Tag: conway body shop

Purchasing a Vehicle, Let Us Help


                After filing taxes and getting the return, the next move is to decide what to do with your refund. Some choose to add the amount into saving, while others make a purchase. The most popular purchase that is made is a vehicle. Since it is tax season, using the refund as a down payment helps in the long run.

More and more people are buying used vehicles over new ones. There are many incentives to buying a used over a new vehicle. It helps save money on insurance, registration, taxes and depreciation. Vehicles today are very reliable and so it just makes sense to go the used route.

Buying a vehicle can be very stressful for everyone. At A&J Collision Repair, we want to help make that process easier. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure the purchase of a vehicle is a good one. Some steps that can be taken prior to even stepping onto a car lot would be to: set your budget, choose the right vehicle, check reliability and ownership costs, locate good used vehicles, price the vehicle, check the vehicle history report, contact the seller, go on a test drive, negotiate the best price, and close the deal. These are all important factors to consider since a vehicle is a big purchase for anyone.

Setting the Budget

When purchasing a vehicle there are only two ways to purchase it; paying cash or taking out a loan. If paying with cash, that makes budgeting simple. However, it is best to not spend all the contents of the savings. There needs to be money set aside for registration and insurance. If using a loan, it is best to put 10% down and finance the vehicle for three years.

Choose the Right Vehicle

The most fun part, picking your vehicle. It is important to take inconsideration what the vehicle will be used for. Narrow the field by making a list of must have features. Based on that list, search for models that will fit your needs best.

Check Reliability and Ownership Costs

Every used vehicle is different. Some have gone more miles than others and some have more wear and tear. It is best to pick a vehicle known for dependability. While some cars are cheap to buy, they may have issues in the long run because of maintenance and repairs.

Locate Good Vehicles

There are lots of websites that list used vehicles. Each site has its own character. Go with that best fits your list of needs.

Price the Vehicle

Once there are several models of vehicles chosen, look up their price. This can be done through several vehicle model pricing guides found online such as Kelly Blue Book and NADA. When doing this make sure to include the year, make, model, options (such as navigation), mileage, and condition level.

Check the Vehicle History Report

It is good to run a history report on the vehicle before ever going to see it. Running the report only requires the VIN number. This is to make sure there is a clean title, any serious accidents, and if there was regular maintenance done on the vehicle.

Contact the Seller

By calling the seller, you will get a lot of questions answered and it will save you some time. A few basic questions to ask are: how many owners have there been, are the service records available, do you have the title and is it clear, can I have the car inspected by a mechanic?

Test Drive the Vehicle

Until now the vehicle has not been driven. When you go to test drive make sure to drive on various roads, (hills, rough pavement, curves and a stretch of highway), that way you can feel how it drives on all road types. You will want to pay attention to the following: visibility, acceleration and cornering, brakes, ergonomics, mechanical condition.

Inspect the Vehicle

If the vehicle drives well and seems to be in good condition, it should still be taken to a mechanic. Here at A&J Collision Repair, we offer a free pre-purchase inspection. You can bring a vehicle that you are hoping to purchase, and we can inspect it for you. We will look it over and make sure that all components are working properly.

Negotiate the Best Price

This part of buying a vehicle always stresses people. If you have done the proper research, this will be a piece of cake. When offered the price compare it to the average market price. It is up to the seller to either accept your offer or make a counteroffer.

Close the Deal

Before taking ownership of your vehicle, add it to your insurance. Then, you will only need to pay for the vehicle. Make sure to get the title and have the seller sign it correctly. Once the sale contract is signed, the vehicle is yours. Take time to review the contract and do not let yourself be pressured into signing it just to get it over with.

Emily Patterson

Receptionist, A&J Collision Repair

1215 Thomas G Wilson Dr

Conway, AR 72032


Robotic vests gain acceptance in industry…


A vest that acts as an external skeleton might be one answer to reducing occupational health injuries.

The vest, developed by Ekso Biotics, is currently being used by the Ford Motor Company and has been widely tested since 2010.

Workers in industry and construction frequently have jobs that require them to keep their arms raised and outstretched for hours, often using tools while they are doing so. At Ford, according to Ekso, workers in repetitive overhead tasks raise their arms an average of 4,600 times per day or a million times a year.

The wear-and-tear on shoulders is dramatic.  Workers in repetitive lifting jobs frequently have shoulder injury and chronic pain. About 13.6 percent of all workplace injuries are shoulder injuries, according to a study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Shoulder injuries cause a median number of 24 days off work, the greatest number for any body part. Along with this, the incidence of chronic pain is 41 percent, commonly in the 45- to 64-year-old age group. Construction and manufacturing workers often are forced to end their careers early because of pain and injury.

