Auto Body Repair: 3 Things You Should Know About Collision Repairs

Getting the damage to your vehicle repaired will likely be one of your top priorities after being involved in a serious collision. However, before you drop your vehicle off at a local auto body shop, there are a few facts that you should know.

Your Insurance Company Cannot Require You To Use A Specific Auto Body Shop

Insurance companies routinely maintain working relationships with a few auto body shops in the community. By taking your vehicle to one of these shops, you can often make the claims process just a bit faster. The insurance company will often accept the shop’s repair estimate rather than requiring that the damage be inspected by a claims adjuster. However, while there may be benefits that come along with going to the shop your insurance carrier recommends, you should know that you are under no obligation to do so.

If you choose to take your vehicle to a shop other than one that is recommended by the insurance company, you will not need to worry about losing your coverage as a result.

Declaring Your Vehicle A Total Loss Does Not Mean You Can’t Repair It

If repairing the damage to your vehicle will cost more than your vehicle is worth, the insurance company will likely declare the vehicle a total loss and decline to repair the vehicle. Instead, they will simply issue you a check for the fair market value of your vehicle prior to the accident.

If you wish to repair your vehicle despite it being declared a total loss, you can do so. However, you will be responsible for any repair costs that exceed the value of your vehicle. You may also be required to pay a salvage fee in order to buy the vehicle back from the insurance company since they have already paid you the full value of the vehicle. Finally, you should know that you may be prohibited from collecting future payments if the vehicle is damaged in another accident.

Emergency Repairs Can Be Completed Right Away

There is a process that typically must be followed in order to have repairs paid for by your auto insurance company. Traditionally, you file a claim with the insurance carrier, allow them to inspect the damage, and finally have the repairs completed only once the insurance company has signed off on them. When dealing with most types of collision damage, you will be risking your insurance coverage if you fail to follow this procedure. However, there is one notable exception to this rule.

If the damage to your vehicle could result in additional damage if it is not repaired immediately, you are not required to wait for prior approval before performing the repairs. For instance, if your windshield was shattered in an accident, you can have this glass repaired right away without sacrificing your insurance coverage because it qualifies as an emergency repair. In fact, if you fail to address this emergency need, any additional damage that does result may not be covered by your insurance company due to your failure to act. 

For more information about auto body repair, contact a professional like those at Collisions Plus Performance.

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Lifting Your Truck? What You Need To Know About Custom Rear Drive Shafts

When you decide to add a suspension lift to your truck, it’s important that you be attentive to all of the components of the drive train. Overlooking a component such as the rear drive shaft can be a serious concern, because a drive shaft that is too short will connect at a sharp angle that may cause poor handling. If you are familiar with where to find the drive shaft and transfer case on your truck, you can measure for a new one on your own, making it quick and easy to get a custom shaft that fits properly. Here’s a look at the basics of the drive shaft and how to get the measurements.

Understanding the Suspension

Your truck’s suspension was designed with a precise geometric connection so that all of the components work well together without binding. When you engage the four-wheel-drive, it locks the transfer case and turns the drive shaft connected to the rear axle. This drive shaft turns the rear axle in conjunction with the front.

When you add a lift kit to your suspension, you alter the ride height, which changes the angles and geometric relationship of all of the suspension parts. Most lift kits include longer or otherwise modified suspension parts to account for this and restore the balance, but the longer rear drive shaft may be optional. The fixed length of your stock drive shaft may leave it connecting at a steep angle, which will cause pressure on the internal shaft components and may damage it.

Getting the Proper Measurements

If you decide that you want to upgrade your drive shaft with your lift kit, you’ll have to measure for the new one after the rest of the lift is installed. You’ll need that new lift in place first, because that’s the only way you’ll be able to determine the actual ride height from the new suspension components.

Raise your truck up on a jack and place jack stands on the axle shafts at each wheel. Then, get underneath the truck and find the u-joint on the transfer case that faces the rear axle. Take a measurement from the flat outer section of the transfer case to the flat surface directly across from it on the differential of the axle. The differential is the large round section near the center of the axle.

Then, you’ll need a measurement of the distance from one side of the u-joint cap to the other. This is the U-shaped connection where the drive shaft attaches to the axle and the transfer case. You need to be precise about this measurement, because the driveshaft has to fit these joints securely to be safe.

Take the length and u-joint width measurements to a shop that specializes in custom truck parts. They will be able to build a drive shaft that will fit your truck properly with the new suspension.

For more information, contact Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc. or a similar company.

