Category: Car lovers
Have you ever done something while driving and thought to yourself, “Is this legal?“. You’re not alone. We’ve created a list of driving law myths that may surprise you. Maybe your parents have been wrong all these years about leaving that interior light on while driving. Keep reading to find out the truth about some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding driving laws in Texas.
It’s illegal to drive with headphones: FALSE
While it’s legal for drivers in Texas to use headphones while driving, we don’t recommend it. Noise-canceling headphones don’t allow you to hear sirens or honking that could help prevent you from crashing with a nearby vehicle. There are some exceptions though, anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to use headphones or any other wireless listening device while driving.
Neon underglow lights are illegal: FALSE
Some car-enthusiasts like to customize their ride with neon underglow lights. While these custom lights are legal in Texas, there are some exceptions. It is illegal for vehicles to have red lights of any kind in the front of part of the vehicle, as law enforcement and emergency vehicles use the colors red and blue.
Laser detection devices are legal: TRUE
While laser detection devices are legal in Texas, laser jammers are not. Laser jammers interfere and block the signals emitted from police radar guns. If you are pulled over and caught using a laser jammer, you could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.
It’s illegal to drive a vehicle without a windshield: FALSE
While driving a vehicle without a windshield is completely legal in Texas, driving a vehicle with no windshield wipers is not. All vehicles with windshields must have working wipers and be without an obstructed view like a sticker or large crack. This law seems contradictory, as it’s one of the strangest myths to date.
Driving with a dog in your front seat is legal: TRUE
Let’s face it, we were all hoping this myth was true. As of today, there are no established laws stating you aren’t allowed to drive with your furry friend in the front seat of your car. But be aware, a pet on your lap can cause distracted driving and potentially be a safety hazard.
Driving barefoot is illegal: FALSE
Driving barefoot is legal in Texas and all other 49 states. While some don’t recommend it, you won’t be fined for it when pulled over.
It’s illegal to ride in the open bed of a truck: FALSE
We’ve all ridden in the bed of a truck at least once in our life. But is it legal? The answer is yes, but only if you’re over 18. Riding in the bed of a truck isn’t the smartest or safest thing to do, it’s better to grab a seat inside the vehicle with a working seatbelt.
Driving with the interior lights of your vehicle on is illegal: FALSE
This myth is old as dirt. Some grow up believing that driving with the cabin lights on in your vehicle is illegal, but the truth is, it’s not. Some say the light coming from inside the car creates a distraction for other drivers so it’s best to keep it off to avoid a hazardous scenario.
If you were aware of these driving law myths, take our quiz to see just how knowledgable you are about your state’s driving laws.
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One of the most essential maintenance checks on your car is your tire quality. Buying tires, and knowing when to buy, is important for your safety and to prevent unnecessary wear and damage to your car.
Most tires need to be changed between 25 and 50k miles. Not all drivers wear their tires the same. Sometimes it depends on how frequently the driver uses the vehicle. Sometimes it’s the type of terrain you drive on or even the type of car you drive. The type of tires, themselves, have different lifespans. Regardless, buying new tires is important when you have significant wear.
When do I know it’s time to get new tires?
This will depend on the kind of tires you have. There are a few signs to look for to determine if you need new tires.
- Tread – You should be able to stick a penny in your tread, the top of Abe’s head downward, and not be able to see the top of his head. If you can, it’s time for new tires.
- Age – Your tires have an expiration date on them. While this may not be the most reliable way of telling if your tires need replacing, if you drive a lot, and it’s past your expiration, it’s probably time. Also, tires should not be used after 10 years, at which point they start breaking down.
- Uneven wear – If your tires show more wear on the edges, or on one side more than the other, you need to get them replaced. Uneven wear can be caused by a number of factors, including under-inflation or needing an alignment.
- Sidewall damage – Some damage in the tread (like a nail, for example) can be repaired, but damage to the sidewall affects the integrity of the entire tire. If you see signs of sidewall damage, get new tires ASAP.
It’s important to properly maintain your tires to get the most mileage out of them and to stay safe on the road.
There are quite a few options when it comes to buying tires. A good tire shop will help walk you through your options and the benefits of certain tires. Here are a few things you’ll want to look at before you go to buy.
What size tires do I need?
