How to Identify Vehicle Frame Damage

frame damageMany car owners only bring their vehicle to a collision shop if they see obvious visual signs of damage. We advise a checkup from a technician even if you’ve been in a seemingly minor fender bender. The car may have incurred frame damage even if the surface appears unscathed.

Look out for these signs of non-visual frame damage:

Car Veers in One Direction

After a collision, pay attention to whether the car pulls to one side. If you need to turn the wheel to drive in a straight line, then you have a problem. This is usually an alignment issue but can also be a sign of frame damage.

Car Does the Crab Walk

A damaged frame may result in your car’s doing the “crab walk” while in motion. This occurs when the rear tires go in a different direction than the front tires. To determine if your car is crab walking, drive your car over wet pavement. Examine the tire tracks. If the tracks appear kind of zig-zag instead of straight, then you may have a compromised frame. Continue Reading →

Good Responses for a Road Rage Incident

road rage, road rage responseEverett is a fairly large city with busy highways. Tailgating and cutting drivers off are common occurrences. Most people are level-headed enough to let these infractions go. However, some people may respond with road rage and violence. What should you response be in such a precarious scenario?

Confronted by a Driver With Road Rage?

Most road rage incidents are fairly minor and result in horn honks, yelling, and explicit hand gestures. In this instance, do not engage with the angry driver; don’t even make eye contact. Often, this is enough to diffuse the situation.

What if the driver begins tailgating and following you? If you feel threatened, call 911. Do not pull over and attempt to resolve the issue with the raging driver. Continue to drive even if a minor collision occurs.

If the angry driver persists in following you, look for a police station or even a fire department. If those are unavailable, then pull into a busy parking lot. Remain inside your car until law enforcement arrives. Continue Reading →

How to Avoid a Parking Lot Collision

parking lot collisionHere’s a little-known fact: roughly 13% of auto collisions occur in a parking lot. Granted, parking lot collisions are often less severe; damages usually only result in a dent or scratched auto paint. Nevertheless, the tight space does make impacts commonplace.

How Parking Lot Collisions Occur

The following are the most common collision scenarios in a parking lot.

  • Two cars back into each other
  • One car pulls out and into the lane of a passing car
  • Two cars collide while competing for the same parking space
  • A car rear-ends the car ahead at a stop sign

Continue Reading →

Safe Car Colors That Lower Collision Risk

safe car colorsChoosing the color of your car is purely an aesthetic choice, or is it? While a model’s safety rating is a huge factor, the color may also play a similar role. Some car colors are safe and just might prevent a fender bender. Your car’s auto paint may actually mitigate the odds of a collision.

How Car Color Impacts Safety

In most collisions, the driver at fault simply failed to see the other car. Visibility is the factor here. Studies show that certain car colors are involved in more collisions than others.

So, which car color create the greatest risk? According to studies, black vehicles are 12% more likely to be involved in an accident during day hours. The figure skyrockets to 47% at night.

Black tends to blend in with the environment. The same goes for other darker colors, such as brown and dark red, albeit to a lesser extent. Continue Reading →

What to Do in a Hit-and-Run Collision

hit and run collisionEvery now and then, we have a customer who comes for collision repairs after being in a hit-and-run collision. What exactly do you do in a hit-and-run collision when the other driver speeds away?

What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run?

An estimated 10% of all collisions are hit-and-runs. This type of collision usually involves two motorists, but one immediately flees the scene. However, if you flee the scene after hitting a stationary vehicle or other object, that also counts as hit-and-run.

What Do You Do After a Hit-and-Run Collision?

As with any accident, pull over when safe to do so. Call 911 if anyone requires medical assistance. Next, you will need to extensively document the scene. Take photos of the damage of your car from multiple angles. Write down the date, location, and approximate time of collision.

