Collision Repair Process After an Accident

Car Collision Accident

Photo by Max Pixel


What is the process of having your car repaired after a collision?

In this post, we go through the basic steps of the collision repair process to get your car fixed.


Insurance Claim

Immediately after an accident, your first step is to check on the safety of everyone involved. After checking on the people in the cars, call the police to file an accident report. The accident report will be important for documenting the collision and determining fault for the insurance claim.

Once you have the accident report and the vehicles have been removed from the accident scene, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. Your insurance agent will help you figure out what action to take next and may suggest where to tow your car if it needs it.

Your insurance carrier may prefer that you use a center within their network. Just because they may suggest a preferred auto body shop, that doesn’t mean they get to make the decision where to take your car for repairs. Your insurance coverage allows you to take your vehicle to body shop of your choice.

Related Post: What to do after a car accident



Free Repair EstimateOnce you have taken your car to an auto body repair shop, an inspection will be performed by a technician to determine the full extent of the damage. Parts may need to be removed to check for hidden damage behind them.

Your mechanic will document all damages and create a written estimate for the cost of the parts and labor. You will receive a copy of the estimate and a copy will need to be sent to your insurance company by either you or the shop. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the estimate and how long repairs may take.


Auto Body Repair

Dent Repair ServicesIf the accident caused enough damage to the vehicle and you have an older model car, this is the point in the process where your insurance company may determine that it is not cost effective to repair the vehicle. Car insurance companies label a vehicle a “total loss” when the cost to repair the vehicle to its pre-damaged state exceeds the cost of the vehicle’s worth or actual cash value.

You will need to receive approval from your auto insurance company before you can authorize the body shop to begin repairs. Let your mechanic know as soon as you have approval because they may need to order parts to complete all repairs.

You can ask the body shop if they will order aftermarket or OEM parts. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM are usually more expensive, but they’re often the preferred choice given the quality and warranty. Once the parts have arrived, the technician will complete the repairs.

The auto body shop should begin repairs as soon as they can. You should have received an estimate for how long this process will take.

It’s important to complete all mechanical repairs in conjunction with structural repairs if possible. First, they will get your car is structurally and mechanically sound. Then the bodywork can be worked on. Once bodywork is completed, all exterior parts will be straightened and prepared for paint.

Related Post: How to Choose an Auto Repair Shop


Auto Body Painting

Lococo After RepairThe final fix for your car will be the painting. An experienced technician will precisely match the shade of new paint to the existing paint on the car. The vehicle is prepped to ensure the surface is perfectly smooth and adhesive. Parts are sanded, the primer is applied, the base coat is applied, and a clear coat is added to protect the finish. After curing, the painted surfaces will be polished to a glossy finish.

Related Post: How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?


Detailing and Pre-Delivery

After repairs are completed, your car gets a wash and interior cleaning. The body paint is polished and surfaces cleaned and buffed. Your lights and safety components are checked and a quick test drive is done. At this point, if everything has gone well, it should be ready for delivery back to you.


Final Inspection

At this point, you should be able to return to the auto body shop and pick up your car. Your mechanic will give you a list of all repairs and expenses. Be sure to check your vehicle and make sure it is running normally.


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

You Can Be Liable for an Unsafe Vehicle

Unsafe vehicle

Unfortunately, over 2 million people in the USA are injured in car accidents every year.

Car accidents are most commonly caused by driver error. Sometimes though, accidents may be caused by an unsafe vehicle

If your car is in poor condition, you can be held liable and at fault for damage caused in an auto accident.

In this post, we’ll discuss how a poorly maintained or unsafe vehicle could cause you to be at fault, making you legally liable in an accident.


When You Are Liable for an Unsafe Car

You’ll be legally at fault in the following situations. These are all cases when you can be considered negligent by driving an unsafe vehicle.


You Don’t Maintain Your Car

Time for a spring check upIf you fail to maintain the safety of your car by getting it checked and repaired regularly, you may be deemed negligent. As a result, you’ll be legally liable for any damages.

Drivers and car owners have a “duty of reasonable care”.

