If My Airbags Deploy in an Accident, Will My Car Automatically Be Totaled?

Have you ever heard that your car will be totaled if your airbags deploy during a collision? Fortunately, this is a bit of a misconception. While it’s true an accident that causes the airbag to go off will often result in damage that renders the car a total loss, this isn’t always the case. Here’s a closer look at why airbags can total a car and what you can expect from the repair process.

What Does It Mean When a Vehicle is Totaled?

Many people think a car is totaled if the cost of repairs is more than what the vehicle is worth. In general, this is true. To be more exact, the typical guideline is that a vehicle is totaled if the cost of repairs is more than 70% of its value. For example, if your vehicle has a cash value of $5,000, it would be considered totaled once the repair threshold reached $3,500 or more.

We consider several factors when determining whether your car is repairable or a total loss. Likewise, insurance companies and claims adjusters have their own procedures and requirements to take into account. To determine the cost of repairs, everything (including parts, materials, paint, and labor) needs to be factored in, including the cost of airbag replacement. Even though the cost of the replacement airbag likely won’t make your car a total loss, it can significantly increase the total repair cost—which could push your vehicle closer to being considered totaled, especially if you have an older vehicle.

Typically, insurance will cover airbag replacement if:

  • Your car isn’t totaled
  • You’re not at fault for the accident
  • You have collision insurance, which pays for collision damage regardless of who’s at fault

Will I Have to Replace My Airbags After an Accident?

If you were involved in an accident, the airbag sensors were likely triggered, and the airbags may have inflated. Depending on the model of your vehicle, you may only need to have your airbags and the airbag sensor reset. In other cases, you may need a complete replacement. If your airbags need to be replaced, it’s best to have this done as soon as possible; if you’re involved in another accident in the future and you don’t have functional airbags, you risk severe injury or even death.

The Process for Resetting or Repairing Airbags

Here’s an overview of the steps needed to get your airbags repaired and functioning again:

  • Resetting the airbag warning light
    The airbag sensors can be triggered even if the airbags didn’t deploy. Most cars have a warning light that indicates there’s an issue with the airbags; if the light is on, or your airbags went off, you’ll need to have the airbag sensor reset, otherwise the airbags won’t inflate correctly if you get into another accident.
  • Resetting the airbags
    In some models, the airbags can simply be reset after they’ve deployed, as long as they’re not damaged. Resetting the airbags involves putting the airbags back into the airbag module and then resetting the airbag light. However, many newer vehicles don’t allow for the airbags to be reset; your only option is replacement.
  • Airbag replacement
    If the airbags were damaged or the vehicle doesn’t allow them to be reset, you’ll need to have them replaced. This involves removing the entire airbag module and replacing it with a new one. If the airbag was in your steering wheel, you may also need to replace the entire wheel and steering column. Once everything has been installed, the airbag sensor will need to be reset.

After an Accident, Call Cline Collision Center

Getting into an accident is a hassle, even when the damage is minor—but safety should always be your top priority. If the vehicle hasn’t been totaled, it’s well worth it to get your airbags reset or replaced, even if it seems unnecessary.

If you’ve been in an accident and the airbags deployed, or your airbag warning light is on, call Cline Collision Center. We can assess the damage to your vehicle, as well as whether you’ll need to have your airbags reset or replaced. Call us today at (707) 591-9909 to schedule an estimate appointment, or use our convenient online scheduling.

How to Avoid Getting into an Accident in the Rain

Rain water splash flow from wheels of silver car moving fast in daylight city with selective focus. Car moving on asphalt road during heavy summer storm rain.

Driving in the rain, whether a light sprinkle or a heavy downpour, is one of the most challenging conditions drivers face. Rain affects visibility, friction on the pavement, vehicle performance, and reaction times. Heavy downpours can make it difficult to see ahead of your vehicle, which can be especially dangerous. Rain also tends to slow traffic, which can lead to backups or stop-and-go traffic that increases the risk of rear-end collisions. Fortunately, if you understand how rain affects all these factors, you can take steps to protect yourself and others on the road.

