Cleaning Your Car | Your Hometown Body Shop

Car Cleaning

It is easy to put off the good cleaning your car deserves. It is important to keep both the interior and exterior clean for several reasons. There is the obvious aesthetic factor of keeping a clean car. A trash filled floor can be distracting, smelly, and aggravating as well as potentially dangerous if an object gets lodged under the pedals.

It is also difficult to find your registration or proof of insurance when the glove box is jammed with old napkins and receipts. It’s much easier to throw out your trash whenever you reach the destination instead of waiting until there’s trash piled up.

Giving your floor mats a good vacuuming and shampooing will reduce wear and tear as well as increase their lifetime. Also, keeping your car out of direct sunlight can help prevent cracks in the plastic. Washing the dirt and grime off of your car goes a long way to preventing small scratches on its finish.

Don’t forget, salt that gets all over your car in the winter is extremely corrosive and can eat away at paint and metal. Therefore it is necessary to regularly go to the car wash in both the winter and summer.

If your car has been scratched, cracked, dented, or rusted Your Hometown Body Shop can help! Give us a call today for an estimate!

Fender Bender | Your Hometown Body Shop

Avoiding Fender Benders

Parking lots are home to many small fender bender accidents each year. There is a lot of turning, reversing and pulling out in a small area which makes it easy for a collision to occur. Although these accidents usually don’t result in injury, they can be costly and leave you without a car while it is being repaired. Most parking lot accidents can be avoided following these simple tips.

  • Be patient! Rushing out of a spot or to get the spot closest to the store is an easy way to get into an accident. Additionally, if you pull out in front of a car, the fault is yours so you will be responsible for paying damages. Getting into an accident because you were rushing will not only cost your checkbook, but time out of your day.
  • Be alert! Always be looking for cars backing out of spots or pulling through. Also be wary of cars cutting through parking spaces across the parking lot.
  • Park further away. The easiest way to avoid dents and scratches is by staying away from the areas of highest traffic. Walking a little further is worth saving yourself the headache of dealing with a ding from a carelessly opened door or a passing shopping cart
  • Check your lights and signals. The most common type of accident in the United States is a rear end collision. Making sure your break lights are in working order and are visible goes a long way in avoiding being rear ended.

In addition to these tips you should always remain sober and never text while driving. If you are involved in a parking lot fender bender, visit a member of Your Hometown Body Shop for an estimate!

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.

Driving in School Zones

School is back in session. Most drivers tend to dread this time because it means that school buses may begin to clog up their morning commute. However, it is a big responsibility to make sure you’re aware and alert of school buses, school zones, and children when driving. Here are some helpful tips that will either help or refresh your knowledge!

  • Know when you’re in a school zone
    • In the morning, it is easy to overlook certain road signs that you may not find essential in your commute. It is also easy to become more distracted in the morning too due to a general increase in cell phone activity among the population. Most school zones now are equipped with flashing lights and more noticeable signs to warn drivers that children are in the area.
  • Reduce Speed in School Zones
    • Most School Zone signs now have a speed limit on them as well. Not only that, but now schools have upped their safety game by including speedbumps, rumble strips, and additional safety signs in the proximity of the school zone. This is done so that drivers aren’t slamming on their breaks in a school zone, but instead make a nice transition to a slower speed in order to increase safety.
      • Additionally, fines are always much higher in a school zone and the police will not hesitate to catch you for speeding.
    • Expect More Traffic
      • If you drive through or near a school zone, then your commute is going to be longer due to an increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Plan on leaving a few minutes earlier in the morning to compensate for the expected increase in traffic. Crossing guards and lights are meant to favor students over motorists. Not just walking students, but buses and parents dropping off their children are also going to slow down your route. Bring some coffee along on your commute, leave a little earlier, and relax.
    • Be on the Lookout for Buses
      • Even if you’re not necessarily driving through a school zone, you may find yourself driving near residential areas that have bus stops. It is very important to know the laws regarding school buses and when to stop. Unless there is a physical barrier separating the lanes between you and the school bus, then you must stop. Not stopping for a school bus is a very severe fine, often double or even tripled the normal amount. Additionally, it can be up to five points on your driver’s license. When in doubt, if you see a bus, slow down and be prepared to stop. You will potentially save the lives of children, and save yourself a hefty fine.

You should always be aware of your surroundings when driving, especially when driving in a school zone. If you have any questions regarding driving in school zones or where to bring your car after an accident, please call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Your Hometown Body Shop

Driving in The Dark

Now that September is here, Fall is right around the corner. With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, you may find yourself driving at night more often than usual. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to get into a collision at night due to a number of factors ranging from an increase in distractions to a decrease in vision among drivers. Below are some tips to help keep you safer at night, and to be more aware of your surroundings in the dark.

  • Dim Your Instrument Panel and Dashboard Lights
    • One potential factor that can hinder your nighttime driving abilities is having a dashboard that is too bright. This can cause your eyes to not adjust properly to see in the darkness ahead. Your vehicle’s dashboard comes with a dimmer switch for a reason. Turning the switch down will cause a noticeable difference in how far you can see ahead of you and it will ultimately keep you safer.
  • Don’t Stare at Oncoming Lights
    • When driving in the dark, it is human nature to be drawn to any source of light. The major issue is that sometimes the light source is an oncoming vehicles headlights. Sometimes drowsy drivers can slightly veer toward a vehicle coming in the opposite direction, thus causing a major head-on collision. Next time you find yourself possibly becoming distracted by another vehicles headlights, try looking forward and keeping your eyes on the road in front of you.
  • Clean Your Exterior Mirrors
    • Your mirrors are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle, and it is extremely important to keep them clean. If your mirrors are dirty, another vehicles headlights can appear wider and distorted enough to cause a glare in your eyes. Try keeping a towel or some spare napkins in your car to wipe down your mirrors occasionally; this will help keep you and others around you safer in the dark.
  • Keep Your Eyes Healthy
    • Possibly the most important aspect if nighttime driving is your own eyesight. Make sure you’re not straining your eyes at to drive at night. If you find your eyes feeling fatigued, just take a quick moment to glance around at your surroundings or even your dashboard to give them a break for a brief moment. This will help keep your eyes alert and less fatigued. Consult with your eye doctor to make sure your vision is at its healthiest, and to see if you need glasses to assist your eyes when driving.

If your vehicle is damaged in any way from a nighttime incident and in need of repair, contact the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

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.

Auto Body Damage Baycity Area Hometown Body Shops

The Do’s and Don’ts After a Collision

Let’s throw a hypothetical out there. So you get into an auto accident, regardless of it was your fault or not it still happened and now you have some decisions to make. This is a helpful guide to some good and not-so-good things you can do after you find yourself in an auto collision.

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