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Category: Technology and Efficiency

a woman smiles thoughtfully behind the wheel of a car
Your commute doesn’t have to cause you stress. Use these mindful tips to help you have a happy drive.

 

Let’s be honest. Central Texas’ worst drawback is the traffic. Whether you’re driving into San Antonio, Austin, or just trying to get through town in San Marcos, congestion is abound. That’s why it’s smart to have a plan to kick the stress for your mid-week traffic jam.

Not only will calming down help you cope with a frustrating traffic situation, but people who are stressed or angry tend to exhibit reckless driving habits. This is dangerous for you and the cars around you.

Here are a few ways you can de-stress behind the wheel and get some enjoyment out of an otherwise stressful commute.

1. Listen to a podcast or audiobook

Preferably, your listening material shouldn’t be high-energy or aggressive, as we can often channel into our behavior. Instead, listen to something that takes your mind (partly) off the traffic around you. Listening to engaging audio could help your mind stay alert while distancing yourself from the stress at hand.

2. Turn your phone off

Someone behind the wheel looks at a smartphone.
Turn your phone off while driving. Alerts can be stressful, especially while you’re paying attention to the road.

Using a phone while driving is illegal in some places, but ultimately your phone is a major stress machine. If you’re driving and hear several alerts going off, you’ll likely feel an urgency to check it. Turning it off doesn’t give you the option to feel this way.

3. Do some yoga

Yes, you read that right. Practice some yoga as you drive. Some stretches are best done when the car is fully stopped, while some, like practicing your breathing, can be done while driving. Start by sitting up straight. Roll your neck and stretch your muscles gently, and slowly. Focus on your body and you’ll soon feel calmer.

4. Let it go

Sometimes we let ourselves get carried away. Who hasn’t let a bit of road rage fester while you’re driving? But the key to staying calm isn’t not to feel that way. It’s to choose to let those feelings subside. Anger is a natural reaction when someone cuts you off, but to reject that feeling will help you stay calm and focused. Remember that you have no control over the actions of other drivers. The best you can do is observe and react as safely as you can.

5. Take a break

An interior shot of a cafe with communal seating and people sitting and working on computers in the background.
Stop by a cafe to break up your commute and take a breather. Getting off the road for a few minutes can lower stress.

If the traffic is making you feel anxious or too stressed, you can always pull over if you need to. Try stopping at a coffee shop or convenience store for a snack and a proper stretch. You might even hang around for a bit while traffic subsides.

auto body shop repair estimates technician performs car scan

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.

For more collision repair information, follow ProCare Automotive on Facebook.

A grey car with the hood bent upward in the middle.
When you choose a body shop, you might consider going to a reputable center with more resources.

We all know that choosing a company you trust is vital for something as important as your car. However, there are other reasons reputable auto shops are often the way to go.

One of the biggest benefits is that more locations = more resources.

Equipment

When a collision repair shop has more than one location, typically they have more resources. For example, one shop can call on another location for parts needed. If one location does not have necessary tools, it could rely on another location to help with the repairs.

The same goes with specific equipment used to work on your vehicle. Some shops do not have the same level of technology as others. Bigger brands will typically have newer technology because they’re better able to provide them. So even if the location nearest you does not have the specific equipment you need for your car, it’s likely there is another shop nearby that does.

Knowledgeable technicians

A reputable auto body service will have a larger pool of technicians who have a variety of training and different knowledge. The technicians can connect with each other for expert opinions, or be able to give each part of the work to someone specialized in that sort of repair.

Customer convenience

If you live in one part of San Antonio, but work in another area, multiple body shop locations are convenient. For example, if the collision repair shop offers a warranty, you could have the issue resolved at any location.

If you are a repeat customer, the body shop should have access to your car history at any location. And when a shop is big enough to have more than one location, it’s likely the company has had success in serving customers at other locations, allowing it to expand.


At ProCare Automotive and Collision, a San Antonio body shop, we have locations north and south, plus locations in Live Oak and in Victoria, Texas. Additionally, we have collision centers located in the Greater Austin area and in the Houston area that are part of our ProCare family.

For more information, follow ProCare on Facebook.

A pair of hands hold a smartphone with ProCare on the screen.
Using your smartphone can get you a quick preliminary estimate without going to the shop.

Technology changes just about everything. It provides safety features on cars and added conveniences. Your phone also helps you make informed decisions about what auto body shop to choose.

Your smartphone can now make your collision repair simpler. ProCare Collision offers a smartphone estimating tool that customers can use anywhere, and get a preliminary estimate without stepping into the shop.

Use your phone to get a collision repair estimate

When you have car damage and need repairs made quickly, this is a fast way to start the process. You can have the estimate tool texted to you from the ProCare Collision website.

To start, take photos of the damage, submit them through the tool, and receive an estimate via email within 24 hours. Then, you’ll have an idea of a baseline cost for your vehicle repair with ProCare.

Benefits of a smartphone estimating tool

This tool helps you get the repair process started right away. It can be done at any time of the day or night that is convenient to you. Once you have an idea of the cost and what it may take to repair the vehicle, you can begin working with the ProCare Collision team to have the repairs started.

Keep in mind that estimates provided from photos are only a preliminary estimate based on visible damage and that could change once a technician inspects the car more thoroughly. There could potentially be damage that isn’t visible to the eye, such as mechanical or to the car’s computer system.

For companies with fleet vehicles, using the Smartphone Estimating Tool can be beneficial so it doesn’t take vehicles or the employee away from work on the job.


ProCare launched the estimating tool to make the auto body repair process more efficient and hassle free. Use the tool to get your free estimate and we’ll get you back on the road.

For more information, visit ProCare on Facebook.

A glowing blue outline of a car sits on a reflective black surface.
A lot is changing in car technology, making repair more complicated than ever.

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.

For more car repair information, follow us on Facebook.

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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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.

For more posts like this, visit our Facebook page.

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.

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