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!

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.