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!

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! 

Tips on Car Care in the Midsummer Arizona Heat

Picture this: It’s the middle of July and the 115-degree weather is becoming a bit too intense for your preference, you decide to take a weekend getaway to California to escape the Arizona heat. You reach the halfway point between Calexico and Yuma when suddenly your relaxing weekend getaway turns into a disaster in seconds – your check engine light glows and you’re forced to pull over.

With proper attention, care, and vehicle maintenance, these situations can be avoided. Unfortunately, your engine is not the only thing that you have to worry about. It’s no wonder why Phoenix is nicknamed The Valley of the Sun- it often feels as though you are living on the surface of the sun. The harsh UV rays and extreme heat can deteriorate the paint and interior surfaces of your vehicle.

Ric’s Body and Paint can assist you in taking steps to protect your vehicle and preserve your ride from the harmful effects of the extreme heat that Phoenix brings that can prevent costly repairs in the future. Keep your vehicle looking good and driving better by keeping these tips in mind.

INTERIOR CARE


Put that Shield up


Have you ever gotten into your car and the heat of the interior almost takes your breath away? Have you noticed small cracks on your dashboard, steering wheel or center console since the summer months have hit? These can all be avoided or improved by the simple use of a windshield sunshade. Preserve your interior while improving the temperature, it’s a win-win!

Sunglasses! (for your car)


According to Bloomberg Business-week, properly tinting your windows can help reduce glare, UV exposure, and heat, however, be sure that they adhere to Arizona state laws on tinting application.

Crack ‘em


The 115-degree heat is pretty miserable especially when your car has been baking in it. Cracking your windows to relieve some of the built-up heat that can prevent it from turning into an oven. These high heat temperatures can cause the interior to fade and deteriorate

EXTERIOR CAR CARE

Scrub-a-dub-dub


Small pieces of dirt can easily scratch and damage the paint of your car. The infamous haboobs can also damage and leave water spots on the car paint. Regularly washing your vehicle can prevent damage to its topcoat, however, if it is permanently damaged, we provide services to make your ride look like new!

Wax, wax, wax


A simple coat of wax can protect your vehicle’s paint from dirt, sun damage, and water spots to make your car look shiny and brand new! Consumer reports recommend polishing your car in the spring and fall.

Don’t forget your Sunscreen!


If you don’t have the option to park in a garage or have other covered parking options, a car cover might be a good investment. Car covers are a great alternative to combat the heat, sun, and dirt from reaching your car. This weather-resistant car cover acts as SPF to your ride’s paint.

Look out for trees!


Finding a shady place to park will help keep the sun away and reduce your car’s interior temperature. If you have leather seats, you will thank us later when you don’t get your seat scorched when you sit down!

Keep up with your battery.


It is well known that the extreme desert heat depletes your vehicle’s battery. Make sure to regularly test your battery and keeping the top clean to preserve its lifespan.

The engine that could (not)


If heat affecting your car’s battery came as a surprise to you, then this may blow you away. High temperatures can hurt your engine. This is a common misconception because as long as you are driving, your engine is hot. But the engine itself is more apt to take a hit in the summer heat. The oil inside the engine oftentimes breaks down at extreme temperatures which can do a lot of damage. Regular oil changes are vital to your car’s health, at least every 3-5,000 miles.

Protecting your car from the Arizona heat will increase its longevity and keep it in better shape. Let us assist you in any issues that this extreme heat brings to your vehicle. For more auto tips and to contact us, visit our website to learn more!

Drive Away the Summertime Blues

Don’t let the heat get to you this summer. While temps may be triple digits here in the Valley, you live in one of the most beautiful states in the country. You’re only a car ride away from some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, sights that draw visitors from across the country, even from around the globe. Ric’s Body & Paint would like to tell you about a few of the destinations you should add to your summer “bucket list” of places to see in the Grand Canyon state.

The Grand Canyon.

It’s amazing that while Arizona is home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, many people who live here have never visited this National Park. It’s only a few hours north of the Valley and it’s worth the drive. While the Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep, the number of “oohs” and “aahs” this majestic, awe-inspiring natural wonder has launched is incalculable. 