This means that they are obligated to take steps to avoid harming or endangering other people. Failure to maintain a car falls under this umbrella.

Those involved in an accident can hire a personal injury lawyer to make a case against you.

Make sure that your brakes, lights, tires, and steering wheel are all in good working order. These are some of the most dangerous things to ignore on your car.


When You Let Someone Else Drive

You don’t need to be driving your car to be liable for damages.

If you let someone borrow your car, you could be held responsible for their actions while they’re driving your vehicle.

If you own a vehicle for business use, you can be held responsible for any accidents caused by employees who drive it.

You may also be liable if you are the owner of a family car, and a family member is involved in an accident while driving.


If there is ‘Negligent Entrustment’

Dog driving a carNegligent entrustment means that you allow a ‘reckless’, ‘unfit’, or ‘incompetent’ driver use your car.

If they cause an accident, you could be liable for any damages. This is not only because you have a dangerous car, but also because you’ve let a dangerous driver use it.

This would apply to the following types of people:

  • Underage drivers
  • Unlicensed drivers
  • Inexperienced drivers

Allowing someone who is too young to legally drive or doesn’t have a license to drive your car unsupervised is negligent entrustment.


Elderly Drivers

This applies to elderly individuals who would be deemed unfit to drive due to slow reaction times, sight problems, or other issues as a result of their age.


Intoxicated Drivers

If you allow someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to drive your car, you could be liable. This could also apply if the individual is sober but likely to become intoxicated while using your car. An example of this would be if you loan your car to someone with a known addiction or history of substance abuse.


Reckless Drivers

This may apply when you allow someone with a history of reckless driving to drive your car.


Keep Your Car Safe

It’s important to keep your car in tip-top condition. Regular maintenance will not only ensure that it’s roadworthy but could also help keep you legally protected.


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities.

Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Takata Airbag Recall

Takata Airbag Recall

Image by Pixabay



Have you heard about the massive airbag recall for vehicles which contain a certain model of Takata airbags?

The recall of Takata airbags recently expanded to include an additional 3.3 million faulty airbag inflators, making it now the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

This is a serious issue that affected millions of cars. At least 20 people have been killed worldwide and more than 180 injured.

19 automakers have recalled up to 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles. The problem brought a criminal conviction and fine against Takata and forced the Japanese company Talata into bankruptcy protection.

What you might not know is that the oldest of these airbags, referred to as “Alphas,” pose a 50 percent risk of a type of failure that has caused serious injuries and deaths. Nine of the 15 confirmed U.S. fatalities due to Takata ruptures were Alpha airbags.

While the majority of these airbags have been replaced, thousands are still on the road.

If you are unsure about the status and safety of your airbag, please contact us at (815) 485-8411. We are experienced in airbag replacement and repair.


What’s wrong with your airbag?

“All recalled Takata airbags have a serious safety defect. Exposure to high heat and humidity over time can cause metal parts inside the airbag to explode and shoot out of the airbag at the driver or passengers.

Testing shows that older airbags in places with hot and humid weather are more likely to have an airbag that could explode. Some airbags are not currently dangerous but will need to be replaced in the future.

Many are not safe right now and must be replaced immediately.”

Information from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


What vehicles are affected by the airbag recall?


  • 2008-13 1 Series
  • 2000-13 3 Series
  • 2002-03 5 Series
  • 2011-15 X1
  • 2007-10 X3
  • 2003-13 X5
  • 2008-14 X6
  • 2010-11 X6 Hybrid

Chrystler – Fiat

  • 2005-15 Chrysler 300
  • 2007-09 Chrysler Aspen
  • 2007-08 Chrysler Crossfire
  • 2008-14 Dodge Challenger
  • 2006-15 Dodge Dakota
  • 2005-11 Dodge Dakota
  • 2004-09 Dodge Durango
  • 2005-08 Dodge Magnum
  • 2003-08 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2003-09 Dodge Ram 2500
  • 2003-10 Dodge Ram 3500
  • 2007-16 Jeep Wrangler


