Blog

Driving in Autumn: How Fallen Leaves Pose a Driving Hazard

fallen autumn leaves and rain puddleFor many of us, the arrival of autumn means excitement for some of our favorite traditions. We think of pumpkin picking, hay rides, and fresh apple cider. What we don’t typically think about, however, is the dangers that the new season may pose to unwary drivers.

As motorists, most of us know that an excess of rainwater can cause loss of control behind the wheel. However, not all drivers are aware of the dangers posed by wet leaves.

As we progress into the season, leaves fall off the trees in our neighborhood, often accumulating in our driveways and local roads. Leaves also have a waxy coating that prevents water from being absorbed. (Have you ever watered your plants and noticed that the water droplets sit atop the leaves rather than disappearing into them?) This means that water simply pools on top of leaves on the ground, leaving a thin layer of water that can create a hazard while you drive. A single layer of wet leaves can make braking, steering and stopping difficult.

Even when they are dry, fallen leaves can also pose a danger by hiding potholes or painted lines on the road.

When you get behind the wheel this fall, make sure to pay attention to fallen leaves, especially on those crisp and rainy days. Drive cautiously and leave adequate space between you and the motorist in front of you. If the worse happens and you find yourself with a dented fender or bumper, contact us for paintless dent removal in Arlington, TX. Our no-paint dent removal services can restore your vehicle to its original factory finish.

Six Items to Keep in Your Vehicle in Case of an Emergency

jumper cables and car batteryStop for a moment and consider if your next drive results in a flat tire, dead car battery, or a breakdown. Will you be prepared? The following is a list of items that should be kept in your vehicle if you happen to become stranded while driving.

First Aid Kit
Invest in a prepackaged first aid kit, or assemble your own with the necessities. Include bandages, antibiotic cream, gauze, cotton swabs, and hand sanitizer.

Jumper Cables
If you find yourself with a dead car battery, attach your cables to the positive and negative battery terminals of another person’s car.

Fuel Container
If you ever run out of gas, a small fuel container will provide you with just enough fuel to get your car to the nearest gas station.

Emergency Signs/Flares
Emergency signals are especially useful if you’ve broken down on a busy highway or beyond a blind curve. If your vehicle is damaged and in need of collision repair in Fort Worth, TX, an emergency sign, such as a reflective triangle, will ensure first responders or a tow truck driver will be able to locate you.

Car Escape Tool
These innovative tools can be the beacon of hope during an emergency. Car escape tools include a number of features such as a built-in flashlight, emergency window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and a red indicator light.

Water Bottles
In an emergency situation, a supply of water will do more than keep you hydrated. You can use it to pour into your radiator if your car overheats.

What to Do After Getting in a Car Accident

two vehicles after a collisionBeing involved in a car accident is stressful, and possibly even devastating. While accidents aren’t always avoidable, knowing what to do in the event of a collision will help you be prepared for when it happens.

Pull off the road
If the car accident is minor, move vehicles to a safe place and away from traffic. Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights.

Call 911
Immediately determine whether anyone is injured and call 911 to get an ambulance, if necessary. Even if no one is injured, still call the police if the damage is significant or if anyone involved is acting confrontational.

Call your insurance company
If possible, contact your insurance company while you’re still at the scene of the accident. The person you speak with will help you deal with both the police and the other driver. If the damage is serious, ask about having your vehicle towed to a shop for auto body repair in Granbury, TX.

Exchange information
Even if the other driver is opposed to getting their insurance company involved, you should still make a point to exchange the relevant information. This includes their name, address, phone number, and the name of their insurance company.

Get a police report
A police report is essential as it will be the proof of the accident and corroborate your claims. It will be needed for both insurance and legal proceedings. If it is safe to do so, you should also take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles involved.

