Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

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

Presidential Vehicles Over the Years

on Monday, 19 October 2020.

With the election right around the corner, we thought you might find this blog entertaining. When it comes to U.S. Presidents, their vehicles have to be safe and reliable and also visually attractive because they need to be as interesting as the men who’ve held the office. Some of the four Presidential cars that we are focusing on in this blog were used during, and after their stints while in the White House.

All of us here at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA are delighted to share these interesting facts with you, and that’s why we are featuring a hand-picked list of Presidential Cars that are some of the most intriguing automobiles for those presidential commutes.

President Barack Obama 2009 Cadillac One, “The Beast”: This beauty is believed to have been built based on a truck chassis made by General Motors lineup and certainly ran on heavy-duty truck tires and high-end wheels. Heavy use of steel, aluminum, titanium and other strong, lightweight materials helps to keep the car from tipping the scales beyond reason, but it is still said to weigh more than 15,000 pounds. It is believed to be diesel-powered and the bodywork, though fully customized, is derived in design from Cadillac’s DeVille limousine. There were 2-3 of these cars in the presidential fleet.

President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham: Two of these were made for the Secret Service, which was built specifically to allow for maximum visibility of the President while maintaining maximum security. Upon retirement, one of the vehicles was returned to General Motors and the other is displayed in the Reagan Presidential Library. This GM-owned car, kept in museum-reserve, was used in the Clint Eastwood film, “In the Line of Fire.”

Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan’s 1970/72 Lincoln Continental: Made famous for its appearance on TV during the assassination attempts of both Ford and Reagan, the 1970 Lincoln Continental was actually a 1972 model with a series of 1970 serial numbers. This Lincoln was also the very first presidential limousine that had roof openings situated tactically so that the President could stand up for the crowds.

President John F. Kennedy 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible: Not all Presidents carried that air of coolness that will exist forever, but JFK did. When he was inaugurated, his vehicle of choice was a new Ford Thunderbird, which was known as the coolest convertible on the road at the time. Although Kennedy owned this convertible for some time, his ride in it on inauguration day was likely the last time he was ever in it.

Sources: Autobody News and AAA

These Car Cleaning Hacks Really Work!

on Wednesday, 07 October 2020.

So, your old and tired vehicle has seen much better days. The upholstery might be a bit worn, and the once-shiny chrome is not so shiny anymore. Sure, you could take your vehicle to a professional cleaner—or you could save your hard cold cash and spruce things up all by yourself. Here are some top car-cleaning hacks from all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.

Shine A Little Light to Make It Right

After 3-4 years of driving, the plastic on a vehicle’s headlights tends to oxidize, giving it a very cloudy, yellowish look. This film can be extremely dangerous because it cuts down the overall amount of light they emanate. You could always splurge on an expensive buffing compound to clean them up or go with a cheaper solution—toothpaste, that’s right. Just dab some on a clean rag and rub away. Once you are done, rinse with water, you will be amazed by the difference.

You Can See Clearly Now

Have your children decided to do some finger-painting on your vehicle’s windshield? To give your windows that coveted streak-free shine, follow these easy steps--combine ¼ cup of vinegar with one-quarter cup of rubbing alcohol. Add 2 cups of water and throw in a few drops of lemon essential oil. Mix together and add all of the contents to a spray bottle. You have now got a solution that will have your windshield, windows, and rearview mirrors looking spotless. Try wiping down your windows with some old newspapers—you could just be surprised with the streak-free results.

Vinyl Solutions for Dashboards

If your vinyl dashboard has seen much better days, there is an easy way to get it looking new again--take a damp cloth and run it over all the surfaces. This will remove all dust and grime. For much tougher stains, use a very small amount of the mildest laundry soap that you can find because the plastic and vinyl on dashboards can easily be scratched or discolored considerably by abrasive cleaners. When you are done, wipe away excess soap and moisture with a soft, clean, dry cloth.

Say Goodbye to those Nasty Bugs!

Dead insects—is there anything harder to clean off your automobile? Some care owners rent power washers to blast them away, while others will opt for cleaners full of special enzymes and harsh chemicals.  But these solutions are both expensive and could damage your finish. What’s the better way of doing this? Wet your car thoroughly and apply a generous amount of car soap, which you probably already have on hand, along with a semi-soft washing mitt. Work in very small areas and rinse each section whenever you are done. With a minimal amount of elbow grease, those critters will start dropping like, well, flies and your car will continue to shine!

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: DIY Network and

A Damaged Windshield is an Accident Waiting to Happen

on Tuesday, 29 September 2020.

