Getting Your Car Summer Vacation Ready

Car maintenance man putting oil into car engine

Car Maintenance Tips

Summer is fast approaching, which means many of us will be driving out of town. You might have waited a long time for this vacation, or maybe it’s a spur of the moment trip. Whatever the case, it is important to keep your car in top shape to be fully prepared for any summer road trip you take. Below, we have listed 5 car maintenance tasks that any auto body repair shop can check out before your vacation.

Check Your Oil

Oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle because it makes sure the engine’s parts run clean and smooth. Use the dipstick that is in the engine’s oil tube to measure how much is in the vehicle. If you are running low, you need to have it changed ASAP. If you plan on doing this yourself, be sure to check the owner’s manual to see how often you need to and what type of oil to use. If you don’t know how or are uncomfortable, any auto body repair shop will happily replace your oil.

Brakes and Tires

Probably the most important safety feature for any long road trip, and just overall everyday driving. It is important that you make sure your brakes are properly working and that your tires aren’t worn down from everyday use. Have them checked, serviced, or replaced if the pads and rotors are worn out. 

Overheating Engine

As the weather becomes hotter during the summer, your engine will have to work harder to keep itself cool. That is why it is imperative for any car owner to add more coolant into the system to prevent their vehicle from overheating. For cars that consistently overheat despite having enough coolant and a functioning thermostat, they should bring it into an auto body repair shop to inspect and service it.

Air Conditioning

Much like an overheating engine, the hotter the weather becomes the more you’ll need to be cool and comfortable while driving. In most cases, the Freon in your air conditioner will not need to be recharged too often. However, if the cabin temperature fails to maintain a consistent temperature below 10c then it is important to have it checked out by an experienced mechanic. You don’t want to take any summer road trip without a working air conditioner.

Battery Replacement

One stressful situation people find themselves in is not being able to start their car. However, on vacation, the situation becomes even direr due to possibly being in the middle of nowhere and not having anybody to help you out. That is why car owners should have their battery tested to make sure there will be enough juice to start the engine. In the case that something like this does happen, it is important to have jumper cables handy for the situation.

In order to avoid any major repairs and have some peace of mind, it’s crucial to keep up with the car’s routine maintenance. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we have experienced technicians who will inspect your car to make sure it is summer road-trip ready. Visit our website for more information on our services and to contact us to let us know how we can help you! 

Teen Driving Habits to Avoid Vehicle Collisions

Young man with silly face behind the wheel of a car

It is every teenager’s dream come true when they’re finally able to drive themselves to their favorite places. However, the excitement of this newfound freedom can be interrupted by a vehicle collision due to unsafe driving habits. This is why parents must find the time to discuss and teach their kids good driving habits that will lower their chances of getting into an accident.

Limit Cell Phone Usage on the Road

There’s no question that teens love their phones, therefore parents must set a zero-tolerance policy for using a cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous driving habits a person can do, it’s just as unsafe as drinking and driving.  

Some ways to prevent your teen from using their phone while driving include turning it off completely while they’re behind the wheel or putting it inside the car’s glove box so it’s out of sight and out of mind.

Practice in Different Driving Conditions

By teaching your kids to drive in different conditions, they will gain a certain level of experience that will be necessary for their everyday lives. Don’t be afraid to put them behind the wheel in a rainy, snowy, or night-time setting. They need to be ready for any situation and it’s your job to guide them through these obstacles as they learn. By gaining experience in these conditions, they will become more confident when they occur, which will reduce the chance of any sort of vehicle collision.

Limit Passengers

We all know teens like to hang out with their friends, and if they’re one of the older ones in the group, people will likely use them for rides. In order to limit the driver’s distractions, the parent should not let their teen drive more than one friend around at a time for the first six months. This will help them focus on gaining driving experience and allows them to be cautious of their surroundings.

Respect the Law

One of the most important aspects of learning to drive is being aware of the laws of the road. These rules are put into place to keep everyone on the road safe. Everyone must wear their seat belts, always leave extra space between you and the car in front of yours, don’t drink and drive, and obey the speed limits.

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we understand some things are out of the driver’s hands. Our team can help repair any mild to severe vehicle collision damage to get your teen back on the road.
We offer free estimates to examine the vehicle and provide a detailed assessment of the damage and its cost to repair. Visit our website to check out the services we offer or contact us today!