  • 2010-15 458 Italia
  • 2014-15 458 Speciale
  • 2015 458 Speciale A
  • 2012-15 458 Spider
  • 2016-17 488 GTB
  • 2016-17 488 Spider
  • 2009-14 California
  • 2015-17 California T
  • 2013-17 F12
  • 2016-17 F12 TDF
  • 2016 F60
  • 2012-16 FF
  • 2017 GTC4Lusso

Ford – Lincoln

  • 2007-10 Ford Edge
  • 2006-12 Ford Fusion
  • 2005-06 Ford GT
  • 2005-14 Ford Mustang
  • 2004-11 Ford Ranger
  • 2007-10 Lincoln MKX
  • 2006-12 Lincoln Zephyr/MKX
  • 2006-11 Mercury Milan

GM – Cadillac – Saab

  • 2007-14 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007-14 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2007-13 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007-14 Chevrolet Silverado heavy-duty
  • 2007-13 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007-14 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2007-14 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007-14 GMC Sierra heavy-duty
  • 2007-13 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007-14 GMC Yukon
  • 2007-14 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2003-10 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2005-06 Saab 9-2X
  • 2006-11 Saab 9-3
  • 2006-09 Saab 9-5
  • 2008-09 Saturn Astra

Honda – Acura

  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2002-03 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2013-16 Acura ILX
  • 2013-14 Acura ILX Hybrid
  • 2003-06 Acura MDX
  • 2007-16 Acura RDX
  • 2005-12 Acura RL
  • 2009-14 Acura TL
  • 2009-14 Acura TSX
  • 2010-13 Acura ZDX
  • 2001-12 Honda Accord
  • 2001-11 Honda Civic
  • 2003-11 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2001-11 Honda Civic NGV
  • 2010-15 Honda Crosstour
  • 2002-11 Honda CR-V
  • 2011-15 Honda CR-Z
  • 2003-11 Honda Element
  • 2010-14 Honda FX Clarity
  • 2007-13 Honda Fit
  • 2013-14 Honda Fit EV
  • 2010-14 Honda Insight
  • 2002-04 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-15 Honda Pilot
  • 2006-14 Honda Ridgeline

Jaguar – Landrover

  • 2009-15 Jaguar XF
  • 2007-12 Land Rover Range Rover


  • 2004-09 B-Series
  • 2007-12 CX-7
  • 2007-15 CX-9
  • 2003-11 Mazda6
  • 2006-07 Mazdaspeed6
  • 2004-06 MPV
  • 2004-11 RX-8


  • 2010-17 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • 2005-14 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • 2010-11 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • 2011-17 Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabriolet
  • 2010-17 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe
  • 2009-12 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
  • 2010-15 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
  • 2009-10 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class
  • 2009-12 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
  • 2007-08 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
  • 2011-15 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class
  • 2007-09 Dodge Sprinter
  • 2007-17 Freightliner Sprinter

Vehicle recall information is from Please contact your vehicle manufacturer for the most up-to-date information.


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Summer Driving Tips

Summer driving tips

Summer driving tips

With summer road trip season about to begin, the car safety blog Carwise has released a list of summer driving tips to help keep you, your family and vehicle safe for your summer vacation.

It won’t surprise you to hear that more Americans travel during the summer months than any other time of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 90% of families will use their car to go on a trip, even if it’s only for a weekend.

All these vehicles on the road mean that there are more opportunities for car accidents to occur. Besides busier roads with more cars, there will be more road construction during the summer as well. Extreme heat and rain can also increase the chance of accidents.

You owe it to yourself to take a few extra steps to help ensure you have a safe trip.

Here are some safe summer driving suggestions originally published by Carwise.

Make sure your vehicle is ready for extended trips

Prior to embarking on your vacation have a mechanic inspect your vehicle’s brakes, tires, belts, hoses, fluid levels, A/C, transmission, and oil. In the summer heat, it’s also important to make sure that your car stays hydrated just like your body. That means inspecting the radiator, radiator hoses, and coolant level. Right before setting out on your trip also check the following:

  • car maintenanceTire pressure including the spare
  • Wiper blades
  • Battery strength and cable connections
  • Oil level
  • Look for suspicious fluid leaks underneath the vehicle
  • Headlights, brake lights, turn signals and emergency signals

The last thing you need while transporting your family cross-country is to get stranded alongside the road in the blistering heat. Instead, make sure that your car is as road-ready as possible.

