Blog Posts

The Top Signs Your Car Needs New Brakes

If you’re the primary driver of your vehicle, you are probably tuned in to all the sounds it makes normally when you’re out on the road. So if anything out of the ordinary pops up, you’ll probably recognize it right away, and you’ll know that some kind of attention is needed. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most obvious signs that your car is in need of new brakes. When you do hear any of these sounds, or you become aware of other performance issues, you should contact us right away to have the vehicle examined. Ignoring brake problems can be quite dangerous, so this is not something you can put off indefinitely.

Grinding sound

Anytime you hear a grinding sound when you apply the brakes, that’s not a good sign. It probably means that your brake pads are worn thin and should be replaced as soon as possible. This is a situation that should not be delayed or postponed because it’s very possible for worse damage to develop if you continue to brake with worn pads. Some brake pads are more sophisticated than others and have built-in indicators that measure the depth of brake pads, and when they get too thin, you’ll hear a loud noise that tells you service is necessary.

Takes longer to stop

When you notice that it’s taking longer and longer for you to come to a complete stop at traffic lights and stop signs, it could definitely be caused by worn brake pads. It’s also possible that you could be low on brake fluid, but at the very least, you need to check this out and determine the reason for the loss of performance. You should get your vehicle into a trusted auto repair station to have the problem diagnosed, and if repairs are necessary, this can be done to keep you safe while on the road.

Squealing or squeaking sound

This is usually one of the first indications you’ll have that your brake pads are beginning to wear thin. The noise you’ll hear is a kind of high-pitched squeak or whine on most vehicles, and it’s a clear indicator that the useful life of your brake pads is nearing an end. You may have a few days grace time to get your car into the shop for a checkout, but don’t wait too long, because your brake pads will be wearing thinner all the time that you wait, and your vehicle will be getting more and more dangerous to drive.

The brake indicator lights up

Most vehicles these days are equipped with an indicator that tells you your brake pads are wearing thin, or that something else is wrong with your brakes. When this indicator lights up on your dashboard, you should definitely get your vehicle examined by a specialist, because it probably means you need some work done on your vehicle’s brakes. In most vehicles, this dashboard indicator is the same one that lights up when your parking brake is engaged. However, if your parking brakes are not on and the indicator still appears lit up on the dashboard, you probably need to have some vehicle maintenance done.

Brake pads are thin

You can actually check on how thin your brake pads are by conducting your own visual inspection. You can do this by looking between the spokes of your vehicle’s wheels and finding the brake pad. When you see that the pads are less than 1/4″ thick, it’s time to have new brake pads installed on your vehicle. If the pads are even thinner than that, don’t waste any time before having vehicle maintenance done by a professional.

Vibration when you brake

When you experience any kind of vibration when you apply the brakes, the most likely cause is that the brake rotors have become rough and are not smoothly stopping your car. In this case, replacing the rotors will probably fix the problem, and while your professional is changing the rotors, the brakes can be inspected to ensure that there are no other issues with your brakes.

Contact Us

If you suspect your vehicle may need new brakes, please contact us at Showcase Collision, Inc. We have outlets in Warren, MI, Sterling Heights, MI, and Troy, MI, and we can be reached at (586)-979-6450. One of our friendly auto repair representatives will take your call, and schedule you for an appointment at the shop nearest to you. We hope that after experiencing the most professional service in the state, you’ll make us your go-to shop for brake maintenance and any other auto repairs needed.

The Essential Car Maintenance Checklist

Having a reliable car is essential for business owners and small business owners. Whether you are commuting to the office or transporting goods and services, having a well-maintained vehicle is a must. But what car maintenance should be done? Here’s a checklist of the essential car maintenance tasks that you should do regularly.

Checking Your Exhaust System

Your exhaust system plays an important role in your car’s performance. It carries away the gases produced during combustion, which helps reduce emissions, while also keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently. That’s why it’s important to have your exhaust system checked at least once a year (or every 10,000 miles), so make sure to add this to your list of car maintenance tasks.

Tire Rotation

Tires are often overlooked when it comes to car maintenance, but they are essential for safe driving. Regularly rotating your tires can help reduce wear and tear on the treads and extend their lifespan significantly. As a rule of thumb, you should get your tires rotated every 5,000-7,500 miles or 6 months (whichever comes first). If you notice any uneven wear or bulging on the side of the tire, then it’s time for a rotation!

Oil Change & Filter Replacement

Changing your oil is one of the most important aspects of car maintenance as it helps keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly. You should aim to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles or 6 months (whichever comes first). Additionally, don’t forget to replace the oil filter as well since this will help keep dirt particles out of your engine and protect its parts from damage.

Keep your Car Healthy

Keeping up with regular car maintenance may seem like an unnecessary task but it is important if you want to keep your vehicle in good condition. Regularly checking and replacing vital components such as brakes, filters, fluids, tires and more can help extend the life of your vehicle and save you money in the long run. Take some time today to review our checklist above and make sure that all necessary tasks are completed on schedule!

