6 Tips to Protect Your Car From Dust Storm Damage

Cars are driving through a dust storm on highway 215

Dust storms can occur at any time of the year, because of this not many people think of them when thinking about natural disasters. While tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes are usually the things that come to mind when thinking about property damage, a dust storm can be just as destructive. 

Such damage can result in thousands of dollars to repair your vehicle if you’re not properly prepared. Below are a few tips to help you protect your car from dust the next time an unexpected storm passes by.

Protecting Your Car from Dust Damage

Stay Up to Date On Local Weather

Dust storms can be unpredictable, coming at various times throughout the year. But, you can still prepare for them by staying up to date on your local weather forecast. Make sure you check the weather before you leave each morning or at least the night before. This can help you plan ahead, and if there is a chance of dust, try parking in covered areas at work, school, or wherever you may be going. If you plan on taking a trip you might want to wait until the storm passes by before heading out on the road. 

Staying in the know is the first step when it comes to protecting your car, which is why AccuWeather suggests signing up for severe or extreme weather alerts as this can potentially save you thousands of dollars in dust damage.

Covered Parking

Getting a spot under covered parking will be your best bet when it comes to protecting your car from a dust storm. Whether it is a garage or a carport, this type of structural cover will safeguard your car from any damages such as dents, chips, or cracked windshields. If you suspect a dust storm later in the day while you’re away from home, try parking in covered areas around you, either at work, school campuses, or shopping malls.

Find Temporary Shelter

If you find yourself in the middle of a dust storm while you’re driving, seek temporary shelter as soon as you are able. Temporary shelter can be in the form of public parking garages located in shopping malls or school campuses. Pulling over to gas stations, or underneath a freeway overpass can also be another form of immediate temporary shelter. Lastly, as a last resort, you can park next to big buildings opposite of the direction that the dust is coming from.

Get a Car Cover

If you do not have overhead coverage from a garage or carport at home, your best bet is to buy a car cover. This can prove to be a good investment in the long run. Car covers are specifically made to protect your car from damage and are available at most auto shops as well as online. Make sure you get a car cover that fits the specifications and measurements of your car providing you with complete coverage. While car covers do not necessarily mean you won’t suffer from any damage, having one can definitely reduce the impact to your vehicle.

Use Alternative Covers

Other alternative methods to provide cover to your car in case you do not have a car cover are blankets or tarps. Thick blankets or tarps can provide enough protection to your car to reduce dust damage. The thicker and the more layers you put on your car the better the protection will be. Make sure you use tape to secure these as the wind can blow them away if not properly secured. 

Another alternative is to use your car floor mats as a cover to your windshields to protect them from chipping or cracking. While these alternative covers will not fully protect your car they’re still a better option than having no protection at all.

Get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

If damage is unavoidable, not all hope is lost. One thing you can do to prepare in the case of a dust storm is to make sure you have comprehensive coverage through your insurance provider. This kind of coverage can definitely save you when it comes to damage as you will be covered through your policy and minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Make sure you double-check your policy to see if comprehensive coverage is part of your policy.

Get Back On the Road With Ric’s Body & Paint

Whether you have minor or major dents from a dust storm, we can get your car back to its best and back on the road. Our experienced technicians will carefully repair and replace all damaged parts, bringing your vehicle back to the manufacturer’s specifications. With I-CAR Gold Class-certified repair technicians and state-of-the-art equipment, Ric’s Body & Paint can take care of your vehicle. Contact us today for a free estimate.

3 Tips When Getting An Estimate After An Auto Collision

A collision repair tech giving an estimate to a customer after a collision

Being involved in an auto collision can be a very stressful experience, from medical costs, vehicle damage, and not being able to have your own car. All of these factors can take a toll on an individual, and while getting a car estimate can seem overwhelming it is a crucial step to get you back on the road. 

Therefore, we’ve laid out three tips to make your search for car estimates is as smooth as possible to get you back on the road with the best quality service without any delays.

Research Body & Paint Shops

Before going out and getting estimates after an auto collision, the first thing you need to do is start researching for any reputable body and paint shops around you. Look at pictures and reviews online for their recent work and even ask around to find out what their reputation is like.  In today’s digital world, there’s a plethora of resources available that allow consumers to shop around for the right body shop for repair, such as Yelp or Angie’s List.

Ideally, you’ll want a body and paint shop that is I-CAR Gold certified. This certification comes from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, which is the head of the collision repair industry. An I-CAR Gold certified shop shows that the work performed will be of the best quality by qualified technicians with the most up to date technology and knowledge.

Do Not Focus On Price Alone

While trying to save money can be tempting, focusing on price alone when choosing a car estimate might not be the best choice. High estimates do not necessarily mean you are being overcharged and low estimates can sometimes mean subpar quality. 

If your insurance company offers their own body and paint shop with a low estimate be cautious, as this might mean inferior service you might not end up happy with. Therefore instead of focusing on price alone compare estimates by the services provided along with the quality and reputation of the shop.

Avoid Online Estimators

While it is natural to look to Google for answers after experiencing an accident, commuters should proceed with caution. There are plenty of online estimators who are willing to give you an estimated cost to repair the vehicle, but their estimates tend to not be entirely accurate due to not inspecting the car in person. By taking your vehicle to a repair shop, they can accurately assess the damage incurred cosmetically and internally, and give you a more accurate number.  

Get Back On the Road With Ric’s Body & Paint

Whether you have minor dents and dings or full-on collision damage, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts, bringing your vehicle back to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Our collision repair services include I-CAR Gold Class–certified repair technicians, State-of-the-art equipment, computerized frame and alignment check to manufacturer’s specs, and a lifetime warranty on repairs as long as you own the vehicle.

Contact us today for a free estimate!