Preparing Your Car for Winter Weather

Although San Jose is not exactly known for harsh winter weather, it’s still a good idea to prepare yourself and your car for winter weather should you head out of town for a winter vacation. Your local car repair shop can ensure that your vehicle is in good shape for winter driving, but you should also know what is included when winterizing a vehicle.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Change Your Engine Oil

In cold climates, your vehicle’s  engine oil  is likely to freeze and clump up, effectively preventing it from circulating throughout the engine. To prevent difficulties with starting your car when you head out of town this winter, replace your old engine oil with low viscosity oil that can handle below-freezing temperatures.

Check Your Car’s Engine Coolant

Your vehicle’s cooling system does more than just cool the engine—it is also responsible for heating your car. To ensure that your cooling system can function in a cold climate, head to your car repair shop and have the coolant fluid inspected. The experts at the repair shop will check your fluid and adjust the coolant/water ratio to ensure that your coolant system works strong all winter long.

Make Sure Your Battery Has Enough Juice

Because winter weather is harsh on car batteries, it’s vital that you get your battery inspected and cleaned at your local car repair shop before heading out of town. It only takes a few minutes, but servicing your battery will greatly lower your chances of becoming stranded on the side of the road.

If you have any questions about preparing your car for winter, come to  Michael J’s Body Shop  of San Jose. You can also call (408) 279-2070 to speak with a car expert. With over 20 years of experience, we are the shop to visit if you require high quality automotive maintenance or service.

A Look at How Seatbelts are Made

Although a collision may cost you a trip to the car repair shop , wearing a seatbelt can oftentimes prevent you and any passengers from being seriously injured. Find out how seatbelts are made by watching the video clip.

First, a seatbelt engineer must fit the belt to your specific car. When the seatbelt is being produced, the locking mechanism is installed first. This mechanism ensures that your seatbelt stays tight when a hard deceleration is detected. After this, the woven polyester webbing is attached to the aluminum spool, and then the seatbelt is tested to ensure it is safe.

If you are ever in a collision in the San Jose area, take your car to a Michael J’s Body Shop. We are a  high quality auto body repair shop with two locations in the Bay area  and over 20 years of experience. To get in touch with a collision repair expert, call our shop at (408) 279-2070.

Examining Common Airbag Myths and Facts

Next to the seatbelt, airbags are the most important safety feature found inside your vehicle. Airbags prevent a countless number of deaths each year. Unfortunately, there is a lot of speculation surrounding airbags. Discover more about how your car’s airbags work to help reduce bodily harm during a car collision by reading these airbag myths and facts.

Airbag Deployment

Myth: You Must Wear a Seatbelt for the Airbag to Function

Though you should always wear a seatbelt to give yourself the best protection in the event of a collision, airbags will work even if your seatbelt isn’t connected.  Airbag sensors  sense sudden deceleration and impact before telling the airbags to deploy.

Fact: The Airbag Light Lets You Know when the Airbag Isn’t Working

Pay close attention to the airbag light on your car’s instrument panel. Your car is equipped with an airbag sensor that continually monitors the airbag system while the vehicle is running. If the airbag light on your dashboard flashes after you start your car, or if you don’t see the light come on at all, you should visit a car repair shop as soon as possible to make sure your airbag system is in good working condition.

Myth: Side Airbags Are Mandatory on Today’s Cars

There are a number of types of airbags that you can get on a new car, including side airbags, curtain airbags, and knee airbags. However, these safety features are not yet required by U.S. law. So before you purchase a new or used car, make sure that it comes with functioning airbags by bringing it to a body shop for an inspection.

Fact: The Dust That Comes Out of an Airbag Is Not Toxic

After the airbags are deployed, your car will probably be filled with smoke. Though irritating, this smoke isn’t toxic; it’s just a mixture of corn-based powder and harmless nitrogen gas that is designed to help the airbag to deploy rapidly.

If you find yourself needing an  expert car repair shop for service or collision repair  in the San Jose area, come to Michael J’s Body Shop. If you have any questions about your airbags or collision repair in general, call us at (408) 279-2070.

Why Proper Tire Maintenance Is Vital to Your Vehicle’s Safety

Going to a car repair shop for regular tire care is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your vehicle’s overall safety and drivability. Proper tire maintenance can also help to ensure that your gas mileage is not being robbed by worn or underinflated tires. Read on to explore three aspects of tire maintenance and how they affect your car’s overall safety.

