Archive for the ‘What to do After a Car Accident’ Category

Things to Consider When Doing a No-Insurance Repair

Posted on: May 21st, 2019 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

no-insurance repairGetting your vehicle repaired is always a hassle, but sometimes it’s very necessary. There may be a number of reasons you’re looking into doing a repair without using insurance to cover the costs. Perhaps you don’t have insurance, or the repair isn’t covered. Maybe you simply don’t want to use your insurance to cover the damage in order to avoid making a claim that may affect your coverage. Whatever the reason, when you’re considering a no-insurance repair, make sure you have these bases covered.

Pay Attention to the Full Scope of Repairs

You should always pay attention to the scope of repairs presented to you when you bring your vehicle in for an estimate, but when you’re not using insurance it’s extra important. Ensure that your autobody shop isn’t adding in anything unnecessary or glossing over things that are important. Don’t be afraid to go line item by line item on what’s proposed.

Can it Happen in Stages?

If you’re strapped for cash but know something needs to be repaired now, ask if there is any way to break up the repairs into stages. If possible, take care of the critical items now and circle back when you’ve had time to save a little more money to take care of the remainder.

Be Picky

When you use your insurance for repairs, there are often guidelines in place as to what specific parts must be replaced using OEM parts and what can be replaced using other third-party parts. When you’re not using insurance to complete a repair, those guidelines aren’t in place. You may consider doing some research on which parts its recommended be replaced by OEM parts for your vehicle before signing off on the repairs.

Ask About Repair Options

If the repairs are necessary and you can’t count on insurance to help, but the number on the estimate boggles your mind, consider asking your auto repair shop about options. There can be different levels of repair from good to best, designed to fit your budget. Shops should be able to provide you with options to make sure you can drive safely without diving headfirst into a mountain of debt.

Working with an auto repair shop on your vehicle when you’re not using insurance can be tricky. But if you’re working with a team you trust, and a team that has extensive experience in executing no-insurance repairs with the same level of care and dedication as they do all of their repairs, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re not sure what that team is for you, give us a call today.

Choosing an Auto Body Shop

Posted on: May 3rd, 2019 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

choosing an auto body shopWe get it. It is NEVER fun selecting an auto body shop for your collision repair. But, you always, even with insurance, have a choice when it comes to handling your repairs. So, what key things should you look for when choosing an auto body shop?

Look Before You Need One

We know this seems a little odd, but you really do want to have an idea of what body shop you would use before you have an accident. This will help take some of the pressure off during this stressful time. After all, just having one less thing to worry about is a good thing.

Check Better Business Bureau

If you are just starting your research, one of the best resources everyone has access to is the Better Business Bureau. Here you can see what their overall rating is, as well as how long the business has been accredited. You can see if they have responded to complaints as well as read any posted reviews from customers.

Read Reviews

Take some time to read Google reviews, the good ones and the bad ones. No shop will be immune to bad reviews, but it is easy to see people who may just have an axe to grind. Even with the bad review, it is important to see if the business responded and how it was handled, as that can speak volumes to their professional standards. In the good ones, look at common themes – how the repairs were completed, customer service, communication, and follow up.

Look for Certifications

Ensure that your auto body shop has factory certifications. Usually, this means their team is continually keeping up with manufacture repair stands and keeping them current. So, you will want to look for things like ProFirst, I-CAR Classification, and other factory trained programs.

Insurance

Insurance can have some influence on your choice of shop. You may just want to call a few shops and simply inquire about how they would (or if) they work with your insurance company. You may also want to shop for an auto body shop that has policies in place if you are thinking about repairs without insurance.

Get Estimates

Any body shop worth its salt will provide no-obligation estimates, and even help arrange for towing to their facility if needed. When getting an estimate, however, be wary of just going with the lowest estimate. Oftentimes, assessing the damage is difficult with a simple walk around of the vehicle. Make sure they really take time to uncover other areas of potential damage and explain it to you. Sometimes the cheap estimates end up with the costliest “gotcha” repairs.

