• 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.

  • How Can I Tell If My Frame Is Damaged?

    When you take your car to an auto body shop after an accident, the technicians should give it a thorough inspection. If there is any frame damage, they’ll find it. However, some people hesitate to take their cars in if the accident didn’t appear to have caused major damage. This is unfortunate, because major problems like frame damage can go undetected for a while. And if you wait too long to take your car into the shop after a crash, you may have problems getting your insurance company to pay for the collision repairs.

    Alignment Assessment

  • A bent frame can cause problems with your vehicle’s alignment. Consider whether your car pulls to one side, or whether you have to turn the steering wheel in order to drive straight. If you’ve had your alignment fixed recently and the problem persists, then it could be a sign of frame damage.

    Tire Track Evaluation

    A bent frame interferes with the proper functioning of the vehicle. In particular, it can cause the car to “crab walk.” This happens when the rear tires do not follow directly behind the front tires. If the problem is severe enough, you may be able to see the crab walking simply by observing your car as someone else drives it. If you aren’t sure, you can get all four tires wet. Then, drive it straight across dry pavement. Park your car and observe the tire tracks to see whether your car is driving sideways.

    Parts Assessment

    The frame is the foundation of your vehicle. When it’s bent, countless other components might not fit properly. This problem is perhaps most noticeable to car owners when they try to open and close a door without success. You might also notice that the body panels don’t line up properly.

    Highly trained and experienced auto body technicians operate the frame straightening equipment at Michael J’s Body Shop. Plus, we provide a lifetime warranty on all of our auto collision repairs performed in San Jose. For expert auto body repairs you can trust, call our team at (408) 279-2070.

  • Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Crashes

    Most car accidents occur when one vehicle strikes another one. In these cases, one of the drivers is usually at fault, although both drivers may share some of the blame for the accident. Single-vehicle crashes are different, but they can be equally as life-threatening and cause just as much damage to the car. An auto body shop can get your car back on the road quickly, but it’s definitely preferable to avoid the crash whenever possible.

    Deer

  • You probably won’t think of these animals as beautiful, majestic creatures after one of them has cost you hundreds in collision repairs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the more than 1.5 million deer-car collisions that happen every year in the U.S. cause over $1 billion in damage to vehicles. They also cause about 150 occupant deaths and thousands upon thousands of injuries. If you see one deer crossing the road well ahead of your car, you should still slow down considerably, even if you don’t think you’ll hit it. Where there’s one deer, there’s probably more.

    Weather

    Weather is another major contributor to single-vehicle accidents. Drivers in sunny California don’t have to worry about the rain too often. But this actually means that when it does rain, the roadways are more likely to be very slick. This is because the roads accumulate more oil from passing cars, which is hazardous when it rains. Drivers in California should also be aware of these weather-related hazards that can reduce visibility or make the roads themselves more dangerous:

     

    • Thick fog
    • Dust storms
    • Smoke and airborne particulate matter from wildfires
    • Landslides
    • Flooding
    • High winds

    Road Debris

    Imagine you’re navigating a tight turn in the road. When you get to the middle of the curve, you start speeding up. Now imagine that there’s an obstacle in the way, like a fallen tree, that you don’t see until you’re almost upon it. Would you be able to stop in time? Road debris is another common cause of single-car crashes. These accidents can also occur when a heavy or large object falls off of the vehicle in front of your car and flies into your windshield.

    Here at Michael J’s Body Shop, we pride ourselves on unbeatable customer service and fast auto collision repairs done right the first time. Call us at (408) 279-2070 if you live near San Jose and need your bumper repaired. Our technicians also perform paintless dent repair services.

  • Can Potholes Cause Accidents?

    Auto collision centers usually handle frame damage, dents, and similar collision repairs necessitated by two-car accidents. But it’s always possible to get into a solo accident, particularly if the car hits a large pothole. Potholes are notoriously rough on vehicles, and hitting a deep pothole is similar to striking a protruding object. It can cause the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. This can lead to additional collisions, particularly if the driver loses control in close proximity to other cars, pedestrians, or utility poles.

    Even in the absence of an accident, potholes can do serious damage to a vehicle. Striking one can cause significant damage to the car’s shocks and struts. It can break components of the suspension system, cause the steering system to become misaligned, and damage the exhaust system.

  • Michael J’s Body Shop is a family-owned auto collision center proudly serving San Jose and the surrounding areas. For any type of collision repair service, call us today at (408) 279-2070.

     

  • Staying Safe on Your Road Trip

    Road trips are the quintessential American vacation. Wherever you’re traveling this summer, take a few precautions to minimize the risk of a breakdown and help you deal with the challenges associated with accidents. This video, presented by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), can help you get started.

    The CHP sergeant featured here recommends planning your entire route before you depart, including the areas where you’ll stop to rest. Remember that driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Inspect your vehicle too, checking the oil, radiator fluid, battery life, belts and hoses, and all of the lights. Pack an emergency kit before you leave, just in case.

    Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose would like to wish your family a safe and fun-filled summer. But if you do become involved in a crash, our collision repair shop is available at (408) 279-2070 to help you get back on the road quickly.

  • What is the Crumple Zone and How Can It Affect Collision Repairs?

