Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

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

Road Tolls Can Impact Peoples’ Wallets (or Purses)

on Tuesday, 17 November 2020.

Most people realize that things such as bridge tolls are another uncomfortable reality of life. But, whenever we get hit by a road toll, many people see it as an annoying unanticipated event. Unless you are truly fortunate enough to live in one of the twenty-five states that do not feature road tolls, you likely roll your eyes each and every time you see a sign that states “Toll Plaza Ahead.”

At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we know that road tolls are common now, so we thought it might be a topic that is both timely and relevant. Unfortunately, those road tolls are needed to help pay for the upkeep of the roadway and to help build a series of new ones. Some are affordable while others are so expensive that you would think they were collecting significant amounts of money to replace the asphalt with pure gold.

If you are planning a road trip that takes you on any of these particular toll roads, you might want to strategically find an alternative route. Even though it might take you a tad longer to get to your destination, you will save a ton of sweet cash.

These are the most expensive road/bridge tolls in the United States:

Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway (NY): $1.25 per mile

17 Mile Drive (CA): $0.59 per mile

Chicago Skyway (IL)): $0.51 per mile

Fort Bend Parkway (TX): $0.51 per mile

Delaware Turnpike (DE): $0.29 per mile

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (VA): $30 round trip

Verrazano Narrows Bridge (NY): $15 one-way

George Washington Bridge (NY): $13 one-way

Golden Gate Bridge (CA): $7 one-way

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (CA): $5.50 one-way

Lincoln and Holland Tunnel (NY): $13 one-way

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (Alaska): $12 one-way

Fort McHenry Tunnel (Maryland): $8 round trip

Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Queens Midtown Tunnel (New York): $7.50 one-way

If you live in New York or California, you are probably not very surprised by the fact that you have more toll roads than anywhere else. But keep in mind, it does cost a lot of money to keep our highways and byways of this great country well-maintained.

Sources: Wikipedia and USA Today


Car Painters Want to Create a Greener World

on Thursday, 12 November 2020.

Did you know that the most energy-intensive thing done in a body shop is painting your vehicle? Not only does it require a lot of electricity and natural gas to paint your favorite car with all of the latest colors and finishes, but it will also emit a large amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and CO² gases out into the atmosphere.

At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we are a shop that wants to benefit the planet for the future of our customers, vendors, and business partners.

VOCs are organic chemicals that feature a high vapor pressure at normal room temperatures. Their very high vapor pressures are the result of a low boiling point. This causes molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or the solid form of the compound enters the surrounding air, which is known as volatility. For example, Formaldehyde evaporates from paint and emits materials such as quartz, has a boiling point of only –2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Good body shops are always aware of the amount of energy they use and are conscious of the chemicals and compounds they emit during production.

Here are three ways that today’s car painters use for a greener workplace:

Use a highly integrated process: It reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20%, saves energy costs by as much as 20%, and reduces material consumption, and improves productivity.

Embrace a planet-friendly waterborne system: Thanks to its lower levels of emissions of solvents or VOCs, waterborne systems show solid results with respect to eco-efficiency.

Incorporate modern paint line and application technologies: There are potential sustainability savings available with respect to the energy consumption of spray booths if they’re operated in recirculating air. Good shops pass on these savings onto their customers, making it a win=win situation.

To be greener, more shops have converted from solvent to waterborne paint because they believe that it is a superior and safer product that significantly cuts down on its overall environmental impact and enables shops to accurately match automotive factory colors on every vehicle.

The major advantages to using waterborne coatings for both the shop and the customer include:

  • Strong resistance to heat and abrasion
  • Optimal adhesion
  • Low toxicity
  • Cuts down on air emissions
  • Cost less than solvent-borne products and require zero additives, thinners, fixers, or hardeners
  • When compared to solvent-borne paints, the less waterborne product is often required to cover the same surface area
  • Paint guns can usually be cleaned more easily with water or waterborne solutions and don’t require paint thinners, acetones, and/or methyl acetate
  • You can customarily use conventional application techniques whenever using waterborne paint

Sources: Wikipedia and Body Shop Business



Safety Tips for Halloween 2020 and COVID-19

on Thursday, 29 October 2020.

