How to check for an auto recall

Just this week in the new, Honda is recalling 600,000 Accord midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a faulty power steering hose that can leak fluid and cause a fire .  Because of this, the auto collision department at Gerber Collision and Glass thought it would be a great time to remind folks about the auto recalls.

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for vehicle parts such as brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts, child restraints, energy absorbing steering columns, and motorcycle helmets.   These Standards are applicable to all vehicles a in the United States.  When a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, the vehicle is recalled.

When the manufacturer or the government concedes that there is a defect an Official Safety Recall Notice, which provides details about the problem as well as instructions on the best way to handle it, is sent to owners who are at risk. In most cases, drivers are advised to bring the car to their dealer as soon as possible.  The auto collision repair department at Gerber encourages you to call your local dealership – Even if you didn’t buy the car there, the maker of your car covers these recalls.

If you would like to check on recalls for your car, you can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website here.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Driving with your hazards on

Driving with your hazards on

Do you ever notice people driving around with their hazards on?  It may be raining or snowing, but are we supposed to use our hazards when driving in inclement weather? In most states it is illegal to drive with these lights on.  They are only to be used when your vehicle is stationary along the side of the road.  Gerber Collision and Glass urge drivers to check with your states’ law on this situation.  The law varies from state to state on this issue, but for the most part, driving with the hazards on is illegal. 

Hazard lights disable the turn signal lights, making driving in bad weather even more dangerous.  They also make it harder to tell if the motorist ahead is tapping on the break.  They may also make you think a vehicle is pulled off to the side of the road, when in actuality they are right in front of you.  It is advised to pull into a gas station, or off the road a safe distance, if the weather is too extreme to drive in.

Make time for timing belt

Make time for timing belt

                Is it time for your timing belt to be checked or replaced?  Many of us don’t even know what a timing belt is.  We need to focus on this automotive issue that is rarely talked about or checked up on.  The timing belt is part of an internal combustion engine that controls the timing of the engines valves.  It needs to be replaced every sixty to ninety thousand miles.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommend having a professional mechanic take the time to inspect your timing belt.  Major damage can occur to the valves and pistons if the belt is not taken off correctly.

                Failure to replace a worn out timing belt can result in major damage to your vehicle’s engine.  One key indication that your timing belt is ready to be replaced is hearing a rattling sound in the front of the engine.  We cannot stress enough the importance of having this belt checked.  If the teeth on the belt get smoothed out, you can cause the motor to be completely destroyed.  Some of the valves can remain open and be struck by the pistons resulting in this damage.  Have your timing belt checked if your vehicle is in the mileage or you hear anything different with your engine.  Don’t be left stranded with up to three thousand dollars in damage to your vehicle.

Gerber Collision and Glass Free Car Rental

Gerber Collision and Glass Free Car Rental

So, your car is in the shop and you don’t have another vehicle to get you around. Looks like you have to check the internet for car rental places. You have to search through vehicles and outrageous prices. Let’s hold on a minute. Did you know that Gerber Collision and Glass have up to five free day’s car rental with many of their body repairs. That’s right, if your vehicle stays with Gerber, they’ll get you a ride.

Gerber Collision and Glass also have some great online coupons that could save you some big bucks. Please visit http://www.gerberoffers.com/ for their most recent savings. They have been in business for over seventy years, and continue to be the leading repair shop throughout the United States and Canada. You can also reach Gerber at 1-877-7gerber for any questions you might have. So if your vehicle needs work, and you need to get a rental look no further than Gerber Collision and Glass.

Catalytic converter theft on the rise

Catalytic converter theft on the rise

Throughout the United States, the theft of catalytic converters is skyrocketing.  They are pipes underneath your vehicle that help reduce pollution.  The reason for the alarming trend is that the converters are made from precious metals.  These metals are being scrapped for as much as two hundred dollars, per pipe, by the thieves.   As the value of these metals rise, so has the theft of them.

There are a few ways you may be able to protect your vehicle from this type of theft.  Have your license plate number engraved on the catalytic converter.  This will deter the robbers from stealing it because it could be easily traced by the police.  You may also want to check with a reputable muffler shop to see the cost of having it welded to your vehicle.

 Vehicles that are higher off the ground are more susceptible to this type of crime. Park your car in well-lit areas to fend off thieves.  You can also purchase a security system that has sensors underneath the vehicle.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to ensure the safety of you and your vehicle.  The cost of replacing a catalytic converter can run upwards of two thousand dollars.  Be aware of this growing crime and take the proper precautions to protect your vehicle.

Get your car in summer shape

Get your car in summer shape

Well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like summer out there. The temperature is starting to rise. The kids are almost out of school. The barbecue grill is getting ready for weekly cookouts. Yes, summer is almost upon us once again. It also means the start of another rainy season. Have you thought about if your vehicle is prepared for the wet conditions? Now is a good time to get that car in summer shape.

Check your tires. Bald tires are very dangerous, especially in rainy conditions. Have your tires balanced and rotated. This will help the car grip the road better. Make sure all your lights are working properly. During summer rainstorms Gerber Collision and Glass advise drivers to use their headlights. Remember, you can barely see the road in most summer storms, headlights are critical in avoiding a collision.

Have your brakes checked. Make sure the pads are not worn. Check your windshield wipers. Chances are, if they haven’t been replaced since last summer your vehicle is due for a new pair. Be smart out there this summer. Driving in heavy rain is dangerous. Keep your speed low and your attention high.