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Colorado Traction Law: A Refresher

Posted on: November 23rd, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

With all the of the craziness of 2020, it would be understandable if you forgot about one of 2019’s big issues: a major update to Colorado’s Traction Law. However, it’s an important issue that you need to be aware of, because running afoul of it could not only put you at risk for getting stuck on the road or getting into an accident, it could land you with a hefty fine on top of your tow or repair bill.

The Law Covers All Passenger Vehicles on I-70

man putting chains on his tires to adhere to Colorado Traction LawsThe most sweeping change signed into effect by Governor Jared Polis in 2019 was the expansion of the Traction Law to cover all passenger vehicles traveling on I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison from the beginning of September until the end of May.

In addition, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) can put the Traction Law into effect on any highway in the state at any time that conditions require it. In worse conditions, CDOT can implement the Chain Law, which requires all passenger vehicles to have chains or an AutoSock®.

How to Comply with the Traction Law

What does the Traction Law require? If you are on a highway where the traction law is in effect, your car must be equipped with at least one of the following:

  • 4WD or AWD and at least 3/16” tread depth on the tires
  • Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  • Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  • Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
  • Chains or an AutoSock®

The increase in tread depth to 3/16” was part of the 2019 update to the law. The best way to measure this is with a tire tread gauge.

You can also use a coin to measure it but be aware that most “handy guides” are for measuring 4/32” or 2/16” tread, the time you would normally want to replace your tires. This level of tread will not put you in compliance with the Traction Law. Instead of measuring with George Washington’s head on a quarter, turn it so that the words “In God We Trust” go in first. If you can see the “d” in “God,” you’re not in compliance. If you have a penny, use the back. On old pennies (with the Lincoln Memorial), the words “E Pluribus Unum” should be completely covered by your tread. For newer pennies (with the shield), the tread should touch the top of “E Pluribus Unum” to be in compliance.

The Penalties for Noncompliance

As with many automotive equipment laws in Colorado, violations of the Traction Law are enforced as secondary offenses. If you have a crash or cause traffic delays, you will be cited for violations of the Traction Law.

If you are caught driving without proper equipment, you could be fined more than $130. If you block the roadway because you don’t have proper equipment, the fine could be in excess of $650.

Were You in an Accident?

Whether or not you were complying with the Traction Law, accidents happen in wintry weather. If so, you want to get your car back on the road for a guaranteed price and at a guaranteed time. Our Focus on You Service System™ means you get a guaranteed quote and a guaranteed completion date. Since we work around your schedule, you can get your repairs completed with a minimum disruption to your routine and your budget.

To learn more about our unique approach to auto body repair, please contact Accurate Auto Repair today.

How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter Driving?

Posted on: October 26th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

snow tires for safe winter drivingAs we approach November, we’re starting to see a transition to winter weather in Colorado. This serves as a great reminder that it’s time to start preparing your car for winter driving. The harsh weather and hazardous road conditions make it critical that you prepare your vehicle for optimal cold weather performance. Often, these actions can help reduce your risk of a car accident.

The following tips will help ensure your vehicle is ready for winter. If you have any questions about the steps that need to be taken, the team at Accurate Auto Body is here to help.

Winter Tire Prep

Your tires are an important piece of equipment, especially during cold, snowy weather. Make sure to take the following steps to ensure your tires are ready for winter:

  • Switch to snow tires – Whether you drive into the mountains or stay local around Denver, transitioning to snow tires is one of the most important things to do before winter driving. Snow tires have deeper tread than other tires, improving their performance in snow. In addition, snow tires use a type of rubber that won’t become hard and brittle when temperatures drop below freezing. This will provide improved grip on cold roads.
  • Inspect your tire tread – It’s important to make sure your tires have adequate tread for winter driving. You can check your tire tread by placing a penny in the groove of your tire. If you can still see more than the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.
  • Check your tire pressure – In general, your tires will lose 1 psi for every ten-degree drop in temperature. Therefore, it’s crucial to test the air pressure as the weather gets colder since underinflated tires can result in poor performance on winter roads. Check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.

Bring Your Car to the Mechanic for a Checkup

Schedule an appointment with your mechanic to make sure the following items are functioning properly:

  • Battery – Battery performance is impacted by cold weather. Your mechanic will make sure it’s holding a proper charge, and he can remove any corrosion from the connections.
  • Brakes – Properly functioning brakes are critical during winter driving conditions. Always make sure your brakes don’t need to be replaced before the snow starts falling.
  • Coolant – Make sure the level, concentration and condition of your coolant is checked. During winter months, it’s best to use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.
  • Heating system – In addition to keeping you warm and comfortable on a cold day, your heating system will ensure your defroster works properly. This is crucial for driving safely during a winter storm.

