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Should You Get Collision Coverage?

Collisions are stressful and overwhelming on their own. Now imagine being involved in a collision, not having collision coverage on your vehicle, and having to pay for the damage to your car out of your pocket. We say “no thanks!”

Collision coverage is a type of insurance that covers accidents with other motor vehicles as well as objects like fences or trees. Important to note, collision coverage does not cover everything, i.e. medical bills or damage to your car that isn’t a direct result of a collisions (hail storms, break ins, etc.).

When adding collision coverage to your insurance policy, you should consider your deductible, which is the money you are responsible for paying prior to your insurance coverage kicking in. When thinking about your deductible there are a few things to take into consideration: monthly cost or premium, risk-level for you as a driver (teens have a higher cost because they are considered a higher risk), your driving record, and your car and situation. Consider how old your vehicle is and its worth to you.

Depending on how old your car is, sometimes collision coverage just isn’t worth it. Why? Insurance companies only pay fair market value for damage done to your vehicle. Generally, if your car is more than 10 years old, this is when you should consider dropping the coverage to save money.

There are some instances where you can’t drop collision insurance, such as when financing or leasing your vehicle. Only when you own it outright can you make this choice.

Finally, look at your emergency savings. If you have little to no savings and would be lost without your vehicle, you may want to keep collision coverage just to be safe.

If you have any questions about collision coverage or you’ve been in a collision and need your car to be repaired, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today.

Bent Car Frame | Your Hometown Body Shop

How Can I Tell If My Frame Is Damaged?

You should always take your car to an auto body shop after an accident regardless of whether there is an appearance of major damage or not. Major problems like frame damage can go undetected and if you wait too long after a crash, you may find an issue with getting your insurance to pay for the collision repairs.

Alignment Assessment

Your vehicle’s alignment can be disrupted with a bent frame. Does your car pull to one side? Do you have to turn your steering wheel in order to drive straight. If you’ve recently had your alignment fixed and the problem is persisting, it could be a sign of frame damage.

Tire Track Evaluation

If your vehicle has a bent frame, you may notice that it “crab walks” – this happens when the rear tires don’t follow in line behind the front tires. If you aren’t sure if this is happening, get all four tires wet, drive it straight across dry pavement, park your vehicle, and observe the tracks.

Parts Assessment

The frame of your vehicle is its foundation. If it is bent, many other components may not fit properly. You may notice this if you try to open and close a door unsuccessfully or if the body panels don’t line up properly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle’s frame, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Driving in the Rain | Your Hometown BodyShop

How Much Do Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident

Being in a car accident can leave you shaken up, but fortunately that feeling will slowly wear off over time. Unfortunately, the next time you open your car insurance bill, you may be shaken all over again.

Once you’ve reported an accident to your insurance company, your rates may increase. The increase will depend upon a few factors including the severity of the accident, damage incurred, who was at fault, and your driving history.

If you were not at fault, your insurance company may not choose to raise your rates. However, if you’ve had several accidents, even no-fault, you may see a rise in your bill.

If your insurance rates do go up, you may see anywhere from a 3% to 50% increase over what you were paying before the accident. This is a wide range because there is no way of knowing the true figure without knowing the specific details of the accident and your driving record. Your agent can give you the exact figure.

While an increase in your car insurance rate may be inevitable, there are a few actions you can take to keep them as low as possible. Some insurance companies offer Accident Forgiveness where they will overlook your first accident and leave your premium alone, however every company is different so it’s important to ask your company how that works. You can consider increasing your deductible – the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be. Drop unnecessary coverage if your car is older. You can see if your insurance has other discounts like good students, higher levels of education, packages if you bundle, and multiple drivers. Take a driving class! Many insurance companies will lower your rates if you attend a safe driving class and it’s a good opportunity to sharpen your skills and remind yourself exactly what the laws are.

You can always shop around – not all insurance companies are the same and some will hold an accident against you more than others.  With the right knowledge of car insurance providers and policies, you should be able to keep your rates low enough that you can get back on the road after an accident!

