Tag: car repair
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
- Your car problems frequently make you late for work or cause you to break down in a potentially dangerous location.
- You have a major repair that will cost more than half the value of your car.
- You already want to get a new car and your repair shop informs you of costly work needing to be done (but be transparent about what needs to be done when you go to sell).
- You have a teen driver and the car in question has needed frequent repairs – it’s best to get them a car with a warranty and current safety features.
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.
For more tips like these, follow ProCare Collision on Facebook.
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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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.
You step out of your car, and you take a look at the damage to your vehicle. That’s the moment you know it’s more than a fender bender. You may ask yourself “Is my car totaled?”
It’s unlikely you’ll find out at the scene of a crash: The car’s value and body shop repair cost determines if it is repairable. It’s also important to know your insurance policy and the process to file a claim for repairs, which can make the process of repairs more affordable and/or timely.
What to do with a car totaled accident
The repair team will inspect the damage, complete the repair estimate, and compare it with the car’s current value. If the repair estimate is more than the current car value, the insurance will not qualify it for repair.
For example, a car with a value of $5,000 that needs $7,000 worth of repair will not qualify.
Check your insurance policy to know what you should expect with a vehicle that is not repairable. In most cases, the insurance company will issue you a check for the value of the car. If you do not agree with the amount, you can get quotes from used car dealers, view prices online, and note any additional or special features on your car. Show this documentation to the insurance company to dispute the amount.
Keeping a totaled vehicle
Cars hold sentimental value for many and some choose to repair a totaled vehicle.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company will subtract the vehicle’s salvage value from the amount it planned to pay you. To drive the car again, you need a salvage title. Repairs are your responsibility.
If you want a totaled car fixed, find a body shop you trust to provide an accurate estimate to repair the vehicle.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision in San Antonio, we have experienced and trained technicians who know exactly what it will take to repair the vehicle back to a safe and drivable condition again.
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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.
For more about ProCare, visit us on Facebook.
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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Hailstorms in Texas take a toll on vehicles. They can leave behind a Texas-sized path of destruction to property, including cars. That leaves many car owners in need of hail damage repair. According to a recent study, Bexar county comes in at number 11 for the most wind and hail insurance claims during the past decade. This explains why, after a hailstorm, body shops are busier than usual.
Monitor weather reports to protect your vehicle in a garage or under an awning to prevent hail damage. A severe storm can leave sizable damage to your car.
Assess the Damage
Once the storm has passed, take a look at your car. If the hail was large in size, the damage may be obvious. Your vehicle may not be drivable if it has a smashed windshield. Walk around the entire vehicle to check the condition of the headlights, taillights, and the roof of the car.
With smaller hail, the damage may not be visible until you get close to your car. If you can, get your vehicle in direct light. When the light shines on the car, you may notice a dimple effect that looks like a golf ball. Look for missing paint.
Take close-up and wider photos to show the full extent of the damage. This will be helpful for the insurance company and auto body shop.
Review Your Insurance Claim
You may recall what your insurance policy covers. However, it is always good to refer back to it when you have damage. Find out what it covers in relation to storm damage and, specifically, hail.
Depending on the type of policy you have, it may cover hail damage under collision repair. It may also include coverage for paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR typically costs less than collision repair. Some insurance companies will cover the full cost of PDR, depending on the type of policy. If you have coverage for both, this will be helpful if you have the option for PDR.
Types of Hail Damage Repair
When you get an estimate, find out if the technicians are certified by the manufacturer and to perform PDR. This ensures the repairs meet your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your car needs auto body repair, or if paintless dent repair will be sufficient. Take a close look at the damage, and weigh the pros and cons of hail damage repair before making a final decision.
PDR works well to repair most hail damage. It has been proven to be effective enough for hail damage repair that some insurance companies will set up temporary PDR facilities after a hailstorm to take care of the damage. This method saves time and money, compared to collision repair.
Because it leaves the original paint in place, your car will maintain its original factory paint. You’ll want someone well-trained to perform this repair because it requires accessing the back side of the panel where the damage is located, then rubbing and shrinking the dent with special tools. This is a faster process than standard auto body repair.
However, if you have paint damage caused by the hail your vehicle will require collision repair. Take your vehicle to a certified collision repair shop when you need this type of dent repair. This ensures the paint work matches the original factory paint. Also, any dents close to a panel’s edge or large dents may require collision repair and not PDR.
