Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

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

How to Start Your Car in Cold Weather Every Time

on Tuesday, 01 December 2020.

A vehicle that does not start during cold weather is always an anxious and stressful moment.  But, remember—the right information can help you to avoid this potentially dire situation.

Proper starting procedures should be performed in order to prevent exhausting your vehicle’s battery. At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we know that it all begins by performing regular and ongoing maintenance and upkeep.

Proper Maintenance To-Do List

1.) Ensure that you’re using the correct oil. Automotive experts recommend 5W-20 for year-round use, so make sure that you get an oil that will withstand freezing temperatures.

2.) Check your battery regularly. When was the very last time that your battery was tested by your mechanic or local parts store? Battery cells have an average lifespan of 3-4 years. They can conduct a speed test that will quickly tell you whether your battery is weak and dying and might need replacement. The alternator must also be checked if it’s properly charging your car battery.

  1. ) Don’t ever be afraid of assistance if you need it. Your check engine will light up if your ignition system encounters problems. You might not notice any changes, but ignition problems may get worse during the cold season.

Troubleshooting Your Vehicle During Colder Weather

  1. ) Electrical accessories must always be turned off when you’re not using them. One way to troubleshoot a dead car battery during the cold weather is to make certain that everything is turned off. Turning these devices off will give your engine more opportunities to charge your battery and keep it strong in the long run.
  2. ) Your clutch must be dipped. Another way to do this is to dip your clutch slightly while you’re starting the car. It reduces the battery workload and gives the engine power to crank even when its near freezing point.

3.) Battery leads should be cleaned and tightened. Check your battery cables and see if there are any signs of corrosion. Clean the battery and free it from rust and corrosion build-up. Wear protective clothing before doing the clean-up. After cleaning the battery from corrosion, check if the cables are tightened.

4.) Engine oil should be topped off. One cause of a hard starting is when your car is low on engine oil. With a cold weather temperature, the little engine oil will inevitably have the engine struggle in the start-up. Check your oil level through its dipstick. Top up your engine oil if it’s low before you try to start it again.

Sources: AARP and Youtube

Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Driving

on Monday, 23 November 2020.

There will be a lot fewer Americans hitting the road to visit friends and families to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we want all of our customers, business partners, friends, employees, and colleagues to be safe during these uncertain times. So, here are 8 tips for better driving during Turkey Day or any major holiday.  

  1. Vehicle Readiness: The first safe driving tip for road travel this Thanksgiving is to make sure your car or vehicle for the trip is in top condition and ready for the trip. Fuel up; check all the fluid levels in your car such as oil level, automatic transmission fluid level, Brake fluid, Radiator fluid levels, and window washer fluid level. Check your tire pressure levels. Clean your windscreen sometimes frost may accumulate on your windows at this time of the year. Don’t drive during extremely bad weather conditions.
  2. Pack some snacks and supplies: If you have small children you definitely need enough snacks for the trip. To keep them entertained and less of a distraction for the driver, pack some DVD or CDs Pack some bottled water, and an emergency first-aid kit. Include a flashlight just in case, and depending on the part of the country you will be traveling to you may want to listen to the weather forecast. Some parts of the country may already be experiencing cold weather, so pack a blanket just in case.
  3. Check vehicle Load Capacity: Check the load capacity of your vehicle. In most vehicles, it is written on the inside frame of the driver's door. Make sure you do not overload your vehicle. A rough way to figure out the weight of your packed luggage and supplies is to weigh them and add that to the weight of all the passengers.
  4. Use a GPS Navigation System: Most Phones now have a GPS navigator; use such device to track your route. The GPS will guide you through a good route, and will warn you about road traffic conditions and possible accidents ahead, and also show you the nearest gas stations, and restaurants along the way.
  5. Secure Your Pets: If you are traveling with a pet have your pets secured with harnesses or inside an animal cage. Animals often cause much distraction for the driver. Making sure all your pets are secured one way or another will help the driver focus more on driving.
  6. Use Seat belts: All passengers in your vehicle including the driver must use seat belts for safety. It is also the law in most if not all states in the United States. Young children must be safely secured in their child restraint seats and securely belted in line with age requirements.
  7. Obey All Traffic Signs: One of the most important Driving tips for Thanksgiving travel is for the driver to obey all road traffic signs, you need lots of patience for Thanksgiving driving, many more cars would be on the road so you should expect some delays at some point of the trip. Avoid excessive speeding it is one of the major causes of road accidents on highways and interstates.
  8. Avoid Distractions: Texting and driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Talking on the Phone and driving don’t mix either, some states have banned it and others can only allow you to talk with a hands-free device. For your safety and the safety of your passengers and other road users, please practice safe driving this Thanksgiving and have a great Turkey Dinner with family and friends!

About Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop is certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center, and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment, and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan, and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced, and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Sources: AARP and AAA

 

 

 

 

 

Road Tolls Can Impact Peoples’ Wallets (or Purses)

on Tuesday, 17 November 2020.

Most people realize that things such as bridge tolls are another uncomfortable reality of life. But, whenever we get hit by a road toll, many people see it as an annoying unanticipated event. Unless you are truly fortunate enough to live in one of the twenty-five states that do not feature road tolls, you likely roll your eyes each and every time you see a sign that states “Toll Plaza Ahead.”

At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we know that road tolls are common now, so we thought it might be a topic that is both timely and relevant. Unfortunately, those road tolls are needed to help pay for the upkeep of the roadway and to help build a series of new ones. Some are affordable while others are so expensive that you would think they were collecting significant amounts of money to replace the asphalt with pure gold.

If you are planning a road trip that takes you on any of these particular toll roads, you might want to strategically find an alternative route. Even though it might take you a tad longer to get to your destination, you will save a ton of sweet cash.

These are the most expensive road/bridge tolls in the United States:

Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway (NY): $1.25 per mile

17 Mile Drive (CA): $0.59 per mile

Chicago Skyway (IL)): $0.51 per mile

Fort Bend Parkway (TX): $0.51 per mile

Delaware Turnpike (DE): $0.29 per mile

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (VA): $30 round trip

Verrazano Narrows Bridge (NY): $15 one-way

George Washington Bridge (NY): $13 one-way

Golden Gate Bridge (CA): $7 one-way

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (CA): $5.50 one-way

Lincoln and Holland Tunnel (NY): $13 one-way

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (Alaska): $12 one-way

Fort McHenry Tunnel (Maryland): $8 round trip

Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Queens Midtown Tunnel (New York): $7.50 one-way

If you live in New York or California, you are probably not very surprised by the fact that you have more toll roads than anywhere else. But keep in mind, it does cost a lot of money to keep our highways and byways of this great country well-maintained.

Sources: Wikipedia and USA Today

 

Car Painters Want to Create a Greener World

on Thursday, 12 November 2020.

Did you know that the most energy-intensive thing done in a body shop is painting your vehicle? Not only does it require a lot of electricity and natural gas to paint your favorite car with all of the latest colors and finishes, but it will also emit a large amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and CO² gases out into the atmosphere.

At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we are a shop that wants to benefit the planet for the future of our customers, vendors, and business partners.

VOCs are organic chemicals that feature a high vapor pressure at normal room temperatures. Their very high vapor pressures are the result of a low boiling point. This causes molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or the solid form of the compound enters the surrounding air, which is known as volatility. For example, Formaldehyde evaporates from paint and emits materials such as quartz, has a boiling point of only –2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Good body shops are always aware of the amount of energy they use and are conscious of the chemicals and compounds they emit during production.

Here are three ways that today’s car painters use for a greener workplace:

Use a highly integrated process: It reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20%, saves energy costs by as much as 20%, and reduces material consumption, and improves productivity.

Embrace a planet-friendly waterborne system: Thanks to its lower levels of emissions of solvents or VOCs, waterborne systems show solid results with respect to eco-efficiency.

Incorporate modern paint line and application technologies: There are potential sustainability savings available with respect to the energy consumption of spray booths if they’re operated in recirculating air. Good shops pass on these savings onto their customers, making it a win=win situation.

To be greener, more shops have converted from solvent to waterborne paint because they believe that it is a superior and safer product that significantly cuts down on its overall environmental impact and enables shops to accurately match automotive factory colors on every vehicle.

