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 

Driving in the Rain | Your Hometown BodyShop

Driving in the Rain

Nervous about driving in a downpour? Many accidents occur as a result of the rain, as rain makes it easier for your car to slide due to lost traction. While you should try to refrain from driving in heavy rain, sometimes a commute is unavoidable. Keep yourself safe from the dangers of spring showers with these tips for driving through downpours:

  • Keep Your Vehicle Up-to-Date: Make sure to replace windshield wipers if need be. Visibility is essential to avoiding accidents. Turn on your headlights to further increase visibility. Assess your brakes to avoid slipping. Finally, check the tread on your tires to avoid hydroplaning. Precautions like these make any accidents less likely to occur.
  • Be Cautious: Never drive through a large collection of water, especially if it is moving and you cannot see the bottom. If the water comes up to the opening of your door, do not continue in that direction. Instead, find an alternate route. Be sure to slow down in the rain, since it is more difficult to stop quickly if you are moving at a greater speed. Furthermore, leave more space between your vehicle and other drivers in case one of you slip or have to stop suddenly.
  • Avoid Putting Wheels in Rain: When possible, move to the middle lane or try to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. The edges of the road are where the most water collects, as the road has a slight curve to create runoff. By staying in the middle, you can reduce the amount of water your tires will have to fight against. Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you achieves the same effect, as these spots have had a momentary lapse of rain from the car in front. However, do not drive directly behind the car in front of you; be sure to leave space so that you may both slow to a stop safely.
  • Turn Off Cruise Control: Cruise control prevents your car from quickly accelerating or decelerating. If you need to speed up, slow down, or stop suddenly due to the rain, you will not be able to do so if cruise control is still on. Cruise control is not to be used in the rain, as it may reduce the traction of your tires and cause you to get in an accident.
  • Don’t Panic: The worst thing you can do in any dangerous situation is to panic, as it inhibits decision-making. Stay calm if your car begins to slide. Do not oppose the direction the car is going in quickly, as it could cause your vehicle to turn over. Ease your foot up off the gas to stop the incident from worsening. Avoid braking suddenly, as this will make the car more difficult to control as a result of the instantaneous shift in balance. Slowly steer in the direction you wish to go to prevent the car from flipping.
Done right the first time

Why Do I Have to Pay My Deductible?

When you purchase an insurance policy from an agent you make several decisions at that time.

One of those decisions is how much you want to pay before the insurance company starts to contribute to the cost of the repairs if you were to wreck your vehicle.

Deductibles can range from $0 to $2500.00.

Of course, the higher the deductible the cheaper the monthly premium will be. Look closely at the amount of the deductible so you can decide if you can afford it if you have an accident. The draw back to a higher deductible is that you will pay for any amounts that are up to the threshold of the deductible. The contract is legally binding with the insurance company so they expect that you will pay the full amount of what you owe.

If a shop inflates an estimate to help cover the deductible it is insurance fraud. It can be investigated by a government agency known as the insurance crime bureau.

You may think you are getting away with something because they work in the background most of the time and you don’t hear much about them but you’re not. They are very smart, have seen it all, and are hard to fool. They can and will prosecute anyone who commits insurance fraud.

Honest shops don’t go that route so please do not ask any of the member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop to break the law in any way.

If you have any questions or concerns about your deductible, please contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop. We would be happy to assist however we can.

Keeping Your Car Looking Great

Your Hometown Body Shop can get your dinged, scratched, broken, and dented cars looks brand new again. Once you get your car back, the last thing you want is to damage it again. Here are 5 tips on keeping your cap looking great and save you money.

  1. Park away from potential scratches. Don’t pull into a parking spot next to the crooked SUV, and keep away from cart return area or where other pedestrians may accidentally scrape your paint while carrying something past.
  2. Drive Defensively. Don’t ride the car in front of you (no matter how slow they’re going). Always try to keep a safe distance of cars to either side of you, and if someone is riding your tail, just move over and let them pass. Aggressive driving is a great way to get into an accident and send your car right back into the body shop, or worse put yourself in danger.
  3. Wash your car. Dust and dirt can damage the paint on a car, especially if left unwashed or washed improperly. Hand washing is always better and use a soft cloth, soap and water starting with the roof on down.
  4. Park in the shade. The heat will soften up your cars paint and leave it more vulnerable to scratches and other damage. The sun can also cause cracking to your car’s interior
  5. Immediately repair cracked windshields. If a crack is under 12 inches, it can usually be repaired without replacing the entire windshield.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you care for your car, accidents do happen. When they do, Hometown Auto Body provides exceptional service. We provide a wide range of auto body repair services. Come visit us at one of our four locations for all of your auto body needs and questions.

Top 7 Causes of Car Collisions

Car Accidents occur every day in the United States. We’ve gathered a list of the top 7 causes of collisions as well as some helpful tips on how to avoid or prevent accidents in connection with those causes.

