Thursday, June 30, 2011

Insurance Industry Picks Safest Cars

The private Insurance Institute for Highway Safety here in the United States has released its list for what it considers the safest cars of 2010. 19 passenger cars and eight sport utility vehicles received top honors, with Ford, Subaru and Volkswagen leading the pack. Fewer cars made the list this year, largely because the insurance group has added a new test to determine overall car safety. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top Reasons Car Accidents Happen

Road accidents are one of the leading causes of sudden death in the United States. They can occur at any moment and in any situation, but there are some causes of vehicular accidents that stand out most often. With each of these instances there are steps that can be taken to prevent an accident from occurring.

Most Common Car Accidents Causes

· Driver fatigue: Exhausted drivers are unsafe drivers. Accidents resulting from driver fatigue are most common from 11PM to 8AM. It is best to just avoid driving at these late hours. However, if you must drive it is imperative that you stay alert. Take frequent stops for rest or food and if you feel yourself getting sleepy, pull over and rest.

· Inebriated drivers: Drivers under the influence are dangerous. Their recklessness causes tragic fatalities. If you see a driver that you suspect is drunk or under the influence call your local police immediately and avoid the vehicle.

· Inclement weather: Bad weather limits vision. Vision accounts for 90% of a driver's ability to react. When vision is limited, reaction time is equally limited. This means whenever the weather is bad you must slow down and increase your following distances. If it gets too dangerous, pull over. A fifteen minute break is less inconvenient than a car accident.

· Speeding: High speeds mean drivers are less able to react, and that when accidents do occur they are more severe. Even when the road is sparsely populated it is important to maintain a reasonable speed. This ensures that if something suddenly happens on the road you will be able to act accordingly and avoid a tragic accident.

· Distracted drivers: This is the leading cause of car accidents. Drivers who are distracted have the inability to react to changes in the road. Rubbernecking, or taking your eyes off the road to inspect an existing accident, is one of the most common sources of distracted driver accidents. Other common distractions that lead to accidents include: glancing out the windows to look at scenery, interacting with passengers or children in the car, playing with the radio/music while driving, and preening while driving. It is important to pay attention while driving, and keep your eyes on the road as much as possible.

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If your car is damaged in a car accident, Corby's Collision can help you get back on the road fast! We have been in business for 47 years in Vacaville, California. When you do business with us you will not only deal with their qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Auto Repair: What That Check Engine Light Could Mean

It's never a warm, happy feeling when your check engine light comes on. The first thing that comes to mind is that expensive auto repair could be in your future. Sometimes this is the case, no doubt about it. Many other times, however, nothing could be further from the truth. That light certainly signifies that something is wrong, but that something could be any number of different things. The lack of specificity is the problem with the check engine light. In most cars it is used to warn the driver of a multitude of different problems. However, without someone to look at the diagnostics and check the computer, it can be difficult to tell what problem that might be. Here are some things to check before you bring your car into the shop.

One of the most common reasons for the check engine light to come on is a loose gas cap and it is the first thing you should check if that light comes on. A simple fix, it certainly doesn't require expensive auto repair, and you can go back to driving with peace of mind. So why would such an innocuous thing cause a warning light to come on in the first place? Well, the sensor is actually measuring pressure in the gas tank against a systemic average, looking for digressions that could be a sign of something serious. Sometimes it is something serious, but often times it is just that pesky gas cap.

Don't overlook sensor malfunction as a possible cause. You can't go three days without hearing an old timer lament the fact that today's computer-driven cars can't be worked on like the cars of yesterday. While for the most part this is just a resistance to change, there is some truth to the fact that increasing technology also means increasing sources of problems. Auto repair specialists will quickly check to make sure it isn't the light itself that is malfunctioning, rather than something serious. Many people have also found that getting water into the engine area can cause these sensors to act up.

Bad spark plugs are the final, simple solution to the check engine dilemma. If they are worn, cracked, or misaligned, it can cause a misfired spark, which in turn can cause the light to come on. After you've checked the gas cap, you might want to check the spark plugs. If they look worn and tired, it could be time for a change. You can do this inexpensively on your own and avoid costly auto repair.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tips to Keep Your Car's Paint Looking Like New

You might be more worried about what's going on with your car's engine or the inside detailing than what it takes to maintain your original paint job. Yes, this may not seem like a major concern, but taking care of your car's paint will allow you to avoid color rusting and fading in the future. In fact, just a few years of hitting the pavement can cause your car's color to grow fainter and it takes even less time if you live in a climate that requires salt on the roads during wintery conditions.

One of the easiest ways to maintain color radiance is to wash your car. Although it might not seem like a difficult task, there are certain methods you should utilize while washing to get the most out of your car's color.

* Use proper tools. You want to wash your car with safe yet effective tools. Start with a paint-safe washing mitt, a bucket, and cleaning supplies that are specifically designed for vehicle use. You want to find auto cleaning supplies that are pH balanced, non-detergent formulas so they won't strip your wax. Also, lubrication in these supplies is vital, as this prevents scratching and maintains car shine.

* Rinse first! You should always rinse off your car before scrubbing it up. If you skip this step and go right to sudsing, dirt and other containments could scratch your car.