If you have any questions about your collision repair, call one of the member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

 

ASE Certified Mechanics

Hidden Damage Found During Repairs

A car accident can lead to hidden auto body damage found during repairs. Damage during a collision can range from superficial dents and scratches to significant internal destruction.

After your vehicle is involved in a collision, an inspector with your insurance company will perform a scrutinizing visual inspection of the damage sustained. This only estimates the damage from a visual standpoint and hidden damage can often later be uncovered by the collision center when working on your vehicle.

Once the collision center has begun the repair process by removing damaged areas of the vehicle, they are able to diagnose any additional damage sustained by the vehicle. If hidden damage is revealed, the collision center should contact you immediately to alert you of the findings. After this, you should contact your insurance company to inform them of the damage uncovered by the body shop.

A representative will re-inspect the vehicle at the collision center to provide a supplemental estimate, which takes into consideration the hidden damage discovered. The inspector from the insurance company will discuss a cost with the auto body shop that works for both parties. Once negotiated, the supplemental estimate should cover the cost of any additional damages found.

A visual estimate is just an estimation of cost. It is impossible to know in advance the exact cost of the repair. The member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop work with insurance companies to make claims easier for our customers. You can rest assured that putting your car in the hands of a responsible and reputable collision repair center, like one of our member shops, will ensure your vehicle back on the road as good as new.

paintless dent repair services

Benefits of Paintless Dent Removal and Repair

There is a significant difference between traditional dent repair and paintless dent removal (PDR).

With traditional dent removal, the paint in the affected area is sanded down; the crunched metal pounded into place, and any areas that aren’t smooth are filled in with putty. After that, the area must be sanded, primed, given a base coat of paint, and then a final coat. It is time consuming and expensive.

Paintless Dent Removal doesn’t mask the damage done to your car, it removes it completely from the back side of the panel. Access behind the damage panel is gained after which pressure is applied to the dented areas while carefully manipulating, massaging, and reforming the metal back to its original, pre-accident state, however if there is damage to the paint on your vehicle, PDR is typically unsuitable. The price for this procedure is considerably lower than traditional dent repair and typically only takes a day to accomplish.

Advantages of Paintless Car Dent Removal

There are several benefits to paintless dental removal including a more original vehicle, better prices, shorter repair time, and environmentally friendly procedures.

Does Your Car Qualify for Paintless Dent Repair?

Your car may qualify for PDR if your dent did not compromise the paint finish of your vehicle. Dents that are on the edges of your vehicle may be difficult to use PDR on as well as chrome or metal bumpers and fuel doors. It’s always best to seek out a local auto body repair shop to get an expert opinion. Contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today to discuss how we can assist with your auto body repairs.

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Driving Safe in the Summer | Your Hometown Body Shop

Staying Safe in the Summer

Warm weather not only invites more people outside, but it invites more people to share the road. Here are some reminders to keep you, your family, and your vehicle safe during these next few months.

WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS

When it’s warm, there are all kinds of people using the roads: bikers, motorcyclers, walking pedestrians, and more. It’s very important to be mindful of your surroundings, for these individuals are incredibly vulnerable. Unlike you, they do not have the protection of a vehicle. Accidents could quickly escalate to a much worse outcome if you aren’t careful.

Remember:

  • People can from any direction, at any time. Be mindful of your blind spots and react quickly.
  • Be especially careful when driving in neighborhoods or around schools, where children are more likely to be playing in the streets.
  • Don’t expect pedestrians to stop for you. They may be distracted, may be hearing- or sight-impaired, and may not see you coming at all. Always pay mind to them, and allow them to pass.

DON’T LEAVE CHILDREN IN THE CAR

Heatstroke can happen so easily, and often it occurs out of ignorance. Never leave your children and/or pets in a car. It does not matter if the window has been cracked open, and it does not matter if it is only for a few minutes. The impact is harmful regardless.