  1. Drunk Driving: This is the most dangerous and at the same time most avoidable cause of major car accidents. Alcohol impairs judgement and slows reaction time, which are two of the most important things to have when behind the wheel. When you don’t drink and drive you aren’t just saving your own life, but instead saving the lives of others as well. To avoid causing an accident in this case: don’t drink and drive.
  2. Distracted Driving: Distractions are out there now more than ever because of how technology has developed. A major cause of auto accidents now is people either talking, texting, or using their phone in any way while driving. A way to avoid this is to put your phone out of reach while driving, and if you really must use it make sure you are pulled over and out of the way of other motorists.
  3. Not Using Your Turn Signal: Possibly one of the most irritating things that you can experience behind the wheel is someone merging in front of you without using their turn signal. That small moment of carelessness could end up being devastating for your vehicle, you, and potentially anyone else. Turn signals are there for two major reasons: your safety and for the safety of those around you on the road.
  4. Road Rage: Everyone gets angry behind the wheel from time to time, but it is in your best interest to never act on it. It’s not worth it, at all. Keep a calm head if you’re around an aggressive driver. Don’t let their ignorance affect you. Nothing is worth potentially harming you and or your vehicle.
  5. Other Drivers: As an addition to the last tip, letting your guard down while driving can lead to a major accident. Not every driver is ignorant, but then again not every driver is perfect. Always be alert of others around you, and always drive on the defensive side, there is no such thing as being too cautious of other drivers.
  6. Rain: We can’t control the weather, and eventually you’re going to have to drive in the rain. A helpful tip for driving in the rain is to take turns with caution due to the decrease in traction. Another helpful tip is to make sure your lights are on, because the more visible your vehicle is, the less likely you are to be hit by another driver.
  7. Ice: While ice is only around in the winter, it is still one of the leading causes of major accidents. While most roads get salted and plowed during a snow storm, it is better to treat ice like it is there whether it actually is or not. Ways to be safer when encountering ice is to slow down majorly, and give other motorists double the space you would normally give while driving in normal conditions. This way reaction time is increased and collision probability is lowered significantly.

Collisions happen. By being diligent and aware of all your surroundings, you can contribute to a safer driving experience for everyone. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Distracted Driving

Every day, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. There are 3 distinctive types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction is taking your eyes off the road, manual distraction occurs when taking your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distraction is when you take your mind off of driving.

Using a cell phone, texting, and eating are all distracted driving activities. A recent lawsuit involving Snapchat alleges that the speed filter on the app encourages reckless driving.

In the fall of 2015, a teen driver was attempting to get over 100 mph on Snapchat’s speed filter, failing to notice a car pulling onto the highway she was speeding on.

You can read the entire story here.

Focusing on the road and drivers around you is an incredibly important part of driving. When you are distracted, you significantly increase your chances of being in or causing an accident. It is best to avoid all distractions when you get behind the wheel. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Your Hometown Body Shop! You can find our contact information here.

Done right the first time

Prepare Your Teen for Safe Driving

Your teen started learning about driving long before you began thinking about learner’s permits, driving classes and teenage driving tips. Children watch their parents’ driving behavior from the back seat, learning how they interact with other drivers, obey traffic laws and avoid distractions. (You’ve been following all the rules, right?!)

Your teen is getting ready to drive and it’s time to talk about more formal driver training. Our friends at AAA can help your family choose the right driving school, talk about proper driving practices, set family rules about safe driving, and offer an abundance of tips to help your child become a safe driver.

Are you ready to help your teen become a safe driver? Take a look at some of the information below to help prepare yourself!

Understanding the Facts & Risks” explains why teens crash—it’s not just from distracted driving or drunk driving. “Licensing Process” walks you through Michigan’s system for getting a driver’s license. “Insurance” details insurance requirements as the teen driving process begins, and the news is probably better than you expect. “Driver Education” helps you understand your state’s specific driver ed requirements and pick the right driving school for your teen. “Key Points for Parents” boils everything down to the simple things that you should be doing now to instill safe driving practices. You and your teen are partners in this process, and “Teen’s Role” lays out some of your teen’s responsibilities.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of the Your Hometown Body Shop partners. And make sure you visit our Teen Drivers Page for helpful information on teen driving in Michigan. We have videos, news & updates, resources, and prizes! http://yourhometownbodyshop.com/teen-drivers/

Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility Program

Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility Program

Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility ProgramWe are proud to announce that our member shops Kime Collision Corp and Northtown Collision are now part of Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility Program. This certification and recognition places them among the best body shops in the country. It signifies that they have the state-of-the-art training, tools and technology needed to provide their customers with the highest quality end-to-end experience during the repair process. This recognition certifies that these shops have the specialized requirements to repair all Ford vehicles back to manufacturer specifications – including the radically redesigned 2015 F-150, built with innovative, high-strength, military-grade aluminum-alloy.