Getting Your Ride Ready for Summer

Right now, we’re in that “sweet” period when it comes to Valley weather. After record-setting snowfall (1.5 inches on the ground in Cave Creek!), flooding, and nights when we needed to cover our outdoor plants to ward off freezing, we are finally back to Chamber of Commerce weather, with spring training temps and brag-worthy views of trails clogged with shorts-clad hikers. But we all know that hotter temps are just around the corner – again.

It won’t be long before the heat, dust, and-stop-and-go traffic in 110-degree heat is the norm. That means it’s time again to think about making sure your car or truck is ready for another Arizona summer. Here are a few tips from Ric’s Body & Paint to make your ride is ready to go, whether you’ll be spending your summer driving around town or taking a road trip to escape the heat.

Check your air conditioning.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Have a skilled technician look your system over, checking to make sure it’s in fighting shape after several months of non-use. Make sure the coolant level is good and that your cabin air filter is working correctly.

The cooling system needs to be ready for the heat.

The leading cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. Your cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled at least every 24 months. Your overflow or radiator tank should be full, as well.

Make sure your tires are ready to roll.

Proper inflation assures the best possible contact between your tires and the road, so make sure you check your air pressure on a monthly basis. Examine your tires for uneven wearing, cupping, and tread life. Check the sidewalls for nicks and cuts.  

Inspect your brakes.

Make sure the brake fluid is topped off, and tell your mechanic if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. It’s vital to your safety that you correct minor brake problems promptly, so they don’t become major issues.

Make sure your oil is up to the task.

Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual and more often if you make frequent short trips or are planning a summer road trip, especially if you’ll be towing a trailer.

Check your wipers.

Inspect the blades and wiper fluid, especially if your wipers got a lot of use this past winter. Replace worn blades and make sure you have plenty of washer solvent.

Do an under-the-hood check of filters, belts, clamps, and hoses.

Make sure everything is tight and replace items which are showing signs of excessive wearing.  

Batteries need to be ready for the summer.

They can fail any time of year, but you definitely don’t want to be on the side of the road under a beating sun with a battery that’s not cranking. Make sure to remove all corrosion from posts and cable connections, clean all surfaces and re-tighten all connections. Don’t forget to check your battery’s fluid level.

Make sure your vehicle is looking its best.

If your car or truck got dinged up this winter or its paint looks the worse for wear, bring it to Ric’s for a no-obligation estimate. After all, now that you’ve made sure it’s ready for the summer on the inside, you want to have it looking its best on the outside.

Since 1976, Ric’s Body & Paint has been the Valley’s leading shop for collision and vehicle body repair. We’ve earned our reputation for treating customers the way we want to be treated and making getting you back on the road as painless as possible.  

Automotive Technology: What Will the Future Bring?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual event held in Las Vegas. Going on Jan. 8 through 11, this year’s CES is expected to draw more than 180,000 people to Sin City to ogle the latest electronic devices and check out the hottest technology trends for use in home, business and automotive applications.     

Technology has changed the automotive landscape forever. Vehicles are becoming increasingly high-tech, and will eventually become more like mobile living rooms and even be able to walk over obstructions in the roadway – unlike the cars we’re used to driving today.

Here are a few takeaways from your friends at Ric’s Body & Paint about this year’s CES and things to watch for down the road:
  • Automotive designers are planning for what drivers will do when cars become autonomous (driverless.) They figure that once you’re not preoccupied with traditional “driving” you’ll want a more home-like experience, almost like a mobile living room with comfortable, massaging seats and ambient lighting that will put you in a stress-free mood on the way to the office. They’re introducing virtual assistants that differ from what we’re used to now like Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant, because they will focus on vehicle functions rather than obeying your commands via a smartphone or smart speaker. For example, BMW is developing its Intelligent Personal Assistant, set to debut on the redesigned 2020 3 Series and eventually featured in the rest of the BMW lineup. Using natural voice commands, it will control various aspects of the car. If a driver says “Hey BMW, I’m cold,” Intelligent Personal Assistant will adjust the temperature inside the car, and can serve as a paperless owner’s manual, telling you how a certain feature works or providing current vehicle status, such as checking the oil. If you tell it you want to relax, the assistant can change the radio station and adjust the climate control to ease your stress.
  • What will you do if you encounter heavy debris on the roadway ahead of you, especially after a disaster like an earthquake? Hyundai is developing Elevate, a four-legged and four-wheeled vehicle which will be able to walk or climb over the most treacherous terrain.
  • Mercedes-Benz is working on the Vision Urbanetic, a concept vehicle geared toward ride-hailing and delivery fleets. It has an electric drivetrain and switchable bodies to accommodate people or goods for delivery. Its ride-hailing body can seat up to 12 passengers and in cargo configuration, it can accommodate items on ten 40-by-48-inch pallets and can be part of an autonomous fleet, programmed with efficient routes based on a company’s needs.

While we’ll have to wait to see what amazing things the future will bring us, rest assured that if your current vehicle needs repairs after a collision, Ric’s Body & Paint is here to help. For expert, guaranteed service that will get your vehicle back on the road and better than ever, contact us today!  

