car accident | auto body shop michigan

Are Bigger or Smaller Cars Safer?

Many people would consider bigger car to be significantly safer than small cars, however technology has shrunk the gap between the sizes to focus on overall safety of newer cars.

Newer Cars are Safest – Regardless of Size

Modern vehicles have more safety features that minimize injury and risk of death. You can certainly add many features (for a price), but some of the standard safety features include:

  • Side, rear, side-curtain, and front airbags
  • Electronic stability control, which stabilizes your car if it spins out of control
  • Back up sensors and back up camera
  • Blind spot warning using a camera or sensor

Weight and Size

Bigger cars are heavier and can absorb the force of an impact better than a smaller car. Larger hoods in bigger vehicles have the advantage in head on collisions because they have a more significant crumple zone.

Momentum

As the weight of the car increases, momentum does as well, meaning it takes more time for the vehicle to slow down. Smaller cars have a higher risk when involved with a collision with a larger car. In a collision with a smaller vehicle, the energy of the bigger car will be transferred to the smaller car, causing it more damage.

Height

Larger vehicles may be more at risk for rollover accidents as they have a higher center of gravity. Cars lower to the ground have a higher risk of sliding underneath another vehicle, i.e. a small car and a semi-truck.

What is the Safest Type of Vehicle?

Generally, this varies from family to family.

  • Are you looking to keep small children safe? Looking for a car for a new driver?
  • Can you afford to spend a lot in gas or are you looking for something a little more environmentally friendly.

A little research can provide you with information on

  • Vehicle ratings and crash tests
  • Included safety features and available add-ons
  • Electronic stability control
  • Recalls that may compromise the safety of the vehicle

 

If you’ve been in a collision and are in need of repairs, please contact one of the members of Your Hometown Bodyshop 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 

Road Salt | Your Hometown Body Shop

Protect Your Car from the Effects of Road Salt

There are several benefits from the widespread use of road salt, including accident avoidance. However road salt can also cause severe damage to vehicles. Salt is spread out prior to a snow or ice storm and motorists venture out accumulating a thick coating of road salt mixed with slush throughout their vehicle’s undercarriages and wheel well. When the slush melts, it is the salt that is left behind, causing a slow attack on metal and rubber parts.

Brakes are especially susceptible as the rotors always present a fresh metallic surface for the salt to attack. Salt causes rust on the brackets that encase the brake pads and the extra layer of rust puts a squeeze on the pads over time. This can prevent them from applying fully or releasing completely.

Maintain Your Car’s Longevity

Road salt is unavoidable, so it’s best to get your car to a car was at least once a month when the roads are salted. Look for a car wash with an undercarriage cleaning!

If your car is in good shape underneath, you might also consider having a professionally applied rust-proofing treatment that concentrates on the brake lines, fuel lines, and other vulnerable areas.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, give one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop a call!

Cleaning Your Car | Your Hometown Body Shop

Caring for Your Interior

Want to keep your vehicle’s interior in tip-top shape but aren’t always sure of the right steps to take to do so? Your Hometown Body Shop has you covered!

Vacuuming

Vacuuming your car is the best thing you can do to keep is clean and looking beautiful. Remember to remove the floor mats and use different accessories on the vacuum to reach those hard to get places.

Upholstery Care

If there is dirt on your vehicle’s upholstery (spoiler, you bring dirt into your car every day), you’ll want to use a carpet and upholstery cleaner specific for automotive care. Leaving dirt on your upholstery can cause discoloration over time. If there are stains you cannot remove, you can call any of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Cleaning your Dashboard

Your dashboard collects a lot of dust. To clean it, you should begin by vacuuming and follow that with a microfiber cloth. You should avoid household cleaning products that are harsh on your vehicle’s interior. Cleaning the steering wheel is important, but be sure not to use a greasy or slippery product as they may affect your grip.

Clean Windows = Better Visibility

Use glass cleaners that won’t leave behind any streaks, especially when used with a newspaper. Keep in mind that some glass cleaners are not designed to work on tinted windows and can actually cause damage.

Professional Help

If you need vehicle maintenance in Standish, Midland, or Richville Michigan, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop. We are experts in the proper way to care for the interior of your vehicle.

Car Accident | Your Hometown Body Shop

Can A Bent Car Frame be Fixed After an Accident?

Collisions happen – which means there is a need for accident repairs! The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are able to service vehicles in all stages of disrepair. One of the more challenging fixes is repairing vehicle frames damaged in a collision.

Cars today are manufactured in a way that many accidents will result in some kind of damage to the core inner frame of your vehicle. This comes as a result of the high safety standards that car manufacturers must adhere to when designing and building new cars. The creation of “Crumple Zones” that are built into cars, trucks, and SUVs mean that your vehicle has design elements meant to absorb the impact of a collision.

If frame damage is diagnosed in your vehicle after a collision, you should refrain from panicking. Well trained mechanics can typically return your vehicle as close to factory specs as possible with the help of specialized framing machines that use torque and hydraulics to put your frame back into its original shape. In a case where your frame cannot be straightened out using the machines, the mechanic may suggest cutting out bent pieces and welding new metal pieces in their place.

It is important to note that although such repairs are common, welding can reduce the integrity of your metal frame. This may compromise your insurance policy; it could also compromise the safety of your vehicle. If the damage is too great, you may want to write off your car.

Collision Specialists Michigan

What to Look for in a Good Auto Repair Shop

So you’ve been in an accident and need to have your car repaired. Ensure you’re getting service you can trust by remembering these tips for what to ask at the shop and signs of good (and not so good) mechanics.

Be wary of scare stactics. If the auto repair shop is saying things like “I wouldn’t drive this another mile” you may want to consider getting a second opinion.