Look at your car specs. Your owner’s manual should list the minimum specifications for buying tires. This is what the manufacturer recommends for safety and optimum car performance. You can also find this on the inside of your driver’s door. When buying tires, be sure to get an appropriate size.
What type do I need?
There are three main types of tires you can buy: Summer, All-Season, and Winter. Each has pros and cons. In warmer weather (like Central Texas) you’ll likely want summer or all-season tires. Summer tires often have better grip, handling, heat resistance, and less chance of hydroplaning. All-season offers a bit stiffer handling, but it can better handle snow (should you run into it) and last longer.
Here’s a breakdown:
Best for: Sports cars, beginning drivers, summer temps, rainy weather
Drawbacks: Don’t last as long, not meant for cold temps, can’t drive well on heavy snow and ice.
Best for: A variety of weather, drivers with trucks and SUVs, commuters, rolling resistance
Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, stiffer handling, and slightly less effective traction in rainy weather
Best for: Regular snow driving, ice traction, road grip, SUVs and pickups
Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, more expensive, need to be switched out in the summer
For more informational tips and maintenance information, follow Fogle Collision Center on Facebook.
No matter what direction you’re going in Texas, you’re sure to run into some exciting stops. You can spend months traveling the Lone Star State and never run out of new sights to see, places to eat, or events to attend. Here are a few good places along the road (between the big cities) that you may want to momentarily hang your hat on your next trip.
Big Bend (NPS Photo/Reine Wonite)
Big Bend is a hiking destination for many Texans. Nestled along the Rio Grande River, the national park has a variety of landscapes, from desert, to mountains, to river. The park also features several communities for park visitors to stay and plenty of activities for exploring the great outdoors.
Black’s BBQ, Lockhart
About a half hour outside Austin, Lockhart is a major BBQ destination. The town is known for its famous Black’s BBQ, but is also home to Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market, also serving up mouthwatering Texas BBQ.
This convenience store is more than just an ordinary gas station. It’s a legendary snack destination. Czech Stop is often considered the best kolaches in Texas and come in a variety of satisfying flavors.
Hill Country (wine country), Fredricksburg
If you didn’t already know, the Texas Hill Country is the second biggest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the US and fifth in US wine production. Its go-to wine destination is Fredricksburg. With over 40 wineries to choose from, you’re sure to find a relaxing cup of wine with an amazing view. While you’re wearing off that wine buzz, you can go hike at Enchanted Rock or walk around Fredricksburg’s famous downtown shops.
Silos Baking Co., Waco
If you love Fixer Upper, you’ll want to visit Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia district. The shop is filled with HGTV style and the outside square offers plenty of food trucks and space for the kids to stretch their legs. This is a great place to accommodate a variety of tastes, and maybe snag a delicious cupcake to go.
Gristmill River Restaurant, New Braunfels
The Gristmill is a historic building overlooking the Guadalupe River. The Gristmill is located beneath the Gruene (pronounce “green”) water tower, so it’s pretty hard to miss. Check out this historic mill while enjoying classic Texas favorites with a stunning river view.
This performance is a truly unique experience. The show happens during the summer in a completely outdoors auditorium, featuring over 60 musicians, singers and dancers. Celebrating Texas history, this show is for the whole family and includes a firework show.
Padre Island National Seashore
If you’ll be anywhere near Corpus Christi, you might want to take a detour to this popular park. This is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Aside from beautiful scenery, this island also offers a multitude of family activities, including watching sea turtles hatch, camping, kayaking and even wind surfing.
If you live in Texas, you’ve probably come across a Buc-ee’s at some point. There are over 30 locations in Central and East Texas, all conveniently located on major travel thoroughfares. Stop in for some fresh tacos, an endless variety of beef jerky, or a Texas souvenir for your out-of-town family.
Colin Street Bakery, Corsicana
Colin Street Bakery is known around the world for its fruitcake and Texas pecan pies. The shop has been open since 1896 and has been featured on big media outlets like Food Network and USA Today. The original is on I-45 in Corsicana, but also has locations in Waco, Lindale, and Greenville.
Nothing ages your car more than bubbling, chipping, or rusting paint. Your car is a large investment that you want to maintain properly, both to save you money over the years and to have a car you’re proud of.
Taking care of your paint is easy. Get in the habit with these tips.