The Most Common Car Repairs During the Summer

modern highway with trafficDuring the summer months, many people take advantage of their vacation time and the nice weather by traveling. However, before you hit the road, you may want to consider scheduling automotive repair for your vehicle. While it’s partially the warm temperatures that make summer enjoyable, it’s these same temperatures that can contribute to a breakdown. Here are some of the most common car repairs experienced during the summer and what you can do to prevent them.

Overheated Engine
When temperatures are high, your vehicle has to work harder to keep the engine cool. The repair for an overheated engine is typically more coolant or a new thermostat. If the overheating becomes frequent despite these updates, more repairs work may be necessary.

Tire Problems
Rising temperatures mean rising tire pressures. If your tires remain over-inflated as you drive on hot roads, more stress is placed on them as they are forced to flex more. Thus, there are higher chances of having a blowout. It’s important to ensure your tires are properly inflated and that worn out tires are replaced.

Broken A/C
While defects in your air conditioning unit likely won’t be noticeable in the cooler months, a poorly performing unit is immediately noticeable during summer. Rather than finding that your A/C requires maintenance in the middle of a road trip, have it checked before the onset of summer at our auto body shop in Weatherford, TX.

Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

sedan with weatherproof coverThere may be a time in your life when you need to place your car in long-term storage. Whether you drive a convertible in the summer or you’re leaving for an extended vacation, here are some important factors to consider as you prepare to store your vehicle.

Change the Oil
Used oil contains contaminants that may pose harm to the engine. If you’re storing your car for longer than one month, consider getting the oil changed beforehand.

Fill the Tank
If there’s a significant amount of air in your car’s fuel tank, moisture can accumulate inside and the seals may dry out. With a full tank of gas, there is a much lower risk of damage. You can also use a fuel stabilizer to help avoid ethanol buildup.

Keep it Covered
If you don’t have a garage, consider putting the car in public storage. If storing your vehicle indoors isn’t possible, use a weatherproof car cover to avoid a possible need for auto hail repair in Fort Worth.

Inflate the Tires
Ensuring your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure will help prevent flat spots from developing as your car sits in storage. If you will be away for over a month, consider asking a friend or family member to take the car for a drive every few weeks.

Protecting Your Car’s Paint from the Summer Sun

While you may not notice a difference in your car’s exterior after one hot day, harmful ultraviolet rays can cause cumulative damage to your automobile’s finish. Pigments absorb UV over time, making paint colors change or fade. Plastics and polymers also absorb UV and degrade, becoming brittle or changing shape. Keep reading for some easy steps to keep your car’s exterior in great condition throughout the summer. For even more information on how to protect your car’s paint from the sun, chat with an expert at your local auto body shop in Fort Worth, TX.

Park in the Shade
A vehicle parked in the shade can be up to 20 degrees cooler than a vehicle in sunlight. When possible, try to park in a garage or in the shade. If your home doesn’t have a garage, consider investing in a protective canopy for your driveway.

Keep it Clean
When messes such as bird droppings, tar or insects stick to your car after a drive, these contaminants can actually “bake” into paint the longer they are exposed to heat. If they stay on your car long enough, they could even etch into the finish.  You can effectively prevent this issue by cleaning your car regularly. For any contaminants that are already embedded, use a clay bar.

Use Wax
Wax is one of the best ways to preserve your car’s paint. Apply wax after washing, and reapply it periodically to maintain the layer of protection that it offers against UV damage.

Three Problems You’ll Avoid By Getting a Dent Repaired Fast

If the dent in your car is small enough, you may not be in a rush to get it fixed. However, failing to address it could lead to more issues for you and your car in the future. Here are just three reasons to have a dent repaired right away.

Paint Damage
A dent can create cracks in your vehicle’s paint, which will eventually start to peel off and flake away. If the dent is fixed as soon as possible, you can avoid peeling paint and other cosmetic issues. An auto body shop in Fort Worth, TX, can help you stop paint damage quickly and efficiently.

Rusting
If the dent on your car does damage the paint, water can reach the metal of the car’s body – creating an ever-growing rust spot. If you have the dent fixed at an auto body shop before any rust appears, you can avoid what would be a more expensive repair later on.