Get Your Ride Ready for the Holidays

With December 25 only a few days away, we thought we’d put you in the holiday spirit with a couple of automotive-themed Christmas items.

It’s not too late to get your ride in a festive mood. Unless you’re sharing an Uber sleigh with Santa Claus, your vehicle probably doesn’t exude Christmas. There are a couple of easy ways to fix that: decorate your car or truck like it’s ready to be placed under the tree, or literally put it under a Christmas tree.

First, place Christmas-themed items on your car. For only a few dollars, you can put Santa, a  big red bow or another holiday-themed decoration on your ride. A quick check of Amazon finds all sorts of items you can place on your car that are sure to get people in the holiday mood, from the cute (reindeer antlers and a Rudolph nose) to the somewhat creepy (a pair of Santa Claus legs to stick out of your trunk.) If you want to make a bigger, bolder statement, try sticking a big red bow on your hood. No matter what you do, other drivers will applaud your attempt at spreading some good cheer as your drive around the Valley this December.

If you’ve ever bought a Christmas tree from a lot, you’ve probably driven at least a short distance with a tree on top of your vehicle. There’s a jollier way to get around without removing the tree from your roof: keep it there all month. With the appropriately-named Christmas Car Tree (as seen on TV!) you can do just that, with a tree you attach to your roof with industrial snaps, rubber-tipped hooks, and suction cups. The best part is, this tree comes complete with 70 LED lights and it folds flat so you can easily get into your garage.

If it’s too late for you to decorate your ride for this year, plan ahead for 2019 and order your vehicle decorations now to be ready for next Christmas. Of course, if you need a reputable auto body shop at any time, whether or not it’s the holidays, contact Ric’s Body & Paint.

Get Your Ride Ready for the HolidaysWe hope your vehicle is as festive as you are, and happy holidays from Ric’s!

Trends We’re Watching in Vehicle Collision Repair

As Americans drive more miles and are involved in more collisions, the vehicle repair business is growing. Americans drove a combined 3.2 trillion miles over the last recorded 12-month period, which resulted in $45.8 billion in collision repair-related sales and services. The Auto Care Association recently released a report that found almost 16.5% of that money was spent in the automotive aftermarket.

Within just five years, look for that figure to jump to $280 billion. That’s because of increasing demand for several factors, including refinishing, reprocessing, and rebuilding of vehicle parts after accidents, as well as continuing technological improvements in supplementary products and services such as painting, denting and auto body maintenance that are having a positive impact on the collision repair market. More vehicles are being built around the globe, as well, which translates to more cars and trucks on the road. Chalk that up to increased urbanization and low-interest rate loans for vehicles, which are combining to increase growth for the automotive collision repair industry sector.

The need for finishing compounds –  commonly-used items in automotive repair – are expected to grow by around 4% percent by 2024, due to rising road congestion that invariably leads to the risk of minor dents, scratches, and small crashes that spark the need to restore vehicles to their original color.

Of course, whether your vehicle has only minor dings and dents or full-on collision damage, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts, bringing your vehicle back to manufacturers’ specifications. Here at Ric’s we use only:

  • I-CAR Gold Class–certified repair technicians
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Computerized frame and alignment check to manufacturer’s specs
  • PPG-certified painters who precisely match colors so your car comes out looking showroom-new and meets manufacturers’ specifications
  • Water-based, environmentally friendly paint that reduces emissions of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and provides better coverage

And because we’re not satisfied with our work until you are, Ric’s Body & Paint issues a lifetime warranty on repairs as long as you own the vehicle. If your car or truck needs collision or general body repair, contact us today.

Common Causes of Car Paint Chipping

At Ric’s Body and Paint, we want your car to last as long as possible and look taken care of when driving around here in the Valley. Car paint protects the body of the vehicle from external factors. Some examples of that are weather, road debris, and sharp objects

If your car has paint damage, it’s important that you get it fixed by a reputable auto body shop. Here at Ric’s Body and Paint, we use various techniques to accurately match your car’s color. We use a meticulous sanding, masking, and painting process to help ensure a perfect surface quality. Contact us if you are in need of a fresh and high-quality paint job.

Assured Performance Certifications

a mans arm holding a wrench in front of wheels

Recently, Ric’s Body and Paint has been Certified by the Assured Performance Network as an official auto repair for certain brand vehicles according to the manufacturer’s specifications. We are proud to say that we have been officially recognized by Assured Performance, FCA, Nissan, Infiniti, Hyundai, and Kia.

The Assured Performance Network is a non-profit organization to ensure consumers that auto shops are supplying the right tools, equipment, training, and facilities to repair participating brand vehicles, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Our Certification means that we ensure proper and safe repair to the new generation of advanced vehicles. Fewer than 5% of body shops across the U.S. are able to meet the requirements to become recognized.

Here at Ric’s Body and Paint, we are happy to provide the Valley with the most advanced auto repair capabilities since 1976. We provide top-quality repairs and excellent service. Contact us today if you are in need of an auto shop.  

