Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Choosing an Auto Collision Repair Center

Choosing an auto body repair center for your vehicle should not be taken lightly. Not only do you want a company that is courteous and professional, but ideally you want one that has experience dealing with the insurance companies. Many times you will see advertisements from collision centers telling you that you don't have to take the insurance company's recommendation. However, if the insurance company is recommending the collision center, then you can be confident that they are doing so because the collision center has a good reputation and completes the job properly. It's not because the insurance company is trying to get the job done cheap. More importantly, it's because they know the job will be done right.

Another important factor to consider is if the collision center is experienced with the various makes and models of different vehicles. You want to be sure the technicians are trained well for different vehicle body types as well. Feel free to ask the collision center if they have repaired other vehicles like yours. If they have testimonials on their website, browse through them to see what others are saying. You can also browse through testimonials found by performing a search on the internet. Also, the longer a company has been in business is usually a good indicator that they have plenty of experience working on various vehicles and serving a large number of customers.

Another important factor when choosing an automotive collision center is the quality of training provided to their technicians. Many times, you can find information about technician training on a company's website. Also, you can see if the company offers or requires continuing education classes for its technicians. Companies that offer training usually will have highly trained technicians. Many of today's vehicles have complex computerized systems that keep them operating properly. It's not enough to just know body work, you have to understand how the computer and wiring schematics work together with the rest of the vehicle. Properly trained technicians understand this.

We never plan on having an accident, but sometimes it happens. If you are involved in an accident, the last thing you want it for the situation to become worse by hastily choosing the wrong auto body repair center. Take a few moments to research the company. Check customer testimonials. Check to see if their technicians are trained properly. Find out how long they have been in business. Listen to the insurance company's recommendation and then you can make an informed decision about which company is best for you.

Joe Hudson's Collision Center is a quality collision center with several locations in the southeast. To find out more about Joe Hudson's Collision Center, visit their website at
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Auto Crash Dents: Repair or Replace?

From minor fender-benders to car crashes that need some serious work, you will probably drive away with at least one serious dent to fix. Your two primary options to get rid of these dents is repair or replace. Repairs focus on removing the dent while keeping the same materials, while replacements simply exchange the entire affected panel for a new one. Read on to learn the details behind both options.

Repairs: Suction, Shaping, Fillers and More

One of the first things you will probably ask when taking a car in with a bad dent is, "Can it be fixed?" The answer will only follow after a close examination of the dent - but auto body experts have a lot of tricks these days to repair bad dents so you would never know they were there.

Suction and pulling are often used to reverse smaller dents and prepare the car for more detail work. Complex dents typically come with scratches, abrasions, and other issues that need careful treatment. Whenever possible, your auto body technician will try to remove the dent and repair the damage without repainting - there's even an entire technique called Paintless Dent Removal that attempts to tweak your car's surface without resorting to new paint.

However, deep or broad dents with more problems will probably need some repainting. In this case, find an auto body shop that offers paint matching services that will find the exact shades manufacturers originally used. Deep dents may require the use of fillers, sanding tools and more to restore your car to its old look.

Replacement: Cost, Damage, and Time
Some dents are simply easier to replace than fix: Auto body technicians will typically suggest a replacement if the damage is more than superficial and the structure of your vehicle has been compromised in some way - such as bent framework that needs to be fixed before the broken panel is replaced. If the damage is located primarily on one panel, the technician may suggest replacing that panel is a more elegant solution than trying to fix the dent.

This is also the time for some cost-benefit analysis. Ask your auto body shop about what parts they have in and what they have to order, as well as how long it would take to replace the part versus repairing it. Sometimes repairs would take so long that it is ultimately less expensive to just order a new part. However, this might mean leaving your car with the auto body shop for a bit longer than a repair would take, so remember to ask about shipping times as well.

Ultimately, an experienced technician will give you appropriate advice on a repair vs. a replacement based on how the crash affected specific parts of your vehicle. If you do have to make a decision, consider both your budget and what is important to you - repairing as much damage as possible, or making your car pristine once again.