Friends and Family

Without a doubt, the best thing to do when choosing an auto body shop is to just ask friends or family. They will give it to you straight. After all, the best option is going to be the one that puts you most at ease, and if trusted friends have a good experience, you will likely have one too.

Again, please take some time before you need auto body repair to do a little research. Know where you would want your vehicle to go, should you need it. If you have any questions about auto body repair, please give us a call at 303-344-2212.

How and Why You Should Get Those Hail Damage Dents Fixed

Posted on: October 25th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

fix hail damageWhy Fix Hail Damage

If you drive a vehicle in Colorado, you’ve definitely heard of or experienced hail damage. It’s something countless drivers deal with each year as the unpredictable Front Range storms roll in and out in 20 minutes, leaving dents and paint chips in their wake. Something we get asked a lot is whether or not fixing the hail damage is even worth it – worth the insurance claim, worth the whole process, worth the potential hike in insurance rates. We get it, it’s a hassle, like most automobile repairs, but there are a number of reasons you absolutely should fix hail damage. Here are just a few.

Hurts Resale Value

If you don’t fix hail damage and get them taken care of, and eventually want to sell your vehicle in the future, that damage could cost you big in the form of profit. Hail damage, understandably, hurts the resale value of your automobile. Because it’s so obvious, and the cosmetic can be the maker or breaker of a sale, it’s definitely a tally in the negative column when potential buyers are weighing their options. Even if you’re trying to resell it back to the dealership you got it from, or trading it into another dealership, you’ll get less cash than you would if you had gotten the dents fixed.

Risk of Rust

Those dents sometimes include paint chips, and those paint chips can lead to rust. Rust, of course, can lead to bigger issues, causing damage that goes beyond cosmetic if left to its own devices for too long. When rust starts to rear its head, you’re in the position of having to fix not one, but two problems and insurance is far less likely to help you out.

Insurance Woes

Let’s say you received some hail damage and decided to let it go, not filing a claim and deciding to live with the cosmetic damage. That might be fine and dandy, but what if you find yourself smacked with a second round of hail and want to make a claim?

Because you never claimed the first round of damage, insurance may have a harder time accepting your claim this time around, unsure of which damage was caused by which incident. Oh, and if you’ve heard those stories about people who make the claim, get the insurance money, and pocket it – think twice before attempting that particular strategy – it’s actually insurance fraud and you would be facing very serious consequences if you went down that path.

Unexpected Damage

Sometimes, hail damage goes beyond the cosmetic. Sometimes, those dents, or that hail, manage to impact things under the hood, alignment of your wheels, ball bearings, etc. The list goes on, but if you don’t get your vehicle checked out at all after a hail storm, you might be missing some serious issues that will land you in the shop with a much bigger bill down the road. There’s just no way for the average person to truly tell where the hail damage ends, and whether or not it is purely cosmetic. It’s far better to take it in and get an estimate than assuming the best and having to pay for the worst later.

Hail damage can be a major pain, but there are plenty of reasons to get it handled straight away. If you need a team you can trust, we’d be honored to help you understand the extent of your damage and be realistic with you about what the cost of the repairs might be.

What to Look for After Your Vehicle Comes Out of the Shop

Posted on: September 28th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

What to Look for After Your Vehicle Comes Out of the ShopExamining Car After Collision Repair

When you get your vehicle back from an auto body shop, it’s tempting to just breathe a sigh of relief that you finally have it back, and drive away without taking a proper inventory of the repairs and making sure everything looks/feels/operates as expected. The time you have to do this is right before you drive away from the repair shop, so don’t miss that chance. If something is wrong, you want to catch it before the liability is no longer with the repair shop. So what should you do? Here are our tips for examining car after collision repair.

Get the Closeup

Get up close and personal with the work done. Check over the places you knew needed repairs, and make sure to clarify if there were any additional repairs needed that you may not have spotted before you dropped the vehicle off. Keep an eye out for obvious changes in paint lines, or if there are still visible scratches. This is your chance to really examine the details of what your shop did, so don’t be afraid or feel weird about looking with a critical eye.

