What Exactly is Eco-Friendly Car Paint?

A paint technician is applying red eco-friendly car paint to a car

If you haven’t noticed, there has been a call to action in most industries to be more sustainably responsible. Now more than ever, consumers are calling for businesses to incorporate eco-friendly systems into their operations. This trend is starting to pop up in the auto body repair industry, and Ric’s Body & Paint welcomes it with open arms. As one of Scottsdale’s premier collision repair shops, we specialize in applying eco-friendly paint to our customer’s rides. 

What Exactly is Eco-Friendly Car Paint?

The key difference between eco-friendly paint and traditional solutions is that traditional paints are solvent-borne, while sustainable options are waterborne. Traditional paint will use petrochemical products that contain a large amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to thin the paint. You’ll often find VOCs in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and cleaning products – so they are not very good for the air. Waterborne paints are thinned with water to cut down the amount of VOCs that dissipate into the air, reducing the auto body shop’s environmental impact.

Eco-Friendly Options Can Be Higher Quality Than Traditional Paint Options

Many people assume that eco-friendly car paint is inferior to traditional paint, however, this is a major misconception. In fact, many professionals believe waterborne paints perform better than solvent-borne options. Experts have noticed several benefits to waterborne paints, such as:

  • Superior color matching capabilities
  • Requires fewer coats
  • Drys faster than traditional paint

Eco-friendly products are of higher quality, therefore, consumers may see it reflected in the price. This is partially due to the extra processes it must go through to obtain certifications and tests. Customers who look for sustainable options will appreciate the business’ eco-friendly initiative and reduced environmental impact. 

In Need of Some Serious Paint Repair?

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are experts in color matching and applying paint to damaged vehicles. We use the best quality waterborne paint to make your car look like it’s just rolled out of the dealership. Contact us today to let us know what we can do for you.

Handling Bad Drivers on Arizona Highways

A driver is initating in safe driving and being cautious of bad drivers

In case you haven’t heard, Arizona was ranked 6th in the country for bad drivers by SmartAsset. Their report was corroborated by another study from The Road Information Program highlighting the state’s recorded 1.09 highway deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on the state’s interstates in 2018. This is twice the national average of .58 deaths that same year.  

With so much wreckage occurring on our interstates, the question is why are they happening so often? What can we do as drivers to avoid collisions? That is why we’ve broken down a few possible causes and ways to avoid them. 

Tailgating

Getting too close to the car ahead of you considerably increases the chances of crashing into them. If they suddenly brake you will have no time to adequately maneuver around them or adjust your speed. Legally speaking, when you get into these accidents it would be your fault.

Avoid tailgating, it’s simple. Make it a habit to be at least 10 feet away per 10 mph between the car in front of you. For instance, If you are driving at a speed of 45 mph, you should remain 40 feet away from the car ahead of you. Another rule of thumb is the “three-second rule”, where once a car passes a certain point such as a road sign, count “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi”. If you pass the same sign before the third Mississippi, you are too close. 

Failure to Use Turn Signals

It’s not only irritating when someone fails to use their turn signal, it can be extremely detrimental. We’re not psychic, we can’t guess what someone’s next move is going to be. By signaling, you are giving the drivers around you notice of your next move; decreasing your chances of a collision. 

Disrupting the Flow of Traffic

While it may seem like driving slower than the posted speed limit is safe, it can cause several problems. For one, nobody likes being stuck in traffic. A lot of the time this is caused by a car or two not flowing with traffic. Another reason motorists may drive slow is due to their level of confidence. They are not comfortable going the speed limit or above and will stick to a speed they’re okay with.

If you are uncomfortable with keeping up with traffic, let the drivers behind you pass by getting into the right lane. This way other commuters can safely go around you. 

Speeding

We’ve just recognized driving too slow can be dangerous, but going too fast can be equally unsafe. It’s no secret that many of us drive a little above the posted speed limit. It entirely depends on the road conditions, the driver’s skill set, and the other commuters in the area. 

The most important thing a driver must do is be aware of their surroundings and adjust their speed accordingly. A winding road or inclement weather are good reasons to slow down. Don’t stand out amongst the crowd, reduce your speed if you are driving faster than the other speed limit breakers around you. 

Got Into An Accident? Let Ric’s Body & Paint Help

You can be the safest driver on the road but sometimes accidents are unavoidable. When they happen you may require an auto body repair shop to restore your car to its original condition. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we’re happy to help. Our expert technicians can perform quality collision repair and paint matching services to restore your vehicle to its former glory. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get back on the road.

6 Questions to Ask Your Collision Repair Expert

A repair expert is working on a car in a auto body shop

You depend on your vehicle to pick the kids up from school, go shopping, make it to work, and go on vacation. So when it’s damaged in an accident, you are understandably stressed. After searching for a reputable collision repair shop, then comes many questions that must be answered. That is why we’ve put together six important questions you should ask your collision repair expert to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

Can I Get a Written Estimate?

