• 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.