New Tires on a auto shop's racks

The 5 Symptoms of Worn Tires

If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if you need new tires, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll describe the five major signs that will tell you it’s time to consider replacing your current tires. Once you’ve identified the 5 symptoms of worn-tires, they should not be ignored, because your safety and the safety of your family will be at stake each time you take to the roadways. When tires get worn out, they don’t perform as well, providing less traction under rainy or snowy conditions. In most cases, this won’t matter a great deal, but there’s always that one time when excellent traction might be enough to prevent you from being involved in an accident. Check for these signs of wear and tear, and replace your tires if they do appear to be in their last phase of usefulness.

How to tell if you need new tires

You may already have noticed a drop-off in your tires’ performance before you get around to checking them. In any case, these are some of the most critical signs that you should invest in a new set of wheels:

Temperature changes – anytime the weather outside takes an extreme drop, you can count on your tire pressure dropping right along with it. If you should head out on a road trip with under-inflated tires, it will cause more heat to be generated, and that will always wear out your tires more quickly. Be aware of temperature changes and how they impact your tires.

Vibration – anytime you feel some kind of vibration or thumping while driving, it could be one of several things. If the road itself isn’t bumpy, and you feel vibration under the seats, it’s possible that your rear tires may be unbalanced. If you feel the vibration in the steering wheel, that could be an indicator that your suspension has a problem. Anytime you feel something other than a smooth ride, it should be an alert that causes you to investigate further.

Bulges or cracks – as a tire begins to deflate, it will always cause a noticeable bulge at the sides. This is an obvious indicator of low tire pressure, possibly due to a slow air leak. It’s a good idea to eyeball your tires for cracks, splits, or gouges that shouldn’t be there. When you do spot anything like this, it’s best to have it checked out, rather than to simply accept the consequences on the road.

Tire pressure – each month, your tires will probably lose about one lb. per square inch of tire pressure, and if you should go several months consecutively without checking them, you could eventually find that your tires are significantly under-inflated. It’s always safest to have the correct tire pressure, so that you are sure your vehicle is performing correctly, and that you get the smoothest possible ride.

Tread Wear – this is one of the best and surest indicators for determining whether or not you need new tires. Most modern tires have small bits of rubber that are woven into the tread at a specific depth. All you have to do is locate these wear bars that cross the groove of the treads, and examine them for wear. If you see that the tread pattern has been worn down right to the wear bar, that’s an excellent indicator that it’s time for a tire replacement.

When you do replace tires?

When shopping for replacement tires, it’s best to have all four tires replaced at the same time. This is because all four will then have the same mileage, and you won’t have to remember which tires were replaced at which mileage levels. If the cost is a problem, you should at least make sure to replace the problem tire and its partner on the other side. As a bare minimum, front and back tires should always be replaced at the same time, so you get equal braking and driving characteristics between your front tires and those in the back. Looking for information on other auto repair and services? Check out our informative blog on whether you should be charged for an auto repair estimate.

Car Engine Repair

Is It Worth It To Invest In A Car Engine Repair? 

One of the most serious types of repairs that could befall your vehicle is a blown engine. That immediately forces you to consider whether it is more cost-effective to repair that engine or to simply invest in a new vehicle. To have the best information possible, you should probably have a skilled mechanic check out your vehicle, and pick their brain about whether or not a car engine repair might be the best option. When engines become damaged, there are basically three possible outcomes – you either have to replace a few parts, do some serious maintenance, or reconcile yourself to the fact that the engine has become totaled. 

Maintenance Service 

The aim of maintenance service is really to be proactive and take care of the engine, so as to prevent the kind of catastrophe where the engine dies mid-road. Whenever you observe any kind of issue with your engine, for instance, a check-engine light on the dashboard, you should attend to it promptly, so as to avoid any more expensive issues. If you can get the work done before any serious damage occurs, that will be the best you can hope for.

Of course, any maintenance procedure will always depend on how serious the problem already is, so it’s best if you address all issues in the earliest stage. By doing this, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding serious engine troubles.

Car Engine Repair  

Once you know that damage has occurred to your engine, it’s time to start exploring possible options for repair work. If the problem is on a single part or just a few related parts, you may be able to repair the engine without having it cost a fortune. You could even get very lucky and have the problem confined to a relatively inexpensive fix like a hose or replacement belt.

Larger issues, for instance, the transmission or radiator, will certainly cost you a lot more, and the repair total will run up quickly. Still, this will be much less expensive than purchasing a brand-new vehicle or footing the bill for a complete engine replacement.

Blown Engine 

There’s no question that the modern engine in most vehicles is a very complex collection of parts, designed to perform a specific service, often under stressful conditions. Once an engine has become badly damaged, it’s very possible that the same kind of damage will be spread to other parts of the vehicle. In this scenario, repairing the engine is not usually an option. Instead, you’ll have to start considering a total engine replacement, or a total vehicle replacement.

What about Engine Replacements? 

