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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Driving solo for the first time is a big step for parents who want a safe teen driver. Not only do parents want their teens to operate a car safely, but they want a safe vehicle for their new driver and not finding themselves choosing body shop locations.
According to a nationwide survey, more than 80 percent of parents purchased a used vehicle for their teens. Whether a teen will have a new vehicle or used, there are plenty of safety factors to consider when selecting a car for a teen.
Tips When Considering a Car
Most teens feel more comfortable driving a tiny car. Heavier vehicles prove to protect better in the event of a collision. Horsepower tempts teens and is best for drivers with more experience. Teens lack the experience on what to do if they lose control of a vehicle. This is why electronic stability control, or ESC, is essential to help the driver have greater control.
When you find a car for your teen, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safety ratings. This will help narrow the selection. Once you find a car, check for recalls. If it is pre-owned, find out the history to determine if it needs repairs.
Choosing a San Antonio Body Shop
A part of preparing a teen for driving is also having a plan in the event an accident does happen. Most people do not get into accidents regularly, including parents, so choosing a reputable body shop that will make the process hassle-free is good to know before the collision happens.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision, a San Antonio body shop, we help many parents and teens through the stressful moments after an accident. And we make getting an estimate easy for your teen with our Smartphone Estimating Tool. Once you receive your estimate, our team guides you through the repair process. We work with your insurance on a claim to ensure the highest quality repair so a teen’s car is safe to drive again.
When you need a dentist or a physician, you work to find who provides the best care. The same should be true when you have a collision and need your car repaired. For most people, researching to find the best San Antonio body shop is not on the top of a priority list. Choose an auto body shop before you need it. It is one less task to worry about after an already stressful situation of having a car wreck. Whether you have a minor fender bender or a substantial collision, having the decision made ahead of time will make your life easier.
Finding the right San Antonio body shop before you need it prevents hassles after repairs. Confidence in an auto body shop leads to a greater chance of satisfaction in the repairs.
Reviews and Recommendations
Just like taking a look at online reviews for a restaurant, you can do the same for a collision center. Always keep in mind that you may not share the same views as those who reviewed the San Antonio body shop. Generally, if a car accident repair company has several recent bad reviews you know there may be an issue. Getting recommendations is a good demonstration when teaching a teen safe driving habits.
After looking online, contact the Better Business Bureau in San Antonio to get more details about a shop’s business reputation. If a shop has several recent complaints, look for another place to take your car.
There are a variety of certifications in the auto body repair industry. Most importantly, ask about certified collision repair. Find out if the technicians at that location hold a certification by the manufacturer of your car. If your car is new, ask how frequently technicians train. Certified collision repair is especially important if you have a luxury vehicle to ensure proper repairs.
Additionally, there is also the I-CAR Gold Class recognition. This is the highest role-relevant training achievement in the auto body industry. A collision center must maintain the relevant training across all repair roles. An I-CAR Gold Class collision repair shop demonstrates commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.
If maintaining the value of your car is the most important factor during repairs, you will want to make sure the technicians use OEM parts on your vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers make OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts. OEM parts will match the orignial part that needs replacement. They typically cost more than aftermarket parts, but there is a better guarantee that the part will fit and function correctly.
A variety of companies make aftermarket parts, which vary in cost. Having the option to use aftermarket parts can be helpful if you need to keep your repair costs as low as possible.
Find out if the collision repair shop offers a free estimate and ask how the estimate is determined. Some body shops offer features to provide a fast estimate, such as a Smartphone Estimating Tool. This tool allows drivers to take pictures of the damage and send it for an initial estimate. This can be helpful if you need to know right away approximately how much the repair will cost. Keep in mind that the estimate may change once a technician inspects the car. There could be more damage than what can be seen from the photos.
After the technician looks at your car, you’ll get a more detailed estimate. This is the time to ask about repairs and charges. Get a clear understanding of what needs to be done to your car and why that repair shop recommends those repairs.
San Antonio Body Shop Location is Important
Don’t wait until you have an accident to visit collision centers. At the minimum, drive by the shop before you do your research and factor in the location. If it is in a higher rent area, it’s possible that shop passes on that expense in the labor costs.
When choosing body shop locations, find out the differences in labor costs. If you do want to pay more, take into consideration if a nicer shop has some added benefits, more experienced technicians, or the right tools to make the repairs.
Many San Antonio body shop centers will back the work they do with a warranty. Find out what the warranty will cover and how long the warranty lasts. Some shops offer a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the car and may also offer a paint guarantee. Keep this in mind if an issue happens months after the repairs are made. If the issue is related to a faulty part or bad repairs, the shop will fix it at no cost.
At ProCare Automotive & Collision, we provide our customers with a National Limited Lifetime Warranty on any work we perform to your vehicle. We also offer the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee for paint work. And our technicians are certified by the manufacturers. Contact our team for a free estimate and to learn more how we make the collision repair process easier and hassle-free.
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.