Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

Read the latest auto body and collision repair news from Anderson Behel

10 Reasons for Safer Cars

on Friday, 26 April 2013. Posted in News

New Technology Means Safety is No Accident!

10 common car seat safety mistakes to avoid 8nillToday’s cars are safer than ever, and that’s why automotive fatalities are at an all-time low. At Anderson Behel, Santa Clara’s premier auto body shop in Santa Clara, Calif., we’ve witnessed the technological evolution of cars and trucks. By working on almost every type of vehicle, we’re aware of all the newest features and are cognizant of how they can benefit the driver. These 10 safety features make driving easier and safer and we believe every car on the road should have them.

1. Electronic Stability Control

It’s all about control. Electronic Stability control helps drivers maintain control. It compares steering and braking inputs with the car's lateral acceleration, individual wheel speeds, and rotation. The brake is automatically applied to help balance the vehicle. This safety feature is important for reducing skidding. All new 2013 models are required to be equipped with this safety feature.

2. GPS System

Drivers don’t have to get lost ever again! Navigation systems make traveling more efficient and safer. Drivers no longer have to struggle with looking at a map while driving. The GPS will direct the driver turn by turn and will reroute if necessary.

3. Rearview Cameras

What you can see could save your life or someone else’s. Rearview cameras make backing up and parking much easier. The vehicle issues a warning if there are any obstacles in the way. Certain vehicles have the whole rearview camera feed displayed on the dashboard. There are also cars now that have blind spot detection. These safety features make merging, parking, and driving much safer.

4. Tire pressure monitor

Tire blowouts don’t cause as many accidents anymore. Since 2008, all new vehicles include a tire-pressure monitoring system. This system uses sensors to provide the driver with information on tire inflation. This prevents tires from underinflated. Underinflated tires are the main cause of tire blowouts.

5. Hands Free/Blue Tooth

Tickets are more expensive, so don't use your cell phone while driving. Now you can use your cell phone safely while you drive. Mobile use while driving is incredibly distracting and dangerous. Many new cars now include blue tooth hands-free systems. This system allows you to call and talk on the phone while still focusing on the road. You can use voice commands to make and answer calls.

6. Voice activation

Talk to the car! There are many distractions while driving. Changing a radio station or the temperature of the car is not only distracting but potentially dangerous. Many vehicles now have voice activation. The driver can use voice activation to enter destinations into a navigation system, change the radio, and more. Voice activation allows the driver to control the car without lifting a hand from the wheel.

7. Rollover protection

Many new cars have rollover protection. Different cars offer different rollover protection. Some cars include additional airbags. Certain cars have external rollover protection structures that lessen the force of the rollover.

8. Airbags

Airbags have evolved and improved over time. Currently, many vehicles offer multiple airbags. Dual stage airbags are required in all passenger cars and light trucks made after September 2006. Side airbags are also very important. These airbags greatly reduce injuries. All airbags are incredibly important for protecting the driver and passengers.

9. Adaptive headlights

This is a feature found in mostly luxury cars, but it will probably trickle down into more affordable mainstream vehicles within the next few years.. This technology adjusts headlights to the direction that the steering wheel is turned. It illuminates the way more efficiently for drivers trying to change lanes or turn.

10. Brake assist

Brake assist technology is very important in emergency situations. Sensors detect can detect panic braking. When the sensors sense this type of braking, brake assist applies a brake boost. This will make the car brake faster. This information is provided by Anderson Behel, Santa Clara's premier collsion repair company.

The 5 Ugliest Cars of All-Time!

on Saturday, 20 April 2013. Posted in News

The Pacer Leads the Way!

800px-AMC Pacer 1975-1978At Anderson Behel, a premier body shop in Santa Clara, Calif., we are happy to fix your car and return it to pre-accident condition if you get into a fender bender. So, we love cars, because hey—it’s our business. But this list contains the vehicles we'd all like to forget about. Like bell bottom pants, sea monkeys and lava lamps, they represent 5 car ideas gone bad. Real bad! Let’s face it—for every great car we produce on this planet, they’re bound to be a couple of real duds. Unfortunately, failure is just a fact of life. These vehicles probably looked really good on the drawing board, but in reality they were design disasters that are best forgotten. Not only did my Bottom 5 look awful, but they also performed poorly. Presenting the 5 Ugliest Cars Ever Made:

1.) 1975 AMC Pacer: One of the lowest points in the history of car making, the AMC Pacer (pictured) was a disaster of great proportions on many levels—from the 95hp inline 6-cylinder engine all the way to the terrible fuel economy—18mpg. So, not only did it not turn heads (except in shock), this vehicle rode like a covered wagon with one bad wheel. The design reminds me of something you’d see in a 1950’s “B” sci-fi film. Consequently, the Pacer has become the poster child of 1970’s bad automotive design. If there are any of these cars left out there, they should be destroyed, for the good of the race and the culture. When other civilizations look back on us 1,000 years from now, the Pacer will undoubtedly be cited as the beginning of the end.