Replacing your engine will generally be a much cheaper option when everything else fails. So, if you’re wondering whether it’s beneficial in your own case, here are some things to consider. If your warranty still covers your vehicle, then you should definitely replace the engine, because the cost to you will be minimal.

If you have good insurance coverage, this can work almost the same as if you were still under warranty, with the policy covering most of the heavy-duty costs. Even without insurance or warranty coverage, it will generally be much less expensive to replace an engine than it would be to buy a completely new vehicle. If you’re weighing your options between installing a new engine and buying an older used vehicle, you should consider the fact that used vehicles often come with their own engine problems after years of usage and sometimes abuse.

You could end up paying much more for the used vehicle than you would for a brand new engine. There are also cases where a specific car has developed a strong sentimental value for an owner, and you may want to hold on to those memories a little longer. In this case, replacing the engine will allow you to keep the car and the memories it holds for you.

Engine replacement or new vehicle? 

While replacing your engine will generally produce a reliable outcome, it may not be the best possible option for everyone. Some situations really do call for buying a new vehicle, and here are some ways that you can determine that. If you’re looking for some of the newer features available on a newer model of your vehicle, that may be one good reason to purchase the newer vehicle and take advantage of those desirable features.

Car engine repair will certainly be costly, but it won’t be as expensive as purchasing an entirely new vehicle. If your budget is not particularly strained at the moment, you may have had engine trouble at the best possible time, because you’re in a position to buy that new vehicle. Buying an entirely new vehicle will generally be worth your while if you have the budget to purchase a reliable vehicle that is very roadworthy, and which comes with a good warranty.

In Conclusion

Sometimes when you replace your engine, you’ll have so many new parts in the car that it really does leave you with a more reliable car for many years into the future. Others are just plain unlucky, and engine troubles signal the start of a whole series of unfortunate events. If your car is also experiencing issues with the catalytic converter, the suspension, headlights, the HVAC systems, and other areas unrelated to the engine, it may be time to admit defeat and simply purchase a new vehicle.

One last alternative might be to purchase a reconditioned engine, which is one that is not quite new but has some used parts. These are always more affordable than new engines, and they’re basically just as reliable, so you can accomplish your objective for a much lower cost. So, you will have some options when you encounter the dreaded engine troubles, and it will mostly depend on your budget and the availability of replacements that determines how you handle the situation.

auto glass repair

What Is The Proper Procedure For Auto Glass Repair? 

Anyone who has been driving for a number of years has probably experienced the inevitable pebble or stone which gets inadvertently flung up against your windshield to produce a tiny crack. This often happens when you’re driving behind a tractor-trailer that has 18 wheels, all churning furiously along the road, and sometimes picking up debris that gets passed along to following motorists. Then, in the next few days, you notice that the tiny crack has expanded and there are spidery cracks that appear to be growing along with the windshield.

Eventually, you end up with a crack that extends the entire length of the windshield, and that makes driving and visibility problematic. In some states, it’s illegal to drive your vehicle in this condition, and you would be required to fix it. This being the case, you’re much better off leaving the auto glass repair to the professionals, both for the sake of convenience and for safety’s sake. 

Tools for Auto Glass Repair 

If you were to undertake the replacement of a damaged windshield yourself, you would of course need to have a few skills that are necessary for the procedure, but you’d also need to have some materials and tools on hand to accomplish the goal. If you had to purchase all these, it would definitely cost you more than it would for a professional installation shop, and it would take you longer as well. These factors should be weighed when you’re trying to decide whether to do the work yourself or to leave it to the pros.

Here are some of the tools and materials you’d need to have ready for the job:

  • stiff nylon brush
  • gloves
  • cold knife
  • glass cleaner
  • rubber gasket for a windshield
  • urethane primer
  • razor blade scraper
  • caulk gun
  • auto glass urethane
  • vacuum
  • painters’ tape
  • wire brush or sandpaper
  • screwdriver, pliers, utility tape.

The steps you have to follow would be the same ones followed by a professional shop doing the work for you. These steps have been identified by a reputable agency, and by faithfully following these steps, you can be sure of having a safe vehicle to drive on the road after the process is complete.

Proper Installation

There is actually a formalized process that has been set forth as the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS), with a view toward ensuring that auto glass is replaced in the safest manner possible. This keeps road safety in mind at all times and guarantees that the new glass is installed in a way that will keep everyone from coming to harm on the roadway. Here are the steps that are outlined in the AGRSS procedure:

