What Does a “Totaled Car” Mean in Highlands?

totaled car, total lossDid you just get into a collision? After an inspection from your insurance company, your vehicle may be labeled a “totaled car.” What does it mean when your automobile is totaled?

The Definition of a Totaled Car in Highlands

Insurance agencies label a car as totaled if the cost of repairs is more than 75% of the vehicle’s value as outlined by Kelly Blue Book. it goes without saying that restoration work like paintless dent repair isn’t going to get your car back on the road.

After you have been in a collision, your insurer will instruct you to bring your car to a collision center. Doug’s Auto Collision Center collaborates with most insurance agencies in the Highlands area. It’s the shop that actually determines whether the vehicle is salvageable or is a total loss. We then report the results to your insurance group. If salvageable, we can get to work to restore the damaged frames and their crumple zone. We can also perform cosmetic work like auto paint restoration. While your car is being restored, your insurance provider may arrange for a rental car. Continue Reading →

4 Myths About Auto Body Shops Near Issaquah

body shop mythsBeing in a collision near Issaquah can be a stressful experience. There’s a lot you have to deal with in the coming days, such as looking for an auto collision center, contacting your insurance provider, etc. Unfortunately, there are some body shop myths that may cause confusion. Here are some of these common myths and the actual truth.

Myth No. 1

A dealership’s repair center is more reliable than an independent shop.

Truth: This isn’t grounded in reality. Many car owners believe only a dealership can order factory components for their car or truck. At Doug’s Auto Collision Center, we use OEM parts all the time and eschew the use of knock-off parts. Continue Reading →

What Happens to Your Car Insurance Rate After an Accident Near Factoria?

insurance rate after accidentAfter an auto collision, you may have many concerns beyond the condition of your car. Another issue is your insurance rate after an accident. Does the collision mean your premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are going to soar through the roof? Does it remain more or less the same?

The Truth About Your Insurance Rate After an Accident Near Factoria

There isn’t a uniform answer over your insurance rate increase after an accident. It comes down to the scenario leading up to the incident. The biggest factor is whether you were deemed to be at fault. You may also be partially at fault. In these cases, there will likely be a rate hike. If you have a prior history of at-fault collisions or traffic violations, this will also increase your insurance rate. Continue Reading →

Is DIY Towing a Possible Solution Near Renton?

DIY towing, do-it-yourself towingIf your vehicle breaks down, can you call a friend or relative to have them help you tow the car? It’s certainly possible, but it’s not a move we recommend. You should always call a professional tow service and have them bring your car to a collision repair center if you were in a collision. Here are some reasons DIY towing may backfire.

Risk of Further Damage

A tow truck has commercial capabilities with its robust engine, axles, and specialized frames for towing a civilian vehicle. It can also support the car’s full weight. If you tow a civilian car using another civilian car, you risk damage to both vehicles. This will stress the transmission and brakes of the car doing the towing. The car that’s being towed may incur damage in the front bumper where you connect the tow chains.

It May Be Illegal

Some cities and counties may prohibit civilian towing. If it’s allowed, you’re required to follow strict procedures and have to use approved equipment. In addition, the towed vehicle needs to have a white flag or marker placed at the connection point.

If you fail to follow city guidelines to a T, you risk getting pulled over by law enforcement and facing huge fines.

Insurance May Cover Towing

Most insurance policies cover towing in the event your vehicle is in a collision. If the insurance covers it, why hassle a friend to help you and risk further damage to the vehicle, not to mention the risk of legal trouble? Unless the person helping with the towing has the equipment and extensive knowledge of city law, we highly recommend professional towing.

DIY Towing Near Renton Isn’t Worth the Risk

If your car needs towing, have the tow truck bring it to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. We can restore the vehicle, including fixing minor blemishes like dents and scratched auto paint. DIY towing is a risky maneuver. Play it safe and let a professional service handle it.

Avoid DIY Towing Near Renton

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on March 14, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Protect Your Car from Polymer Degradation Near Bellevue

polymer degradation, car polymer

Polymer is a common substance found in modern vehicles. As a car gets older, polymer degradation sets in, causing the auto paint to become faded. Learn what you can do to keep degradation to a minimum.

What Is Polymer?

Polymer is a specific chain of molecules that are found in natural materials like wood and rubber. The material is also derived synthetically and used in the production of items like nylon and disposable shopping bags.

In the auto industry, polymer makes up a large part of a car’s plastic and rubber components, from the dashboard to the bumper. The material is durable and inexpensive to produce. Collision repairs are also more affordable due to polymer keeping the cost of parts down.

Polymer in Paint

Auto paint also contains polymers. The material is sought after for its ability to produce a glossy shine. It also protects the paint against outer contaminants. One drawback of polymer, though, is that it fades with age, causing cracks in the paint to manifest.

How to Minimize Polymer Degradation Near Bellevue

The best advice is to minimize direct sun exposure. If you normally park your car inside a garage, then this should be a non-issue. However, if you must park in the driveway or on the curb, then try parking in a shaded area when possible. We also recommend applying wax every three months. Dirt and other debris can erode the polymer over time.

We Restore Car Surfaces

No matter how faded your car paint is, let us restore it to its original pristine shine. We can also remove dents and other visible blemishes. Make an appointment at Doug’s Auto Collision Center for an assessment. No need to let polymer degradation ruin your car’s visual charm.