Here are some simple tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this rainy season:

Prepare Your Vehicle Ready for Rainy Weather

It’s always recommended to get your vehicle ready for the rainy season before it begins to ensure everything is in proper working order. You should:

  • Inspect and replace your windshield wiper blades. Good visibility is one of the most critical factors for driving safely; when your blades are worn, they can smear water across your windshield, rather than clear it. This can distort your vision and make it more difficult to see obstacles while driving. Check your windshield wiper blades for signs of wear and damage, and replace them if needed. If they look ok, you can also test them to see how well they work. If the blades are causing streaks or they aren’t clearing the water away in one swipe, it’s time to replace them.
  • Check all lights and turn signals to make sure they’re working. Not only will your lights help your own visibility, but they’ll make your vehicle visible to other drivers. They’ll also warn other drivers if you’re slowing down or making a turn.
  • Check your tire pressure and tread. A good amount of tread and proper tire pressure will give your tires better traction and help them grip the road. When your tread is low, your tires have more difficulty resisting hydroplaning, which is when your tires ride on the surface of standing water rather than the road. This can be very dangerous – and contrary to what many drivers believe, it can happen even when the roads are slightly damp. If your tires have low tread, they should be replaced.
  • Check your brakes. If your brakes have been squealing, grinding, or vibrating when you push the pedal down, it’s a good idea to have them serviced before wet weather hits. Brake issues can make it more difficult to stop, even in dry conditions, but they can be even more hazardous in the rain.

Drive Slowly

Whether you’re caught in a rainstorm or just a drizzle, it helps to drive slowly. This is because it takes longer to slow down and come to a complete stop when the roads are wet. In addition, the faster you drive, the harder it is for your tire tread to displace the water from your tires. Driving slowly helps reduce the risk of hydroplaning, plus it gives you more time to react to any hazards or obstacles you might encounter. A good rule to follow is to reduce your driving speed by about 1/3 in wet conditions.

Turn on Your Lights

Even if it’s relatively bright outside, turning on your headlights will make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. Having your lights on during adverse weather is also required by California law, so make sure to flick them on when it’s raining, even if you have good visibility.

Know Your Route

Checking maps or adjusting your route while you’re driving can be distracting and increase the risk of getting into an accident. Knowing your route ahead of time is much safer—and less stressful!

Double Your Following Distance

The more distance you leave between your vehicle and the car in front of you, the more time you have to react. Driving distance is important in all weather conditions, but it can make a significant difference in wet weather when stopping distances are longer. The recommended distance while driving in the rain is six seconds, or double what you would normally allow for on a dry, sunny day.

Follow the Path of the Car Ahead of You

When driving behind another car, try to follow its path. The tracks its tires make on the road have already been cleared of some of the water, so you’ll have better traction and a reduced risk of hydroplaning.

Keep Your Windows Clear

Fogged-up windows can reduce visibility just as much as the heaviest downpour, so make sure you’re using your defroster or air conditioning to reduce any fog that builds up. If you find your defroster isn’t working as well as you like, you can also roll down your windows, which will help to balance out the temperature difference.

Keep an Eye on Brake Lights

A good rule of thumb for all driving conditions is to keep an eye on the brake lights in front of you, especially if you can see a few cars ahead. This can alert you to quick slowdowns and give you plenty of time to decelerate if you need to.

Be Cautious Around Pooled Water

If you can’t tell how deep pooled water in the road is, be sure to approach it with caution. Drive through it slowly so you can assess how deep it is. If the puddle is deep enough, it can damage your vehicle’s electrical components and may cause a breakdown.

Be Cautious While Braking

One common reason vehicles collide in rainy weather is drivers slamming on their brakes. Wet roads can cause cars to slide forward—often into the rear end of another car, so make sure you’re braking gently and early. This will prevent you from skidding ahead, and it will alert the driver behind you that traffic is slowing down.

Wait It Out

The first 15 minutes of rain is typically the most dangerous time to drive. This is because the water mixes with oil on the road, making conditions extra slick. After about 15 minutes, the oil starts to get rinsed away. If you’re already en route when it starts to rain and you have the time, you may want to consider stopping for 15 minutes or so before you start driving again. If you haven’t left yet (and it works with your schedule) consider waiting for about 15 minutes or so before heading out.

Go Slow, Be Alert, Stay Safe

No one wants to be involved in an accident. However, staying safe in rainy conditions is easier when you keep your speed low, stay alert to road and traffic conditions, and make an effort to drive safely. Keep plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, and make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your visibility as high as possible.

We hope you never get into an accident, but if you do, we can help! From high-quality OEM repairs to complete insurance coordination, we make your repairs as convenient and stress-free as possible. Contact Cline Collision Center today at (707) 591-9909 or request an appointment online. Stay safe out there!