Related post: Spring Car Maintenance Checklist


Plan for potential roadside emergencies

Planning in advance will still never totally eliminate the occasional travel emergency, but you can be ready for anything the road sends your way. Make sure that your car is stocked with these items:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Tire tools and a road-ready spare
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Plenty of water
  • Hazard triangle or road flares

If you are going to be traveling many miles across sparsely-inhabited areas, like a desert, it’s also not a bad idea to pack some non-perishable food items and warm blankets.

Related post: Top check engine light causes


Secure pets and kids safely

Any parent who’s gone on a summer car vacation with kids knows that Johnny and Susie oftentimes end up fighting in the back seat. Insurance industry studies have found that kids and loose pets can be up to 12X more distracting to a driver than a cellphone.

To improve those odds, make sure that your family pets are secure in the vehicle before setting out, and that the kids are comfortably spaced about inside the interior. Bring along plenty of entertainment items for them like books, games, IPads, movies, and music. And don’t forget to pack lots of healthy snacks and drinks for your family members, including the non-human ones!


Pack your car carefully

When the average family goes on a driving vacation their vehicle is usually stuffed full of personal items, and oftentimes cars get packed in a hurry. Take time to make sure that the weight is distributed evenly, and that the driver has a clean line-of-sight all around the vehicle. If you are placing bicycles, kayaks, or other “toys” on the roof rack, know how high those items stick up if you encounter low bridges or tree limbs, along with the weight limit of the rack itself.


Take driving breaks

It seems that most men are programmed with the notion that they have to do most of the vacation driving. Unfortunately, they get fatigued like everyone else, and when that happens the likelihood of an accident goes way up as reaction times and concentration suffer. On long trips when there’s only one driver in the vehicle, it’s advisable to stop at a rest area and allow them to take a stretch break every 2 to 3 hours. If other drivers are available, everyone should take turns behind the wheel while others nap or simply relax for a while. A fresh driver is a safer driver no matter how you slice it!


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

Time for a spring check up

You did it! You survived another Chicagoland winter.

It seemed like it would last forever, but it is over and now you can enjoy warm weather again.

Now that spring is here, and summer is around the corner, it’s time to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the change in seasons as well.

In this post, we share our spring car maintenance checklist to get you and your car ready for summer driving.


Spring Car Care Checklist

Check vehicle exterior

  • Headlights and tail lights
  • Wiper blades
  • Tire tread wear
  • Tire pressure
  • Check for chips or scratches
  • Clean and wax your car

Wiper blades should be replaced every 6-9 months because they directly affect your visibility and safety. Check your tires for wear. Uneven wear on your tires can indicate an alignment issue. Your tire pressure can fluctuate during cold weather so it should be checked after winter.


Check under the hood

  • car maintenanceOil change
  • Battery and connections
  • Hoses and belts
  • Schedule a tune-up

A change in seasons is always a good time to get an oil change to keep your car running efficiently. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. Make sure your belts and hoses are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or excessively worn.


Check your fluids

  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Windshield washer solvent
  • Antifreeze/coolant

Now is a great time to check the levels of all your vehicle fluids. If you take your car in for a professional oil change, make sure they are checking fluid levels.



  • Check brakes
  • Check your air conditioning
  • Check for any leaking fluids on your driveway
  • Check for any vehicle recalls

Inspect your brake linings, rotors and drums for wear. Check your air conditioning now instead of waiting until the first 90-degree day to find out it’s not working.

Check if there is a defect in your vehicle on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at by using the VIN look-up too.


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

What to Do After a Car Accident

Car accident collision repair

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can prepare yourself for a car accident and what you should do after you have been in one.

Almost everyone will end up in a car accident at some point. Maybe you already have been. We certainly hope when it happens that the accident is minor and nothing is damaged other than vehicles, which can be repaired.

It’s best to be prepared and know what to do after an accident before it happens. Once you’ve been in a collision, it can be a challenge to think straight because your adrenaline has kicked in and you can be feeling stressed or panicked.

