• What Happens When Your Car Is Totaled?

    It’s commonly assumed that a car is totaled when it’s completely smashed and damaged past the point of repair. But you may be surprised to learn that, even if the auto body shop can repair your car, the insurance company might consider it to be totaled. Dealing with a totaled car can be a major headache, but a helpful body shop staff member can help you figure out your options. Here’s a quick crash course in what happens when your car is totaled.

    How Insurance Carriers Define Total Loss

    Total loss can mean different things for different cars. If you own a 10-year-old Dodge Neon, even a small amount of damage could be considered a total loss. If you own a two-year-old Porsche, the insurance company will pay out far more in repairs, rather than declaring it a total loss. Total loss is calculated by comparing the cost of collision repairs to the actual market value of the car. If the cost to repair the car is greater than what the car is worth, it’s a total loss.

    How Much Money You’ll Get to Replace Your Car

    The good news is that you can get a check from the insurance carrier that you’ll use to buy another car. The insurance company will pay you the actual cash value of your car, less your deductible. If your car was worth $10,000 and your deductible is $1,000, you’ll get a check for $9,000.

    What Happens If You Still Owe Money on Your Car

    In some cases, people are still paying off the auto loan when their car gets totaled. You’ll have to talk with your lender about this situation. It’s typical for the lender to be reimbursed first. Any remaining funds will be released to you. If you owe more on your car than what the insurance company is paying, you’ll hopefully have gap coverage on your insurance policy. Loan gap coverage will protect you from repaying the loan on a car that has been totaled.

    The first step in moving forward from a crash is to bring your car to Michael J’s Body Shop. Our highly trained technicians will do a thorough evaluation of the collision damage, and email you an estimate for your convenience. Call our auto body shop in San Jose at (408) 279-2070 to get the process started.

  • Hidden Post-Collision Car Damage That Could Be Dangerous

    It doesn’t matter what type of collision it was—any sort of impact to your car can cause serious damage. Even minor, low-speed impacts into a utility pole can cause problems that you can’t detect with a visual check. It’s crucial to bring your car to an auto body shop after any collision, even if it seems to be fine. One of the components the technician will check is the brakes. If your brakes were damaged in the collision and aren’t fixed right away, you may find yourself in another, more serious crash.

    Auto collision centers also examine the steering, alignment, and suspension systems. Damage to these systems is difficult to spot, but it can compromise the safety of the driver and passengers. Similarly, the engine or fluid lines may sustain damage. If it’s not fixed, the engine may sustain further damage or fail entirely, leaving you stranded.

    Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose prioritizes our customers’ safety. Our collision repair technicians do a full evaluation of your entire car to detect hidden damage. Call (408) 279-2070.

  • Do You Have to Push the Button on Your Handbrake?

    Lots of drivers only use their parking brake when parked on hilly terrain. But actually, you should use your parking brake every time you park. When you put your car in park, your transmission gets locked up by a device called the parking pawl. This device is subject to wear and tear, and if it breaks, your car could roll away and crash into something or someone.

    Watch this featured video to hear more about how your parking brake works. You’ll learn that it’s not necessary to push the button when setting your handbrake. You only need to push the button to lower the brake before you drive again.

    For affordable and reliable collision repair services in San Jose, you can turn to Michael J’s Body Shop. Call us at (408) 279-2070 for paintless dent repair and other collision repair services.

  • How We Work with Your Insurance Company

    After any car crash, the most important consideration is whether anyone has been injured. If there are no serious injuries, your thoughts will turn to the insurance company and what a hassle it can be to deal with the paperwork. That’s one reason why so many residents of San Jose choose Michael J’s Body Shop. For more than two decades, our auto body shop has been busy building relationships with auto insurance providers to give our customers the best possible experience.

    We’ll help you figure out your coverage.

    If there’s one thing that just about everyone can agree on, it’s that auto insurance is confusing. If you aren’t sure which collision repairs are covered or what your deductible is, just call Michael J’s and chat with one of our friendly experts. We’ll be glad to help you sort through the confusing terminology in your insurance policy so that you know exactly what is covered and what you can expect to pay.

    We’ll handle most of the paperwork for you.

    Whether it’s hardcopy or virtual, paperwork is always a pain. We know you don’t have time to deal with it, especially since the inconveniences of a car crash are already putting a strain on your schedule. We can give you a helping hand with the insurance paperwork. Just give us your claim number, claim representative’s name, and the phone number of your insurance provider.

    We’ll chat with the insurance carrier for you (and deal with the adjuster and appraiser!).

    People often find it nerve-wracking to talk to the insurance carrier reps. It’s hard to know what to say and what not to say. We’ll gladly handle most of the communication with your insurance carrier for you. Our auto collision center will even liaise with the insurance adjuster and appraiser!

    Here at Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose, it’s important to us that our customers have a hassle-free, positive experience, and get back on the road quickly. Call us today at (408) 279-2070 and let us know how we can help you. Ask us about our free pick-up service, rental car assistance, and extended business hours!

  • Car Suspension Systems 101

    A car’s suspension system connects the body of the car to the wheels and helps them work together by maintaining motion between them. The suspension helps to maintain a smooth ride quality, even when road surfaces are bumpy. During an accident, suspensions are sometimes damaged, making them a common focus of collision repairs.

    Watch this video to learn more about how car suspensions work. Despite many efforts at developing new systems, most engineers agree that a wishbone design for suspension is the best fit.

    At Michael J’s Body Shop, our expert collision repair team in San Jose can get your car road-ready again after an accident, with everything from bumper repair to dent removal. For more information, please call (408) 279-2070.

