Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

Read the latest auto body and collision repair news from Anderson Behel

Some Car Accessories that Shouldn’t Exist

on Tuesday, 08 June 2021.

Too Much Technology that Isn't Practical

Carmakers are always designing vehicles with cool styling, cutting-edge technology, and other accents and nuances to appeal to the public and create a buzz.  At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we are providing a shortlist of some car accessories that might have sounded good during the blueprinting process but fell short of expectations.

 Over-the-top silly styling (Toyota CH-R XLE): There is a fine line between fun and funky. It seems important to today’s car designers to want their cars to look complex and intriguing. This can be taken to a real extreme, and from some angles, this car looks like a cartoon, which might be the goal. There’s no question this approach does get attention but is it cool?

Wide blind spots (Nissan Leaf SL Plus): Don’t worry about diminished visibility, say the carmakers. Just peel pony up nearly $2,000 for this unique Platinum Supreme Merging and Parking Pack, where both the blind-spot monitors and parking sensors are not effective. It doesn’t seem right to call the Nissan Leaf’s wide C-pillar a blind spot; may we suggest “blind canyon” or perhaps "while driving blind"?

Big & bulging pickup tail lights (Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD Crew Cab LTZ): Let’s say that you are loading up the truck after a fairly exhausting day. As you hoist your toolbox up over the corner of the bed, your mind wanders and you hit one of the taillights; as a result, In the case of this Chevy, the lens assembly will set you back roughly $800 to replace. 

Non-height-adjustable-lumbar-support seats (Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD): Strategically-positioned lumbar support can bring a world of ease to the task of driving because the core of your body can really relax. But most cars with adjustable lumbar support have it at a fixed height, and when it aims into your tailbone, it can feel like you’re making payments on someone else’s car.

Low-profile tires (Volvo S90 T6 Inscription): Large wheels with slim tire sidewalls can make even family wagons look hunky and highly sporty. But they can also amplify bump impacts, deep ruts can bend their rims, and expensive gashes can be the result of parking at the curb. Each of the car’s four corners becomes its own stylish beast of burden.

Fake stitching (Honda HR-V Touring):  Automotive trim with stitching evokes a craftsman’s touch as if the instrument panel part of the factory consists of sewing machines operated by squinty tailors with exacting technique. But when the stitching is simulated like in this case, the alleged thread can be so plasticky that it’s pressed with the same surface grain surrounding it. It’s not noticeable until it is.

About Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop is certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center, and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment, and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan, and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced, and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Sources: Cartalk and Forbes

 

 

 

 

New GM Car Features Rear Seat Reminder

on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

New Technology that Can Save Lives

Whether you’re rushing to get to work, home or another destination, as a busy driver, it’s not uncommon to get distracted and forget what’s in the backseat. It may be your lunch, work-related materials, a pet or even a sleeping child. It’s surprising, but even great parents and caregivers have forgotten a child in the car.  

We always like to share automotive blogs about child's safety when we can here at Anderson Behel In Santa Clara, CA so here is some encouraging news about a new, cutting-edge technology that can save children's lives.

General Motors (GM) is addressing this issue with its introduction of the Rear Seat Reminder. This unique feature is reportedly an industry-first and reminds a driver to check the back seat before locking up and exiting the vehicle.

The car manufacturer first introduced this feature last year on the 2017 GMC Acadia. The Rear Seat Reminder cannot detect passengers or items in the backseat. Instead, it monitors the vehicle’s rear doors.

When the rear doors open and close within 10 minutes before the sports utility vehicle is started, the Rear Seat Reminder is activated. The next time the vehicle is turned off, five chimes go off and the driver receives a message in the car’s instrument panel to look in the backseat.

It is only active once each time the car is turned on and off and may activate even if there is nothing in the backseat.

GM said that the feature was designed with families in mind and the new technology helps drivers remember to always check the backseat, especially for children.

One of the company’s motivating factors to include this new technology was the latest statistics on heatstroke. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children.

According to Jan Null, CCM, from San Jose State University, half of the infants and children who die of heatstroke while in vehicles were accidentally forgotten.

