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Category: Auto Body Shop

car accident

If you have never had a car accident before or if it has been awhile, it’s easy to forget steps to take during the unexpected stressful moments following the wreck. That is why it is helpful to have a checklist in your car or reviewing the steps often so you don’t overlook an important task.

Determine Injuries

The most important and first step to take immediately following an accident is to take a moment to determine if you or anyone in your car suffered injuries. If you are not seriously injured and able to check on the driver of the other vehicle, do so and then call 911. If you need an ambulance, tell the operator.

Safety After the Accident

Depending on where any vehicles involved ended up after the accident, you should consider safety after the collision. Wrecked vehicles that block traffic can lead to additional accidents. If the drivers are not seriously injured and the vehicles will still drive, the cars should be moved to a safe location off of the road. If it is not possible to move cars, set out any hazards, flares, or cones available.

Get the Other Driver’s Information

You will need to get the other driver’s information such as insurance, name of insured if it is different from the driver, and names and addresses for passengers in the car. Write down vehicle information such as make, model, and license plate.

Create a Record of the Collision

Take photos with your phone or a camera of any damage and of the accident scene. Write down what happened prior to the accident as you remember it and include details such as location, time of day, weather conditions, and traffic conditions.

Understand Your Insurance

When you sign up for your insurance policy, know what it covers and review the policy frequently so you have a clear understanding of what is and is not covered.

File an Accident Report

File a report with local law enforcement to have an official record that the accident happened. This typically happens when an officer arrives to the accident scene. The report can help insurance companies expedite a claim.

Find a Local Auto Body Shop

After the accident, you will need a local auto body shop that can repair your car. At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, we have locations in North Austin, South Austin, Buda, Hutto, and San Marcos with certified technicians trained to repair your model of vehicle. Contact us to schedule a free estimate so you can be confident that your car is repaired to manufacturer’s standards.



auto body repair regulation in Texas

There are a number of laws in the Lone Star State that regulate how businesses operate. It may surprise some that there is not a specific law in Texas that governs auto body repair shops. That doesn’t mean that body shops do not have regulations to follow.

As you are choosing body shop locations in the Austin area, keep in mind that all auto body repair shops must meet or pass environmental regulations and inspections. There are agencies that enforce criteria that every body shop in Austin must follow. 

Deceptive Repairs

Every customer should review an estimate before the repairs begin to know exactly what will be done to the car and how much it will cost. Customers should also review the cost when paying. It may be difficult to know if the repairs as charged were made, but this can fall under Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act.

If an Austin body shop made unnecessary repairs, charged for new parts but installed used parts, or if parts were not replaced, the customer should file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Requirements for Body Shops

No law governing collision repair doesn’t mean there are not regulations. All collision shops must meet a variety of requirements to stay in business, including the best body shop Austin has to offer. These regulations include those established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

The TCEQ has a checklist of requirements that involve waste, water, and air and shops must be in compliance every day. The state agency mandates these stipulations and a collision repair shop is required to fix anything not meeting these requirements.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision has served customers in the Austin area for more than 60 years. We want all of our customers to know the management at each location is here to answer any questions you may have and address any concerns. Contact us for a free estimate to see how we will exceed your expectations for auto body repair.

collision repair in Texas

 After you have repairs made to your car at a body shop in Austin, you naturally hope the repairs will last. But there could be a time when a repair does not last as it should. That’s when you hope the body shop that repaired your vehicle offers a lifetime warranty.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a body shop. Along with certified collision repair, you want an auto body shop that offers a lifetime warranty. This means the body shop is confident the work they do should last and if it doesn’t, that shop will make good on the repairs so they are correct and there are no issues.

Ask About All Warranties Offered

When you are getting an estimate for the repairs to your car, that is a good time to ask the body shop if it offers any warranties. If the shop does offer warranty, find out if there is more than one warranty program, specifically what the warranty covers, and how long the warranty is offered.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, backs up its commitment for quality collision repair with a Nationwide Limited Lifetime Warranty for any body work we perform on your vehicle. Any paint services are backed by the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee.

