How I-CAR Gold Class Repair Technicians Provide Top-Notch Service

Collision repair technician with sparks I-CAR Gold Certification

When you are in need of auto body repair, make sure the collision repair person working on your vehicle is qualified and properly trained. As a car owner, there is nothing more stressful than getting into an auto accident. Therefore, search for the right technician with first-class certifications, to fix your vehicle is essential. An I-Car certification is one way to make sure the shop you visit is trained in providing top-notch repair services.

What is I-CAR Certification?

The Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) provides in-depth training and continuing education in the auto collision industry. Firstly, the program helps keep shops and technicians up to date with the latest technology and techniques, ensuring that the customer’s vehicle repair needs are efficiently met.

I-CAR Gold Class Certification

This level of certification is a rigorous extension of the basic training that involves a deeper dive into a range of subjects, such as:

  • How to detect hidden damage
  • Which parts to repair and which to replace
  • How to make the right decisions for a safe, successful repair
  • The latest repair techniques and technologies

It is reported that only 20% of auto body repair shops are certified in I-CAR’s Gold Class. So when you find one, stick with the best!

Why Should You Choose an I-CAR Certified Shop?

See the Gold Class logo and you can rest assured that you have chosen a repair shop that has trained technicians to retain the safety and structural integrity of your vehicle. Choosing a Gold Class business can also mean a better service experience for you. Surveys show that Gold Class-rated businesses outperform other body shops by 47%. Car companies change the way they make their vehicles and incorporate new technologies into their design. Therefore, auto repair shops must adapt to these concepts to provide a high level of service for their customers. Use a shop with an I-CAR certified technician and you can expect a greater level of care for your repair needs. 

Ric’s Body & Paint Can Help

If you’ve recently been in an auto accident, it’s crucial that your car is evaluated and repaired by trained technicians. By visiting Ric’s Body & Paint, you can rest easy knowing that our I-CAR Gold Class repair shop is on the job.

Contact us today to learn how we can help!

Auto Accidents During COVID-19: What You Need to Know?

Today there seems to be a change on the roadways. People are remaining at home lessening the traffic. However, even though there are fewer vehicles on the road due to the COVID-19 crisis, commuters are still at risk of auto accidents. Getting into a collision is stressful enough on a normal day, but the coronavirus outbreak has created a more complex situation for drivers.

If you find yourself in an auto accident, follow these tips to ensure your car is tended to and you remain safe from possible health risks.

Car Accident 101

Simply, do what you would normally do in a car accident. Do not leave the scene until the situation is resolved. Exchange insurance and document the accident scene with detailed notes and photos of both cars. Most importantly, call for help if you or the other party is seriously injured.

Maintain Social Distancing Standards

Per CDC recommendations, stay 6 feet apart to reduce the chance of contamination. Although you might not realize it, everyone involved in the accident can stay a safe distance from each other. One strategy is to engage in social distancing and exchange the necessary information verbally or through text messages.

Get Appropriate Medical Attention (When Needed)

If you or the other party is injured in the auto accident, seek the appropriate medical care. Hospitals and other medical offices are prioritizing COVID-19 patients, therefore, call or email your doctor to evaluate your options beforehand. Consider non-critical care options as well, but if you’ve been seriously injured in the collision do not hesitate in getting medical attention. 

Call Ric’s Body & Paint

Ric’s Body & Paint has been repairing cars to their former glory since 1976. While we’ve never experienced anything quite like the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve taken precautions to protect our employees and you. If you’ve experienced an auto accident, contact us to learn how we can help you!

The Hidden Damages of Rear-End Collisions

technician repairing car frame rear-end collision hidden damages

For any motorist, being a part of a vehicle collision is a stressful experience. Most rear-end collisions aren’t serious; they are the most common types of accidents in the United States. While most fender benders won’t show signs of serious damage, there could be underlying problems that may not show up for a while. That is why it is crucial to identify and fix any hidden damages to ensure the car continues to run efficiently.

More Than Meets the Eye

Car Frame Damages

While the cosmetic damage to the vehicle will be obvious, the collision can impact the driver’s warning system. The biggest concern is having a weakened frame that won’t protect you from future accidents.

