Some insurance companies representatives work very hard to convince you that you may be penalized or slighted by not going to one of their “preferred” shops for your repairs but in fact that is not true.  We have heard of people being told that they may have to pay more, not have a warranty, pay for storage or even get lesser quality repair work done none of which are true.   In fact many repair facilities that are on the insurers lists are not chosen for the quality of the finished product but more often for how quick and or cheaply they repair the cars.  All insurance companies limit the number of shops they allow on their programs in order to have more control over the claims process and the repair costs making it impossible for all quality shops to participate in all programs.  Not a single customer will pay more to have their insurance repair performed at Speidell Body Works than they will at any other reputable body shop.  We will not charge more than the final repair price agreed upon with the insurer, you receive a lifetime warranty from us on your repairs and we never charge storage fees on a vehicle that we repair.  If you feel you are being pressured into using a shop that you are not familiar with please just tell your adjuster that you are taking your car to Speidell Body Works and we will handle it from there!

 

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Most people probably don’t even know the term “Standard Transmission”, I know I was not aware of that term. Some of you may have heard of “3 on the Tree” or “4 on the floor” and I think most of us have heard the term “stick shift.”  Whatever you call it, the fact is, there are fewer and fewer manual transmission cars out on the streets any more.  Let’s face it, an automatic transmission is much easier to drive.

 

I want to suggest that if you are the parent of a teenager that is getting ready to drive you take a look at buying them or having them buy a vehicle with a manual transmission.  A few months ago, my niece, bought a car with a manual transmission.  At first I thought that this may not be a great idea.  There are parts on manual transmission cars, like the clutch, that can easily wear out or break if not driven properly.  After hearing from her and her parents I realized that this was a brilliant purchase.  For one, she is learning how to drive a stick shift and that will allow her to be able to have more options with vehicles throughout her life.  The best reason of all, however, is that her distractions have been limited.  When you are worried about shifting all the time you don’t have your hands free to text, eat, and put on your make up.  You are more engaged in the act of driving.  Can you still do all of those things, of course, but you limit them.

 

Some things to think about when purchasing a car for a teenager.  Whatever we can do to cut down distractions and engage them more on the task at hand, driving, I am all for.

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Have you ever heard this when it comes to collision repair? Maybe you have sought out a shop that will do this for you.

This practice is unethical at best, but at worst it can be insurance fraud. When a shop has agreed to pay your deductible there has to be a way that they are recovering that money. The fraudulent way is to inflate the cost of the estimate by adding operations that don’t need to be done, using used parts and charging for new, or a host of other possibilities. Another problem is that these types of shops will have to cut corners by using inferior paint and materials that will fail a few years down the road.

Anyway you slice it, the practice of a body shop paying your deductible is not a good idea. When people ask me if we do that I ask them if they would ask the hospital or their doctor if they would pay their co-pay or deductible? If your doctor made a habit of this would you trust him or her with your health?

Used cars are in hot demand these days.  People have started to realize that they can be a better buy, in some cases, than going brand new.  The values of used cars are also reflecting this higher demand.  All the more reason to know what you are buying before it is too late.

Speidell Body Works has been around for over twenty years and we have seen many cars come in with prior damage that was not fixed correctly or rust that was painted over and much much more.  We have seen the use of cheap paint and substandard repairs that cause a lot of headaches to us and to the vehicle owner.

A couple of things you should look for when you are buying a used car are:

1. Look for paint imperfections such as sand scratches, dirt nibs, color variant differences between panels, runs, tape edges,among a few others.  That is a sign it has been repaired but not necessarily a poor repair.

2. Look for body work imperfections such as varying gaps between panels, pinholes, and just plain bad body work.

3. Make sure the car drives straight and does not dog track.

4. Big panel gaps on one side and small gaps on the other can indicate major frame damage.

5. Bubbling paint will normally indicate rust underneath.

If you are still not sure what to look for or just want a professional opinion, you can always bring the vehicle to one of our locations and have us take a look.

We don’t want you to get stuck with a vehicle that you are not happy with or worse, costs you lots of money down the road.

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2012 Jetta Before

Deer hit with 147 miles!

We recently repaired this 2012 VW Jetta after a collision with a deer.  This car had less than 200 miles on the odometer.  Ouch!  Nothing like breaking it in.  Deer collisions have become a major concern on Nebraska roadways the last few years with the rising populations.  Unfortunately deer do not carry liability insurance.  Fortunately deer accidents are considered comprehensive claims for most insurance companies and don’t cause an increase in your insurance premiums.  Please drive carefully especially at night on highways and county roads.  We can fix your car but we can’t fix you!

2012 Jetta after

2012 Jetta completed

Which one is more of a risk, driving or jumping out of a plane?