Take a Step Back

As important as it is to look closely with a critical eye, it’s also important to step back and look from a distance. Sometimes, things that weren’t so obvious up close and personal become clear when you’ve taken a step back. The key to making sure everything looks right is taking a peek from different angles. Each new perspective lets you see potential issues that you may not have seen from another angle.

Examine Alignment

Alignment can sometimes get messed up in the repair process, so examining this is crucial. If your car isn’t aligned properly, you could find yourself back in the repair shop sooner than you think, and you could be damaging your tires, forcing you to replace them before they would have needed replacing otherwise. Not to mention misalignment puts more of the workload on one half of your vehicle, making other parts wear out faster on that half, too.

Be Critical About Color

This is one of the things many drivers don’t realize will bother them until it’s too late to do anything about it without investing more money. Your repair shop should have matched your vehicle’s paint exactly through color matching, but make sure that’s true upon closer inspection. Make sure it doesn’t look drastically different in the sunlight, or from an angle. This is a big deal, and you’re allowed to be extra critical about it. After all, you’re the one who has to drive the vehicle around every day, and if the color is off, chances are it will get under your skin after awhile.

Which Parts Were Used?

Ask about what kinds of parts were used in your repairs. Manufacturer approved parts are the preferred choice. Some shops will use after-market parts that won’t hold up as long, may not fit quite right, and could break down faster, leaving you back in the shop before you know it. At the very least, you should KNOW what parts were used in your vehicle’s repair, and what kind of warranty they may have.

Take it for a Test Drive

Ask if you can take the vehicle for a test drive (if the shop doesn’t offer) before signing away their responsibility. Sometimes issues aren’t obvious until you’re driving and hear a sound that’s off, or feel something pulling one way or another where it didn’t before.

Speak up

If you see any issues or feel/hear anything during your test drive, you have to speak up! Let them know you have concerns about the job done, and ask what can be done to remedy them. You should be able to trust your repair shop to work with you to do the best job possible, and they should be willing to address your concerns with either information to help ease them or a plan of action to correct any mistakes they may have made.

Getting your vehicle back can be an exciting time (you know, minus the repair bill), but don’t let the excitement stop you from ensuring the job was done well, and your vehicle truly is ready to be back on the road.

Four Auto Body Repair Tips

Posted on: August 20th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

auto body repair tipsWhen the time comes that you need auto body repair work done on your vehicle, the situation can be overwhelming. Especially in the aftermath of a crash, when you’re dealing with insurances and trying to process what’s happened. However, there are a few things you should know – these auto body repair tips will help you look out for your best interests and ensure your vehicle is getting taken care of well and quickly.

You Have a Choice

When you’re talking with your insurance in the wake of an accident, they will likely give you recommendations of shops to visit. These are shops the insurance company has worked with in the past, but at the end of the day the choice is really up to you. You can do your own vetting of local shops rather than the big box places if you’re looking for a different standard of service. If you have a favorite auto body shop, but they aren’t on the “suggested” list you hear, don’t get discouraged! Making the choice should be about who will do the job well and thoroughly, not who will get it done the quickest and the cheapest. If you settle for the latter, you’ll be right back in the shop before you know it.

Check the Lights

When you get your car back, it’s important to check the engine lights and make sure they are all, appropriately, off. You should also take note of any lights that are illuminated before you hand your vehicle off to the shop. If you notice a light still illuminated when you pick up your vehicle, don’t panic! It could very well be that the computer simply needs to be rebooted and the lights will disappear. However, it can also indicate an issue that is still present under the hood. Checking with your technician before you leave will give you a peace of mind and save you a trip when you get home and realize something’s still lit up!

Get Meticulous

If the repairs you’re looking at include body paint retouching, you’re gonna want to get up close and personal with the finished job. It’s pretty annoying to have a single patch on your vehicle that doesn’t match the rest. Don’t be afraid to examine it from several vantage points. Sometimes it’s more obvious up close and sometimes the difference is most apparent when you’re several feet back from your vehicle. Either way, this is something you want to notice before you drive away.