The major advantages to using waterborne coatings for both the shop and the customer include:

  • Strong resistance to heat and abrasion
  • Optimal adhesion
  • Low toxicity
  • Cuts down on air emissions
  • Cost less than solvent-borne products and require zero additives, thinners, fixers, or hardeners
  • When compared to solvent-borne paints, the less waterborne product is often required to cover the same surface area
  • Paint guns can usually be cleaned more easily with water or waterborne solutions and don’t require paint thinners, acetones, and/or methyl acetate
  • You can customarily use conventional application techniques whenever using waterborne paint

Sources: Wikipedia and Body Shop Business

 

 

Safety Tips for Halloween 2020 and COVID-19

on Thursday, 29 October 2020.

As we continue to face the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA to safely enjoy events like Halloween. While the festivities will be different this year, we are still able to take precautions that allow children to have fun in a safe manner. By being flexible and creative, we can enjoy Halloween while following the COVID-19 guidelines of wearing appropriate face coverings or masks, remaining physically distant from others and washing hands frequently.

Here are some creative and safe ideas offered by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Attend virtual costume parties/contests.
  • Decorate your home.
  • Go to physically distant, outdoor costume parades.
  • Create Halloween-themed crafts.
  • Host outdoor movie nights with appropriate distancing and dress as your favorite characters.
  • Make your favorite family Halloween treats.
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins (always be sure to supervise children carefully during carving activities).
  • Participate in an outdoor Halloween scavenger hunt.
  • Attend safe outdoor activities in South Florida.

If you still plan on trick-or-treating, here are some tips:

  • Avoid going door to door and instead, encourage neighbors to participate in trick-or-treating by lining up individually prepackaged treat bags at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard in order for kids to "grab-and-go."
  • Maintain physical distancing; children and families should be careful to avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps.
  • Sit outside and wear appropriate face masks or coverings when handing out treats.
  • Wipe treats clean or set them aside for a couple of days before giving them to children.
  • Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating.

Be aware that not all masks that come with costumes provide effective protection against COVID-19; therefore, an appropriate face covering or mask should still be worn.

Although this will not be a traditional Halloween, we can still make it memorable and enjoyable for our children and families while remaining safe.

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat with an Adult

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick or treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

 Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Sources: Kids.com and AAA

 

How to Keep Your Child Safely Seated in Your Vehicle

on Friday, 23 October 2020.

The very best way to keep your child safe in your car is to use the right car seat in the right way. Here are several car seat safety tips to fully protect your most precious cargo from all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.

Real Facts about Safety in Autos

  • Roadway injuries are the leading cause of preventable fatalities and injuries to children in this country.
  • When child safety seats are used properly and set up precisely, it can significantly reduce the overall risk of death by as much as 72 percent.
  • More than 50 percent of all car seats are not used or installed in a proper fashion
  • Minor back, shoulder, and neck injuries take place when good car seats are improperly set up, a common problem that has almost reached the chronic stage.

Top Tips about Automobile Seat Safety

Purchasing the right car seat. Your infant needs to ride all the time in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until 18-24 months. Whenever your young one has completely outgrown that seat, you’re then ready for a forward-facing kid’s seat. Get more details about purchasing the right car seat for your child by doing your research online and in person. Note: Never by a children’s car seat online.

Installing your kid’s car seat. You might need to decide on whether or not to use either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your children's car seat. Both are completely safe but do not use them both simultaneously. Once your child is forward-facing, it’s very important to utilize the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. Get more details about installing your vehicle’s children’s seat by referring to SafeKids.org or Consumer Report.

Getting the precise fit the first time. A precisely-fitted harness gives the best possible total protection for your child. For more details about getting the right fit for your child, refer to a list and charts that show you the right way.

Change your car seat when it’s time. Look on your kid’s car seat label to make certain that your child is still within their weight, height, and age limits for that specific seat.

Follow these helpful tips to ensure your child’s safety, and you will get that much-needed peace of mind that every parent covets. Knowing that your child is safe as you drive even short distances, your car setas will give you confidence and security.

Sources: SafeKids.org and AOL

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