Sedona.

On your way to the Grand Canyon, stop off in Sedona to experience for yourself the beautiful red rock formations that encompass one of Arizona’s most beloved cities. Visitors are drawn to this area for its natural beauty, peaceful atmosphere, hiking trails, and natural swimming pools. Sedona’s magnificent scenery will envelop you as you take it in from every angle.  

Flagstaff.

Between Sedona and the Grand Canyon, this lovely mountain town awaits you, with its laid-back vibe, natural wonders and a tangible sense of community. Flagstaff is home to the smallest of Arizona’s three state universities, Northern Arizona University, and you can enjoy the luscious scenery while basking in summer temperatures that are typically 30 to 40 degrees cooler than those in the Valley.

Lake Powell.

Nestled on the border of Arizona and Utah, this is one of the southwest’s most beautiful lakes. Its clean beaches, cooler temperatures and mix of outdoor activities – like swimming, fishing, and water skiing – make Lake Powell the cool getaway you not have thought of to escape the stifling heat of the Valley this summer.

Lake Havasu.

is another one of the landmarks that offer people a cooling mix of swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. While temps can still reach 100 degrees this time of year, Lake Havasu still offers visitors an escape from the heat of the Valley. 

Monument Valley.

is another attraction right on the edge of Arizona and Utah. Monument Valley’s unique sandstone formations are iconic, having served as the backdrop for hundreds of Western movies filmed over the years. This area is part of the Navajo Nation and is home to the Navajo families who have lived there for generations. 

If you decide to drive to any of these or other Arizona destination this summer, make sure you – and your ride – are ready for the trip. Before you head out, check out these Summer Driving Tips compiled by Ric’s, and have a safe, fun and cool summer!

The Latest on Autonomous Cars

Despite encountering some missteps along the way, autonomous (self-driving) vehicles seem to be an inevitable part of our future. 

At its annual Elevate conference, held recently in Washington, D.C., the ride-sharing company Uber announced its partnership with Volvo is back on track, after being suspended last year. Uber developed the self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV in collaboration with the Swedish automaker and plans to put a fleet of the SUV’s on the road in greater numbers in 2020. Currently, they are being tested on public roads in Pittsburgh. The companies entered into a partnership in 2016 and 2017 and Volvo signed a “framework” agreement to sell Uber a fleet of vehicles between 2019 and 2021, to be deployed as self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service.

Volvo, which has long staked its reputation on safety, says this new partnership is a natural continuation of that commitment. “We believe autonomous drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars, speaking at Elevate. “By the middle of the next decade, we expect one-third of all the cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies,” he added.

While these vehicles may appear to be “normal” at first glance, they aren’t. “What it looks like from the outside isn’t much different, but what’s going on inside enables us to run our full autonomy system—things like 360 degrees of camera coverage, 360 degrees of LiDAR and radar,” said Eric Meyhofer, CEO  of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), adding, “These give the vehicle everything it needs in order to operate autonomously.” A key component of the XC90 is its comprehensive backup systems for both steering and braking. The battery system is also equipped with a backup to ensure it can come to an immediate and safe stop if any of the primary systems fail.

There are still legislative obstacles to overcome in the widespread adoption of autonomous cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are proposing the removal of what are considered unnecessary regulatory barriers to the introduction of automated driving systems (ADS) vehicles in the United States. The agencies are seeking public comments as they move ahead with proposed regulatory actions. “One of the department’s priorities is to prepare for the future by engaging with new technology while addressing legitimate public concerns about safety, security, and privacy, without hampering innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “Our mission is to protect Americans on our roads,” said Heidi King,  NHTSA Deputy Administrator, adding, “As automated driving systems develop, NHTSA will continue to adapt to make sure the agency is equipped to ensure public safety while encouraging innovation.”

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we’ll continue to keep an eye on what’s happening in the world of autonomous vehicles, as they play an ever-increasing role in our country’s transportation future. 