For employers, these statistics are daunting. A NCCI study that looked at 4.2 million workman’s compensation claims from 1996 to 2000, showed that shoulder injuries were the most costly.

Enter the EksoVest. The 9.5 pound vest can be strapped on in seconds like a jacket. It is a wearable robot, that works to support the weight of the worker’s arms, putting less strain on their shoulders. The vest provides 5 to 15 pounds of lift assistance per arm, noticeably supporting overhead tasks.

According to Ekso, “By reducing the strain on a workers body, he/she not only feels better at the end of every day, it also reduces the likelihood that the worker will sustain injury. Jobs get completed to a higher level of quality, in a shorter amount of time, increasing both productivity and morale.”

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Tips for Driving in Snow


-Clear snow and ice from windows, lights, the hood, and the roof before driving

-Leave plenty of room for stopping.

-Don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.

-Know the current road conditions.

-Brake early and correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.

-Be wary of bridges. They freeze first, making them more dangerous than the approach road.

-Exit ramps sometimes have less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.

-Don’t use “cruise control” driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that look clear can have sudden slippery spots. Using your brake on these spots will deactivate cruise control, possibly causing you to lose control of your vehicle.

-Many 4×4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles. This means it takes longer to stop than passenger vehicles. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Be wary of your 4×4 vehicle’s traction.

-Look further ahead in traffic than normal.

-Trucks are heavier than cars, making their brake time slower. Avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

-Remember to slow down and always wear your seat belt.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Tips for driving on icy roads



-The #1 icy road driving tip: Reduce your speed.

Slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on ice and snow. High speeds make it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. You should never be driving faster than 45mph in any vehicle when roads are icy – not even on highways! In many cases, much slower speeds are necessary. You can slide off of the road on certain types of more treacherous icing – like black ice – at 10mph or less! If you’re fishtailing or sliding at all, it means you are going too fast for the conditions.

You don’t have the skill to drive at normal speeds on icy roads.

A factor in many of the serious and fatal crashes is overconfidence in one’s abilities and/or equipment (traction control, antilock brakes, stability control, winter tires). Some feel that they have sufficient experience in winter driving, and can therefore continue normally (at or above the speed limit). But a fishtail on ice that occurs at highway speeds is usually unrecoverable by even the most quick-witted and experienced drivers. Practicing slow-speed slides in parking lots is useless for what happens to a vehicle at highway speed. A person who enters a high-speed slide will quickly learn that it is something they can’t handle – but all too late.

-The #2 icy road driving tip: Don’t drive on icy roads.

The best way to avoid an accident on an icy road is to simply stay off the roads until the threat passes. Nothing can inconvenience you more than a wreck or getting stuck!

-Wear your seat belt!

Even though wearing your seat belt should already be a no-brainer at all times, during the winter it’s even more critical. An alarming number of road ice fatalities occur with minor accidents where the vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts.

-Pay attention to the weather.

Make the weather forecast part of your daily routine during the winter. Awareness of conditions will help you be more prepared.

-Go easy on your brakes

Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control. ABS (antilock brakes) do not work well on ice and snow, and often will lock up your wheels regardless. Sliding wheels are uncontrollable, that is, steering input will not change the vehicle’s direction if the wheels are sliding.

-Turn into a slide

If you’re fishtailing or sliding, it usually means you are going too fast. Reduce your speed so you won’t need to worry about this! Most high-speed slides are difficult to correct successfully. If you’re caught off guard and begin sliding, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It is easy to steer too far, causing the car to slide in the other direction. If this happens (called overcorrecting), you’ll need to turn in the opposite direction.

-Icy road accidents happen in multiples

Your own accident is sometimes not the greatest threat to you – additional out-of-control vehicles often are.

-Don’t stop for accidents or stranded vehicles along an icy roadway.

Being a Good Samaritan is a noble thing, but on an icy road, it can cause more problems than it solves. Parking on the side of an icy highway can cause passing drivers to brake and lose control, putting the lives of everyone involved in danger. Unless the stranded driver is in immediate danger, the best thing you can do is contact the authorities (call 911), who are equipped to safely block the road or divert traffic while a tow truck can do the job properly.

-Avoid hills or other dangerous roads during icy conditions.

The laws of physics are unforgiving! If you attempt to tackle a steep enough incline, there is nothing you can do to stop gravity from taking its toll.


Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

Habits for the beginner that help them be a Safe Driver


New DriverWe are all very busy people now a days, it is like we are on the move from the time we start in the morning to the time we retire for the evening.  There is one thing that we all need to be aware of and take a couple of minutes of our time to insure that we are safe while driving, it is inspecting the vehicle that you are going to be operating.

This is even more important for beginners; it is a good habit to get instilled into them right away.  It is good practice to check your vehicle out before proceeding out on the road, and know all the safety features of the vehicle that you are driving. It is part of defensive driving to do these checks before you take your vehicle on the road.

Vehicle inspection should be first on the list

You are going to need it to check the tires to insure that there is sufficient air in them. You may want to carry a tire gauge in your car for this reason. Do a visible inspection of tires, looking for possible cracks or worn areas.  If there are any tires that need to be inflated, this should be completed before going out on the road.  Inadequate tire pressure could cause the car to not drive properly and that could lead to a car accident.

It does amaze me how many worn or bad tire that are on vehicles that come into my business on a monthly basis.  Tires are the one thing that holds your car to the road and if they are worn or bad, it increases your chances of having problems.

Are there any visible leaks under the car? Do the signals work? Do the headlights work? (High and low beam.) Do the brake lights work?

Check to make sure the engine oil; brake fluid, transmission and power steering fluid are at the proper levels. Also check the battery and the coolant level.  Do not open the radiator cap unless the vehicle has cooled down first. (Caution: see owner’s manual before opening cap.)

Now you are ready to enter the car. Go over the safety features of your vehicle.

Features that help you communicate to other drivers:

Signals help you warn other drivers, which way you intend to turn.  Brakes warn other drivers you’re slowing down or stopping.  Horn warns other drivers and pedestrians to be alert.  Emergency signals warn other drivers of a problem that you may have.

Visibility features:

Mirrors should be adjusted before you leave any parked position.  Mirrors should be used quite often to see what is happening around you at all times. When you think you’re going to have to stop, check your rearview mirror first. You may have to touch your brake, to warn others behind you. You may have to stop a little further ahead to give the driver behind you room to stop safely. It’s all part of driving defensively.  Headlights should be working, high and low beam.  Wipers are a must in bad weather conditions.
Windshield must be clean.

Safety features:

Emergency brakes should be applied when in a parked position at all times. Test your emergency brake by applying the handle, or pushing to the floor, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Remove gear out of park position with foot on brake pedal and put in drive position. Ease up on brake pedal. Vehicle should not roll forward. It is a good habit to always release park brake after putting vehicle in gear. The vehicle will not roll forward if you forget to put your foot on the brake pedal, if the park brake is functioning properly.
Seat belts: Make sure your seatbelt is used as well as the passenger’s seat belt.  It is a violation in most, if not every city and state not to wear it.

Check owner’s manual for further knowledge of your vehicles features and other safety features.  Each vehicle may have different features from one another, so it is very important that you look over the vehicle you are in.

These topics that we have covered should be second nature when reaching for them, especially when you get an unexpected downpour, or hit with mud from a passing vehicle, if you have to look for your wipers, you may find yourself on top of another vehicle or in a ditch!

It is not wise to drive without this knowledge; just a couple of minutes could save you a lot.

I’m Jody Gatchell the owner of A & J Collision Repair.  We have been in business for 17 years in Conway, AR. We are located at 1215 Thomas G. Wilson.  You can reach us at 501.327.1882 or by email at jody@ajcollisionrepair.com if you have any questions about your vehicle or safety features that it has.  You can visit our website at http://www.ajcollisionrepair.com for more information about your vehicle’s repairs and about us.    A & J Collision Repair is “Where quality, professionalism and reliability collide”.


Jodys Signature

That broken door handle


Autobody Repair As you are going towards your car you are going over your day in your mind.  You are in a hurry and have your arms full with work for the day.   First you have to get the kids to school then stop by the cleaners to get your suit for this evening formal event.  You reach down and pull on the door handle to open the door it breaks; there it is in your hand.

If you have ever had this happen to you, you know it is frustrating.

The good thing is that you do not have to be frustrated about it anymore; we can help you with it. A & J Collision Repair in Conway AR is a full service auto body shop that also preforms other services.  We can help you with getting that door handle replaced as well as mirrors, door glass and even that molding that is coming loose on your car.

Call us today at 501.205.1218 to get that handle back on your car.  You can also visit our website at www.ajcollisionrepair.com to learn more about us.  You can even schedule an appointment from there.


