, you’ll want to find a GM certified body shop. This means the technicians at that auto body shop train with GM to make the repairs as specified.
Recently, General Motors announced plans to launch a comprehensive collision certification program. This new program holds collision centers to the highest standards in the industry. It also tracks their certified body shops on specific procedures. As a result, GM will use these metrics to generate a score. That score will determine recommendations for car owners.
Technicians must earn the certification based on requirements from the manufacturer. Those requirements vary by manufacturer. GM’s new program will be more extensive. It will include new criteria that many San Antonio body shops need to follow.
The new program will include measurements for performing pre-repair and post-repair scans of the car. This ensures the car was checked for any issues before repairs. In addition, it helps guarantee all necessary repairs were made. Other criteria in the program includes performing recalibration and welding technique.
Finding a GM certified body shop
The new program will hold auto body shops more accountable. It will also help GM car owners find better body shop options for their vehicle.
GM will use this program to base its collision repair recommendations for customers using its OnStar platform.
ProCare Automotive & Collision, a San Antonio body shop, offers GM certified collision repair. Our technicians regularly train on the latest techniques.
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As a car owner, you have a decision to make about repairs if you have dents in your vehicle that are not major damage resulting from a collision. The smaller dents may be the result of hail, a minor accident, or anything else that struck your vehicle. More significant damage requires a visit to an auto body shop.
With smaller dents, you could choose not to make the repairs, especially if the repairs could cost more than the value of your vehicle. However, if your vehicle is newer you can decide whether to have paintless dent repair or auto body work completed on your vehicle.
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a process of removing dents from a vehicle without altering the finish on the vehicle. Specialized tools are used to remove dents resulting from hail or similar small dents. PDR works best on vehicles when the paint is not damaged from the dent.
Finding a Body Shop
As with any auto body shop repair, the best process to finding the right place for repairs is shopping around. With damage from a major collision, the repairs must be made at an auto body shop. If the damage consists of smaller dents, you may have the option to have standard collision repair performed or use PDR.
Some places only perform PDR and do not offer the option of standard collision repair. If you have a regular body shop that you use, ask if they provide the option of PDR and what the price difference would be for that service versus collision repair.
With any auto body repair estimates are important so you can compare prices. You may decide to use PDR on your vehicle because it is cheaper, but listen to the recommendations from auto technicians. If more than one suggests collision repair over PDR, it may be because the damage is greater than it appears. For example, a dent in a door may not look significant but it could have caused damage inside the door that can’t be seen. This would require auto body repair.
Ask about guarantees and warranties with any work you have completed on your vehicle. If you need an estimate of repairs on damage to your vehicle, contact the expert team at ProCare Collision for a free estimate. Our skilled auto body shop repair technicians provide quality repairs and get you back on the road.
Not everyone understand exactly how their car works. Asking the right questions before taking your vehicle to a San Antonio auto body shop can be a challenge. Like most people, you probably want to understand the work being performed.
You have the right to select the body shop of your choice. Your insurance company might recommend one, but the ultimate decision is yours. Once you determine where to take your vehicle, you’ll need to know what to ask about the body repair.
What is Their Reputation?
Ask people you know and read online reviews about auto body repair. You can also inquire with your local Better Business Bureau office to see if any complaints have been filed. If most responses are positive, you know the shop you’re considering does quality work.
Find out about the certifications held by the technicians and the body shop. There are certifications such as I-Car and ASE. Additional brand-specific training. They ensure that technicians know how to repair a specific type of vehicle to the maker’s specifications. Certifications prove that the auto technicians are trained and knowledgeable to make the repairs.
Do Repairs Have a Warranty?
Some body shops offer a warranty for their work. Inquire about what the warranty specifically covers and how long the warranty is good. Keep in mind the warranty may be different for paint work than body repair.
Will They Provide Care Instructions?
After body work is complete on your car, especially if it involves new paint, you may be advised about a period to wait before washing your car. This is to prevent the soap from interacting with the paint and any possible brush marks from a car wash. You can use a touch-free car wash and avoid any super concentrated soap.
If you need a San Antonio auto body shop, ProCare can help. We offer a warranty to back up the repairs we make. Contact ProCare today and work with your own personal service consultant to get your repairs made quickly.