Depending on the level of damage, you may be looking at a sizable sum to fix your car. It is perfectly reasonable to expect a free, detailed written estimate from your auto body center of choice. The written estimate includes an itemized list of everything that needs to be done to the vehicle, as well as hourly rates, days to repair, and the cost of replacement parts. 

It is important to note that an estimate is based on the damage that can be seen, meaning there may be more damage than meets the eye. A good estimator will usually be able to give you a heads up if they believe there is additional damage during the estimate that wasn’t initially visible, like frame damage. Once the technician tears down the vehicle, they will be able to provide you with further information.

Can You Match My Paint?

Are you worried about your paint job not matching? If you’ve chosen a trusted collision repair expert, don’t be! 

Several collision repair centers are specialists at paint matching. Their technicians will restore the vehicle’s paint to manufactured specifications by painting a card with the proper code and take it and the car into the sunlight to see if it is a viable match. The painter will also bend into adjacent panels to ensure color matching quality. Expert painters have developed an excellent spraying technique to provide the best coverage for a seamless application of your new paint.

Will You Work with My Insurance?

It’s helpful going to an auto body repair expert who has a working relationship with your insurance company. This should speed up the claims process and make it easier for you to finish the process. By making sure your auto body shop works with your insurance, you can ensure the car’s repair goes as efficiently and smoothly as possible. 

By using a body shop your insurance recommends, they are guaranteeing the work of that establishment. If the shop is not a part of your insurance company’s network, make sure the shop warrants their work. 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we work with all insurance companies, but we are not a direct repair shop (DRP) with all insurance companies. We also carry our own warranty on services giving you peace of mind knowing we’re here to help you. 

How Long Will the Repair Take?

Since you depend on your car in your daily life, it’s a reasonable question to ask how long the collision repair may take to finish. It’s usually subjective due to several factors:

  • Make/Model of Vehicle
  • Severity of Damage
  • Scheduling availability 
  • Mechanical or technical issues 
  • Skill-level of Technicians

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we use an estimating tool to figure out how long it might take to finish servicing your vehicle. We input in the tasks for the project and we can identify repair times that are based on industry standards.  

Does the Auto Body Repair Expert Have Any Certifications?

Certifications are a good sign that the technicians handling your vehicle are knowledgeable in auto body repair. Look out for key certifications such as I-CAR and ASE. The I-CAR Gold Class certification is the highest training achievement in the collision repair industry. This means a collision repair shop trains its technicians every year. Moreover, accreditation designates experts to be highly skilled in four key collision repair roles. These roles include estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician, and refinish technician. 

Does the Repair Shop Offer Warranties?

When going to an auto body repair expert, it’s always essential to go to technicians who are confident in their work to offer a warranty. Ask them if they provide one,  what kind they offer, and how long it will last? Warranties can cover repairs for work involving fit, functionality, finish, and overall quality.

Reliable Auto Body Repair Experts at Ric’s

As an I-CAR Gold Class repair shop, Ric’s Body & Paint is your trusted source for collision repair. We strive to provide excellent service through estimates, warranties, and paint matching services. We will work with all insurance companies, so come in anytime for evaluation and receive a lifetime warranty on the fit and finish of your collision repair. Contact us today to let us know what we can do to get your car back in tip-top shape.

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!

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Collision Repair Industry

man under a car repairing, Collision repair industry

Like most businesses, the collision repair industry has been affected by the coronavirus. With the COVID-19 crisis causing communities to stay indoors and to only leave for essential needs, the fewer drivers on the road have less potential for accidents. While this is great news for everyone who continues to commute, these stay-at-home orders have affected major production hubs and auto repair shops to adjust their operations.

A Slowdown in Vehicle Production

As of February, automotive suppliers have been warning automakers that they may run out of parts used for vehicle production in the United States, especially electronic components. China’s vehicle production has been hit the hardest due to the virus, causing a major disruption in the global supply chain. 10% of the United States’ auto parts imports come from China including key components such as electric signaling parts, airbag inflators, safety glass, mirrors, seats, locks, and much more.

How Collision Repair Shops are Adjusting

With COVID-19 causing fewer people to be on the road, there are fewer accidents that occur. This has led many auto body repair shops to rely on their other services. Collision repair shops have had to rework their business operations to provide more contact-less services such as over the phone payments and vehicle pick-up/drop-offs. It’s convenient, easy, and promotes social distancing!

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are doing everything we can to ensure our customers and employees are safe. We’ve adjusted our operations to make sure everyone at our shop is out of harm’s way. While the collision repair industry has slowed down, we will continue to provide high-level services for each of our clients. If you are in need of any auto body or collision repair, 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!