Jody Gatchell






Jody Gatchell

A & J Collision Repair

How often do you get in an accident? Not very often I hope.



A & J Collision RepairDid you know that according to the national average a person will get in an accident once every seven years?

The one thing that I can tell you for sure is that the process of handling your claim and getting your vehicle repaired is always changing.  So what you did the last time you got into that accident has more than likely changed.  To add one more element to this already changing system is that no two insurance companies handle the claim process the same way either.

So now, being that a person does not get in the accident very often, where do you start?

That is easy and I will tell you why.  Our insurance specialists are not in an accident everyday but they do handle accidents for customers every day.  We have established a great working relationship with the insurance companies, which make the process from the beginning to the end hassle free for you the customer and the insurance carrier.  It also helps in getting your car back to you sooner.

The definition of an accident is an unforeseen and unplanned event; no one gets up in the morning and tells themselves “I want to get in an accident today”.  It is the one act that we all try to avoid at all costs; it is also a major inconvenience since it is unplanned.

You may only get in an accident once in seven years, but at A & J Collision Repair we are helping customers through the insurance and repair process every day.  We have helped hundreds of customers through the accident process a year. So it is safe to say that we have the proper contacts and expertise to help you with not only your vehicle but with the insurance claim process as well.

The insurance specialists at A & J Collision Repair are always ready to help you when that unexpected accident happens.

Our lives are demanding with getting the kids to school and to their after school programs or your work schedule is very busy; all of this requires a lot of your time and energy.  The time or energy that you do not have to deal with an accident let alone getting your vehicle repaired.

But not to worry, our insurance specialist can help you from the very beginning.

Our insurance specialists at A & J Collision Repair can help you contact the insurance company in order to turn in the claim and get the claim process started.  Then when it is time, we can set up the rental car for you as well.  Our specialist will also be in contact with your adjustor throughout the repair process.  You can see that we don’t just repair your vehicle for you, we also help you and the insurance company along the way too.

When that accident happens unexpectedly, it is best to stay calm and assess the situation.  Contact the authorities and medical personal if needed.  After that no matter if you are at the scene of the accident or later, contact the insurance specialists at A & J Collision Repair to assist you in the steps so your vehicle can be taken care of.

I’m Jody Gatchell the owner of A & J Collision Repair.  We have been in business for 17 years in Conway, AR. We are located at 1215 Thomas G. Wilson.  You can reach us at 501.327.1882 or by email at jody@ajcollisionrepair.com.  You can visit our website at www.ajcollisionrepair.com for more information about your vehicle’s repairs and about us.    A & J is “Where quality, professionalism and reliability collide”.


Jody Gatchell







Jody Gatchell


A & J Collision Repair




A Modern Autobody Repair Shop


A & J Collision RepairMost of us never would want to see the inside of an auto body repair shop.  It is only by accident – car accidents that most of us end up inside the premises of our local auto body shop.

Most shops now bear little relation to the establishments you may remember as a child – dark and dusty surrounded by both piles of used and new car parts as well as a mean guard dog in the yard. There may be a few of those still around but they are a dying breed. Repairing cars now, especially with the electronics in today’s vehicles, requires both skill, education and training, sophisticated tools and an ultra clean, mode
rn shop.

Modern body shops now seem to be uniformly clean, well laid out and well lit. As well many body shops are laid out in several distinct separate staging areas. Vehicles are estimated in one area, body work done in another, electronic repairs in yet another area, painted in a very separate area, and finally detailed and presented to the customer in a display area.

If the vehicle has major damage, then it is moved to a disassembly area and onto a frame machine. Unibody construction is utilized by most autos today. Unibody is a an automotive and mechanical body term which describes how sheet metal is stamped, formed and welded together to form the structural portion of the car or truck body.

The purpose of the “frame machine” is not to straighten the car frame now – rather it is to straighten the unibody construction of the vehicle.

Measuring the vehicle body for correct unibody alignment is more than critical. There is only a tolerance of one millimeter that is allowed by most car, truck and S.U.V. manufacturers. Laser measuring systems are used by many body shops along with the frame machine to ensure that everything is straightened accurately.

With the unibody of the vehicle straight, the car, truck or S.U.V. moves to the metal work area where new sheet metal is mounted and damages area straightened. This work is still done by skilled technicians and tradesmen using hammers and dollies, but even the work done by body shop technicians has been changed by modern technologies. Modern body shops can remain very clean and dust free- indeed modern electronics , and even the most modern hi tech electronics of hybrid vehicles demand this.

