Category: Auto Body Shop
When you are involved in a car wreck, you may not have the time to research where you want your car fixed. Your insurance company may make a recommendation for their preferred auto body shop. It may save some hassle to choose this shop, but you have the right to choose where you want your vehicle repaired.
Firstly, look to see if your recommended shop is certified. This means that the technicians at that location have completed rigorous training by the manufacturer to repair that vehicle model. An insurance company may or may not recommend a body shop that offers certified repair.
You might also have your own preferences based on recommendations, your past experience, or a shop that specializes in a specific type of repair (some people prefer a shop that’s more eco-friendly or a shop that has techs certified on their make of vehicle).
Using your insurance recommendation
The majority of insurance companies have a list of auto body shops with which they have established relationships. These shops meet their criteria, which may include cheaper prices and fast repairs. Or, they might choose a shop for their quality repairs and certifications. This is why it’s best to look into shops before choosing.
For whatever shop you choose, be sure to ask questions. Do they use manufacturer parts or aftermarket parts? Does the shop have good reviews on Yelp and Google? Do they offer a lifetime warranty on their work?
Perks of a recommended body shop
Using a body shop recommended by your insurance company can have benefits. Ask if your insurance provider will guarantee the repairs for as long as you own it. If the repairs do not hold up at any time while you own the car, your insurance company will take care of this and you will not have to pay.
Using a recommended body shop can also save time. It may save you money as well, if your insurance will not fully cover another shop you prefer.
Fogle Collision Centers works with all insurance companies. We are considered a preferred collision center with most providers. Because we believe in providing you the highest quality repairs, we always use OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts to ensure they fit, will function properly, and your car maintains its value.
We all know that each shop management has its own standard of customer service and shop maintenance. But have you ever wondered who requires collision repair shops to be in compliance with legal regulations?
The real answer is that there is not a comprehensive law in Texas that governs collision repair. However, there are still certain inspections and regulations that must be met.
Anytime you have an issue with auto body repairs made to your car or the process to make those repairs, you should always speak with the management first. Often, a shop will immediately attempt to address the issue to your satisfaction. If this doesn’t solve your problem, depending on the issue, there are state agencies and organizations that can assist.
Not what you paid for
It’s always good practice to review your bill before paying and take a close look at the work that was completed. If you believe unnecessary repairs were made, you were charged for an incorrect part, or charged for something you didn’t receive, you can contact the Texas Attorney General’s office. They can determine if your circumstance falls under the Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act.
This is important to be reviewed because it’s possible this may have happened to more than one customer.
Requirements for body shops
All collision repair shops have to follow regulations set forth by state agencies. Body shops also have to follow environmental rules established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
These rules focus on air quality, proper waste disposal, water, and other regulations that body shops must comply with every day. The agency ensures shops follow these rules and makes the necessary adjustments if they violate these rules.
Fogle Collision Centers welcome feedback from customers so we can continuously improve what we do. We strive to provide you with the best quality collision repair.
Anytime you have work done on your vehicle, it’s typically expected that the repair will last. However, that’s not always the case. Some shops are trained better than others, repair techs can make mistakes, or car parts may not perform as expected. This is why it is important to have the auto body repairs made at a shop that offers a lifetime warranty.
If a body shop offers lifetime warranty, this means that they guarantee the work performed will be the best quality. Should anything go wrong with the repairs, they’re willing to fix it free of charge.
The benefits of lifetime warranty
A warranty is similar to the idea of insurance. It’s there should you need it. Typically, a lifetime warranty is good for as long as you own the vehicle. If a problem occurs with any of the repairs made, months or years later, you can take it back to that body shop to be fixed with no cost to you.
The collision repair shop will be out the cost of the warranty repair work. When it loses money on repairs, that shop will likely review what went wrong. They will want to learn how to correct it so the repairs will last in the future.
The best time to inquire about a lifetime warranty is when you get the estimate. Ask if there are different types of warranties offered. Some collision repair centers will offer more than one warranty, one for body work and a separate one for any paint services.
Fogle Collision Centers, an auto body shop in Houston, we stand behind the work we do on your car by offering a National Limited Lifetime Warranty for body work and the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee for any paint work.
When a car has been in a wreck, some of the damage will be obvious. You’ll have broken taillight or a dented door, or a crunched hood. What is not immediately noticeable, and may be impossible to see unless you are an expert, is any damage that may be behind the body of the vehicle.
Technicians are trained to look for damage in the operating parts and the computer system within a car. They can determine if there is further damage beyond the cosmetics of the vehicle.
A dent may not be just a dent
Never assume that if a collision is minor that the damage is just a dent. For example, if someone backs into your car and puts a dent in your car door, there could be further damage inside, such as the power windows not operating properly.
If the dents are much larger and caved into the vehicle, the car should definitely be inspected by a technician for safety reasons.
