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Tag: car crash

After a car accident, a driver must decide whether or not to repair his or her car. To determine repair costs, and find out if your car is totaled, you’ll need to find an Austin collision repair shop.

Insurance company declared my vehicle totaled – Now what?

An Austin body shop will inspect the damage and provide a repair estimate to the insurance company. If the insurer determines the repair cost is more than the current value of the vehicle, the insurer declares the car totaled and will not pay for the repair.

At this point in the process, it helps to understand your insurance policy. Know what to expect in terms of your coverage for a car that is not repairable. This helps you understand what kind of payment they should provide. If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment, do some research before contacting your agent. Take a look at prices online for your year, make, and model of vehicle. Talk with used car dealers for their estimate, and also let your insurance agent know of any custom or additional features on your vehicle that may add to its value.

Repairing a totaled car

If the vehicle that was wrecked was a daily commuter, repairing the car may not be important. However, some cars hold a sentimental value for owners, whether they are classics, a handed down vehicle from a loved one, or a first car.

When a car owner wants to repair a totaled vehicle, let the insurance company know soon after the car is totaled. The insurer will take out the car’s salvage value from the total it was going to pay for the current value. A salvage title will be necessary to drive the vehicle again. The repair costs will be your responsibility and not your insurance company’s.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, we provide collision repair Austin, our team of technicians understand what it takes to repair vehicles with extensive damage and to make the car safe to drive again.

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An outside view of two dash cameras attached near the top of a windshield.
Dash cameras are becoming increasingly popular, filming the outside or inside of a car while driving.

We live in a world where much of what we do in public is on camera. If you go inside a business, you may be on a security camera. When attending events, you may be in someone’s video from a smartphone. And now, more drivers use dash cameras than ever before. Many people use them in their personal vehicles to capture various perspectives while driving.

There is not a specific law in Texas that pertains to dash cameras. However, there are privacy and driving laws that drivers using a dash camera should know.

Privacy rights

With cameras that surround us in public and people using their smartphones, it is easy to forget that we do have rights to our privacy.

Recording video from a dash camera while driving is not against the law in Austin, as long as it is hands-free. Mount the camera on the dash and never maneuver it while driving. If you are recording audio, remember the privacy laws in Texas regarding consent to being recorded with audio.

Also, it is not against the law to record a traffic stop, or any interaction with police, in Texas.

Keep a clear view

If your dash camera is mounted on the dashboard or on your windshield, do not put it in a location that blocks your view. Make sure your camera doesn’t prevent you from seeing vital road signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles.

Also, never depend on a dash camera as your view for driving. The camera can serve as a different perspective of what you see while driving and can become an extra set of eyes, but should not be relied upon for safety.

Benefits of accident video for a collision center

Close-up of a front bumper and headlight, dented and misaligned.
Dash cameras can help drivers when talking to car repair technicians and their insurance.

Drivers who get into a wreck can provide the video footage to their body shop for repair technicians to review. Technicians can then have a better understanding of the impact to the car and possible damage.

The video can also be helpful for insurance agents, determining blame for an accident, or viewing your driving behaviors that may have caused the crash.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, we have provided high quality collision repair to vehicles for more than 60 years. The more details you have regarding the accident can help our technicians provide the most accurate repairs to your car so you can get back on the road.

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Woman in polka-dot dress leans in close to a blue vehicle and smiles as she runs her hand along the outside.
Getting certified auto body repair not only better ensures safety, but also better maintains your car’s value.

After a car accident, you need to find a body shop you can trust to make quality repairs. One way to know if collision centers are qualified is to find out if they offer certified collision repair.

Learning About certified collision repair

When body shops provide certified collision repair, it means their technicians are trained by the manufacturers. An auto body shop commits to quality repair through certification. It costs a shop to train employees and purchase the right equipment to do the job precisely.

As vehicles change it is necessary for shops to learn new changes from the manufacturer. Research several shops to find out if those body shops offer certified collision repair and how frequently their technicians have trained on your car make.

The difference in certified

With better training and equipment, there are better odds that the work performed on your car will be higher quality. A body shop with certified collision repair wants your satisfaction and recommendation to others.

Today’s vehicles are more detailed than ever. There’s more than just repairing the body: The function and safety of a car relies heavily on technology. Each of these details are different from manufacturer to manufacturer, and repairing something incorrectly can affect how the car operates.

For example, if the automatic emergency braking system needs repair after an accident, the repairs must meet manufacturer specifications so your car is safe to drive. Repairing this incorrectly could be dangerous.

Owners of luxury vehicles should also have certified repair performed on your car to maintain its value. A certified body shop typically uses manufacturer parts. There is a better guarantee these parts will fit and function better than an aftermarket part. Additionally, for luxury vehicles it will make a difference in the value if there are manufacturer parts.

Different manufacturers, different certifications

Tech wearing overalls and a grey sweatshirt holds out car keys to the camera.
Manufacturers often set high standards for their certified techs, making sure you get the best quality care for your vehicle.

Every vehicle is different and that is why each manufacturer’s certification requirements differ.

GM requires certified technicians to perform a pre-scan and post-scan to find damage and check that the repairs are correct. This requires special equipment to find trouble codes and diagnose problems in the vehicle’s safety and powertrain systems. Along with the scanning requirements, GM allows technicians to only perform repairs for which they have been trained and certified.

GM is not the only manufacturer to enforce specific regulations for its certifications. Honda ProFirst also has the scanning mandate and it has specific requirements for repairing aluminum vehicles. Audi routinely audits collision centers with technicians it certifies and found some body shops are not reviewing instructions before repairs. Auto makers want to guarantee that their certifications have purpose and value to customers.

Certified repairs for aluminum cars

New cars use aluminum to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Repairing aluminum is not the same as repairing steel and requires different training and equipment. Manufacturers can certify technicians to repair their aluminum vehicles.

Manufacturers regulate any collision center with aluminum certified technicians. Honda certified auto body shops are required to have separate spaces for repairing aluminum and steel.

Before having your car repaired at a body shop, ask if technicians are certified to repair your brand of vehicle. Shops may list being Ford Aluminum Certified, but it takes an extra training course to also be certified to make aluminum repair on a Lincoln Navigator.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, an Austin body shop, we have been repairing cars in the Austin area for 65 years. Along with locations in Austin, we now have locations in Hutto, Buda, and San Marcos.

We believe in continuous training to become highly skilled in the latest techniques for repair. Our team holds 14 OEM certifications from various manufacturers including Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Land Rover, Honda, GM, and more. Our technicians are also trained by the manufacturers for aluminum certification. Give us a call with questions and to schedule a free estimate to see how we make collision repair hassle-free.

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