What to Do After a Collision with an Animal in Factoria

animal collisionWhile not too common, wildlife may wander into the urban outreach of cities like Factoria. Sighting the occasional deer or buck is a beautiful sight. However, an animal collision is also not that uncommon. What exactly do you do if this happens?

Does My Insurance Cover It?

Most comprehensive car insurance do cover damage from collisions with a large animal. Collision coverage, despite its name, typically doesn’t cover damages from hitting an animal. The average collision repair cost for colliding with a deer, by the way, is about $3,200.

I Hit an Animal; What Do I Do?

Don’t drive away from the scene. This is considered a hit-and-run and may incur state penalties. First, pull over and switch on the emergency lights. Make sure everyone is okay and contact local law enforcement. We highly suggest taking pictures of the damage. The documentation will come in handy when filing a claim with your insurance.

Continue Reading →

The Importance of Car Body Plastic Repairs Around Highlands

car body plastic, auto plasticHere’s an interesting fact: modern cars contain a large number of plastic components. Parts, such as the interior bumper, door panels, and equipment housing, contain mainly plastic material. With this in mind, collision repair shops need to be knowledgeable in car body plastic repairs.

Why All the Plastic?

People unfairly demonize plastic as being cheap and inferior material. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Plastic reduces a car’s weight and improves fuel economy. Plastic is also more resistant to corrosion. Once the car is headed for the scrapyard, the plastic is easier to recycle and reuse than steel and aluminum. Continue Reading →

The Importance of Electronic Recalibration in Collision Repairs Around Renton

electronic recalibrationIn modern automobiles, the computer controls safety technologies, such as lane departure warning and blind-spot detection. These features save lives on the road. However, a collision—even a small fender bender—can throw these systems out of balance. As part of collision repairs, a mechanic must also conduct electronic recalibration.

Why Electronic Recalibration Is Necessary

Collision repair isn’t just about restoring the frame and crumple zone. Today’s cars have multiple computers, sensors, and radars, all of which are ultra-sensitive. A collision can knock these components out of alignment. This may result in a safety feature’s failure to activate, such as an airbag not deploying. Similarly, an alert on your dashboard may fail to light up. This places the driver and passengers at serious risk. Even minor impacts causing only a small dent can cause decalibration. Continue Reading →

Dings and Dents: How to Distinguish the Two in Renton

dings dentsIt’s unavoidable if you’re a car owner: Incidents involving runaway shopping carts or swinging car doors can lead to visible blemishes. However, is the damage a dent or ding? People often treat the terms interchangeably, though technically the terms “dings” and “dents” imply different degrees of damage.

How Dings and Dents Differ

Motorists who bring their car to our shop for dent repair freely switch between the terms. For auto body specialists, though, the differentiation matters. Here’s the difference:

Ding: A ding is a relatively minor blemish where the damaged spot is no more than half an inch in diameter. The auto paint is also completely intact. Damage from rolling shopping carts usually falls into this category.

For most car owners, a ding is an eyesore, but it doesn’t require urgent attention. In other words, no need to cry over spilled milk. Most owners still eventually decide to restore the ding. Continue Reading →

How to File a Hail Claim in Bellevue

hail claimThe Bellevue region isn’t exactly prone to hail, but it isn’t completely immune to it either. Hailstorms can occur even in the summer. Hail as big as golf balls can cause immense property damage. The good news, though, is that your insurance may cover the damage. We explain how to file a hail claim.

Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Only your insurance provider can answer this question. Most car owners are apprehensive about filing a hail claim out of fear their premiums will skyrocket. However, most comprehensive coverage plans cover hail damage since the damage is classified as an “act of God.” This means unavoidable damage due to events outside human control. In any case, verify with your insurance agency instead of taking our word for it. Continue Reading →

What Does a “Totaled Car” Mean?

totaled car, total lossWere you in a recent collision? Your insurance agency may deem your vehicle a “totaled car” or “total loss.” What exactly do these terms mean, and what are the parameters for determining that a car is totaled?

The Definition of a Totaled Car

Insurance companies classify a vehicle as a total loss if repair costs exceed 75% of the car’s Kelly Blue Book value. Needless to say, a totaled car is beyond what a paintless dent repair or auto paint restoration can fix.

After an auto accident, you will have to bring your vehicle to a collision center. Doug’s Auto Collision Center works with most national and Bellevue-based auto insurance providers. We make the final determination if a car is a total loss. If not, we can restore the vehicle to its pre-collision factory condition. If damaged beyond repair, your insurance will send you a check equal to the value of the car before the collision.