Review the estimate
When you bring your vehicle in to a body shop, the location should give you a repair estimate. This estimate explains the cost for parts and the labor to repair the vehicle. Be sure to review the estimate and ask any questions before the work begins so that you have a good understanding of what you are paying to fix.
Many collision centers, like Fogle Collision, will offer free estimates. To get a preliminary estimate, you can use our new Smartphone Estimating Tool. You will get a repair estimate within 24 hours of submitting photos. However, we can fully determine the damage once a technician takes a close look at the vehicle.
Quality has always been a top consideration for collision repair shops when purchasing paint. But shops must also think about safety to the environment.
Choosing body shop locations that will provide the quality you expect and be friendly to the environment takes research. When you inquire with body shops you are considering, ask if they use water-based paints.
Using waterborne paint
Waterborne paints have benefits beyond being safer to the environment than lacquer-based paints used in the past. Waterborne paint has heavier viscosity and applies three coats of coverage in nearly half a mil thickness. This means less clear coat is needed to even out the surface.
Only paint technicians trained to use waterborne paint should perform the paint job to a vehicle for a quality result. Imperfections will appear easier and the paint is sensitive to humid conditions. Different blends are available in more humid climates. If a technician is not used to working with water-based paints, the paint can have a different hue when it dries.
The difference of waterborne paint
Some body shops still use solvent-based paints. This type of paint has higher levels of organic solvents, and when it dries it releases Volatile Organic Compounds into the air. VOCs are toxic to humans and the environment.
Water-based paints have improved over the years and are quickly replacing the use of solvent-based paint. Waterborne paints feature acrylic emulsions that offer a faster drying time, similar to solvent paints. It also has less odor and greater durability.
Our team at Fogle Collision Centers is trained to provide an exceptional quality paint job to your vehicle using waterborne paints. Give us a call today for a free estimate and we’ll give your car a fresh look that is safer to the environment.
We live in a world with constant distractions, including while we are driving. Smartphones not only consume our attention while we work or we are at home, but also behind the wheel. Texting and using the phone while driving has become such an issue that starting September 1, 2017 in Texas, it will be illegal to text and drive.
Campaigns are also in place by several organizations nationwide and major cell phone providers to send a constant reminder that using a phone while driving leads to injuries and fatalities. Every week, Houston body shops repair cars involved in distracted driving accidents.
Distractions, Distractions, and More Distractions
There is a long list of what can distract a driver, but there are only three types of distraction that interfere with concentration – cognitive, visual, and manual. An example of a manual distraction would be a driver removing hands from the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions take the driver’s focus away and visual takes the driver’s eyes off of the road.
Other actions that keep someone from focusing solely on driving include changing the radio station, looking at a map, talking on the phone or to others in the car, and eating. A recent survey showed that more than 60 percent say they have watched a driver apply makeup while driving, more than 50 percent witnessed someone reading, and more than 20 percent have seen a driver take a selfie while behind the wheel.
Although these tasks were not high scoring in the survey, people also witnessed drivers putting in contacts, flossing teeth, and actually putting on a costume.
A few seconds of a distraction behind the wheel can be deadly. Nationwide, there were 3,477 people who died in accidents in 2015 that were caused by a distracted driver.
Don’t Get Distracted
Most distractions are preventable. It starts with the driver making a conscious effort to focus only on driving. As a driver gets into the car, that is when any seat or mirror adjustments should be made, plus setting the radio and GPS.
If you find yourself taking your eyes off of the road to look at your phone, put it somewhere in the vehicle that you can’t reach while driving. Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will only check your phone once you get to your destination.
At Fogle Collision Centers, we hope everyone drives safely. If you are involved in a collision due to distracted driving, we can take care of your auto body repairs. Our technicians will perform high quality repairs to your vehicle so you can get back on the road.
Tire quality is a serious safety issue. In 2015, there were nearly 70 traffic deaths in Texas related to tire issues. Maintaining the quality of tires and preventing a blowout will help drivers avoid serious collisions and a trip to the auto body shop.
Every car owner should take a few routine steps to check and maintain the quality of the tires on a vehicle.
Maintain Proper Air Pressure
It is recommended that you check the air pressure in your tires at least once a month and always before a long road trip. If you own a vehicle that was made within the past ten to 15 years, it likely has tire monitors that alert the driver if a tire has low air pressure, but it is best to manually check the air pressure to see exactly how the air pressure is in the tire.
The recommended air pressure can be found on the tire, the inside of the door frame, or in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to tire damage, but over-inflated tires can lead to a blowout.
Measure Tire Tread
Good tire tread is necessary for traction and to maintain the durability of a tire. When tires look smooth, they need to be replaced.
A simple way to measure the tread on a tire is to insert a quarter with George Washington’s head facing down into the tread. If the top of his head shows, the tire is worn and should be replaced.
Having tires rotated regularly helps them wear more evenly and not as quickly.
Good Alignment and Balance Prevents Excessive Wear
Maintaining proper alignment and balance on a vehicle can prevent a tire from wearing excessively and prevent a blowout.