  • installation prepping – the vehicle will be prepped for installation by a technician who places protective tape around the window and over the hood of the car. The windshield wipers then get removed temporarily along with the rear-view mirror, and any other external attachments in that general area. These will be stored somewhere until the replacement operation has been concluded, and it’s time to re-attach them.
  • remove the damaged windshield – first, the molding strip that holds the glass in place has to be removed. Then a special knife is used to break through the urethane adhesive that binds the glass to the frame. A good deal of force is needed for this step, and it sometimes breaks the glass of the windshield, but that doesn’t really matter at this point. Any broken glass will be cleaned up completely before proceeding with the next step.
  • prepare the window for installation – the technician will use tools that are adept at cutting down the previously used adhesive as close as possible to the framework of the car. After this, the frame has to be primed so that no contamination takes place when the new glass is ready to be installed.
  • install the new windshield – after the frame has been thoroughly prepped and is ready for installation of the new glass, a technician will dry set the new glass in place using a new layer of urethane adhesive. Using a tool much like a caulking gun, the technician will apply new adhesive all around the windshield to make sure it stays in place under any conditions.
  • finishing up – once the glass has been properly installed and has been cleaned off, all the finishing steps will be done in succession. This means the mirrors and windshields will be re-attached, as well as anything else that was removed during the beginning procedure. The discarded glass will be re-cycled by the glass repair shop. Now the work on the vehicle has been completed, and it is ready for driving again. It is always recommended that windshield wipers are not used on the glass for several days afterward, so the adhesive has a chance to set and become firm in place.

Auto Glass Repair Convenience 

When you have the windshield replacement carried out by professionals, they will generally try to accommodate your schedule so as to make the whole process as convenient as possible. Many times, this involves coming right to your workplace and carrying out the installation in the parking lot where your vehicle has been parked for the day. That means you can go right ahead with your workday, and when the day is over, you can go out to the parking lot to find that the job is finished, and you’re ready to drive home with new glass in place. 

The entire process generally takes less than an hour, and you can count on having a brand new windshield in place on that same day. Your auto insurance probably covered the full cost of having new glass put in place, although there may be a deductible you’re responsible for. In any case, for minimal cost to yourself, you can usually have a completely new windshield put in place very soon after you’ve incurred any kind of damage on the road. By contrast, if you were to do the whole operation yourself, at the very least it would be much more inconvenient, and it would probably cost you more as well.

tire repair

The Ultimate Guide To Tire Repair

Almost everyone has had the experience where they’ve been driving along the roadway and run over something that punctures a tire and leaves you with a flat. Although you might be able to replace the tire yourself right alongside the roadway, you’ll eventually need to evaluate what to do with the flat tire. Depending on where exactly is the puncture, as well as the severity of the puncture, you may salvage the tire, and don’t need to replace it.

The way to determine whether or not you can repair a tire is by assessing exactly where the damage took place. You can´t repair the tire if it has a puncture either on the shoulder or on the sidewall. It’s also true that you cannot repair a tire punctured by an object that is bigger than a quarter-inch in diameter. Other than these two main stipulations, most other situations can get effective repairs, so that you can salvage the tire rather than replace it.

You might think that you’re best off replacing it regardless of the circumstances. You’ll probably want to get some mileage out of it before discarding it if you have just purchased new tires. There are safe ways to make tire repairs so that you don’t have to worry about the roadworthiness of any tire. Continue reading below to find exactly how to make a safe tire repair.

How to Safely Repair a Tire

First of all, it will be necessary to remove the tire from its rim, and conduct a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of the tire. This is necessary because even though a tire might appear to require a simple fix, it’s entirely possible that the bottom half of a nail or some other object could have damaged the interior sidewall. If you have determined that the tire is indeed repairable, you will next need to trim the damaged area, so it can be clean and stable.

Then you’ll need to pull a rubber stem from the inside out right through the puncture area so that you can seal off the internal portion of the tire. Again from the inside, buff the puncture area and apply vulcanizing glue. Then it will be possible to install a patch on the inner liner which covers the entire puncture area, and which will trigger a chemical reaction.

After this has taken place, you can mount the tire back on the rim, inflate it to the manufacturer’s specified tire pressure, and then check thoroughly for any leaks. If done properly, this repair procedure should take somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes, and at the end of that time, you’ll have a solid, reliable tire for use on the roads.

Tires You can’t repair

There are some situations in which you can’t simply repair a damaged tire, usually because of the severity of the puncture or the location where it occurred. If your damaged tire falls into any of the categories listed below, you should consider it non-repairable and it will be safest to simply discard the tire and purchase a new one. In situations where a puncture has occurred outside the repairable area, it is not safe to attempt to carry out repairs on the tire.

Viable tire repairs are primarily restricted to the crown or middle area of the tire. The crown is the center of the tread, usually about an inch to an inch and a half inside each shoulder of the tire. In most tires, you can consider the repairable puncture area as the area between the first major grooves on each of the two shoulders. In terms of the size of any puncture, the maximum size which is safely repairable for any passenger vehicle or light truck will be 1/4 inch in diameter.

If the puncture is any larger than this, the only safe thing to do is to completely take it out of service and replace it with a new one. If you should discover that there is a clearly noticeable bubble in any of the sidewall areas of your tire that damage has probably occurred by direct impact with a pothole, curb, or some other obstacle in the road. When you see this kind of bubble or bulge in a sidewall, you should consider it unrepairable, and the tire must be taken out of service.