Check Your Windshield Wiper System

The start of winter is generally a good time to give your windshield wiper system a refresh:

  • Replace old, worn down wiper blades with a new pair. Consider purchasing winter blades that will more effectively remove built-up snow and ice.
  • Refill your windshield wiper fluid. Use a cold-weather formula that won’t freeze as it hits your windshield.
  • Make sure you have a backup jug of wiper fluid in your car in case you run out during a snow storm.
  • Check the spray nozzles to make sure they’re not blocked. If necessary, you can clear blocked wiper spray nozzles with a pin or needle.

Check Your Lights

winter driving with poor windshield wipersVisibility is often poor during the winter months due to shorter periods of daylight and the frequency of snow storms. As a result, it’s crucial that your lights are working properly so that you can see when visibility conditions are poor.

Start your vehicle and turn on all the lights, including your hazard lights. Walk around the vehicle to make sure they’re all working properly. If any lights are burned out, pick up a replacement at your local auto body parts store. Head and tail lights are easy to replace yourself, but the staff at the auto parts store will often assist you if you’re unsure of how to perform this task.

Pack a Winter Supply Kit

Breakdowns and car accidents are a common occurrence in winter months. In addition, you’re more likely to be stopped on the highway for extended periods of time due to storm and accident closures. It’s important to have the right supplies in your vehicle to ensure you stay safe if you get stranded on the highway:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Small bag of sand or kitty litter for extra traction on slippery conditions
  • Extra gloves and hat
  • Small snow shovel
  • Tire chains
  • Jumper cables

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

While these preventive measures are important, accidents do happen on occasion. If you’re involved in a car accident this winter, Accurate Auto Body can help. We offer a wide range of collision repair services to restore the appearance and function of your vehicle.

Accurate Auto Body is the only body shop in the Denver and Aurora area with an exclusive Focus on You Service System™ dedicated to making sure your needs are always placed first. This approach ensures that you’ll always:

  • Be treated with the highest levels of respect during every step of the repair process
  • Feel comfortable whenever you visit our shop
  • Receive guaranteed pricing to avoid surprises during later stages of the process
  • Receive guaranteed completion dates so that you can plan accordingly
  • Be informed of all your options and have all questions answered in a courteous, professional manner
  • Receive faster turnaround times to reduce the hassles associated with vehicle repairs
  • Have your vehicle fixed properly the first time
  • Have your schedule accommodated when arranging for repairs
  • Receive assistance with the insurance claims process to ensure it’s handled properly

Please contact us today to get a repair estimate. Accurate Auto Body serves individuals in Aurora, Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

When Should I Transition to Snow Tires?

Posted on: October 21st, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

October in Colorado is a time of transition for the weather, and we’re starting to see the temperature consistently drop each week. As the cold weather approaches, it serves as a reminder that you should start thinking about putting on your snow tires.

In general, you should switch to snow tires once the temperature consistently remains below 45 degrees. The time of day you typically drive may impact how soon you should consider changing tires. While the temperature regularly rises above 50 degrees during the day in mid-October, it is generally much colder in the morning and at night. If your primary drive time is during a commute, it’s likely that temperatures are below 45 degrees when you’re on the road.

There are several other factors to consider which make right now an ideal time to put on your snow tires:

  • Early season snow – October snow storms are fairly common in Colorado. Car accidents often occur more frequently during these early storms since many people don’t have the proper traction of snow tires yet and it has been awhile since they’ve driven in winter conditions. Getting ahead of the curve with transitioning to snow tires can give you the traction you need to avoid an accident while others are sliding around the road during these early season snow storms.
  • Avoid the busy rush – If you plan on having your local tire shop switch your tires for you, it’s important to plan ahead. Tire shops are already starting to experience an uptick in business due to customers transitioning to snow tires. If you wait too long to schedule an appointment, it may take several weeks before they are able to help. While we haven’t had any snow yet, it’s likely that we’ll see a storm or two over the next few weeks and it’s best to be prepared when the snow arrives.

Why Should I Switch to Snow Tires?

snow tires on a snow-covered roadYou may be wondering why it’s important to switch to snow tires, especially if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle with highly rated all-weather tires. While all-weather tires provide a well-rounded product that can be used year-round, they aren’t ideal for cold temperatures and snowy conditions. The decreased performance experienced during cold weather will significantly increase your risk of an accident. This is true whether you head to the mountains all winter or stay local.

The term “snow tires” is actually a bit of a misnomer. A more correct way to describe them would be to use the term “winter tires” because they are specifically designed to perform well throughout all cold conditions, regardless of whether there is snow on the ground:

  • Winter tires use different rubber compounds which don’t harden with freezing temperatures. This provides greater flexibility and grip on a cold road.
  • Winter tires have deeper treads and more prevalent siping (thin horizontal slits along the tread). This helps them dig into snowy, icy conditions more effectively.

