My car was damaged in a parking lot!

With all the odd maneuverings happening in parking lots around Tuscon, it’s no surprise that hundreds of cars we’ve repaired suffered from parking lot damage.  You have people pulling into spaces, people double parking, certain maniacs (you know who you are) cutting across parking spots, and all sorts of chaos happening—not to mention pedestrians, kids on skateboards, and runaway shopping carts.  Yes, parking lots are just asking for trouble.  So what do you do if your car has become another casualty in the great parking lot wars?

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Why was my car totaled?

For many of us, the type of car we buy carries a lot of meaning.  We spend hours researching the make, model, and color that is perfect for us, then agonize over the price, and finally give our trusty new car a name as we’re driving it home for the first time.  Yeah, our cars are a big deal.  So it can be devastating to learn that yours has been totaled if you’ve been through an accident here in Tucson or Green Valley.  You might be wondering why the insurance adjustor has decided that your car is not worth the cost of repairing it—especially if it still looks salvageable to you.  Well, there are several factors involved in an appraiser’s assessment and here are main four:

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How can I prevent the clear coat failure of my car paint?

Have you ever seen a car here in Tucson with paint that seems to be peeling away from itself?  What you’ve seen is what we refer to as “delamination, which is where the top layer of paint (the clear coat) begins to separate from the layer of paint beneath it.  Delamination can leave a vehicle with flaking rough patches as if the owner had taken sandpaper to it.  It is certainly not pretty and the bad news is that it gets exponentially worse over time.

So how can you prevent this from happening to your car?

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What is included in your collision repair estimate?

When you bring your car into a body shop in Tucson or Green Valley to get repaired, the shop should provide you with an estimate for their services.  And I bet the last thing you probably want to do after being in an accident is to spend any extra time trying to understand what your estimate entails.  So let me break it down for you.

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When will my car be ready?

Having an accident is stressful enough, but being without your own vehicle for even one day can just compound the stress you’re feeling.  So when you take your car to an auto body shop here in Tuscon or the Green Valley area, you probably want to know how long it will take to get it back.  Well, besides the time it takes for an insurance company adjustor to see your vehicle and the auto technician to make repairs, it can also take some time for your car parts to arrive at the shop.

What’s the hold up on getting the parts your vehicle needs?  It usually boils down to these factors:

How a quality body shop can save you more than time and money

It might seem obvious that it is in your best interests to select a quality auto body shop when your vehicle is in need of repairs, but the truth is that many of us are more concerned about our wallets and our time.  We want a repair done for as cheap as possible and as quickly as possible.  It’s understandable—when you’re in an accident, it’s not something you had expected to have happen that day.  And it can be a real hassle to deal with insurance or to be without your vehicle for several days, let alone to take the time to find a really good body shop in Tucson or Green Valley to bring your car to.

But the real truth is that a quality repair for your car is ultimately better for both your wallet and your time.  So, instead of bringing your car to some acquaintance who took auto shop in high school or to Bubba down on the corner who can give you a “real good deal,” consider these reasons for choosing a reputable body shop:

What kind of auto repair shop would use counterfeit air bags?

This week an auto mechanic named Igor Borodin pleaded guilty to selling thousands of counterfeit air bags.  Borodin purchased the fake air bags from China and sold them on eBay, as well as in his North Carolina auto repair shop called Krugger Auto.  This guy got rich with his escapade, bringing in $1.4 million.

The worst part is that these air bags are extremely hazardous.  The NHTSA released a video last week showing some of the tests that have been performed on counterfeit air bags, revealing how potentially dangerous they can be to drivers:

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Counterfeit airbags: an update for Tucson, Arizona drivers

Have you been following the news stories lately about the dangerous counterfeit air bags that have made their way into the U.S.?  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an alert last week urging consumers to check to see if any counterfeit air bags were installed in your vehicles.

A large number of air bags were falsely manufactured in China and stamped with actual automotive dealership emblems to make them identical to real air bags.  A Chinese citizen named Dai Zhensong then sold these air bags on an auto parts website for much cheaper than legitimate air bags are valued at.  Independent body shops across the U.S. have purchased these air bags to use on customers’ cars as a cheaper alternative to original equipment manufactured air bags.

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Counterfeit air bags: could your vehicle have one?

We all know that air bags are imperative for preventing serious injuries and fatalities in car crashes, but what if your air bag is a fake?  Have you had an air bag replaced in the last three years?  Then read on for some crucial information about dangerous counterfeit air bags that have made their way into the U.S. market.

Here’s the story: a large number of air bags were falsely manufactured in China and stamped with actual automotive dealership emblems to make them identical to real air bags.  A Chinese citizen named Dai Zhensong then sold these air bags on an auto parts website for much cheaper than legitimate air bags are valued at.  Body shops across the U.S. have purchased these air bags to use on customers’ cars as a cheaper alternative to original equipment manufactured air bags.  Tests have revealed that these counterfeit air bags are extremely dangerous, because they do not deploy and some have even been found to expel metal shrapnel and flames in a collision.  Dai Zhensong was sentenced in February to 37 months in prison for his offense.

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What are body shop aftermarket parts?

If you have been in an accident and need to have your vehicle repaired, I’m sure you have lots of questions and some of those might be about the parts we’ll be using at O’Rielly Collision Center.  But before I answer this question, let me start off by explaining the different types of parts that are available:

  • OEM Parts

    OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and these are the parts that come directly from the company that built your vehicle.  These components are often considered high quality, yet they can be expensive compared to generic parts.

  • LKQ Parts
    LKQ stands for “Like Kind and Quality.”  These are previously used or salvaged parts that are in good condition and typically direct from the manufacturer.  Because they are previously used, though, they are less expensive that OEM parts.
  • A/M Parts
    A/M stands for “aftermarket.”  Aftermarket parts are new and very similar to OEM parts, but are not from the original manufacturer.  They are also less expensive than OEM parts since they are generic.  Aftermarket parts come in two categories:

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