Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

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

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

 

Everyone Loves Our Duc!

on Friday, 19 March 2021.

When we look at our 5-star reviews, we often hear Duc, Duc, Duc!!

"They did a great job on my car. It was hit from behind and there was minor damage but considering it's a BMW, everything is super expensive. I claimed it through my insurance and had this shop do the repairs. The person working on my car was Duc. He's so good and detail-oriented. You can tell he's been doing this for a very long time by his experience. He explains everything the car needs and gets the job done. A+ work. Only thing is, one of my parts was delivered broken, so there was a delay and my car took longer than estimated,  but that wasn't their fault."

-Jenn L., San Jose, CA 

Beware of Craigslist Car Scams!!

on Sunday, 14 March 2021.

At Anderson Behel, we recently saw a news story here in Santa Clara, CA about a Craigslist transaction concerning the sale of a vehicle and it was frightening. How can we effectively protect ourselves from being harmed, robbed, or even worse, murdered by trying to purchase or sell a car via Craigslist?

Because it has become a national epidemic, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently has issued a warning about a highly organized, multi-state swindle where people are getting bogus bank checks and losing their vehicles as a result.

According to CNN.com, the NICB recently reported that there have been as many as 100 occurrences in California where a seller purchased a car and presented what appeared to be a legitimate bank check (also known as cashier checks). Bank checks are much different from personal checks because they guarantee that the funds are made immediately available. Personal checks, as probably most of us know how to “clear” before the seller can gain access to the money. Most people that sell things on Craigslist or other similar listing sites, will often take a bank check to pay for the transaction instead of cash. Buyers prefer the convenience of bank checks because they don’t have to carry large amounts of cash with them.

Now scammers are counterfeiting bank checks and using them to buy vehicles and many of them are getting away with it. Usually, these criminals are operating in states where you can sell your car and still have a loan balance. Victims that were scammed by these completely bogus checks not only had their vehicles stolen, but will still have to pay their remaining balances on their auto loans.

To protect yourself against these types of scams you must always require that the buyers bring money to the transaction. However, with the risk of being robbed on everyone's minds, they might not be comfortable with that approach. Another suggestion is to conduct the transaction at a public meeting place, such as a restaurant, cafe, bank or police station. and have an employee examine the bank check for its authenticity. Many cities have created "Safe Trade Zones” where buyers and sellers can do safe transactions under lights and while being photographed via a series of surveillance video cameras.

The bottom line is that you should not for any reason to release your vehicle and the title until the funds have completely cleared and you receive documentation confirming it. Be safe and be smart and you will never be the victim of a Craigslist car sales scam.

Sources: CNN, NBC News and SF Examiner

Connected Cars are More Sophisticated and Safer than Ever!

on Monday, 08 March 2021.

Several years ago, if you drove a connected vehicle it was the exception, but now more and more new vehicles are connected as we enter the age of full connectivity in our cars. Nearly every carmaker on the planet is lining up as the race to connected cars takes off and some major high-tech companies are also jumping into the connectivity game. At Anderson Behel, we love the amazing, cutting-edge technology that has so dramatically changed automotive transportation that we can see almost daily in Santa Clara, CA.

Luxury high-end manufacturers (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla…) are more actively pushing connected car features along with big technology players such as Google, Microsoft or Apple.

In-Car Safety. These features are both flashy and useful. Integrated cameras, proximity sensors, adaptive headlights, self-braking, parking assist or lane tracking are useful features that have little to do with connectivity but are nonetheless technological advancements that create value for drivers. In the m2m sphere, the enforcement of eCall in many countries is a big step forward as 5-10% of lives can be saved in accidents by including this feature. Voice control is taking some time to catch on but it is still deemed both useful and part of the future of connected cars.

Vehicle to Vehicle Safety. In the same safety realm and fully related to m2m are Vehicle to Vehicle (v2v) platforms that allow cars to anonymously share information in a meshed way to prevent accidents and inform on traffic conditions or events to other drivers and authorities. This type of system can even prevent potentially dangerous situations like stopping a car before it goes into a no-entry street by accident or to avoid a collision of two cars sharing information. Some countries are drafting guidelines to enable and regulate v2v systems.