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Have Lackluster Tint On Your Windows? Learn How To Remove It Quickly And Easily

If you attempted to use one of the window tinting kits that are available in auto supply stores and quickly realized that it did not give you the look you were hoping to achieve, you will need to remove the tint before you can have a professional do it for you. Removing the tint will be much easier than putting it on your windows was. The following guide walks you the quickest and easiest way to get the sloppy tint off of your windows.

Prepare the Car

You will be using lemon juice to remove the tint from the windows and do not want to get it all over the interior of your car. Place a tarp over your seats to keep any lemon juice from getting on the seats.

Wet the Tint

Add three tablespoons of lemon juice to two cups of hot water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake it vigorously. Take the mixture to your car and hold a towel at the bottom edge of the window from which you are trying to remove the tint. Spray the mixture over all of the tint.

Heat the Tint

Next, you want to heat the tint so that the lemon juice can break down the glue that is holding the tint to the window. You can use a clothes steamer to heat the tint, but if you do not have a clothes steamer, an iron will work just as well. Fill an iron with water and then press the steam burst button when the iron has heated up. Some water may come out of the iron, but it will be absorbed by the towel so it shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Remove the Tint

Once the tint has been heated, you should be able to peel back one corner of the tint rather easily. Carefully pull the tint away from the window, making sure that it is not ripping or tearing. If you notice it is starting to rip, stop what you are doing and shoot the window with a few more blasts of steam. You can then remove the rest of the tint from the windows by repeating this process.

Window tint cannot simply be peeled away from a window because the kits are designed to keep the tint on the windows for an extended period of time. Once you have removed the tint from the windows the right way, you can clean them with window cleaner and take the car to a professional to have them install tint on your car that looks a lot better than when you did it yourself.

To learn more, contact a company like West Coast Solar Concepts Inc. with any questions you have.

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3 Ways You Can Save On Your Next Towing Service

If your car breaks down on you are you going to be prepared to call a towing company? If not, then you may want to plan better for this occasion, as you may be on a tight budget and will want a towing service that you can affordable. To ensure you seek a towing service that is affordable, it is best to take the time before any car issues arise, so you can find a towing company that:

Is Independently Owned:

Rather than reply on a big, well-known towing company, you may want to opt for a small, family or independently owned tow company. A smaller towing company will likely be able to provide you with lower rates, as the cost of their labor and overhead expenses may be smaller than a bigger company. This allows them to offer lower rates, but still obtain healthy profit margins, which you will be able to benefit from. So, before contacting a well-known towing service, take the time to find a smaller company that offers great services.

Offers Insurance Savings:

It is becoming more common for insurance companies to cover the cost of towing services. However, to reap these benefits you must select a towing company that is partnered with your insurance provider. Before you select a towing company, take the time to consult with your provider and see which towing companies are affiliated through your insurance policy, as this will allow you to obtain towing services at little to no cost.

Provides Emergencies Discounts:

Car damages or accidents can occur at any time, which is why it is best to plan accordingly. To ensure you do not get charged additional fees just because of the time that you need your towing services, you will want to find a company that includes no additional cost for emergency hour towing services. This can save you big, which can make your towing more affordable and less stressful to deal with. So, when deciding on a towing company, be sure to seek one that offers 24/7 availability.

By taking the time to seek out a towing service that offers these features and services, you can save big on your next tow service, which will help make dealing with your car issues much easier to do. So, before you get back in the car, be sure you know who to call in case of a car failure, so you can obtain towing services by a company that you can trust and afford for great service.

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Finding Hidden Accident Damage In A Used Car

When buying a used car, you want to make sure it hasn’t been in a major accident. You can check for some of these signs of accident damage yourself and save yourself money and trouble down the road.

Match the VIN Stickers

If a part from the car has been replaced by one from another car, the VIN numbers will not match. VIN and manufacturer stickers are found in several places on the car, and the last two numbers should match on every sticker. They are found in these places:

  • VIN sticker under the hood on one or the other side panel.
  • Emissions label and sometimes a VIN number on the inside hood.
  • VIN sticker on the side of the driver’s door as you open it
  • Manufacturer label on the right inside of the driver’s side door frame
  • Sometimes a manufacturer label on the left side of the driver side dashboard
  • VIN sticker on the passenger side door

The Most Important VIN

The most important VIN is on the lower inside of the dash under the windshield. This is usually an embossed, metal sticker placed there so that law enforcement does not have to open the car to find the number. This VIN should always match the title.

Missing or Painted Over VIN Stickers

If you find a VIN or manufacturer’s sticker that is missing or has been painted over, it is either from damage repair or to hide the mismatched VIN number.

Check the Trunk

Open the trunk and look for any water inside. If there is none, close the trunk, take a garden hose and spray around the edges of the trunk lid and check inside again. If the trunk has been damaged, water will appear inside the trunk.