How Has Commute Traffic Changed Since the Start of the Pandemic?

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Sonoma County, life is starting to slowly return to normal. However, if you commute to work during typical business hours, you may have noticed rush hour doesn’t seem to feel as “rushed” as it used to.

Heavy traffic on one of the freeways crossing Silicon Valley, San Francisco bay area, California

You’re not alone. Traffic data from across the country suggests that the daily commute has changed drastically since the start of the pandemic, particularly in the morning. And, traffic experts aren’t sure if it will actually return to its pre-pandemic patterns.

In general, rush hour trends have shown that traffic has become more spread out, with more drivers postponing their trips to the office until later in the morning. As more Americans have transitioned to remote work or a hybrid schedule, there’s more variance with when people are commuting. Although it’s expected that more people will return to the workplace following Labor Day, traffic experts believe that traffic will continue to stay lighter than it was prior to 2020.

Less Road Time Has a Downside

Less congestion on the road seems like it would be a good thing, right? Commutes are quicker. There’s less stop-and-go traffic (and the accompanying stress and potential for road rage). What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, less road time comes with a dangerous downside. Fewer people commuting means the road is nice and open, which encourages speeding and increases the potential for deadly accidents. In fact, it’s more dangerous out there than it was before the pandemic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled on U.S. roads was 1.37, a 23% increase from 2019. In addition, the National Safety Council also estimates that just under 4. 8 million people were seriously injured in collision in 2020.

With fewer people on the road, people can drive faster. With faster speeds, there are typically more reckless maneuvers, lower reaction time for braking, more occurrences of drivers losing control, and other factors that lead to collisions and injury. To add to the issue, police aren’t stepping in the way they had prior to the pandemic, so many drivers have been speeding because they know they can get away with it.

Staying Safe on the Road

Whether you commute to the office daily or work remotely, it’s important to keep in mind that many people are still adjusting to life after a year of lockdown—and more traffic on the roads. Some drivers have become accustomed to driving well over the speed limit over the past year. Stay safe by keeping your eyes on the road, limiting distractions, and give people who want to go faster than the speed limit allows a wide berth.

If you do get into an accident, we’re here to help! From high-quality OEM repairs to complete insurance coordination on your behalf, we make the repair process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Give us a call at (707) 591-9909 or contact us online. Stay safe out there!

What Happens When Your Car Is Towed After an Accident?

Accidents are stressful for many reasons, but they’re especially stressful because there are often so many unknowns. For example, if you get into an accident, what happens to your car?

If your car is drivable, you’ll be able to drive away from the scene. If it’s too badly damaged, the police may call a tow truck for you or ask you to call one. If your car needs a tow, there are a few important things you should do before it arrives:

  • Photograph the scene of the accident from multiple angles. Take photos of your car’s exterior and interior, as well as photos of the other vehicles involved. These can be used later for evidence in your insurance claim or a lawsuit.
  • Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) involved and collect statements from any eyewitnesses at the scene. The easiest way to do this is to ask if you can record them on your phone.
  • Once your car gets towed it may be several days before you have access to it again. Make sure to remove anything of importance or value from your vehicle.
  • If possible, see if your auto body shop can receive the car. This may not always be possible, but it will save time and money to have the vehicle towed to the place you plan on having it repaired.
  • If you have time, call your insurance company. You’ll need to report the accident to them eventually, but your policy may cover tows under certain situations. If tows are covered, you may be required to use a specific towing company. However, if the accident is blocking the road or creates unsafe conditions in any way, there may not be time; the police will contact a towing service as quickly as possible to get the accident cleared.
  • Get the following information from the tow truck driver:
    • Where they’re towing your car
    • How much you’ll be charged for the tow
    • If there are any additional fees you’ll be responsible for paying
    • The cost of storage at their tow yard versus having your car towed to a body shop
    • Documentation, such as a receipt or invoice, before you hand your car over to them

You should only release your car to a tow truck driver who’s been called to the scene. Although it’s unlikely, there is a possibility of a different tow truck company showing up and trying to charge you more. Also, be aware that tow truck scams exist. Contact a reputable company and watch out for red flags like asking for your credit card information over the phone.

Where will the car get towed?