Avoid Aftermarket

You’ll have some choices to make with your chosen auto body shop. There are levels of parts you can elect to have used in the repair work. You can get new parts from the manufacturer, used parts (still from the manufacturer, or manufacturer certified), or you can choose aftermarket parts. The latter will almost always come back to make you regret the choice. Aftermarket parts are often cheap imitations that aren’t built to hold up to the actual wear and tear a normal person puts on their vehicle in daily usage. We know the price tag may be tempting, but consider the damage you could do to your vehicle (not to mention it’s resale value) if you settle here. Choosing new or used manufacturer parts is pretty much always the way to go.

Having to take your car, truck, SUV, van, or motorcycle in for repairs is never a fun time. It almost always comes with a bill you’d rather not have to budget for, and even if insurance covers most of it, you’re still left dealing with the hassle of it all. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can make the most of a bad situation, and feel comfortable with the choices you’re making. And when you’re dealing with your main mode of transportation, peace of mind really is priceless.

Check Those Sensors

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

car sensorCar Sensors – What to Do

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that today’s vehicles are basically giant computers on wheels. And with all that impressive and advanced circuitry, the days of popping open the hood and knowing exactly what to tweak to tune things up are long, long gone. In fact, when it comes to auto body repair, repairing sensor systems is critical and very specialized. This especially true when it comes to all the new self-guidance, blind spot, and lane departure systems. We take extra care making sure those are working, while other body shops overlook those. But…we digress…..with the number of sensors that can go off at any given time, it can get kind of confusing when one (or a few) go off on your dashboard. Making sure to keep an eye out for those sensors and knowing what to do when one goes off is an important part of owning and operating a vehicle, but no one said you had to guess at it alone. Here are some things to know before the lights go off.

What Those Sensors Are For

The sensors in your vehicle are there to let you know that something’s up. Though the issue typically isn’t dire unless paired with other symptoms, it is an indicator that you should get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. The reason behind a particular sensor going off can mean a wide range of things, but when a light pops on, it shouldn’t be ignored. Even if it’s nothing at all and the sensor itself malfunctioned, that’s better to know than assuming that’s the case and doing serious damage to your car in the long run.

How to Know What They Mean

We know this is every car owner’s least favorite sentence but: consult the owner’s manual. It’s the best place to start, and going there can help you start to unravel the mystery of what’s going on with your vehicle. The information you find there will give you a foundation to build upon, and help inform the conversations you have with your repair shop when you bring your vehicle in for a checkup.

Remain Calm

The sudden appearance of a check engine light can be very disconcerting, especially if you’re in the middle of a long trip or simply weren’t anticipating it at all. Really, the sudden appearance of any unexpected sensor light on your dashboard can be a bit of a shock, and googling it can lead o some pretty terrifying results sometimes. However, it’s our motto to remain calm and call your trusted auto body shop. Panicking won’t make the light go away, nor will it solve the problem. Instead, keep your cool and get to an auto body shop to get to the bottom of it.

It can be concerning when the sensors in your car go off, but the important thing is to know what they may mean and be informed when you take your vehicle in. Once you’re with a mechanic, you can work together to determine what’s going on and what needs to be done about it. Most auto repair shops will provide you with a range of options to choose from so you can decide on what fits your budget and situation best.

How to Handle Being Stuck in Winter Weather

Posted on: January 18th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Tips for Stuck Car in WinterTips for Stuck Car in Winter

Winter weather comes with a set of dangers that you don’t experience any other time of the year. With snow, cold temperatures, ice and more, there are risks you take when driving in winter weather that can sometimes leave you stuck. If you find yourself stuck in the dead of winter in the middle of a storm, don’t panic. Keep these things in mind and give yourself the best chance of getting out of the situation (relatively) unscathed.

