• Teaching Your Teens About Safe Driving

    Getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting rites of passage for a teen. According to the National Safety Council, however, half of all teenage drivers will have a collision before they graduate from high school. Although only time on the road will help teens get the experience they need to become more skilled, confident drivers, there are things that parents can do to teach teens about driving safety. Reduce the chances that you will be seeking collision repairs after letting your teen borrow the car for the evening with these tips for teaching them safe driving.


    Lead by Example

    Teens mimic the habits of their parents when they are behind the wheel. Are you doing things when you’re driving that you wouldn’t want your teenager to copy, such as texting, speeding, or being aggressive with other drivers? Take a moment to examine your own driving habits, and make sure you’re demonstrating for your teen the kind of driver you want them to be.


    Lay Out Your Rules

    Teens are inexperienced drivers, so they shouldn’t have free rein over the car just because they passed their driving test. Let your teen know what you expect from him or her when using your car. For example, ban cell phone use and restrict the number of friends he or she can have in the car. Take action if your teen breaks the rules, gets a speeding ticket, or otherwise violates your expectations of safe driving by restricting his or her car use. Make sure your teen sees driving as a privilege that is earned by showing responsible behavior.


    Talk About Drinking and Driving

    Alcohol and driving never mix, and for teens, the risk of drinking and driving is particularly dangerous. Mixing inexperienced drivers and drinking can lead to life-altering consequences. Discuss the risks with your teen and consider a no-questions-asked policy to encourage your teen to call if you if he or she has been drinking, rather than getting behind the wheel.


    If you do need collision repair, no matter who was behind the wheel, choose Michael J’s Body Shop. Our auto body repair team can restore your vehicle to like-new condition. For more information about auto collision repairs, call (408) 279-2070.

  • What Is Included in a Quality Paint Job?

    You’ve probably seen advertisements for low-cost paint jobs for your car. Maybe you’ve even been tempted by them. However, what you should know about auto body paint jobs is that not all work is created equal. Quality paint jobs require skill and the right equipment to get the job done and make your car look as good as new.


    A quality paint job has a few different components, depending on the work you want done. If you need to refresh your paint or repaint your car as part of collision repair, you will first need to match the color. Colors vary across makes, models, and years, so you should choose an auto body shop that specializes in matching shades. Even if you decide to pick a new paint color, ensuring a like-new finish and adding gloss should be part of the process.


    Michael J’s Body Shop prides itself on delivering pristine auto body paint work as part of our collision repair services. Call our auto paint shop in San Jose at (408) 279-2070 for more information.

  • Steps to Take to Dispute Your Auto Insurance Settlement Offer

    Just like every other for-profit company, car insurance carriers are in the business of making money. They can’t reach their growth objectives if they offer generous settlement offers to everyone who has to bring their vehicle to an auto body shop. This means that you may get offered less than what you deserve to fix your car. This can be frustrating, but there is hope. You can dispute the settlement offer.


    Understand your car insurance policy.

    The first step is to read the fine print. Your policy should specify the time period in which you can file a dispute regarding a settlement offer. Make sure you get the paperwork submitted in time; otherwise, the insurance company will surely reject your appeal.


    Get your car independently appraised.

    Car insurance companies rely on insurance adjusters to evaluate the damage and develop an estimate for the collision repairs. If you suspect that the insurance adjuster’s report does not accurately reflect the extent of the damage, you have the right to hire an independent insurance appraiser. Since independent adjusters are typically paid with a percentage of the claim, it’s in their best interest to ensure you get the maximum settlement. If your independent adjuster’s report reveals a discrepancy, the insurance company may decide to offer a higher settlement.


    Request mediation or arbitration sessions.

    If a higher settlement isn’t forthcoming, you might think about requesting mediation or arbitration. Both options are less expensive and time-consuming than filing a lawsuit. The downside is that the outcome of mediation isn’t binding, and the outcome of arbitration might not be to your liking. However, mediation or arbitration may be a good choice if you otherwise stand to lose a significant sum of money.


    For more than 20 years, Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose has worked directly with collision insurance companies to help our customers get the collision repairs they need with the coverage they deserve. We believe the collision repair process should be stress-free and hassle-free for our customers. Call (408) 279-2070 to talk to a friendly associate at our auto collision center.

  • Defensive Driving 101

    You may have heard of defensive driving courses as a way to reduce your car insurance or take points off your license. But defensive driving is actually an approach to road safety that all drivers should take because it can reduce your risk of accidents.


    You can learn about the basics of defensive driving when you watch the accompanying video. It discusses the importance of looking ahead to spot hazards, maintaining a safe following distance, and adjusting your speed for the conditions of the road. In addition, never drive while you are either distracted or intoxicated.


    Even careful drivers can get involved in accidents. If it happens to you, call Michael J’s Body Shop at (408) 279-2070 for expert auto collision repairs in San Jose.

  • The Importance of Suspension and Alignment Repairs After an Accident

    Even if you don’t see collision damage after a car crash, it’s probably there. Car accidents commonly damage the suspension system and alignment. If you don’t get these problems repaired at an auto body shop, driving your car can become unsafe. The suspension system is what maintains your control of the vehicle. Problems with it are indicated by excessive bouncing and poor handling, especially when turning, starting, and stopping.


    It doesn’t take much force for an accident to damage your alignment, and failing to get your vehicle properly aligned can lead to more expensive repairs later on. If your alignment is bad, you’ll notice that your car pulls to the right or the left. When you’re driving in a straight line, the steering wheel will be crooked.


    The highly trained and experienced technicians at Michael J’s Body Shop use the latest auto body repair technologies available in San Jose to get your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. Give us a call today at (408) 279-2070 to get the collision repair process started.

  • Get the Facts About Paintless Dent Removal

    Your car is your pride and joy, so it’s understandable to get upset when it gets dinged and dented. If the paint has been severely damaged, your car will definitely need a paint job. But if the body has simply been damaged without significant damage to the paint, then technicians can repair it with a technique called paintless dent repair.


    Reasons for Paintless Dent Removal

    Paintless dent repair can be used on virtually any type of dent in which the paint is still intact. It works well on hail damage, minor dings, creases, and even large dents. Paintless dent repair is an economical way to get your car looking like new after an accident or minor incident. It can save you the cost of replacing a bumper or other component entirely, and of course, you won’t have to pay for a new paint job. It’s also likely that you can get your car back from the body shop more quickly, provided other major repairs aren’t necessary.


    Preparation for Paintless Dent Repair

    Some vehicles might only have one or two dents. But a vehicle damaged by hail might have hundreds of little dings. If this is the case, the technician will place the car under intense fluorescent light in order to clearly see the damage. Then, the technician will go over every inch of the vehicle, marking each ding with a grease pencil or piece of tape.


    Steps in Paintless Dent Removal

    The technician may need to disassemble some of the vehicle’s components in other to access the flip side of the dent. For example, if a dent is on the roof, the technician might need to drop the headliner. Then, a special tool is used to press against the area and coax the dent to straighten out.


    From major collision repairs to dings and dents, we do it all here at Michael J’s Body Shop. If you’re in need of paintless dent removal for your car in San Jose, get in touch today at (408) 279-2070. Ask us about setting up a free evaluation to see if your car is a candidate for paintless dent repair.

  • 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.