Buying a Hail Damage Car – Repair it or Not?
Depending on how significant the damage is to the car, you may find a great deal on a car with hail damage. In many cases, a hailstorm may only cause cosmetic blemishes, but do your homework if you plan to purchase a used vehicle with any signs of hail damage.
Have a technician take a close look at the car. There could have been more damage and only some of it was repaired. Also, contact your lender if you are financing to make sure you can finance a damaged vehicle. Notify your insurance agent of the damage and inquire if you are still eligible for comprehensive insurance.
It is up to you if you choose to have the vehicle repaired after you purchase it or if you don’t mind driving with some dents on the vehicle.
Find a Body Shop
Hailstorms are the perfect example that you never know when you may need hail damage repair. Your car could be parked in front of your home when a storm passes and within minutes, you have damage. That is why it’s beneficial to do some research to find the right collision center before anything happens.
Whether you use PDR or collision repair, you will want to find a location that offers certified collision repair. This means the technicians have been trained by various manufacturers to properly make repairs for the car to return back to its factory condition. When researching various shops, find out if the technicians are trained by your vehicle manufacturer and how often they are certified.
At ProCare Automotive & Collision, a San Antonio body shop, our technicians are trained and certified to perform PDR or collision repair. If you have hail damage, use our Smartphone Estimating Tool for a free and quick estimate. You can also contact one of our locations near you to speak with someone directly. Our goal is to provide you efficient auto body repair, so you can get back on the road.
When choosing an auto body repair shop, you might wonder if body shops are held to specific standards by a state organization or other entity. Just like every business, there are certain inspections and regulations that a body shop must pass or meet.
Any customers who experience an issue at a collision repair center should contact the proper governing agency or organization. In Texas, there is not a comprehensive law that governs auto repair companies, including body shops. But there are rules for other services and if there’s not an organization that manages restrictions for the issue you may have, it’s best to speak directly with the management or ownership of the collision repair shop.
Collision Repair Shop Regulations
While there is not a law pertaining to auto body repair, all body shops must meet certain requirements. ProCare Automotive and Collision, like all body shops, must meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirements.
There are air, water, waste, and other stipulations, as noted on the agency’s checklist, that collision repair shops must follow every day. TCEQ ensures body shops meet these requirements and fix any issues if a body shop is in violation.
Not the Repairs You Paid to Receive
If a customer has an issue with the repairs made to his or her car, it’s possible it could fall under the Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act. Some examples include If a customer believes unnecessary repairs were made, parts were not replaced, or was charged for a new part and a used part was installed. If you have a similar experience, file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s office.
At ProCare, we want our customers to know our managers at each location are always open to hearing your feedback. If you have concerns about repairs made or about our operations, we will address any problem you may have. Give us a call for a free estimate and we will show you how we can make your repair experience hassle-free.
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When you take your car to a local body shop, you want the repair work to be to your specifications. You also want to make sure you get the best deal for the work you need since each body shop charges different prices.
There are a few tips to keep in mind as you research the best local body shop. These key points will make the process easier and can lead you to a body shop that performs quality work.
The first step to finding a quality auto body repair shop is getting multiple recommendations. One way is to contact your local Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been filed against a body shop you are considering.
Also, ask people you know, and look at reviews online. Word-of-mouth recommendations speak to the quality and experience, so pay attention to these recommendations especially from people you trust.
Location and Overhead
When you find a highly recommended local body shop, visit the location. Location may be a reason a shop could charge more per hour for labor costs. An auto body shop located in an area where property is expensive may charge more in labor to cover those costs.
Inquire about Warranties
A reputable auto body shop will guarantee the work with a warranty. Find out about the warranty to body repairs and paint work on your vehicle. Ask what the warranty specifically covers and how long the warranty lasts.
Check for Maker Certifications
Find a shop that is certified to work on your make of vehicle. Technicians who have been trained to make repairs specified by the maker has the necessary equipment to make those repairs.
Ask About Estimates
There are two questions you should ask a body shop about estimates. Find out if they offer free estimates and if they use the insurance company’s estimate or if they use their own estimate. You will want to use a body shop that uses their own estimate and not performing repairs based on the insurance company’s recommendation of repairs.
If you need auto body repair to your vehicle, contact ProCare Automotive and Collision. We are the San Antonio local body repair shop that provides free estimates and guarantees the work with a warranty. A personal service consultant will work with you every step of the way in the repair process to make sure the work is completed to your satisfaction.