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

Top Causes of Car Accidents

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

what causes the most accidentsWhat are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?

It was a sobering year when it came to traffic collisions and fatalities in Denver. Sadly, there was an 11 percent increase in deaths associated with traffic collisions on Colorado roadways in 2016 – far outpacing the increase in population. This accounts for 605 deaths, including 125 motorcyclist deaths and a 15-year high of 84 pedestrian fatalities. So, what causes the most accidents here in Colorado and the Denver area? As your auto body repair team, we have taken a look at some of the statistics to try and find an answer.

#1 Cause of Accidents – Distracted Driving

According to officials from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), what causes the most accidents, and is the culprit of our recent spike, is distracted driving. Depending on the data, distracted driving accounts for anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of all accidents. Despite making upgrades to intersections, such as putting in grade separated crossings and creating clear zones, those modifications cannot overcome driver behaviors when it comes to being distracted.

The increase of connected devices in vehicles, especially smartphones, creates the most distraction. And, while many phones are hands-free and Bluetooth connected, studies show that does not decrease distraction on the road. Also, new hands-free functions on smartphones do not decrease distraction. Lastly, more people are using their smartphones to stream music in their car. When they do, they become distracted as they sort through playlists and try to find what music to play.

Car Accident Causes: Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is also among the leading causes of accidents in Colorado. In fact, in 2015, 32 percent of fatal accidents involved alcohol use. Unfortunately, drunk driving continues to be a problem in Colorado, as we are among the top states when it comes to this statistic.

Causes of Car Accidents: Reckless Driving and Speeding

An estimated 34 percent of 2014 traffic deaths in Colorado were due to just driving too fast. And, this can increase during inclement weather. While accidents do increase in the snow and ice, they are rarely cited as the actual reason for the accident. Instead, it is likely driving too fast for the conditions, which is considered speeding or reckless driving.

How to Use this Information

When it comes to driving in Colorado, just be aware out there. Put away all the distractions while you are on the road and recognize that you are responsible for the life of other motorists and pedestrians. Also, CDOT officials say the number one thing that can reduce fatalities is simply using your seat belt. But, if you find yourself in need of body repair, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Caring for Your Car’s New Paint Job

Posted on: January 10th, 2017 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Taking Care of New Paint Job

Painting Your Car? Here are a Few Paint Job Tips

When it comes to taking care of new paint job, there are several things to keep in mind. As your team of auto body repair experts, we do more than just collision repair. We are a leader for Denver car refinishing with factory trained specialists in color matching. While often collision repair requires new paint, a lot of paint work we perform is also due to the fact that we live in Colorado where vehicle paint can take a beating from high-intensity sun, hail as well as winter road treatments. Taking care of a new paint job is very important, especially in the first month.

Taking Care of New Paint Job –  The First 30 Days

Wash Car by Hand – During the first 30 days of a new paint job, try and avoid using a commercial car wash and, instead, wash your car by hand. Oftentimes, commercial car washes use stiff brushes that can mar the finish and cause damage to your new paint.  When washing your car, find a shady spot, and use a soft sponge and cool water.

No Dry Wiping – We know it is hard to resist the urge to just wipe off that fine layer of dust of pollen. However, dry wiping on a freshly painted car can cause scratches on the finish. If you have some fine dirt you wish to get rid of, simply rinse it off with clean water.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures – This can be easier said than done as we live in a state defined by extreme shifts in weather. But, you will want to try and avoid exposing your vehicles new paint to extreme cold or heat in the first 30 days. Try and park your car in the shade as this can help protect your car from such extremes.

Trees are Not Your Friend – When parking, stay away from parking under a tree. Find another source of shade as trees can drip sap on your car. Also, trees attract birds. And, for some reason, bird droppings are attracted to new paint jobs. Acid from bird droppings will eat through the new finish and damage the surface.

Rinse Spills Immediately – We know accidents happen. If you accidentally spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, or wiper fluid on your new paint, immediately rinse it off with clean water. Again, do not simply wipe it off as it could create scratches on the finish.

Avoid Gravel – This should go without saying, but we have seen many paint jobs damaged due to driving over gravel surfaces. Gravel can easily get turned up by your tires and chip your paint.

Taking Care of a New Auto Paint Job –  The First 90 Days

No “Wax On” nor “Wax Off” – Do not listen to Mr. Miyagi! We know you will want to keep that shiny paint job looking fresh. But, in the first 90 days, avoid waxing and polishing your car. This will help the finish completely dry and harden.