For now, we’re going to keep concentrating on providing top-shelf collision repair and general auto body repair services for the vehicles that are driven the old-fashioned way—by people!  

To learn more, please contact us today.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Convertible

Here in Arizona, as we say goodbye to the monsoons, welcome spring and gear up for another desert summer, you’ve probably noticed one thing as you drive around the Valley: as the temperatures go up, tops tend to go down.

More and more drivers are giving in to the urge to roll down their windows to feel the warm air blow through. Convertible owners are going a step further and dropping the top, to soak up the sun and allow the wind to blow through their hair. If you’re a bit envious of the carefree attitude displayed by convertible owners, you may have even thought about trading in your hardtop for a ragtop. If you’re considering that, here are some pros and cons to convertible ownership.

Pros:

Visibility.

Driving a vehicle without a roof and door frames will allow you to see more around you. It can also be easier to maneuver and park.

Versatility.

These days, convertibles can easily be transformed back into a coupe or sedan with just the push of a button. This allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds as you savor the wind in your hair and a roof over your head when the weather turns nasty.

Headroom.

Tall drivers who have trouble finding a car to suit their height enjoy the comfortable solution offered by convertibles.  

Style.

Many convertible owners love the classic, sporty look of driving with the top down, reminding them of the classic icons and movies of their childhoods.  

Cons:

A less comfortable ride.

Convertibles can ride a bit rougher than their counterparts. Without having a fixed roof, a vehicle loses a major part of its structural support system; this can lead to what is referred to as chassis shudder. Reinforcing a car’s undercarriage doesn’t always compensate for having no roof, which can cause a rough ride over bumps in the road.

Noise.

Even with their tops up, convertibles can be noticeably noisier than their hardtop brethren.

Leaks.

While technology and materials have improved, heavy rain and snow can still make a convertible susceptible to annoying leaks.  

Security.

An old-school convertible top can be an alluring invitation for a thief to break into a car, using nothing more than a knife. Of course, more modern metal tops are a way around this issue.

Interior aging.

The summer sun can take a toll on a convertible’s interior, causing its seats and dashboard, and other surfaces, to age prematurely.

Price.

Convertibles tend to be pricier than comparable coupes or sedans

Safety is another consideration if you’re thinking about a convertible. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has determined that, as a group, convertibles are not more likely to be involved in crashes but adds that some models are more associated with crashes than others. The IHS has an online tool you can use to assess a particular car’s insurance-risk score.

If you’re thinking about buying a convertible and have any questions about repair costs or anything else we can help you with, please contact Ric’s Body & Paint today!

TIRED of blowouts? We’ve got you.

As we mentioned in our last blog, summertime means more drivers on the road and, unfortunately, more car accidents. One of the most common things that can contribute to bad car accidents is your vehicle’s tires. Your tires are the only connection between your car and the blazing hot road. Checking your tires is extremely important, because higher temperatures mean a higher chance of blowouts. During these summer months, pay extra attention to your tires. This means monthly inspections and proper tire care. It’s a good habit to check your tires monthly, no matter the season, as this can ensure you get the most out of your tires.

Here are three things you should keep an eye on:

Tread is what gives your car traction. Even in hot Arizona weather, worn out treads will make driving dangerous on those wet monsoon roads. Use the penny test to determine the status of your treads. Place a penny head-down into several tread grooves across the tire. If you still see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are OK.

Pressure. Pull out your owner’s manual as that will give you the precise tire pressure to match your vehicle. Check your tire pressure using a pressure gauge, and make sure they are not under or over-inflated. Under or over-inflated tires can affect your car’s operation and stability.

Spare. Don’t underestimate the value of a spare. Make sure you also check the spare tire’s tread and pressure, so that you are ready in case of a flat tire or tire blowout.

Ric’s Body & Paint has been the Valley’s leading shop for collision and vehicle body repair for more than 40 years. We care about each one of our customers and want them to arrive at their destinations safely! Contact us for more summer car tips or to learn more about what we can do for you.