With the entire metal straight, it’s on to the paint preparation area, commonly referred to as “paint prep”. Quality shops will use dust extraction systems to remove the dust when sanding and spraying the paint primers. Infrared lighting systems may be used to cure primer paint quickly and properly. These infrared lights can shorten the cure time from 24 hours remarkably to as little as 20 minutes. All of these procedures both help you to get a higher quality assured job and get you back on the road in a minimal time span.

Painting the final colors and clear coats is done in a paint booth. There are many types and brands of paint booths, however it is generally accepted the best are the “downdraft” units where fresh filtered air enters the top of the booth and any overspray is pulled downward and out through grates in the floor. The downdraft procedure of paint booths can produce the best and most consistent of paint finishes. In addition a well trained operator can make a great difference in final paint and appearance quality and consistency. A dust free paint booth of any design is better than a dirty and dusty paint booth of the highest end. Before spending your money or committing yourself to the job or repairs it is always best to ask to examine several examples of the shops work on several vehicles. In addition ask to see finished examples of several different body types – cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Look for smooth finishes with minimal dust specs and colors that match from panel to panel. These are the signs of a quality paint job done by a skilled and professional painter.

It goes without saying that a professional paint shop will be proud of their faculties- the layout, equipment, training of their staff – and most of all their people.

Such a shop should have no trouble, barring practical logistics, of allowing you a tour of their facilities. Indeed after all of their careful efforts they should be most proud to give you a tour and point out their strong points and capabilities as well as examples of their finished product.

After all it’s your vehicle that is being repaired – whether it is your new S.U.V, car, truck, van.

You can call us anytime you would like to have a tour of our repair facility.  We will walk you through each of the repair steps to show you what goes on behind the scenes.  We can be reached at 501.205.1218 or visiting our website at www.ajcollisionrepair.com.



Automotive Paint


In need of a fresh coat on your car?  How about looking at automotive paint for your car!

Many of us want a way to make our vehicle a little nicer without having to buy a new one. Maybe your cars paint isn’t looking as clear and bright as it used too? This isn’t something that requires you to throw away your car. Instead, you should simply consider automotive paint for your car.

Now with the internet it is not hard to find the right place to get your car a fresh new paintjob. Some of the do-it-yourselfers may find the paint on line when they want to paint their cars themselves. This is one of many options. They’re different qualities, and different brands offered by all the sites online. You need to decide how much money you’re willing to spend, and exactly what you’re looking for as far as results. These colors may or may not match the color that is on your car.

If you’re not interested in painting your car yourself, and still would like to have your car look fresh, just bring your car to us. I will ensure that the paint that is used on your vehicle is to our quality standards and will use the correct shade that is on your car from the manufacturer.  This will ensure that everything on your car matches just like the day you bought it.

If you want to stand out from the rest of the cars in the parking lot, there are other custom paints that can be used to give your car that fresh look.  These paints may be more expensive than regular paint, but this shouldn’t deter your from getting these types of paint if it’s what you really want. Remember, the color of your car is something you’ll have to live with for a very long time. You should make sure it is what you really want.

To help you with ideas about painting your car, you can find pictures of different cars on line.  This can help relay what you want to us as far as painting goes.  I do want to let you know the more elaborate the paint the more it will cost.

To help you pick out the shade that you will want, I do have books and other documents that we can look at to get that right color you are looking for.  If you have seen a color that you really like, you can take several pictures of it and bring them by, then we can match it to our color library.  You will want to put some time into the decision because once the car is painted it is not an easy process to redo.

I’m Jody Gatchell with A & J Collision Repair. I have been in business for 17 years in Conway, AR, we are located at 1215 Thomas G. Wilson, Conway AR 72032.  Call us today at 501.205.1218 to assist you with your vehicle. You can also learn more about us on the web at www.ajcollisionrepair.com.” Where quality, professionalism and reliability collide.”

Jody Gatchell





Jody Gatchell


A & J Collision Repair




A & J Collision Repair App



To let everyone you know about our new App, please forward this to them right away.

I’m Jody Gatchell with A & J Collision Repair. We have been in business for 17 years in Conway, AR, we are located at 1215 Thomas G. Wilson, Conway AR 72032. Call us today at 501.205.1218 to assist you with your vehicle after an accident. You can also find us on the web at www.ajcollisionrepair.com. You can also find us at www.facebook.com/ajcollisionrepair. Where quality, professionalism and reliability collide.

Thank you


Jody Gatchell




Jody Gatchell



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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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