How Well Do You Know Your Car?

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How well do you know your car? No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario of either an accident or a vehicle break-down on the road. Taking simple precautions now can go a long way in helping to avoid accidents and costly repairs in the long run.

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What Every Tucson Driver Needs to Know about Paintless Dent Repair

How many times have you gone to your vehicle and noticed a new dent? Everything from a shopping cart or a driver accidentally rear ending you can produce unwanted dents and attack the mental health of a driver. The reason dents are so stressful is because they tend to be costly to repair. But consumers now have a new friend in the body shop against the threat of dents. It’s called “Paintless Dent Repair” or PDR, and we at O’Rielly’s have fully embraced it for our customers in Tucson, Arizona.

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What Every Tucson, Arizona Driver Needs to Know about Bumper Repair

How many times have you found yourself in this situation: your car is damaged in a minor fender bender and you choose to not take it to a body shop. It can be tempting, especially in this economy, to ignore the repair and continue driving the vehicle if the drivability is not affected; yet, just because the damage may appear to be innocuous does not mean there are no safety concerns for your automobile.

For many, safety is a top concern in their choice of vehicle. Everyone should feel safe while driving his or her car, and no parent should ever have to wonder about the safety of his or her family while driving. Yet, many drivers tend to ignore damage to their vehicle because it seems minor; however, even seemingly minor damage can cause a loss of structural integrity, which must be fully restored to maintain the vehicle’s safety. The bumper is particularly important, because it is the car’s first line of defense in an accident, which makes it the first line of defense in protecting you and your loved ones.

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Is it dangerous to drive my car with empty light on?

Filling up at the gas station is one of the dullest aspects of car ownership, but we all have to do it. How many times have you told yourself “I’ll get gas tomorrow” or how many miles have you driven with the empty light on and how many times have you rolled into a gas station literally on fumes?

A couple of weeks ago I did one of those “I’ll get gas tomorrow” maneuvers only to get in the car and completely forget to stop and get gas the next day, despite having the empty light on. I was on the highway, ten miles from the nearest gas station, and completely out of gas. I ended up being an hour late to where I was headed as a result of having to wait for someone to bring me a couple of gallons of gas, then having to limp over to the nearest gas station which was pretty far off the nearest exit, and then getting back on with my journey.

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Hal Damage repair in Tucson AZ

Who is the best repair hail damage repair shop in Tucson AZ?

Another big hail event just happened in Tucson this week. Auto body repair shops everywhere will be over-run with cars and trucks that need to be repaired. Some cars will not be too badly damaged while others might be totaled. That determination all depends on a few factors such as the age of the car, value, repair costs, etc. As a result, local body shops will be filled to capacity for several months while they work through all this hail damage.

But who wants to want to wait months to get your car fixed? And with all these cars needing repair, will your car get fixed properly or just rushed out the door? In times like these, you want to find the best body shop with the fastest turn around times in Tucson AZ to fix your hail damage. To find out where to go, continue reading.

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three factors takata air bag

Have we fixed the Takata airbag problem? Takata truck blast in Texas renews concerns over airbag propellant.

In the news recently, a truck carrying Takata replacement airbag parts to a warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas on Aug. 22, exploded killing two people and injuring two others. This incident has once again opened up questions about the safety of the chemical compound at the center of the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

The truck was carrying 14,000 cylinders of ammonium nitrate, which is the same propellant that the Takata airbags use and has been linked to the deadly airbag failures. Two New England Senators are requesting that the NTSB look into the explosion, although so far the NTSB has no plans to investigate, according to safety board spokesman Christopher O’Neil.

The explosion in Texas was so powerful, that it created a blast crater and blew out windows in houses as far as two miles away. The airbag explosion killed a woman in a nearby house.

Subsequent investigation of the explosion has proven that Takata was not improperly transporting the airbag parts, and the explosion further implies that there is instability in the continued use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant in all airbags. The Takata blast also raises serious questions about the safety of transporting ammonium nitrate by truck across the country as tens of millions recalled airbags are replaced.

Work still to be done

 Nearly 70 million Takata airbag inflators are scheduled for replacement between now and 2019, as part of the largest and most complex auto-safety recall in U.S. history. NHTSA studies have concluded that three factors: time, exposure to moisture and fluctuating high temperatures are the contributing risk factors in making ammonium nitrate unstable. In documented cases where the Takata-brand inflators have exploded with too much force, flying shrapnel has killed drivers.

What should be of concern to drivers is that when a vehicle owner takes their car in for a Takata airbag inflator replacement, the new replacement Takata inflators also rely on the same ammonium nitrate as the propellant. Other airbag manufacturers have avoided using Ammonium Nitrate due to safety questions.

Drying agent required

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that airbags with the compound were safe if they also used a drying agent. NHTSA has ordered Takata to phase out production of inflators without the drying agent by 2019.

