Tag: Auto Body

The Many Benefits of Body Shop Plastic Repairs

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Your car features a lot of plastic parts- many of which you may be unaware of.  In fact, durable plastic polymers are now used for bumpers, body and door panels, trim, light covers, windows, equipment housings and more.  Introduced on cars in the late 1960s, plastic parts reduce a vehicle’s weight while improving its fuel efficiency.  In addition, plastics minimize corrosion, allow for more design creativity and are easier to recycle than metals.  When your car is involved in a collision, naturally some of its plastic parts can get damaged and require repairs.  Newer plastic repair innovations now allow body shops to oftentimes fix and reuse the original part rather than replacing it.  Here’s how those plastic repair benefits play out for you.

You the Driver

When your car’s in the shop after an accident, it’s a hassle to be without it.  For example, let’s say that your plastic bumper was cracked in a minor fender bender and needs to be repaired.  In the past, a replacement bumper would have been ordered, a large batch of paint mixed and applied, and the new part installed.  With the high-tech plastic repairs used today, body shop technicians can oftentimes patch the existing bumper and spot blend a little paint; which means faster turnaround times and lower bills.  That’s important when you are paying out-of-pocket for repairs, and/or have to come up with the cash yourself for a rental car.  The many benefits of plastic repairs for you as a driver include:

Faster turnaround time

Less stress

Increased resale value when original equipment stays on the vehicle

Overall higher satisfaction with the repair job

If you would like to learn more about plastic repairs or if we can help you in some way don’t hesitate to give us a call at (501)327-1882.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

Road Trip! Check off these important points before setting out

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If vacation-time means a road trip, a few simple preparations can keep you safe and out of trouble.

Under the hood:

Check all fluids, including oil, coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. Check the air filter. Check the battery.

The tires and the spare:

The owner’s manual, or your online car health guide, will tell you what the tire pressure should be. Make sure tires are properly inflated. That goes for the spare, too. Imagine the trouble this could save.

Inspect the tires to make sure there is enough tread. The old penny in the tread trick should work: Hold the penny so that Lincoln’s head is upside down and facing you. If you can see his whole head, it’s time to replace the tire.

Lights and signals:

Besides the obvious safety issues, proper lights and signals are just one more reason why you won’t get a ticket — or a nasty look from other drivers.

Safety gear:

At an absolute minimum, make sure you have the tools to change a tire.

But also consider carrying a spare, fully charged cell phone and battery-powered phone charger, drinking water, a gas can, and a flashlight. It is not a bad idea to carry an emergency reflective triangle and a flare; especially useful if you will be going into back country.

Just in case:

Do you have a spare key accessible from outside the car? What about jumper cables? A bowl so that Fido can have a drink?  How about a rain poncho?

Basics:

Take your license, proof of insurance and registration.

 

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

They save lives, but . . .Know what happens when an airbag deploys!

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In 1969, the new trend in driving safety was air pillows. Those pillows stayed around but their name changed, and no wonder.

An airbag is no pillow, but while a deployed airbag is not a comfy experience, it remains a landmark of safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that airbags have saved 44,869 lives from 1987 to 2015.

According to Popular Science, in a head-on collision, a car stops fast, but the bodies inside the car don’t.  The momentum of the bodies inside continues until the windshield, dashboard or steering wheel brings them to a stop — usually with dire consequences.

The idea of an airbag is not just to pillow the blow, but to lower the impact by spreading it over a larger area of the body.  No single area of the body bears the brunt of deceleration, according to Popular Science.

To accomplish this, airbags deploy within 1/25th of a second of impact, filling the nylon airbag with nitrogen and instantly deflating. Tiny holes in the bag begin releasing gas the moment a driver’s head hits the bag, absorbing the impact. This is why the driver’s head doesn’t hit the bag and then whip backward.

A white puff of cornstarch might also come out of the bag. The cornstarch keeps the bag supple while it is in storage. Newer cars have airbags with silicone coatings that make the cornstarch unnecessary.

Because airbags stop the body, they prevent deadly head injuries and whiplash.  But they do sometimes cause red impact burns on the body and break eyeglasses.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

Things to think about after the accident happens….

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Accidents happen, it’s a fact. And when they do happen, it’s imperative that you have your car repaired so that it’s not a danger to you or anyone else you’re sharing the road with. But before you select a collision shop, there are some things you need to know. Here’s a closer look:

 

  1. Aside from your home, it’s likely that your vehicle is the largest purchase you’re going to make in your lifetime. It’s all the more reason to preserve this investment and have your vehicle repaired by a certified body shop.

 

  1. You never want to risk driving a vehicle that may be unsafe because of damages. It could injure you or someone else.

 

  1. Though insurance companies may recommend you have your vehicle repaired at a particular collision repair shop, you’re free to have it serviced at the service center of your choosing. It’s the law.