    The human spine is responsible for giving the body structure and helping a person stand upright. A car’s frame is much the same. It provides support, protects the passengers, and helps keep the parts in the right places. As strong as the frame is, it’s actually designed to sustain damage in a crash. This is called the crumple zone, and it’s an intentional feature. While the crumple zone may cause you to need frame straightening and other collision repairs, it can also help you and your passengers survive the crash.

    Why Manufacturers Designed the Crumple Zone

  • The early history of cars is a little frightening, as there weren’t too many safety features. Early designers produced extremely rigid vehicle bodies, apparently reasoning that the harder the shell, the better it would protect the human occupants. But thanks to the laws of physics, we know better now. When a rigid car strikes a barrier, it will stop—but the humans won’t. They’ll sustain serious damage. Even if they’re buckled into their seats safely, the sensitive internal organs like the brain will keep moving right after impact. The crumple zone is intended to absorb the force of the impact to minimize the force exerted on the occupants.

    Why the Crumple Zone Works

    Thanks to Isaac Newton, engineers know that force equals mass multiplied by acceleration. In terms of car safety, this means that if it takes longer for a car to stop, then the force exerted on the car and its occupants will decrease. The crumple zone works by sacrificing part of the car for the sake of slowing it down and decreasing the force exerted on the occupants.

    How the Crumple Zone Affects Collision Repairs

    The crumple zone saves lives by inflicting damage on cars. Fortunately, cars are much more easily repaired than a severely injured human body. The body shop can use specialized frame straightening equipment to get the vehicle’s frame back to its pre-accident condition. Of course, you’ll also likely need other collision repairs if you’ve been in a major accident, like suspension and bumper repairs.

    Michael J’s Body Shop specializes in frame straightening, and we provide a lifetime warranty on all of our collision repairs. We also offer expert car dent removal and bumper repair for drivers near San Jose. Call (408) 279-2070.

     

  • An In-Depth Look at the Wheel Alignment Process

    When you think of collision repairs, you probably envision a crumpled bumper or major dents. But many types of collision damage are hidden. Even a minor fender bender, or hitting a pothole or curb can cause major mechanical problems. This is why you should always take your car to an auto body shop after a collision. Ask for an alignment inspection, since misalignments are one of the most common types of collision damage.

    Mechanic tuning aligner for wheel alignment

    Alignment Specifications

    A wheel alignment doesn’t actually adjust the wheels or tires. Rather, it’s an adjustment of the suspension system. A wheel alignment affects the angle at which the tires come into contact with the road. Every make and model of vehicle has its own alignment specifications. These are influenced by factors like the size, weight, and length of the vehicle, and what its specific use will be. Modern auto body shops use sophisticated, computerized equipment that already has the precise alignment specs for each model.

    Caster

    The body shop technician evaluates three main areas during a wheel alignment: The caster, camber, and toe. The caster is the angle of the steering axis. If you’re looking at the car from the side, a positive caster means that the steering axis is tilted slightly toward the driver. A negative caster refers to a steering axis tilted toward the front end.

    Camber

    Picture yourself standing in front of your car, looking at the tires. From this angle, you might see if the tires are tilted slightly inward (toward the center of the car) or outward. The inward or outward angle is the camber. An overly inward tilt is a negative camber, and vice versa.

    Toe

    Stand up and look down at your feet. You can turn them inward or outward without tilting them to the side. Now, picture your car tires doing the same thing. This angle is referred to as the toe. If the angle is either “toe in” or “toe out,” it needs an adjustment.

    After any type of accident, you can have your vehicle inspected for hidden damage at Michael J’s Body Shop. We’ve been providing reliable alignment and suspension repair services at our auto body shop in San Jose for more than 20 years. Call (408) 279-2070, and be sure to ask us about our lifetime warranty on collision repairs!

  • A Quick Look at Frame Measuring

    The frame of your car is designed to absorb force during an accident, whether you collide with another moving car on the road, hit a stationary object, or are hit by another moving car while you are stationary. The ability of the frame to absorb the force of the collision protects you and many of the internal components of the car, but the damage done to the frame needs to be considered by the auto body shop that is making repairs.

    The process of restoring the frame to its proper shape and size is complex, but your auto body shop can ensure that it is done correctly through frame measuring. By measuring the frame after collision repairs are made, the repair shop can be sure that it has been restored to its exact specifications, so that your car drives exactly as it did before your accident.

    Michael J’s Body Shop specializes in frame straightening services, including measuring, and can ensure that your vehicle’s frame is expertly restored to its original condition. For auto collision repairs in San Jose, call (408) 279-2070 today.

  • Highway Driving Tips for New Drivers

    Driving on the highway when you’re a new driver can be intimidating. It’s important to be fully aware of your surroundings whenever you’re driving on the highway, and to stay alert at all times. The advice in this video will help you.

    For most new drivers, merging on the highway is the most challenging part. Using the merge lane to build up speed will make merging easier. Once you’re on the highway, stick to the middle lane, where you can maintain a safe speed without worrying about allowing other cars to merge.

    Accidents do happen, so when your car needs repairs, choose Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose for auto body repair, dent repair, and auto body paint. To schedule an appointment for service, call (408) 279-2070.