As we continue to face the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA to safely enjoy events like Halloween. While the festivities will be different this year, we are still able to take precautions that allow children to have fun in a safe manner. By being flexible and creative, we can enjoy Halloween while following the COVID-19 guidelines of wearing appropriate face coverings or masks, remaining physically distant from others and washing hands frequently.

Here are some creative and safe ideas offered by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Attend virtual costume parties/contests.
  • Decorate your home.
  • Go to physically distant, outdoor costume parades.
  • Create Halloween-themed crafts.
  • Host outdoor movie nights with appropriate distancing and dress as your favorite characters.
  • Make your favorite family Halloween treats.
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins (always be sure to supervise children carefully during carving activities).
  • Participate in an outdoor Halloween scavenger hunt.
  • Attend safe outdoor activities in South Florida.

If you still plan on trick-or-treating, here are some tips:

  • Avoid going door to door and instead, encourage neighbors to participate in trick-or-treating by lining up individually prepackaged treat bags at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard in order for kids to "grab-and-go."
  • Maintain physical distancing; children and families should be careful to avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps.
  • Sit outside and wear appropriate face masks or coverings when handing out treats.
  • Wipe treats clean or set them aside for a couple of days before giving them to children.
  • Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating.

Be aware that not all masks that come with costumes provide effective protection against COVID-19; therefore, an appropriate face covering or mask should still be worn.

Although this will not be a traditional Halloween, we can still make it memorable and enjoyable for our children and families while remaining safe.

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat with an Adult

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick or treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

 Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Sources: and AAA


How to Keep Your Child Safely Seated in Your Vehicle

on Friday, 23 October 2020.

The very best way to keep your child safe in your car is to use the right car seat in the right way. Here are several car seat safety tips to fully protect your most precious cargo from all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.

Real Facts about Safety in Autos

  • Roadway injuries are the leading cause of preventable fatalities and injuries to children in this country.
  • When child safety seats are used properly and set up precisely, it can significantly reduce the overall risk of death by as much as 72 percent.
  • More than 50 percent of all car seats are not used or installed in a proper fashion
  • Minor back, shoulder, and neck injuries take place when good car seats are improperly set up, a common problem that has almost reached the chronic stage.

Top Tips about Automobile Seat Safety

Purchasing the right car seat. Your infant needs to ride all the time in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until 18-24 months. Whenever your young one has completely outgrown that seat, you’re then ready for a forward-facing kid’s seat. Get more details about purchasing the right car seat for your child by doing your research online and in person. Note: Never by a children’s car seat online.

Installing your kid’s car seat. You might need to decide on whether or not to use either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your children's car seat. Both are completely safe but do not use them both simultaneously. Once your child is forward-facing, it’s very important to utilize the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. Get more details about installing your vehicle’s children’s seat by referring to or Consumer Report.

Getting the precise fit the first time. A precisely-fitted harness gives the best possible total protection for your child. For more details about getting the right fit for your child, refer to a list and charts that show you the right way.

Change your car seat when it’s time. Look on your kid’s car seat label to make certain that your child is still within their weight, height, and age limits for that specific seat.

Follow these helpful tips to ensure your child’s safety, and you will get that much-needed peace of mind that every parent covets. Knowing that your child is safe as you drive even short distances, your car setas will give you confidence and security.

Sources: and AOL

Presidential Vehicles Over the Years

on Monday, 19 October 2020.

With the election right around the corner, we thought you might find this blog entertaining. When it comes to U.S. Presidents, their vehicles have to be safe and reliable and also visually attractive because they need to be as interesting as the men who’ve held the office. Some of the four Presidential cars that we are focusing on in this blog were used during, and after their stints while in the White House.

All of us here at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA are delighted to share these interesting facts with you, and that’s why we are featuring a hand-picked list of Presidential Cars that are some of the most intriguing automobiles for those presidential commutes.