In addition, you’ll experience the following benefits from snow tires:

  • Better braking – The rubber on all-weather tires becomes hard and brittle once it freezes, and this will increase the likelihood of skidding. Snow tires will stay softer, allowing them to respond better in the event that you’re forced to stop unexpectedly.
  • Reduced hydroplaning – It’s common for surface ice to melt as tires roll over the pavement. This can create a layer of water on top of the ice which causes vehicles to hydroplane. The grooves in winter tires help push this surface water to the side to reduce hydroplaning.
  • Greater maneuverability – The deep tread and improved siping provides better traction, making it easier to maneuver your vehicle through snowy conditions. This is especially crucial when driving through the mountains during a winter storm.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

Snow tires are an essential purchase for Colorado drivers, and they can significantly reduce your risk of a car accident during the winter months. That being said, accidents still happen to experienced drivers who use the proper tires. If you end up in an accident this winter, Accurate Auto Body can help.

We offer comprehensive auto body shop services to repair any issue you may have following a collision. We’re equipped to work with your insurance company in order to facilitate a smooth claims process. Our team can also help if you’re not filing an insurance claim, and we’ll work with you to ensure your repairs fit into your budget.

When you work with Accurate Auto Body, you’ll benefit from our Focus On You Service System™ which ensures you’ll always:

  • Be treated with the highest levels of respect
  • Feel comfortable in our warm and welcoming environment
  • Receive guaranteed pricing
  • Receive guaranteed completion dates
  • Be made aware of all your options
  • Experience faster turnaround times
  • Have your vehicle fixed right the first time
  • Be able to have repairs performed around your schedule
  • Receive assistance with the insurance claims process

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. Accurate Auto Body serves customers in Aurora, Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

If your vehicle sustained serious damage in a car accident, you may be faced with the possibility that your insurance company will declare the vehicle a total loss. Once you file a claim with your insurance company, they will send an adjuster to assess the damage to your car. In general, your car will be totaled if the cost of repairs exceeds the current value of the car.

Each state has established thresholds which govern when a vehicle is considered a total loss. This threshold specifies a percentage of your car’s pre-accident value which must be exceeded in order to declare a total loss. Fortunately, Colorado thresholds require the damage to equal 100% of the current value of the car for it to be totaled. In some states, this threshold can be as low a 51% of the car’s value.

The current actual cash value of your vehicle is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The age of the vehicle
  • The condition of the vehicle before the accident
  • Market value of your specific year, make and model
  • Resale value of similar vehicles in your area
  • The mileage on your vehicle

Once the vehicle’s actual cash value has been determined, it will usually be a numbers game to figure out whether it will cost the insurance company more money to pay for repairs or pay you for the value of the car. In most instances, the amount of money the insurance company will recoup from selling the car at a salvage auction will be factored into this equation as well.

If your vehicle is declared a total loss, your options may vary based on the specifics of your situation.

How Much Will I Receive for My Totaled Vehicle

The amount of money you’ll receive will depend on several factors, including:

  • The cause of the accident
  • Whether your state has no-fault laws governing car accidents (Colorado is a fault state, which means the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the costs of repairs)
  • The terms of your insurance policy (or the at-fault driver’s policy if you didn’t cause the accident)
  • The amount of your deductible

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?You’re only entitled to recover damages up to the policy limits of the insurance coverage. For example, if the at-fault driver only carries $5,000 in property damage coverage and the value of your totaled vehicle is $8,000, the other driver’s insurance will only pay $5,000 towards the replacement vehicle. In order to recoup the remaining $3,000, you’ll either need to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or collision coverage on your insurance policy.

If the accident is determined to be your fault, the amount you recover will be dictated by the coverage you selected on your policy. If you have collision insurance, you’ll be able to recoup the value of the vehicle up to the limits of your coverage, minus the deductible. If your collision policy pays up to $10,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, the maximum payout you can receive is $9,000 even if the value of the vehicle exceeds this amount. If you don’t have collision coverage, you may not be able to recoup any money for the cost of your totaled vehicle.

In Colorado, harsh weather can also cause serious damage to vehicles. It’s common for vehicles to be totaled due to extensive hail damage. In these situations, you will need to have comprehensive insurance on your policy in order to recoup the value of your vehicle. Your payout will also be dictated by the limits of your coverage and your deductible.

What Happens if I Owe More Money than the Value of My Vehicle?

The insurance company will only pay you for the actual cash value of the totaled vehicle, minus your deductible. If you still owe money on a car loan, it’s possible that this payout won’t completely cover the remaining value of the loan. In this situation, your insurance check will usually go to the lender to pay off as much of the loan as possible. After that, you will be responsible for paying off the remaining balance out of pocket.

