Frequently Asked Questions
What if my frame is bent?
Frame damage is a very common occurrence in an accident. The problem isn’t so much the damage but rather the techniques utilized for repair. We use computerized measuring systems that contain a database for all vehicles commonly sold in the USA. This equipment is used in conjunction with “state of the art” pulling and anchoring equipment. The end result is a vehicle returned to factory specs that will track straight and true.
If my vehicle’s frame is damaged, is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle. Most cars these days are built using uni-body (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians with the aid of our state-of-the-art measuring system can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
Who determines if my car is a total loss?
Typically, if the cost to repair your car exceeds 75% of its market value before it was damaged, then it's considered a total loss by most insurance companies. Insurance policies contain clauses that limit them from paying more than your car is worth. The insurance company makes the determination if your car is a total loss based on repair costs, salvage value and pre-loss market value.
Can I keep my car and have it repaired even if my insurance company has deemed it a total loss?
Yes, in some cases, this may make sense and serve your needs. Our service representatives will give you the necessary information to see if this is a viable option.
Who is the Insured and who is the claimant?
If you're using your insurance company to pay for repairs to your car, then you are the “insured” and the terms of your policy apply. When another person’s insurance is responsible to pay for repairs to your car, then you're the “claimant.”
What if I get my car back and something isn’t fixed right?
Contact your auto body repair shop immediately! We also know that latent undetected problems can develop after the repair work is done. Either way, we want to get it fixed as soon as possible!
Can you match the paint?
Yes, provided that your vehicle is an original factory color that is not faded or discolored. The following is a brief description of how paint matching works:
Your vehicle carries a paint code printed on a label on your vehicle. This code is broken down into a formula given to automotive paint manufacturers. A repair shop uses the formula to mix the color within their chosen brand of paint. This works fine if your vehicle is precisely the color specified by the paint code. However, in actual production there are often slight variations in color.
If your vehicle is not the exact shade specified by the factory, the first step is “tinting” the color. This is done by varying the amount of the toners used to make up the original formula. Sometimes, a perfect match can’t be achieved by tinting alone. In these cases, “blending” may be required. This is a process where portions of the vehicle adjacent to the repaired area are gradually misted with the tinted paint so that any minor color variance is unnoticeable. This can make the difference between a very good color match and an invisible repair.
Can I wash my car?
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS:
Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade.
Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. Do not “dry wipe” your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS:
Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely. It is recommended to wait at least 60 days before waxing. Although the clear coat reaches its maximum hardness in 30 days, there may still be some additional cure-out of solvents for another 30 days.
How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
What does it mean if my "check engine" or "service engine soon" light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem - if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to the nearest, trusted auto repair facility.
When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
Why is engine oil milky brown?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (or other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.
How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes.
When should I replace my car's fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car's fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.
I need to replace a burned out fuse, what should I do?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to "blow," you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.