Tow truck with crane solid icon, heavy equipment concept, tow car sign on white background, Car towing truck icon in glyph style for mobile concept and web design. Vector graphics

Once the tow truck arrives, the driver will ask where you’d like to have your car towed. It’s best to specify an auto body shop that you’d like your car to go to, but if it’s after hours or you aren’t sure, the driver will be able to provide some options. If you were incapacitated when the tow truck arrives, the police will request to have the car towed to the nearest salvage yard. If this happens, you’ll likely be responsible for storage fees.

Depending on your policy, your auto insurance may cover towing and storage after an accident. Some plans will only cover these fees if you also have roadside assistance coverage. California is an “at fault” state, so the motorist (and their insurance company) who caused the accident is responsible for paying the damages to the other party, including towing and storage fees.

Even if you’re not responsible for the fees, you should try to retrieve your vehicle as soon as you’re able because insurance companies will only pay for the fees for as long as they seem reasonable. After that time, you’ll be responsible for the bill.

It’s also important to make sure you don’t let your car get towed away before the police arrive at the scene of the accident because they’ll need to write up a report about what happened and the extent of the damage.

Immediate transportation from the accident

After your car is towed, you’ll need to find transportation away from the scene of the accident. If the accident happened close to home, you may be able to get a ride with the tow truck driver – but keep in mind that they’re not obligated to take you. Tow trucks also have limited cab space, so if you have several people with you, this may not be an option.

Some other options are to call a friend or family member, a taxi, or a ride-sharing service to pick you up. If you’re unsure of whom to call, the police can offer some suggestions. If you pay for transportation of any kind, be sure to save receipts, especially if the other driver was at fault – you may be able to get reimbursement.

Rental cars

Likewise, if you need a rental car after the accident, you may be able to receive reimbursement from your insurance company. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, the insurer will typically pay for a rental car until your damaged car is repaired, declared a total loss, or you hit the maximum number of days covered by your policy. Generally, there are both daily and total maximums.

What if you were blameless in the accident? If you don’t have rental reimbursement coverage, you’ll need to open a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, and an adjuster will work with you to arrange for the coverage. Keep in mind that this process can take several days – sometimes longer. If fault is in dispute, the insurance company may deny your claim, and you’ll need to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed later. If coverage is denied, it may be worth talking to an attorney.

Once you have a rental car, it should be comparable to your vehicle. If you’d like a rental that’s bigger or somehow fancier than your car, you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket for the upgrade. How long you’ll be able to keep the rental car depends on how long it takes for your car to be repaired or declared a total loss. After that, you’ll be expected to pay for the rental.

Need help after an accident? Call Cline Collision Center!

Dealing with every aspect of an accident is stressful – especially navigating the ins and outs of insurance. That’s why we do everything we can to help make your repair process as hassle-free as possible. We’ll coordinate with your insurance on your behalf and are happy to arrange for a rental car for you if needed. As an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) shop, we use only OEM parts and repair methods, so you can have peace of mind that your car is completely restored to its perfect pre-accident condition. We also make it easy for you to track the repair process through our online system, so you won’t be left wondering when your car will be ready to pick up.

We hope you’ll never need a body shop, but if you do, you can rely on Cline Collision Center – your auto body advocates! Contact us today at 707-591-9909 or schedule your appointment online.

Help Your Car Beat the Heat This Summer

Car on asphalt road in summer

High temperatures can be pretty miserable – they can also be difficult on your car. Engines produce a massive amount of heat; paired with extreme outdoor temperatures, hot summer days can lead to overheating and potentially getting stranded along the roadside.

Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure your vehicle stays safe and reliable all season long:

Battery

It’s fairly well-known that batteries are affected by cold winter weather, but did you know the summer heat can be even worse on your battery? When it comes to batteries, heat and vibration are the two leading causes of breakdowns and failure. Although there’s not much you can do to keep your battery cool, you can make sure that the battery is well secured to minimize vibration.

Battery fluid also evaporates faster in high temperatures, which can lead to corrosion on the terminals or connections. Clean off any corrosion as needed. While you’re doing that, it’s also a good idea to check that the cable clamps are tight enough to prevent them from moving around.

Is your battery more than 3 years old? If so, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to find out how much longer it will last. Typically, most car batteries last between 3 – 5 years.

Cooling System

The cooling system in your vehicle is responsible for keeping your car from overheating. To make sure your cooling system is operating as efficiently as possible, it should be flushed periodically according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. To keep it working its best between flushes, check the coolant level occasionally. If it’s too low, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and coolant.

