WINDSOR, ONTARIO AUTO BODY REPAIR | BLOG

Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Cold Weather

Posted on November 4th, 2015

Winter driving can be a challenge, but you’ll increase the chances of keeping you and your family safe if your vehicle is prepared for winter conditions. Follow these tips to get your vehicle ready for winter:

1. Check your coolant levels – as it gets colder out the ratio on your engine coolant should change from a 50/50 ratio to a 60/40 ratio.

2. Check your tires or change to winter tires – you may want to invest in winter tires, or make sure your current tires are not worn out. You will also want to make sure your tire pressure is at the right level. Tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature. Underinflated tires will not cut through snow as well as ones at pressure.

3. Check your defroster – your defroster must function properly in order to drive safely in the winter. If it’s not working the repairs can be costly, but something you will have to invest in in order to be safe on the road.

4. Check your washer fluid and windshield wipers – use a good washer fluid with an antifreeze solution so it will withstand freezing temperatures. You should replace your wipers every 6-12 months depending on wear and tear.

5. Check your battery – cold temperatures mean your engine will need more current from your battery to start, so make  sure it is functioning properly and still holds a charge adequately.

6. Emergency kit – you should already be carrying one in your vehicle at all times but during the winter make sure to include a blanket, candles, matches, energy snacks and a folding shovel.

7. Oil change – It is important that your oil flows quickly through your engine when you start it to prevent damage, so you should have your oil changed to a low-viscosity oil.

Formula First Collision is now a Profirst Honda Recognized Collision Repair Facility

Posted on October 26th, 2015

ProFirst-Logo-2We are very excited to announce that Formula First Collision is now an officially recognized ProFirst Collision Repair Shop for Honda Motor Com., Inc.

What does this mean for our customers? It means you can have the piece of mind knowing that our shop has adhered to the strict guidelines and requirements outlined by Honda Motor Company. We invest in cutting edge, state of the art equipment, undergo rigorous and ongoing staff training, maintain up-to-date manufacturer direct repair information, and provide the best collision repair our industry has to offer.

Windsor’s Most Accident Prone Intersections

Posted on October 16th, 2015

An article from CBC News Windsor:

Windsor residents driving to Devonshire Mall had better pay attention. Windsor police say the 3100 block of Howard Avenue “consistently” sees more accidents than any other stretch of road or intersection in the city. Windsor Police Sgt. Mike Kelly said the area sees a heavy volume of commuter traffic. “they’re generally in a hurry. That’s always the problem.” Kelly said. “put a few extra minutes into your day.” Kelly said the area rarely sees serious injury accidents and that winter is the busiest time of the year. “Generally speaking the summertime is actually the least. There’s less of a hurried atmosphere going on,” Kelly said.

The second highest number accidents occurs at Lauzon Parkway and Tecumseh Road East, where there are multiple lanes of traffic crossing one another – six lanes in every direction. “It’s about volume. And it’s about people not paying attention,” Kelly said. Denny Nalkranian owns Abraham’s Jewellers at Lauzon and Tecumseh. He said people nearly double the  60 km/hr speed limits in the area and rush to beat amber lights. “It’s all year round. Slow down. Pay attention. Especially with an intersection like this,” Nalkranian said.

Ahmad Hassoun is a cab driver of 12 years. He has his own problem areas. “Wyandotte and Dougall is the most dangerous,” Hassoun said of the spot where he’s been rear-ended. Like Kelly, he said people’s attention is one of the biggest problems. “You have to look far ahead. Don’t play with your radio or equipment,” Hassoun said.

 

Full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/windsor-s-most-accident-prone-intersections-1.1156417

Rules of the Road You Should Always Follow

Posted on October 7th, 2015

Stock PhotoWhen you first passed your drivers test the rules of the road were fresh in your mind, however, as time goes by we tend to forget those basic rules. Here are a few forgotten rules of the road we should take extra care to remember:

Leave some room – Make sure you leave room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Give yourself enough space so if the vehicle in front of you has to slam on the brakes you have enough time and space to react accordingly. If the roads are slippery, leave even more room, as you never know when your vehicle might slide.

Use your turn signals – Just because you know which way you are turning, doesn’t mean people around you know. It is very important to use your turn signals – it’s your way to communicate your intentions to pedestrians and other motorists. Failure to use your signals may not only result in a ticket, it can also cause an avoidable accident.

Use the passing lane properly – For some reason many people are under the impression that the left lane is only meant for driving over the speed limit. This is not the case. The left lane is supposed to be used for passing others and once you have passed the other vehicle you should merge back into the right lane, leaving the left lane clear for anyone else that would like to pass.

Stop at a red light when turning right – When you come across a red light, even when you are turning right, you still have to come to a complete stop before you make the turn.

Following these road rules can help you avoid getting into a future accident, as well as avoid getting an unnecessary ticket.

Driving Green

Posted on September 28th, 2015

shutterstock_112027811-640x349Thanks to increasing environmental awareness and efforts the idea of being “green” is becoming more and more popular. Making green choices will make positive long term differences to our planet.

Making small changes to drive green is actually rather easy. Here are some simple tips for driving green:

Driving Steady – By avoiding quick accelerations and limiting aggressive driving you are not only reducing your emissions, you will also save on gas and reduce the wear of your tires, transmissions, engine and brakes. Speeding, accelerating and breaking hard can deplete efficiency by 33%.

Eliminate Weight – Removing unused racks and cleaning out your truck and backseat can go along way. It is estimated that for every extra 100 pounds your car carries, it losses 2% in fuel economy.