At Bill Fogle Collision Center, an auto body shop, we recommend for everyone to maintain tire quality to prevent a blowout and collision. If you do get in a collision, contact our expert team of technicians who can get your vehicle repaired and get you back on the road.
Scheduling Collision Repair on a Road Trip
A road trip is intended to be fun and they are usually planned in advance. What no one plans on is getting in an accident. The trip is abruptly halted, especially if anyone is injured.
Accident details need to be attended to as soon as possible. If your car is heavily damaged, it will need to be towed. If your vehicle is still driveable, you must decide if you want it repaired at home or where you are at that moment. Those details can be worked out with your insurance agent.
Insurance Coverage on a Road Trip
Insurance coverage on a road trip depends on where your trip takes you. Before you leave on your trip, check your insurance policy to see where you are covered and review the details of your coverage plan.
If you travel anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, you are likely covered. If your trip is to Mexico, Central America, South America, or any other location, contact your insurance agent regarding coverage.
As you travel, remember that laws are different from state to state and different in other countries. Check the driving laws for the location you are going and all points in between, plus the insurance laws for those areas. The minimum requirements for coverage vary in different areas.
No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.
Auto Body Repair Scheduling
If you need a tow, most insurance policies will cover the cost within a certain radius from the accident. The insurance company can also schedule the tow no matter where you are located and can reserve a rental car for you, if needed. If you choose to have your vehicle towed back home and you are far away, discuss the coverage with your insurance agent. It’s likely you will have to cover the cost for a long-distance tow.
We hope you don’t have an accident while on a road trip, but if you do and you need auto body repair when you return to the Houston area, contact the team at Bill Fogle Collision. We will take care of your collision repairs so you can get back on the road for another trip.
As a driver in the Katy, Houston, Cypress, or League City areas, it can be overwhelming to find a quality collision repair shop that you can trust to do the work precisely. Getting the best value for what you pay is also important since collision repair shops charge different prices.
It takes some research and plenty of questions to narrow down the right body shop that will meet your needs. As you search, keep a few steps in mind that will determine a quality auto body shop.
Body Shop Location
Convenience may be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to find a reputable collision repair shop. It’s also important to take into consideration the location of the repair shop. If it is in an area where property is more expensive, they may charge more per hour for labor to cover the overhead costs.
Ask About Certifications
When inquiring about auto body shops, find out if the shop is certified by the maker of your car. The certification verifies that the shop has the equipment needed to repair your vehicle and the technicians are trained by the maker to repair your car.
Ask for Recommendations
Talk to people you know to find out where they take their cars for collision repair. Get several recommendations. The Better Business Bureau can let you know if a body shop has multiple complaints. Look at reviews online. If there are several good recommendations for the same shop from sources you trust, it’s likely that repair shop performs quality work.
Ask about Warranty
A reliable collision repair shop stands behind the quality work it does to a vehicle. Inquire about the warranty to body repairs and to paint on your car. Find out specifically how long the warranty lasts and what the warranty covers.
Ask About Estimates
When inquiring about estimates, find out if the repair shop offers free estimates and ask if they use the insurance company’s estimate or their own. Use a repair shop that provides their own estimate based on the technician’s interpretation of repairs, versus doing the repairs based on the insurance company’s estimate of what work needs to be done.
If your car needs auto body or paint services, contact the Houston collision repair shop that you can trust. At Bill Fogle Collision Center, we provide free estimates and warranty for any repairs needed to your car. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate and experience our personalized service.
The Greater Houston area is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and it’s no surprise that Harris County has the most vehicle collisions of any Texas county every year. In 2016, there were more than 112,000 car accidents, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). This keeps auto body repair in demand for Houston and surrounding cities such as Cypress, League City, and Katy.
With so many cars on the roads in this area, accidents will happen. Some of the reasons for collisions may not come as a surprise.
Collision Causes in the Houston Area
There are a number of causes for accidents and weather can always be a contributing factor. While some might think that speed is one of the top reasons for collisions in Harris County, there were 1,573 speed related accidents last year. DUI accidents were slightly higher with 2,941 crashes in 2016.
Distracted driving was one of the main causes, with 14,804 wrecks in Harris County last year. Failure to pay attention is the second highest factor for collisions in Texas’ urban areas. This can be texting while driving, talking on the phone, or any other type of distraction. Bexar County, or the San Antonio area, had the most distracted driving accidents with more than 26,000.
Steps to Take After a Collision
After an accident, take a moment to collect your thoughts, assess if you have any injuries, and if you can safely get out of the vehicle. If you, your passengers, or anyone else involved in the accident has injuries, call 9-1-1 immediately. Law enforcement must be notified if there are injuries, deaths, or property damages. Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers.
After the initial details of the car wreck are addressed, give Fogle Collision a call. We have convenient locations in Houston, Cypress, League City, and Katy. Our highly trained technicians will repair your car with the attention to detail you deserve and get you back in the road.