Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vehicle Collision Claims Processing

Many drivers will experience an auto collision with more than 250 million vehicles on the road in America. Unfortunately, few people understand the process of filing an insurance claim and following it through to settlement. Here are a few tips to help you better understand the auto insurance claims process.

Starting the Process

Contact your insurance agent or carrier as a first step after a collision; this assumes that no one is hurt, and that you contact the necessary authorities to file a report. Your insurance carrier will dispatch an adjuster to inspect your vehicle and work up a repair estimate based on the damage. In a perfect world, your insurance carrier would then send you a check to complete the repairs. But then that would be a mistake.

Filing an Auto Accident Insurance Claim

To file a claim, collect all relevant information prior to contacting your insurer. You will need items like your insurance policy number, the police report number and all information on others involved in the accident, including names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers and their insurance information. If there were witnesses, have their contact information available as well. Your insurance company may record a statement from you by phone. Take good notes, keep all information and paperwork in a safe place and take your own detailed photos relevant to the collision.

Don't Cash the Check

If your insurance company wants to send you a check prior to the work being done, tell them to wait. If a check is sent, don't cash it. When you cash the check from the insurance company, they are essentially off the hook for any damage that is not initially visible. A collision can bend an automotive frame, take your car out of alignment, and involve much more once the auto body shop starts the repairs.

Collision Damage Repair and Insurance

Getting an auto insurance settlement may not be simple, depending on the circumstances. Settlements take time or may become drawn out as more insurance companies seek reasons to deny claims. There is, however, one way to get the most from your auto insurance claim in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of work.

Before taking your vehicle for repair - or even before you file an insurance claim - find a local collision damage repair shop able to process your claim. Many auto body shops specialize in processing claims, which offers several distinct advantages. First, you are spared the hassle of dealing directly with the insurance carrier. More importantly, insurance claims specialists at many repair shops have years of experience and know exactly what your insurance carrier needs to process your claim quickly.

A local body shop can work up a written estimate and submit it to the insurance carrier for authorization on your behalf. The insurer can issue a check directly to the auto body shop rather than to you. In no time at all, your car will be repaired and back on the road. Now that's a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

Albert Westbrook enjoys writing on all types of topics. For superb auto body repair, contact Dent Master in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Common Car Problems

Cars are great machines to have. The unfortunate thing is that they tend to develop problems every now and then. Here are some of the most common car problems:

Squeaky Brakes

It's common for car brakes to produce a squealing sound that results from the vibration of pads and rotors. The sound is also produced when the pads and callipers vibrate. If your car has this problem you should ask a professional mechanic to help you in fixing it.

Car Pulls To One Side

If you notice that your car keeps on veering off when you let your hands off the steering wheel or when you aren't physically controlling the steering, the car has a wheel alignment problem. The good thing is that there are many wheel realignment centres and all you need to do is to find one that is nearest your area of residence.

Rough Ride

Are you used to a smooth ride and then your car becomes rough when you are travelling on a rough road? You should take a look at the shock absorbers and struts. Sometimes you can easily repair the problem, but if the problem has lasted for a long time, you should consider replacing the shocks and struts with new ones.

Engine Fails To Crank

There are many reasons that can prevent the engine from cranking: if the engine tries to start, but it doesn't crank successfully, the problem is most likely due to a bad starter. If you turn the key and nothing starts even the lights, the problem may be due to a bad battery. If you are able to start the car, but it quickly stalls, you may need to refuel the car.

Engine Light Comes On And Off

It's common for the engine light to come on and fails to go off. This happens when the car's computer has detected a problem with the emission system. You should consult a professional who will determine the failure.

Engine Knock

An engine knock is brought about by many factors such as too much clearance between the components that are located in the valve train. Unless you have very advanced mechanic skills, you shouldn't try to rectify this problem-you should look for a professional to do the work for you.


These are some of the most common car problems. If your car has a problem you should ensure that a professional rectifies it.

We provide a wide range of car repair services which include Porsche service and many others. If your car has broken down you should highly consider giving us a visit.
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Monday, August 24, 2015

What Every Driver Should Know About Motor Oil

We might not know how replace the brake pads or even how to change a flat tire, but almost all drivers know how to add oil to their automobile. You just pop the hood and pour some in, right? Well, not exactly. In order to protect your engine from premature wear and tear, you must use the recommended motor oil.