Tire Inflation – By keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure your gas mileage can improve by 3% or more.

Car Pooling –  When two or more people ride together the number of cars on the road drops and the amount of emissions released decreases- simple.

Public Transportation – Using public transportation will eliminate your vehicle on the road altogether. The benefits really add up when you are talking trains as 100s of people can ride at once.

If we all try to do our part the results will go along way towards preserving our environment.

Why is it Important to Make Sure You Are Getting a Quality Repair Job?

Posted on September 18th, 2015

Slide79Safety – Collision repair is not just about the shiny paint job. Although it’s great for your vehicle to look good on the outside, its what’s underneath that really counts. Your vehicles safety features and crash test ratings are based on the vehicle being constructed according to manufacturer guidelines. Something as small as a minor indent in the frame can have a very large effect on the vehicles safety in any future accident.

Re-Sale Value – You want the body work to be flawless on your vehicle. A potential buyer will pay less for exterior bodywork that was done poorly, and a knowledgeable buyer may even be able to tell if the work beneath the exterior panels was done poorly. Once the repairs are complete make sure the colour matches from panel to panel, all gaps are relatively even and the parts line up properly. Take it for a ride and make sure everything is running smoothly and you don’t hear any strange noises. You may even want to bring it for a second opinion just to be safe. A good quality repair will maintain your vehicles value.

Aerodynamic Efficiency –  Your car is built to be as aerodynamic as possible. All the components work together in order for the vehicle to glide through the air. A poor repair job would make the vehicle less fuel efficient and less structurally sound while driving.

The above reasons show the importance of having your vehicle repaired at a collision shop you trust. One that won’t take shortcuts and that has you and your safety as their top priority.

Car Noises you Should Have Checked Out ASAP

Posted on September 9th, 2015

Any strange noise coming from your vehicle is not a good thing, but some can be worse than others. In some cases you might only require a minor adjustment, while in others it could potentially cost you a lot of money . You should have any noises checked out, but these in particular could require immediate attention:

1. Hissing or sizzling noise – If you hear a hissing or sizzling noise coming from under your hood you could have a leak, either in the cooling system or the vacuum line.

2. Squeaking - If you hear a squeaking noise when you apply the brakes this usually indicates your brake pads need replacing.

3. Clunking – A clunking noise could be a result of a couple different issues: bad ball joints, worn control-arm bushings, faulty stabilizer link pins or a loose exhaust system. If you hear a clunking when you apply the brakes it might be the break calliper, which is a serious problem and should be checked as soon as possible.

4. Growling or Moaning – If you hear a growling or moaning noise when your making turns this could be the power steering pump and should be checked out immediately.

5. Clattering or knocking noise – if your engine makes this noise while your increasing speed it could be a serious problem. This could be a bad rod bearing and it can also indicate that your engine has spun a bearing- which means big bucks.

Listen to your vehicle because the noises it makes are telling you something is not right. Let your mechanic listen to it so they better understand what the problem is and can assess the severity of the situation. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

What is a Direct Repair Program (DRP) or Insurance Prefered List

Posted on August 31st, 2015

A direct repair program is an agreement between an insurance company and a bodyshop that will usually require the bodyshop to follow certain procedures in exchange for referrals from the insurance company. These contracts will differ depending on the insurance company. Some guidelines are in place for the benefit of the insurance company i.e. lower labour rates, using used parts, etc. Sometimes the agreements are for the benefit of the insured i.e. shorter wait times, equipment requirements, customer service, etc. Most insurance companies will market their DRP partners by offering a lifetime warranty on the repairs. You should note that MOST reputable shops will offer their own lifetime warranty, so you should not use that as your only reason to bring your vehicle to a specific shop. Also a lot of shops actually choose not to be involved in DRP programs because sometimes these agreements are not in their customers best interests. If a shop is not on a preferred list it does not necessarily mean they are not a reputable shop, and in-turn, some shops on the DRP list may not be a quality repair shop. Your best bet is to do your homework – ask around, check out the shop for yourself and ask the right questions.

It is important to note that some insurance companies may try to deter you from choosing a shop that is not on their DRP list. Always remember that you have the right to choose where you want your repairs done. Your vehicle is one of your most valuable assets, so choose a shop that has your best interest in mind.

Another Great “Sunday Funday” Event At Formula First Collision

Posted on August 21st, 2015

Our third annual Sunday Funday event was a great success. Thank you to everyone who came out to support The Safety Village. Every year we get more and more people coming out to the event, and every year we have even more fun!!! Some of our activities included: dinky car races, power wheel track, remote control cars,  bouncy castle, exotic car show, Zoo 2 You exotic animals, Hi Jinks soft interactive floor, face painting, car safety information booth, neat classic cars and trucks, yummy food and much more.
A special thank you to all of our volunteers – you made this wonderful day possible!!
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Trying to Sell Your Vehicle? Maximize it’s Value!!

Posted on August 12th, 2015

If you are looking to sell your vehicle there are some actions you can take in order to get the most out of the sale. Of course you do not have to do all these recommendations, but doing some, or most of them will help you see a greater return on the sale.

- Wash and wax the exterior of the vehicle

- Do a thorough interior detail and carpet shampoo

- Shine the wheels

- Restore the headlights

- Repair scratches and dents

- Repair windshield chips

- Touch up stone chips

- Check the tire pressure

- Check dashboard lights

- Check the brakes

- Top off all fluids

- Replace wipers

- Perform necessary mechanical jobs – check with a trusted mechanic to find out what repairs are needed that will increase the value of the vehicle.