Electrical Damages

If you’ve been in a minor rear-end collision, there is a chance the impact may have caused damage to the wire harness of your braking system.

Car Alignment Problems

Following a rear-end collision, it’s possible for the car to show signs of misalignment. Common signs include uneven driving, a wobbly steering wheel, and unusual vibrations. In addition to not being safe, a misaligned vehicle will cause tires to wear much faster.

Trunk Damages

Being that it is a rear-end collision, it’s very common to find some trunk damage. This normally won’t affect one’s ability to drive, but it certainly reduces the value of the car. The trunk should open and close smoothly while remaining capable of locking efficiently.

If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you may be vulnerable to these issues. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we have a veteran technician team who can identify the effects the accident had on your vehicle. For an estimate, feel free to drop by our shop or contact us to learn how we can help!

Ensuring Customer and Vehicle Safety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Providing A Safe Experience

We know the COVID-19 crisis has been a major concern for most people around the world. As such we are committed to providing our customers the same quality collision repair service we always have, but with added precautions to make sure they, as well as our employees, remain safe from the virus. That is why we wanted to share ways we ensure efficient vehicle safety, while maintaining our customers and employee’s health.

Working At Your Comfort Level

We understand that everyone deserves to feel safe and remain healthy. If a customer is at an extreme level of discomfort we will work with you individually to find a situation that works.

If you have a moderate concern we would be happy to come out to you in your vehicle. You may call us from your vehicle; we will come out and complete an estimate while they wait in their car. After the estimate is completed, we can email you the details for your record.

If you are comfortable coming in, our shop is open. We do have social distancing measures in place inside as recommended by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). 

Keeping a Safe Distance

If you are scheduled for a collision repair, come in or call us when you arrive. One of our service managers will go over the repairs with you. To be prepared, please bring a pen of your own to sign our authorization forms. At pick up, come in to finish up paperwork or give us a call and we will meet you in front of the doors.  We are able to take payment with our mobile credit card machine. Once finalized, we will give you a receipt and go over the repairs completed on their vehicle all while keeping a safe distance.

Estimate and Repair 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we prefer to touch base with each customer to make sure that we understand the extent of your repair and are able to answer any questions you may have. We would complete an estimate then we get you scheduled for the repairs.  We do this so we can order parts and have them here at your scheduled drop off. At drop off our technicians will go over the car once more and get our authorization form signed before starting a repair. Your vehicle will be assigned to one of our technicians who will keep you informed throughout the repair process. After we have serviced your vehicle, one of our representatives will make the appropriate arrangements with you for pick up.

Increased Frequency of Cleaning and Sanitizing

Throughout the day our employees go through the shop to clean and disinfect the most frequently used areas and tools. We recommend for all customers to remove all personal belongings from their vehicle before dropping it off. This includes phone chargers, garage door openers, backpacks, glasses, etc. We will also disinfect the vehicle as soon as it is dropped off and again once it is picked up. 

Reinforce Existing Health Protocols

We require all employees to wash their hands as much as possible to follow the CDC handwashing guidelines, which involves washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Our shop team will continue to utilize seat covers, steering wheel covers, floor mats, and wipe down door and gear shift handles with sanitizer before the vehicle is picked up. We also make sure all employees who are ill stay home to prevent others from getting sick.

Auto repair doesn’t stop for a crisis. That is why Ric’s Body & Paint technically enabled staff will continue to serve every one’s auto body and vehicle safety needs during this time. Like everyone else, we want nothing more than for things to return to normal, but until then precautions must be put into place to protect our customers and employees from possible contagion. Let us know how we can make the appropriate arrangements to better serve you and your vehicle needs!

How to Become a Collision Repair Technician

auto body collision specialist buffing out fender

With so many cars and trucks on the road, accidents happen every day. When they do, collision repair technicians are there to assess the damage and bring the vehicle back to its original state. This type of work does not involve any engine repair, instead it focuses on the body of the vehicle. If you or somebody you know is interested in a career as a collision repair technician, there are several ways to get into the field.

