Is Hail Damage Covered by Car Insurance?

Hail damage to car

Hail damage to car

Weather in this area can be crazy sometimes. Snow one day and sunny skies the next. Sixty degrees today and twenty degrees tomorrow.

The weatherperson on the news will try and predict the weather but we’ve all seen how sometimes no one can, even the professionals.

One type of weather incident that can sneak up on people is hailstorms.

A hailstorm can quickly come out of nowhere and cause a lot of damage to your vehicle.

If your car is parked outside during a bad hailstorm, you might just come outside afterward and discover a lot of dents on your car.

That will leave you wondering: Is hail damage covered by my car insurance?

 

Does car insurance cover hail damage?

It depends. If you carry the right type of car insurance coverage, your hail damage should be covered by your policy.

When you purchase comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, hail and storm damage to your car should be covered. Comprehensive auto insurance will protect you against theft, vandalism, and even hitting a deer, so purchasing “full” coverage could save you a lot of money down the line.

If you have basic liability only coverage, your hail damage will not be covered.

 

Hail damage to your car

The cost for repairing damage from hail to your car can sometimes surprise you. This is because the hail damage is usually spread across the entire vehicle: your roof, trunk, hood, and even side panels. That can create a lot of dents to remove.

Hopefully, you will have comprehensive insurance to help cover these costs.

It might seem like just a few dents, but hail damage can really affect the resale value of your car. It will be worth going through the dent removal process to get them taken out. If the damage is really bad, it might even require some auto body work or auto painting.

 

Deductible

Hail damage to carYour deductible is determined when you purchase car insurance on your vehicle. Most insurance companies require a deductible on comprehensive insurance, but sometimes a zero deductible plan is available.

If you have a deductible on your comprehensive coverage, you will need to pay this amount at the time you have your vehicle repaired. The cost to repair your hail damage will almost always exceed your deductible.

 

Can my car be “totaled” by hail damage?

Yes, it is possible if your car is old enough and the damage is bad enough, that hail could total your car for insurance purposes.

This would be most likely if you are driving an older vehicle. The insurance adjuster might decide that the cost of repairs is not worth repairing compared to the resale value of your car.

 

Fixing hail damage to your car

Free Repair EstimateIf your car has sustained hail damage, call your insurance agent right away. They will tell you the next steps you need to take and advise you how to file. You may be able to file the claim right there on the phone.

Make sure you take photos so that you have evidence of the damage for both your insurance company and your own records.

You will likely have to fill out a claim form. Your agent will advise you on when to seek a repair estimate.

 

Does filing a hail damage claim raise my insurance cost?

Hail damage is an “Act of God” that should not affect your insurance premiums.

 

We’re here to help

Not only will Probst Collision repair any hail damage to your car, but we are also happy to help you with handling your insurance claims. We want to help you get your car back like new as soon as possible.

 

Need an auto body 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

Holiday Car Travel Tips

Be safe. Drive smart.

Be safe. Drive smart.In this post, we share holiday car travel and safety tips from the NHTSA and the Car Care Council to help keep you and your family safe.

For many people, the holiday season means a road trip to visit family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tens of millions of Americans will be taking car trips during the holiday season.

A downside to this is that more cars on the road mean more opportunities for car accidents. Not only are there more cars but there can be unpredictable and extreme weather conditions.

You can’t control the weather or the traffic but you can make sure that your car is fully prepared for the trip.

The non-profit Car Care Council advises checking the following items as part of your pre-trip safety vehicle check.

 

Car safety check for the holidays

  • Wear seat beltsCheck your brakes and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  • Check your filters and fluids: engine oil, power steering, brake fluid,  transmission fluid, windshield washer solvent, antifreeze/coolant.
  • Make sure your heaters, defrosters, and windshield wipers are working. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  • Check your hoses and belts that can and make sure they are not loose, cracked, brittle, frayed or show excessive wear.
  • Check your tire pressure and tread. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check that your exterior and interior lights and headlights are all working.
  • Check how long it has been since your last tune-up and oil change and have it serviced if it is close to being due.

Related: Winter checklist for your car

 

Holiday driving tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has offered the following safe driving tips for the holiday season.

  • Don't text and driveTravel at a safe speed – Drive at the speed limit, unless weather or road conditions make it so that you should drive slower. Driving at the speed limit when there is snow on the road can sometimes be too fast. Drive safely in work zones and use caution driving at night.
  • Don’t drive distracted – No texting while driving and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Wear a seatbelt – Wearing your seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash. In 2017 alone, seat belts saved 14,955 lives. If everyone had worn seat belts on every trip that year, 2,549 more lives could have been saved.
  • Make sure children are always buckled or secured in age-appropriate car seats. Since 1975, 11,606 children ages 4 and under have been saved by child restraints. There were 325 children saved in 2017 alone.
  • Drive Sober – It’s the law! It can also be a matter of life and death. Designate a sober driver if you plan on drinking. In 2017, there were 10,874 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers legally drunk. These unfortunate deaths are entirely preventable.

Related: How to avoid winter car breakdowns

 


Need an auto body repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repairdent removalmechanical 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


 

Symptoms of Bad Car Thermostat

Thermostat for car

 

Your car thermostat is a critical part that keeps your car running smoothly. A bad car thermostat can damage your engine and cost you thousands of dollars.

