Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

 Driving in inclement weather is not fun.  It can become dangerous very quickly.  Heavy winds and sideways rain can move your vehicle all over the road.  Throw in some lightning and you’ve got a mess on your hands.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to go over a few crucial details everyone should know when faced with rough weather behind the wheel.

 – Do not drive unless it is totally necessary.

 – Always allow extra space for breaking.

 – Turn on low beam headlights

–  Pull off on the shoulder and away from any trees or other things that could become flying projectiles

– Stay in your vehicle with your emergency flashers on

– Keep the radio on to a weather channel for updates

– Approach intersections with caution and come to a complete when   approaching traffic lights

– Your best protection against lightning is your vehicle

– Stay away from flooded streets and downed power lines

– Tire pressure and windshield wipers should be checked weekly

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Windshield Wiper Motor

Windshield Wiper Motor

An electric motor is what makes the wiper blades move back and forth.  This happens as soon as you turn on your windshield wipers.  The majority of cars have a single wiper motor that controls the wipers on the front of your car.  When a car has a back window wiper, it will have a separate motor. 

The front windshield wiper motor is generally located under the outside vent at the bottom of your windshield. It is what moves the linkage back and forth to the wiper transmissions.  This causes the wiper arms to move. 

The motors could fail and need to be replaced.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to replace the motor to get your wipers back up and running for the rainy season.

Service your transmission

Service your transmission

We all know the drill.  Get your oil changed every three thousand miles.  You here this time and time again to maintain you’re your vehicles engine.  You may be overlooking another maintenance issue that’s just as important.  It is recommended to have your transmission serviced every twenty five thousand miles.  Typical service includes changing the filter and adding new fluid.  It is important to check your vehicles manual for service instructions for your transmission.  All vehicles have different guidelines on what mileage to bring your car in.

It is just as important to keep fresh fluid in your transmission as it is oil in the engine.  Over time, this fluid can turn brown and become less effective.  The more wear and tear on your car, the more your transmission is working overtime.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommend checking your transmission fluid every couple of months.  The fluid should be a reddish color.  If there are any brown spots it could be time for servicing.

Replacing your car battery

Replacing your car battery

When is it time to replace your car battery?  There is a month and year printed on the battery label to show the lifetime of the battery.  You should replace your battery when needed so you don’t end up with a dead battery.  You may need to replace the battery if you try to start your car and it won’t start.  If it clicks when you turn on the ignition then the battery is dead.  There are certain signs to look out for when it is time to replace your battery. 

If your car takes a long time to start your battery is close to going bad.  Check the battery and replace it if necessary.  If the battery was damaged in a collision, then it is time to replace it.  Check to see if damage was done to the connectors and battery harness too. 

Your battery needs to be replaced if you have not started it in months.  Batteries will not hold a charge after being inactive for long periods of time.

A car battery is necessary to make a car turn on and function. Gerber Collision and Glass hope you keep up to date with your car battery.

Driving in the summer rain

Driving in the summer rain

Gerber Collision and Glass would like to suggest some safety tips for driving in wet weather.  It is imperative that you can see and be seen.  It is more difficult to see other cars and the road.  Please slow down because it takes more time to stop in rainy weather. 

Before you go, make sure you wipe off the bottom of your shoes.  Your shoes will be wet and could slip off the pedals.  Check all of your lights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly. 

Check your tires often.  Bald tires will reduce your traction on the wet roads.  You could end up riding on a layer of water. 

Make sure you replace your wipers once a year.  Bad wipers will distort your view in rainy weather.   Turn on your wipers during bad weather.  Wipers will clear the rain from the windshield with every sweep. 

Make sure you turn on your headlights.  It helps all the other cars see you on the road.  This will keep you safe during rainy weather.  Rain can cause windows to mist up inside the car.  Turn the defroster on and make sure it is on heat.   Drivers should clean their windshield and windows often to help them see well.

If the rain is so heavy that you have no visibility, then it is time to pull over.   Stop at a protected area like a rest area.  If your only option is the roadside, then pull off as far as possible.  Alert other drivers by turning on your emergency flashers. 

Summer is here and so are the rains.  Always use common sense when driving in the rain.  Every driver can make a difference in the rain!

Cleaning the outside of your car

Cleaning the outside of your car

Roll up the windows tightly and shut all the doors.

Rinse the car with a hose. Start with the roof and continue down to the tires.

Fill a bucket with warm water and car detergent. (Although many people use mild dishwashing liquid to wash their car, it’s best to buy automotive car soap designed to protect your paint job.)

