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Tag: Austin auto body repair

Many may not realize that when it comes to finding an honest Austin auto body shop, personal choice carries most of the weight. In fact, there are no official Texas state bodies or laws that specifically regulate auto body shops, which means much of the responsibility falls on you to find a shop you can trust.

This doesn’t mean mechanics and auto shops can do whatever they like – there are sections in Texas consumer protection acts that prevent auto repair shops from things like knowingly making misleading statements or representing refurbished goods as brand new. But the lack of a regulatory body does make it very important for consumers to find a reputable body shop.

How to find a reputable body shop in Austin

One of the best ways to find a trustworthy shop is through good old fashioned word of mouth. Ask friends, family members or coworkers for recommendations. An auto body shop that has earned the respect and repeated business of those you trust has probably earned it through good customer service and honest practices.

You can also call your local Office of the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau to see if any suspicious complaints have been filed about auto shops you are thinking of patronizing. These resources can help provide you with information on the shops’ histories and sometimes even contact information for customers who have had issues in the past.

Get Auto Body Repair Estimate in Writing

After selecting a shop, it is always wise to get agreements about repairs in writing. That way if there are any questions later, there is written information for both parties to refer to. Any reputable body shop should be more than happy to get you information on necessary repairs in writing.

If you are on the hunt for a new auto body shop in Austin or Buda, Texas, the experienced team at Ellis and Salazar is ready to help. We are happy answer any questions you have about the process, provide you with repair information and estimates in writing, and make you feel comfortable knowing that your vehicle is in expert, trustworthy hands. Give us a call today to make an appointment.

Our business is built on a foundation of the same values that existed when we opened our first auto body repair shop in Austin back in 1953. Since then we’ve been fortunate to expand our local business with three more locations in Austin and another auto body shop in Buda, Texas. The world has changed a lot since then but some things never change. Like the importance of being thankful and the joy that supporting others brings.

We believe that being active in our community is a great way to illustrate what kind of a business we are.  It’s also a great way to say “thank-you” to a community that has trusted us for over 50 years to repair their vehicles after car accidents.  Philanthropy is an important part of our mission to be a business that believes in giving back.

Supporting organizations that share our company vision of providing for others is important to us. One of the beautiful things about a community is taking care of each other.  There are lots of great organizations in Austin taking care of people every day.

It’s not just about that though. We enjoy being active in the community. Our employees look forward to cooking pancakes at the Rodeo Austin Cowboy Breakfast or making lasagna for the residents at the Austin Ronald McDonald House.  If cooking isn’t their thing, maybe they enjoy beautifying Austin by helping clean up roads or walking on the Relay for Life team! It’s a chance for them to get out and spend time with co-workers in a different environment while making new friends and trying something they haven’t done before. It’s a time for them to feel proud they work for an employer who cares about being active in supporting the Austin community.

We hope that if you ever find yourself in need of auto body repair in Austin or Buda, you’ll consider trusting your vehicle to a business that takes pride in its community. We treat every customer with respect and would love to earn your business.

Image courtesy Creativity 103.

Winter weather rarely brings bad driving conditions to the Austin area, but when it does it finds many who live here unprepared for driving in bad weather conditions.  Refreshing your memory about driving safely on icy and snowy roads can keep you from needing a visit to your local auto body shop.

How to Drive Safely on Icy Roads

1)      Make sure your vehicle is properly equipped.  Do your tires have plenty of tread on both the front and back?  Poor tread means less traction and increased likelihood of spinning out.   Are your windshield wipers and defroster keeping your windows clear for maximum visibility?  Check your brakes before heading out to be sure they’re responding properly.  If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, be sure you know how to properly activate ABS during a skid.

2)      Drive slowly.  Leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and those around you.  Allow plenty of time for accelerating and braking and be very aware of your surroundings.  Extra space can mean the difference between properly maneuvering your car to avoid a collision if a vehicle near you begins to slide.

3)      Remember that black ice looks like regular water.  What may look like a small puddle could actually be a hazardous patch of black ice.  It’s most common during the early morning and late evening when the roads no longer absorb enough heat to keep water from freezing, but during extreme cold it can be present in the middle of the day.  Read ahead on how to properly respond when you find yourself driving on black ice and your quick response could save you and your vehicle from being in an accident.

4)      The safest way to keep from getting in an accident during bad weather is not to drive.  Even if you’re prepared, those around you may have less experience driving on slick roads and if the vehicle next to you spins out of control, you can find yourself involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault.

Hazardous road conditions are pretty rare in Austin, but they do exist.  Making sure your vehicle is equipped for driving on bad roads, taking extra time and being aware of how your vehicle responds differently on ice can help ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.  If you do find yourself involved in a wreck, give us a call.  We’re a locally owned body shop and we’ll get your car fixed up and back on the road with unmatched customer service.

Owning a car means that at some point it’s likely you’ll need a trusted auto body shop in Austin to come to the rescue and repair damage to your vehicle.  Many people wait until they’ve been in a car wreck to start looking for a collision repair center, but the best time to establish a new relationship is before you need it!