This is why it’s important to know the signs of a bad car thermostat that isn’t working how it should.

In this post, we review the symptoms of a bad car thermostat so you can know the signs and get it fixed right away.

 

Symptoms of a broken car thermostat:

  • Overheating
  • Under Heating
  • Temperature Fluctuations
  • Poor Engine Performance

Keep reading for explanations on these symptoms.

 

Car engine with thermostatHow a car thermostat works

A vehicle thermostat regulates the flow of coolant flowing to the engine.

Here’s how it works: When the engine has been sitting for a while and is not warm, the thermostat will be closed. When the engine is running and has reached the operating temperature, a sensor will cause it to open. This allows coolant to and from the radiator, decreasing the temperature so it can be recirculated through the engine again.

This constant flow keeps your engine functioning at the correct temperature and prevents overheating.

 

Overheating

Because your thermostat controls temperature of fluids from the radiator hose, a bad thermostat will cause your car to overheat.

When the engine temperature has reached the operating level, it should allow coolant to flow to the engine and regulate the heat. If the thermostat becomes stuck in the closed position, antifreeze doesn’t flow from the radiator, causing overheating.

This problem can be caused by other issues, such as leaking hoses, but if you’re car is overheating, be sure to have the thermostat checked.

 

Temperature guageUnder Heating

When the thermostat becomes locked in the open setting, it will lead to engine under heating. This will cause the coolant to constantly move into the engine whether it is hot enough to need it. This will cause the engine to run too cool.

If you drive your vehicle for longer than a few minutes and the needle on the temperature gauge never seems to go up, you should check your thermostat.

 

Temperature Fluctuation

If you notice your engine temperature changing erratically, this could very well be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat.  The issue with the thermostat is not that is stuck in the open or close position, but that it cannot read the temperature correctly and regulate the temperature like it should.

 

Poor Engine Performance

When your engine temperature is running too high, too low, or constantly fluctuating erratically, the engine performance will suffer. You may notice your gas mileage seems lower than usual. Over time, this can become damaging to the engine and expensive to fix.

 

Thermostat for car

What to do if you notice these symptoms

If you are noticing these issues, you should check your car’s thermostat or have a professional look at it for you.

For many do-it-yourself types, it is not too difficult to remove and test the thermostat yourself.

If you would like us to check your thermostat, call 815-485-8411

 

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

 

How to Prevent Odometer Fraud

Odometer

The NHSTA has issued a consumer advisory to warn the public about the threat of odometer fraud.

Estimates from the NHSTA say that more than 450,000 vehicles per year are sold with false odometer readings. That’s a lot of fraud!

With numbers that large, car buyers need to be aware so they can take steps to protect themselves.

In this post, we review steps you can take to help protect yourself from odometer fraud during the car buying process.

 

Protect yourself from odometer fraud

With hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the United States having potentially fraudulent odometer readings, you need to protect yourself when buying a car.

Check Engine LightIn September 2018, a father and son team from Mississippi plead guilty to a large scale odometer rollback scheme. They were buying large numbers of high mileage vehicles from various sources and altering the odometers to show a lower mileage. They also created fake paperwork to secure new titles showing the false lower mileage on the vehicles, so they could then resell them to individuals and auto dealerships at inflated prices.

This is not the first case like this. There is both large and small odometer fraud happening every day.

Knowing the lifetime mileage of a car is a good indicator of how many miles it may have left. The sale price of a used car is heavily influenced by the number of miles. Buying a car with a rolled-back odometer likely means paying more than it is worth.

Related post: What is my car worth?

Not only will a vehicle with its mileage reduced sell for an inflated price, but it will also deceive you about the potential durability and safety of the vehicle. You are both overpaying and increasing the chances you will have to spend more money on upkeep and repairs.

A car with the odometer rolled back is a rip-off worth protecting yourself from.

 

How to prevent odometer fraud

According to the NHTSA, you should take these steps to protect yourself from odometer fraud:

  • Ask to see the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle’s odometer. Be sure to examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is not easy to read.
  • Digital odometers can be reprogrammed to display a lower or false mileage. Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage indicated on the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records. Also, search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box or under the hood.
  • Examine the tires. If the odometer on your car shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires.
  • Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle—especially the gas, brake, and clutch pedals—to be sure it seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles displayed on the odometer.
  • Request a vehicle history report to check for odometer discrepancies in the vehicle’s history. If the seller does not have a vehicle history report, use the car’s VIN to order a vehicle history report online.
  • If you suspect fraud, contact NHTSA and local law enforcement

OdometerAnother effective way to prevent odometer fraud is to purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report for any used car you are seriously considering buying.

Some used car dealers even offer them for free as a service to their customers. It costs $40 for a CARFAX report or $60 for three reports if you are looking at multiple vehicles.

Good luck with your search for a used vehicle! We can help inspect any car you’re interested in purchasing.

To report odometer fraud to the NHTSA call 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236. You can also file a complaint online at NHTSA.gov/Equipment/Odometer-Fraud.

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repairdent removalmechanical 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

 

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

 

Estimate

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

 

AIRBAG RECALL AFFECTS MILLIONS OF CARS

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?

BMW

  • 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

Ferrari

  • 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

Mazda

  • 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

Mercedes-Benz

  • 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 cars.com. 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.

 

Other

  • 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 nhtsa.gov/recalls 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)