 

Let’s take a look.

When you get in a car and decide to drive somewhere you take a risk that something bad will happen.  The same thing happens when you jump out of a plane.  When you drive, you are hurling down a street at a whopping 25 to 45 mph or highway at 45 to 80 mph.  When you free fall from a plane you can reach speeds of 120 to 200 mph depending on your position.  There is one major difference between driving a car and jumping out of a plane. The difference is that you would never jump out of a plane without a parachute but some people will not put on their seat belt. Why is that? It is because you know you will die if you don’t have a parachute but there is a good chance that you will survive a car ride without wearing your seat belt.

 

One last question.  If you knew you would be in a car accident today, and you couldn’t avoid driving, would you wear your seat belt?  The correct answer is YES!!  No brain-er right?  Make the right choice and wear your seat belt.  Think of the ones you would leave behind if you were killed in a car accident and what they would go through.

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We here this statement all too often when people are afraid of there insurance going up.  The problem with this especially when it is someone else paying for your car, is that there may be hidden damage.  The complexity of today’s vehicles make it nearly impossible to know everything it is going to take to fix your vehicle correctly without first having it disassembled.  We are in the middle of a repair right now that is being paid by a third party who didn’t want to use insurance so they came in and paid the initial estimate amount up front with a credit card.  Once the vehicle was disassembled we found some additional damage and although we made it abundantly clear in the beginning that there could be hidden damage we now can’t get ahold of the third party who is supposed to be paying.  This leaves the customer responsible for paying the remainder of the bill.

My word of advice to anyone who is going to agree to let an individual pay for their vehicle repairs out of pocket is to do so after acquiring all of their insurance information.  By doing this you have a back up plan in the event they back out after repairs have begun.  You also know for sure that they do have coverage and are not trying to avoid a ticket for no insurance.  I also recommend calling the police if you have an accident on public property no matter how small the damage may seem as again you could be left paying for your own repairs if the other person suddenly decides they are not at fault.

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Texting, talking, eating, putting on makeup, reading!!!  These are some of the big distractions that can cause you to have an accident.  As I was running along 84th street the other day I did a very unscientific survey of distractions among the drivers that I observed.  I saw people texting, talking on cell phones, eating, having discussions in the car using hand gestures (or maybe that was a gesture at me), etc.  If they weren’t doing any of that and they were alone in the car, they were gawking at the non-runner running down the sidewalk (I could tell because they were laughing in my direction).

My conclusion is that every driver is distracted constantly.  The remedy, stop driving!  Well, that might be a little extreme. So maybe you work on eliminating as many distractions as you possibly can.  Definitely, put the phone down.  Wait until you get home to eat, or even stop in a parking lot and eat before driving.  Keep your eyes on the road.  Driving is so second nature to all of us but can be deadly in an instant.

Drive safe!!!!

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Why do you do business with a restaurant, hair dresser/barber, department store, or car dealership?  Most of you know why.  Maybe it is because your family likes it and you have always gone there.  Maybe you got a referral or someone raved about their products or service.  Whatever the case is, you go there because you want to.

What if someone told you that you couldn’t use them anymore and that you had to start using another business?  I am guessing that you wouldn’t like it too much.  Some of you may not mind because you didn’t have a lot of loyalty to that certain place, but it is a little deeper than that.  Nobody likes to be told where they have to go for a service or product. 

This goes on in the autobody industry all the time.  Insurance companies tell their insureds where to go all the time.  Now, they can’t force you to go there but they will sometimes make it very difficult for you if you don’t go where they want you to go.

The bottom line is that you have the choice to have your vehicle repaired wherever you want.

If you have any questions about this or you are trying to choose a shop and the insurance company won’t let you, please contact us and we will give you a hand.

 

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Total Loss

This car came into our shop a couple of days ago.  It is, quite obviously, a total loss.  There is very heavy damage to the front left and the left rear.  I always cringe when I see a vehicle with this kind of damage.  The worst is feared.  The worst being personal injury or worse. 

When I talked to the vehicle owner, he said that his daughter had been driving and that made my fear even worse.  Having a daughter myself, I was very concerned for her safety and well being.  Here is what he told me.  She not only walked away from the accident, but was checked out at a local hospital and was said to have a minor muscle strain.  You see, she was wearing her seat belt and the air bags deployed.  Her dad, never experiencing what an air bag does in an accident, asked her what it was like and here were her words.  “It felt like I was laying my head down into my soft pillow.”  What a description.  I don’t know if they are all like that, but it is so much better than hitting your head on the steering wheel.

Your airbags and seat belts work together in an accident to reduce as much injury to you and your passengers as possible.  So please buckle up every time you drive or ride in a car.  I bet the driver of this car does from now on.

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