• A Brief Look at the History of Car Safety Features

    The first car collision is widely reported to have occurred in 1891, when an engineer drove his gasoline-powered invention into a hitching post. He’d lost control of his buggy when the vehicle had hit a tree root sticking out of the ground. Fortunately, the burgeoning automobile industry eventually incorporated numerous safety features to protect drivers and passengers.



    The seatbelt has historic roots in 1885, when Edward J. Claghorn of New York secured the first patent for a seatbelt. However, this safety device was slow to catch on with the public. It wasn’t until 1950 that the first seatbelt was included as a standard feature in an American-made car. And in 1984, nearly a full century after the first patent, the first seatbelt law was passed. New York required passenger cars to be equipped with seatbelts, and it required drivers and passengers to use them.


    Air Bags

    The air bag dates back to 1951, when patent applications were submitted by inventors. However, it wasn’t until 1971 that air bags were included in a line of vehicles. Ford built an experimental fleet with air bags that year. In 1973, General Motors introduced the first vehicle intended for consumers that was equipped with a passenger air bag. On the 1984 Ford Tempo, air bags were offered as an optional safety feature. In 1988, Chrysler offered air bags as standard equipment, becoming the first automobile maker to do so. It wasn’t until 1998 that air bags became legally required in all cars.


    Traffic Lights

    While traffic lights aren’t a feature on cars, they’re definitely essential devices for auto safety. The first traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. It was an electric device that featured four pairs of red and green lights. It wasn’t until 1930 that the first three-way traffic light was introduced in the U.S., with red, green, and yellow lights.


    Michael J’s Body Shop wants to get you back on the road as quickly as possible after an accident because we understand that not having your own car can be a major inconvenience. Our auto body shop in San Jose works on thousands of vehicles each year, providing superior collision repairs and unbeatable customer service at an affordable rate. Call (408) 279-2070, and ask us about our free pick-up service.

  • What You Need to Know About Frame Straightening

    A car’s frame is like its backbone. Frame damage is quite common in collisions, and it always requires a professional repair. Since it can be difficult to determine if a car’s frame is damaged just by looking at the vehicle, it’s important to take the car to an auto body shop after any accident. Auto collision centers have frame straightening equipment that will restore the vehicle’s frame to the manufacturer’s exact specifications.


    The collision repair technician will place the vehicle on the platform and securely clamp it into place. Surrounding the platform are towers with attached chains, which are then connected to the vehicle’s frame. State-of-the-art diagnostic equipment instructs the hydraulic equipment to increase the tension on the chains to a precise degree so that the frame is moved back into its proper position.


    The technicians at Michael J’s Body Shop are rigorously trained to perform professional frame straightening on all types of vehicles. For professional collision repairs in San Jose, call a friendly staff member at (408) 279-2070.

  • Spotlight on Senior Driving Safety Tips

    When you think of age-related auto collisions, your thoughts might turn toward high-risk teenagers. But beginning drivers aren’t the only ones at a high risk of an auto collision. Older drivers are also at risk of accidents, given that reflexes and coordination tends to slow down as people grow older. Hearing and vision are also affected by age.


    You can watch this featured video to learn about some of the most common issues to affect older drivers. You’ll also get some tips on making sure you or your older loved one stays safe behind the wheel, such as by getting an annual eye exam and hearing check. The experts in this video explain some of the warning signs that driving may no longer be safe for a senior loved one.


    Here at Michael J’s Body Shop, we see the results of auto collisions every day, and it’s our sincere hope that you and your loved ones stay safe behind the wheel. But if an accident does occur, you can count on our auto collision center in San Jose to fix your car professionally and quickly. Call (408) 279-2070.

  • Here Are Some Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Car’s Paint

    Auto body paint is a shield between the vehicle and the outside world. During the course of a car’s typical lifespan, its constant exposure to the elements can wreak havoc on the paint job. But by knowing what’s likely to damage auto body paint, you can take proactive steps toward protecting your vehicle. And if the paint does sustain damage, consider bringing it to a car paint shop to get repaired.



    With the exception of cars kept in showrooms or tightly sealed warehouses, it’s inevitable that vehicles will get splattered by bugs, especially after a long road trip. Bug splatter on your car is more than a temporary inconvenience; it can permanently damage the paint. That’s because insect blood is acidic, and the longer it’s left on the paint, the more damage it can cause. Protect your car by going through a car wash to get rid of bug splatter.



    If you notice bird droppings on your car, get a damp cloth and wipe it off right away. The droppings themselves might not damage the paint, but the combination of droppings and the hot sun just might. The heat from the sun will essentially bake the droppings on the car as it expands the molecules in the paint and metal. This makes the droppings difficult to remove, and it may leave a permanent stain.


    Tree Sap

    Tree sap is damaging to car paint in the same way that bird droppings are. When the sun bakes the sap on the car, the stain can be all but impossible to scrub off. You may need to use a clay bar to remove it. And, unless you remove the sap in a timely manner, the substance can react with the car’s surface, leaving a roughened area in the paint.


    At Michael J’s Body Shop, we provide a full spectrum of auto collision repair services in San Jose. From frame straightening to professional paint jobs, we do it all. Give us a call at (408) 279-2070, and ask us about our customer satisfaction guarantee.