Driving around in a vehicle with a hazy, pitted windshield or one that has multiple chips or cracks surely compromises your safety out on the roadways. Your view through a damaged windshield can slow down your response time in an emergency and can often make driving at night considerably more dangerous. Having a damaged windshield that is replaced properly can make a huge difference between life and death if you're involved in an accident.

At Anderson Behel, we often replace windshields in order to keep our customers safe and healthy as they travel on the roads and highways in the Santa Clara, CA area.

Properly-Installed Windshields Can Save Lives

A new windshield that is installed properly provides more than just a clear view of the road ahead of you. These two clear glass sheets with a layer of vinyl sandwiched carefully in between are what keep you and your car's passengers safe while within the vehicle in the event of a collision, whether it's a minor fender bender all the way to a serious crash.

A poorly-installed windshield can easily pop out on impact. Without any critical structural support, the roof can cave in and eventually crush anyone inside the car, SUV or truck. There are a lot of excellent automotive glass companies out there, so always be sure that you're contracting one that is experienced and skilled.

Whenever airbags deploy in a collision, they can often dislodge an improperly-installed windshield. If this occurs, the life-saving airbag can push itself out through the hole instead of cushioning the occupants in your front seat.

If the windshield fails on impact, you or your passengers can be ejected from the vehicle, which exponentially increases your risk of serious injury or death.

Skilled Windshield Installation Is Always Critical for Safety

According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, it's imperative to choose a certified, skilled, and experienced installer to replace any damaged windshield. Certification helps ensure that a technician is trained on the latest cutting-edge advances in windshield adhesives and correct installation methods Before you choose any auto glass installer, be certain to ask these key questions:

Do you use only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) quality glass? It's much stronger and fits better than cheaper alternatives, so always insist on using factory glass.

Do your technicians always wear gloves? If not, oil from their bare hands can degrade the adhesive and compromise the installation.

Can the car, SUV, or truck be driven immediately after your windshield installation? For the adhesive to set correctly, the vehicle shouldn't be driven for up to 12 hours after a  windshield installation.

Sources: Auto Glass Safety Council and YouTube

Common DMV Driving Test Snafus

on Thursday, 24 September 2020.

In our lives, we will often be tested for something. The SAT can keep you out of college and the DMV driving test can prevent you from operating a vehicle. I remember my first driving test because it was stressful and fortunately, it’s not something that we have to experience very often.

 Even with testing, there still seems to be a lot of really dreadful drivers out on the road – and not just teenagers either! But, bad and extremely potentially dangerous driving habits appear to be more commonplace now than ever, so always take a defensive approach to operating a vehicle.  

Here are some common-sense tips from all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara about how to avoid a DMV test failure.

 Hey--Please Slow Down!

A lot of folks don’t want to believe that they have to slow down in bad weather until they’re forced to by a collision or the local police. Drivers who live in places that don’t have much experience with certain types of weather are particularly guilty. Being able to recognize changing conditions where it isn’t safe to go the speed limit is highly crucial. DMV testers will fail anyone who isn’t able to recognize this, yet many of us who should know a lot better are some of the biggest offenders.

 Parallel Parking Can Be Tricky!

Parallel parking often strikes fear in the hearts of a lot of people. In some areas, parallel parking is an art form and a much-needed skill, so people who are learning how to drive will need to work at it. Many drivers (in their 50s-60s) haven’t mastered parallel parking, which means it limits where and when they can park.

 Tailgating is Not Just Plain Stupid…It’s Also Dumb

We’ve all experienced tailgating where people follow us too closely on the highway. But way too often, drivers ignore what is being taught during the driving exam. Every driver should allow several car lengths of distance between them and the vehicle directly in front of them. Leaving ample reaction time is what driving inspectors always look for, but most drivers are strictly focused on getting where they are going as fast as humanly possible.

Make a Complete Stop…..Each and Every Time

This is one of the most common driving test mistakes that people make and a widespread dilemma that even the most veteran drivers are guilty of.  A stop sign is not a suggestion—it’s the law.

Learn the basic laws of the road and work on your driving skills, especially if you are a new driver, and will strive to be a safer and smarter driver.

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: NHTSA and IIHS

Fresh Ideas About Driving with Your Elderly Parents

on Monday, 14 September 2020.

If your elderly parents aren’t crazy about the idea of driving anymore, you need to give them some tough love and some supporting numbers.  Elderly parents may often have many years of experience in operating a vehicle out on the road, and they may have dealt a lot of heavy traffic, nasty weather, and other potentially severe scenarios.

 At Anderson Behel, we wanted to present these statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with our blog readers, especially with senior parents who still drive.