Vehicles heat up incredibly fast, and deadly levels are quickly easily reached within the few minutes that you are gone. On top of that, the body temperature of children rises faster than that of adults— three to five times faster, to be exact. Keep your kids safe by either taking them with you, or leaving the car running for them.

DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO KEEP DRIVING

Road trips, or long trips in itself, are tedious. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, forcing yourself to continue driving is the wrong way to go. Other lives are at stake at that point, including your own.

Take breaks at a rest stop to stretch, get some food, and go to the bathroom. Switch drivers. Stop somewhere overnight and sleep for a while, and then go back and hit the road. Driving is not a race. It is all about being safe as you go from place to place.

If you have any questions about car safety or where to bring your car after an accident, come by and talk to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

ASE Certified Shops

The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are proud to be ASE Certified! There are several certifications and organizations in the automotive industry, serving to raise auto care across the nation up to a higher standard. ASE, or the National Institute for Automotive Excellence, is one of them. ASE has been up and running since 1972 as an independent, non-profit organization that certifies individual technicians and service advisors, not the auto shop as a whole. They grant certification based on tests, skill level, and the ethics and community involvement of each worker on a case by case basis.

This system is very helpful across the board. For the technicians, it’s a way for them to show evidence of their skill and professionalism to potential employers. For shop managers, it can help them promote their shop based on the fact that they have ASE Certified technicians, and it helps them get a sense of the skill and experience level for their potential employees based on a nationally appreciated scale. For consumers, it means all they have to look for is the blue and white ASE seal to know that they have found a great place for automotive repair and service.

So how do you become ASE Certified? First, an aspiring mechanic must have a two-year degree and a year of experience, or two years of on the job training, to be eligible to take the test. Only two out of three test takers pass on their first try. In addition, to stay certified technicians must retest every five years. There are over 40 different exams for specialties like school buses, collision repair, truck accessories, and more, and the tests are designed by a panel of experts. That’s why ASE Certification is a staple of excellence in the automotive industry.

You can rest assured knowing your vehicle is in good hands when you take it to one of the members of Your Hometown Bodyshop!

Automotive PaintAutomotive Paint Color Matching | Your Hometown Body Shop

What Affects Automotive Paint Color Matching?

There are a few factors that make matching color a difficult task. First let’s take a look at what makes up the paint. The basic ingredients in automotive paint are resin, pigment, and solvent. Resin holds together the pigment, provides adhesion to the surface applied, and determines the quality and paint durability. Pigment comes in powder form, and the aftermarket auto paint mixing system includes roughly 100 colors or toners to mix formulas, including pearl and metallic paint colors. Solvent provides transferability; without it the paint would be too thick.

When the auto paint manufacturer mixes these three elements to create a formula for the standard color, they are allowed a tolerance of plus or minus 5% when the paint is delivered. This percentage can make a big difference and actually cause two of the same vehicles to look completely different in color.

Temperature when painting, paint film thickness, time between coats, speed and type of paint spray gun, surface type, and humidity can all factor in differences in auto body paint color shade.

Sunlight is another factor to consider when color matching. A car exposed to sunlight for years will have begun to fade in color.

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to match autobody paint color. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are all well versed in the latest painting technology and techniques to get your vehicle looking brand new. If you need automotive painting services, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Vehicle Infotainment System | Your Hometown Body Shop

Why Are Electronic Safety System Recalibrations So Important?

Many newer cars come with mandatory electronically-controlled safety systems like airbags, along with optional collision avoidance features like forward crash, lane departure and blind spot detection alerts. The combined objective of those high-tech systems is to avoid accidents, save lives or, at a minimum, reduce impact severity. But even with these innovations wrecks still occur that require auto body repairs. And when a car with any of these newer safety features is involved in even a minor fender bender every driver alert system’s sensor alignment and overall performance must be tested and recalibrated before the collision repairs are completed. The same holds true for the vehicle’s airbag system, whether it deployed or not.