2.) 1974 VW Thing: Aluminum siding meets bad design, the Thing looks like a Sear storage shed on wheels. Originally designed by Volkswagen for the German military, this piece of rolling junk must have had Hitler rolling over in his grave. The German Army had a lot of success overtaking their enemies driving this vehicle--they essentially laughed themselves into submission. The Thing didn’t last long in this country, when it was deemed unsafe by U.S. standards. Some people actually thought this car was “cute”, which goes to show you that there’s a fine line between pretty and ugly.

3.) 1974 Ford Mustang II: After the oil embargo of 1973, Detroit starting making ugly cars featuring poor performance, all in the name of cost savings. This Pinto-ish car is the one Ford would love to forget. Mustang has had a great run with some awesome models along the way, but they can’t all be winners. The 1974 Mustang is the Dopey of the Seven Dwarves. The best motor you could get with this car was a 171 cubic inch V6, generating 105hp and getting from 0-60mph in 14.2 seconds. A lot of people aged rapidly while waiting for this car to get up to highway speed.

4.) 1988 Citroen 2CV: Why are French people so bitter as a rule? Maybe it’s because they can’t get this ridiculous car out of their minds. Literally meaning “two steam horses” this vehicle drove more like “two lame mules.” French designer Pierre-Jules called the Citroen 2CV a “low-priced umbrella on wheels.” Described as “rugged” and “reliable”, traveling in this car was like riding a roller coaster from hell. It had the amazing ability to swerve on a perfectly level, straight road.

5.) 1986 Yugo GV: Over-priced at $3,990, the Yugo GV came as close to being a disposable car as anything before or since. With a 1.1 litre motor generating 58hp and featuring a terrible transmission, if this car wasn’t on the road it was in the shop, keeping the auto repair industry busy for more than a decade. Bring your car to Anderson Behel, ugly or not. Because using the latest technology and the skills we bring to the collision business, we’ll have your car, truck or van looking pretty once again!

Will a Self-Driving Car be a Reality Any Time Soon?

on Thursday, 18 April 2013. Posted in News

And will they be any safer?

Google CarLooking forward to jumping into your self-driving car, pulling out your iPad, having lunch or watching a movie as you travel to your destination? Does this sound crazy? No, but it’s going to take time, research and a lot of money to get it done.

Despite Google's impressive fleet of driver-less cars and interest from Audi, GM, Toyota and others, self-driving cars won't come anytime soon. Experts at the 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress said this week that the mass market won't get them until 2025, the Detroit News reports.

SAE, whose standards influence everything from cargo specs to horsepower, invited panelists from automakers, suppliers, universities and more to its annual conference in Detroit. So-called "semiautonomous" technology, which fuses collision-detection and steering technologies to keep you in your lane and far enough from the car ahead, will hit the market much sooner, experts said. The potential for driver distraction spawned debate and here at Anderson Behel we're also interested in this topic. After all, a self-driving car would seem to only encourage more texting — or sleeping or reading. If you had to remain as alert behind the wheel as if you were driving, the benefits would diminish. Such systems offer high safety potential, given most accidents result from human error, but should any malfunction cause an accident, one expert said it would turn the discussion on its head.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in October it would launch a $1.75 million multiyear research project to determine the human controls necessary in driverless cars. So, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Driver-less cars will exist one day and I don’t doubt it. But, I’m guessing it won’t be a reality until 2030 or even later. Stay tuned and in the meantime, drive safely. The Anderson Behel blog will keep you informed!

Merging: Safety is Surely No Accident!

on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. Posted in News

How to Safely Merge Into Traffc

Every single day in this country, they are literally hundreds of accidents involving automobiles that do not merge onto the freeway properly. People make two common mistakes while merging--either not driving the right speed or not paying attention. The toughest part of merging is trying to gauge the traffic you’re entering. As you approach the freeway onramp, check the posted speed sign and match it by checking your speedometer. Since those signs are yellow, they are suggested speeds, but should be taken into consideration each time you use the freeway entrance ramp. Once you begin to come off the ramp, start accelerating up to the prescribed speed, or the speed of traffic. As you begin accelerating, check your rear view mirror, your side mirror and then turn to check your blind spot as well. This will allow for enough time to adjust to the traffic before the merging lane ends.

For example, if there’s a vehicle close to you as you start accelerating, you’ll need to decide to let them pass so you can move in behind them or to accelerate fast to get ahead of them As you begin to match the speed limit or the flow of traffic, check your mirrors and blind spot one more time. This will allow you to determine if someone from the center lane has come into your intended lane without realizing that you needed to change lanes. If they do block your lane, you can ease off the gas to let them pass and drive slightly onto the shoulder. This will give you enough time to safely merge in with traffic. If everything is clear, look well ahead into your intended lane and gently drift into your new lane. Once you’re on the freeway, check your mirrors to ensure the space around you is ample.

