Archive for the ‘Safe Driving Tips’ Category

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.

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.

Car Repairs During COVID

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Car repair COVIDThe world has changed, but it also must go on. And as long as there are drivers on the road, the need for car maintenance and repairs will continue to exist. If your vehicle needs maintenance or repairs, you don’t have to put it off until things are back to “normal.” However, as your auto body repair shop, there are some extra steps you should take during this time to make sure that you and the staff handling your vehicle are safe during the process.  

Ask About Procedures 

Don’t be afraid to ask about how the shop’s processes and procedures have changed in light of COVID-19. We can’t operate exactly the way we used to, and though the cleanliness standards at your shop of choice should have been high before the virus, they should be doing more, now. How they answer this question can and should impact whether or not you bring your vehicle to them. 

Pay Attention In Shop 

Of course, it’s not enough just to talk the talk. When you bring your car in for an estimate or inspection, we urge to pay attention to how things are handled within the shop as well. Are the staff wearing masks? Is hand sanitizer readily available? Are staff members following social distancing protocols wherever possible? If not, ask questions about why. We all have to do our part right now to keep our communities safe and healthy. Vehicle mechanics are no exception to the rule. 

Don’t Touch Unsanitized Items 

When you come to pick up your vehicle, we recommend not touching items that haven’t been sanitized. Counters should be sanitized regularly, in accordance with CDC guidelines, and your keys should be sanitized before they are handed to you. On a similar note, make sure your vehicle has been sanitized as well. 

Wipe Down Your Vehicle  

And while you can trust a repair shop worth its salt to do right by you as a vehicle owner and concerned citizen, it never hurts to do a little double-duty yourself. When you get your vehicle home, we recommend wiping it down with sanitizing wipes as well. 

With the addition of these steps to your normal vehicle repair process, you should feel comfortable and safe getting those repairs done and keeping your vehicle in the best possible condition to keep you safe on the road. If you have questions about how Accurate Auto Body has adopted COVID procedures to better care for your health and safety during this time, give us a call today.

What is Accident Alert?

Posted on: February 10th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

What is Accident Alert?

Maybe you’re used to seeing it on your TV screens or on the LED signs over the highways, or maybe you just saw it for the first time the other day and now you’re wondering – what does a city-wide accident alert really mean? As collision repair experts, we see this alert a lot, and we do field our fair share of questions on this. Truthfully, it depends. There are a few things that could cause it, but here are the basics of what you should know and when you might want to keep an eye out for the notification.

What You Need to Know About Accident Alert

When an Accident Alert is in effect, the volume of calls regarding crashes and automobile accidents is often so high that police cannot respond to all of them. The reasons for this volume may be a result of a number of different things, but when an Accident Alert is declared, there must be the following things in place to warrant police presence at the scene of a crash:

  • Damaged vehicles are causing the street to be closed
  • Fatality or injuries requiring immediate medical attention are present
  • Impaired driving (drug or alcohol-related) played a part in the accident
  • Any drivers fail to remain on scene
  • Any drivers do not have a valid license
  • Damage to public property
  • Involvement of on-duty City personnel

Because of the volume of accidents expected when an Accident Alert is issued, only the most pressing and critical ones can be addressed with the limited police resources available. So, now we know what the police will respond to during an Accident Alert. But what causes an accident alert?

Severe Weather

Severe weather is the number one reason for this alert to be issued. This time of year, when the snowfall hits record amounts and the winter weather is often in short, severe bursts, Accident Alerts are the most common. Winter weather creates hazardous road conditions more quickly than most other types of weather. However, it’s not uncommon to see this alert in the spring, summer, or fall when flash flooding becomes an issue.

Community Emergency

Outside of severe weather, other community emergencies may spawn an Accident Alert as well. This may include city-wide traffic light outages, broken water mains, avalanches in the mountain roads, or other similar issues. If the community is facing an emergency (especially if the mayor declares a city-wide emergency), expect an Accident Alert to be in place as well.

Be Cautious

When an Accident Alert is in effect, it’s important to exercise greater caution than normal while driving. Not only because police resources are limited, but because the likelihood of an influx of accidents means a greater likelihood that you may encounter an accident or two in your driving. Encountering accidents can increase the likelihood of getting involved in one yourself if you’re not careful to avoid curiosity slow-downs or don’t give yourself enough time to get out of the path of the accident. For that reason, exercising extreme caution on the roads during an Accident Alert is incredibly important.

If you find yourself caught up in the influx during an Accident Alert, give us a call. We’ll help get you back on the road as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of auto body repair.

What to Do When Stuck in Winter Weather

Posted on: January 14th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

stuck in winter drivingIf there’s one thing Coloradans know best, it’s how quickly the weather can change from manageable to impassable. Especially in the winter, roads can go from dry and clear to shut down in a matter of hours. While it’s always best to avoid travel if that kind of storm is a possibility, we all know that sometimes it’s impossible to predict when a winter storm will hit. Even more, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid the need to travel. But what should you do if you get stuck in the middle of a storm in your vehicle? Here are a few things to accomplish as soon as possible.