Make sure to check which type of coolant your car needs – there are several different types on the market. Use caution when removing the radiator cap, and never remove it when the engine is hot! The pressurized coolant or steam from it can cause severe burns.

While you’re topping off your coolant, it’s also a good idea to inspect the neighboring rubber components for signs of deterioration. Any hoses or drive belts that have cracks, soft spots, or other types of wear should be replaced.

Tires

Driving on underinflated tires is never a good idea, but hot road temperatures can make them even more likely to have a blowout. Tires typically lose about a pound of air pressure per month, so they should be checked monthly, year-round. Don’t forget to check the pressure on your spare, too!

You’ll get the most accurate reading when the tires are cold. If your tires need more air, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s inflation pressure recommendations; these can be found in the owner’s manual or on the tire information label on the door jam. Don’t rely on the tire pressure listed on the tires themselves – they may not be the correct pressure for your specific vehicle.

Fluids

Most of the fluids in your car work the same way: they lubricate the moving parts and they act as a coolant, pulling heat away from the components. When the fluids are low, they aren’t able to keep things cool as well – and decreased lubrication can lead to friction, which generates more heat and increases the possibility of overheating.

All fluids should be checked periodically, including the engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. If any of them are low, top them off using the fluid specified in your owner’s manual.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning definitely makes driving in high temperatures more comfortable, but it also increases your safety by reducing fatigue and preventing heatstroke. If your AC isn’t working as well as it used to, it could be because the refrigerant is low or there could be a leak in the system. Have your AC checked out by a certified technician to determine the cause of the problem. If you have cabin air filters, these should also be inspected and replaced as needed.

Be Prepared for Breakdowns

Routine maintenance can go a long way in keeping your car on the road, but breakdowns can still happen when you least expect them. For this reason, it’s always best to be prepared! All drivers should have an emergency kit in their vehicle, with the following items:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Road flares or an emergency beacon
  • Duct tape
  • Basic hand tools (socket set, screwdriver, pliers, and an adjustable wrench)
  • A first aid kit

The summer heat may be tough on our cars, but with the right maintenance, you can prevent problems and enjoy a happy season of driving!

At Cline Collision Center, we want you to stay safe all summer long! But if you do run into trouble (or trouble runs into you!) bring your car to us. We use OEM parts and factory repair methods to get your vehicle back to its perfect pre-accident condition. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online!

Parking Dos and Don’ts

Dings. Dents, Scratches. Stains. Fading. Parking anywhere but inside your garage can be rough on the exterior of your car.

But you can’t spend your whole life at home. How do you drive out into the world and worry less about what parking will do to the look and future resale value of your vehicle?

Park farther away

Occupied Parking Lot

Finding that spot right next to the entrance can feel great in the moment, but it can expose you to all sorts of trouble. Every car is jockeying for those close spots, and you will also have more pedestrians and carts squeezing into the narrow spaces between vehicles.

Your best bet is to park farther away and take a nice long walk to the entrance. It will put extra steps on your Fitbit and keep your car from getting banged into by all that car and foot traffic.

Avoid Danger Zones

There are definitely better and worse places to park, and we want to outline a few of the most harmful to your car’s exterior:

  • Trees—It makes sense when you think of it. What lives in trees? Birds. Aside from chirping and flitting about, birds spend a fair amount of time pooping. If your car is parked under a tree, you increase the chances of getting bombed. Bird droppings are acidic and, left unwashed, can damage your paint. There are also sap, seeds, branches, fruit, and other potentially damaging items falling from trees, so avoid parking under them.

  • Playgrounds and athletic fields—Balls flying. Kids running and riding bikes. Parking right next to playgrounds and athletic fields can bring you closer to the action, which is not necessarily a good thing. Park as far away as possible to avoid the hassle and cost of having a foul ball dent in your hood.

  • Parking Garages—Set your sights higher when it comes to parking structures. The top floors, with the farthest walks, are always less crowded and cleaner. You’d think you expose your car to more bird poop on the top floor, but birds often nest in parking lot rafters and can make just as much of a mess of your car on lower floors.

  • Intersections and 4-way stops—Accidents happen, and intersections are the most typical place for a car to get smashed. Don’t make it easy for a distracted driver to plow into your car. Try to find a place where cars aren’t so likely to run into you.