Dirt and grime can become stuck on your paint, and over time, certain road materials can damage your paint. Letting dirt and chemicals from the road stay there can eventually cause rust. Experts recommend washing your car every two weeks, depending on how often you drive and the sort of road conditions you’re driving on.
Use the proper tools when washing
There’s a myth that you can use dish soap as a substitute for car wash soap. This can strip the wax and polymers from your car that protect your paint.
Instead, buy a quality car wash soap in order to remove dirt and preserve your wax. Using a microfiber wash mitt or microfiber towel is also recommended for your paint. Some sites suggest using a T-shirt, but even clean, the cloth can scratch the surface and grind the dirt that may be on the surface into the paint.
Don’t forget to dry
Mineral deposits can be left behind with water droplets. Use a 100% cotton detailing cloth or a sheepskin chamois to gently get the water off.
Use wax and/or paint protectant
All protectants deter oxidation, but paint sealants are more advanced to protect your paint. Many waxes combine enriching oils and protective polymers for an attractive, and hardworking, shine.
Detailing clay can easily be used to clean tough deposits on your paint, such as tree sap, tar, or bug residue. Many recommend using this at least once a year to get rid of stuck-on contaminates.
Parking in the shade will help protect your car paint from sun-caused fading. If you can park in a garage, this will further protect your car from the elements and unexpected damages.
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It’s the season for family and friends to come together and enjoy time spent with one another. This can mean taking a road trip, along with many others who will head out on the highways and roads. But with more travelers comes a greater chance of accidents.
It helps to leave early for your destination so you don’t feel rushed. Plan ahead to avoid making hasty driving decision. The more time you give yourself, the more likely you’ll be a patient and careful driver.
Get a good night’s rest
Never take a road trip while drowsy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 72,000 accidents nationwide are caused by drowsy drivers. Go to bed in time to get a full night’s sleep the night before a trip.
If you travel overnight, consider traveling a short distance and then stopping for a rest break. If you are having difficulty focusing on the road, pull over and take a 20-minute rest. A well-lit grocery or hospital parking lot is ideal at night because of the amount of people around.
Monitor the roads and weather
Prior to leaving for your road trip, look at the road and weather conditions. If you think you may run into bad weather, pay attention to travel warnings. If conditions are extreme, wait until the weather improves to take off. It’s better to arrive a day or two later than to not arrive at all.
If you do not feel comfortable driving in the weather occurring on your route, you might also look for alternative routes that may allow you to avoid it.
Watch your surroundings
Accidents can happen on residential roads, rural roads, and major freeways. No matter the time of day, pay attention to your surroundings while driving. Stay away from erratic drivers, pay attention to exits and entrances to the freeway, and always use your lights and turn signals so others can be aware of where you’re going.
At Fogle Collision Centers, a Houston body shop, we want everyone to be safe when traveling for the holidays. If you are in a collision, give us a call for a free estimate and we’ll exceed your expectations for efficient auto body repair.
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.
The first cars available for purchase did not offer a variety of color choices. All the vehicles were in black because the luxury was owning a car, not the paint color. Now you have a multitude of options for repainting, changing colors, and customizing.
Auto painting is no longer about applying a coat and making sure it is even. Giving a vehicle depth and a unique appearance takes skill and training.
According to PPG, the most popular car colors are still monochromatic: white, black, and silver. This year has seen a lot of blues and oranges from manufacturers. But custom paints are a whole other game.
Many car owners who want to stand out look for a unique color for their vehicle. For example, a Molten Pearl Lexus or Austin Yellow BMW are not . These colors are not offered by the vehicle makers and it takes a professional auto body shop to do the work.
Bright and unique colors are striking on luxury vehicles as well. A Bentley isn’t offered by the maker in bright blue, but it is possible with a custom auto paint job. If you are a fan of maroon, you can have a Rolls Royce painted that color. And colors are not limited to just one color per vehicle any longer. A car can have a variety of shades and designs.
The possibilities are endless with custom auto paint jobs. Want the exterior of your car to change colors? An iridescent paint detail creates different color tones in different lighting, and is an emerging trend among car enthusiasts.
In 2011, Range Rover created a custom Spectral Amber ChromaFlair option that features tones of lemon and lime.
More unusual, an incredible color changing paint detail was created on a BMW X6 with “thermochromic” paint that changes with heat. As hot water is poured on the vehicle, a painting of The Incredible Hulk appears. While this is definitely on the rare (and expensive) side, it demonstrates the breadth of possibilities for drivers looking to customize their paint.