Can I Dispute the Insurance Company’s Valuation of My Vehicle?

If you think the insurance company is undervaluing your vehicle, you have the right to dispute their assessment. However, it is usually challenging to prove the vehicle is worth more than the insurance company’s estimate. There are two ways to prove your argument:

  • Provide evidence as to the actual condition of the car – If you’ve made upgrades to the vehicle or kept it in pristine condition, it may drive up the actual cash value of your vehicle. You’ll need receipts for any upgrades performed and photos of the condition of your car to prove it’s worth more than the insurance company initially determined.
  • Hire an appraiser – You can work with a qualified appraiser who will provide an opinion as to your vehicle’s actual value. If the appraiser determines the car is worth more than your insurance company’s estimate, you may have grounds to dispute the settlement offer.

If you’re unable to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement with your insurance company, you have the following options:

  • Arbitration – A neutral third party, called an arbitrator, will determine the value of the vehicle based on the facts presented by you and your insurance company. Arbitration can either be non-binding (you still have the option to pursue litigation if you’re not satisfied with the outcome) or binding (the arbitrator’s decision is final).
  • Litigation – You have the option to have your dispute resolved in court. However, this should always remain a last resort option.

Always consider the costs associated with disputing the value of your vehicle before moving forward. You’ll need to pay for an appraiser in all situations. If you choose arbitration or litigation, you’ll want to have an attorney represent you. When you go to court, there will also be additional fees associated with your case. Often, these expenses will exceed the extra money you’re able to recoup from the process.

Can I Keep a Totaled Vehicle?

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?When your vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company will usually take position of the car and it will be auctioned at a salvage yard. The insurance company keeps the money paid for the car at auction.

In Colorado, you’re legally entitled to keep a totaled car. However, you’re required by law to complete all repairs necessary to restore it to good working condition, and you need to get a Rebuilt Title Established by Salvage certificate for the vehicle before you can drive it.

If you would like to keep your totaled vehicle, you should inform the insurance adjuster of your intentions right away. In this situation, you’ll be entitled to recover the actual cash value of the car, minus the deductible and the amount your insurance company would receive at a salvage yard auction. You’ll then be responsible for arranging for all repairs and paying for them yourself.

When Should I Consider Keeping My Totaled Vehicle?

The decision to keep a salvaged car shouldn’t be made lightly. There are many factors to consider. The most important is safety. If the vehicle contains structural damage that cannot be safely repaired, you should never keep the vehicle. However, there are many instances where making the necessary repairs will restore the vehicle to safe working order. This is especially true if the damage is mostly cosmetic, such as after a hail storm.

If your vehicle can be safely driven after making repairs, the other factors to consider are largely financial:

  • Cost of the repairs – If you’re going to spend more money on repairs than you’ll receive from the insurance company, keeping the vehicle generally isn’t a smart financial decision.
  • Age of the vehicle – Is this an old vehicle that would need to be replaced soon? If so, it’s probably best to let it go now. If it’s a newer vehicle, is your goal to keep it for years in order to avoid car payments? In this situation, paying a little money out of pocket may be worthwhile if it will save you thousands of dollars in car payments over the next several years.
  • Remaining car payments – If you still owe money on a car loan, will the insurance check cover the balance of the loan? If so and you’re ok with making payments on a new car, giving up the vehicle is likely the best option. If your insurance check won’t pay off the loan, you may want to consider keeping the vehicle depending on how much you’d owe the bank to cover the difference.
  • Your financial situation – Can you afford to purchase another vehicle that will adequately meet your needs? This should be factored into your decision to keep the vehicle.

Keep in mind that not all insurance companies will offer you a policy on a totaled vehicle. You should always inquire with several insurance companies, including your own, regarding your ability to insure a salvaged vehicle before you decide whether to keep the car.

Can I Buy My Vehicle at Auction?

In most instances, buying your vehicle at the salvage yard auction isn’t a viable option. In most instances, you’ll need a special license to attend the auction. These licenses are usually reserved for auto dealers and auto salvagers. Make sure you check with the auction house to find out if you are able to bid on your car before assuming you can do so.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

If your vehicle is totaled by the insurance company, Accurate Auto Body shop and collision repair can help you arrive at the right decision. We offer customized auto repair consulting services that will:

  • Inform you of your options
  • Recommend the ideal solution to pursue
  • Answer all of your questions
  • Devise a personal repair plan if you decide to keep the vehicle
  • Assist you with the claims filing

When you work with Accurate Auto Body, you’ll benefit from our Focus on You Service System™, which ensures:

  • You’re treated with respect throughout the entire process
  • Your schedule is accommodated when repairs are made
  • You’re provided with guaranteed pricing and completion dates
  • Your vehicle will be fixed right the first time

Please contact us today to discuss your repair options. We offer collision repair services in Aurora, Denver, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?