What Does a Lifetime Warranty Mean?

If a body shop offers a lifetime warranty that means any collision repair work on your vehicle is guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle. If months or years after the body repairs are made to your car and something goes wrong with those repairs, you should take it back to the collision repair shop and it will be fixed at no additional cost to you.

The cost of any warranty repair work offered by the body shop is that shop’s responsibility. Anytime there is an out-of-pocket cost for a body shop that shop learns from the repair that didn’t last and should see how to make the repair differently or potentially use other parts.

If you are looking for body shops in Austin, consider Ellis & Salazar. We have served the Austin area for more than 60 years for a reason. Our team stands behind our promise to provide the best quality collision repair. Give us a call to schedule a free estimate and we’ll make sure to exceed your expectations.

distracted driving car accident

A standard feature on many new cars are the screens on the dash between the driver and passenger. These are commonly referred to as vehicle infotainment systems and they are now high on the list for contributing to distractions while driving, causing local body shops to see a rise in these kind of collision repairs.

The intent of the technology is to create a better experience for the driver and add efficiencies. However, a new study from the AAA Foundation discovered that this feature is causing dangerous distractions.

Texas Law

As of September 1, it is against the law in Texas to text, read, or write email on a phone while driving. This law is for the use of wireless communication devices. Many cities, including Austin, Buda, and San Marcos, have ordinances that require drivers to be hands-free while driving.

It is not entirely clear yet how the laws and ordinances will enforce restrictions against drivers using the in-car systems. However, the recent study shows using these while driving could lead to a serious accident and for that reason, AAA is recommending for drivers to only use them when the car is not in motion.

Why Body Shops in Austin May See More Wrecked Cars

AAA’s study tested 30 different systems in vehicles, including systems that allow drivers to surf the web or check social media. The new study shows when drivers use the in-car systems, it causes more than 40 seconds of visual and mental distraction that could lead to a collision and visiting a body shop in Austin. Compare that to their research that shows if a driver removes his or her eyes for just two seconds, the odds of having a collision are doubled.

Consider not only the length of distraction but also almost half of all drivers nationwide, or 40 percent, are using the systems while driving. Navigation was discovered to consume the longest period of distraction.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision has been part of the Austin area for more than 60 years. We care about the community where we work and live. Accidents happen and we have been here to provide the highest quality collision repair to the vehicles of more than one generation in families. If an accident is caused by someone using an in-car system, it was preventable. We hope that drivers in our area will not only follow the laws, but drive sensibly and know that anything that takes your concentration off of the road is not safe.

towing to an auto body shopWhen you are involved in a collision, it probably feels like so much is happening at the same time. You are trying to assess injuries and damage, get information from the other driver, talk to law enforcement, and possibly reaching out to your insurance company. If your vehicle is not drivable, you also need to have your car towed to an auto body shop.

When choosing body shop places, you also have a choice on towing companies. If a tow truck shows up to the wreck without being requested or if it was at the request of an officer on the scene, you do not have to use that towing company.

Know What You Should Pay

There are a variety of fees associated with towing that include the actual towing fee, storage fees, and potentially other charges. If you decide to use a towing company that arrives to the scene of an accident, ask about all fees involved, where it will be towed, and if that location charges a storage fee.

Never allow a tow truck driver to take your car without knowing where it is going and the total amount you need to pay. Ask for a printed receipt for verification of charges and to give to your insurance company, if your policy includes roadside assistance.

Remember Insurance Policy Coverage

When you sign up for insurance with an agency, know exactly what is included in your coverage. Review your policy each time it renews. If roadside assistance and towing is included in your policy, use it when needed. Keep in mind that many policies only cover towing for a limited number of miles.

If your policy does not include towing, think about any other benefits you have, such as a credit card or AAA, that may save you from paying for that tow.

