Don’t Let Driving Home Turn Into a ‘Trick’ for You This Halloween Sober Driving is the Only Treat you Need; Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Don’t Let Driving Home Turn Into a ‘Trick’ for You This Halloween

Sober Driving is the Only Treat you Need; Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Gerber Collision and Glass reminds all party goers this Halloween not to be tricked into thinking that it’s okay to drive after a few drinks because you’ve only got a “buzz on.”

Gerber Collision and Glass warns Halloween revelers, “Whether you’ve had one too many, or way too many, make sure you don’t turn the drive home into a horror show.  A sober and safe ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween.”

Nighttime is always a dangerous time on the road, but Halloween night can be particularly scary if you get behind the wheel drunk.   According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 percent of all highway fatalities throughout the nation during the Halloween period in 2010 involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

 Gerber Collision and Glass recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
  • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

For more information, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

Tips for driving in a rainstorm – how should you handle wet weather driving

Tips for driving in a rainstorm – how should you handle wet weather driving

The most dangerous time to drive is during a rainstorm when it hits the hardest.  In stormy and rainy conditions, it is more difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself. It is critical to make sure you can see and be seen.

There are several measures motorists can take to avoid an auto collision during a rainstorm.  First, slow down.  It seems obvious, but many drivers are used to driving certain speeds on certain roads that sometimes they forget the need to slow down during a storm.  Next, turn on your headlights, even if it’s a light rain, this will not only help increase your visibility of the road but will also help other drivers see you better.  While driving slowly, stay in the middle lane, as the water tends to be heavier on the outside lanes and never drive through “moving” water.  “Moving” water can sweep your car off the ground and cause an auto accident.  While driving in wet-weather always maintain a proper distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you – if you need to stop quickly your brake pads will need that extra space to avoid the car in front of you and driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.

With heavy rain, this is what you need to know before getting into your car.   Taking a few precautions and using wet-weather driving techniques will keep you from ending up sopping wet on the shoulder of the freeway, waiting for a tow truck. Or worse.

How to pick a auto collision repair shop

How to Pick an Auto Collision Repair Shop

First, find out which auto collision repair shop your insurance company, friends, or family recommends.    When you take your vehicle to Gerber Collision & Glass there’s less work for you! Gerber Collision & Glass will work with your insurance company on your behalf, managing the claim and direct-billing at the end.

Second, a good car collision body repair shop will keep you informed, answer any questions related to your vehicle, provide you with a quote and make sure that the work on your car or truck is done correctly until your satisfaction.  Gerber Collision & Glass has been in the auto body repair business for over 70 years, and our specialists only use the highest quality parts and materials to restore your car. Best of all, our parts and workmanship are each guaranteed. You’ll always get quality repairs that will ensure the safety of your family.

Choosing a quality body shop isn’t an easy task, so avoid the stress and the disruption. With Gerber Collision & Glass you’ll enjoy an easy, hassle-free collision repair that gets you back on the road in no time.

October is Car Care Month: 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best

In recognition of National Car Care Month, Gerber Collision & Glass wanted to provide our car enthusiast’s with some tips for how to take care of your vehicle.  This awareness campaign focuses on the importance of car care and maintenance, especially for those that have drastic seasonal changes.

The Car Care Council recommends 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best for the long haul:

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  1. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  1. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  1. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  1. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
  1. Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
  1. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
  1. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  1. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  1. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

How to prevent or discourage aggressive driving

To reduce auto collisions resulting from aggressive driving, Gerber Collision and Glass wants to help raise awareness.  There are a number of different ways that you can prevent or discourage aggressive driving.

To avoid being an aggressive driver always allow yourself extra time to arrive at your destination.  If you are in a hurry you’ll often find yourself running stop signs and red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, or making careless turns.  If you know you’re running late, relax – turn on the music to help calm your nerves and forget about the clock.  Fewer auto collisions occur when you are traveling the same speed limit as other motorists on the road – just be late.  You’re appointment will understand and be thankful that you made it safely.

If you are confronted with an aggressive drive first make every attempt to get of their way – don’t challenge them by attempting to “hold your lane”.  This gesture can cause more frustration to the aggressive driver.  Put your pride in the back seat and report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities, this will not only get you to your destination safely but also keep everyone else on the road safe that day too.

Aggressive driving has become a serious problem on our roadways.  Keeping your cool and adjusting your driving behavior are the best ways to handle aggressive driving.

Car Washing Do’s and Don’t’s – how to wash your car

Car Washing Do’s and Don’t’s

For many, the weekend washing a car by hand is a therapeutic act, for others it’s a family affair but either way the frequent washing is the single best thing you can do to maintain your vehicle’s finish and preserve its value.  When washing your vechile there are some things to watch for so that you don’t accidentally scratch the finish.  Here are some basic car-washing tips.