Posted on: September 25th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

In Colorado, you’re legally required to carry an auto insurance policy for your vehicle. That being said, you do have a fair amount of control over which types of coverage to include on your policy. One coverage option that can be extremely beneficial in the right situations is collision insurance.

What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance covers the costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle after a car accident. This type of insurance will cover damage caused by:

  • A collision with another vehicle where you are at fault for the accident
  • A single-vehicle collision with a stationary object, such as a tree, fence, car, pothole or mailbox
  • A single-vehicle rollover accident

Is Collision Insurance Required?

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?Colorado does not require you to carry collision insurance as part of your policy. However, there are certain exceptions. You will typically be required to have collision insurance if you lease your vehicle or have payments remaining on a car loan for a vehicle you purchased. In these situations, collision insurance is required to protect the lender or leasing company from financial loss after an accident.

While collision insurance usually isn’t required, there are many situations where it’s in your best interest to purchase this coverage for your vehicle. This is particularly true when you have a newer vehicle that would be expensive to replace in the event of a total loss. Ultimately, you’ll need to crunch the numbers to determine whether the cost of this coverage, which can run several hundred dollars a year, will deliver enough value after a serious accident to justify the expense.

Factors to Consider When Determining Whether to Purchase Collision Insurance

Unless you’re required to purchase collision insurance by a lender holding a lien against your vehicle, the decision should be strictly based on financial factors, including:

  • The value of your car – If your vehicle is still relatively new, the cost to repair or replace it with a car of equal value may be fairly high. However, an older vehicle that has depreciated in value significantly may not justify the expense of the coverage.
  • Your financial situation – Can you afford to pay for costly repairs out of pocket? Will you be able to pay for a new car if your vehicle can’t be repaired? If not, collision coverage can be very important.
  • The cost of your collision insurance – There are two aspects to the cost associated with collision insurance: the amount you pay for this coverage on your monthly premiums and the deductible you must meet before this coverage kicks in. These costs must be deducted from the amount you’ll receive after an accident when determining the value of this coverage.
  • How long you intend to keep your vehicle – Are you hoping to drive your car for several more years in order to avoid car payments? If so, collision coverage may be more desirable. If you’re planning on trading in your vehicle in the near future, it may not be worth paying for this coverage.

You can determine the maximum value of your collision insurance using the following formula:

current value of your car – [the cost of your premium + your deductible]

For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000 and you pay $350 every six months for collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible on your policy, the maximum payout you’ll receive from your collision insurance is $8,650. In this situation, collision insurance would most likely be a worthwhile purchase. However, if your vehicle is only worth $2,000, the maximum payout would be $650 with the same premium and deductible. In this situation, collision insurance may not make as much sense since you won’t receive a lot of value for the cost of the coverage.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Insurance

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident. However, it won’t protect you from damage caused by issues such as fire, severe weather, fallen objects, vandalism or theft. These situations are covered by comprehensive insurance. As with collision, comprehensive insurance generally isn’t required unless you still owe money on your vehicle to a lender or leasing company.

For newer vehicles, it’s common to carry both collision and comprehensive. As your car gets older and its value depreciates, the value of these coverages diminishes. You may decide at some point that it only makes sense to carry one of these coverages. Which should you choose?

When choosing between collision and comprehensive insurance, consider the following factors:

  • Your driving record – If you haven’t been in an accident that was deemed your fault in years, you may want to bet on your driving ability and opt for comprehensive. However, if you find that you’re regularly causing car accidents, keeping your collision coverage may be more prudent.
  • Where you live – Denver typically gets several serious hail storms each year. If you don’t park your car in a garage, you’re much more likely to sustain serious hail damage in one of these storms. Also, do you live in an area that experiences high rates of auto theft? In both of these situations, comprehensive insurance may make more sense.
  • The cost of each coverage – In general, the premiums for comprehensive are much lower than the premiums for collision. If you’re concerned with keeping your monthly insurance costs as low as possible, this may be a factor to consider.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

If your car has been damaged in an accident, Accurate Auto Body Shop and Collision Repair can help. We provide a comprehensive array of auto body repair services to address all of your needs. We work with all insurance companies, and our team will help you through the insurance claims process if you have collision coverage. If you don’t have collision insurance and play to pay out of pocket, we’ll provide you with customized repair options to accommodate your budget.