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A road trip is intended to be fun, not to be spent at a repair shop. However, accidents happen when you least expect them and it’s a good idea to have a plan if they do. Here are a few considerations to help you figure out this tough situation.
Know your insurance coverage
Insurance coverage 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.
You are likely covered if your trip is in the U.S. or Canada. 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 and insurance laws for the location you are going (and all points in between). The minimum requirements for insurance coverage vary in different areas.
No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.
If you get in an accident
Firstly, you’ll need to assess the damage. If your vehicle is still driveable, you must decide if you want it repaired at home or where you are at that moment. Your insurance agent can help you work out the details.
Consider whether you have a long drive back, and if driving such a distance in your vehicle’s state would be dangerous. Even if your vehicle appears to only have exterior body damage, it would be wise to get an auto body tech to take a look at it. Most body shops will give free estimates on damage.
Scheduling a tow
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 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.
If you need repair on your Texas road trip, Fogle Collision Centers has shops across Central Texas to meet your auto body needs.
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To most, it may seem as that car collision repairs are universal, but not all cars are created equal. That is why many auto technicians go through regular training and earn certifications. They need to be knowledgeable about the latest industry standards on various vehicles makes. Different types of vehicles, including electric and hybrid, come with their own set of repair obstacles.
Electric vehicles, and hybrids, have tremendous benefits including fuel efficiency. But with that cost savings comes a trade-off to potentially higher costs in other areas, including collision repair.
Additional cost of EV repair
One of the few drawbacks to owning an electric vehicle (EV) is that collision repair could potentially cost more.
Firstly, the expensive battery packs can be damaged in an accident, potentially costing you upwards of $1,000. Most battery packs have a long life, but can easily be damaged in a crash.
Also, because some parts to hybrid vehicles are harder to find, it may increase the repair cost. The complex hybrid drive components also cost more to manufacture and assemble.
If the battery packs were not damaged in the accident but panels near the packs were damaged, the battery has to be removed for safety which leads to some additional labor.
Auto technicians go through specialized training to repair an EV. Their technology and functionality is different than traditional vehicles. There is also an increased risk of electrocution because of the high voltage in hybrids that technicians must know how to avoid. Additional training and safety can be expensive for auto repair shops, which could be reflected in your bill.
Solution for hybrid repair
If you’re looking for a body shop for your electronic vehicle, it is important to ask if the techs have been trained on them. Since EV and hybrid technology is constantly changing, it’s important to find a repair shop that regularly undergoes training to work on these vehicles.
Fogle Collision undergoes yearly I-CAR training to keep our techs up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends. Call us for a free estimate on your EV or hybrid vehicle.
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Fall has officially arrived, but before the official start of fall, there was the official start of football season. Dedicated fans know when and who their favorite team will play. Then there are the diehard Houston Texans fans who think about the team all year long. They do more than wear a jersey. They take their vehicles to an automotive paint shop for a customized, Houston Texans paint theme.
Ride like the NFL
The trend to have a car customized with a NFL paint theme is popular nationwide, and not just among fans. Many players also show who they proudly represent in the NFL with their team colors and logo. Former Green Bay Packer Chris Johnson, took his 1970’s Chevrolet and had it decked out with the team’s green and gold colors. Taking it a step further, Cam Newton also took a 1970’s vehicle, an Oldsmobile Cutlass, and had it completely customized in a Carolina Panthers theme.
NFL players are naturally committed to their teams, but for a fan to take a vehicle to a paint shop for a custom NFL paint theme, it takes genuine loyalty. The Houston Texans, just like other teams, have many of these dedicated fans.
Houston Texans Themed Cars
The Houston Texans are the newest team to the NFL, hitting the turf in 2002, six years after the Oilers left Texas for Tennessee. While the Texans haven’t been playing as long as other teams, they still have a strong fan base.
It didn’t take long for some fans to determine the Texans are their number one team. From newer cars to older vehicles, some Texans fans chose the Toro logo and Texans colors to be prominently displayed on their vehicles every day.
The best part is that the paint can be as elaborate or simple as the fan desires. Fogle Collision is your paint shop to customize your Houston pride on your car. Contact one of our highly trained paint technicians today to have the most impressive car at the game.
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