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!

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!

Teen Driving Habits to Avoid Vehicle Collisions

Young man with silly face behind the wheel of a car

It is every teenager’s dream come true when they’re finally able to drive themselves to their favorite places. However, the excitement of this newfound freedom can be interrupted by a vehicle collision due to unsafe driving habits. This is why parents must find the time to discuss and teach their kids good driving habits that will lower their chances of getting into an accident.

Limit Cell Phone Usage on the Road

There’s no question that teens love their phones, therefore parents must set a zero-tolerance policy for using a cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous driving habits a person can do, it’s just as unsafe as drinking and driving.  

Some ways to prevent your teen from using their phone while driving include turning it off completely while they’re behind the wheel or putting it inside the car’s glove box so it’s out of sight and out of mind.

Practice in Different Driving Conditions

By teaching your kids to drive in different conditions, they will gain a certain level of experience that will be necessary for their everyday lives. Don’t be afraid to put them behind the wheel in a rainy, snowy, or night-time setting. They need to be ready for any situation and it’s your job to guide them through these obstacles as they learn. By gaining experience in these conditions, they will become more confident when they occur, which will reduce the chance of any sort of vehicle collision.

Limit Passengers

We all know teens like to hang out with their friends, and if they’re one of the older ones in the group, people will likely use them for rides. In order to limit the driver’s distractions, the parent should not let their teen drive more than one friend around at a time for the first six months. This will help them focus on gaining driving experience and allows them to be cautious of their surroundings.

Respect the Law

One of the most important aspects of learning to drive is being aware of the laws of the road. These rules are put into place to keep everyone on the road safe. Everyone must wear their seat belts, always leave extra space between you and the car in front of yours, don’t drink and drive, and obey the speed limits.

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we understand some things are out of the driver’s hands. Our team can help repair any mild to severe vehicle collision damage to get your teen back on the road.
We offer free estimates to examine the vehicle and provide a detailed assessment of the damage and its cost to repair. Visit our website to check out the services we offer or contact us today!

Back to School Safety Driving Tips

Back to school means sharing the road again. School days bring chaos with buses picking up their passengers, kids on foot and bike hurrying to beat the first bell, and parents rushing to drop their children off to make it to work on time. It is the season to slow down, pay attention, and be aware of your surroundings even after school hours. Ric’s Body and Paint would like to help you with your preparations by offering these simple safety tips. 

School Zone Tips:

  • Never use a cell phone unless it is completely hands-free while in a school zone
  • Slow down when entering a school zone and obey all traffic laws
  • Always stop for buses that are unloading or loading students
  • Never pass other vehicles while in a school zone
  • Be aware and look out for school zone signs, signals, children, bus stops, and sidewalks
  • ALWAYS obey the speed limit

Sharing the Road with Pedestrians:

At Ric’s Body and Paint, we think it is important to educate the community to keep and raise awareness on transportation-related incidents. Below are a few precautions to let children get across safely. 

  • Use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians no matter who has the right of way
  • Never block the crosswalk when at a red light or waiting to turn – this forces pedestrians to go around you, putting them in the path of moving traffic
  • Be aware of children in all areas, zones, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas
  • Always stop for a crossing guard or patrol officer holding up a stop sign
  • Never honk to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists:

Bicyclists have the same rules and responsibilities as vehicles, however, bicyclists are often hard to see. It is important to us that we keep the community safe and protect young children, especially on bikes.

  • Check all mirrors before opening your doors
  • Watch for bikes coming out of driveways or from blind-spots
  • Be aware when turning left – if a bicyclist is approaching, wait for the rider to pass
  • Take note when bike riders are turning in front of you without signaling

Ric’s Body and Paint supports families and safe driving habits. By taking an extra moment to be aware of your surroundings during the hustle and bustle of school mornings, pedestrians, and motorists can co-exist safely in school zones and the children in our community can make it to school on time and safely!

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.

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 Safely in a Haboob

Ric’s Body & Paint reminds you that monsoons have returned to Arizona, and that means you might end up experiencing a haboob sometime this summer. The word haboob derives from an Arabic word, “habb,” which translates to “wind.” A haboob is an intense wall of dust, formed during a thunderstorm when the storm collapses and wind gusts outwards in a rush. Cold air quickly moves downward and is pushed forward by the front of a thunderstorm cell, gathering dust as it travels across the land, obstructing visibility and even blocking out the sun. While haboobs occur in the deserts of Arabia and North Africa, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Arizona experiences an average of three haboobs each year. 

Haboobs can be a sight to behold. Picture a wall of dust stretching 100 miles across, that starts at a height of around 1,500 feet, and can quickly double in height. The infamous haboob that hit Arizona in July, 2011 grew to an astounding 5,000 feet as it made its way across the Valley; to put that in context, the Empire State Building is “only” 1,454 feet tall! 

As you might imagine, you definitely don’t want to be caught on the road when the next haboob strikes the Valley, plunging you from daylight to total darkness within a minute. While you may never experience it for yourself, you should be prepared for how to deal with a haboob. Here are some tips that could potentially save your life if you find yourself driving into an approaching haboob.  

  • Slow down and assess traffic around you. Act quickly to scout a path away from impending danger. Immediately close open windows and air vents, to prevent as much dust as possible from getting into your car. 
  • Pull off the road as soon as possible. Do not stop in the emergency lane – other vehicles might end up there and run into you. 
  • Once you’ve safely stopped, immediately turn off all lights, including emergency lights – inside and outside your vehicle. While this may seem counter-intuitive, you’ll be greatly reducing the chances of another vehicle rear-ending you. Activate your emergency brake, take your foot off the brakes, and keep your safety belt buckled. 
  • Listen to the radio for updates on the haboob. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) regularly updates stations on hazardous conditions on our roadways, and keeps drivers updated via overhead message boards and social media.
  • Once you’ve determined the storm has passed, use caution when you return to the roadway. 

Of course, it’s always a good idea to check weather and road conditions before you head out to drive anywhere. The best way to not be caught in a haboob is to avoid it in the first place, and always make sure you have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle.

If you’re unlucky enough to be caught in a haboob or your vehicle is damaged by any other type of storms this summer, contact Ric’s Body & Paint. For more than 40 years, we’ve been the Valley’s go-to shop for top-quality repairs and excellent service. At Ric’s, we make getting you back on the road as painless as possible.

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.