It should be obvious that if anyone has been injured, you should call 911 right away. That’s the first thing to do. Let’s make a list of the other things you should do after an accident.


What to do after a car accidentFront end collision

  • Safely move vehicles and call police
  • Don’t admit guilt or apologize
  • Exchange information
  • Take photos of the accident
  • Notify your insurance company
  • Get your car to an auto repair shop


Safely move vehicles and call police

Most importantly, check on everyone in your car and the other vehicle and make sure they are okay. Call 911 immediately if there are injuries. If there are any injuries involved or you are uncertain about the safety of driving the car, leave it where it is.

If the vehicles can still be driven, then they should be moved safely to the side of the road and out of the main roadway. Not only will this keep traffic moving, but having stationary vehicles in a roadway or intersection can be dangerous to people in the car and other drivers.

Move to the side, put your car into park, turn the engine off and put your hazard lights on. Consider using warning flares, cones, or warning triangles, set them up around your vehicles so they are protected and steer traffic away.

Related: The most common types of car accidents


Don’t admit guilt or apologize

In order to protect yourself legally, you should not admit that the accident was your fault. When you talk to the other driver, keep it formal and state the facts without admission of guilt. An accident can make you emotional, and you could admit fault even when legally, it may not be. This could make your situation difficult further down the line if there is a court case, and your insurance premiums can go higher.  Let the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault.


Exchange information

While you wait for the police to arrive, make sure you get the other driver’s personal and insurance information.

Collect this information after a car accident:

  • Name, address, phone number, email of driver
  • License plate number
  • Make and model of car
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Accident address or location
  • Contact information for witnesses
  • Name of the police officer at the scene


Take photos of the accident

Don’t assume you’ll remember all the details of the accident; take photos and make sure you have all the details and evidence you may need. Use your phone camera to take photographs of the accident scene, damages to both vehicles, the surrounding area or intersection, and any injuries or other people involved.

After you have taken photos, write down a summary of what happened. Describe the accident and the moments leading up to it in detail. This will make it easier to give information to the police and your insurance company afterward and may help you in a legal or insurance dispute.

Related: Five things that ruin your resale value


Notify your insurance company

Our Probst mechaniics are ASE, ICAR or Manufacturer trainedBefore leaving the accident scene, you should call your insurance company or agent and explain your side of the story. Be truthful and share all facts, because misrepresenting your accident could potentially result in a claim denial.  If your car is unsafe to drive from the scene, your insurance company will tell you what steps to take, including maybe even an approved towing company. You can also find out if the body shop you intend to use is in their approved network or alternately, who to use instead.


Get your car to an auto repair shop

This situation can be stressful, but getting your car to an auto body repair shop quickly for dent removal will help get your car back to you as soon as possible. Hopefully, you already have a trusted shop, but if not, read this article about how to choose an auto repair shop.


Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Main article image by Daveynin used via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) 

How to Choose an Auto Repair Shop

It can definitely be stressful when something goes wrong with your car. Whether it’s engine problems or dent removal after a car accident, you want to get your car fixed right at a fair price.

How do you choose the right auto repair shop though? Every town has plenty of places to get your car fixed but it can be tough to find a mechanic you can trust. We’ve all heard horror stories about unethical auto shops. Some of us have unfortunately experienced it too.

In this post, we review tips to help you find a good mechanic for your car.