* Towel off! Yes, it might be tempting, but skipping the drying process can put your car in worse shape after the wash then it was before you started. In order to prevent water spots, which are essentially mineral deposits directly on your car's paint, dry off with cotton cloths or sheepskin chamois. Beware of polyester and microfiber cloths, as they can scratch your paint.

* Finish off with waxing. You want to wax your car after a good wash and dry in order to protect your paint from harmful chemicals. Not only will wax protect your car against paint fading in the future, but it also makes it look shiny right away. But remember, wax your car when it is out of the line of direct sunlight.

* Take one step at a time. It's important to remember that you should wash and rinse your car in sections, as doing the whole surface area at once will allow soap to dry before it's rinsed off. Also, read your car's manufacturing directions on all car care products prior to using them, as your paint might not interact well with certain substances.

Besides a frequent wash, you should also repair car chips and scratches. This will help prevent against rusting and paint discoloration in the future. Yes, it could be costly, but if you want your paint job to last this step is quite necessary.

As you can see, washing your car is the single most important and easiest way to keep your car's paint job looking new and shiny. Remember, the more you take care of your car, the better it will look in the future.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

How Airbags Save Lives

Safety is a concern for all drivers. Since the late 1980's, airbags have proven to reduce the risk of severe injuries and death in vehicle collisions. Today, airbags are standard in vehicles and their technology continues to evolve to provide improved safety on the road.

The airbags that most drivers are familiar with are the front driver and passenger airbags. These airbags are built into the steering wheel and the dash of the vehicle. When a car is in a crash, sensors within the vehicle communicate with the airbag telling it to inflate. Gas is then released to fill the airbag in about one twentieth of a second. The bag provides a cushion for the driver or passenger to collide with as opposed to the windshield. In newer vehicles, the amount of air that the bag fills with depends on the severity of the crash. This can ensure that the victim is met with the proper amount of protection and a reduced risk of injury.

Side airbags are another common type of airbag in a vehicle. These airbags are designed to protect the head and chest of those involved in a side impact crash. They can be hidden in the roof, door or seat of a vehicle. Unlike front airbags, side airbags are not required by law to be in a vehicle. However, studies show that close to 1,000 lives each year would be saved and about 1,000 serious injuries could be prevented if every car in the U.S. was equipped with a side head airbag.

New innovations in airbags continue to be tested and developed by the auto industry. Recent introductions include knee airbags. These are made to protect the lower body of the driver and to also prevent them from sliding down during a crash. Rear curtain and rear center airbags have also been introduced to further protect back seat passengers from side impact collisions.

Airbags, like all safety features, are not without their faults. Children are at a great risk of injury from airbags. For this reason, they should never be placed in the front seat. Children and infants should be placed in the back seat in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible. There are also increased risks for drivers and passengers that sit less than ten inches from the airbag as the force of the bag can cause injury when very close. Constant innovations, such as switches to turn certain airbags off, will hopefully make some of these concerns obsolete.

Simply put, airbags save lives in an auto accident. Since their introduction, it has been estimated that airbags have reduced crash fatalities by 30% and severe injuries by about 29%. When airbags are combined with seat belts, the percentage rises even higher. As the number of cars on the road continues to increase, safety is a major concern. Features such as airbags, when used properly, can help to protect passengers and drivers on the road.

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If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident come see the experts at Corby's Collision. When you do business with us you will not only deal with our qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Understanding Collision Coverage

In the event of an automobile accident, the at-fault driver is required to pay for any damages he or she causes to the other driver's vehicle. The at-fault driver's insurance usually covers these costs. This leaves the at-fault driver to pay for his or her own auto repairs out of pocket in many cases.

Paying for these repairs out of pocket may be difficult or even impossible for some drivers. Drivers who carry collision coverage, however, can help safeguard themselves against high auto repair costs while still having adequate coverage for the other motorist.

There are varying degrees of automobile insurance. The most basic level, liability insurance, only covers drivers who are not at fault in accidents. This means that the victim in the crash is covered, but the at-fault driver is not.

Collision insurance, on the other hand, covers both drivers involved in the accident. This means that both the driver that was at fault and the driver that was not at fault are covered.

In most cases, drivers who cause accidents but have collision coverage will have to pay a deductible before getting his or her car fixed. While this deductible may be several hundred dollars, it is usually just a fraction of what the total cost would be if the driver were to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

Individuals wishing to add collision coverage to their policies should first get a quick collision coverage quote. This can help cut down the time it takes to give you peace of mind that you will be covered no matter what happens when you drive.

Getting a quick collision coverage quote can help you save time when shopping for auto insurance, meaning you can get covered and on the road in no time.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Common Questions Drivers Ask About Their Car's Air Conditioner

During the colder months, your vehicle's A/C takes a low priority. When the weather becomes warmer, problems in the system can make driving a miserable experience. Moreover, issues that are left unresolved tend to worsen and promise larger repair bills down the road.