Restoration from Polymer Degradation Near Bellevue

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on February 14, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Delay, Deny, Defend: What You Need to Know About This Insurance Scam Around Mercer Island

insurance scam, delay deny defend

Your auto insurance provider can be a lifesaver in the event of a collision near Mercer Island. However, as a for-profit business, some insurance agencies may resort to an underhand tactic known as delay, defend and deny, or DDD.

What Is Delay?

The first step post-collision is to file a claim with your insurance provider. Your vehicle is likely in need of collision repairs. One tactic the insurance agent may do is delay the claim as long as possible. The idea is to get you to become impatient. When you’re strapped for time, you may be more inclined to settle for the provider’s proposed settlement to get the process over with.

What Is Deny?

The insurance company may even completely deny your claim by exploiting any loophole they can in your policy contract. Some car owners accept the decision, while others threaten legal action.

Continue Reading →

How to Identify a Drunk Driver on the Road Near Highlands

drunk driver

People living in or around Highlands are preparing for the holidays. The celebrations may include alcohol. In turn, this may lead to poor judgment among a few people and getting behind the wheel when inebriated. This time of year, it’s more crucial than ever to learn to identify drunk driving on the road and react accordingly.

Signs of Drunken Driving

Some motorists have brought their vehicles to us for collision repairs after being in an accident involving a drunk driver. Some require serious work to restore the crumple zones, while others are relatively minor and only need a dent repair or auto paint touchup.

Be really cognizant this holiday, so you don’t become a victim because of another driver’s poor judgment. Maintain your distance from vehicles moving erratically. Continue Reading →

Does Your Collision Shop Perform Aluminum Car Frame Repair Near Issaquah?

aluminum car frame

Auto manufacturers are turning away from conventional steel and more towards aluminum for the car frame. Aluminum provides higher durability and tensile strength at a fraction of the weight. The problem, though, is that not all auto collision shops have adapted their facility to handle aluminum car frame repair. Learn why restoring aluminum frames poses a challenge for many auto body companies.

Why the Move to Aluminum?

The automotive sector is transitioning to aluminum because it’s a lighter form of metal that makes a car more nimble and lightweight. It also lowers emissions and boosts fuel economy. Even more importantly, aluminum has a higher crash energy absorption ability than steel. Plus, aluminum is more recycle-friendly than steel, making the material easier for scrapyards to handle.

Can Repair Shops Handle Aluminum Restoration?

Steel remains the most widely-used material for car frames, though aluminum comes in a close second. Even so, the collision and dent repair industry has been slow in making the necessary adaptation. Most shops still lack the commercial equipment to handle aluminum restoration to industry standards.

Aluminum restoration requires heat treatment to soften the metal and reshape and frame to its original position. The process is very complex and requires the whole frame – not just the damaged area – to be treated. There’s a small margin for error, making it an exceptionally difficult process without the right equipment. Most shops just end up replacing the entire frame, translating to a higher cost for the customer. Continue Reading →

The Proper Way to Respond to a Tailgater Near Factoria

respond to a tailgater, tailgater response, tailgating

There’s a reason drivers are encouraged to maintain a three to six-second following distance behind the car ahead. Unfortunately, dealing with a tailgater is something you may have to put up with every now and then on the road. It’s precisely because of tailgating that collision repairs are as common as they are. Learn how to properly and safely respond to a tailgater.

Why Tailgating Is Dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions make up 23% of all auto accidents. Many of these crashes could have been avoided but occurred because a driver was tailgating for one reason or another.

When you follow too closely to the car ahead, you’re more likely to collide with the vehicle should it suddenly come to a full stop. In other words, you have less time to react, and your car might not have the full stopping distance it needs to avoid a collision. Continue Reading →

Bigger Vs Smaller Cars in Renton: Which Is Safer?

bigger smaller cars, car safety

Are family-size SUVs and trucks safer than smaller cars? The short answer is “yes.” However, the full answer is more complicated than that. Our collision center restores vehicles of all sizes, and we can discuss at length the issue of bigger or smaller cars when it comes to automotive safety.

Bigger or Smaller Cars for Renton Commuters?

Yes, it’s generally true that larger cars are safer than compact vehicles. However, the safety gap has significantly narrowed in recent years due to technological advancements. This includes implementations like rear and side airbags, 360-degree cameras, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring.

Of course, a larger car with these technologies is still safer overall than a compact car with the same safety features.

Size and Weight

Larger cars absorb less damage. This stems from the bigger hood, resulting in a more robust crumple zone that better withstands the force of a head-on collision.

When a bigger car and a smaller car collide, the impact force from the larger car is transmitted to the smaller vehicle. This elevates the likelihood of whiplash for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. 

Car Height

Compact vehicles, however, do possess one major advantage. Larger cars usually have a higher ground clearance, which minimizes the center of gravity and elevates the probability of a rollover. Rollovers, despite happening in just 1% of car crashes, account for one-third of driver fatalities.

What Is the Safest Vehicle?

Instead of just looking at car size, we recommend factoring in other variables. This includes the IIHS crash test scores, safety features, and recalls. No matter the size, we recommend a car model and year with an IIHS score of Top Safety Pick+.

We Restore all Car Sizes

We restore frames for family minivans and compact sedans alike. This includes auto painting restoration and dent repair. Drop your car off at Doug’s Auto Collision Center for an inspection. The subject of bigger or smaller cars is complex and goes beyond size alone.

Bigger or Smaller Cars; We Serve Them All in Renton 

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on September 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business