Tips for finding the right auto repair shop

  1. Our Probst mechaniics are ASE, ICAR or Manufacturer trainedAsk your friends. When it’s time to spend money on repairs, there’s nothing like a referral from a good friend who has experience with the auto shop. A lot of repair shops get by entirely on referrals. Their work is of such high quality, their word-of-mouth is enough to generate new customers.
  2. Choose a repair shop with ASE-certified technicians. The credentials and affiliations awarded to a shop and its employees help show they are professional, well trained and “on the level. Everyone in our shop has ASE, ICAR or Manufacturer training in their personal area of operation within our system of restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition. (Read: Why Choose Us?)
  3. Choose a repair shop that is clean and well organized. Cleanliness and organization are signs of a well-run business. It’s not hard to look at the outside of a business and start to gain an impression of how the place is run. Is the waiting room clean and inviting or a dirty afterthought? It helps demonstrate their commitment to quality.
  4. See how they treat customers. Are customers greeted in a friendly manner? Are they treated with respect? Do the people that work there seem to enjoy their jobs or hate being there? Sometimes a phone call to the repair shop will show you all you need to know about how they treat customers.
  5. Make sure the give written estimates. Sure there are businesses you may trust with a verbal estimate and a handshake, but when it’s your first time dealing with the business, you want to get their quote in writing. They should give you a written estimate and request your signature before they do any repairs on your car.
  6. See if they offer warranties. Most auto repair businesses stand behind their work and will offer you a warranty on parts and labor.
  7. Shop around before an emergency. Don’t wait until you’re in a tough spot and are forced to take your car to the closest shop. Ask your friends and do your research ahead of time and lower your stress and the chances you’ll pick the wrong mechanic.


Need a mechanic you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repair, airbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Top Check Engine Light Causes

Check Engine Light

Is your check engine light on? Then it is time to visit the auto repair shop

Sometimes when the light comes on, people want to avoid getting the car looked at because they’re afraid of an expensive repair bill.

The problem is, the longer you put off that repair, the worse the damage can get and the more expensive your repair bill will end up being.

You’ll need to get that check engine light turned off anyway, or your vehicle won’t be able to pass the Illinois vehicle emissions test.


Why is my check engine light on?

If your check engine light is on, it’s usually one of five most common reasons. We’ll expand that list a little further to cover the top ten most common causes of your engine light turning on. The chances are very high that one of the items on this list is causing your issue.


Most common reasons check engine light is on

  • Check Engine LightGas Cap
  • Oxygen Sensor
  • Catalytic Converter
  • Mass Airflow Sensor
  • Spark Plug or Spark Plug Wiring
  • EVAP Purge Control Valve
  • EVAP Purge Solenoid
  • Ignition Coils
  • Thermostat


How much will it cost to fix my check engine light issue?

Gas Cap – A loose gas cap is one of the most common reasons why the check engine light turns on. Sometimes the cap will need to be replaced, but this won’t be an expensive fix. Will cost around $20.

Oxygen Sensor – The oxygen sensor is the part that monitors unburned oxygen from the exhaust and how much fuel is burned. A faulty sensor means it’s not providing the right data to the computer and causes a decrease in gas mileage. This will cost on average around $200, but if it’s not fixed, it can harm the catalytic converter and then you’ll have a really expensive bill.

Catalytic Converter – This is one of the most common issues and the list, and unfortunately, also the most expensive. It will cost in the range of $1,200 or more. We hope you’ll be able to get your engine checked before it damages the catalytic converter. Normally it will last the life of your car, unless you ignore other issues.

Mass Airflow Sensor – The mass air flow sensor controls the flow of air coming into your car’s engine, which determines how much fuel to inject into the engine. An issue with it can hurt your fuel economy by 10%-25%. It will cost on average $350-$400.

Spark Plug or Spark Plug Wiring – When spark plugs fail, they can cause the engine to misfire and hurt gas mileage. Ignoring issues with spark plugs can result in permanent damage to your catalytic converter. If only the spark plugs need replacing, it can be easy and cheap to do it yourself. If you have to go to a mechanic and also replace wiring, it can cost $200-$300

EVAP Purge Control Valve – This valve prevents vapors from the gas tank from being released into the atmosphere and channels them into a charcoal canister to be burned in the engine. Replacing it can cause $175-$200.

EVAP Purge Solenoid – The solenoid is another part of the EVAP system that controls how much fuel vapor escapes into the atmosphere. It will wear out over time and it will cost around $200 to replace.

Ignition Coils – Ignition coils are used to provide an ignition source for the fuel to combust in an engine. The average cost to replace ignition coils will be around $250.

Thermostat – The thermostat is responsible for regulating the engine coolant temperature to warm and cool your vehicle. This may cost $200-$250 to replace.