Don’t use tire plugs

If you’ve ever been advised to use a tire plug in order to carry out repairs on a damaged tire, you should resist the temptation to save money and avoid using the tire plug altogether. A tire plug is an expandable object you can push into a damaged area from the outside, which theoretically can stop the leakage of air from occurring. You can then adjust this tire plug until any leaking air stops altogether from the damaged area.

The danger of this is that even though the leaking might stop, the ‘repaired’ tire is probably not safe to drive on the open road. While tire plugs can be very tempting because they deliver a quick fix, they are also prone to failure over a period of time, especially when driving at high speeds or over long distances.

It’s also possible for them to cause air to get trapped in between tread layers, and this will eventually cause the tread itself to separate. Once this happens, you’ll need to purchase a new tire anyway. It’s simply not a good idea to drive a vehicle that has had a tire repaired by a tire plug because there will always be some uncertainty in your mind about how long it will last, or whether it’s safe to drive. When you’re considering the safety of yourself and your family members, you just don’t want to take a chance on tire plug repairs.

Collision Damage Repair

How Long Does It Take To Repair Collision Damage?

Obviously, all collisions are different, so it stands to reason that the time taken to repair damages will be different in every single case. Despite the fact that there is no specific and guaranteed time frame to accomplish the ideal collision damage repair process, it is possible to estimate the length of time required. All based on the type of collision and the level of resulting damage. Whenever an auto accident has occurred, a claims adjuster from your insurance company will assess the damage, and make an estimate of the cost associated with that damage.

After that, it might take anywhere between a couple of days and a whole week to find a collision company that can take on the work. When you do decide on one specific collision shop, you should have a conversation with them about how long they think the work will take. Many factors can influence that length, one of the main ones being how much of a backlog of work the shop already has. Availability of parts may be another factor that has an impact on repair time, as can be the level of difficulty associated with the necessary repairs.

Structural Collision Damage Repair

Whenever it’s necessary to repair a frame rail, a rear body structural panel, or something to do with the radiator, it will be necessary to use a frame machine and some specialty fixtures. This will ensure that the car gets measured right, and then it will be necessary to mount the car on the frame machine. In order to do this, it will be necessary to remove some electrical parts, like the suspension, and maybe the engine to fit the car on the frame machine. They might use specialty fixtures to attach the car to the machine. These fixtures are cast molds that get attached to the vehicle at specific points. All this is to ensure that the car’s weight gets distributed evenly over the frame machine.

Special Materials and Metals

Many new cars include specialty materials and metals that call for special equipment, special training, and technicians with considerable experience and skills. Some of these materials are carbon fiber, aluminum, and high-strength steel, all of which require equipment and training.

Many shops might not even have the resources to carry out these kinds of repairs, so you’ll need to find a collision shop that is appropriately equipped and can handle these repairs.

New Auto Technology

New technology is always getting added to the vehicles driven by owners, and while this makes your driving experience more enjoyable and safer, it can cause repairs to take much longer. For example, a car with a rear bumper that has high-tech options would require the car to be recalibrated with special equipment that tends to be fairly expensive.

If this isn’t done, your car simply won’t operate as it should after doing the collision damage repair work. Other high-tech options that need recalibration are rear-view cameras, lane-changing warning systems, and park distance control sensors.

Any kind of high-tech options like the ones included in your car will generally increase the length of time, to ensure the accuracy of the repair work.

Check the Damages

One of the biggest factors in figuring out how long repairs will take is to assess the exact kind of damage which has occurred to the vehicle. There might be a relatively simple fix involved such as replacing a bumper, and that will only take a couple of days to finish up.

However, it’s likely that you will need more intensive bodywork, and that will take much more time. In addition to this, it’s possible to discover the vehicle needs extra repair work, for instance, internal issues that were not readily observable in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Any good collision shop will accurately address and fix whatever damage has occurred, and this may require having certain auto parts removed so that other possible damage can be found. All this takes more time because it’s necessary to find all damage and get your car back to a roadworthy condition.

Factors that Might Delay the Repair

Sometimes it’s difficult to estimate the time necessary for repairs until the work has actually begun. This is partly because they can discover other damage during the process. When you remove certain parts of the vehicle for closer inspection, it sometimes turns out that more extensive damage is discovered, which of course will add to the total repair time.

Whenever an estimate is made of the time necessary for vehicle repairs, you should always remember that that repair estimate can get invalidated by the discovery of additional damage.

However, if this is the case, the collision shop will always contact notify you about the changed status, because your approval will be necessary to proceed with additional repair work.

Repair Cost of Typical Collisions

In addition to the time necessary to make vehicle repairs, the cost of those repairs will also vary depending on all the circumstances related to the damage. There are some standard factors used when estimating the cost of repairs. For instance, the make and model will be important in assessing the total cost. Newer or more common vehicles generally use parts that are readily available, while older cars or those which are unique, will often call for ordered parts.