The technology can also help decrease the number of items left in the backseat, which can be a target for theft. According to the FBI, nearly 23 percent of larceny in 2014 was from a motor vehicle, illustrating a problem that is evident here in the Bay Area and nationwide.

 About Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop is certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan, and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

 

 

 Sources: MHTSA, General Motors, USA Today

 

The Story of Anderson the Cat

on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

From Shop Cat to House Cat

In May 2013, a gray cat showed up at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA. As a feral feline, he was content living on the streets, wailing at the moon at night, and mostly sleeping in the bushes during the day. The shop’s crew started putting food and water out for the cat once they noticed him and named him Anderson.

The shop’s Production Manager Jeff Blackmun is a pet person who has had numerous pets during his life. When he first noticed that Anderson was hanging out at the shop, he could clearly see that it was a feral cat that wasn’t crazy about humans.

“We tried to make friends, and he drank the water and ate the food we left out for him, but we couldn’t even get close to him,” Jeff said.

Then one day, Anderson started looking wobbly and Jeff noticed that this filthy cat had a skin infection on his face. This led to some visits to the vet and eventually the crew at Anderson Behel began thinking about finding a forever home for Anderson. His kitty skin issues led to a visit by a representative from an organization called Fat Cat Rescue (www.fatcatrescue.org). A very nice cat lady knew exactly what to do and gave Jeff some topical medication to take care of what was ailing Anderson. Jeff was shocked when Anderson let him apply the medication to the infected area like he knew that he was trying to help him rather than catch him.

After that, Anderson began bonding with some members of the crew. He started begging for food from the techs and pretty soon he was coming into the shop’s reception area, Jeff said. “Before that, we couldn’t get near him. During the day, he would walk around here and sleep in his little bed. But, at night be wanted to go back outside and be a wild cat. Then, in the morning he would be waiting for us to let him in.”

Pretty soon, Anderson was a big favorite with the customers and visitors, even including insurance adjusters. He wasn’t afraid to say hello to everyone coming through the door, regardless of whether they owned a Hyundai or a Tesla. When people came back to pick up their vehicles, they began asking about Anderson, who was more than happy to share a few meows along the way.

One morning, Jeff and some of the crew noticed that Anderson was in bad shape. He was evidently attacked by something, likely a stray dog or a raccoon. His front left leg was broken in several places and things didn’t look good for him. But the people at Anderson Behel stepped up and got some excellent help for Anderson. The vet used OE parts and returned him back to his pre-accident condition. At that point, Jeff decided that Anderson was going to transition from being a shop cat to a house cat.

Today, Anderson lives with Jeff and the rest of his family in beautiful Felton, CA with the Blackbum’s menagerie of other cats, dogs, and other animals. “He’s the coolest cat you could ever meet,” he said. “He is spending his senior years in the sun and thinking of taking some I-CAT classes to stay busy.”

By now, Anderson was officially the shop mascot after a brief ceremony in which the ceremonial milk was spilled and some chanting took place. Once he knew that he was in charge, Anderson changed his sleeping schedule in order to make his daily security checks.

Celebrating 25 Years as an I-CAR Gold Shop!

on Friday, 07 May 2021.

We have been an I-CAR Gold Shop for 27 years actually and truly proud of it. We were recently recognized for being an I-CAR collision repair facility for more than a quarter-century. 

Formed by the collision industry in 1979, I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit training organization focused on education, knowledge and solutions for the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. The primary goal of I-CAR is complete and safe repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. I-CAR develops and delivers technical training programs to professionals in all areas of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. In addition, I-CAR provides a communication forum for anyone interested in proper collision repair. I-CAR's primary funding is derived from student tuition and services. This assures that I-CAR can remain unbiased in developing programs and services on an industry-wide basis.

The I-CAR Mission is to deliver increasingly accessible, on-demand, and relevant education, knowledge, services, and solutions for the collision repair Inter-Industry. By maintaining its I-CAR status for the past 19 years, it means that Anderson Behel is always thriving to be the best in everything we do.

Proactive Passengers Can Save Lives

on Wednesday, 14 April 2021.