Think before you park

We want your car to look beautiful and hold onto its value, which is why we urge you to think before you park. If your car is damaged, bring it into the pros at Cline Collision Center. We are ASE-certified, have OEM certification from InfinitiNissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia, and have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR. For top-quality workmanship and customer service, including help with navigating insurance challenges, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

Can You Keep Your Car (and Yourself) Safe during a Pandemic?

You need a dependable car but COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. How do you keep your family healthy and your car running safely? As car care professionals, we have some thoughts on how you can accomplish both of these as you navigate the new “normal.”

Let It Run

Can You Keep Your Car Safe During A Pandemic

Cars don’t do well when they are parked for long time-periods. Batteries lose their charge, tires get flat spots, and rubber components such as belts and wipers dry out. 

Take your vehicle for a 20-minute or longer drive at least once per week. This ensures the battery is charged, wears the rust off the brake discs, and keeps the calipers from seizing. It’s not just your car that can use a break. Getting away for a few minutes can improve your mental health, too! 

Lengthening Out Service Intervals 

If your engine light is on, bring it to a shop as soon as you can. But you can stretch out service intervals when you are not subjecting your car to harsh driving conditions.  

When you bring it into a shop, ask them about their coronavirus procedures. Are they taking it seriously – disinfecting surfaces and your key fob? If you can, wait three days before picking up the vehicle since the latest data show that the virus can exist on some surfaces for up to several days, depending on conditions. When you pick it up, wipe down the door handle, interior surfaces, and fob before driving home. 

DIY Service 

  • Oil Level: Check the level before you start your car, make sure that it’s on level ground. If the oil is low, go ahead and top it off. Just be sure you’re using the oil recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Tire Wear: Insert a quarter into the tread with Washington’s head upside-down. If you can’t see the top of his wig you are good-to-go. If you can it means you have less than 1/8-inch of tread and need to start thinking about replacement. Though tires must be replaced when tread dips below 1/16-inch, braking distances are significantly impacted once you have less than 1/8-inch.

  • Air Filters: These are easy to check and replace. Take a look under the hood for the air and cabin filters—use the owner’s manual if you can’t find them yourself. Changing these filters saves you money and allows the intake of healthier air, for the engine and passengers!

  • Wipers: Did you know that wipers are intended to last 6 months? You can get more service out of wipers by washing them with a paper towel moistened by glass cleaner. Why not check the windshield fluid level while you’re at it? If it’s low, you can purchase fluid at auto parts stores and most convenience and grocery stores.

At Cline Collision Center, we work hard to make sure you are safe. When you run into trouble—or, trouble runs into you—we offer superior craftsmanship and use only quality parts. This commitment to your well-being includes following the most up-to-date COVID-19 protocols. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for the very best in Sonoma County autobody repair!

Staying Safe on the Road as Days Get Shorter

Gloves? Check. Jacket? Check. Beanie? Check. You wouldn’t go out into the cold without being prepared, right?

Staying Safe On The Road | Windsor Auto Repair

There’s no difference with cold-weather driving. You need to be prepared for changing conditions.

For example, since school is in session, there are more cars and pedestrians out and about in fall and winter than in summer. But that’s just the beginning of cold weather issues to contend with. Fall and winter also brings fog, high winds, and extra moisture to the roadway. Are you prepared?

Rain

Following too closely is one of the surest ways to get in an accident. Especially in the rain. The first rain of the year is particularly dangerous when rainwater pools on top of dust and oil that has soaked into asphalt. This makes streets extremely slick. Be sure to give yourself an extra car length or two of space when you are behind another vehicle. You also want to make sure your wiper blades are working well—you need to be able to see the road so you can pick up signs of trouble quickly. Replace old wiper blades if they are streaking and smearing.

Fog

When cold air meets sunshine or warmer surfaces, a regular occurrence in cold weather, fog makes it difficult to see changing road conditions. Slow down when it’s foggy and give yourself extra space. You never know when you will need some extra braking time!

Glare

The sun is lower in the sky. This produces more glare that can impair vision, especially when driving east in the morning or west in the evening. That burning in your eyes can make it hard to see pedestrians, bicycles, or other cars. Traffic lights, stop signs, and other road signage can also be difficult to see. Get a good pair of sunglasses and keep them in your car at all times. Also, clean that windshield!So, when the weather gets colder, what are the best ways to make driving as safe as possible? If you said you were going to slow it down, give vehicles more space, and takes measures to increase visibility, you have answered correctly! No matter what precautions you take, though, accidents still happen. At Cline Collision Center, we will bring your vehicle back to pre-collision condition. We offer a full slate of autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today for a warm and relaxing auto body repair in Windsor

Auto Body Repair

When Bald Isn’t Beautiful

Auto Body Repair | Aging Tires

Going bald is not something most people hope for, but it’s a fact of life for many. Nearly two-thirds of men will experience significant hair loss by the time they’re 50 years old. It is also something that doesn’t have to get in the way of a healthy, happy life.