  • Spotlight on Our Collision Repair Services

    Getting into an auto accident is frustrating and scary. Once you have determined that you and anyone else involved in the collision is not injured, the next step is to turn your attention to your car. Getting the right collision repairs is essential to prevent future problems with your car, retain its value, and make it safe for driving. At Michael J’s Body Shop, our extensive collision repair services mean our location is a one-stop shop for your repair needs. Here are some of the services we offer at our auto body shop to make collision repairs fast and convenient for you.

    Auto Body Repair

    Body damage is extremely common in collisions. Whether you have minor damage, like a dented bumper, or serious damage to the entire side of your vehicle, we can restore your car to its pre-accident condition. We make sure every inch of your vehicle gets the attention you need, regardless of how minor or severe the damage may be. If your car needs to be painted, you can rest assured that our paint-matching experts will get you the right color for a seamless finish. Once we are done with our auto body repair and painting services, you won’t be able to tell that your car was in a collision at all.

    Frame Straightening

    A major risk after an auto accident is frame damage. Sometimes, auto body shops don’t detect frame damage, and in other instances, they cannot adequately fix it. At our shop, we can safely and effectively restore your frame to maintain its integrity. Frame damage doesn’t have to mean that your car is a write-off, as long as you choose the right repair shop.

    Alignment Repairs

    The force of a collision can knock your car out of alignment, and it may not be immediately recognizable. However, even a slight problem with your alignment can cause uneven wearing on your tires and impact the drivability of your car. We can ensure your alignment is restored if is affected by an accident.

    When you need collision repairs in San Jose, choose Michael J’s Body Shop for the service that you need. Make an appointment for repairs or get more information about our services by calling (408) 279-2070.

     

  • Get Rid of Hail Damage with Our Dent Repair Service

    Even a small hailstorm can cause a surprising amount of body damage to your car. More significant hail events can leave your car completely riddled with serious dents. Fortunately, even if the damage is severe, your car isn’t a write-off if hail causes body damage. Your auto body shop can restore your car to normal with dent removal services.

    At Michael J’s Body Shop, we don’t attempt to bang out dents from the front but rather manipulate the metal from the underside. This lets us pop dents back into place seamlessly, without the risk of further vehicle damage. If the hail didn’t damage your paint, we can even provide paintless dent repairs in many cases, which saves you both time and money.

    Whether you have a few minor dings on your car or serious dents across the body, Michael J’s Body Shop can provide dent repairs to have your car looking like new again. To make an appointment for service at our auto body shop in San Jose, please call (408) 279-2070.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Protecting Your Car’s Paint Job

    If you want to keep your car for as long as possible, or if you hope to sell your car for as much as possible someday, then one of the most important things you can do is to take steps to protect the paint job. In some cases, this may mean taking your car to an auto paint shop to touch up your color, especially if you have had your car for an extended period of time or live in an area where there is a significant environmental toll on your car, such as near saltwater. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to extend the life of your paint for as long as possible. These strategies will help.

    Wax Your Car Regularly

    Regular waxing is an essential step in keeping your paint in top condition. Wax is a barrier between your paint and pollution and other environmental conditions that can make your paint look dull, faded, and lifeless. Generally, you should wax your car every three months, or more often if you are noticing the signs of paint damage. This rule applies even if you have clear coat protection on your paint. Keep in mind that hand waxing your car or having waxing done by a professional is far superior to driving through a car wash with an automatic waxing cycle.

    Clean Bird Droppings When They Occur

    Bird droppings are more than annoying. They can cause significant damage to your paint if they aren’t cleaned off your car as quickly as possible. This is because bird droppings have a high amount of acid in them, which is corrosive to paint. When they occur, spot clean the affected area to protect your paint.

    Practice Careful Parking

    Whenever possible, park your car inside of a structure, so that it is not exposed to the elements. If you are unable to park inside, consider getting a car cover to use when it is going to be in one place for an extended period of time.

    Michael J’s Body Shop offers comprehensive auto body and paint service to help your car look its best for as long as you drive it. For more information about auto body paint service in San Jose, please call (408) 279-2070.

  • Here’s How Long Children Should Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

    The old advice was to keep children in rear-facing car seats until they were at least 12 months old. This is why you might hear some well-intentioned friends or family members tell you that it’s okay to put your child in a forward-facing seat at the first birthday. But actually, the longer your child stays rear-facing, the safer he or she is. Newer car seats have higher rear-facing weight limits. This means that almost all children can stay rear-facing until age two or even beyond!

    Car seats work by absorbing some of the force of the impact, and distributing the rest of it. Since there’s no one part of an infant’s body that is capable of withstanding the force of an impact, rear-facing car seats distribute the force equally among the back, neck, and head. This reduces the stress exerted on any one body part. And since rear-facing car seats provide better neck and head support than forward-facing seats, infants have a reduced risk of these serious accident-related injuries.

Michael J’s Body Shop, which provides auto collision repairs in San Jose, reminds parents to replace their car seats after an accident. For expert bumper repair and other types of auto body repairs, give us a call at (408) 279-2070.

 

  • What Is Collision Coverage?

    Auto insurance documents can be tricky to understand. It’s always a good idea to know what your insurance covers before you buy it, rather than waiting until after an accident to figure it out. One type of coverage is collision insurance. As you’ll learn when you watch the accompanying video, this type of coverage pays for collision repairs to your own vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

    You’ll still be responsible for paying the deductible. Then, the insurance will pay for the rest of the collision repairs, up to the actual cash value of your car. Collision coverage is different from liability coverage, which pays for another person’s damaged vehicle if you’re at fault for the crash.

    Michael J’s Body Shop has developed strong working relationships with collision insurance carriers. You can reach our auto collision center in San Jose at (408) 279-2070.