Check the Frame

Measure the distance between the tire and the back frame. If the measurements are different, it may indicate frame damage. This tells your collision repair shop what to look for when you are having your car checked prior to purchase.

Get the Seller’s Insurance Information

You can find hidden damage from accidents by checking with the seller’s insurance company to see if the car has been in any accidents and how serious they were. If the seller doesn’t want to give you that information, it’s probably best to walk away.

Check Underneath the Car

Unless you know exactly what to look for, it’s probably best to have a collision center check the underside of the car for any signs of previous collision damage. There are a number of small things that the untrained eye may not notice that they will know to look for.

Recognizing hidden accident damage can save you headaches later on. If you suspect hidden damage or are not comfortable after checking the car yourself, having a professional collision repair auto body shop perform a thorough check for you can possibly save you thousands of dollars down the road.

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2 Critical Ways To Avoid Auto Glass Replacement

Few things are as annoying as having to have the glass on your automobile replaced.  Dings and scratches can be overlooked, but a glaring tear or crack in a windshield can impair your vision and lead to even further damage.  While glass damage is largely unprovoked, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the chance that it will happen to you.  Use this information to learn more about how you can prevent glass damage in your vehicle.

Be Mindful Of The Car That You Choose

One of the best ways that you can reduce the chance of glass damage in your car is to simply be mindful of the kind of vehicle that you choose.  Some vehicles have an abnormally large windshield that is not thick enough to withstand the rigors of being out on the road.  Selecting a vehicle of this nature is a one way ticket to a glass damage claim that could empty your pockets of hundreds of dollars.

When you are choosing your vehicle, do your homework.  Look up the recall history of any car that you are looking at so you can find out whether or not there is a recall for excessive glass breakage in the car you want.  Also, check the span of the glass.  Some automobiles have more steel surrounding the windshield, and others have a wide expanse of glass that can be shattered.  Always opt for the car that has a strong base of steel that can absorb the shock of flying objects.

Pay Attention To Distance

There’s a reason why you were taught to drive a certain distance behind cars on the road.  It’s inevitable that as you drive, the tires on your car will kick up dirt, debris and rocks that can do a number on windshields.  Driving too closely to another vehicle can end up being a recipe for disaster.

Rather than trying to get to your destination as soon as possible, take your time.  Stay an adequate amount of space behind the car in front of you so that the debris that is kicked up by their tires has a chance to land on the ground, rather than your car.  This simple technique could save you hundreds of dollars in glass repair in the long run.

Taking these steps will go a long way toward ensuring that you don’t end up spending money repairing your vehicle.  Start using these tips today so you can keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket. If your glass does need repaired or replaced, visit All Auto Glass.

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Exposing Misleading Myths About Your Car’s Shocks

Your car is a highly complex machine that is probably essential for your daily life. Unfortunately, most people do not know much about automobiles, and this can lead to the failure to understand the function and importance of the various components in their cars. This lack of knowledge can lead them to fall for some routine myths about their car’s shocks, but learning the truth behind these notions can help you ensure your car avoids some routine causes of mechanical problems. 

Myth: Shocks Are Only For Enhancing The Comfort Of Your Drive

If you have ever ridden in a car with bad shocks, you likely remember how rough of a ride it was. While shocks can dramatically improve the comfort of anyone riding in your car, these devices are for more than just comfort. They will also protect your engine, axles and wheels from the vibrations and bumps that every car encounters while driving down the road. 

These vibrations can eventually cause parts of the engine to come loose, and when this happens, the car will be more likely to experience a mechanical failure. Also, these devices are essential for preventing the wheel from cracking due to these vibrations, and if a crack develops, the only way to repair it is by replacing it. 

Myth: Shocks Do Not Require Any Regular Maintenance

Some new drivers are under the false impression that their shocks do not require any regular maintenance to keep them working. While it is true that shocks do not require much maintenance, they can quickly fall into a state of disrepair unless you keep them in good shape. Luckily, this is a relatively simple task for most make and models of car. 

It is vital for you to have the shocks lubricated and inspected with every oil change. Over time, the heat and friction generated by the shocks will start to break down the lubricant, and this can lead to major damage that results from pieces of metal grinding on each other. By simply having the lubrication inspected, you can help avoid this cause of expensive shock repairs. 

Keeping your car running smoothly can seem like a complex and confusing task. This is especially true for those that lack much knowledge about cars. In particular, the shocks are a component that many people do not fully understand. Yet, learning the truth behind these myths will help you be a more responsible car owner which will keep you safe and help you avoid expensive repairs. 

For more information, talk to a local auto repair shop like Affordable Automotive Service Center.

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