How to Use This Information

If you just had a new paint job on your car, we hope this information helps. And, if you are considering new paint, our team can help get your car’s paint looking showroom new. Our factory trained technicians are among the top experts in refinishing and color matching. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Tis the Season for Cracked Windshields

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

preventing cracked windshieldsTips for Preventing Cracked Windshields

Next time you are driving around here in Colorado, take a look at the cars around you. In fact, pay particular attention to their windshields. We are willing to bet that you will see a lot of cracked windshields. And, as we get deeper into winter, they’ll be even more common. In fact, if you managed to escape last winter without a crack, you are very lucky as most cars over their lifespan go through a couple of windshield replacements. As your auto body repair experts, we put together some information on what causes cracks and preventing cracked windshields.

Common Causes of Cracked Windshields

Here in Colorado, the biggest culprit of cracked windshields is skiing.

Well, not skiing per se, but it is more about driving on roadways that get covered with gravel and sand to help increase traction during snowstorms. Sand and gravel mixtures are used a great deal in the high country, especially on mountain passes. The gravel easily gets caught in car tires and then gets slung out of the tread. And oftentimes that gravel and rock comes from the car in front of you and finds its mark on your windshield.

These deep impact marks on your windshield will, unfortunately, spread and expand into a crack. This occurs as temperatures change. And, here in Colorado, rapid temperature fluctuations are typical. Even having the car sit out at night and then later having it sit in direct sunlight, can create enough heating on the glass to create expansion. Or, if suddenly warm water is put on a cold windshield from; for example, a car wash, the divot will expand. Or, if it is hot and you suddenly blast the cool AC on the windshield, that can also create expansion and contraction.

Windshield Crack Prevention

Preventing windshield cracks are not easy. With our snow storms and use of gravel, you cannot make your windshield gravel proof. Adding a bug guard to the front of your hood can help as it can deflect rocks, but some will still find their way to your windshield.

The best way to prevent windshield cracks is to simply increase your following distance from the car in front of you, especially when driving on a road that has gravel and sand on it. This will give gravity a little more time to push the gravel down before it can collide into your windshield. Also, this is just good and common sense when driving in winter conditions.

Lastly, a lot of gravel kick up occurs when the car in front of you is accelerating from a stop, especially if it is a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. So, even when stopped, you will want to ensure there is more room between you and the car in front of you should their rear tires spin and kick up gravel.

How to Use This Information

We do hope this helps you when it comes to preventing windshield cracks. The best way to do this is keeping a little more distance from the car in front of you. And, it will help you avoid accidents. But, if you do happen to have an accident, we can help get your car looking and running like new.  If you find yourself in need of auto body repair, please give us a call at 303-344-2212 or schedule an estimate appointment online.

Photo credit: kpwerker via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

How to Tell if a Used Car was in an Accident

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

how to tell if used car was in an accidentWe wish that no one ever got into a car accident. But, as humans, we are prone to accidents as no one is ever perfect, especially on the road. Accidents happen. As your auto body repair Denver team of experts, we strive to make your car look like new. We also know that many people sell their cars. If you are buying one we have ways you can tell a used car was in an accident.

We should note, that even if you see these things in a used car, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad car. It could run well and it could be repaired to the highest standards imaginable! But, there are just a few little telling signs that you can use, especially if the person selling you the car is trying to pass it off as accident-free.

How to Tell Whether a Car Has Had Body Work

Color Test

One way to tell a used car was in an accident is by looking closely at the paint. While we have stringent factory color matching at Accurate Auto Body, other places do not. If you walk around a used car and notice that some panel colors don’t match or paint texture seems a little off, it could indicate that the car may have had some body damage and was repainted.

Reflection Test

Sometimes you can see if a car had body work by looking at the reflection. If you get a smooth reflection, it is good. But, if an area gives off a warped reflection, it is possible that area had some body work and they did not do a good job of reforming that panel.

Bolt Test

Under the hood, depending on the car, you will see bolts that attach the fender to the frame. But, if they are removed, those bolts will show wear and possible be stripped of their paint. The same is true of the bolts that hold the hood to the car. If those bolt heads show wear, it is likely that the hood was entirely removed and it could be a sign the car was in a wreck.

Panel and Door Alignment

Another way to tell if a used car was in an accident is by paying close attention to the alignment of doors, panels and the hood. All the gaps should be evenly spaced throughout the vehicle.

Look for Overspray

At the factory, a car is painted before anything is added to it. As a result, there is no paint on any plastic trim or wiring when it is brand new. If you see some hosing or wiring (especially on the inside of doors), it could be a sign the car was repainted at some point.