Emergency Kit

This is a preparatory step that we recommend every single car owner takes well before winter weather gets wild (and keeping it in your car year-round can only benefit you, too). Put together a comprehensive emergency kit and store it in your trunk or the backseat of your car. What you might need will vary a little, but make sure you include a shovel, protein-rich food, water, blankets, batteries, flashlights, flares, blankets, extra layers of clothing, and anything else you can think of that you might truly need. Having all these things in your vehicle at all times means you’ll be as prepared as possible for being stuck for a while.

Assess the Situation

As soon as you realize you’re stuck, you need to suss out what’s going on. Get out of the car and determine where you are. Are you in an area near other buildings or a town within reasonable walking distance so you can go get help and/or shelter? Are there other cars stranded near you? Take stock of what’s happening and what your options may be. If you have service, use your phone (or the radio) to help you determine whether you should wait out the storm or try and find shelter. If you have service, call friends and family to let them know where you are and what’s going on.

Keep Your Exhaust Pipe Clear

This is where the shovel will come in handy. Not only do you have the option of digging yourself out of the situation if that’s a feasible option (and determining this should absolutely be part of the situation assessment), but you can ensure your exhaust pipe is clear. This is a necessity if you’re stuck and running your engine intermittently to keep you warm. A clogged pipe means you are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is lethal.

Make Yourself Visible

Flares and reflective markers are helpful here. However, you can make yourself more visible to workers or other cars passing, do it. The only thing we recommend against is flashing your brights. This might make you temporarily more visible, but it is also putting other drivers at risk. Brights are blinding in winter weather conditions, so it’s not your best option for safely getting the attention of someone who can help you out.

Keeping a cool head and being prepared are the keys to surviving being stuck in winter weather conditions. Having supplies makes a world of difference, and being able to objectively (not in a panic) analyze what the best course of action is to keep yourself and whoever else might be in your vehicle with you safe and sound. What are your best winter weather survival tips?

Where Do Car Dents Come From?

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

car dentsHave you ever walked out to your car to discover dents and wondered where they came from? If you live in Colorado, you know that hail happens. In fact, we have more hail damage insurance claims than any other state. Whether it is the roof of your house or your car, chances are if you live here that you will experience hail repair. But, as your paintless dent repair experts, we see a lot of car dents from causes other than hail. Some are memorable, such as when a kid used his Dad’s Toyota as a BB gun target, and others more common. We thought it would be fun to outline where car dents come from.

Learn more about our hail dent repair services.

Common Causes of Car Dents

Parking Lot Mayhem

Cars do not like parking lots. They are a breeding ground for car dents much like ponds are for mosquitos. If you find a dent on the side of your car, look no further than that last trip to the grocery store. In parking lots, cars are simply packed too close together. Slots are never wide enough for giant sized SUVs. As a result, when the doors open, they impact your car.

Also, shopping carts are a big problem. People rarely take the time to put the cart in the corral or take it back up to the store. As a result, they sometimes shoot across the parking lot and do not stop until they hit your car.

Sports Games

Kids sports are a big deal here along the front range. Almost all of us go to soccer or baseball games. And believe it or not, we see the damage to the cars that park too close to the field. Especially with baseball season and foul balls that not only put a big dent in the car but also destroy windshields. Please ensure, when going to games, you avoid parking in foul ball territory. At soccer games, don’t park behind the goals.

But, it is not just baseball and soccer. Golf is another sport that doles out its fair share of car dents. Just because you are parked safely in front of the clubhouse, do not underestimate the talent of weekend hackers when it comes to slicing a shot off the 18th tee. Trust us, we have seen the damage!

Automatic Car Washes

Those car washes at the gas station seem convenient for that quick wash after getting fuel. But, beware. Those washes are not as well maintained as regular car washes. If a car before you goes in with a lot of dirt and debris on the car, it is possible for the bristles to lock in the little rocks. Then, when it is your turn in the wash, the rocks get propelled into your car.

Also, the washers that used a conveyor to pull your car through the wash, can result in some minor bumps. This usually happens when the person in front of you does not get their car into gear when they are done with the wash and just sits there, while the conveyor belt pulls you into the back of their car.