Wash the car with a sudsy sponge or rag. Start with the roof and work your way down. Wash the windows and tires, too. Use a step stool if you have difficulty reaching the roof of your car.

Rinse off all the soap with a hose.

Dry the entire car with a clean, dry chamois cloth or towel.

Clean the windows with paper towels or newspaper and window cleaner.

Apply vinyl protectant with a clean rag to any vinyl parts such as the bumper and trim.

Use metal or chrome cleaner on the wheel rims.

Gerber Collision and Glass encourages you to keep your car clean.

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_112991_clean-outside-car.html

Changing a Tire

Changing a Tire

Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire?  Would you like to learn how to change a tire so you don’t have to ask for help?  Here are some steps from Gerber Collision and Glass on how to change a tire.

Find a flat surface to change the tire.  You don’t want your car to roll.  Put the parking brake on and put your car into park. If you have a standard transmission, put your vehicle in first or reverse. Set a heavy object in front of the front and back tires. Take out the spare tire and the jack. Place the jack under the frame near the tire that you are going to change.  Make sure the jack is in contact with the metal portion of your car’s frame.

Raise the jack until it is supporting the car. Make sure it is not lifting the car.  The jack should be firmly in place against the bottom of the vehicle.  Make sure the jack is perpendicular to the ground.

Remove the hub cap and undo the nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Don’t take them all the way off.  Crank the jack to lift the tire off the ground. You need to lift it high enough to remove the flat tire and change it with a spare.  Take the nuts off all the way.  Remove the tire.  Place the spare tire on the hub.  Align the rim of the spare tire with the wheel bolts, and then put on the lug nuts.

Tighten the nuts by hand until they are all tight.  Lower the car without putting full weight on the tire. Tighten the nuts as much as you can.  Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack. Finish tightening the nuts and replace the hubcap.

Pedestrians have the right of way

Pedestrians have the right of way

The streets in our neighborhoods should be safe places for people to walk.  But many face traffic dangers just because they’re walking somewhere.  Pedestrian fatalities make up about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,000 pedestrian deaths.

The Federal Highway Safety Office has been working to decrease pedestrian deaths.  They are providing extra resources to the cities and states with the greatest pedestrian fatalities.  They also offer free assistance and courses to all of the states.

Parents need to protect their children from moving vehicles.  Each year, nearly 900 pedestrians younger than 19 years are killed. In addition, 51000 children are wounded as pedestrians.  Parents should keep their kids safe from cars backing out of the driveway.  Parents should always hold their children’s hand in the parking lots.  Explain to your child to never run out into a street for a ball, a pet or any other reason.

Adults need to keep safe when walking too.  Cross streets safely by using the crosswalks.  Look both left and right before you cross the road.  Walk on sidewalks and paths. 

 Drivers need to be on the lookout for pedestrians.  Always let the walker cross.  On behalf of Gerber Collision and Glass, please help keep our pedestrians safe.

Cleaning Your Car Engine

A car owner needs to periodically clean the engine compartment.  This will prevent rust, help find belt wear, and look for oil or fluid leaks.  The proper temperature for cleaning the engine is warm.  You do not want it too hot. 

When the engine is warm, you need to spray it with a non-petroleum based degreaser.  In order to avoid getting degreaser in your face, you should start at the bottom and work your way up.  The degreaser should sit for five minutes.  Use a towel to remove the soiled areas.  After you have cleaned the engine rinse it with water. 

Remove the plastic bags and rubber banks once the engine compartment is clean.  Dry the battery and any puddles.  Start the engine to dry the rest of it.  Wax the painted areas of the engine.  Do not wax the engine itself. 

Disconnect the battery cables and clean the terminals and the battery posts.  You can use a wire brush to do this.  Check all the hinges, shocks, and throttle cables.  Make sure they have a thin coat of non-silicone lubricant.  Check all fluid levels.  Once all these tasks are done, you have completed cleaning your engine.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to clean your engine compartment.

Tinting your car windows

Tinting your car windows is not just a cool look for your car. There are many benefits to tinting your windows. The summer sun is here. The sun causes uncomfortable heat inside your car. Car window tinting blocks up to 71% of solar energy. Tinting will allow you to stay comfortable and prevent overuse of the AC.

If you are in the car for a long time, tint protects you from UV rays. Car window tinting blocks up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. UV protection comes in many grades, and you don’t need to have windows considerably darkened to block UV.

A tinted car window that breaks is safer than a non-tinted window. Tint covers the entire window; therefore, broken glass stays in one piece. This reduces the chance for injury. Cleanup is much easier after a broken window.