If the car is salvageable, we’ll coordinate with your insurance provider for repairs. A rental car may be arranged for you in the meantime. Continue Reading →

4 Myths About Auto Body Shops

body shop mythsIf you have been involved in a collision, you have a number of details to look after. You need to select a body shop to perform the repairs and deal with the insurance company. The entire process is stressful, and part of the stress is due to a number of body shop myths. Listed below are some myths … as well as the truth.

Body Shop Myth No. 1

Dealerships do a more reliable job of collision repairs after an accident than independent body shops.

Truth: This is simply not true. Many car owners believe only a dealership can order factory parts for their vehicle. At Doug’s Auto Collision Center, we work with original equipment manufacture (OEM) parts regularly and avoid using inferior aftermarket parts. Continue Reading →

What Happens to Your Car Insurance Rate After an Accident?

insurance rate after accidentAfter an auto collision, the condition of your car is just one of your many concerns. You may also be worried about insurance adjusters. What exactly happens to your insurance rate after an accident? Does it skyrocket, or are the concerns completely unfounded?

The Truth About Insurance Rates After an Accident

We can’t give you a straightforward “yes” or “no” regarding whether your insurance rate goes up after an accident. So many variables are at play. One of the biggest factors is whether you were at fault or your degree of culpability in the collision. If you were determined to be at fault or partly at fault, then you will probably see a rate increase. If you have a history of being in accidents, then you may also see a rate spike. This applies even if you were not at fault in any of the collisions.

Other factors that may come into play include your driving history. Do you have a record of tickets and traffic violations? Continue Reading →

Is DIY Towing a Possible Solution?

DIY towing, do-it-yourself towingIf your car breaks down, instead of calling AAA, would it be good to have a friend tow the car for you? It’s doable, but we don’t recommend it for several reasons. We always suggest calling a professional tow service to tow your car to our collision repair center. Here’s why do-it-yourself (DIY) towing isn’t a good idea.

Risk of Further Damage

A commercial tow truck has the appropriate equipment, axles, engine, and specialized frames for towing a civilian vehicle. It can also support the car’s full weight. Towing a residential vehicle using another residential vehicle can cause further damage to both cars. The vehicle doing the towing may incur brake and transmission wear. The towed car risks damage to the front bumper where people usually connect the ropes or chains.

You May Be Breaking the Law

Each state has its own law regarding civilian towing. Cities may also have their own ordinances. Typically, you require a tow rope, cable, or chain. Furthermore, the towed car needs to have a white flag or cloth a minimum of 12-square inches displayed on the connection.

Review the local city guidelines; otherwise, you may be pulled over and cited with a hefty fine for do-it-yourself (DIY) towing.

Professional Towing Is Covered (Usually)

Check with your insurance. Coverage may include the cost of tow services to a collision center. If it’s covered, why hassle a friend to tow your car and risk citation or damage to his own car?

We generally don’t recommend DIY towing unless the person doing the towing really understands both the process and the laws.

DIY Towing Is Not Worth the Risk

If your car requires towing, have it towed to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. Apart from collision repairs, we can also fix up any dents and scratched auto paint. DIY towing is a risky endeavor that we advise avoiding altogether.

Collision, Dent, and Auto Paint Restoration

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

Protect Your Car from Polymer Degradation

polymer degradation, car polymerPolymer is found in increasing abundance in modern cars. As durable as the material is, it is still susceptible to fading and discoloration with the passage of time. Here’s how you can reduce polymer degradation and preserve the car’s paint and other polymer surfaces.

What Is Polymer?

At the chemical level, polymer consists of elongated chains of molecules. Wood and rubber are common forms of natural polymer. However, the material is also derived synthetically and can be found in items ranging from shopping bags to nylon stockings.

In the automotive industry, polymers make up a portion of a car’s plastics, rubber, and vinyl. You’ll find these in the bumper, spoiler, and the trim that borders the window. Polymer is tough yet durable; on top of that, it’s also relatively inexpensive, making collision repairs affordable.

Polymer in Paint

Auto paint also contains polymers. The molecules produce a coating that really enhances the paint’s color and gloss. It also forms a protective barrier against external contaminants.

For all its durability, polymer degradation can occur over time, mainly from UV ray exposure. The end result is a faded appearance or visible cracks in the paint.

How to Prevent Polymer Degradation

The biggest prevention measure is to keep the car out of the sun as much as possible. This is easy if you have a garage. If you must park outside, keep it in the shade or use a car cover if possible.

You should also apply wax at least once every three months when you wash your car. The accumulation of dirt and debris can also degrade the polymer, so wash frequently.

We Restore Car Surfaces

Even if your car’s paint was badly damaged in a collision, we can restore it to its original gloss. We can also remove any dents in the process. Bring your car to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. Don’t let polymer degradation ruin your vehicle’s aesthetics.

Auto Paint Restoration

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