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Tag: car repair

A car sits on the side of the road with tall flames coming out of it, and a plume of dark smoke.
You might have a feeling your car is totaled, but you can still have its value assessed by your insurance.

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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A pair of hands hold several marble-sized hailstones.
Hail can cause a lot of body damage.

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 Photos

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

A blue car with several hail dents on its roof.
Some forms of hail damage don’t require collision repair. If the paint is not chipped, consider paintless dent 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. 

 

Stacked word blocks reading: Regulations, Rules - Law, Requirements, Compliance (highlighted in yellow), Standards, Transparency, and Policies.
Auto body shops have to follow regulations. Find out what those requirements are for Texas.

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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A hand uses a wrench under a car hood.
Find the best local body shop for the price.

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.

Seek Recommendations

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.

 

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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Cars drive along interstate 35 in San Antonio.
San Antonio traffic is bad enough. Will the increasing population make it worse?

San Antonio ranked No. 1 in population growth in the nation from 2016-2017 according to the US Census Bureau. That’s 66 people moving to San Antonio per day. And other cities in Texas have been close behind, adding more commuters and travelers to our roads.

Texas has been thriving, and as a result, growing steadily. A growing city can bring new opportunities, expanded culture and increased energy, but not without a few growing pains. One common concern for residents: How is the rising population affecting traffic?

More traffic

San Antonio is already the seventh largest city in the nation, and with Texas’ statewide population expected to increase from its current 28 million to nearly 40 million by 2050, San Antonio can expect continued growth. More residents means more cars on the road, and in turn, more congested highways and traffic accidents.

In 2009, San Antonio commuters spent an average of 39 hours a year in traffic, but by 2014, drivers were sitting in traffic around 44 hours.

More accidents

With increased numbers of drivers, accident rates are at risk of increasing, too. And unfortunately, San Antonio’s rate of traffic fatalities is already a good deal higher than experts would like. In 2014, US cities with the safest driving records had traffic fatality rates of around 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people. The same year, San Antonio’s rate was 10.57 fatalities per 100,000. (Although, San Antonio was close to the national average of 11.05).

Options for the future

As the population grows and more people get stuck in traffic, get into accidents, and pile into San Antonio body shops, it is worth considering ways to ease the pressure of congested roadways in a growing city.

ConnectSA, a non-profit, was formed in April 2018 and tasked with possible transportation solutions for San Antonio. Solutions include a trackless train system, better-integrated public transportation, and easier paying options for that transportation. Whatever the impact these solutions might have, San Antonio roads could be changing drastically in coming years.

A blue bike with a brown basket leans against a storefront.
Choosing alternative transportation when possible can help reduce traffic on the roads.

On an individual level, you can help make the roads better by using public transportation or carpooling can help reduce some of the backup on crowded streets. Also, if you’re able to walk or bike to your destination, you can avoid traffic and free up some space on the road.

While San Antonio and surrounding areas like Victoria continue to grow, the city, state and citizens alike will develop new ways to ease the transportation strain on Alamo City.

If you wind up in a traffic accident on a busy road, contact the experienced and helpful staff at ProCare Collision. Whether you need auto painting or auto body repair in San Antonio and Victoria, our expert team will help you get back on the road quickly, and back out exploring our beautiful (and popular) city.

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