How to Use this Information

Again, many of these are only signs that the used car may have been in an accident. They are just some things to look for, especially of the seller seems to not be giving you the full story. Of course, you can always get a Carfax report and that should tell you if the car has been in an accident. But, even with these signs, it may not be an indicator they are trying to pass off a lemon. It could be that the car is perfectly OK and safe to drive if the repairs were done by a reputable repair shop (but you should not pay their full asking price). Speaking of which, if you have need of repair, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Do You Have To Use Your Insurance Company’s Auto Body Repair Shop?

Posted on: October 25th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Auto Body Repair ShopCan I Choose My Own Auto Body Shop?

There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to your choice of an auto body repair shop when going through your insurance company for collision repair. As your Aurora auto body repair experts, this is probably the number one question we get asked when people come to us for an estimate on their repairs. So, we thought we would address if you can choose your own auto body shop and clear up some misconceptions around that issue.

You are Allowed to Choose Your Own Auto Repair Shop

Without a doubt, you are allowed to use your own auto body facility to get your car repaired. Colorado house bill 03-1253 gives vehicle owners the right to choose where their vehicle gets repaired.

Insurance Company Misconceptions About Auto Repair

While it is required by law that you have the right to choose your own repair shop, insurance companies do have contracts with some auto body repair shops. Depending on those arrangements, the insurance company may have negotiated lower labor and material rates. Some insurance may try and sway you to use a shop where they already have such a contract. But the choice is always going to be yours. If you choose to go with someone not on their list of referral shops, they may claim it will take longer to get an adjuster to your shop so the repair could take longer. And they may even claim that the company will not warranty the repairs.

The truth of the matter is, all body shops have estimators that are familiar with all the major insurance companies’ claims processes and the local insurance adjusters. This makes it very efficient and easy to complete the estimate process regardless of the auto shop you choose. After all, auto repair facilities are interested in handling repairs efficiently and they typically offer warranties on their auto repairs. So, you can rest assured that if you choose your own shop, it is very unlikely there will be delays in process and, if they are a reputable shop, they will provide a warranty.

How to Use This Information

The bottom line is that you do have a choice when it comes to repairing your car after an accident. Most reputable insurance companies do leave it up to you where you would like to have repairs made and try not to pressure you into an approved list. The best way to find the right shop for you is by asking friends and family and do a little research to see who you would like to work with. The most important thing is to be comfortable with the shop doing the repairs.  If you have need of collision repair, call us 303-344-2212 or schedule an estimate appointment online.

Auto Collision Checklist: What to Do if You Have an Accident

Posted on: September 27th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

auto collision checklist

Auto Collision Repair Tips

An auto collision can be an unnecessary headache. And, let’s face it, no one ever plans on having an accident. Unfortunately, they are common and usually it is not a matter of if you will have a traffic accident, it is a matter of when. Your auto collision repair experts at Accurate Auto Body have put together an auto collision checklist of things you should do if you have an accident.

Auto Collision Checklist

  1. Stay Safe – Assess your immediate situation and safety. If you need to stay in your car if there is risk of injury or if moving might put you at further risk of injury.
  2. Move to a Safe Location – If possible, and if your car is blocking traffic or creating a safety hazard, move your vehicle to the side of the road.
  3. Call 911 – Get help to the scene and report the accident. When the police arrive, follow their instructions. Sometimes, if it is a minor collision, the police may not come. In that case, exchange information with the other drivers and contact your insurance company.
  4. Be Polite – Make sure others involved are OK, but do not admit fault.
  5. Gather Information – Exchange insurance information and contact information with other drivers involved. If there are witness, also obtain their contact information.
  6. Document The Scene – If you have a smartphone (and if it is safe to do so), take pictures of vehicle and property damage, objects at the scene such as debris, skid marks, fallen branches, etc. Take pictures of the street signs to help identify the location and other things that may have contributed to the accident such as an obscured traffic sign. Also, take photos of the license plates of the other cars involved.
  7. Call your Insurance Company – Sometimes they can help you get a tow from the scene. If towed, make note of the company and where they take your vehicle. Also, some insurance plans provide you with a rental car for the duration of your vehicle’s repair.
  8. Arrange Your Repairs – You have the right to select your auto body repair shop. Most shops work with all the major insurance providers. Take a little time to research the shop and look at their Business Bureau rating, their reviews, and website. Make sure you feel comfortable with whatever shop you are trusting to make your car like new!

How to Use This Information

We know that dealing with an auto accident is very stressful. The repair of your car should not add to that stress. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have. And, if your car has been involved in a collision, let us take a look at it. We will get you a thorough estimate so you can have peace of mind when it comes to your repair. Call 303-344-2212 or schedule an estimate appointment online.