 

  1. Just because one shop gave you a lower estimate than another doesn’t make the low-priced shop the better option. Sometimes, low estimates don’t include all of the work that is needed or don’t use the high-quality parts needed for a sufficient fix.

 

  1. Not all collision repair shops are created equal. Look for I-CAR or ASE certification among technicians and check to see if the shop uses OEM replacement parts to separate quality shops from the questionable ones. Also, be sure to check on any warranties that are offered with repairs. Good collision repair shops usually stand behind their work.

 

  1. Good collision repair shops won’t just perform quality work at a fair price, but they’ll also help negotiate claims with your insurance company. This value-added service can go a long way toward reducing costs, streamlining repairs and minimizing inconvenience.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

Frequently asked questions with answers!

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Do I Have The Right To Select The Shop That Will Repair My Vehicle?

It’s your car, your choice! We recommend you select a repair shop that will be an advocate for you, the vehicle owner.

Why Can’t I Get An Estimate Over The Phone?

There are many factors that can greatly effect estimated repair costs. Parts prices and repair time are determined by professional estimating software. Repairs often have hidden structural or frame damage that is not visible and may also need wheel alignment. Our expert staff will provide a thorough, accurate estimate after carefully examining your vehicle.

Do I Have To Pay a Deductible?

The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident when you make the claim, and by reviewing the accident report filed with the police department. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, we can call the adjuster and he or she can tell us whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether you will be responsible to pay this when you pick up your vehicle.

Who Do I Pay My Deductible To?

If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay us when you pick up your vehicle.

If My Vehicle Frame Is Damaged Is It a Total Loss?

No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle. Today most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of the-art computer measuring system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.

Can You Match The Paint Color On My Vehicle?

Yes. Today’s modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. We have made a major investment in the finest paint system available and constantly upgrade our technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle’s paint matches. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.

How Can I Get a Rental Car?

If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. We will call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.

 

If you have any more questions don’t hestiate to email me: rachel.sharping@ajcollisionrepair.com and I will get them answered for you!

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

Car Seat Replacement After Accident

News

 

If you have been involved in a car crash and had a child restrained in a child car seat, the seat may need to be replaced.  In April 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced changes to the agency’s recommendations about replacing child safety seats following a crash. NHTSA explains:

“The change was made to ensure parents or caregivers continue to correctly restrain their children following a minor crash and to reduce the burden of unnecessary child safety seat replacement.”

NHTSA continues to advise parents and caregivers that child safety seats should be replaced if they have been involved in a moderate or severe crash.

A crash is minor — and the seat involved in it is safe for reuse — if it meets all of the following criteria:

1) A visual inspection of the child safety seat, including inspection under any easily movable seat padding, does not reveal any cracks or deformation that might have been caused by the crash.

2) The vehicle in which the child safety seat was installed was capable of being driven from the crash scene.

3) The vehicle door nearest the child safety seat was undamaged.

4) There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants.

5) The air bags (if any) did not deploy.

Crashes that meet all of these criteria are much less severe than the dynamic test used in compliance tests of FMVSS 213 “Child Restraint Systems” and are highly unlikely to affect future child safety seat performance. Therefore, parents and caregivers can be confident that child restraints involved in these minor crashes will continue to provide a high level of protection.

NHTSA recommend parents and caregivers check with their child seat manufacturer with regard to performance, operation, and installation of their child restraint.

Most car seat instruction booklets continue to recommend child safety seats be replaced if they have been involved in a car crash, regardless if they are in the seat or not.  Look in the car seat owner’s manual for your manufacturer’s statement of their policy.

Most insurance carriers will reimburse you for the replacement of a new car seat if it was in a crash.  Check with the insurance carrier handling the accident for more details as all policies are different.

 

***If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call Jody or Rachel our certified passenger safety techs, or email any questions to rachel.sharping@ajcollisionrepair.com***

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

5 Things YOU need to know about YOUR car!

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5 things everyone should know about their car

With the amount of money we spend on the payments, maintenance, and repair of our cars, you’d think we’d have a better relationship with our vehicles. But understanding our cars—how they work, how to care for them, repair costs—can be overwhelming. All the parts, fluids, guidelines to follow, and things that can go wrong make cars and repair garages seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be.

You don’t need to know everything about your car but you should have a handle on some of the basic elements. To help you feel more confident as a car owner, here are five things you should know before you get behind the wheel:

  1. Year, make and model

The first thing you should know about your car is the year it was manufactured, the make of the car, and the specific model. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who do not know this information. Often they are mistaken on the year or the model, which can lead to big mistakes. Fluids, parts, and the accessories to repair and maintain your car are all based on the car’s year, make and model, so it’s critical to know the exact information. Design, construction and models of cars can change significantly in a year, and the parts required for your car will as well.