What Does a Collision Repair Technician Do?

Collision repair technicians are trained to analyze, assess, and fix damaged vehicles. Their work can include repairing, replacing, and refinishing the outer body of the car but they can also be trained in fixing internal automotive structures. When they aren’t repairing collision damage, technicians may work on body customization or minor repairs, such as dents, scratches, or corrosion damage.

If you are interested in a rewarding a challenging career in auto body repair work check out these tips.

Some typical tasks include:

  • Pounding out dents
  • Straightening a vehicle’s frame
  • Using a welding torch to create high-strength bonds between metal
  • Replace damaged body panels, fenders, or doors
  • Applying the right paint color or performing touch ups using paint matching technology
What Education is Needed to Get Started?

While most auto body technicians only need a high school diploma and some training, enrolling in post-secondary programs and obtaining certifications only makes candidates more qualified to employers.  

There are several steps that can be taken in becoming a collision repair technician. By obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree in automotive technology, as a respective tech you will improve you job opportunities in this field. Programs can be found in several institutions, such as community colleges and vocational schools.

Once you have completed a formal training program, you will need to seek on-the-job training to gain needed skills to advance their career. By gaining real world experience, you will soon be able to prepare for certification and open more job opportunities.

Stand Out Certifications

The Universal Technical Institute is a 54 week program designed to train students to become familiar with the tools, equipment, and technology used in collision repair centers across the U.S. They will also work closely with five industry-leading manufacturers including 3M, Audatex, Axalta, Chief Automotive Technologies, and Information Services Inc.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers in-depth training and certification exams for people seeking credentials as collision repair technicians. Only two out of three test-takers pass on their first attempt, but to be ASE certified is impressive to many reputable auto repair shops.

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are proud to have six technicians on our team to ensure your car is road ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dent or a major collision repair job, we are happy to provide you with top-quality results with undeniable service. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your auto body needs.

The Anatomy of a Car Crush Zone

gray and red car in a collision

Collisions can happen to anyone and with new innovative technology car manufacturers are working to make their vehicles as safe as possible. One way they do this is by adapting their vehicles in the front and back with a series of crush zones, or crumple zones, that will help prevent any serious damage to the occupants inside. Auto engineers must consider many factors when designing safer cars, such as vehicle size and weight, frame stiffness, and any stresses the car will be subjected to in a crash.

What’s in a Crush Zone?

Specifics on what goes into a crush zone vary depending on the vehicle’s size and weight. Automakers must create a balance between having too much and too little impact resistance. Some designs can include frame segments that bend in areas or some that collapse into themselves. More innovative solutions use a variety of metals and materials that are engineered to take as much impact as possible to prevent harm to the passenger section.

Frontal Crush Zones

The main goal of frontal crush zones is to keep the shape of the cabin in order to protect the occupant’s space. Depending on the severity of the front-end accident, the car’s hood will experience the most damage. Cars have bumper reinforcements, that is what absorbs the energy of the impact. It is meant to absorb the impact and crumple, protecting the passengers inside and key mechanical components underneath the hood.

Rear Crush Zones

A rear collision is the most common type, making it clear that automakers must efficiently make this area an efficient crumple zone. To ensure the safety of the driver and everyone on the road, auto engineers will construct the rear bumpers with aluminum, steel, rubber, and plastic depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It’s crucial for the rear bumper to have bumper reinforcements as well to absorb the impact to keep it from damaging important elements of the car, such as the frame, as well as the vehicle’s occupants.

Avoid Collisions

Collisions are preventable and 80% of them are caused by simple driver distractions. That is why it is important to remember to put down that cell phone, pay attention to your surroundings, and to drive defensively. While crush zones can keep us safe, it is not a guarantee. Even so, the damage to repair can be costly and be a major pain to deal with.

Our experienced technicians at Ric’s Body & Paint are more than qualified to inspect your vehicle after your accident to efficiently and honestly restore your car back to its original shape. Contact us or visit our shop to learn how we can help!

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!

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! 

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!