Alert Authorities

If you have service and any battery on your cell phone (if you have a charger in your vehicle, we highly recommend keeping a high charge all winter long), call and alert the authorities. Chances are in the kind of weather that gets you stuck, you’re probably not the only one. This may mean that they can’t reach you for a while, but letting them know where you are and that you’re stuck is a huge, important first step to getting unstuck before things get dire.

Bust out the Emergency Kit

We’ve written about creating emergency kits before, so be sure to read that if you’re looking for advice on what to include in your kit. At this point, the kit should be prepped and in your vehicle, ready for a worst-case scenario like this. If you packed a shovel in your kit, you may be able to spend some time trying to dig yourself out, to see if you can gain any traction and get yourself out of the situation. If you are going to try to dig yourself out, ensure you’re in a safe position to do so. Otherwise, it’s time to dig into those blankets, sweatshirts, and other layers you packed.

Conserve Energy

Conserving energy is key if you’re unsure of how long you’ll be stuck. We’re talking energy of all sorts. Energy in your phone, your own personal energy, the energy in your vehicle. All of it. Use it sparingly and wisely. If you can, utilize the sun to warm your vehicle so you can keep the engine running only at a bare minimum (to avoid freezing in the fuel line or engine) until the sun sets and you’re dealing with colder nighttime temperatures.

Stay Put

We know it’s tempting to leave your vehicle and try to seek help or shelter, but there’s no way of knowing how treacherous the conditions are or how far exactly you are from reaching anything or anyone who might be of assistance. It may feel a little scarier, but we recommend staying put. Stay with your car, stay in your car as much as you can. This will make it easier for authorities to find you, and it will ensure you don’t wind up more lost or more stuck than you already are.

On the bright side, weather in Colorado tends to clear out as quickly as it comes in, making it often a shorter span of time between getting stranded and getting rescued than might be the case in other areas. That being said, it’s important to take being stranded in a winter storm seriously, and do your best to stay in control of what you can. Conserve your energy, ration out your food, stay warm, and keep your vehicle in working order, and hopefully you’ll be out of the uncomfortable position in no time.

Ice Driving Tips

Posted on: December 16th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

ice drivingIf you’ve ever lived a Colorado winter before, you know as well as we do that winter weather rarely means just snow around here. There is almost always an element of ice involved as well – whether it’s under the snow or replaces it entirely, icy driving is an inevitability in the Front Range this time of year. So how do you stay safe when the roads are anything but? Here are some things you need to know before you hit those ice-covered roads.

Don’t Do It

Our first tip is perhaps the most important. If at all possible, avoid driving on icy roads entirely. If you have the ability to work remotely, reschedule events or take a day off, we recommend that route. It’s the safest route. When staying off the roads until the city has had a chance to salt them or until the inclement weather has passed entirely is not an option, there are other things you should do to prepare.

Be Aware

Checking the weather and road conditions in your area should be a daily practice in the winter. It can help you understand whether or not your morning commute is going to be significantly more treacherous or not. Checking the weather the night before as well as the morning of can help you plan accordingly. Because you should never be in a rush when there is ice on the road, we recommend allowing yourself plenty of extra time if the weather looks wintry.

No One Is “Slide-Proof”

We hate to be the bearer of bad news to those who bought souped up SUVs with the hopes of being able to tackle anything Mother Nature threw at them without a care in the world, but SUVs, 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive don’t actually make it easier to drive on icy roads. Everyone is equally susceptible to sliding in these conditions because ice doesn’t just make traction difficult, it makes it impossible. Knowing that you’re not immune to the conditions of the road is an important step to being as safe on them as possible. Slow down. Way down. It’s not uncommon for speeds of under 45 mph to be necessary even on highways when the roads are particularly icy.

Avoid Brakes

Along with slowing way down, avoid using your brakes. Hitting the brakes often increases the likelihood of sliding or losing control under icy road conditions because brakes seek traction. When there is none to be found, you can easily find yourself spinning, sliding, or your ABS system attempting to correct (which it can’t.) Of course, coming to a stop on the road will be necessary at times, but doing so as slowly as possible, applying minimal pressure to your brakes to successfully stop is your best bet at staying safe under these road conditions.

Understand the Risks

Icy road conditions make pileups more likely. Sometimes, your crash or your driving is not what’s posing the highest risk to you – it’s other drivers that may approach your crash or your vehicle too quickly and end up out of control trying to fix it. Driving on icy roads is one of the riskiest things a driver can do in a city or highly trafficked area. Knowing what you’re up against is extremely important if you absolutely must travel under these conditions. If, despite your best efforts you still find yourself in an accident, the team at Accurate Auto Body can help get you back on the road with our expert auto body repair services.

