Do Car Scratch Repair Kits Really Work?

car scratch repair kitMost local auto stores carry DIY car scratch repair kits. TV stations promote these kits extensively on weekend morning infomercials. Can these kits really restore a scratch as advertised? Here is what we have to say about these store-bought restoration kits.

How Car Scratch Repair Kits Work

Scratch repair kits are only designed to fill in surface-level scratches that haven’t penetrated the clear coat finish.

The kits will work to some extent for minor scratches. In most cases, however, the filling will only minimize the scratch and not completely conceal it. Nevertheless, we believe these kits will suffice for restoring a small scratch on an older vehicle with a low resale value. For a recent model or luxury car, we recommend professional auto paint restoration.

Consumer Reports tested several scratch repair kits with mixed results. In its trial, several brands performed fairly decently, while others, such as those As-Seen-On-TV scratch repair pens, were absolutely worthless. In any case, Consumer Reports recommended professional repair for any scratches that you can feel when running a nail over the blemish. We agree with this conclusion. Any DIY attempts may only worsen the appearance. Continue Reading →

Why You Should Never Accept Cash After A Collision

Cash after a collisionIt’s not unusual for an at-fault driver to offer you cash payment following a seemingly minor fender bender. In return, of course, you won’t report the incident to law enforcement and your insurance company. Should you ever accept cash after a collision? We strongly advise against doing so.

3 Reasons Not to Accept Cash After A Collision

1. Out-of-Pocket Repairs

Whatever amount of cash you were given, it might not be enough to cover the damage to your car. If you go through the proper channels, your insurance company will cover the cost of collision repairs or minimize your out-of-pocket expense.

Even if the damage appears minor on the surface, that dented frame or fender may have lost its structural integrity; it may not be able to hold up should you be in another collision. What appears as a small dent may require the entire part to be replaced and cost you thousands of dollars.

2. Injury Coverage

The collision may have caused a whiplash injury that you may not notice until several days later. You are responsible for all medical expenses if you fail to report the incident. If you report the accident, most medical expenses will probably be covered by the insurance of the driver at fault. Continue Reading →

Are Bigger Cars Really Safer Than Compact Vehicles?

bigger cars are saferAccording to conventional wisdom, full-sized cars, SUVs and pickup trucks are safer than compact cars. As collision repair experts, we can attest that this is true, but there is more to the story. To say that bigger cars are safer can be a bit of an overgeneralization. There are just so many variables involved. We will explain this in detail.

Bigger Cars Are Safer, But…

In a head-on collision between mismatched vehicles, the law of physics dictate that the smaller car is going to bear the major brunt of impact. This doesn’t mean, however, that choosing a large vehicle is automatically the best safety bet.

Larger cars are higher off the ground, making them more prone to rollovers. We would also go so far as say that a high-safety rated small car is better than a mediocre-safety rated large car. In fact, the 2010-2011 Toyota Prius, a compact car, has a lower driver fatality rate than several larger vehicles of the same model year. You can look up the comparisons here. Continue Reading →

When Does a Car Become a Total Loss?

Total Loss CarWe can’t tell you the number of times people have arrived in their damaged car and asked us if their vehicle is repairable or if it’s a total loss. What exactly is the definition of a total loss car? There seems to be some confusion here based on the frequent enquiries we receive.

“Total Loss” Explained

Insurers use various factors to determine if a vehicle is a total loss following a collision. For the most part, they consider a car a total loss if the cost of collision repairs exceeds the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). However, this may not always be the case. A car with an ACV of $6,000 and requiring $4,500 in repairs may be considered a total loss. Your insurance company makes the final call.

Many people ask questions about whether a car with a bent frame is considered totaled. It’s true that cars built in before the mid 1980s were almost always considered totaled when their frames were bent from a collision. However, car frames today are built with crumple zones in place. Crumple zones are certain areas of the car that are designed to crumple upon collision so they bear the brunt of the impact. This prevents the force from being transmitted to the occupants. Because technology in auto repair shops has improved by leaps and bounds, in some instances, a frame and its crumple zone can be repaired. To do so requires using highly sophisticated computer laser measurement systems to measure the location and extent of damage.

We’ll Determine if Your Car Is Totaled

Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body to find out if it’s totaled. We often act as the intermediary between drivers and their insurance company when determining whether a car is salvageable. If it is, our crew can provide full repairs and other services, including auto painting to restore the aesthetics. Contrary to what some say, you can’t determine if a car is a total loss just by “eye-balling” it.

Complete Collision Repairs and Estimates

Looking out for Customers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Car Dents

Car DentsA quarter-size dent is no cause for alarm, though it’s appearance is certainly unsightly. A larger dent—about the size of a basketball—is more cause for concern. Sure, the car may still be fully functional, but you need to have it checked out by a collision repair crew. Unbeknownst to most motorists, a car dent may compromise your vehicle more than you think.

A Car Dent May Make Your Car Less Safe

It’s not uncommon for a fender, guard, or bumper to incur noticeable damage during a relatively minor fender bender. While the car is still completely operable, it may be less safe should another collision occur later down the line. The resulting dent from the first collision has seriously compromised the car’s structural integrity. This makes it less able to hold up under impact and protect the occupants. Continue Reading →