Archive for the ‘Body Shop Insider Tips!’ Category

Auto Insurance Tips

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

A little known aspect of insurance policies here in California, is that Comprehensive claims don’t raise premiums! These claims are typically: vandalism, flying objects (i.e. baseballs, rocks & golf balls), sand damage, hail damage, damage from objects that were driven by high winds, damage from animals (including damage done to a wiring harness from chewing rodents), spills inside the vehicle cabin (i.e. milk, ink, motor oil). Please check your own policy to see what’s included in the comprehensive catagory.

Keep your comprehensive deductible low. $500 might be okay on a collision deductible where one tries to never make a claim, but Comprehensive deductibles should be kept low due to the difference in consequences of making a claim. Some insurance companies still offer a zero dollar deductible. Yes you will pay a little more, but the benefits far outweigh the added expense. As an example, I recommended a customer with a Corvette to reduce his Comprehensive deductible from $500.00 to $0. Almost a year later I had a chance to talk with him and ask him if he’d taken my advice. He said yes, and that it had only cost him an additional $5/month. A single windshield replacement from rock damage would pay for years of this wonderful coverage.       

If a collision claim is under $750.00, most insurance companies won’t apply a rate increase to your policy.

Avoiding Damage

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Try not to park beside two door cars when searching for a parking space. Two door vehicles basically have “door and a half” doors that require much more room for the occupant to squeeze out from their car, thereby causing their door to rub against, and possibly ding your vehicle as they enter or exit their car.

Clean off bird droppings as soon as possible. The acids in the droppings are notorious for etching into the paint doing permanent damage.

Parking brakes can be inadequate in holding a vehicle from rolling backwards down a hill. We’ve had clients that thought they’d fully set their parking brake, only to find their car had rolled down the hill later. Many parking brake systems have self-adjusters that operate while the car is being backed up. Consequently, this design can prevent the parking brake from holding the car from rolling backwards after the brake has been set.   

Try and set your parking brake prior to placing the gear selector into Park when on an incline. Should the vehicle move between the time it’s put into park and when you apply the parking brake, it can put the transmission/gear selector into a bind making it difficult to put the vehicle back into Drive or Reverse later.

Try and avoid pulling over concrete parking stops whenever possible. Especially those where the anchoring steel rebar hasn’t been driven down flush with the stop’s top. We’ve had customers show up with their bumper covers completely torn off after backing away from a concrete stop that had its rebar sticking up. Try and stop at a point before your car’s bumper travels over the concrete stop.

Keep an eye on your tire pressure. Low tire pressure is probably the number one cause of early tire wear. The recommended factory tire pressures are usually listed on a label located on one of the door openings.

Drive with your headlamps on during the day. Some models already come equipped from the manufacturer with daytime driving lights, but not all. Volvo did some studies years ago and discovered that accident frequency was dramatically reduced by simply driving with your headlights on during the day.

Try to never leave valuables in your car where they can be seen. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard customers say they left their iPod, laptop, cell phone, etc. in their car only to have the vehicle broken into and the item(s) stolen, usually by breaking a window.