Winter Driving Prep

Posted on: October 22nd, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

winter driving prepWe’ve faced our first snow in the Front Range and now all of our minds are starting to wonder – when will winter rear its head again? When will it be here to stay? Before you bet on that office pool for the last day of fall, take a little time to make sure you’re prepared at home. As your auto body shop, we all know that road conditions can go from perfect to dangerous in no time at all in Colorado, so what do you need to know to ensure your vehicle is ready to make it through the season?

It’s All About the Tires

Tires matter big time when it comes to winter driving. If you’re wondering why we’ve got one word for you: Traction. It’s the big decider on whether or not you stay on the road or start skidding. Good traction means no problem sticking to the road where you’re supposed to, but traction gets tricky in the winter. Snow and ice both mess with traction and if you don’t have 1) the proper tires equipped to handle such weather and 2) the proper levels of inflation in said tires, you could be setting yourself up for a messy and potentially dangerous season.

Prepare for the Worst

It’s not the most optimistic way to look at things, but it is the best way to ensure you’re prepared no matter what. Consider your winter weather driving worst-case scenario. Got it? For most, it’s either crashed in a ditch or stranded with no idea of when you might find help or be able to get yourself out of the situation. We recommend preparing for both of these situations. Have an emergency kit put together and stored in your car before the weather gets bad. Include extra layers of clothing, food, water, a radio, portable chargers and batteries, spare tires, a snow shovel, hand and foot warmers, etc. Whatever you know you need in your kit to get through a night in your car stranded – pack that.

Visibility Matters

This goes both ways. You need to be visible to oncoming traffic and you need to be able to see while you’re driving. Are your headlights working? Are your wiper blades in good condition? What about your wiper fluid? Chances are you haven’t touched the latter since last winter, so it’s probably time to top up with some wiper fluid rated for –30 degrees. Make sure your back up, rearview, and any other external cameras your vehicle might have are cleared off and ready for your next trip. All of these things can help increase your visibility and increase your ability to see others on the road, no matter what the weather.

Give ‘Em Space

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of driving like its winter now. Practice staying a little further back from the vehicle in front of you. Giving adequate space year-round is a good idea, but it’s extra important when the weather gets dicey and a hard brake could cause a multi-car pile-up pretty quick. Getting in the habit now will help you avoid those kinds of mistakes when it really matters.

Thinking about and prepping for winter isn’t exactly the most exciting time of the year for many, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. A little extra time spent thinking ahead and prepping now could save you money, time, frustration, and disaster in the long run. And, if you do have need of auto body repair, give us a call for a free estimate.

Transitioning to Snow Tires

Posted on: October 7th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

snow tire transitionWell, Front Rangers, we’ve officially done it. We’ve reached the part of the year where snow is entering the forecast. Thursday calls for snow, and as your Denver auto body shop, we thought it would be as good a time as any to brush up on what you need to know about transitioning to snow tires.

What to Consider

Of course, you want to consider the weather. Snow tires aren’t really meant to be on your vehicle for long periods of time when there isn’t snow on the ground. They’re built to handle the chill, the snow, and in some cases, even help make the ice a little less dangerous. Obviously, with that little snowflake on the map for Thursday, now would be a good time. But it’s also worth considering whether or not that snow will stay. Is it the first snow of a long Winter season, or the first snow that will give way to an Indian summer or a few more weeks of fall before snow becomes a consistent part of our lives again?

When to Change

When the temperatures are consistently chilly and snow is in the forecast is an excellent time to swap them out. After a few chilly weeks, it’s reasonably safe to assume that winter is on the horizon and plan accordingly. If you’re not sure whether or not you accidentally forgot to swap your winter tires out last year, check for a snowflake on the tire. That will give you your answer! Aim to change them when the weather starts to get worse, but be cautious about waiting too long. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a blizzard without the right tires to help you drive safely through it.

How to Change

First things first, we recommend using a different set of rims with your winter tires if you can make that work. This will save tons of time when it comes time to swap them out. However, if you’re not able to go that far, we would recommend taking them to a place that swaps tires out professionally. Getting a set of tires onto pre-existing rims isn’t exactly the easiest task to take on if you’re not already familiar with the process.

What to Check

There are a number of things you should check once you have those winter tires on and ready to roll. You’ll want to check the rims and make sure everything is fitting well. Check for that snowflake, you know, just in case. Make sure it’s on all four. Check the air pressure and fill where needed. Because the tread is one of the most important parts of a winter tire, checking the tread is extremely important. Is it thick enough to handle another season? If it’s thinning out, you may want to consider buying a new set. A threadbare tire is dangerous in any season and can be downright deadly on snowy streets.

Not sure where to start with changing your vehicle’s tires over to the winter-ready ones? Give us a call and we can help!