Tire pressure check

Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure  increases the amount of heat in your tires, reducing your vehicle’s traction and decreasing your ability to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Underinflated tires are also not as stiff as properly inflated tires, so they are less effective at cornering. Low tire inflation also increases the chances of experiencing a tire blowout or a flat tire, both of which can be extremely unsafe, especially if you are driving at highway speeds.

Age

Older tires, even if they haven’t been driven more than a few thousand miles per year, are more likely to fall apart than tires with new rubber. This is because tires begin to crack as the result of sun damage and other weathering effects, revealing exposed wire and steel belts and causing sidewall separation. If your tires are approaching six years old, it’s time to replace them no matter how much tread they have left.

Uneven or Excessive Tread Wear

Tires with low tread or uneven tread provide dangerously low traction on slippery road surfaces and increase your chances of hydroplaning. Additionally, tires with uneven or low wear are more likely to blow out. As well as being a major safety hazard, a tire blow out can damage your wheels and require expensive repair service before you can get back on the road.

To get the tire maintenance that your car needs, head to  Michael J’s Body Shop  in San Jose. We’ve been serving the Bay Area for over 20 years and are happy to answer your questions about automotive maintenance or auto body repair. Call us at (408) 279-2070 or visit our website to learn more about our services. 

Driving Safety Essentials for Every Driver

Every year in the United States, over 3 million people sustain injuries that result from car collisions . To avoid a potentially life-threatening car collision, follow the safety tips presented in this video.

Always check your tires with an air pressure gauge on a monthly basis. A car repair shop can inflate your tires and inspect them to be sure that they have sufficient tread. Also, be sure that you have an emergency safety kit and that you never use a cell phone when you operate your vehicle unless you have a hands-free system.

Even the most prepared drivers in the world can be involved in an auto accident. Fortunately, Michael J’s Body Shop is here to get your vehicle back in tip-top shape in the event that you are involved in a collision. Visit us on the web or call (408) 279-2070 for more information on our  cutting-edge body shops that have been in the Bay area for over 20 years .

A Look at the Leading Causes of Distracted Driving

Many of the distracted-driving collisions that occur on a daily basis are easily avoided—the key is knowing which behaviors to avoid yourself and which behaviors to look for in your fellow motorists. Here are some of the top causes of distracted driving and how you can prevent them from causing a car collision .

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Gawking

Looking at a roadside accident or scenery can be avoided by simply focusing on the road ahead. Unfortunately, “rubber necking” is one of the top causes of  distracted-driving collisions . If you see something that catches your interest on the side of the road, ask someone in the cabin to tell you what it is, or pull over and have a look if you’re that interested or concerned.

Exhaustion

If you feel tired, don’t get behind the wheel of a car—instead, pull over and rest. Driving while fatigued could cause you to drift off of the road and get into a collision that could severely injure yourself and others.

Passenger Distraction

Tell your kids and your passengers that you cannot be bothered while you’re driving. If anyone inside the cabin of your car wants your attention, be sure that you are at a complete stop before you take your eyes off of the road.

Adjusting Car Stereo, Vehicle Controls

If your car has steering wheel audio controls, be sure that you use them. If you take your eyes off of the road to adjust your car’s stereo or air conditioning, you could wind up getting into a car collision.

Cell Phone

Whether it’s texting or talking, don’t use your cell phone when you drive unless it’s through a hands-free device. Numerous studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.

If you are ever in a car collision, come to Michael J’s Body Shop. With two state-of-the-art  collision repair facilities in San Jose , we can get your car back on the road in no time at all. Call (408) 279-2070 or visit our website to learn more about our collision repair and auto body services.

Get More Seat Belt Facts and Car Safety Information with These Resources

Michael J’s Body Shop does more than top-notch auto body repairs . We can also help you make a smart used auto purchase. Also, be sure to check out these online resources to learn more about car safety and auto collision repair.

Foggy Driving Conditions

  • This helpful article from the  Seattle Times  tells you how to  drive in low-visibility  conditions.
  • These alarming statistics from the Centers for Disease Control highlights the importance of  proper seat belt use.
  • Check out this article from  Reader’s Digest  on  safe driving  before your next family road trip.
  • With colder weather on its way, Weather.com has tons of helpful tips for navigating icy winter roads.
  • The National Safety Council hosts a comprehensive online resource with seat belt safety information and  state seat belt laws.