At Anderson Behel, we recently saw a news story on ABC in Santa Clara, CA about a community action group that is asking passengers to alleviate distracted driving amongst drivers in their town by taking their cell phones and watching their backs. Some folks are calling it back seat driving, but many others are applauding the concept that passengers can prevent serious accidents and fatalities by putting passengers to work.

Be an Involved Passenger

When you're the passenger in any vehicle, it's always extremely wise to speak up if your driver is distracted in any way, shape, or form. Essentially, you put your life in the driver's hands when you enter a car, so don't hesitate to say something if someone is driving in an unsafe way, thereby endangering your safety. Don't let them text or use their cell phone and never let them drink and drive.

Don't Be Problematic

Based on statistics compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a wide range of passengers cause many distractions, with children being 4 times more distracting than adults and babies being 8 times more distracting. Never distract the driver’s attention when they are operating a vehicle. Every effort you make to eliminate distractions is a vote in favor of road safety.

Be a Good Wing Person

A 2004 study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah discovered that passengers can be a genuine asset when compared to things like cell phone usage and other potential distractions. These researchers noted that passenger conversations differ from cell phone conversations because the surrounding traffic becomes a topic of the conversation, thereby assisting drivers and passengers to share situation awareness, and mitigating the potential effects of conversation on driving.

How does this work without looking like a meddling backseat driver? For example, you can handle the maps or answer the cell phone if necessary. This way, you can alleviate the serious temptation for the driver to try to manage those tasks while operating the vehicle. If you're in the front passenger seat, you are in a position to control ventilation or adjust the background music so that the driver can concentrate fully on the roadway. You can also pay attention to the various signs and landmarks if you are traveling in an area that you're not familiar with. Work to be an asset to the driver, rather than just another annoying distraction.

Speak Up and Be Heard

No one ever wants to be confrontational, and it’s especially difficult to do so if the driver is your close friend. But if you are a passenger and the driver continually engages in unsafe behavior, you have an obligation to speak up. You have a duty to defend the well-being of everyone in the vehicle, and also to protect other travelers on the road.

So, be a good passenger and play a helpful role and you will travel safely to your next destination in one piece as a result. Every good pilot needs a solid co-pilot on their side, so be that co-pilot and be safe and sensible on the road.

Sources: AAA, NHTSA, and AARP

 

Is Your Car Ready for the Hottest Months of the Year?

on Thursday, 08 April 2021.

Oh my—spring just sprang and the temperatures should be climbing soon. At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA, this week we are blogging about five rather simple suggestions about how to keep your vehicle in optimum condition during these hot and humid days and nights ahead. Stay on top of these five things and you will avoid serious engine and transmission problems down the road.

1.) Check all of your fluids more during the summer. There are several important fluids that require attention, including your engine oil, power steering fluids, and transmission fluids, as well as your windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant, which is believe it or not very important when the weather gets hot.  Look for accurate levels or any leaks under your vehicle.

2.) Check your hoses and belts: A belt that fails can impact your electrical system, air conditioning system, and your power steering, as well as the cooling system. Inspect hoses and belts for cracks, especially before you go on a long trip.

3.) Check your tires: Check tire inflation and examine the tread for uneven wear, which is an indication that you may need a wheel alignment. Also, look for bulges and bald spots on your tires and if they look serious, get them fixed or completely changed as fast as you possibly can. Tire pressure changes 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in temperature.

4.) Check your car's radiator and gas caps: Tight-fitting caps on the radiator and gas caps are very important. Radiator caps can corrode and deteriorate faster than you'd imagine, so it is always a good idea to replace them as often as you flush your cooling system. Always make certain that you have a tight seal and that there are no visible signs of wear.

5.) Flush and fill your car's cooling system: Consider flushing every 2 years on most vehicles for added insurance against engine failure. Your cooling system's hoses could be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in poor condition might need to be changed altogether. To find out, just give them a good squeeze. If you hear or feel them crack, or see any bulges, they need might replacement.

About Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop is certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center, and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment, and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan, and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced, and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Sources: Driving, AAA and MSN

 

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