To find out what you need, simply check your owner's manual. In most instances, it will tell you to use either a synthetic or conventional product. The former is generally needed for high-performance vehicles, while the latter offers enough protection against heat buildup for most other automobiles. There are also synthetic blends for vehicles that carry heavy loads, such as trucks, vans, and SUVs.

What About Viscosity?

If you follow your owner's manual to the letter - and you should - it will instruct you to use a specific viscosity grade, or thicknesses, of oil. Because different engines run at different temperatures, different grades are needed to prevent overheating. Their thickness and suitability is determined by a series of numbers. The most common ones are 5W-30 and 10W-30. What do these numbers mean?

Measured by the Society of Automotive Engineering, the numbers indicate the fluid's thickness during hot and cold testing. For 5W-30, the first number (5) is the oil's thickness when the motor is cold, and the second number (30) is it's viscosity when hot. Because thinner grades put less strain on the motor, they are preferred when heat is not an issue. Conversely, a thicker fluid provides much-needed protection when temperatures rise. As such, the grade you need depends on how hot your engine runs.

Is It Really That Important?

Yes, it is really that important! Using the wrong type, or even grade, of product can result in permanent damage to vital engine parts. This is especially true if you own a vehicle that requires synthetic motor oil, but you mistakenly use a conventional one. What could very well happen in this instance is that the natural motor oil would break down under extreme heat, causing inadequate lubrication. With lubrication lacking, friction between moving parts could easily cause serious, even irreparable damage. More than a few motorists have blown their engines because they used the wrong fluids.

Voiding Your Warranty

Even if your vehicle is still under warranty, damage that occurs because you used the wrong motor oil may not be covered. It is also possible to void your warranty if you use a fluid that is too thick or too thin. There are even cases where automakers have refused to cover damage attributed to a non-approved fluid. To avoid this unpalatable scenario, make sure you always use a liquid that has been approved by the Automotive Petroleum Institute (API). You'll know it by the "sunburst" logo that always appears on labels of approved products. So, if you don't see that sunburst, don't buy or use the product.

As the lifeblood of your engine, the right motor oil can keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

To learn more about their options for motor oil, Hutchinson, MN residents should visit
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Auto Collision Estimation

Being in an auto collision is never a fun experience. Even if no one is injured, it can still be a stressful and annoying situation. It can also be costly. Auto repairs are expensive and getting more expensive every year. We want our cars fixed right, but we also want to get the best deal. To ensure you know the basics of what goes on when you take your care to a body shop for repairs, here is a brief checklist of what collision repair specialists do.

The initial step of auto collision repairs is inspection. A auto collision specialist is trained to recognize the extent of the damage and the type and amount of repairs to get the vehicle back on the road again. Auto repair specialists use both learned theoretical knowledge with practical experience to repair the car correctly. When you bring your car in (or it is towed in), here is what they do in the inspection process:

  • Use their intimate knowledge of the car's structure to evaluate and understand any core structural damage.
  • Find out and determine the car's history so old damage can be differentiated from the new damage.
  • Determine the point and intensity of impact to ensure less obvious areas of damage are detected.
  • Check the steel components of the body to determine welding and replacement needs.
  • Check all plastic components, such as door panels, for damage.
  • Determine if there has been any damage to the mechanical systems.
  • Determine if the suspension system has been damaged.
  • Analyze and determine the painting needs.

The second part of the process is the estimation. The following steps will be followed during this part of the repair process:

  • Check parts availability and pricing for all parts that need to be replaced.
  • Determine the total amount of labor hours needed to repair, replace, and paint.
  • Prepare a complete documentation for all repairs, parts, and costs for the customer.
  • Thoroughly explain all procedures, repairs, and estimates to the customer.
  • If there are repairs which may have more than one possible solution, explain the various options to the customer.
  • If some repairs will be done at a different location (some mechanical or suspension repairs may be done elsewhere), the reasons for this should be explained completely to the customer.

The auto body specialist should display a thorough knowledge of all repairs, and should take the time to answer any questions you may have. If the customer service seems poor, you may want to move on to the next body shop. You want your repairs done correctly, for a reasonable price, on time, and with a smile!