Do…  hose off with water first.  A “pre-rinse” will cool off the vehicle and remove loose dirt, leaves, or other debris.

Don’t… wait for a layer to accumulate before washing that can strip away wax and eventually eat into your car’s paint.

Do… use a dedicated car-wash product and a large, soft sponge.  Whether washing or drying, never use a cloth or other material with a surface that can leave hairline scratches.

Don’t… use household cleaning agents like hand soap, dishwashing detergent, or glass cleaner on the paint. They aren’t formulated for use on a car’s paint and may strip off the protective wax.

Can hailstorms effect your cars windshield

It’s that time of year in Florida when tropical storms and afternoon showers are a common occurrence. These storms can even produce golf ball size hail.  Hail storms produce ice spheres that can cause extensive denting, especially on the hood, roof, and trunk of your vehicle.

Since the windshield is the most vulnerable part of your vehicle during a hailstorm when hail hits a windshield it can leave damage that can shatter the windshield or cracks around where the hail impacted.

After a hailstorm, Gerber Collision and Glass recommends inspecting your vehicle for damage.  Even minor chips require attention before they turn into large cracks.

With over 100 locations to serve you, and a written lifetime guarantee on all work, we are your hail damage repair specialist.

Essential tips for Auto Collisions – what to do if you are in a car accident

Essential tips for Auto Collisions

Each year, thousands of people are involved in traffic accidents, auto collisions can be very stressful, will you know what to do in the aftermath of a collision? Whatever your reactions after a car accident it’s vital to stay calm as it helps you stay in control of the situation.

FIRST … check yourself and your passengers to make sure no one is hurt, move your vehicle off the roadway, activate your hazard lights, and set up flares.  The following tips are what do to next to help keep you and your passengers safe if you’re involved in an auto collision:

  • Call the police.  Although law enforcement officers may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, as it often helps insurance companies speed up the claims process. Ask for the investigating officer’s name and contact information, and for the accident report number.
  • Obtain the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, plate number, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident, along with the names of anyone with injuries and any witnesses.  The sooner your insurance company knows about the accident, the sooner they can start working to resolve your claim.
  • If possible, take photos of the scene.  Use your camera to document the auto body damage that may need to be repaired.

We understand how stressful the situation of an auto collision is and we work hard to make your car’s auto body repair as smooth as possible. Backed by our Lifetime Guarantee, our qualified, experienced technicians will repair your vehicle to its pre-collision condition.

With over 100 locations to serve you, and a written lifetime guarantee on all work, we are your collision repair specialist!

Regular vehicle maintenance – how do I regularly maintain my vehicle

5 Car Maintenance Must Dos

Your car is likely your second most valuable investment.  Regular maintenance is critical to ensure the safety, reliability, and longevity of your car. The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make, and model of a car.  Every car is supplied with a schedule — in the owner’s manual or in a separate maintenance log book — that details that vehicle’s needs.

If you want to keep your car in good shape, Gerber Collision recommends the following be regularly maintained on your vehicle:

1 – Hood Checks

2 – Oil Changes

3 – Waxing/Washing

4 – Alignment, Balance, & Tire Rotation

5  – Filters

To maintain safety and reduce the cost of car repair, it is important that you have your car inspected regularly. Regular vehicle maintenance will help keep your vehicle a properly running automotive.

Tips to keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road

The side of the road is a dangerous place. No matter how well you maintain your car, the possibility exists that you’ll find yourself broken down on the side of the road. Gerber Collision and Glass wanted to share the following steps from AAA to keep you and your family safe in the event of your vehicle breaks down.

Tips to keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down:

  • Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
  • Stay inside your vehicle and make sure all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked and only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call police.
  • If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
  • If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
  • Warn other drivers by raising the vehicle’s hood, tying a white cloth to a door handle or using reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: three devices at 100, 50 and 25 yards from the vehicle – or 300, 200 or 100 feet.

Breaking down on a roadway provides safety challenges so it’s important to be prepared for safety.

Source: What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down, The AAA Guide to Trouble-Free Travel and others

How do you Prepare for a Hurricane: Hurricane Emergency Checklist

Summer marks the time when most families are planning their weekend travels, BBQ’s with friends, outdoor home projects, or even that much needed rest and relaxation on the Florida beaches.   As you start planning the activities that rejuvenate you; Gerber wants to remind you that we are in the thick of Hurricane season; June 1 – November 30.

The United States has been marked by several devastating hurricanes and tropical storms that have left devastation, flooding, damage, and power-outages.  Every homeowner should begin Hurricane season with a plan.  When it comes to protecting your home and family, preparation is key.

Follow these tips to prepare your home and family before the Storm surges.