Common Collision Repair Services

a mans arm holding a wrench in front of wheels

Repair Services Common After A Collision

When you are involved in a car accident that results in damage, it’s hardly ever an easy situation to go through. One of the most stressful tasks is finding the right collision shop to repair your car back to its original maintained state. There are several reasons to enlist an auto body repair shop, here are five of the most common collision services:

Dents

One of the most frequent problems auto repair mechanics see roll throw their shops are dents. They can happen for multiple reasons: hail damage, rocks, or most prominently, car doors. While most dents don’t cause significant damage, they can be an eyesore for many car owners.  If there is no damage to the paint and are under a golf ball size, they can be an easy fix!

Rear-End Collision

Whether you’ve been hit by a distracted driver, reverse back into a pole, or have been hit after a sudden stop, rear-end collisions happen all the time. This type of collision will typically affect the bumper, taillights, trunk, and quarter panels of your car. Even if the damage doesn’t seem too bad, it is important to bring your car to an auto body shop as there may be underlying damage.

Front-End Collision

When your car goes through a front-end collision, it will typically incur damage to its bumper, grill, headlights, and hood. This type of damage can not only affect how the vehicle looks, but it can cause havoc to important mechanical structures. It’s crucial to bring your car to a professional to examine the damage to find any underlying problems that may have occurred.

Whether you have minor dents or front-end collision damage, our skilled technicians will work efficiently to repair or replace all damaged parts to bring your car back to its original state before the accident. Contact or visit us today to let us know how we can help with your repair needs!

Keep Your Car’s Paint in Tip-Top Shape

hand washing car with yellow rag

Whether you just bought a car or are preserving an older one, maintaining its paint job is important to make it look sharp and to retain its value. Without proper care, the car’s paint will become dull over time until eventually it will become so badly oxidized that it will need extensive paint repairs to restore it to its former glory.

What Do You Do?

Wash the Car

A simple precaution that will help keep your vehicle from oxidizing is washing it. By washing the car, you are getting rid of all the debris that collects on the road, such as dirt, oil, bugs, and other particles that find their way to your car’s surface.

Repair the Paint

The more you take the car out for a spin the more likely there will be damage. Inspect your car’s paint for any signs of damage such as scratches or white patches caused by oxidation. If the scratch is only minor, then you can fix it with a simple rubbing compound you can buy from any big box or auto parts store.

Wax Your Car‘s Paint

While you can polish your car’s paint to remove tiny scratches and marks, waxing your car can do just that as well as add another coat to its finish. When you wax your vehicle, you are adding an extra layer of protection against the elements. It is important to keep in mind that over-waxing can occur and eventually compromise the look of the paint.

Apply Sealant

For the paint to stay clean and crisp as long as possible, we recommend applying a sealant to the car’s surface. Much like wax, it will act as a shield against damage taken from everyday use.

If you need a repair to your car’s paint, Ric’s Body & Paint are here to help. Our expert painters will match your car’s color precisely to its manufacturers’ specifications. We guarantee our water-based, environmentally friendly paint will have your car looking like it just rolled out of the showroom floor.
Contact us to let us know how we can help you with your repair needs or drop by the body shop anytime. We work with all insurance companies and our estimates are always free!

Know Your Rights as a Car Repair Consumer

Finding yourself in a car repair situation is never fun, but it is important to know that you have rights as the consumer. As repairs seem like an inevitable necessity, finding a reliable and honest mechanic is important, and being an informed customer is one of the best defenses. Check out a few tips and tricks to ensure your protection when it comes to car repairs.  

Repair parts

Whether you know it or not, you have the right to choose your repair parts. If something in your car needs to be replaced, you can usually choose from three kinds of parts: OEM, non-OEM, or recycled parts. Depending on your insurance policy, only some parts are covered. Each kind of part has its own set of benefits, so be sure to ask your repairman to do a little research. 

A safe and correctly repaired car

Once your vehicle is taken into the shop, you are ultimately paying for their services to correctly repair your car. Never be afraid or hesitant to ask questions so that you understand how your car is being repaired. Not sure where to start? You can ask your technician about their experience or qualifications and what your options are as far as the repair itself. 

Choosing your own repair shop

Whether you get into a fender bender or an extensive collision, you have the right to choose the shop that you want your vehicle repaired at. If you are unsure about where to go, ask a friend, make a quick internet search, or head down to Ric’s Body and Paint. 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we specialize in all of your auto body needs to get your car back on the road in a timely manner. Our team can repair severe collision damage to get your vehicle back looking like showroom new.