Data tracking. Information is collected to mainly track vehicle usage, engine diagnostics and driver behavior. Information is most commonly accessed through mobile phone apps. This data can also be cross used for insurance telematics purposes.

Intelligent infotainment. Connected to the driver’s devices and home. Carmakers are nowadays expected to provide information and entertainment streaming preferred music or radio stations, offering intelligent onboard navigation and contextual information of points of interest such as the nearest petrol station when the vehicle is running low on fuel or nearby restaurants if it is lunchtime.

4G Wi-Fi Hotspots. Still not mainstream but with obvious potential, connected cars will be expected to become more and more connection spots for passengers through shared usage of their m2m card, moreover in self-driving cars where all passengers are ‘idle’ with the possibility of also offering contextual information while on the move.

Sources: Wikipedia and Reuters

 

New Car Safety Features Perfect for Big Families

on Tuesday, 02 March 2021.

Selecting a new family car is a big decision. Not only is it a significant purchase, but it also significantly impacts your and your kids’ comfort and safety while on the road. Add to that the numerous car options on the market, and it’s enough to make your head spin. This is why all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA helping you navigate this tricky road. Here’s what to look for when shopping around, and which vehicles made our list of the best family cars out there. In our book, safety always comes first—so every car here scored a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest-ranking there is.

What to Look for in Family Cars
The best family cars are the ones that best meet your specific needs—so a natural starting place is to pinpoint exactly what you want out of your vehicle. If you’re just starting a family, you’ll want to look at the best cars for babies; if you’re already a rowdy crowd, you might want to look at large family SUVs. Consider how many kids you have, how old they are and what kind of activities they’re into. Will you be hauling sports equipment around? Do you end up driving everybody everywhere along with their best friends? Do you take a lot of road trips, where having kid-friendly entertainment options are must-have sanity-savers?

Here’s a quick checklist of what to keep in mind as you browse the best family cars available:

· Size · Price · Comfort (in both the back seat and front) · Trunk space · Entertainment and connectivity options · Safety ratings · Safety features

Family car safety features
Safety features may appear last on the features list, but they’re one of the most critical criteria to consider. After all, what’s more important than the safety and wellbeing of your children? Good news: Family cars are safer than they’ve ever been before, and they just keep getting better. Here are some of the modern safety features to look into when shopping for family cars:


· Car seat support. Most cars make it fairly easy to get car seats in and out, but if you still multiple young kids at home, you’ll want to know how many car seats can fit in one row. Most cars made after 2002 come with the built-in LATCH system for easy car seat install.

· Back seat reminder. We’re all busy, and we all get distracted. To avoid ever forgetting your kids in the car, look for a vehicle with an audio reminder to check the back seat when you reach your destination.

· Collision warning. These come in various forms, but they’ll alert you when you’re too close to someone in front of you or moving in too quickly. Some will even automatically apply the brakes. They work not just for other cars, but also for pedestrians who are crossing in front of you.

· Blind spot monitoring. This one is literally a lifesaver. We all check our side mirrors before changing lanes or making that turn, but now the mirrors have warning lights that tell you when someone’s in your blind spot.

· Parking sensors. Especially helpful for city drivers, these sensors let you know when you’re getting too close to other vehicles, shopping carts or anything else above a certain height.

· Lane-change assist. When you start to slip out of your lane but your turn signal isn’t on, this will gently turn your steering wheel back and alert you.

· Adaptive cruise control. Thanks to this feature, you can set the maximum speed for cruise control, and your car will speed up or slow down to keep pace with the car in front of you. It’s especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic.

· Rear vision cameras. When you’re in reverse, you get a live image of what’s behind you, with grid lines to help you keep a safe distance from other objects. There are also 360-degree cameras, which provide a virtual 360-degree view around your car, helping you navigate tight spaces.

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.

 

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