The two New England Senators, Markey and Blumenthal, asked Takata to recall all vehicles with ammonium nitrate-based airbags in August 2015 and have repeatedly voiced their concern about the speed of the national airbag recall and replacement. Of even greater concern is the fact that Takata struggled to manufacture safe airbags before the massive recall, and lawmakers are concerned that now under the pressure of the recall, that even more corners could get cut by the company and further the safety risk to car owners with the replacement airbags.

Responding to the frustrations expressed by lawmakers to the piecemeal approach of recalling batches of affected vehicles here and there, federal safety regulators say that a complete all-at-once recall may actually do more harm than good.

Firstly, a sudden recall of all vehicles equipped with Takata airbags would strain the replacement part production process too much and would only create more uncertainty for consumers about whether or not their cars are safe to drive.

On the surface, a blanket recall of all inflators might sound like the right decision, but it would not serve public safety and could run the risk of exceeding NHTSA’s statutory authority.

The NHTSA’s current approach ensures that the highest risk vehicles — generally those that are older — are fixed first.

“Both field and test ruptures have been limited to older vehicles, the current recall list ensures that the oldest, and therefore highest-risk, inflators are addressed first.”

Lawmakers claim that by not recalling every single car with a Takata air bag, the recalls are insufficient and have left millions of potentially unsafe vehicles on the roads.

However, even if all the vehicles were recalled there simply aren’t enough replacement parts available right now to fix the issue.

About 74% of the replacement suppliers other than Takata make inflators for recalled cars, but for the remainder, there are no readily available non-Takata replacements.

For some vehicles, the only remedy currently available is a replacement with a newer version of the same bad part, a situation in which the replacement airbag could also degrade over time, become just as dangerous and need to be replaced again.

So have we solved the Takata airbag problem? It appears as though there is more work to be done.

Worried about your airbag? Click below to contact us to see if you need a replacement.


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Autobody repair appointment scheduling

How Does My Tucson Body Shop Schedule My Car For Repairs?

When we get into an accident all we want is to get our car fixed as fast as possible. Same day would be great, but in the real world, we know that we need to wait a few days. But if you haven’t had to go through this for a while, you might be surprised to hear that you car cant come in for repairs for a couple weeks and in some situations, even more than that.

Auto body shops are typically laser focused on what is called a CSI or Customer Satisfaction Index. These are typically carried out by your Insurance company to gauge your satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of the repair.

The next metric body shops are concerned with is a term called cycle time. Cycle time is the length of time from when you hand the shop your keys to the moment they hand you back your keys to a repaired car.

All of these factors are used to grade an auto body shop by the Insurance companies and good shops want to keep their customers and their insurance partners happy at all times.

Scheduling is the tool that auto body shops use to drive the jobs through the shop. Ineffective shops with ineffective scheduling, methods can lead to bottlenecks, customer delays, repair mistakes and low profitability.

Many shops still adhere to the old “in-on-Monday, out-on-Friday” system that is antiquated and inefficient.

Some body shops use total repair dollars as a tool for quickly identifying capacity. Say for instance a body shop knows that it can comfortable handle on average $250,000 worth of repairs in one month, they will try and balance jobs by sales volume. What that means to the customer is that if for example, you have some minor damage or a bumper job and the shop is at max dollar capacity because of some heavy collision jobs, or expensive to repair vehicles like Porsches and Mercedes, then your repair could take a few weeks before the shop will take your car in. This method of always trying to balance work by sales volume leaves the scrambling to average out their work mix and sales. As a consumer, you might get shuffled around unfairly just because of your estimate dollar value.

High-quality auto body shops use an estimating system that also assists with scheduling. This is called a management system and most of the good shops have one. These systems break down repairs into five categories, simply by number: Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4, and Category 5. These categories are based on labor hours for each job. The management systems then look at statistical data to determine that a shop can have “X” amount of Category 1s, “X” amount of Category 2s, and so on. Next the system takes the amount of days the shop is open that month and begins to estimate out how many of each job category we need each day to meet our high-performing capacity labor hours.

What the shop then determines is that they can service, as an example, two Category 1s on every other day, two Category 2s every day, three Category 3s every other day, and so forth.

The body shop then schedules your drop off date based on statistical data of a prior month’s work mix to reach its capacity for each day.

When done properly a body shop might schedule your job to start on a Wednesday or Thursday which is in contrast to what the inefficient shops do with their in on Monday out on Friday scheduling systems. What ends up happening in those scenarios is that you car might sit for a day or two waiting to go to the next stage in the repair process.

As a consumer, you need to be willing to leave your car over the weekend for repairs if your start date is later in the week. But believe me , your repair will be done faster than if the shop does not use intelligent scheduling.

If you are currently in need of Auto Body repairs, ask about Thursday and Friday drop-offs, you might just save yourself some repair time.