Albert Westbrook is a writer. For excellence in auto body repair in Ogden, Utah, he recommends Everest Collision Repair.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Keep Your Tires in Line!

Do you ever find that you're driving in the right direction, but your steering wheel isn't centered? It's possible your alignment is off. Some other obvious signs of improper alignment are a vibrating steering wheel, uneven wear on your tires, and of course drifting to one side despite the fact that your wheel is centered.

When you hit a bump or run over a pothole, your car's suspension can become loose or worn down. The suspension is what connects your steering wheel to your tires, directly effecting the alignment. And since correct alignment is measured so precisely (to the tenth and even hundredth of an inch), even the smallest bump to a curb is enough to throw the suspension off, pointing your tires in the wrong direction.

Alignment can even be thrown off by something as small as not having the correct amount of air in your tires. And even if nothing actually happened to your car but it's been a while since it has been aligned, it is in your best interest to have a professional realign it for you.

Besides the extra work that goes into simply driving in a straight line, the most noticeable problem you will face with a poorly aligned vehicle is having your tires wear down much faster than if it were properly aligned. Not only do they wear away, but they do so unevenly. This is when the tire becomes unsafe to use. An unevenly worn tire can lose air pressure and possibly blowout, even if it has been rotated.

A less visible, but just as relevant consequence to bad alignment is the damage to your cars suspension. Since improper alignment means your suspension is out of whack to begin with, it should be obvious that continuing to drive your car in this condition will only cause further damage.

Basically, if you keep putting off getting your car properly aligned, it will end up costing you. It can be very pricey to have your suspension fixed or replaced, depending on how much damage has been done. Not to mention the cost of four new tires.

To be safe, you should just have your car realigned every time you get an oil change or when you bring your car in for routing maintenance. Some auto body shops will include the alignment service if you are already having work done, but even if you do have to pay for the alignment it is far worth it compared to suspension and tire costs.

Besides cost, proper alignment allows for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Your tires will not wear down as much and even when they do, at least they will wear down evenly. This means they can be rotated properly, extending their life even more. And of course with the tires all facing the same direction your car will drive straight and handle more properly which keeps you safer. With a properly aligned vehicle, you will even get better gas mileage!

When your car's alignment is off, it means your tires are pointing in the wrong direction. Since a driver's main task is to keep tires going the right way, this is kind of a big deal. On top of these obvious steering issues, improper alignment can cost you your safety, and of course too much money!

Call Matthey Automotive today at (856) 854-2507 for an appointment to make sure you aren't spending more than you need to keep your car in line.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Make Your Car Last 200,000 Miles or More

The average age of cars on American roads is nearly 11 years, according to Polk Research. Plenty of drivers own vehicles with well over 200,000 miles. The long-term savings of keeping a car for 200,000 miles, or about 15 years, can be $30,000 or more. Clearly, learning to keep a car well maintained and healthy is worth the effort.

1) Your Owner's Manual and Regular Mechanic Checks
a) Read and follow the owner's manual for your vehicle.
b) Find out the recommended maintenance schedule and stick to it.
c) Follow the "severe duty" maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

2) Look, Listen and Smell
a) Know how to check your car's oil and transmission fluid, and how to inflate your tires to the correct levels.
b) Pay attention to how your car runs. Any time it makes odd sounds, has trouble starting, overheats, or does not brake or handle correctly, get the car checked by your mechanic.
c) Heed warning indicator lights on the dashboard.
d) Do a walk-around of your car regularly, including checking brake lights and turn signals.
e) If you see fluid spots in your garage or parking space, park on some cardboard to check the exact source of the leak. Get the leak repaired as soon as possible.
f) Listen for out of the ordinary sounds. Note when these happen and at what speed and give this information to your mechanic. This saves them hours of trying to recreate the issue, and saves you money in labor costs.
g) When you check your oil, notice if it smells burnt. If it does, get repairs quickly and avoid needing your engine rebuilt.
h) Burnt or bad-smelling transmission fluid is a bad sign that needs mechanic attention immediately.