If you have an accident and your vehicle is not drivable, contact our team at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an auto body shop in Austin. We can schedule a tow for you with a reliable company and work with your insurance company on the claim. We believe in providing efficient, high quality repairs so you can get back on the road.

Follow safe driving tips to avoid a holiday visit to the body shop.Santa Claus has his sleigh that flies high over body shops in Austin, Hutto, Buda, and San Marcos. However, the rest of us have our cars that will pack the highways once again this holiday season. More cars mean more of a risk of a collision and needing the best auto body repair Austin has to offer.

With any road trip, it is helpful to give yourself extra time and remember to have patience. Consider these helpful tips before you leave and while you are on the road.

Be Well-Rested

That may sound difficult to accomplish during what can be a busy time for many people. It is important, especially if you are driving late at night, to have a good night of sleep before driving a vehicle for a road trip. If you feel exhausted, consider postponing travel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes more than 72,000 car accidents each year.

Monitor Weather and Road Conditions

Plan ahead before you leave and check the weather and road conditions along the route you will drive. If there are hazardous weather conditions, consider what precautions you need to take, and think about if you need to postpone your trip. Be sure to monitor the conditions for the trip home.

Winter can bring snow at any time. If you do not have experience or you are not comfortable driving on snow, consider an alternate route, different method of travel, or avoiding travel altogether to avoid an accident.

Be Alert

Accidents can happen anywhere, not just on crowded highways. At any time, day or night, stay alert to your surroundings while you drive. If you travel down a road in a dark, wooded area, watch for deer or any other animals that could dart in front of your car.

During the day, if you drive in a residential area watch out for kids who may ride new bikes or play with new toys.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, has served the Austin area for more than 60 years. We live here and care about our community. It is our hope that everyone has a safe holiday season. If an accident does happen, give our team a call for a free estimate and we’ll take care of the rest so you can get back on the road again.

Austin auto body shopFor more than 60 years, Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, has repaired thousands of vehicles damaged in accidents with a deer. As a local auto body shop, we know the areas well where our customers have had accidents, from the Mesa Drive area in Austin to areas in Hays County. Nationwide last year, there were approximately 1.5 million accidents involving a deer. Most of the time these accidents require collision repair from an Austin body shop.

As drivers, we are consistently told to be aware of our surroundings while driving. Watching out for deer is one more reason why it is important to keep your eyes on the road.

Be on the Lookout

Anytime you travel near a wooded area, a golf course, or a field, watch for deer that may be in the area. Deer are known to be more active around dusk or dawn. If you see a caution sign alerting drivers to deer in the area, slow down. Deer typically travel in a pack, so if you see one watch out for any others that may follow.

Use High Beams When Possible

If you are driving in the dark and there are not cars coming toward you, turn on your high beams to help you spot a deer sooner.

Stay Calm

Deer may run across the road quickly, so do not panic if one suddenly heads toward your vehicle. Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. You could collide with another car or lose control. Firmly apply your brakes and keep your car in your lane of traffic.

Keep calm if you do hit a deer. If you are not injured and you are able to safely get out of the vehicle to assess damage, avoid going near the deer until you are absolutely certain it is deceased. If it is injured, call the local game warden. Remember that it is against the law to tag the deer and take it with you.

After the accident, call our team at Ellis & Salazar to have repairs made at any one of our body shops in Austin, Buda, Hutto, and San Marcos. For a fast, easy, and free estimate, use our Online Estimating Tool. We guarantee to exceed your expectations of body repair Austin and the surrounding area has to offer.

insurance body shopAfter an accident, the last thing you want to do is research which one of the auto body shops in Austin is the best place to take your car for collision repair. If you want the repairs made quickly, it may seem convenient to go with a collision repair location that your insurance company recommends. Keep in mind that it is only a recommendation and you have the right to choose where you want to take your vehicle for repairs.

When you do choose a body shop, you want certified collision repair. Certified technicians are trained by the auto manufacturer to be highly qualified making repairs on a model of vehicle.