Your car's air conditioning system consists of several parts and hoses. Like all auto parts, these components suffer wear and tear; they can fail with time and use. Despite the A/C's importance to your driving comfort, few motorists understand how it works or the problems that can occur. In this article, I'll address several of the most common questions people ask about their vehicle's A/C.

"Does The System Need To Be Recharged?"

Many drivers immediately think problems with their car's air conditioner are related to a low level of freon (or R134 refrigerant) within the system. In reality, that is rarely the root cause - but, it can be a symptom of another issue.

The refrigerant in your vehicle should not leak. If it does, the leak must be identified and fixed to prevent similar problems in the future. If the root cause of the leakage is not resolved, recharging your A/C will only be a temporary solution; the newly-added refrigerant will leak again.

If the freon is low, have it replenished. But, realize that a leak likely exists in the system and needs to be repaired.

"What Is Wrong With My Car's Air Conditioner?"

This question exposes an important point about diagnosing and fixing problems with the A/C. The symptoms you experience will help your mechanic narrow down the culprit. For example, if the volume of air coming from the vents is lower than normal, that suggests a blockage somewhere within the duct system. On the other hand, if the air coming from your vents is warm, that suggests a leak, a malfunctioning compressor, or another parts-related failure.

Your mechanic is going to ask you to describe what you are experiencing when you run your car's air conditioner. Be prepared with a detailed answer. That will help him find and fix the issue.

"What Happens If I Don't Repair The System?"

If you neglect to have problems repaired, you can expect the system to fail in the future. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the greater likelihood your repair bill will be higher. Small issues are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. When those issues cause a failure, addressing them becomes far more costly.

"What Can Go Wrong With My Car's Air Conditioner?"

There are a limited number of factors that can cause your A/C to have trouble cooling your vehicle's cabin. Refrigerant leaks can starve your compressor of oil. That may eventually cause the component to malfunction. Dirt and debris can also lead to problems. Not only will they cause the refrigerant to break down, but they can also affect the expansion valve and compressor.

A blockage within the system can starve the moving parts of lubrication, causing heat and pressure to rise. That leads to deterioration of the hoses, bearings, and other components. Eventually, it can cause a system failure (similar to an overheated engine).

You'll notice that all of the factors described above gradually contribute to a systemic failure. That's the reason you should have a mechanic repair any problems quickly.

Chances are, you rarely think about your vehicle's air conditioner until it shows signs of trouble. The key to reducing your repair bill is to avoid letting problems persist. If the issue is related to a leak, it costs very little to recharge the refrigerant and replace a ruptured hose. If that leak eventually causes the entire A/C system to fail, you can expect to pay much more to have it fixed.

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If you're having trouble with your car's air conditioning bring it in to Corby's Collision! We have been in business for 47 years in Vacaville, California. Current Owner, Paul Troutner, took over the company in November of 1993. They moved the business to the current 9,000 square foot facility in 1998.
"At Corby's Collision ~ We Care!"

1330 Callen, Vacaville, CA 95688

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How To Improve Your Chances Of Surviving A Collision

There are many safety devices available in the market but air bags have a special place because of its lifesaving characteristics. They are used as a safety measure that helps drivers and passengers from many types of accidents. Though these bags are a bit complex in design the driver must understand some basics to make sure they are working properly. For example, the warning airbag sign displayed on your dash is there to alert you of any issues that may exist. Every time you start you car your airbag module will cycle through all its components and report any problems by flashing the warning light. It is common for the light to flash a few times and then turn off. Once the light turns off your system is active and ready to protect you in a collision. However, if the light stays on you should review your owners' manual and take your car in for service.

If the airbag is not functioning properly, it can create a dangerous situation. Improper functioning of the air bag system can even lead to injuries and even an accident if not handled immediately. Suppose you are driving at high speed and suddenly the air bags deploy with out warning or collision. You will probably loose control of your vehicle or worse cause an accident without the protection of the airbags. So, it is very important to understand how and when the system is working properly. Here are a few tips to be aware of if the airbag warning light stays on.

First of all, check the seat belts and make sure you unlatch and latch them on again. A faulty switch in the seat belt buckle may be a sign that the switch is worn and may need replacing. If the light turns off during this step have your mechanic test for defects in the connection. It is important to note that on occasions if you have vacuumed you car recently, striking the connector of the seat belt with the nozzle of the vacuum may cause it to come loose or break. Follow the cable leading to the seat belt and simply snap it back into place to resolve the issue. If the connection is broken you will have to take the car in for repairs.

Second, another common problem that will turn on the airbag warning light is when your cars battery has been replaced or has completely depleted. You see, the airbag system in your car is equipped with a battery backup system to allow the airbags to deploy even if your cars battery is damaged on impact. Therefore, if the air bag backup battery has also depleted then it will send a signal to your airbag control module and the warning light will turn on. Usually, the light will turn off once you have replaced your cars battery to full charge, but on occasions you may have to service your vehicle to remove the crash code that was written to your airbag module.

In conclusion, any kind of warning light from your airbag system should cause you to take action. If the air bag light stays on it is important to know that you may not be protected in a collision. Use common sense and use the tips provided in this article, however, if the light remains on make an appointment to have the vehicle serviced as soon as possible.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011