We offer free estimates with no appointment needed to examine your car and provide a detailed assessment of the collision and the cost to repair. Visit our website to review our other services and Contact Us today! 

Airbag Knowledge After a Collision

Many people are reminded of airbags every time they get into their car and see the sign on their steering wheel, doors, or dashboard. Airbags are designed to prevent severe injuries and ultimately save lives. However, they have also been proven to be dangerous, which is why it is essential to know how they operate. 

How do airbags protect drivers and passengers?

Airbags work in conjunction with seatbelts to provide supplemental protection in the event of a crash. Airbags are generally located on the front and surrounding sides of the vehicle to protect your upper body, head, or limbs from hitting the hardest part of your car when it hits impact. When the airbag deploys, drivers often describe it as feeling like “you are being kicked in the face and chest by a very strong but fluffy bunny.” While the deployment of your airbags can be unforgettable, it will protect you from breaking bones and other abrasions. 

What to do if your airbags deploy?

If you get into a collision and your airbags deploy, it is essential to follow these steps to ensure your safety.

  1. Check for injuries – Your first priority should be your injuries. Be sure to check to see if you and your passengers are safe after the airbags deploy. 
  2. Turn off your vehicle – In most cases, the engine will turn off after your airbags deploy to prevent further damage such as explosions from oil leaks. If your car does not automatically turn off, be sure to take this extra step and exit the vehicle as soon as possible. 
  3. Examine the damage – Once you have ensured everyone’s safety, it is important to assess the damage. Call the police and be sure to take pictures to document the accident for insurance purposes.
  4. Replace the airbags – Airbag replacement can be expensive; however, it is very important. There is a good chance that your vehicle is totaled if the airbags get deployed; however, if there is minor damage, it is important to get the airbags replaced for future protection. 

A car accident can be a frightening and inconvenient experience and itis important that you have assistance in all areas. If you have extensive paint damage to the body of your car, be sure to call Ric’s Body and Paint to get your vehicle looking as good as new. 
With over 40 years of experience in auto body repairs, we offer free estimates on all collision repairs and provide an itemized list of labor and parts that we will send to your insurance company with photos. Have questions or want to schedule an estimate? Contact us today!

Keeping Key Paperwork Organized In Case of A Collision

The moment after an auto collision can be a disorienting and confusing experience. The most important thing is to be prepared in these situations, which starts with having your paperwork organized. 

It’s no secret that maintaining the cleanliness and organization of your car can be tough. The key to keeping your paperwork organized is to have an “important documents folder.” Some call it an essential documents folder, while others coin it the “cop folder.” Regardless of what you call it, everyone should have one. Inside the folder, you should have an array of contents to support you through a collision and everyday life. 

Contents we recommend to have in your folder:

  1. Contact information – Just in case the folder that you spent time organizing gets misplaced, or falls out of the car, it is essential to have your contact information readily available so that it returns to you. 
  2. Registration – You should always have your registration present in your vehicle in case you get pulled over. However, it is essential to have handy in the event of a collision.
  3. Insurance details – Proof of insurance is important to be able to easily present in the event of a collision or when speaking to a police officer.
  4. Copy of driver’s license – While this is not an official replacement of your physical driver’s license, it is a good idea to have a copy in case of an emergency to identify yourself. 
  5. 4-5 notes with insurance details and contact information – This can be used to easily exchange your information in the event of a collision. They can double as a notepad to take down the other parties’ information. 
  6. Emergency contact information – If a collision occurs and you are not responsive, it is wise to provide emergency contact information that first responders can contact. 
  7. A pen – A pen is a good idea to leave in your folder for multiple reasons and events. However, if you need to take down a driver’s information, a pen would be useful. 

These tips are created to prepare you in the event a collision occurs to make your life easier. If your automobile has extensive auto body damage, Ric’s Body & Paint can assist in making your car as good as new! Let us assist you in any issues that collisions bring to your vehicle. For more auto tips and to contact us, visit our website to learn more!

Ding or Dent? What’s the Difference?

You are walking out of the grocery store, preparing to load your bags into your car when you see it… the side of your car has damage on it from the person’s door next to you. This is a situation every car owner dreads. After spending a few seconds evaluating it, it becomes difficult to figure out if it’s a ding or a dent. 