Tips for Choosing an Auto Body Repair Shop

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

How to Choose an Auto Body Repair ShopWe know that it can be stressful when you are looking for auto body repair services and trying to find an auto body shop to get an estimate. After all, you may have just been involved in an accident and have a lot of questions as it pertains to repair and your insurance. When it comes to selecting the right auto body repair shop, we have some quick tips as to what you may want to look for and consider.

Tips to Find an Auto Body Repair Shop

Word of Mouth

We know that when you have an accident, the first inclination may be to just go with who your insurance agency recommends and just start getting your car repaired in for going out to find an auto body repair shop that is right for you. But, take a moment and ask others you know who they would recommend. Often times, you will find your friends or co-workers may know some other shops that they love and have had great experience with. Don’t worry, most auto shops work with most major insurance companies so you don’t need to feel locked into a particular shop just because it is one of a few on your insurance provider’s list.

Check Their Reviews

Read through some of the auto body shop’s reviews. It doesn’t matter how many they have, per se, but look at the quality of their reviews. Look at Google, Facebook, and even Yelp. Also read up on their website and see if they have customer testimonials and stories. Ask yourself if those reviews and testimonials provide you with a sense of comfort.

Better Business Bureau Accredited

Quickly do a search on bbb.org and see if the shop is accredited. If they are, it means they have been found to meet certain standards and have a commitment to meet customer needs and resolve any complaints. You can also see what their rating is.

Get a Thorough Examination

When some auto body shops provide an estimate, they oftentimes do so without actually doing a thorough evaluation. They are sometimes making an educated guess without truly understanding the extent of the damage that will be required to be repaired. As a result, they either under or overestimate the true cost of repair. You will want to ensure they have a cost guarantee and the only way they can do that is with a strong validation process. Also, with that validation, they should be able to provide a guaranteed delivery date. Regardless, do get multiple estimates, but know that lowest prices may not be the best

Go With You Gut

At the end of the day, your gut is the best barometer to gauge who to go with. If your gut tells you that a shop feels shady, then stay away. If their estimate seems almost too good to be true and they have no guarantees, then you may want to think twice about using them. On the other hand, ff a shop felt good and the owner and technicians took time to answer your questions, made you feel at ease, then you go with them. When going through repair, you have to go with a shop you feel that you can trust. After all, it is stressful enough if you dealing with the hassles of an accident, the shop you choose should not be one of them.

How to use this information

Here at Accurate Auto Body, we are committed to providing the best experience to our customers. If you find yourself facing auto body repairs, please let us take a look at your vehicle. We can answer any questions you may have and you can be assured that will do a thorough evaluation. Give us a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website for more information and we will be happy to help!

The Dreaded Check Engine Light

Posted on: July 12th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

check engine lightAt some point in the life of your vehicle, chances are that the check engine light is going to come on. Unfortunately, that pesky little light doesn’t do much more than alert you to the fact that something is out of whack in your vehicle. But don’t panic! Our Aurora auto body repair pros are here to explain what that light means and how to handle the situation so that your vehicle doesn’t sustain lasting damage.

What is the Check Engine Light?

The check engine light is actually a part of your onboard diagnostic system (OBD) which is made up of a series of computers which monitor all sorts of things. Whether its air to fuel ratio, temperature, or ignition timing, it is all being monitored by the OBD. When something goes wrong and the computer cannot adjust things to fix the problem, the light goes off and a diagnostic code is stored in the system.

That was the old system. With the advent of OBD II, which was federally required for monitoring vehicle emissions, the check engine light was redesigned to apply only to emissions related problems.

What does the check engine light mean?

When the light goes on, it will either be solid or blinking. A blinking light means that your vehicle needs to be serviced immediately. A solid light means that it is not a dire situation, but you do need to have your vehicle checked. Keep a close eye on your gauges to make sure the vehicle is not heating up or the oil pressure is dropping. Try to reduce your load and speed until you reach a shop, taking pressure of the engine.

If you continue to drive with a blinking check engine light, chances are you are going to do lasting damage to your vehicle, which will require extensive repairs.

Diagnosing the Problem

The truth is that it is very difficult to identify why a check engine light has turned on without a diagnostic code reader. Luckily, every auto shop worth your money now has one.

However, before you take it down to a shop and spend money on the problem, be sure to check your gas cap. A loose fitting or not tightened gas cap can cause the check engine light to turn on. Keep in mind that it might take a couple drives before the check engine light resets.