As you’re driving along the freeway and are approaching a merging lane, change lanes to allow the merging driver a chance to move safely onto the freeway. If you can’t safely change lanes, adjust speed to allow them enough space to move in either behind you or ahead of you. Help them make the transition onto the freeway a safe one. Becoming aware of the correct way to merge onto the freeway will greatly reduce the chances of an accident. At Anderson Behel we’re ready to fix your car if you can get into an accident, but we’d rather prefer that you don’t. So drive safely and merge properly and there’s a chance we might not see you down the road!

Let's Meet Bill Brady, Our Assistant Sales Manager

on Monday, 01 April 2013. Posted in People

He values customer service and has a snake as a pet!

How long have you been with AB and how many years of industry experience do you have?

I have worked for Anderson Behel since July 21st, 2004.I've been in the automotive industry for 15 years.

Favorite part of the job?

My favorite aspect of my job is the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and from different parts of the world. Learning new things everyday that doesn't necessarily have to do with my industry, but with everyday life, helps me to grow as a person.

What do you do when you're not working at AB?

Playing my drums with my band or outside enjoying the great weather the Bay Area has to offer.

Major interests?

Technology and music top my list.

What are the 3 things you want to do in your life?

1.) I would love the opportunity for my band I to play in front of a big crowd of cheering fans 2.) The ability to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together 3.) I'd love to go into space one day.

What sports teams do you follow?

The San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants and the San Jose Sharks?

What was the title of the last book you read?

Oryx and Crake. It’s kind of a post apocalyptic novel. Very interesting read.

Favorite movie?

Back to the Future

Favorite TV Shows?

The Walking Dead is Awesome!

Pets and their names?

My Ball Python named Bob.

Favorite outdoor activities?

My favorite outdoor activity would be BBQ-ing with my friends.

Magazines or newspapers you read?

Drum Magazine and Popular Science are a few of my favorites, oh and I read the San Jose Mercury News online.

If you could have any kind of car, what would you get and why?

It’s a tough choice between the DeLorean from Back to the Future for obvious reasons or the Flubber Mobile from the Absent-Minded Professor so I can just fly over the red light holding up traffic.

If you could have lunch with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?

I would love to have lunch with Nikola Tesla, so I can ask him if free wireless electricity is really possible.

What are some of the customer service things you're proud of at AB?

I enjoy when a customer comes walking in and is visibly upset at the fact they need our services, and it turns out to be something that I can fix right there on the spot, by either polishing the house paint off of their fender or clipping the front bumper back onto the car. The look of relief when they find it its nothing at all is priceless.

What are some of the changes you've seen in this industry over the years and how has AB reacted to these?

The industry is constantly changing and everyday is a new learning experience, even for the most seasoned estimators and technicians. Anderson Behel has kept up with the changes to our industry by offering job specific education and training courses to maintain the highest level of workmanship as well as workplace comraderie with monthly birthday celebrations and delicious cake.

Why We’re Members of the The California Autobody Association

on Tuesday, 26 March 2013. Posted in News

AB's Owner David Mello Walks the Walk at the CAA

Pictured: This year's board for the Santa Clara CAA Chapter. Photo: Current CAA President Randy Greenblat at far left and David Mello is second from the right.

The California Autobody Association (CAA) is a non-profit trade organization made up of roughly 1,000 individual and independent businesses within the automobile collision repair industry. The main focus of the CAA is to enable the auto body industry to survive and succeed by helping its members produce a quality repair for the consumer at a fair price for a fair profit. By being involved in the CAA, body shop owners show they care about the future of this industry and will always strive to make it better for all involved.

David Mello, the owner of Anderson Behel has long been a member of the CAA since 1989 when he purchased the shop. He has also been a key officer in the Santa Clara Chapter of CAA (SC-CAA) and also at a state level. By working with other leading body shop owners and representing the collision industry in Sacramento, Mello has played a pivotal part in his local chapter and statewide.

Current SC-CAA President Randy Greenblat lauded Mello for his service and dedication to the CAA. “David Mello is one of those people who wants a better collision industry and that’s why he got involved at the state level, where real change can happen. He’s held every position at the state level, including president in 2002. He was also the Santa Clara Chapter’s president in 1997 and he was just recently named as the organization’s Member of the Year in 2011. Without go-to guys like Mello in organizations such as the CAA, they couldn’t succeed in this business and perform their missions the way they do. David is accountable, dedicated and his integrity is unquestioned, and that’s why I’m happy to be his friend and his associate.”

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