Car window tinting can prevent car theft. Security tint makes car windows stronger. A thief that breaks a window still has to deal with a solid panel of glass because the broken glass is held together.

Gerber Collision and Glass advise car owners to have their windows analyzed by a professional. Getting the proper tint for your particular vehicle is essential for look and safety.

Hailstorm Safety Tips

Hailstorm Safety Tips

Hail is one of the most common and costly weather hazards in the United States, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to buildings, vehicles, and crops every year. Help guard against the damaging effect of a hailstorm by following the steps below.

Make A Plan

A hailstorm can disrupt electrical service and is often accompanied by other severe weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Prepare your family for the hazards and inconveniences of a hailstorm by creating a disaster preparedness plan, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.

Stay Informed

Hail often occurs during severe weather patterns, such as strong thunderstorms. When severe weather threatens, tune in to a battery-powered radio for updates. A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are right for thunderstorms to become severe. A severe thunderstorm warning means that a storm poses an immediate threat to the people and property in its path. This warning may be accompanied by a siren or other community alert system.

Move Inside, Stay Inside

Hailstones vary greatly in size, but even small ones – driven by gravity and strong winds – pose a danger to anything or anyone caught in a storm. As a storm approaches, put vehicles in the garage and bring pets inside. If you are outdoors, go indoors immediately.

Once you’re indoors, close all drapes, blinds, or shades to prevent broken window glass and hailstones from entering your home. If possible, move to a basement, cellar, or other level of the building not directly below the roof. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.

If you’re on the road during a hailstorm, stay in your vehicle and slow down or stop, as roads may become slippery. Once you have pulled over safely, turn your back to windows or cover yourself with a blanket to protect yourself from broken glass. 

Protect Your Roof

Roof damage is a common consequence of hailstorms. Following a strong storm, you should evaluate the condition of your roof to identify any damage and prevent further deterioration.

The Federal Alliance of Safe Homes (FLASH) has information about strengthening your home’s roof decking and shingles against hail and other severe weather. Even if your roof is not currently damaged, you may want to discuss making these changes with a reputable roofing contractor.

Gerber Collision and Glass advises you to protect yourself and your car from damaging hail. 

http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/safety-2/severe-weather-1/hailstorm-safety-tips/

Effects of Acid Rain on Cars

Effects of Acid Rain on Cars

Acid rain is the deposit of damaging toxins.  These pollutants can be wet or dry.  When the rain dries it leaves the acid.  The acid rain stays on the car.  Acid rain can cause damage to a vehicle.   It corrodes paint and makes cars look dirtier.  For the most part, acid rain damages the flat surfaces of a vehicle.  These areas include the trunk, hood and roof.

Avoiding some of the worst acid rain will help save your car’s paint.  Try and park your car in a covered area or a garage.  Have your car regularly washed and hand dry it.  Darker-colored cars will display wear sooner than a light-colored car.  Some manufacturers use acid resistant paints.  Clean your tires to avoid cracking from acid rain. 

You might have acid rain buildup on your windows and windshield if it has a filmy look.  Clean it with a vinegar and water mix.  One cup of vinegar to one quart of water should do the trick.  Hire a professional to have your paint cleaned up that has been exposed to acid rain.  Gerber Collision and Glass would like you to keep your car acid free.

Gerber Collision and Glass is highly wreck-ommended

Gerber Collision and Glass is highly wreck-ommended 

Gerber Collision and Glass would like to take this opportunity to say Happy 4th of July to everyone.  We hope everyone is staying cool in this smoldering heat.  Can you believe we are over half way through the year already?  We would especially like to thank our clients for your loyalty and support this year.  We strive to be the best auto and collision specialists in the business.  We are happy to serve you with the finest quality work and dedication.

  Customer satisfaction still remains our number one goal.  We offer many services, including auto window repair and collision damage repair.  We use the most state of the art products to get you back up and rolling.  We even offer a mobile glass repair for your convenience.  Our technicians are the best in the industry.  They will evaluate your vehicle and get it in pre collision condition.      

We have many locations throughout the United States to serve your automotive needs.  You can find us in Florida, Maryland, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Colorado.  We are also available in four locations in Canada.  Check us out in Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.  We look forward to serving you for the second half of the year.  Check us out online at Gerber Collision.com to see all the quality work we offer.

Rainy Summer Days

Rainy Summer Days

The rainy summer days are ahead of us.  We need to drive smart in stormy conditions.  It ismore difficult to see other cars and the road.  Practicing extra safety precautions during a rainy road trip will keep you and others safe. 