Seniors are much safer drivers when compared to other age groups, since they normally reduce the risk of injury by wearing their safety belts, observe speed limits, and not drinking and/or driving. However, they are also considerably more likely to be injured or killed in traffic crashes due to obvious age-related vulnerabilities, like more fragile bones and other conditions.  

Medical conditions including chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses also make it much more difficult for older drivers to fully recover from any of their crash-related injuries. With the exception of teen drivers, seniors might have the highest rate of crash deaths per mile driven, even though they drive considerably fewer miles than most younger people do.

Although more and more Americans are much healthier and live longer now than ever before, seniors are outliving their ability to operate a vehicle safely by an average of 7-10 years. Most older drivers are able to recognize and avoid situations where their limitations may put them at risk. They drive less after dark, for instance, during rush hour or in nasty weather, as well as avoiding difficult roads such as highways, expressways, and busy intersections.

Here is a wide range of key facts about senior drivers:

50% of the middle-aged population and 80% of people in their 70s suffer from arthritis, crippling inflammation of the joints, which makes motions such as turning, flexing, and twisting exceedingly painful.

Weaker muscles, much-reduced flexibility, and limited range of motion will restrict senior drivers’ ability to grip and turn a steering wheel, press an accelerator or brake, or reach to open the doors and windows.

More than 75% of drivers age 65 or older report using one or more medications, but less than 33% acknowledged awareness of the potential impact of the medications on driving performance.

Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase with people ages 75-plus and rise sharply after age 80. This is mainly due to the increased risk of injury and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes.

Since older drivers are much more fragile, their fatality rates are 17 times higher than those of 25- to 64-year-olds.

In 2009, 33 million licensed seniors were over the age of 65, which was a 20% increase from 1998. In addition, by the year 2030, it is projected that 70 million Americans in this country will be over age 65 – and 85-90% of them will be fully licensed to drive a car.

In 2014, nearly 5,700 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in traffic crashes.

Sources: NHTSA and Forbes


Do You Hate Driving at Night?

on Wednesday, 09 September 2020.

With today's smoke and fog, it's just like driving at night during the day, so we thought this blog might be timely. A recent national poll reported the fact that more than half of all the drivers in the U.S. consider driving at night potentially dangerous and that's why they opt to drive during the day if at all possible.  At Anderson Behel, we often see the results of when drivers get into accidents that are caused when some other driver's high beams shined into their eyes. Serious accidents that lead to fatalities on the road occur at a rate three times more in the evening than during the day, based on numbers provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While only one-fourth of all driving in the U.S. is done when it's dark, more than 50 percent of all driving deaths occur in the evening and that's why people in Santa Clara and all over the country are concerned about the dangers of driving at night.

Night driving is difficult because the drivers' depth perception, ability to differentiate colors, and peripheral field of vision are all of the inferior quality in low-light conditions. In addition, drivers are customarily more fatigued at night. Add into the equation the fact that typical low beams illuminate the road from approximately 160-250 feet in front of the vehicle, and normal high beams shine from roughy 350 -500 feet away. At 60 mph it takes more than 200-250 feet to come to a complete stop, so even with your higher beams on, there is still a lot of room for error there.

Unfortunately, we can't drive only during the day, so here are some basic tips about how to be safe while driving at night:

Don't Stare at Oncoming Lights

This is probably the number one thing that most people do. It's very easy to be distracted and gaze into a bright road sign or the headlights of a vehicle headed in your direction without even really thinking about it.  Always make a point toy away from other lights on the road, and don't ever stare at oncoming high beams.

Aim Your Headlights

We've discovered that headlights on newer cars are often uneven or pointed lower than they should be. Don't just assume your headlights are shining at the correct level and in the proper direction and have them checked regularly.  

Dim Your Interior Lights

Use your dashboard dimmer switch if you are having issues seeing at night. If you're driving around with the dash light on 100%, you might be compromising your vision. And don't leave your map lights on either. Most higher-end luxury cars have focused reading lights that pinpoint objects without causing glare, so those fine to leave on, but most map lights should be turned off whenever possible.

Keep Your Windshield Clean and Pristine

Windshields that appear clean during the day can reveal streaks that can create glare while driving at night. Some car detailers claim that the best way to alleviate this problem is to polish the glass with newspaper to remove dirt and grime from the windshield. Try not to make contact with the inside surfaces of your windshield, as well as any of the car's windows or mirrors with your bare hands for any reason. The oil from your skin will likely smear, and the light will emanate through when it shines through any section where you touched it.

Sources: NHTSA, AAA and Yahoo

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