Unfortunately, the same is not true of bald tires.

Driving on worn down tires is downright dangerous. More than one-quarter of all auto crashes involve at least one car with tires that have treads of less than 1/16 of an inch.

Why Not Tread Lightly?

Your tires are engineered with specifically designed grooves or channels that grasp the surface of the road. They give you the traction you need to get a grip in rain, snow, ice, or mud. Slippery roads are manageable only because these channels force water and slick material away from the surface that contacts the road. Tread also makes sure steering remains stable so that you can avoid trouble in an emergency.

It takes a lot of friction to keep your car connected to the road. This friction causes heat. Tires with low or no tread cause heat buildup that can lead to a blowout. With enough tread, your tires stay cooler by allowing air to flow between the grooves. Further, when you have worn tires, water gets between your tire and the road leading to hydroplaning. Modern tread patterns are great at channeling water away from the tire surface. This can’t happen when there isn’t enough of a channel!

Hey Mister, Got a Quarter?

Regular inspections are a great idea. If you insert a penny into the tread and see the top of Lincoln’s head, you have less than one-sixteenth of an inch and should get new tires now. For those who want to error on the side of increased safety—try the same test, but with a quarter. You have 1/8 of an inch left If you can see the top of Washington’s head. This means you are within the manufacturer’s specs, but there might be some compromise on stopping distance and handling in difficult circumstances.  You should also look for sidewall cracks, bulges or blisters that can develop over time. All of these are serious and require immediate attention! At Cline Collision Center, we know it’s difficult enough to safely navigate your vehicle without making it harder on yourself. We don’t want you to get in an accident because your tires were going bald and needed to be replaced. However, we understand that accidents happen – and we are here for you when they do. Just call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for a full-slate of auto body repair services in Santa Rosa,  including auto detailingdent removal, and exact-match painting

Your Auto Body Advocate

The Cline Collision Center process for repairing your vehicle.

Getting into an accident or damaging your car is one of the most inconvenient and stressful situations. It’s likely you won’t know what to do when it comes to dealing with your car insurance company and the auto body repair process.

That is where Cline Collision Center comes in. Our mission is to be our customer’s advocate. We know your situation is stressful and we understand the lingo and terminology your insurance company might be asking you. This is why we established a process for auto body repairs that removes the stress and delivers an exceptional finished vehicle for our customers.

The Cline Collision Center Vehicle Repair Process:

  1. File Claim with Insurance Company: Before Cline Collision Center can get started, you must file a claim and provide a statement with your insurance company.
  2. Call Cline Collision Center: Once you have your claim number you can provide it to us and we’ll get started.
  3. Estimates, Approvals and Loaner Car: Our Manager, Joe, will be the one who takes your claim number and begins working with your insurance company on an estimate for repairs. This will be the time that we also coordinate a loaner car to have during the duration of the repair.
  4. Prep for Repairs: Upon estimate approval, your car will be disassembled and repairs will be scheduled. OEM parts will be ordered, paint colors determined and repairs can begin.
  5. Structure Repairs: Our highly trained team will begin repairing your vehicle and bring it back to new.
  6. Body Work: Exterior panels and finishing will be replaced.
  7. Paint Shop: After the body work is completed, your vehicle enters our paint shop. We utilize only the best brands (Spies Hecker, Dupont and Axalta among others).
  8. Assembly: Our team will put all of the repaired panels back on the vehicle. Inspections are made to ensure every component is perfect.
  9. Detail: Upon sign off of repair, we then detail the car to make sure it looks pristine.

Communication is Key

We communicate with our customers through every step of the auto body repair process. We know how inconvenient it is for you and we want to make sure you feel at ease and informed. With Cline Collision Center being a Santa Rosa Gold Class Repair Shop by i-Car, and committed to only using OEM parts, you can rest assured your car is in good hands.

Get the best parts-and the best service at Cline Collision Center.

Schedule an appointment.