Depending on where these repair parts come from, it might take a while for them to get delivered and then installed by your collision experts. Another factor that contributes to the cost estimate is the kind of repairs that are necessary. For instance, work that is much more detailed, such as a complete paint job, will require considerably more time and will bump up the cost of repairs.

Labor cost is another important factor in the overall cost of repairing collision damage. Collision mechanics are specialists who work hard to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy again, and they should be fairly compensated for their efforts. The number of hours of labor required, as well as the number of specialists working on your car, will have a major impact on the eventual cost of the collision damage repair.

auto collisions

Types Of Auto Collisions

There are several different types of car accidents, and these can have a major impact on the investigation which takes place. As well as the whole claim procedure, if you should be making a personal injury claim. You can avoid many accidents by having more education and awareness about the types of auto collisions that can occur, and the circumstances which lead to them.

When you know more about the types of accidents that are possible, you may avoid such situations better. The idea is to be sure that you don’t become another highway statistic.

Causes of Auto Collisions

There are many causes that consistently appear as the triggers for several types of auto accidents:

  • One of the most common causes is distracted driving. This includes eating and drinking, talking with others, watching videos, or tuning radios.
  • Texting while you’re driving is another very common cause of auto accidents because statistically, you are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when you’re texting than if you had no distractions at all.
  • Another major cause of auto accidents is drowsiness. Many drivers think they are alert enough to go on an extended driving trip, only to find out that they nod off now and then. This in turn creates extremely dangerous traffic conditions.
  • Of course, driving under the influence of alcohol or some kind of drug is responsible for many accidents as well, because you cannot be as alert as you should be.
  • Speeding is another popular cause since at a high rate of speed you don’t have adequate control of your vehicle.
  • Reckless driving is similar to speeding, except that it involves behaviors that are dangerous in a traffic setting.

Now, these are the types of Auto Collisions we have seen and repaired:

Multiple Vehicle Collision

This type of accident involves two or more vehicles and generally results from a chain of events that got out of control. Pileups can be anywhere from relatively minor collisions to massive events which include many cars and vehicles. These kinds of multiple vehicle collisions can result in tremendous confusion. This usually involves a significant number of injuries and even fatalities.

Whether you get sucked into a multiple vehicle collision or not might depend on you being situationally aware, and making a point of keeping your distance from other vehicles.

Head-on Collision

These types of collision are not as common as many other types. This is because they involve collisions between vehicles going in opposite directions. There’s generally a loss of control, and one car directly swerves into the path of the other.

The best way to avoid a head-on collision is generally for you to steer to your right, and this may give the oncoming vehicle enough room to miss colliding with your vehicle and avoid a major accident.

Sideswipe Collision

It’s always a little bit risky when you’re driving immediately next to another vehicle. Almost any kind of distraction for the other driver might cause them to drift into your lane. This could result in anything from a small bump, to a blow that disables your vehicle.

The best way to avoid sideswipe collisions is to make a point of keeping your blind spots in sight. Also, be aware when other drivers are coming too close to your vehicle.

T-Bone Accident

This is one of the most dangerous types of accidents there is because it involves one vehicle crashing into the side of another vehicle. Most often this T-Bone occurs on the driver’s side of the vehicle. It can result in broken bones, concussions, and in a worst-case scenario, even fatality.

These kinds of collisions are generally quite sudden and difficult to avoid, so the saving grace may be the fact that you have your seatbelt firmly locked, so you can avoid being thrown about by the impact.

Vehicle Rollover

It happens sometimes in auto accidents that one or more vehicles land onto its side by the impact, or flips over several times. This action can cause occupants to be ejected, or it can cause them to get injured during the rollover. When an accident like this occurs, there’s no time for you to react, and often causes some serious injuries. If your seatbelt was firmly fastened prior to the vehicle rollover, that is your best bet for surviving the incident. It’s also the best way to reduce the seriousness of any injuries.

Single Car Accident

Even though only one car can get involved in this type of accident, it doesn’t mean that the driver is responsible for it. These types of accidents usually happen when a single driver reacts to some road situation by swerving. This is generally to avoid hitting something like an animal crossing the roadway, or another driver who’s weaving between lanes. The end result is usually something like a collision with a guardrail, a tree, an electrical pole, or some other object.

In many cases, the weather is a factor in a single-car accident, especially if driving conditions include snow or black ice. In order to avoid a single-car accident, the best action you can take is to slow down, especially if you’re driving through inclement weather conditions. You should also be aware of blind corners because traffic has a way of suddenly appearing from the other direction.

Of course, you’ll never be able to predict when a deer or a dog might leap into the roadway before you and cause you to make a sudden swerve while driving.

The only way to avoid this is to drive with awareness and to be cognizant of the fact that such auto collisions can occur at any moment.

Side-impact Collision

Anytime a vehicle sustains a broadside, it gets hit by the front end of another vehicle, and that can be a side-impact collision. Generally speaking, these kinds of accidents occur at intersections, where there are usually witnesses available. There’s also usually a traffic camera on top of the traffic light, but that is not always the case. Your best bet for avoiding these kinds of collisions is to make sure you’re traveling at a slow rate of speed as you approach the intersection, even if you have a green light for your traffic lane.