When you work with Accurate Auto Body, you’ll benefit from our Focus On You Service System™ which ensures:

  • You’re treated with the highest levels of respect throughout the repairs process
  • You receive guaranteed pricing for your repairs
  • You receive guaranteed completion dates
  • You receive the proper information necessary to understand all of your options
  • You experience faster turnaround times
  • Your vehicle will be fixed right the first time
  • Your unique scheduling needs are always accommodated to the best of our ability
  • Insurance claims are handled as efficiently as possible (we’ll cut through the red tape to get your claim moving along)

Schedule a free auto repair estimate with Accurate Auto Body today. We offer collision repair services in Aurora, Denver, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Car When You’re Not Driving It Much

Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. One unexpected impact has been a reduction in driving. Many people have traded their daily commute for remote working and Zoom meetings, and many leisure activities are currently on hold as we figure out how to safely reopen businesses. This has caused many vehicles to sit idly in driveways for extended periods of time.

It’s important to understand that your car still requires maintenance, even when you’re not driving it often. Otherwise, you may develop expensive issues down the road. The following tips will help you keep your vehicle in good shape while you’re driving less frequently.

Avoid Flat Spots on Tires

Over time, your tires will gradually lose air pressure. When the vehicle stays in one place for too long, this can result in the development of flat spots on the region where the rubber touches the road. These flat spots can develop within a month of the car not moving.

Unfortunately, flat spots may result in a need to replace the tires faster than usual. To avoid this issue, check your tires regularly to make sure they’re properly inflated. If you’re not driving at all, move the vehicle forward and backward periodically to change the part of the tire touching the road. This will help you avoid flat spots.

Adjust Your Oil Change Schedule

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Car When You’re Not Driving It MuchWhen you drive on a regular basis, oil changes are scheduled based on mileage intervals. If you’re not using your vehicle, this will result in a very long time period between oil changes. Condensation and temperature fluctuations can cause the oil to deteriorate over time. To avoid this, you may want to consider switching to a time-based oil change interval. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum amount of time your vehicle should go without an oil change. Make sure you change the oil before this time period elapses, even if you haven’t driven the mileage necessary to typically require an oil change.

Keep Your Battery Charged

Your battery will slowly discharge over time when you don’t use your car. You may find that if you try to start the vehicle for the first time in several months, the battery may be dead. There are two ways to avoid this problem:

  • Start and drive the car at least once a week – You don’t have to drive the car for very long. A short trip to and from the grocery store will be sufficient to keep your battery charged.
  • Use a trickle charger – If you’re not able to go for a short drive periodically, a trickle charger is a great way to keep your battery from draining. This device connects to your battery’s terminals and can be plugged into a standard wall socket to generate the charge necessary for your battery to function properly.

Keep Vehicle Parts Properly Lubricated

When your car sits idly without being used:

  • Oil settles
  • Fluids separate
  • Seals begin to dry out

This can result in serious problems with many of the mechanical parts in the vehicle. If the engine, transmission and brakes don’t stay properly lubricated, you may face costly replacements once you start using your car again.

To avoid this issue, make sure to take the car for a short drive at least once a week. This simple action can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Top Off Your Gas Tank

If you know you won’t be driving for an extended period of time, make sure to fill up with gas before letting your car sit. This will reduce condensation inside the gas tank. You may also want to consider using fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from degrading over time.

Pay Attention to Where You Park

If possible, try to avoid parking under a tree for extended periods of time. If you must park under a tree, make sure it doesn’t drip sap. Sap will wreak havoc on your paint job. In addition, birds tend to congregate in trees, and bird poop can damage your car’s exterior in a short period of time.

Use a Car Cover

Your car can sustain more exterior cosmetic damage than you would expect when it doesn’t move. Accidental scrapes, UV damage, abrasive dust, sap from trees, bird poop and harsh weather elements can have a devastating impact on your vehicle. A car cover is an inexpensive way to prevent this damage to your car.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help Restore External Vehicle Damage

If your car has suffered external damage from sitting around during the pandemic, Accurate Auto Body can help. Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed a reputation as one of the top auto body shops in the Denver area. At Accurate Auto Body, we’re committed to delivering the exceptional service you deserve. You’ll benefit from our exclusive Focus on You Service System™, which provides you with:

  • Unparalleled levels of personal attention
  • Faster turn-around times
  • Auto repair consulting to ensure you’re properly informed about your options
  • Guaranteed pricing and delivery dates
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Repair update options to address your unique preferences (phone, text, email, web)
  • Full auto insurance coordination

Please contact us to get a free repair estimate. We serve customers in Denver, Aurora and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Colorado Fall Hotspots

Posted on: September 2nd, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

colorado fall hotspotsFall is already here! And in Colorado, that means getting out and experiencing the fall foliage. Before long, trees will be putting on colorful displays of orange, yellow, and red. Plus, we usually get incredible blue skies that only Colorado can provide, making for perfect outdoor road adventures.  As your Denver auto body shop, we have the go-to Colorado fall hotspots.