  1. VIN

Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is your car’s fingerprint. It is a 17-digit number that identifies your car’s manufacture date, place, make, model, engine size, etc. The VIN stays with the car throughout its life. You need to know where to find this number, but you don’t need to memorize it. The easiest way to find it is to stand outside of the vehicle on the driver’s side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. Your VIN is useful when talking to mechanics and insurance companies. You can use your VIN to look up information if you want to purchase a car or buy parts for it.

  1. Maintenance schedule

Your best bet for keeping your car running well is sticking to your car’s specific maintenance schedule. Your schedule will tell you things like when to change your oil (it’s no longer 3,000 miles or every three months), when to check your fluids and when to rotate your tires. Each car has its own maintenance schedule that should be followed to maintain optimal performance, health and longevity of your car. Your maintenance schedule is in your owner’s manual or in the separate booklet that comes with your owner’s manual. Read it and strictly follow the recommendations for checking and replacing those parts or fluids in your car.

  1. Tire pressure

Proper tire pressure is probably the most ignored maintenance concern on our cars. When that light pops up on the dashboard, we often wait until we need to fill up the gas tank. Then that time comes, and we don’t have any change for air or we just don’t feel like doing it. Truth be told, I hate putting air in my tires like I hate pumping gas, but ignoring this light only causes us to be more likely to get a flat or blow out, pick up a nail in the tire or wear our tires out faster. Stop this bad habit now because it can decrease the life of our tires and force us to buy them more frequently. Tires are expensive, but some can last you over 50,000 miles if you take care of them correctly. On the flip side, make sure to never overfill your tires!

  1. Engine light

While we may experience major anxiety when dashboard lights come on, they are a window into our car’s health. I always got nervous when a dashboard light would pop up because I dreaded what the mechanic would say was the cause. Your owner’s manual will tell you what your dashboard lights mean, as they vary among car manufacturers, but they may not express how important or insignificant certain lights are. I separate dashboard lights into three categories:

Red: Get help now! These are sometimes related to passenger safety.

Yellow: Check this out as soon as possible!

Green or blue: Go or activated!

Understanding these key pieces of information is your first step to feeling in control of your car, talking to a mechanic with confidence and making better choices for your car’s maintenance. Now grab your maintenance manual and stay up-to-date!

 

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Tire Alignment Process

News

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes during the tire alignment process?  Well watch this video to find out, if you have any questions you can call us at (501)205-1218!

We want to make sure your vehicle drives straight, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you going straight down the road.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Top 4 Driving Safety Tips

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  1. Focus on driving
  • Keep 100% of your attention on driving at all times – no multi-tasking.
  • Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving.
  • Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.
  1. Drive “defensively”
  • Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
  • Assume other motorists will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it.
  • Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you.
  • Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad.
  1. Plan ahead
  • Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business.
  • Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear.
  • Pull over to eat or drink. It takes only a few minutes.
  1. Practice safety
  • Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor.
  • Have items needed within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes.
  • Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Know what you are getting when buying auto insurance!

News

Whether you are buying insurance for a new car or for an older second car, there are many choices to make.

Collision insurance: When a vehicle is financed, the lender requires collision insurance. It pays for damage to your vehicle in an auto accident when you are at fault. In a total loss, it pays the fair market value of your car or truck.

Comprehensive insurance: It’s similar to collision but also covers damage to your vehicle by an unknown party or “act of God.” Vandalism, flood, hurricane, theft and fire are usually covered, but check the policy for the details.

Liability insurance: If you are at fault in an accident, you could be held liable for medical and repair costs for everyone involved. Liability coverage won’t pay for your vehicle, but it can shield you from cost of damage to others.  Some owners of older vehicles choose liability coverage only. Adding comprehensive insurance for a vehicle valued at $3,000 more or less costs little, and could be very helpful if you have to replace the car.

Bodily injury insurance: If people are injured in an accident that is your fault, this insurance will pay for medical expenses, loss of income, funeral expenses, legal defense fees and more. Consider purchasing the highest limit you can afford.  Property damage liability insurance: It pays for structural damage to homes, storefronts, stationary objects, vehicle repair or replacement costs when the accident was your fault. It can protect assets in the event of a lawsuit resulting from a covered accident. Consider buying the highest limit you can afford.   Insurance agents usually present a comprehensive or collision policy with the addition of bodily injury, liability, and other features insurance listed separately on the bill. The coverages may be limited, but you can raise them.

Gap insurance: When you buy a new car, its fair market value is reduced significantly in the first months you own it. And some long-term finance plans result in the loan being larger than the market value of the vehicle for two or more years. To fill these shortages in coverage, gap insurance can help.

 

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

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About

A & J Collision Repair is a full service auto body repair shop. We are located at 1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive in Conway Arkansas 72032. Come by and visit or give us a call at 501.205.1218.
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