At Michael J’s Body Shop, we are here to make sure your vehicle gets back to a safe driving condition as quickly as possible if you are in a wreck. We are also available for making sure your used car purchase won’t leave you broken down on the side of the road.  Visit us online or call  (408) 279-2070 if you have more questions about our convenient pre-purchase inspections.

Learning How to Augment Your Driving to Suit Road Conditions

Hazardous road conditions may hinder your ability to control your vehicle, increasing your chance of getting into an auto collision . The best way to avoid an accident in harsh weather is to adjust your driving habits to match road conditions. To stay safe and keep your vehicle in one piece, practice these habits when driving in inclement weather or on road surfaces that are less than ideal.

Driving in heavy rain

Prioritize Visibility:  Several types of road conditions can reduce your  visibility of the road . Violent rains, thick snow, and billowing fog can all lower your ability to see the road in front of your vehicle. Reduce your speed and activate your high-beams when you enter areas with low visibility. This precaution will go a long way toward helping you avoid a collision. Experts also recommend pulling your vehicle over to the side of the road and turning your hazard lights on if visibility grows increasingly worse.

Maintain Traction:  A sudden or dramatic loss of traction is a common road hazard that leads to countless numbers of auto accident and collisions each year. Thankfully, precise driving techniques can help you avoid the dangers of a slippery or uneven road.  Rain-slicked roads should be taken slowly and cautiously. Also, avoid sharp turns to reduce your odds of sliding across the road. If you must stop quickly, pump the brake pedal instead of slamming it into the floorboard.

Stay Calm:  The most important tip to remember during hazardous road conditions is to stay calm. Most accidents occur because drivers overreact and overcorrect. However, you can avoid a large majority of driving perils by cautiously reacting to changes in road conditions. Make sure to review these safety tips on a regular basis to build your driving confidence.

Friendly service and reliable repairs make  Michael J’s Body Shop  the top auto collision shop in San Jose. Call us at (408) 279-2070 if your vehicle has suffered damage after an auto collision. Our trained technicians can restore almost any type of auto body damage, so call or stop by today to get your vehicle back in tip-top shape.

How to Stay Safe When Driving in the Rain

Stormy weather and poor road conditions can make it tough to stay safe on the road. Fortunately, there are a few things you can to improve your chances of making it home safely. Watch this video and learn tips that will help you stay in control of your vehicle while driving through heavy rains.

Rain can hinder visibility and traction on the roads, so make sure to pay extra close attention to your surroundings during a storm. Also, be patient and stay calm. Avoid aggressive driving maneuvers and make sure that there is plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.

The pros at  Michael J’s Body Shop  have over two decades of experience with restoring and repairing vehicles. We can help return almost any damaged auto body back to its original appearance. Visit our website or call (408) 279-2070 to learn more about our collision repair services. 

A Look at the Facts Behind Seat Belts

Seat belts are a critical part of vehicle safety. These simple restraints protect drivers and passengers from the serious injuries that might occur after an auto collision . Unfortunately, new statistics show that not all drivers are using their seat belt correctly. To help inspire you to buckle up every day, here are a few interesting and eye-opening facts about seat belts.  

Buckle up for safety!

Injury Factors:  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 2 million adults were treated with serious injuries due to auto collisions in 2009. Of those collision victims, nearly half received less serious injuries or avoided death thanks to their seatbelts. In their studies, the CDC concluded that  seat belts  are even more important for passenger safety than air bags during a collision.

Common Neglectors:  Additional data from the CDC reveals which drivers are most likely to forget their seatbelts. Adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are among the drivers who are least likely to buckle up during a drive. Unfortunately, adults in this age range are also the most likely to be involved in a collision. Gender and environment are also big factors in seatbelt obedience. Men are generally less likely to wear seatbelts, as are drivers who live in rural areas.

State Laws:  California is a primary enforcement buckle-up state. Each and every passenger over the age of 16 in a vehicle must be wearing his or her seat belt at all times. If you are caught driving without your seat belt, you face fines of $142 and up. Make sure to review your state’s seat-belt guidelines before heading out on a road trip to avoid hefty fines.  

The most important thing to consider after an auto collision is the safety of your passengers. Fortunately, Michael J’s Body Shop can restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition so you and your passengers can have the safety of a vehicle that is structurally and mechanically sound.  Visit our website  or call (408) 279-2070 to learn more about our collision repair services.