President Barack Obama 2009 Cadillac One, “The Beast”: This beauty is believed to have been built based on a truck chassis made by General Motors lineup and certainly ran on heavy-duty truck tires and high-end wheels. Heavy use of steel, aluminum, titanium and other strong, lightweight materials helps to keep the car from tipping the scales beyond reason, but it is still said to weigh more than 15,000 pounds. It is believed to be diesel-powered and the bodywork, though fully customized, is derived in design from Cadillac’s DeVille limousine. There were 2-3 of these cars in the presidential fleet.

President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham: Two of these were made for the Secret Service, which was built specifically to allow for maximum visibility of the President while maintaining maximum security. Upon retirement, one of the vehicles was returned to General Motors and the other is displayed in the Reagan Presidential Library. This GM-owned car, kept in museum-reserve, was used in the Clint Eastwood film, “In the Line of Fire.”

Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan’s 1970/72 Lincoln Continental: Made famous for its appearance on TV during the assassination attempts of both Ford and Reagan, the 1970 Lincoln Continental was actually a 1972 model with a series of 1970 serial numbers. This Lincoln was also the very first presidential limousine that had roof openings situated tactically so that the President could stand up for the crowds.

President John F. Kennedy 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible: Not all Presidents carried that air of coolness that will exist forever, but JFK did. When he was inaugurated, his vehicle of choice was a new Ford Thunderbird, which was known as the coolest convertible on the road at the time. Although Kennedy owned this convertible for some time, his ride in it on inauguration day was likely the last time he was ever in it.

Sources: Autobody News and AAA

These Car Cleaning Hacks Really Work!

on Wednesday, 07 October 2020.

So, your old and tired vehicle has seen much better days. The upholstery might be a bit worn, and the once-shiny chrome is not so shiny anymore. Sure, you could take your vehicle to a professional cleaner—or you could save your hard cold cash and spruce things up all by yourself. Here are some top car-cleaning hacks from all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.

Shine A Little Light to Make It Right

After 3-4 years of driving, the plastic on a vehicle’s headlights tends to oxidize, giving it a very cloudy, yellowish look. This film can be extremely dangerous because it cuts down the overall amount of light they emanate. You could always splurge on an expensive buffing compound to clean them up or go with a cheaper solution—toothpaste, that’s right. Just dab some on a clean rag and rub away. Once you are done, rinse with water, you will be amazed by the difference.

You Can See Clearly Now

Have your children decided to do some finger-painting on your vehicle’s windshield? To give your windows that coveted streak-free shine, follow these easy steps--combine ¼ cup of vinegar with one-quarter cup of rubbing alcohol. Add 2 cups of water and throw in a few drops of lemon essential oil. Mix together and add all of the contents to a spray bottle. You have now got a solution that will have your windshield, windows, and rearview mirrors looking spotless. Try wiping down your windows with some old newspapers—you could just be surprised with the streak-free results.

Vinyl Solutions for Dashboards

If your vinyl dashboard has seen much better days, there is an easy way to get it looking new again--take a damp cloth and run it over all the surfaces. This will remove all dust and grime. For much tougher stains, use a very small amount of the mildest laundry soap that you can find because the plastic and vinyl on dashboards can easily be scratched or discolored considerably by abrasive cleaners. When you are done, wipe away excess soap and moisture with a soft, clean, dry cloth.

Say Goodbye to those Nasty Bugs!

Dead insects—is there anything harder to clean off your automobile? Some care owners rent power washers to blast them away, while others will opt for cleaners full of special enzymes and harsh chemicals.  But these solutions are both expensive and could damage your finish. What’s the better way of doing this? Wet your car thoroughly and apply a generous amount of car soap, which you probably already have on hand, along with a semi-soft washing mitt. Work in very small areas and rinse each section whenever you are done. With a minimal amount of elbow grease, those critters will start dropping like, well, flies and your car will continue to shine!

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: DIY Network and

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