Car Value After an Accident

Accidents happen, it’s a part of life. Your insurance is there for you in case of a collision. However, dealing with them is not always easy. It can be stressful and exasperating, therefore it’s important to know the value of your car after the accident. Here are a couple of key points about your car value after a collision.

The value of a car depreciates after an accident. The decrease in value is dependent upon a few different variables including but not limited to; accident history, type of car, and severity of the accident. The way insurance companies determine the value is through an algorithm called the 17c formula. The formula was invented to standardized the way of calculating claims after a wreck.

Understanding your insurance is critical. Before looking into signing a contract or agreement, it is important to look and see how much coverage you have when a collision occurs.

Handling insurance claims and policies can be difficult but getting your car repaired doesn’t have to be. Our top priority is to give you the ease of mind that your car will be taken care of whether you have minor dents and dings, or full-on collision damage. Our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts, bringing your vehicle back to manufacturers’ specifications.

Here at Ric’s Body and Paint, we want to make sure your repairs are hassle-free because we know how stressful a collision can be. We want you to know you are taken care of and that we provide the highest quality of repairs.

Contact us to learn more about how we can make your collision repairs go as smooth as possible.

Paint: Questions and Answers

Here at Ric’s Body and Paint we always want to be able to answer our loyal customers’ questions, especially when it comes to paint. Here are some of the top questions we hear from our customers concerning the paint on their cars.

Q: What are the benefits of waterborne paint?
A: The paint is better for the environment. Less toxic paint is important since elevated concentrations of paint can persist in the air long after painting or repainting is completed, according to the EPA. Using waterborne paint creates healthier working conditions for our staff. Waterborne paint reduces the emission of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), improving air quality and reducing the health risk to everyone involved. For multiple shades and striping, waterborne paint has an advantage when it comes to spraying due to a thinner application.  It takes a less clear coat to even out the surface for the different layers. Wet paint tends to have a different hue from the true color. Once it dries, the waterborne paint will take on the true hue. We have found that waterborne paint comes out cleaner and brighter than solvent-based paint.

Q: Can clear coat fade?
A: This is a tricky one. The answer is Yes and No.
Technically speaking, since the clear coat has no color, it cannot fade or lose its brightness. It can, however, become dull, but that’s not the same as fading and is more typically a sign of oxidation and the buildup of above surface contaminants.

Contact us today for a free estimate.

Fender Bender Fixes

Let’s face it, no one wants to be in a fender bender. But the truth is, they’re a common type of accident. When you get into a minor fender bender, the external body damage may not seem too bad. A slight crumple in the hood, maybe some scratched paint, perhaps a dented bumper or a banged up fender might seem like easy body repairs that could be repaired in a few days or weeks. Sometimes you might drive away without even seeing a body shop, thinking you’ll just deal with the cosmetic damage. However, sometimes the most expensive and alarming damage is inside the car, even if exterior damage seems minor. It is always wise to have an auto body shop inspect your car, especially the fender itself as too often people wait to get their fenders maintenance after an incident. Here is our process for fixing fenders in a cost-effective, timely manner.

Ric’s Body and Paint ensures your fender is thoroughly inspected and properly repaired. We begin by inspecting the exterior damage of your fender. Our expert technicians then remove any necessary trim and hardware to fully assess the damage.

This process ensures that we examine the impact closer and also allows us to identify the very best plan for how to conduct the fender repair properly. Our team repairs the fender, by carefully working the material to restore the fender’s shape and fit.

Once all of the damaged areas are repaired, we apply primer, allow it to cure, and sand it down to create a smooth surface for the paint to be applied. Worried about the paint? Relax, we use computer technology to mix the proper paint to perfectly match your vehicle’s color. We use waterborne based paint, which is better for the environment, and then apply the clear coating. We are sure to buff out any other flaws as needed for an even surface. In the event cosmetic fixes to the fender will not suffice, we also handle full replacements and always match the paint. Ultimately, you can trust us to make your fender look brand new again.

If you have a problem with your fender or any body repair questions, contact us today for a free estimate.

Three Need to Knows for Collision Repair

There are a lot of misconceptions when dealing with car repairs after an accident. Many businesses like to take advantage of people with car damages because people have limited knowledge of the best way to handle it. Here at Ric’s Body and Paint, we want to make sure you are getting the highest quality repairs for the best price. Here are some hints for handling collision damages:

Hidden Damages

It may look as though just the outside body was hit in a collision, but there could be a lot more damage under the hood. An impact can affect the entire car from wheel alignment, framing, and interior pieces. At Ric’s Body and Paint, we exam the entire vehicle to ensure all broken parts are identified to be fixed, preventing more damage for the future.

Damages Can Be Repaired to Look New

Nowadays, car manufacturers can work directly with body shops to give technicians the exact specifications to fix the car back to its original form. When done correctly, the vehicle will look and operate the same as when you bought it.

Choosing The Right Body Shop

Insurance providers like to suggest cheap places to get your car fixed, however, you should research a place that provides higher quality service. Your provider will still have to compensate the repairs and your car will be in better condition down the line.

When handling the aftermath of a collision, it is important to choose the right body shop so your car will operate correctly and last as long as possible. We seek to alleviate your stress when handling collision repairs. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help you.