Benefits of a Recommendation

There can be some benefits to choosing a collision center recommended by your insurance company. Many providers will guarantee the work performed on your car for as long as you own it and it will not cost you to have the repairs fixed properly. Should any part not work properly after the initial collision repair, contact your provider.

How a Recommendation Works

Most insurance providers will offer recommendations based on a list of collision repair shops they have relationships with and that can meet their criteria, such as quick repairs and low costs. You are not required to select one of those shops, but can if you choose.

If you select one of the recommended shops, ask if the location uses less expensive parts to offset low payments from insurance companies. Do some quick research online to find out what others have to say about that location.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, we work with any insurance company, and we are a preferred body shop with most providers. We never use cheaper parts to offset costs and always use what is suggested by the manufacturer. Our team of certified technicians are focused on making quality and efficient repairs that will exceed your expectations. Give us a call for a free estimate, or download our fast and easy estimating tool, so we can get you back on the road.



eco-friendly car paintMore than 50 years ago, paints used on vehicles were lacquer-based and it was later determined they posed health and environmental risks. Since then, there has been a focus on creating paints that offer a high-quality result, yet are safe and environmentally friendly.

Choosing body shop locations for a paint job on your vehicle requires some research. Depending on the auto body shop, it may use solvent-based paints or water-based. If you want to paint “green,” then water-based should be your choice.

The Quality of Water-Based Paint on a Car

A driver typically won’t notice a visible difference between water-based, or waterborne, paint versus solvent. The difference is evident to skilled paint technicians who must know how to properly apply this paint.

Waterborne paint is a heavier-viscosity material and applies three coats of coverage in about half a mil thickness. Because it is a thinner application, less clearcoat is required to smooth out the surface.

Auto painting with waterborne paint requires training. When the paint is wet, it gives off a different hue, which could confuse inexperienced paint technicians. The paint will dry to the desired color. Imperfections can be more prominent using this type of paint and it is more sensitive to humid conditions. Some paint manufacturers make a different version for humid climates.

How Waterborne Paints Differ

Most people are probably familiar with the strong odor of solvent-based paints when used indoors on a wall, because they have higher levels of organic solvents. When this type of paint dries, the solvent evaporates and releases Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that have a toxic impact in the air.

Acrylic emulsions in waterborne paints provide durability, faster drying, and less odor. Because they are less toxic and safer to the environment, they are quickly replacing solvent paints.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, our paint technicians are highly trained and can provide exceptional quality paint jobs. We use waterborne paints because we care about our environment. Give us a call to schedule a free estimate for your car’s paint job.

vehicle flood damageAnyone who is considering buying a pre-owned vehicle should always research the car’s history. After the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, that extra step is more important than ever to determine if a car has weather damage from the floods. Just weeks after the hurricane, the Insurance Council of Texas reported about 165,000 claims on vehicles that were damaged. How do you know to spot if a used car has flood damage?

Newer model cars are primarily computerized. It takes a certified auto technician to know if there is flood damage beyond the structure of the vehicle and more extensive damage to the operative parts of the car.

Have a Used Vehicle Inspected by a Certified Technician

Electrical and mechanical components may appear to function on a car, but not work as they should after a flood. This should be inspected by a technician who is certified by the auto maker and has been trained to know how all of the parts on a vehicle should work. A technician should also look at the engine and undercarriage to see if any repairs have been made.

Take a few moments to look up the car’s history. It may not tell you everything, but there are some immediate signs that the automobile was in a flood. Find the title for the car. Salvage or flood titles are given to cars that are totaled after flooding. Other vehicles could have a rebuilt title if it had enough repairs to pass inspection. Any pre-owned car should be inspected to determine its safety and how much life the car has left.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision in Austin, Buda, Hutto, and San Marcos, we have technicians who are certified by individual automobile manufacturers and know exactly how a specific model should be safely repaired. Contact us today to determine if a pre-owned vehicle is safe to get out on the road.

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