Jennifer Greenfield is a writer in auto body repair business. For more information on Final Finish Collision Centers, visit at
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top 4 Car Repair Problems And How To Recognize The Symptoms

1. The Check Engine Light

It can be a little disturbing when you're driving and the check engine light keeps coming on and going off. It's supposed to give you an indication that something's wrong, but more often than not it's an indication of faulty wiring and no car repair is necessary. The only trouble with that is, if there is a serious problem, you'll ignore the light when it comes on. In general, if it seems to have a mind of its own, it's probably bad wiring. If it comes on and you notice something else wrong with the car, then it's time to get it looked at. In either case, get it looked at next time you've got your car at the mechanic's.

2. Leaky Water Pump

If your vehicle is leaking some kind of fluid, it can be pretty scary. The most common leak you find in cars is the water pump. Water pumps just can't take the strain we put on our cars these days. One way to tell if it's the water pump is to put paper under the car overnight, and check in the morning. If the leaky stuff is green, this means that it's coolant that's leaking from your water pump. Water pumps have to be replaced occasionally, usually around every 100,000 miles, so expect to get yours replaced at some point.

3. Your Engine Won't Start

You crank it and just get a little clicking sound - This means you've got something wrong with your fuel or ignition. Unfortunately, there could be lots of different reasons why your vehicle won't start, including low batter, clogged fuel filter, defective fuel pump or an ignition switch that doesn't work. This is when you'll need somebody who knows about car repair to have a look and make an assessment. None of these things means the death of your vehicle; they're all problems that can be pretty easily fixed.

4. White Smoke And Overheating

Overheating is a common problem for many types of vehicles. The most common cause is low coolant level; make sure you've got enough coolant in there. You might also have trouble with a dirty air filter or a broken fan which isn't keeping everything cooled down like it's supposed to. The problem may even be a broken thermostat which doesn't tell you you're in danger until it's already blown its top. Check the coolant first, and if that's not a problem, see if the coolant might be leaking. This is another issue that can be solved with some simple car repair.

Look out for these problems and call the car repair specialists if you need to. Remember that all of these are minor problems so don't panic. Get them taken care of as soon as possible.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Car Repair - Fix Minor Problems, Focus On Prevention

Taking care of minor problems and getting regularly scheduled maintenance on your car is a good way to avoid more costly car repairs down the road.

Keeping track of when your vehicle is due for an oil change is one example of preventive steps that can help avoid more costly work. Most oil-change businesses post a sticker on the driver's side of the windshield, telling you when you should get your next oil change. The sticker lists both the odometer reading and the date when your next oil change should happen. The mark you hit first - either the mileage or the date - is a signal to get your vehicle in for an oil change.

By changing your vehicle's oil in a timely manner, you are continually lubricating the engine and its inner pieces, which can keep you from more expensive repairs.

Your owner's manual is another key in determining when to have repairs done on your vehicle. The manual lists scheduled maintenance to keep your vehicle running properly - and once again keeping you from more costly car repairs. If you no longer have the owner's manual or purchased the vehicle used and no manual was provided to you, check an auto parts store or track one down on the Internet. Knowing what maintenance is recommended for your vehicle at 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles is vital to knowing what work to have done on your vehicle and when. Again, by doing the scheduled maintenance, you are likely to keep from a more costly repair down the road.

Also, when a warning light or message pops on from the dashboard, address the issue as soon as possible. If it says "check engine" or "check tires, do so as soon as possible. If after checking and taking action (filling all four tires, for instance) the light or message is still lit, take the vehicle into a car-care center, the vehicle dealership or a service station as soon as possible. You don't want to ignore the warning light for too long and have a car repair in the thousands of dollars, when sooner attention could have kept the repair bill to a minimum.

When car repairs are needed, you need to go to an establishment with which you are comfortable. If you are new to an area or don't have an established relationship with a certain repair shop, ask friends and family. You may also want to get estimates from two or three places just to get a sense of their diagnostic ability and pricing, as well as your comfort level with the mechanic or shop owner. Feeling comfortable with your repair shop is so important for a car owner. Your confidence in a repair shop - feeling they provide quality work at a fair price - will bring you back. Feeling that your vehicle wasn't fixed properly or that you overpaid for the repair won't.