Grand Lake

Here in Denver, Grand Lake is just a couple hours away and is a local favorite. It is Colorado’s largest body of water, and it provides a great backdrop to the changing fall colors. In fact, one of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy the color changes is on the water itself. We suggest Trail Ridge Marina to rent boats or even stand up paddleboards (SUPs) and wander both Grand and Shadow Mountain Lake while soaking in the fall colors.

Rocky Mountain National Park

If you are going to be up in the Grand Lake area, you may as well make the short drive into Rocky Mountain National Park. While the park provides great scenery all year, the fall is special. Trail Ridge Road, with an elevation of 12,183 feet, makes for a great vantage point to take in all the changing aspen groves. Also, fall coincides with elk rut, when males vie for the attention of females. So, while taking in the colorful hues, you are likely to hear loud elk calls in the distance.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

A little closer to home, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is only about 45 minutes from Denver. The park offers 12,000 acres of aspen, pine forest, meadows, and trails. We suggest the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where you will be able to see more than 100 miles of aspen trees along the Continental Divide. Or, if you want to hike through aspen groves, take in the Mule Deer Loop, which also takes you to the overlook.

La Veta Pass

In the southern portion of our state in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains,  La Veta Pass is considered among the most scenic drives in Colorado. The drive is on US Route 160  and provides views of aspen mixed with pines while giving glorious views of the Spanish Peaks and the San Luis Valley.

The truth of the matter, almost everywhere in Colorado, you are likely to see stunning colors during fall. We just encourage you to get out and explore. A leisurely drive along the Peak to Peak highway is always an easy option too, and not too far away. And, should you need us for whatever the road throws at you, we have you covered for any autobody repair needs—call 303-344-2212 for a free estimate.

Insured vs. Non-insured Collision Repair

Posted on: August 21st, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Insured vs Non-insured Collision RepairAs a Denver Auto body shop, we do get a lot of questions concerning collision repair. And, many of those questions come down to insurance. Is it better to have their insurance cover auto body repairs and pay the deductible, or pay everything out-of-pocket? We call this the great “insured vs non-insured collision repair” debate. Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of each.

Insured Collision Repair Pros

First of all, you have insurance for a reason, and it is the law. But, that does not mean people will actually use their insurance to cover the cost of collision repairs. However, the big pro to using insurance for the repair is the fact you pay less money out of pocket. All you have to do is pay your deductible, which, depending on your policy, could be anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Depending on the severity of the damage to your vehicle, this could be a lot cheaper than paying for the repair yourself.

Insured Collision Repair Cons

While the most significant factor for carrying insurance is the fact that they will fit the bill for repairs, it does come with a downside. When you make a claim with your insurance company, and they cover the cost of repair, they will likely increase your fees. As a result, your monthly bill can go up for a period of time. You will have to weigh the impact of the increased insurance cost versus that of paying out of pocket for your repairs.

Also, when insurance gets involved, they may decide not to repair your vehicle based on the repair estimate compared to the cash value of your car. If repairs, for example, are more than the actual car value, they may decide to pay you the car’s cash value. Typically, if the damage exceeds 65 to 70 percent of the car’s market value, insurance can choose to “total” it.  If your insurance does total your vehicle, you can still choose to have it repaired at your own expense.  However, if it is too much of a financial burden to get it fixed, you are better off parting with the vehicle.

Non-Insured Auto Body Repair Pros

When you opt to cover the repairs yourself, you do have more control over parts and the way you would like the replacement to go. And, you can, potentially, avoid an increase in your insurance rates. However, if you collided with another vehicle and that driver files a claim and has your insurance information, your insurance company will likely be contacting you and will have note of an accident. As a result, you may still see an increase in your coverage. That is why, for a dent or two, or a literal fender bender, you may be able to cover those repairs without the help of insurance. But, if it is a collision that involves other parties and has significant damage to your car, you should consider using insurance for your repair.

Non-Insured Collision Repair Cons

If you get the repairs done without insurance, your insurance may not provide you with coverage on your vehicle. After all, they are the ones who have to ensure the integrity of the vehicle after repairs. So, if you decide to have a car repaired, especially if doing it yourself or at a shop that is not in your insurer’s network, you run a risk losing any coverage you had on the vehicle. That is why if you have anything moderate to significant damage to your car, it is best to have your insurance company handle the repairs. After all, it would be bad to get your car repaired, and yet not find anyone to insure it, putting you at further risk.

Need Collision Repair

If you have any questions about insurance and how they work with auto body shops, feel free to give us a call. And, if you require auto body repair, we do provide free estimates. Schedule your free estimate online today!