How to Use This Information

Dents are going to happen. Some of you can live with a little dent or two. But, for more severe dents, you will want to get it repaired. We are experts at dent repair and paintless dent repair. If dents should strike, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

What Not to Do if in an Accident

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

what not to do if in an accidentLet’s pretend for a moment that you have been in an auto accident. Nothing serious, no one injured. Would you know what to do? As your auto body repair experts, we have seen a lot of accidents so we definitely know what you should and should not do if you find yourself in an accident.

Don’t Drive Away

Again, the accident wasn’t bad. Only minor damage to both cars. No one was hurt. So, it should be OK to shake hands with the other driver and just leave, right?

Nope. Whether the wreck is serious or not, you a should check on the driver, exchange insurance information, and report the accident to law enforcement. If you do not, you could be violating the law as all accidents do need to be reported. We call this: stick, exchange, and report. Stick around and check on the other person involved, exchange insurance information, and report it.

You Must Report It

Many think that if no one is hurt, there is no need to call 911. However, that is a very bad idea.

The fact is one in seven drivers are not insured. Many uninsured drivers carry a fake or expired insurance card. So, if you have an agreement with the other driver to “let insurance handles things”, but do not report it to the police, you may find yourself up a creek without a paddle. Plus, the report is verification of the accident for insurance.

Keep You Cool

To say that car accidents are not emotionally charged would be an understatement. But, you need to try and keep calm and take in the situation. And, while you may want to lash out at the guy who ran the red light or rear ended you, you need to start with, “Are you alright?” Don’t start yelling and blaming them, as it is not going to fix the situation.  Instead, take some deep breaths so you can begin documenting the accident.

Don’t Admit Fault

At the accident scene, never tell people it was your fault. Legally speaking, you are admitting guilt and liability which could expose you to a lawsuit. But, if it is your fault, just be polite, make sure everyone is alright, and try not to say too much that could expose you.

Document the Scene

So far, so good. You have decided to stay at the scene, exchanged information, and not yelled at the other drivers. Now is the time to start documenting the scene. If you have a smartphone with a camera, get pictures of the cars, license plate, street names and more. If you don’t have a camera, try and write down as much information as possible. Also, take some time to recall events leading up to the accident, like what street were you on, what direction were you heading, the color of the other car, etc. You will likely need to give this account several times to the insurance company and police.

Register Your Claim Quickly

Make sure that you get your insurance claim filed quickly. Sometimes insurance companies have time limits. And, the sooner you can get the claim process started, the faster you will be back on the road.

How to Use This Information

Few people even mean to get into an accident. But, if you do, make sure that you stay at the scene, exchange information, report the accident, don’t admit fault, document, and get your claim filed. Other than that, let us take care of you with our collision repair team. Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

paintless dent repair

Car Hail Dent Damage and Repair

As we approach Colorado’s hail season, we are sure that some of you will be in the market for dent repair. And, while we would never wish hail damage on anyone, we do want you to know that we are experts at paintless dent repair, which is a technique used to repair your vehicle from hail damage. That being said, we often get asked, what exactly is dent repair without paint.

Definition of Paintless Dent Repair

The best definition of paintless dent repair is a method of repair commonly used for minor dents in cases where the damage from the dent leaves the paint surface intact. It is common for hail damage to be repaired using paintless dent repair, but is can also be used to repair common door dings, large dent, or even bodyline damage.

Essentially, paintless dent repair is a precision repair where, but using metal rods, our technicians gently massage the dent out. We carefully push out the dents from the underside of the body panel and the blend high spots in order match your vehicle’s actual texture. Using a light board, we are able to see precisely where to place our tools to message out the dent and restore the surface to its original condition. It is, indeed, precision repair! But, there are limits and regular dent repair is required if:

  • The dent has created a fracture in the paint surface
  • The dent is an area such as under bracing of the hood or trunk
  • Or in situations where it is a large dent or creases where the sheet metal is stretched

How to Use this Information

We do hope that you escape hail season unscathed and dent-free. But, if you should encounter a ding or two, or have a bad day in a parking lot, we can help. We do more than just collision repair. Let us take care of those annoying dents.  Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.