Taking preventative steps, as well as addressing minor problems as they happen will keep you from more costly car repair.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Two Tire Rotation

Video shows how every car should get the new tires on the REAR of the car.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Risks of Putting Off Brake Repair

There are numerous risks to putting off getting brake repair. Many people know the change in their braking ability is not a good thing, but many people do not put enough time into getting the necessary repairs underway. This can lead to complex problems within your vehicle. The good news is that if you get preventative maintenance on your braking system and you handle any problems as soon as they become noticeable, you could reduce any risks. However, if you let these go and do not get the level of attention you need, you can count on something going wrong with them at some point.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you do not get the brake repair you need and you put it off for too long, this could lead to complex problems within the mechanical makeup of the vehicle. You could end up dealing with problems associated with the function of your vehicle. This could include the following:

-You may have to step on the brakes longer and harder to get to stop. This may mean you need to change your driving habits to make sure you have plenty of time to stop.

-Over time, the condition can worsen. During this time, the pads can wear down so much so that you are damaging other components in the vehicle. You may damage the rotors or other components so much so that you need to replace those, too.

-Eventually, there is the risk that your braking system will fail. This is not something that you ever want to have happen. However, wear and tear, and repeatedly not getting the necessary improvement to the brakes can cause this to happen sooner than you realize.

What can you do in the meantime? It is best to turn to a professional to get the job done in the first place. Have your brakes inspected at least one time a year and make sure that you are getting them replaced whenever they begin to wear down. This will save you time and money in the long-term.

It is a good idea to look for a trusted local mechanic to handle the brake repair you need whenever you hear or feel that something is changing with the system. Do not wait for a problem to happen. Handle it sooner rather than later. It can make a big difference in your ability to drive the vehicle properly, but also in your ability to keep your family safe while inside. Avoid putting off these problems because this can lead to a significant problem in the long term with the entire system. It will cost less to deal with it now.

Maintenance of your vehicle is of the upmost importance to both your safety, and the safety of other drivers on the road. amherst brake repair  will take care of all of your automotive needs. Visit for more information or a free inspection today.
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Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Importance of Having an Oil Change

Keeping your car in top working order requires regular maintenance. No maintenance is more common than an oil change.

Why Get Have Your Car Serviced

The main reason for an oil change is to help keep the engine running smooth. The liquid acts as a lubricant on the entire engine's moving parts. As the lubricant gets used, contaminants build up inside the liquid. This sludge makes it more difficult for parts of the engine to move freely. As this occurs, you may feel that your car is not running properly. The engine may start cutting out or stop working completely due to overheating. If the parts have to work harder to move, the engine is going to heat up even more.

Conventional vs Synthetic

There are a couple of different types that can be used in your engine. You can choose what is known as conventional, and it is usually the cheapest. This version will help reduce the build-up of contaminants in the engine itself, as well as reduce friction on parts. It is created through a distillation of crude oil. Before you decide on a type, you should make sure that you check your car's owner's manual to make sure the right weight and version is used.

The Process

An oil change is a simple process. The technician gets under the car, removes the pan (on some models) and plug, and allows the liquid to drain from the car. Once it is empty, he or she reinstalls the plug and pan (if applicable), and then refills the engine with fresh, clean lubricant. In addition, the filter should be changed in order to keep your car running smoothly. The filter helps collect some of that sludge and keep the substance cleaner longer.

While many people choose to do this task themselves, by going to a professional, you are certain that all seals are tight and that the proper type is used. This is the benefit of not having to dispose of the old substance yourself.

There is a lot of debate on how often to have an oil change. Lube shops and most manufacturers suggest every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. Some professionals suggest every 5,000 miles with no minimum length of time. If you read the label on some synthetic bottles, they suggest every 10,000 miles. If you are uncertain, have your oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 for best performance results.

Always check your levels between oil changes. This will not only indicate how dirty the system is getting, as the easier it is to read the dirtier it is, but doing so will also inform you of leaks. You should not lose much of the overall lube in between services. If you have to refill your engine before your next change, then there is a leak somewhere, and you need to have it checked.

To learn more about their options for an oil change, New Jersey residents should visit
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Monday, August 3, 2015

What to Do After a Car Accident

Learn the steps to follow after you are involved in a car accident to begin the claims process.