Intersections can be dangerous places, and all kinds of auto collisions can take place because of their nature. Anytime you’re approaching one or driving through one, that means you should give extra caution to the situation and be aware that there is an increased danger.


What To Look For On Your Autobody After A Rear-end Collision

There are nearly two million rear-end collisions on the roadways of this country every year, which makes them the most common type of car crash to occur. Some of these collisions can be extremely serious and result in injuries to passengers of both cars, while other collisions are relatively minor and cause minimal damage.

However, even these relatively minor collisions always have to be thoroughly checked out, because autobody damage is not always visible to the naked eye. That makes it very important to check out your autobody after any kind of collision has taken place, so that you can have confidence that there is no internal damage in addition to the visible structural damage.

Autobody Alignment Issues

One very common type of damage that occurs during a rear-end collision is problems with alignment. When you start to notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side of the road or the other as you drive, it might very well be that you have incurred alignment problems. You may also have an alignment problem if you notice that the vehicle vibrates, or that you have noisy steering during operation.

Check to make sure that your tires don’t wear unevenly or that they squeal while you drive. In situations where vehicle alignment is even slightly off, it can put a lot more stress on the suspension, tires, and steering. This will cause them to wear out much quicker than they normally would, and it can also cause some very definite threats to safety. If you have any reason to suspect a rear-end misalignment, be sure to have it checked out right away before it becomes a safety issue while driving.

Engine Damage

Automobile engines are extremely delicate and complex, and if you get in a rear-end collision, there will always be the potential to impact the performance of your engine. If you find that the check engine light comes on after a rear-end collision, you should always have it checked out immediately by your repair person. It’s also possible for a rear-end collision impact to damage the drivetrain of your car.

The force of the impact can thrust the exhaust system forward, and that can cause damage to the catalytic converter, muffler, engine mounts, and exhaust manifold. It’s also true that all-wheel-drive vehicles and rear-wheel drive vehicles have transmission components in the rear of the vehicle, and these can become damaged during a collision.

Check for signs that your transmission may have been damaged by monitoring any signs of leaking transmission fluid, or any issues you notice while shifting or accelerating.

Suspension Problems

The suspension system of a car has an important role in keeping the vehicle under control and delivering a smooth ride for occupants. Basically, the suspension system is responsible for maximizing traction between the road and your tires, permitting the operator to efficiently handle the vehicle. It has the effect of protecting passengers in the vehicle itself and managing the impact of road conditions.

Rear-end collisions will often cause frame damage that can apply additional stress to the suspension system, causing the struts and other parts to become worn more quickly. Any resulting misalignment can also apply more pressure on the components of your suspension system. Whenever the suspension is not working properly, you’ll notice that the ride is a lot rougher and that the car is harder to control. If you don’t take care of this promptly, it could even lead to safety issues.

Electrical Issues

Modern vehicles are far more technologically advanced than they ever were in the past. Even a minor collision can cause loosened wires somewhere throughout your vehicle, e.g. brake lights, taillights, or the battery.

Since all of these components are vital to maintaining road safety, it’s extremely important to make sure that they stay intact, especially in the aftermath of a rear-end collision. In most cases, it’s necessary to have a technician thoroughly examine the electrical components of your automobile to make sure that no damage has occurred.

Trunk Damage

Trunk damage will generally not affect vehicle operation, but it should not be overlooked when you’re assessing overall damage to your autobody after a collision. It’s entirely possible that issues with your trunk can cause safety hazards, and it will also lower the value of your vehicle. Your trunk should always be able to open and close easily, and it should be possible to securely lock the trunk when necessary.

Anytime you’re driving down the road, a damaged trunk might pop open and interfere with your view of traffic behind you. It might also startle a driver behind you and trigger another rear-end collision. Even though it might not seem like a high risk, you should always check out your trunk to be sure that no damage occurred there.

What you should look for immediately after a rear-end collision

In the aftermath of a rear-end collision, you should eyeball any problems by walking around the entire vehicle to see what’s obviously visible. The first thing on your checklist should be to inspect the trunk and the door gaps to make sure they’re still even, and that they open and close with no issues. Next, you should check the taillights and the rear bumper to make sure they don’t have damages, and that they still fit well on the vehicle.

Compare the left side and the right side to make sure that there are no differences, and there are no gaps between components. After this, check the vehicle roof and the quarter panels, especially if the rear-end collision was fairly severe.  Eyeballing the autobody damage after a rear-end collision should give you an idea about what you’ll face when you send your car in for repairs.

However, you should not limit your understanding of the damage to what you can personally see. It’s always best to have a professional do a thorough examination of your vehicle after a collision because there are always issues that remain invisible to the naked eye or the untrained eye. Having a skilled technician inspect your vehicle’s autobody will always be your best bet in the aftermath of a collision.