Experienced technicians realize that failing to conduct a thorough recalibration on these ultra-sensitive electronic systems could jeopardize the safety of occupants later on. To ensure that doesn’t happen, there are several recalibration steps involved using special diagnostic equipment once your vehicle arrives at the shop. As a driver you also need to be educated on what should be done when your vehicle is undergoing repairs. With that in mind here are some important points about electronic recalibrations that could someday save your life, or that of another.

Electronic System Recalibrations Require These Steps

Electronic safety systems operate when a signal is sent from a sensor or camera to an onboard computer. Like most electrical systems in your car, the airbag deployment and collision avoidance ones have dash warning lights to alert you when communication is interrupted. But sometimes after an accident these lights don’t come on when they should. And even when a system is not disconnected during repairs that doesn’t necessarily mean it will perform optimally. Additionally, merely reading diagnostic test codes won’t always reveal that there’s a problem. As a result, your car’s sensitive electronic safety systems need to be tested and recalibrated using these 3 vital steps:

• Scanning the vehicle-specific codes for error messages through the OBD port
• Clearing those diagnostic codes
• Recalibrating or “resetting” the sensors according to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure they are not misaligned or out of focus

A simple OBD port scan cannot determine if the system’s sensors, which typically use laser, radar or camera technology, are aimed correctly. Special diagnostic and calibration equipment is needed in most cases, and not all body shops have that. To assist in system recalibrations there exist outside specialty companies that will come to the shop, or sometimes the car is taken to a certified local dealership to get the reprogramming done. When recalibrating your electronic systems, trained technicians use online websites like I-CAR, ALLDATA or OEM to access the correct reprogramming specifications set forth by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Routine Collision Repairs Can Disrupt Electronic Signals

In addition to damage from the accident itself, there are several routinely-done collision repairs that can disrupt your vehicle’s sensitive onboard electronic systems including:

• Windshield replacements
• Disconnecting the battery wires and/or electrical rewiring
• Bumper repairs and replacements
• Grill assembly repairs and replacements
• Painting plastic bumpers and other body panels

Most safety sensors are covertly located on the front or rear of your car. If a bumper or grill assembly is not correctly reinstalled during repairs it can cause a sensor misalignment or even signal disruption interference. Any freshly-painted surfaces that cover sensors, for example a plastic bumper, must have a specified maximum paint thickness, measured in “mils”, over those sensors to ensure they work properly.

 

If you’ve been in an accident it’s important to have scans and recalibrations done – call the members of Your Hometown Body Shop to make sure your car is fixed properly the first time.

 

Information provided by Carwise 

car accident | auto body shop michigan

Rear End Collision Damage

Being involved in a rear-end collision is never fun. If your vehicle has been rear-ended, there are a few things you should check before getting back on the road.

Hidden Body Damage

In a rear-end collision, there is often damage behind the bumper cover that you may not be able to see just looking at the vehicle.  Most modern vehicles use plastic bumper covers that don’t provide a lot of protection between the frame of your vehicle and another, even if it’s a small car that caused the impact. In short, you can’t always rely on the visual appearance to be sure there’s no damage. Always check.

 Alignment Issues

If you notice changes in the way your car handles after a rear-end collision, your alignment is probably off. The most obvious symptom of an alignment issue is uneven driving or steering wobble where the wheel pulls to one side. You may also notice vibrations while driving. Improper alignment issues can cause serious safety hazards to your vehicle or others when driving. If you notice alignment issues, call a member of Your Hometown Body Shop immediately to get your vehicle looked at.

Rear Trunk Problems 

Your vehicle’s trunk should open and close smoothly. If it does not after a rear-end collision, that means that there could be some damage to rear cabin components. This won’t impact your driving, but could create a safety hazard if the trunk lid suddenly opens while you’re driving.

If your vehicle has been involved in a rear end accident, it’s a good idea to take it to a professional. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop can be reached for an inspection or damage estimate. Let us help you get safely back on the road.

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