If you find yourself in this position where you are not able to tell whether it’s a ding or dent, call Ric’s Body & Paint for all of your auto body needs. 

What is the Difference Between a Ding and a Dent?

“Ding’s” are usually classified as a mark lesser or equal to 1⁄2 inch in diameter of damage that did not damage the paint or leave any area exposed. This is normally only annoying, unsightly, and will most likely not critically damage your vehicle. 

More extensive damage to your vehicle are described as “Dents.” This is any damage that would require repainting, replacing or any type of metalwork. 

Should You Fix Dings and Dents?

If the ding appears to be merely cosmetic on your vehicle and is not affecting its performance, getting it fixed is not necessary unless you are leasing or planning to resell the car. If you are leasing your vehicle and the ding or dent looks to be anything more than normal wear and tear, you are running the risk of paying a fee when your lease is up. If you plan to sell your car, it will most likely lower its value.

Is Paintless Dent Repair an Option?

Ric’s Body & Paint offers paintless dent repair to vehicles that meet the right conditions. To start, it is important to determine if Paintless Dent Repair is the option for your damage. The premise of a Paintless Dent repair method is to restore a dented vehicle back to its original pre-damaged state. Basically, the easiest, and fastest way to get from point A to point B.

Even in largely damaged areas, dents and dings can possibly be repaired with painless techniques. The only obstacle that may arise, is if the paint is damaged. As the name suggests “Paintless Dent Repair” should not require repainting.

If your vehicle has any paint chipping, peeling, bubbling or lifting, cracking in a sharp dent – Paintless Dent Repair is not an option.

Is There No Paint Damage? Great!

There are a few factors that determine the cost of Paintless Dent Repair. Size and depth are the main factors. Dents can be dime-sized to half-dollar sized. Most of these are easy to repair.

Dents can be very shallow to very deep and misshapen, like from a vehicle collision. Asking Ric’s Body & Paint to remove the dent is your best option.

Our skilled dent repair team are like artists for auto-body work. It’s best to refer to auto-body repair professionals so your car won’t become further damaged.

Past the Point of Paintless Dent Repair As An Option?

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we specialize in all of your auto body collision repair needs to get your car back on the road in a timely manner. Our team can repair severe collision damage to get your vehicle back looking like showroom new. Our skilled auto-body technicians are also experienced in applying environmentally friendly paint, side-view mirror replacement, molding or window repairs. We offer free estimates with no appointment needed to examine your car and provide a detailed assessment of the collision and the cost to repair. Visit our website to review our other services and Contact Us today!

Top Tips To Know After a Collision

Auto collisions can be a stressful and emotional experience. Many people prepare for the worst and drive defensively to prevent vehicle collisions, however, they still occur. 

As soon as a collision happens, many different thoughts and questions can flood into your mind. It’s important to remind yourself to stay calm in an accident. 
If you are involved in a car accident, follow these tips to minimize adverse outcomes and stay safe: 

  1. Make sure everyone is OK. Check with all parties involved to ensure that there are no injuries. If there are injuries, be sure to call 911 to seek medical attention. If everyone appears to be OK, move to the side of the road to stay safe. 
  2. Take photos of the accident scene. Assess damages and take photos for insurance purposes. 
  3. Exchange information with the other driver(s). Gather information such as Driver’s License number, name, address, telephone number, and swap insurance company information.  
  4. Tow the Vehicle.  If necessary, have the vehicle towed from the scene. 
  5. Call Ric’s Body & Paint. We are your collision experts when you need a body shop to come to. We bring quality auto body collision services since 1976.

Thinking about a certified collision repair center won’t be the first thing on your mind, we know. Stay safe and then remember Ric’s Body & Paint. As a family-owned shop, we want to make you feel like family. We understand your situation and want to get you back out on the road as quickly as possible. 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we have been repairing cars in Scottsdale since 1976. We offer free estimates on all collisions and provide an itemized list of labor and parts that we will send to your insurance company with photos. All insurance claims require photos. We are your collision repair experts including I-CAR Gold Class-certified repair technicians. Our services include a lifetime warranty on repairs as long as your own the vehicle. We are able to perform computerized frame measurements and off-site alignment checks to manufacturer’s specs.

Have questions or want to schedule an estimate? Contact Us Today!