Keep the proper distance from the car ahead of you.  It takes longer to stop in wet weather.  The 3 second rule or longer should be followed.  Slow down your driving speed.  Accidents happen more in wet weather.

Turn your headlights on even in a light rain.  They will help other drivers see you.  If your vehicle has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better. 

Replace windshield wipers at the beginning of the season to prepare for the weather.  Bad wipers can distort your view in rainy weather. 

Check your tires frequently. Bald tires significantly decrease your traction on wet roadways.  If your tires are bald, the water has no place to go and you end up driving on water, and have a chance of hydroplaning.

Gerber Collision and Glass would like you to enjoy your summer with your family and friends and keep safe on the roadways.

 

 

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Well it’s that time of year again.  It is time to go to the hardware store and get supplies like batteries, flashlights, and wood to board the windows.  If you live in the South or by the Coast you know exactly what we’re talking about.  You guessed it, hurricane season is upon us.  Florida just got pounded with heavy rains and winds for about five days from Tropical Storm Debby.  The accidents in the Orlando area were beyond belief.  A major stretch of Interstate 4 had nearly thirty collisions due to the wet conditions on the roads.  Is there anything we can learn from this? How different should we drive in tropical conditions?

                First off, if you have to be on the roads, you must drive slowly.  Speeding is the leading cause of accidents during undesirable conditions.  Vehicles can lose all traction and hydroplane when water is present on the roads.  Flooding can become a major concern, and it can happen quickly.  Roads can become hazardous within minutes of a heavy rainstorm.  You must proceed with caution.  Debris such as tree limbs can make the highway seem like an obstacle course.

  Winds can play tricks with your vehicle and make it unstable.  Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the results tropical weather can put on a vehicle.  Use common sense and always drive as slow as possible.  Check your local weather report before venturing out in these extreme conditions.  The smartest thing to do is stay off the roads if winds are strong enough to affect your driving.  Be smart and stay safe out there during hurricane season.

Teen Car Collisions

Teen Car Collisions

Teenage car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths. Teenage car collisions are an enormous problem. Understanding the causes of teen car accidents is the first step to help our teenagers.

Most teenage car accidents happen because teen drivers lack experience. They are not prepared for situations such as bad weather conditions, night time driving, and road rage.  If a teenage driver is immature they are more likely to act irresponsibly behind the wheel and cause horrible car crashes.

Almost one third of all fatal teen car crashes involve speeding.  Many teen drivers speed. Some of them are trying to show off to their friends or seek thrill.   Speeding is very dangerous for teens.

Drinking and driving is becoming an increasing problem with teenagers. They lack the experience of how alcohol affects their body.  They get behind the wheel and cause dangerous accidents

Many teenage drivers get very distracted.  They text and drive, talk on the cell phone and change radio stations.  The distraction level goes up when there is passengers in the car.  Their friends can be loud.  They dare them to do risky behavior.  Statistics on teen car accidents have revealed that the number of fatal car crashes among teenage drivers increase with each additional passenger.

Teenage drivers are the least likely to wear a seatbelt.  Approximately two thirds of teenagers who die in fatal car accidents were not wearing a seat beat.

Gerber Collision and Glass hope that parents take action to help prevent teenage car accidents.  Let’s keep our teenagers safe.

Proper Tire Maintenance

Proper Tire Maintenance

Tires are the only connection between your car and the road.  Taking good care of them is such an important obligation by any car owner.  Do not let your tires get neglected. 

Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.  Not only are under inflated tires more susceptible to destruction and failure, they can lead to greater fuel costs.  Balanced tires are vital for a smooth ride and long tire wear. Tires are out of balance when one section is heavier than the others.  Balancing tires is done by positioning weights on the wheel to counterbalance heavy spots on the wheel-and-tire assembly.

Good wheel alignment is critical for getting the most tread wear and life from your tires. Wheel alignments adjust a vehicle’s suspension so the wheels are positioned correctly relative to the vehicle’s frame. This modification maximizes the life of your tires and prevents your car from veering left or right when traveling on a straight level road.  If your car pulls or goes sideways from a straight line then you might need an alignment.

Tire rotation is crucial for improving a tire’s lifespan. Rotating tires on a consistent basis improves wear across the complete tread pattern.  Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 miles, or earlier, depending on tire wear.

Tire maintenance is really imperative for ensuring your safety while you drive. Your tires are what let you move.  However, a tire failure will forbid this, and it will likely happen while you are driving.  Gerber Collision and Glass urge you to take care of your tires.