3) Oil Changes and Fluid Checks
a) Never skip recommended oil and filter change. Missing oil changes results in clogged oil filters and sludge that wrecks engines.
b) Use the "severe use" oil change schedule listed in the owner's manual.
c) Use synthetic oil.
d) Your mechanic will check the other fluids during oil changes. They will inspect the fluid itself and top off fluid levels. If there is a big fluid loss, mechanics can find the cause and repair it before it gets worse.

4) Transmission
a) Get your transmission fluid and filter changed according to your car's maintenance schedule.
b) Replace the fluid at least every 100,000 miles or sooner.

Regardless of how well you care for your car, accidents happen, and parts fail. However, proper maintenance keeps your car on the road longer and brings you a better price at trade-in time. It is usually cheaper to fix a car that is in decent condition than it is to make new car payments. Follow your maintenance schedule and attend to concerns quickly to keep your car running for 200,000 miles or more.

Service Plus Automotive is a family owned business since 1991. We are focused on providing the best possible customer service experience when servicing or repairing a customers vehicle. We strongly believe in customer education and regularly show the customer what needs repairing. We are very involved in various community activities and believe in giving back to the community who has supported us for almost 20 years. For more information, go to
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Vehicle Safety Features Parents Should Know About Expert Mom, Jennifer Geiger, explains vehicles top 5 safety features that you may not know about. Whether you have these features yourself or are car shopping, Jennifer recaps's top 5 safety features for families of all sizes. These include backup cameras, blind spot monitors, rear seat belt alerts, integrated booster seats and rear cross-path detection.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How To Pick The Right Auto Repair Shop

Finding the right Auto Repair Shop before the hour of need is very important. Intelligent decisions are made after evaluating the facts. Emergencies create an emotional environment that thwarts clear and decisive action.

The first decision is whether to go to a dealership, a chain or an independent shop for your repair. A dealership has mechanics that are experts in your make of car, but dealerships are typically more expensive than chains or independent shops. Chains are less expensive than dealerships, but more expensive than independents. Chains are tied to their policies and rates and are not usually able to offer the customer anything extra. Independent shops are often the best deal. In order to stay in business, they must offer quality service at lower prices, but consider that the mechanics are as a rule not specialized for any particular make or model. A good approach to deciding is to ask your friends, co-workers, family members, etc. for their recommendations. You can also ask local car clubs who they use for repairs.

Another factor to consider when choosing a repair facility is the equipment. Does the shop have state-of-the-art equipment such as hand held computer scanners and diagnosis software, digital volt-ohm meters, logic probes, lab scopes, and on-line computer systems like CAS, Alldata, or Mitchell-On-Demand? Don't be afraid to ask the shop if they have this equipment. These systems and tools are necessary to diagnose and repair your hi-tech car accurately. Without them, fixing your automobile is a hit-and-miss proposition.

Be sure and ask a lot of questions when you take your vehicle in for repairs. You need to know the rates up front. Many shops follow a suggested time schedule listed by the manufacturer, with each repair given an estimate of how long the repair should take. Even though a repair may seem fairly minor, the estimated time for the repair could be long, which means expensive to you. It could also be that you end of paying for the entire estimated time, when in actuality, it only took the mechanic half the estimated time to complete the repair. You need to be aware of how the shop determines their rates. You also need to know what kind of parts they use. Are they genuine replacement parts or are they generic or rebuilt parts? Genuine parts are more expensive, but will more than likely perform better and last longer. Generic and rebuilt parts will save you money.

Once you find that great shop, be a loyal customer. When you develop a relationship with your repair shop, you can get those extras and discounts. Refer your friends and family. You never know when you will have a vehicle emergency and need your repair shop to help you out.