Visible certifications from AAA or ASE are signs of a reputable shop. A good mechanic will explain your repair options thoroughly and keep a clean shop.

A shop you should be wary of might ask you to sign blank authorization forms or may try to sell you unnecessary things like a transmission flush.

Meet the mechanics! You should be able to easily talk to the people who will be working on your car. This helps to develop a trusting relationship.

All the members of Your Hometown Body Shop are reputable mechanics who are dedicated to enhancing the integrity and professionalism of the collision industry.

Distracted Driving

In 2015 alone, 391,000 people were injured and 3,477 lives we lost due to distracted driving. Research conducted by AT&T found that nearly 4 in 10 social media users go on their social media while behind the wheel. The risk of a crash increases by 23 times if you text and drive.

If these statistics scare you, they are doing their job. None of those 391,000 injuries or 3,477 deaths would have happened if people just did not drive while distracted. Distracted driving is a huge issue that is completely avoidable, yet extremely prevalent in today’s society. We must handle the issue of distracted driving before it takes even more lives and injures even more people than it already has.

The most important question is what is distracted driving? There are three different kinds of distracted driving. Visual, when you take your eyes off the road, Manual, where you take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive, which is when you take your mind off driving. Some kinds of activities that would count as distracted driving include, going on your phone while behind the wheel, eating, even using in-vehicle navigation or radio systems.

It is not fair to your, the passengers in your car, or the other drivers on the road if you distract yourself while behind the wheel. You are not only putting yourself in danger but every single other car that is on the road as well. Do not be someone who adds to the already long list of fatalities caused by distracted driving. 1 out of every 4 car crashes that happen are due to texting while driving, a very prominent form of distracted driving.

If you find yourself guilty of distracted driving, help make a change and save lives and vow to stop distracted driving now.

Spring Cleaning for Your Vehicle

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. Your car also needs a little extra care in the spring! Keep your car running efficiently as the warmer weather approaches by following these tips.

You’ve likely had to use a lot of fluids throughout the winter to keep your car running properly. As the weather gets nicer, it’s imperative you get the fluids checked and refill those that are low.

While Spring brings warmer weather, it also brings rain showers, which means it’s important to ensure your windshield wipers are working properly. You do not want to get stuck in a down pour with windshield wipers that don’t work! For your safety, windshield wipers should typically be replaced every six months.

Your tires are likely to contract in the cold winter months, however in the spring, they’re more likely to expand in the warmer weather. These changes mean you should check and rotate your tires to ensure you are getting an even amount of pressure on all sides.

While these tips are helpful for keeping your vehicle running properly, they also serve as safety tips. If you have any questions or are in need of a collision repair center, please feel free to reach out to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Teen Driving | Your Hometown BodyShop

Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Drive

If you have a teenager learning to drive, you know that many rules and tips for the road have changed since you were in driver’s education class and getting behind the wheel for the first time.  For that reason, we compiled a list of a few driving tips to pass along to your millennial teen.  Ingraining these tips from the beginning is the best way to ensure lasting, good habits and safe driving practices.

One of the most noteworthy laws that has been put in place in the past 25 years is the mandating of seatbelts.  While it is important for your teen driver and all occupants of a car to wear a seatbelt, there are many other safety guidelines and laws for driving today that didn’t exist just a few years back.  Restricting cell phone usage is a great example of this.  Using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous and, in many states, a punishable act.  It’s important to set rules and expectations with your teen surrounding cell phone usage in the car.  As it is smart for your young driver to have a phone with them in case of emergencies or for directions, it is useful to map out guidelines for when and where using a phone is appropriate and safe.

Optimal hand placement on the steering wheel has also seen a few updates in recent years.  It’s likely that you were taught to place your hands at 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock on the wheel, but experts have now agreed that placing hands at 3 and 9 are safer in case of an accident.  Bent and relaxed arms at 3 and 9 provide a lower chance of arms being injured by airbag deployment, as they would be on the outer edge of the bag, not the top as they would be if placed at 2 and 10.

Also, recent studies have shown that having other teens in the car creates the most dangerous driving condition for a young driver’s safety.  Please make sure to discuss focus and responsibility while driving with friends.

We wish you the best in your coaching! If you have any questions regarding teen safety while driving or collision repair, please contact one of the members of Your Hometown BodyShop!

Car Accident | Your Hometown Body Shop

Things You Should Know Before Sending Your Car for Repairs After A Collision

Even if your vehicle has been involved in an awful accident, there are good chances that a professional collision repair center, such as a member of Your Hometown Body Shop, can repair it and prepare it for the road again. It’s important to know a few things about the collision repair process before bringing it into the shop for repairs.

If your car is badly damaged, it is not a good idea to drive it yourself to the repair center. Instead, have it towed!

Your insurance company will want to inspect your damaged car before it is repaired. A reputable auto body shop like the Members of Your Hometown Body Shop can collaborate with insurance companies so that insurance agents can see the car at the repair center before work begins.

Some of the repair estimates you receive may be widely different. There are several factors that can account for the differences in repair costs including the quality of the replacement parts (original or after-market), the amount of time the repair will take, and whether or not all necessary work is included in the price. Your Hometown Body Shop members will give you an accurate figure right from the start, saving you from surprise fees while we work on your vehicle.

The collision repair center you choose should have the tools and equipment necessary to handle your repairs. Additionally, they should have an experienced and certified staff to complete the work. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop have more than 30 years experience in the collision repair industry. Visit our website to see our credentials.

If you are looking for a reputable collision repair service in Standish, Midland, or Richville, Michigan, then Your Hometown Body Shop is your best choice! Our members have the experience, equipment, and staff necessary to effectively repair your vehicle and get you back on the road safely.

 

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