Thieves stealing older cars

Thieves stealing older cars

Would a car thieve rather steal an old car or a new one?  Surprisingly, thieves tend to steal older cars because they are easier to snatch.  There is also a demand for their parts.  They don’t steal a car because they want them or because they want to sell them.   Car thieves usually steal in order to strip the car and sell its parts off piecemeal, generating far more funds than the car itself is worth. The majority of stolen cars go to chop shops.

There are a few things you can do to prevent car theft.  Don’t leave your car unlocked or hide your keys in your favorite hiding spot.  Always roll up your windows and keep your keys with you.  Install a car alarm in your car.  Place a sticker on the outside of your car so everyone knows that you have an alarm in your car.

Add a steering column collar to prevent hotwiring, a steering wheel lock, and get a smart key to keep your ride safe.  Many car thefts know how to steal a car even with an alarm, so get a vehicle recovery system to track a stolen car.

If you have safety devices in place, many car insurance companies will give you a discount.  Please do your part in protecting your car from theft to help keep insurance rates down.  Gerber Collision and Glass direct you to always lock your doors.

The leading cause of death for children is car accidents: Car Safety Seats

Car Seat Safety

The leading cause of death for children is car accidents.  Sadly enough, we lose 3 to 4 children in car accidents every day.  The best way to keep our kids safe is to properly install a car seat.  There are many avoidable mistakes we make with car seats.

Many people buy the wrong weight and height car seat for their child.  Parents need to make sure they get the correct one, and to buy a new one when their child outgrows it.  The car seat needs to be installed the correct way.  Read your manual and check with a professional to make sure it is in the correct way.  Make sure the harness fits correctly.   It should fit very snugly to your child’s body.

Many parents change their rear facing car seats to forward car seats to soon.  The American Academy of Pediatrics advise parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they exceed the height or weight limit for their car seat, which is typically 20 pounds for an infant seat, and 35 to 40 pounds for a convertible seat.

Children are supposed to be in their car seats when they go on an airplane.  The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board all recommend that children ride in car seats on airplanes.

Make sure you use the car seat every time. 60% of crashes involving children happen within 10 minutes of home.  More than three-quarters of them happen when the speed limit is 45 mph or less, and almost all of them happen when the driver is familiar with the route.

On behalf of Gerber Collision and Glass, please adhere to all car seat safety rules.  We love our kids and want to keep them safe and sound.

How road rage can affect car insurance rates

How road rage can affect car insurance rates

Road rage is regrettable, you know that. What you might not know is that both succumbing to and avoiding road rage can impact what you pay for car insurance. We’re here to explain — and even give a few tips on finding your inner Zen the next time someone cuts you off.

A rapid road-rage review

For that first driver in existence, nothing was more relaxing than a drive through the countryside. But along with the inevitable second driver came traffic, accidents, stress — and road rage. Though this phenomenon probably isn’t new to you, it helps to review.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is subtly different from aggressive driving. Aggressive driving violates traffic laws, whereas road rage involves more serious criminal actions that knowingly endanger other drivers and passengers. Running a red light to make a date is aggressive driving — running that light to tailgate a car you think cut you off is road rage.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety places aggressive tailgating, headlight flashing, and deliberately blocking other cars among the most frequent expressions of road rage.

How road rage can impact your premium

The primary reasons to avoid road rage are safety and general decency. A little further down the list is controlling what you pay for car insurance.

Because your car insurance rate is partly determined by your driving history, a road-rage incident, when it shows up on your record as a criminal offense, is a serious red flag. Insurers may charge more for the policy to cover the added risk posed by a driver with any kind of criminal driving history.

Road ragers may also have difficulty getting full payouts for their car’s damages. Most insurers restrict coverage for deliberate or reckless actslike road rage.

On the flip side, drivers who abstain from road rage will probably have a better shot at avoiding needless accidents.

How to avoid road rage (with advice that’s sage)

There’s a lot of well-worn guidance on road rage: don’t retaliate, don’t take it personally, get plenty of sleep, etc. While valid, you’ve probably heard it all before.

So here are a few pointers you may not have considered to help keep aggressive drivers at bay and stop you from becoming one yourself.

  1. Leave space to pull around the car in front of you. Seems simple, but in heavy traffic, people tend to drive bumper-to-bumper. Leaving some wiggle room can reduce vulnerability if the driver in front of you gets aggressive.
  2. Ease your grip on the wheel. All that churning of the steering wheel, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, can cause headaches, making a bad situation worse.
  3. Crank some tunes, not the engine. Instead of listening to your own muttering, try listening to music as it can help keep you calm.

Source: http://www.esurance.com/safety/road-rage