Any time your car needs repairs, whether they’re mechanical or involve body damage, it’s a stressful time.  Dealing with insurance, car rental and the hassles of being without your usual vehicle can be a big inconvenience.  Planning ahead and having a personal connection with a collision center in Austin will save you the headache of starting your search while you’re already stressed out.

Still not sure? Here are five compelling reasons to spend a little time doing your homework beforehand:

1)      When you have a wreck, one phone call gets you a fast and free tow.

2)      Once your car is in the shop, they’ll help you find a rental car and be on your way as quickly as possible.

3)      An established relationship with a trusted collision center means you don’t have to waste time asking all your friends and reading online reviews.  You’ll be back on the road sooner if you already know who to turn to!

4)      As a valued customer, you know you’ll receive the best possible service.  No waiting around wondering if there will be delays.

5)      Working with a local business provides peace of mind that you’re supporting your local economy.

Spend a few minutes today to look up online reviews and check out what’s available.  Google+ is a great way to find out which body shop is closest to home.  You can also find valuable information on auto body shop reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List. Make a quick note in your phone contacts or on your tablet device and you’ll be ready to get help when you need it.  Your Austin body shop should be a trusted ally, not a headache waiting to happen.  Arm yourself with some research and information beforehand and you’ll have an established friend ready to help when you need them.

There are significant benefits to keeping your car looking new.  Some of these values are intangible and others are obvious.  In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why it makes good sense for you to keep your car looking new, not just when you are getting ready to sell it, but all year round.

Proper Maintenance is a Habit

There is no way around it; proper maintenance is a habit.  If you start neglecting your car, its likely things will go from bad to worse.  When you keep your car in great shape, it means that you are taking steps to protect your investment.  Outside of a home, the largest purchase most people make is a car.  Protecting that investment makes sense.  This means that if your car gets a small ding or minor body damage, take the time to find a reputable auto body repair shop who can fix it and restore your car to new condition.

How Do Others Perceive You?

Is it fair to be judged by your car?  Of course not, we’re all more than the car we drive.  But the world can be a cruel and unforgiving place.  You can be sure that people will judge you based on not just what kind of car you drive but the quality of the car’s appearance.  You might be tempted to think that this only applies to single people who need or want to impress the opposite sex, but the issue of a well maintained car is potentially far more important than your dating life.

If you are married with children, it could even alter how people treat your children.  Initially, most people have little information about you to go on and that means any outward signs you show the world will be carefully evaluated.  Again, is it fair?  No, but it is also reality.

Proper car maintenance can change how people perceive you in the workplace.  Keeping your car looking its best can make a difference in how you are treated at work.  There are good reasons why people climbing the corporate ladder are typically concerned with how they dress, what phones they own, the color of their ties, what watches they wear and, yes, the cars they drive.  Most successful people  know that people are watching, evaluating and judging.

Making the Sale

Of course, when it comes time to sell your car it’s likely that it will be in far better shape if you’ve been maintaining it all along.  A poorly maintained interior can show signs of wear like broken dials, cracked dashboards and stained upholstery. Likewise, a car’s exterior that is neglected will also be harder to bring back to life.  MSN Auto recently published an article called “Keeping Up Appearances” which points out that bird droppings need to be removed from your car through regular washings.  Otherwise, they can end up permanently bonding to the paint.

Caring about the exterior of your car means parking it in a garage when possible and protecting it from the sun.  You will also want to consider periodically waxing your car, as this adds a protective coating and will often even take care of minor damage.  Such measures have to be taken throughout the lifetime of your vehicle.

There are many good reasons to keep your car in a garage.  In cold climates, salt can damage your car.  In warm and sunny climates, the sun’s rays can damage your car’s paint.  Many people are surprised to learn just how damaging UV rays can be to their auto paint.  What will the sun’s rays do to even the best auto paint job?  With enough exposure, you can be certain that your car paint will fade, thanks to intense summertime sun.

 Sun is Your Car’s Enemy

 The best ways to keep your car paint job from fading is to limit its exposure to sunlight.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should only come out at night!  Your car paint isn’t that fragile, but limiting the number of hours that your car logs in baking in the sunlight, especially very intense, direct summertime sunlight, is essential.  If you want to keep your car paint job looking great, following the steps outlined below will keep your auto paint looking great for years to come.

 Ways Around a Garage

If you have a garage, use it!  Many of us don’t have garages or have no choice but to leave our cars exposed to the elements while we’re at work.  There are a few options in this regard.  One option is to pay for covered parking.  If covered parking is cost prohibitive, or not available, there are other solutions.Another option is to look for consistently shaded areas and park your car in those places.  Sometimes following this course of action might mean a longer walk, but a little extra exercise isn’t a bad thing.  In the winter months and in colder climates  you won’t have to worry as much about the sun fading your car’s paint job.  But you want your auto paint job to look great for years, then it’s wise to invest in some preventive and protective measures.

A garage isn’t the only way to protect your car while at home.  If you are a homeowner without a garage, then you might want to consider either building a low cost garage or opting for a car port.  Car ports are an easy way for you to protect your car’s paint from UV rays and they are surprisingly affordable.