Wayne Vanderpool owns an Auto Repair Shop and has years of experience in the industry. He believes in providing quality services and retaining the relationship with the customers.
For more information please visit -

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tracking Your Teen Driver | Consumer Reports

Car accidents are the #1 killer of teenagers. New tracking devices promise to help by alerting you if your teen is driving recklessly. Consumer Reports tests three: MotoSafety, Mastrack, and MobiCoPilot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Tips for Family Road Trips by Expert Mom, Jennifer Newman, shares her top tips for families before hitting the road! Are you sure you didn't forget anything? Make sure that you get a maintenance check, set a playlist for everyone to enjoy, play classic and innovative road games, pack lots of snacks and build in extra time for rest stops and playing outside of the car.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

8 Best Cars for Teen Drivers | Consumer Reports

The number one killer among young drivers is car crashes. So when car shopping for your teen, safety is the top priority. But a bigger vehicle isn't necessary better.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Practical Tips To Help You Find The Best Shop for Your Auto Body Repairs

Like death and taxes, as long as you own a vehicle rest assured that you will one day need an auto body repair done. Depending on the scale of the repair, you may need the services of a reliable auto repair center.

Many automobile owners usually console themselves with the fact that, many vehicle brands have their car dealership centers where they can get repairs done.

While this may be practical in the short run, it will not always be the case. The proximity and repair costs, associated with car dealership centers, may be outweighed by local repair shops.

One of the things you need to be watchful for, is the ethical and professional conducts of these repair shops. The last thing you need is a shop where the attendants will lie to you about the nature of repairs required so as to extort more money from you.

Some of them even replace your OEM parts with fake ones. To avoid all this, you have to make your decisions early enough so as to steer clear of desperate last minute measures.

Discussed below are some of the tips that you can put into practice when looking for auto body repair shops.

Start Looking Early Enough

Decisions made in the last minute are usually faulty and misleading. Just the same way you will not want to entrust your vehicle to the hands of a stranger, you need to start searching for the appropriate auto shop early.

Making use of recommendations from friends and colleagues, will help you in identifying reliable shops. Get enough time to sample each of these repair facilities.

Conduct a Wholesome Evaluation

There is a tendency among clients to only consider the cost element when shopping for repair facilities. The danger with this lies in the fact that, the cost alone, cannot give you a comprehensive feel of the services offered.

You need to understand the policies that are in operation, the experience of other customers and many other parameters. Going through customer reviews will help you with this.

Assess the Level of Organization and Activity

A good auto body repair shop needs to be organized with the technicians conducting themselves in a professional manner. A disorganized auto shop can easily mishandle your car, leading to further damages and liabilities.

Also, the level of activity around and about the shop is important. If it looks too busy, you should be worried because they may hold your vehicle longer before it is attended to.

This may inconvenience you especially if you are having other errands to run. The attention given to your vehicle may also be so little that other areas go unrepaired.

The Customer Attitudes

When you visit an auto shop, you should also be observant of the customer attitudes, especially when paying or waiting in the queue for their repairs. The attitudes will tell you the kind of environment that's prevailing.

If they are happy and jovial, this should immediately tell you that the services are good and appreciated. However, if they are angry, this should signal bad service and dissatisfaction.

How Long The Repair Shop Has Been in Operation

This may seem like a minuscule detail, but it is equally important. In business, more so service businesses, brand matters. Repair shops that have been in operation for a long time, depend mostly on their goodwill, brand superiority and repeat purchases.

Such shops will tend to provide quality services so as to preserve their image. On the other hand, repair shops that have been newly established may not be as sensitive to their brand. This means that they can mishandle your vehicle without fear of losing you. After all, other customers will come to experiment with their services.

Test Their Services with Minor Repairs and Procedures

Entrusting a shop with full scale auto body repairs is a risky affair. This is especially the case where you are testing the waters, as far as their services are concerned.

To be on the safe side, engage the technicians with minor assessments and procedures, such as oil and tire change. This will give you a general feel and insight into the nature and quality of their services.

Remember, it is not difficult to get a well grounded auto repair shop to service your vehicle. All you need is a good research, done well in advance.

If you've been in an accident, or just need some cosmetic work done, Majestic Collision is someone that you can trust. They deal directly with your insurance provider, and also supply you with valet shuttle service and rental car support. For more information, check out
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