Need a mechanic you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411


Image: Check engine light photo by Wikiuser100000 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

 Paintless Dent Repair

What is paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair is a method of removing minor dents from the body of a car or truck to return it to its original condition without major work or expense of repainting.

It is not available on all types of dents to an auto, only minor creases, dents, and dings where the paint is not chipped or scratched.

Some people have the ability to do this work at home themselves if they have the right tools. It’s recommended for most people that you instead have an auto body repair shop do the work for you instead. They can do it quickly, affordably, and make sure the job is done right.

Related: Most common types of car accidents


Paintless dent removal steps

Assess the dent – Examine the dent to see if it is possible to remove with paintless dent removal (PDR). How big is the dent? Can you get to it?

Gain entry to the damage – To remove most dents, you will need to be able to gain access to the back side of the dent. This may require removing exterior or interior panels in order to get a path to it.

Get the best view of the dent – Trained mechanics use special lights to get a good look at the dent. The light will reveal the full damage on the inside of the panel and show what needs to be pushed out.

Apply slow pressure to work out the dent – Once you have accessed the dent and have a good view, then you can use specialized tools to slowly “massage” the exterior back to its original position.

Related: Five things that ruin your car resale value


Benefits of paintless dent repair

When dents are removed using PDR, the original factory finish is preserved and there is no need for grinding the paint off, using Bondo, primers, or sealers. This makes it simpler than conventional body repair work and environment-friendly because no chemicals or toxic materials are used.

Because your original factory paint is preserved, you can avoid problems with color matching any new paint.

Modern vehicle factory paints are more flexible than paint on older vehicles and will not be damaged by paintless dent removal when done by an experienced technician. Dents will not come back at a later date because the metal was properly restored to pre-accident condition.

The main benefit of all these is that paintless dent repair is more affordable than collision repair. No parts, no paint, no primers or sealers and less time all mean that you get a more affordable repair bill at the end.


Need professional paintless dent removal?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels

How to Avoid Winter Breakdowns

                             How to Avoid Winter Breakdowns

Winter is the hardest time for all of us when it comes to health or vehicles. As the changes in season are predictable, so are the breakdowns of the car.

It is always a clever idea to prepare yourself to avoid the winter breakdowns.


Avoid dead car battery

Nothing spoils a day quicker than a dead car battery. No matter how expensive your ride, it still has a lead-acid battery under the hood. The average lifespan of the car battery is around 4 to 5 years. It’s always good to get them tested. The test is cheap and most of the shops complete the load test on your battery at no cost.

It’s also easy to discharge a good battery in normal winter driving; if you’re stuck in slow traffic during a short run on a freezing day, you can run a battery down with excessive use of electrical accessories combined with lower engine speeds. If you are a daily traveler you can give your battery a fighting chance by turning off the accessories for the last few miles before turning it off for the rest of the day.


Flooded engine

There are vehicles that come with independent ignition coils on the spark plug that are not as prone to cold weather failures. But there are also some cars that face problems during every winter. When the spark plug is worn their electric supply cables become deteriorated, that makes it easy for the injected engines to flood in the cold start. To be safe it is required to check the system in every 100 miles and maintenance is required.


Related Post: Winter checklist 


Frozen Doors/locks/ windows:

If you ever bought silicone spray you can save it for the winters and use it to protect your doors, windows, and locks before they freeze. When the temperature is hot during the winters, you can apply that silicone spray on the door locks and windows. Don’t try to substitute just any lubricating spray for these jobs. If there are any oil compounds in the spray they will deteriorate rubber weather-seals and certain plastics faster.


Flat Tires:

If your car is older than six years that means your tire needs inspections since you can be driving the leaky wheel rims. The alloys can create some leaks as the time passes and because of the leaks, the tire rubbers can seal. The minor leaks in the warm weather can be risky in the chilly weather. An effortless way to test your wheels is to wipe a sudsy wet wash-mitt on the rim’s edge (where the rubber meets the metal) and look for bubbles caused by escaping air. Applying the coats on the wheel can keep the leak away.



Need your car repaired after a winter accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair and dent removal in the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Picture source: Autofinity