Lower Resale Value
Cars don’t last a lifetime; at some point, you may want to sell or trade in your vehicle. Most appraisers will give your car a grade of excellent, good, fair, or poor. It’s important to know that a single dent can make the difference between a “good” and “fair” grade. If you want the highest grade possible (and a higher trade-in value), then it’s worth taking care of any dents your car may have.

What to Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car

You’re returning to your vehicle after a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant, and you find a large dent your rear bumper. Even worse, there’s no note or guilty driver in sight. What are your next steps?

If there is anyone nearby, ask if they saw who hit your car and take any information they can provide. Take down the witnesses’ information (name and phone number) if they were willing to provide it. You can also re-enter the restaurant/store/etc. and ask if they have security cameras that may have captured the accident.

Regardless of the extent to the damage to your car, you should visit a collision reporting center. Provide the representatives with the information you’ve gathered about the incident, and they will provide you with a report number. If you have collision coverage or uninsured motorist property damage, you’ll be covered by your car insurance policy (subject to your deductible). However, some insurance companies require that a hit and run incident be reported within 24 hours in order to receive coverage.

If you reside in the area, your insurance company will refer you to an auto body shop in Weatherford, TX to restore your vehicle to a beautiful and functional condition. The ideal body shop should have a range of fender or bumper repair options for your vehicle.

Defrosting Your Car the Safe Way

Paintless dent removal Weatherford TXMost people are familiar with the struggle of being late for work while your car is still covered in snow and ice. Here are some tricks for defrosting your car without doing any damage to the windshield or exterior.

Windshield & Windows
If you’re in a rush, you may consider it a good idea to toss hot water on your windshield to quickly melt the ice and/or snow. However, the sudden shift in temperature can cause a crack in the windshield. Instead, apply a mixture rubbing alcohol and water with a spray bottle. This solution is much more effective and won’t cause damage.

Door Locks
One of the most frustrating parts of an icy, chilly morning is ice buildup on your car’s doors locks. Rather than using your key to chip away at the ice, apply the rubbing alcohol/water mixture. You can also purchase a lock de-icer for additional lubrication and prevention. (Coating your key in petroleum jelly before inserting it can help, too.)

The Roof
If you’re in a hurry, you may neglect your car’s roof when clearing your vehicle of snow. However, this can be a hazard if the snow later falls to your windshield while driving. Snow/ice falloff at high speeds can crack or dent the cars of other drivers, as well. Using a telescoping snow broom is a quick and easy way to sweet snow off your car’s surfaces without damage.

If you’ve happened to notice a dent on your vehicle from troublesome winter conditions, contact our auto body shop today for paintless dent removal in Weatherford, TX.

Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car

auto body shop Weatherford TXSome car manufacturers tend to have greater reputations over others when it comes to the durability or lifespan of the cars they produce. However, with proper care, virtually any car can be kept on the road for as long as the owner wants to keep it. Here are some tips on keeping your car running for as long as possible.

Follow the Maintenance Schedule
Refer to your owner’s manual consistently for items that need to be replaced based on time or mileage. Some items, such as timing belts are not cheap to replace, but the bill for a replacement will be far less than the damage it would cause if it breaks.

Address Issues Quickly
Be aware of any new noises, strange smells, or vibrations that just don’t feel right. Even little issues such as a slight hum when you turn on the air conditioning can become big ones when left unattended. Take care of these problems with a mechanic or auto body shop in Weatherford, TX as soon as possible to prevent damage to your car that could become costly.

Keep it Clean
Dust and debris in your interior isn’t just unsightly, but it can actually cause wear to your vehicle’s surfaces. Regularly wash and wax your car to avoid rust, cracked leather, scratched dashes, etc.

Drive Responsibly
While you may fantasize about tearing up the track, don’t operate your car like a NASCAR driver. Sudden stops and starts, high speeds, and sharp corners will put undue stress on all of your car’s parts.