Retain as much detail as you can about the hit-and-run vehicle. Can you identify the model, color, or any numbers/letters on the license plate? What about the driver? If you saw the driver, can you provide a description to the police? Continue Reading →

Collision With an Uninsured Driver? What Do You Do?

uninsured driver collisionAn estimated 14% of motorists in the U.S. don’t have auto insurance. What do you do if you’re in a collision with an uninsured driver? Will your insurance cover you? To what extent is the uninsured driver liable?

What to Do When in a Collision With an Uninsured Driver

For the most part, you go through the same process in any auto collision scenario. First, find a safe location to pull over; then make sure all parties involved are okay. Call 911 if anyone requires medical assistance.

Take photos of both vehicles from multiple angles. Also, be sure to take a photograph of the other driver’s license plate. Next, call your insurance company to report the incident. You should also ask to see the other driver’s license. Keep in mind that the driver may not cooperate because driving without insurance will incur a penalty.

Be ready to describe the incident to law enforcement and the insurance company exactly as you remember it. Continue Reading →

Sun-Damaged Cars: A Common Summer Problem

sun-damaged carEverett isn’t the hottest region in the U.S. by any means. Nevertheless, summer does bring about plenty of sunshine. You have reason to worry if you park your car outside. Sun-damaged cars are commonplace and a result of daily UV ray exposure. We’ll explain how to prevent it.

How Sun-rays Damage Car Surfaces

On a sunny day, some car owners prefer to let their vehicle “air dry” after a wash. This is a mistake. Always dry the car using a chamois cloth. When water dries on a car surface, the minerals remain behind and adhere to the auto paint. Over time, this abrades the car’s clearcoat. The end result is badly faded paint. Furthermore, the high temperatures also strip the gloss right off the paint.

Sun-damaged cars are especially prevalent in desert climates like Las Vegas and Phoenix. However, just because Everett and Lynnwood have cooler climates does not mean cars are immune. Continue Reading →

The Truth About Cars with Matte Paint

cars with matte paintCars with matte paint finishes have become quite trendy in recent years because of their sandy texture and non-reflective surface. This is the opposite of the once-sought-after glossy shine and bling of the cars of yesteryear. Matte finishes, though, come at a cost. We’ll explain the downsides of this type of auto paint.

Scratches Stand Out

Unfortunately, blemishes are far more noticeable on a cars with matte finish. Scratches are also more difficult to remove because restoration through polishing or wet sanding is ineffective. Furthermore, most owners are unable to find the exact color shade to fill in the scratch. This leaves only two options: leaving the scratch as is or a repaint. The latter is really expensive due to the requirement of a special additive for the clearcoat. Continue Reading →

How to Conquer Driving Phobia

driving phobiaClients who come to us for collision repair have obviously been in a recent auto accident. An auto body repair, though, may be the least of their worries. Sometimes, in the aftermath of a collision, motorists develop driving anxiety. A driving phobia can be debilitating because it’s an everyday activity for most Lynnwood residents.

How to Overcome a Driving Phobia

The worst thing you can do is avoid driving altogether. You can’t overcome any fear by avoiding it. The key is to slowly regain your confidence by taking small steps. You don’t need to immediately confront your anxiety head on by driving on the freeway during morning rush hour.

Perhaps you can drive around the neighborhood on a Sunday morning, or even in a vacant parking lot. As you regain a bit of confidence, drive on a busier street. Continue Reading →

Watch Out for Towing Scams

towing scamsMost motorists have had to call for a towing service at least once in their life. This usually includes unexpected car collision scenarios, or when the car abruptly begins puffing smoke out of the hood. While awaiting towing, be wary of passing towers that may try to take advantage of your predicament. Towing scams, unfortunately, are all too real in and around Lynnwood.

How Towing Scams Work

Towing scammers, also known as “towing bandits,” actively watch for motorists pulled over on the side of the road. Sure, they’ll provide the needed assistance but then charge exorbitant fees well beyond the original quoted price. They will hold your car hostage at their compound unless you pay up.

Many bandit tow drivers also seek out parked cars on company premises and come up with bogus excuses for towing them. Continue Reading →