  • Emergency Kit
    • Food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.
  • Emergency Plan
    • Learn the community hurricane evacuation plan and practice with your family.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood prone.
  • Secure your property:
    • Cover all your home’s windows.
    • Trim trees and shrubs around your home.
    • Clear rain gutters and downspouts.
    • Reinforce your garage doors.
    • Move outdoor furniture or anything else not tied down outside.
    • Consider purchasing a generator for emergencies.
  • Keep a list of contact information for reference.
    • County Law Enforcement, Fire & Rescue, and Hospitals
    • Local American Red Cross
    • Local TV/Radio Stations
    • Your Property Insurance Agent and Local Utility Departments

Changing Your Oil

Changing Your Oil

Changing your oil is vital for your vehicle and it will help to avoid costly issues.  It is recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 miles.  The oil filter may also need to be replaced. 

A technician will select the correct grade for your car.  At most places you can get a courtesy check for the engine air filter, antifreeze, brake, power steering, and automatic transmission fluid.

An oil change will put fresh oil into your car and drain the old oil.  This is important because the old oil can become filled with dust, and metal particles.  Your gas mileage can lower and cause engine failure without an oil change. 

Gerber Collision and Glass recommend that you keep up to date with your oil changes.

Car Windshield Care

Windshield Care

Maintaining your windshield is one of the main priorities of your car.  It makes the car look good and it helps you drive safer.  In a collision, the windshield is what prevents the roof from caving in.  Here are some important tips to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your windshield. 

If you have a crack or chip in your glass get it fixed right away.  Sometimes when you are driving, debris such as pebbles, sand, or trash can cause dings in the glass.  Over time the dings will turn into bigger cracks.

Don’t slam your car doors.  Slamming the doors cause strong vibrations to the windshield.  The vibrations can cause the dings to spread. 

Don’t leave your vehicle in direct sunlight.  Extended exposure to sunlight can shorten the life of your windshield.  If there is a great temperature different on either side of the windshield, the dings could get worse. 

Clean the windshield with vinegar or alcohol.  Use cotton or microfiber towels.  Don’t use ammonia based glass cleaners.  They could destroy the tint. 

Use a rag to clean the wipers.  Dirt and sand can get on the wipers and scratch the windshield.  Rub the rag on the blades to remove the dirt, dust and sand.

Gerber Collision and Glass want you to keep your windshield in good condition.  If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-7gerber. Don’t forget your windshield tips. 

Pet Safety in Vehicles

Pet Safety in Vehicles

 

Before you travel with your pet there are some important things to consider.  Check to see if the pet is covered by your insurance company.  Some insurance companies will pay a percent of the vet bill. 

Get dog ID tags that have your phone number.  This will help your pet get returned to you in case he or she sneaks out of your car. 

Pack a doggie bag.  Bring food, water, medications, togs and a first aid kit.  Feed them a few hours before you leave.  This will prevent them from getting sick in the car.

Keep your pet buckled up.  Have them wear a harness or put them in a crate.  This will keep them from flying around in the car. Without these safety precautions, the driver could become distracted and cause a collision.

Never leave your dog in the car.  They are vulnerable to heat stroke.  Even if it isn’t hot outside they can still be in danger of a heat stroke.  Don’t leave your windows open.  They could get stolen.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to keep your pets safe.

Back to School Safety

Back to School Safety

Children across the nation are heading back to school and drivers need to take precaution on the road.  Motorists need to be especially careful in school zones. Parents need to review safety rules with their kids about walking or bike riding. 

Children who walk to school need to use the sidewalks.  When there are no sidewalks, they need to walk on the side facing traffic.  Kids should always wear a helmet when riding a bike. 

When a child is taking a bus to school they need to stand away from the curb.  Bus riders should get on and off of the bus when the driver says it’s okay.  Kids need to stay seated until the bus has come to a complete stop. 

Children need to cross the streets using crosswalks.  They need to look both ways to make sure a car is not coming. 

Drivers can also practice safety measures on the road.  Be extra careful before and after school.  Don’t pass a school bus when its lights are flashing.  Always drive the speed limits.  When a driver is leaving their driveway, make sure there are no kids walking by. 

Gerber Collision and Glass would like to have a fun and safe school year for everyone.  Please review back to school safety rules.

Driving in windy weather

Driving in windy weather

Every driver should know tips on how to drive in windy weather.  Drivers may encounter high gusts of winds while they are driving.  .

Start off by dropping your speed. Be careful of any branches or trees that may fall onto the road. Driving slowly can reduce impact when running into any unpredicted debris.

Trucks, buses or vehicles towing trailers are the most prone to being blown off the course by the wind.  Pay attention to those vehicles.   Always keep both hands on the wheel to make sure you have control of your vehicle.

Seek shelter if the high winds turn into a tornado.  Don’t ever try and drive faster than the tornado in your car.   If there is no shelter close, exit your vehicle and find a ditch to stay in until it is safe.

If you are home don’t get in your car if you know there is a tornado in your area.  Wait until the bad conditions subside.

Gerber Collision and Glass advise you to always proceed with caution when you are driving in windy weather.

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

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.