How to use this information

At Accurate Auto Body, we have the tools to help you identify exactly what is wrong with your vehicle when a check engine light turns on. If that pesky light is on next to your gauges, be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website to set up an appointment and we will be happy to help!

How long do you normally let the check engine light stay on before having it checked?

Car Overheating: What to Do

Posted on: June 24th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

car overheatingA scorching day can put any engine to the test, especially if you are stuck in traffic or driving your vehicle up a steep grade. Those days and situations can easily create car overheating. When your thermostat begins to rise or your vehicle begins to show warning lights for overheating, it’s time to take action. Accurate Auto body in Aurora, CO is here to give you the low down on how to cool your vehicle’s engine and stay on the road.

Car Overheating: Simple Fixes

As soon as you notice that your vehicle is beginning to overheat, roll down the windows and turn off the AC. This will decrease the load on the engine and let your vehicle start to cool down.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to try something unorthodox. Turn on the heater and blower to blast that hot air out of the engine. You may be turning the inside of your vehicle into a sauna, but trust us, it will do wonders to transfer the heat away from the engine.

Drastic Measures for Car Overheating

Finally, if the gauge is still rising with no end in sight and you aren’t stuck in traffic, pull your vehicle over to let it rest. If you are stuck in gridlock, throw your vehicle into neutral and rev the engine a couple times. Revving the engine will speed up the fan and water pump, drawing more cool liquid and air through the radiator which will help regulate your engine’s temperature.

If you end up having to pull your vehicle because warning lights are going on and nothing is helping, remember to never open your radiator. Pressure will be high and the liquid will be hot; save yourself the burns and wait until the engine cools down. If you have to add water, do it with the cooled engine running in neutral or park.

Possible Causes of Car Overheating Besides Heat

Although heat is generally the culprit when it comes to your car overheating, you could also be experiencing some other problems. If it’s not too hot and your vehicle seems to be heating for no reason, check your radiator and coolant level. If it’s low, fill it up and monitor the performance. If it continues to overheat, you could have a leak in your cooling system.

How to use this information

If your vehicle is overheating for no reason, we can help you pinpoint the cause. If you are having trouble getting through those hot days, be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us and bring your vehicle by to have it looked at!

Do you have any secret tips on getting your vehicle not to overheat? Let us know!

Auto Body Shop DIY Guide: Repairing Car Dents, Dings, and Scratches

Posted on: May 10th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

repairing car dentsIf you live in a city, chances are that sooner or later your vehicle will pick up some car dents, dings and scratches. But don’t worry – there are plenty of options available to help you keep your vehicle looking in tip top shape. And if all else fails, our Denver Auto Body shop specialists will be there for repairing car dents or body damage. Here are some options for you to try to get out those pesky dents and dings out on your own.

Repairing Car Dents

If you have a dent in the steel or aluminum siding of your vehicle, you can try suctioning it out using a rubber plunger. This is particularly effective for large dents on your doors or fenders where the piece of metal is larger. Moisten the edge of the rubber and position the plunger over the dent. Push in until a solid seal is established and then pull towards yourself. It may take a couple tries, but chances are your car will look much better afterwards. Learn more about our hail and dent repair services.

Touching Up Paint Scratches

If you cut your turn too close in a parking lot and get a scratch, don’t panic! Touching up a paint scratch is easy with the proper supplies. The first step is finding the right color of paint – car paints can be very specific by make and model, so be sure to check with your local mechanic before buying a tone which doesn’t match.

Once you have your paint, be sure that all dings or rust spots are gone so that your paint job will be smooth and fresh looking. Apply the primer and spray paint in nice even strokes to ensure there is no dripping. Let it dry in a dry, clean environment and your car will look as if you never hit anything.

Filling in Chips and Dings

Small chips and dings can be easily filled with glazing putty. Get yourself a putty knife and smear it into the whole, removing the excess so that the putty remains flush with the metal. Allow it to dry and proceed with the painting method discussed above. If the damaged area is larger than a small hole, you will need to get a more specialized filler designed for steel, plastic, or aluminum. Or, better yet, call us!

When it comes down to it, repairing car dents and dings on your own is possible. You just need to have a healthy dose of patience and pay attention to what type of material your vehicle’s body is made of. But, please do so with caution, as it is always best to let the experts handle it to ensure the best materials,  paint match and finish

How to use this information

At Accurate Auto Body, we have the equipment to get out even the toughest dents and get your vehicle looking like new. If you are in need of auto body repair, be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website for more information and we will be happy help!

Which product has helped you the most to repair your vehicle’s dents and dings?