3 Tips When Getting An Estimate After An Auto Collision

A collision repair tech giving an estimate to a customer after a collision

Being involved in an auto collision can be a very stressful experience, from medical costs, vehicle damage, and not being able to have your own car. All of these factors can take a toll on an individual, and while getting a car estimate can seem overwhelming it is a crucial step to get you back on the road. 

Therefore, we’ve laid out three tips to make your search for car estimates is as smooth as possible to get you back on the road with the best quality service without any delays.

Research Body & Paint Shops

Before going out and getting estimates after an auto collision, the first thing you need to do is start researching for any reputable body and paint shops around you. Look at pictures and reviews online for their recent work and even ask around to find out what their reputation is like.  In today’s digital world, there’s a plethora of resources available that allow consumers to shop around for the right body shop for repair, such as Yelp or Angie’s List.

Ideally, you’ll want a body and paint shop that is I-CAR Gold certified. This certification comes from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, which is the head of the collision repair industry. An I-CAR Gold certified shop shows that the work performed will be of the best quality by qualified technicians with the most up to date technology and knowledge.

Do Not Focus On Price Alone

While trying to save money can be tempting, focusing on price alone when choosing a car estimate might not be the best choice. High estimates do not necessarily mean you are being overcharged and low estimates can sometimes mean subpar quality. 

If your insurance company offers their own body and paint shop with a low estimate be cautious, as this might mean inferior service you might not end up happy with. Therefore instead of focusing on price alone compare estimates by the services provided along with the quality and reputation of the shop.

Avoid Online Estimators

While it is natural to look to Google for answers after experiencing an accident, commuters should proceed with caution. There are plenty of online estimators who are willing to give you an estimated cost to repair the vehicle, but their estimates tend to not be entirely accurate due to not inspecting the car in person. By taking your vehicle to a repair shop, they can accurately assess the damage incurred cosmetically and internally, and give you a more accurate number.  

Get Back On the Road With Ric’s Body & Paint

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 the manufacturer’s specifications.

Our collision repair services include I-CAR Gold Class–certified repair technicians, State-of-the-art equipment, computerized frame and alignment check to manufacturer’s specs, and a lifetime warranty on repairs as long as you own the vehicle.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

Tips on Car Care in the Midsummer Arizona Heat

hand washing car with yellow rag

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.


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



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. 


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.  


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.



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.


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.


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


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.  


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.


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


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


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.


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.

A black car tire before a blowouts

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.

Summer Driving Tips

Summer is almost here, and that means road trips, relaxation and family vacations. It also means more drivers on the road and more car accidents. School’s out, and young drivers are taking trips with their friends or going to summer jobs. Summer and fall are the most dangerous times of the year for drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Here are three tips to staying safe on the road this summer.

Avoid distracted driving.

Whether you’re on vacation or heading to work, there will be drivers who are more distracted than usual. Don’t be one of them. Pull up navigation before leaving your driveway and don’t check your phone while driving. Avoid arguing with any passengers and bring entertainment for the kids. Lastly, strap down any loose items so there isn’t anything flying around in the back seats.

Don’t drive when drowsy.

Driving for hours and hours is hard on just one driver. Switch drivers every few hours if you can or pull over and recharge. Even a short nap can do a lot of good, as we all know. Another thing you can do is eat something to give yourself energy. But don’t drive when you’re tired. It’s not worth the risk.

Prepare your vehicle.

Especially for longer road trips, you want to be sure your vehicle is ready to face the heat and long hours. Get an oil change, tire rotation, fluid refills, and AC service to make sure you’re ready to roll. Checking your tires is extremely important because higher temperatures mean a higher chance of blowouts.

Ric’s Body & Paint has been the Valley’s leading shop for collision and vehicle body repair since 1976. We care about our customers and want them to arrive at their destinations safely! Contact us for more summer driving tips or to learn more about what we can do for you.

Protect Your Car’s Paint Job

A red chrome vehicle with an extended vehicle life

It may feel like summer in Arizona, but it’s still spring and there are plenty of things the season brings that can do damage to your car’s precious paint job. Yes, cars are tough. But that colorful coat of paint? Not so much. Here are four things to watch for right now.


Pollen doesn’t help those with springtime allergies, and it doesn’t help your car either. Tiny pollen particles can sneak into the small pores in your car’s paint job and release acid. If this happens enough, the acid can cause permanent staining, fading, and oxidation (decay). Flying pollen is inevitable, but what you can do is give your car a thorough wash with soapy water, which will block out the acids.


Not only is acid found in pollen, it’s also found in bugs. We’ve all found bug splatters on our windshields or bumpers. Acids found in bug blood can permanently damage your car’s paint, so cleaning up all of those bug guts as soon as possible is the best thing to do.

Bird waste.

Birds become more active in the spring and can leave surprises on our vehicles, especially when we park under that only tree in the parking lot. In Arizona, the sun’s powerful rays can bake those bird droppings right into your paint finish, leaving ugly stains and uric acid that can eat into the paint coat. Remove the droppings with a damp cloth to prevent permanent damage.


On those hot spring (and summer) days here in the Valley, other cars can fling up tar from the asphalt onto your vehicle. Tar is difficult to get off and can take your car’s paint right with it if removed the wrong way. Removing tar from your vehicle requires a special product to separate it from the paint.

Ric’s Body & Paint has been the Valley’s leading shop for collision and vehicle body repair for more than 40 years. We love our customers and know how important it is to have a functioning vehicle. We want to get you back on the road as quickly and painlessly as possible. Contact us for more information on our services and how to best protect your car this season.

Getting Your Ride Ready for Summer

A model Mini Cooper car that is ride ready

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 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 ride ready.

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?

A red sports car with the latest automotive technology

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!