Do you have some collision repair damage that you need to have fixed in Tucson Arizona?

Click the button below to get your Free Online Estimate.


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Should you bring your car back to your Tucson auto body shop for a color match re-spray?

You just got your car back from a body shop in the Tucson area and after a day or so you can’t help but notice the paint color doesn’t match. You may be wondering if you can take the car back to have it repainted, or if the body shop will even be able to match the paint a second time. Is it worth the time and frustration? This is the topic for today’s post.

A body shop gets paid to fix your car one time. If you have to take it back, that auto body shop is doing the re-work on their own dime, and it is costing them money on an already thin profit margin. A great body shop will have minimal “go backs” because they have the proper training, staff, equipment, processes and inspections in place already. Smaller shops, or shops that have been hit with a sudden high volume may be struggling to get the work out and might cut corners.

As a car owner, the last thing you want to do after getting your car back from a body shop is to have to bring it back in to re-do the work. It is frustrating for both sides. But nonetheless, there are times when you just need to do it.

Our answer is yes, by all means take the car back. But when you do take the car back, here are some suggested discussion points to bring up with the body shop:

1. Pick a slower time- If you can live with the paint for a little while, it might be in your best interest to work out a date with the shop when the paint booth is not so busy. When a painter isn’t rushed, they will have more time to match the color to your existing body work. Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days for a body shop, so perhaps there is a Wednesday that would work better and the shop can do a re-paint with minimal down time to you.

2. Color Matching Earlier in the Process- Again a rushed paint shop with a busy painter will have to contend with several alternates on a color combined with an inconsistency with manufacturer paint codes. Auto body painters in a time crunch will be forced to choose two or three alternates and paint the closest one. If you’re concerned about an exact color match, get the shop involved now with a more detailed, complete sprayout before the cars gets to the paint department, and get a second opinion if need be.

3. Discuss color matching in a brighter area of the shop– if the color didn’t match the first time, don’t rely on that same location to make color match and sprayout decisions. Dimly lit areas make color matching difficult, so give yourself the time to make sure the vehicle is in proper lighting. Natural light is the best way to look at the car.

4. Simplify the Tinting Process -This may be a bit advance for most car owners, but if you are really struggling with a paint match for your car, consider telling the shop to alter their tinting approach. Tell the painter to start with a deficit color and work forward. Instead of trying to take the their six toners and trying to make it right. Find that one color that you have too little of focus on one color instead of focusing on five or six.

For example, pearl white is the most common color that has to be tinted to match. Painters will often spray a pearl that is too white or too yellow for the color they are matching. Suggest to the shop that the painter try mixing 20 to 30 percent less of the predominant color, mix the rest of the formula straight out and then do a sprayout from that. From there the painter can tint up instead of whitening down the base color.

5. Equipment age –Every couple of years, paint equipment companies design new paint guns to keep pace with the paint suppliers who are constantly updating their liquid paint materials. If the shop you are using has outdated spray guns, the older fans will not be able to break up materials and provide proper atomization.

Most painters don’t realize that using different guns or different settings will result in different sprayouts. This can really cause problems for metallic paints that most cars today have.

Everyone deserves to get their car back looking as though no car accident ever happened. Paint and color quality are the most noticeable areas of any autobody repair. While it may be frustrating to have to send the car back, hopefully these conversation points will help guide your Tucson auto body shop to a perfect color match.

Need some paint work on your car in Tucson? Click the button below for a free estimate.


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Auto Detailing in Tucson Arizona

Detailing

O’Rielly Collision Centers has a state of the art detail shop specializing in the rejuvenation and protection of your vehicle’s surface and interior. Every repair ends with a complete automotive detail. Our professional detailers will gently work your vehicle’s imperfections to give your vehicle that like-new showroom appearance.

Auto detailing Tucson

Our mission is simple. To exceed our customer’s expectations every day with every vehicle being restored both inside and outside to as close to its original condition as possible.

Auto Glass Repair in Tucson Arizona

Accidents happen, but when road debris or stones kick up and hit your windshield chances are there will be some damage. If that damage is left unrepaired then the broken or cracked glass can spread and ruin your windshield. Any time there are extreme seasonal or temperature changes in the glass temperatures causes glass to expand and contract. In most cases the cracked or chipped glass can be repaired, in some cases the glass is shattered and will impair your vision and make it unsafe to drive. Most importantly, it is best to have it inspected by our professional glass repair and installation technicians at O’Rielly Collision Center in Tucson Arizona.

 

When your car’s glass gets damaged we can work with your insurance company directly to see if they will cover the cost of the repairs. Even if your windshield has a small crack or chip, bring it to us for repair. Some insurance companies will even waive your deductible for small glass repairs. It is worth having our glass service team give you an estimate and get you scheduled in for repairs. You will find value in our fast and friendly service and we warranty our repairs for the life of ownership of the vehicle.