Favorite Social Distancing Destinations

Posted on: August 12th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

social distancing locations

Adjustment seems to be the name of the game this year for all of us. And as we look toward the back half of a summer that has had us avoiding beaches, large gatherings, and continues to operate on the phrase “safer at home,” many are wondering how to get away at all. If your household is feeling more than just a little stir crazy, here are some of our favorite social-distancing-friendly destinations to enjoy the great outdoors without putting yourself or your family at unnecessary risk.  

National Parks  

Many national and state parks are limiting the number of people allowed to enter the park per day. This means it’s safer than ever to go enjoy the natural beauty that is so abundant in Colorado. Just make sure you plan ahead! Because of the capacity limits, many parks are requiring reservations to be made ahead of time (Rocky Mountain National Park is included on that list!). Because re-entry is often not allowed, make sure you pack everything you’ll need for the day.  

State Parks  

Like national parks, many state parks are doing everything they can to ensure safe social distancing while still allowing their parks, trails, and beautiful vistas to be open to the public. You may face some of our quickly-becoming-normal regulations like requiring face coverings whenever you’re around others or even a quick temperature check before you are admitted, but as long as the family is healthy, you should have no trouble getting some fresh air in those lungs and remembering that hey, the world outside your house really does still exist.  

Wide Trails  

If you’re sticking closer to home and don’t want to travel to outdoor areas with regulated entrance points, just make sure you stick to wider trails and bring your face covering along. You won’t have the added benefit of knowing there are restrictions and guidelines in place to help make your outdoor adventure safer on a local trail, so it’s up to everyone to do their part to keep the community safe and healthy. Sticking to a wider trail makes it easier to practice safe social distancing.  

Backyard  

And if all else fails, you or your family members/roommates are high risk, or you feel more comfortable adhering strictly to those “safer at home” guidelines, there’s always your own backyard. You can still soak up some rays, enjoy the fresh air, and hear something other than the sound of your own air conditioning kicking in every 30 minutes or so. Not sure how to make the most of your backyard adventures? Try starting a garden, creating a perfect BBQ spot, or getting some blankets and pillows to make the perfect reading retreat. Make your backyard your own personal oasis, because why the heck not?  

 Getting out and traveling feels like such a strange thing to be doing in these times, but if you’re smart, safe, low-risk, and healthy, there’s no reason you can’t have at least a small slice of that magnificent summer you were planning. Just don’t forget to make sure your vehicle is as ready for the trip as you are before you head out!  And, if you happen to get into an accident and need collision repair, we have your back. Call 303-344-2212 or schedule a free estimate.

Parking Lots – Home of the Dents

Posted on: July 30th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Avoiding Parking Lot DentsAvoiding Parking Lot Dents

As an auto body shop, we see all sorts of cars in need of collision repair. And, one would think that most auto body repair would be the result of automobile accidents. And, yes, they do make up the majority of our repairs. But, there is another sinister evil out there for your car….parking lots.

Yes. Parking lots.

If you are like many people, parking lots can create a lot of anxiety, especially after an excellent new paint job. They cause your pulse to accelerate as you slowly, with white knuckles, grip that steering wheel even tighter as you navigate the aisles. After all, who doesn’t let out a big sigh after successfully pulling into a parking spot and turning off the engine?

While, just navigating the parking lot is one thing, leaving your car there is another. Today, we look at all the hidden dangers of the parking lot and how to help keep your car dent free.

Cart Crashes

When shopping carts are left an attended in the parking lot, they develop a mind of their own. They can seemingly decide to roll across the lot to find your door, leaving a nasty dent or gash in the process. To avoid this, try not to park near the carts, especially on a windy day. Scan the parking lot and find safe alternative parking spaces where carts may have a hard time reaching your vehicle. And, if you must park near carts, please take them to an area in the lot designed to hold them or walk them up to the store itself.

Avoid the Lines

We have all done this – you see the perfect parking spot, but alas, it is between two cars that are parked right on the lines. But, you still manage to squeeze in, go to the store, only to come back and find a big dent in the door. Instead of squeezing into the spot, find a place that allows for more room. While doing so, also avoid crowding the line; otherwise, you may also find that someone will ding your door. Of course, don’t be that person who decides to take up two spaces. That is just rude.

Park Away from Others

Along the same lines, park away from others and avoid parking near the cart corrals. Again, the wind will take those carts wherever it takes them. And, when you do park, park in front of a light pole. Doing so will prevent someone from parking in front of you, pulling in too far, and tapping your bumper.

Covered Parking

If possible, seek out covered parking, such as a garage, or purchase a car cover. This will not only help protect your car’s finish but will also protect it from damaging hail.

If you do get a dent or two, we can help. We can perform full dent and hail repair and paintless dent repair for whatever the parking lot may throw at you—call 303-344-2212 for a free estimate.