Wax On, Wax Off

Waxing is another way to protect your car’s paint job.  If you make waxing a regular part of your car maintenance you will decrease the risk of a faded paint job.

 Give Your Car a Little Protection

Finally, you may have seen people opting for protective car covering. This is usually an option followed by those who have expensive cars.  While car coverings do help, they can also come with problems.  In high density urban environments a car covering can be an invitation to people looking for trouble to mess with your car.  Be aware of the risks of using a car cover to protect your car paint job from the sun and be sure you don’t wind up doing more harm to your car than good!

A little planning can go a long way in preserving the look of your car’s paint job.  Prolonged exposure to UV rays will damage your paint, and getting a new top quality paint job can be both time consuming and expensive.  If you want to keep your car in optimal shape, preventive maintenance is your best choice.

Almost everyone agrees that talking on your cell phone while driving is dangerous.  Texting while driving is even more hazardous.  That doesn’t stop people from doing it, which means car accidents as a result of distracted driving are on the rise.

The statistics about car accidents caused by distracted driving are startling.

Most drivers think any cell phone use while driving impairs your ability to drive as safely as if you were undistracted.  Yet 52% admit to using their cell phones while driving.  Austin car accident incidents increase when people use their cell phones while driving, it’s that simple.

TxDOT reported that distracted driving, including cell phone use, contributed to over 90,000 car accidents in Texas in 2012.  These accidents resulted in 453 deaths, many of which could have been prevented if drivers had been responsible cell phone users.

What is a responsible cell phone user?

Operating a vehicle is an activity that requires concentration and attention.  To effectively navigate safely to your destination without getting in a car accident it’s important to remain undistracted.

Tips to be a responsible cell phone owner while driving:

1)      When using GPS to navigate, program your device prior to driving.  To prevent car accidents, don’t alter its programmed destination without pulling over.

2)      Put your cell phone where you can’t reach it.  Place it in the back seat or trunk.  It can’t distract you if you can’t see it.

3)      Turn off the sound.  No text message, phone call or e-mail is so important that it can’t wait until you arrive at your destination.  None of those messages or calls will matter if you don’t arrive safely and without getting in a car wreck.

4)      If you must use your cell phone, find a safe place to pull off the road.  Studies have proven that even voice activated texting and hands-free talking while driving are not safe alternatives.

5)      Ask a passenger to answer your phone or respond to text messages on your behalf while you’re driving.

6)      Install an app that prevents you from using your phone while your vehicle is moving.  If you don’t trust yourself to resist the temptation, there’s an app for that!

7)      Join thousands of others who have taken the pledge to not text while driving.  A popular local Austin television station recently ran a lengthy campaign in support of ‘X the Text’ hoping to reduce the incidence of Austin car accidents.

In addition to safety concerns, in many areas using your cell phone while driving is against the law.  If you live in Texas, you can learn more about texting while driving laws in Texas by visiting the TxDOT website.

Safer driving  means fewer Austin car accidents.  Don’t try to defy the odds, increase your odds of arriving safely by being a responsible cell phone owner while driving.

 

The day all drivers dread has arrived.  You’ve been in a car accident and now you’re searching for a reputable Austin auto body shop and have no idea where to start.

With the help of the internet and a little bit of research you can save yourself a lot of headache down the road.  Be prepared as you begin getting estimates and decide who to trust with restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition.

Austin Auto Body Repair
Car wreck? Don’t lose your sanity dealing with repairs.
(Image courtesy: Roadsidepictures on Flickr.)

1)      Referrals

When dealing with something as important as getting your car repaired after a wreck, it’s important to work with someone you can trust.  The best way to find a reputable collision center is to ask your friends, family and co-workers.

Many people have been in a car accident in Austin and are happy to share their experiences if you ask.  Good experiences with a collision center can provide a great place to begin your search; bad experiences can help you narrow down your list.

2)      Research

The internet is a valuable resource for doing research once you’ve narrowed down your search.  Has the Austin auto body repair shop been around long enough to establish a reputation?  Are their facilities up to date, professional, clean and do they instill trust that your car repair will be done right?  Do they guarantee their work?  Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau and do they hold industry affiliations and certifications?

Doing the proper research before you trust your car to an Austin auto body repair shop is the best time investment you can make.  It’s tempting to go with the first one that sounds good, but doing background research can either instill additional confidence in your decision or make you run for the hills.

3)      Comparison

For any major car accident repair in Austin you’ll want to get several estimates.  Don’t be tempted to shop only based on price. Take into account the feeling you got from the shop and its employees.  Did they treat you with courtesy and respect? Were they fair and did they take the time to explain the collision repair in depth?

Remember that you have the right to choose which auto body repair shop you use. While it’s valuable to take the suggestion of your insurance agent into consideration, the ultimate decision is up to you.  Comparing multiple collision centers in Austin is the best way to make a sound choice and keep your sanity intact.

To get started finding a reputable auto body shop, check out the BBB ratings in your area.

 

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