Car Maintenance Checklist

Winter Car Maintenance Checklist

Winter driving conditions are always a little bit more hazardous, given the fact that on any day during the season you might get snow, ice, sleet, or hail on the roadways. That makes it important that you prepare for it yourself mentally, and that you have your vehicle prepared for those conditions as well.

By following the recommendations on our car maintenance checklist below, you can prepare your vehicle adequately to meet the challenges of winter season driving, and you’ll be better at avoiding accidents or problems that may happen on highways.

Service your Car for Winter Conditions

Before the bad weather arrives, it’s a good idea to service your vehicle, so might prepare for whatever winter might throw at you. First, it’s a good idea to have your battery checked, because battery power always decreases with a drop in temperature, and that means it will take more power to get your car started. If your battery was already having problems, the winter weather will exacerbate those issues.

Also, have your cooling system checked to make sure you have adequate antifreeze in the system, and that you have the right coolant-to-water ratio to prevent possible freezing. Cold weather may not hurt your brakes exactly, but it’s still very important to have optimal braking performance during winter conditions.

Lastly, have a service technician check some must-have items on your car maintenance checklist like your wires, cables, spark plugs, hoses, and belts. These can cause a problem at any time of year, but if they fail during the wintertime, you might find yourself stranded in an inhospitable area.

Check Tire Pressure

You may not have realized this, but every 10° drop in temperature will also generally carry a loss of 1 psi in your tires. That means it’s important to check tire pressure regularly during the wintertime and add air when it’s needed.

You can find the appropriate tire pressure for your specific tires in the vehicle owner’s manual, sometimes on the tires themselves, or on the tire placard in the doorjamb on the driver’s side.

Use Winter Tires

While all-season tires perform fairly well in winter conditions, if you really want maximum performance, you should definitely switch to winter tires for the season. This is especially true if you live in an area where temperatures get very cold, and where you can expect frequent snowfall.

When the temperature stays cold for an extended period of time, the rubber in non-winter tires tends to harden, and that decreases their ability to grab the road. Winter tires are equipped with special compounds that resist this hardening in cold temperatures, so they’re still capable of providing excellent traction on any road conditions, regardless of how cold it gets.

Keep your Window Washer Fluid Full

Monitor the fluid level on your windshield washer, because you will probably use your washer fluid much more frequently in the wintertime than at any other time of year. Road conditions will generally get messy whenever there’s a snowfall in progress, and you might have to use your windshield washer fluid to maintain a clear view for driving. You can find windshield washer fluid at most department stores and most auto parts stores, and it’s a simple matter to refill the reservoir whenever you need to.

Install Winter Wipers

Winter wipers are more advantageous than ordinary wipers because they are equipped with rubber that prevents the collection of ice on the blades. This will do a much better job of keeping the wipers themselves free of debris, and more capable of clearing off your windshield. When spring rolls around, remember to switch back to regular wipers, because the winter versions are heavier, and therefore more of a drag on your wiper motor.

Be Aware of How the Temperature Can Affect Traction

Any time you head out for an extended winter drive, make sure you’re aware of the temperature change while you’re on the roadway. Fluctuating temperatures can have a big impact on traction, especially if there is a relatively sudden change in temperature. As an example, it’s actually probably safer to drive in 0° weather than it is to drive in 32° weather all of a sudden. At higher temperatures, surfaces become slicker and more slippery, and that will make your vehicle more prone to accidents. At 0°, road surfaces tend to get more crunchy, and that will actually promote better traction.

Make Sure your Rear-window Defroster Works

You could be in a dangerous situation if you can’t see behind you during winter driving. A number of states actually have laws requiring that your rear windows are clear of debris and condensation. When you’re having your car winterized, make sure that your rear window defroster is in good operating order before the cold weather actually arrives.

Always Keep 1/2 Tank Full of Gas

You’re much better off to fill up frequently in the wintertime because it’s much more important that you have a greater supply of gas in the winter than in the summer. Having a relatively full tank reduces condensation and that can help you avoid any freeze-ups in your gas line. In addition to that, if you ever happen to get stranded in a snowstorm, your engine will be the only thing that can keep you warm until help arrives.

Pack a Winter Safety Kit

When you head off on any long driving trip, it’s a good idea to have a car maintenance checklist and pack some supplies in your vehicle which will be of assistance during any kind of emergency. It’s good to have some snacks on hand, bottled water, warm blankets, and anything that will increase comfort if you have to remain in place for an extended period of time. Include some drinking water as well, just in case you can’t get out of the car for any length of time.

Be Aware of Emergency Preparedness

All the drivers in your family should have a good understanding of this car maintenance checklist for emergency preparedness, just in case one should actually occur to any family member. In most cases, you should never leave your car, because you might lose sight of it altogether. It’s also a good idea to not run your car for any long period of time. Instead, run it for a long enough time to get warm, and then turn it off again, so that you don’t run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Leave your dome lights on to attract attention, so that when help does arrive, they’ll know where to go.