Anytime is the perfect time to gather friends or family, pack up the car and hit the road for a road trip! Whether you’re taking a short weekend trip or a longer cross-country adventure, you want to make sure your car is in top shape before starting your travels. After all, there’s nothing worse than car troubles on vacation! Here is a road trip preparation checklist of 5 items to check on your car before hitting the road: Read more
Preparation & Planning
If you have never locked your keys in your car you are in the minority, however chances are that at some time you will do so. With a little planning you can save yourself a great deal of frustration, time and money.
Get a spare key made: Go to the nearest hardware store and have them make you a spare or two. For less than $10.00, you have real peace of mind.
Keep your spare key in a secure location: The best way to get into your vehicle if your key is locked inside is to have a spare key somewhere on your person or in a magnetic box along a metal surface under your car. These are available in different sizes and can be purchased for under $10.00. Give one spare key to a trusted family member or friend.
Electronic Door openers. Fortunately, many new vehicles come with electronic door openers or “digital keys” that don’t allow you to lock the doors with the keys in the vehicle
Confirm that all doors of your car are locked. More than one person has broken in through the driver’s side door to retrieve keys locked inside, only to find another door unlocked.
Emergency Release. If your trunk is open, look for a release tab on the wall of the trunk closest to the passenger seats. Many recent cars have an emergency release that will fold the seat down and let you crawl through into your car’s passenger area.
Auto dealers. Have a friend drive you to a dealership that sells the same make as your car. You will need to provide them with the VIN number (visible near the front right windshield wiper so you don’t have to be in the car to get it) and proof of ownership and they will cut you a new key for much less than a locksmith.
Roadside Assistance. Membership in AAA or roadside assistance packages with your insurance or car loan can make this a free, professional service. On Star and many car manufacturers such as BMW have services that you can call and they can electronically unlock your car.
Police. You can call the police and ask them to unlock your car. They usually have tools (like a Slim Jim) and will eventually come to your assistance. Even though it may take a while for them to arrive at your location (unless you have a child in the car), the best thing about this option is that it’s free. However, some police departments will not unlock your vehicle for liability reasons.
Coat Hanger Or Lasso. If you drive an older car, namely one that is not operated by a sensor key, an option for retrieving locked keys in a car is to use a lasso tool or a wire coat hanger. You can create your own lasso tool by tying a piece of string securely into a loop around the end of a thin piece of metal or wood. Make sure the piece of metal or wood is thin enough to fit between the top of the side door window and the car door frame. If using a coat hanger, straighten the wire and bend its hooked end into a circular shape, similar to a lasso. Next, slide the tool between the window and door frame and lower the lassoed end around the flat part of the door’s unlocking mechanism, then pull up.
Slim Jim. Some companies equip security personnel with Slim Jims, so locating a willing security officer might be a more viable option than involving the police or having to pay a locksmith. A Slim Jim is a slender metallic tool that resembles a large knife and is designed to unlock a car door by accessing the lock mechanism located inside the car door. If you have a Slim Jim, slide the device between the narrow slit between the door glass and car door, then slide the tool down into the door. Once you’ve located the lock mechanism, twist the Slim Jim until it wraps around the wire, and then pull up. Since they are a specialized tool, Slim Jims are hard to come by and are primarily used by locksmiths and law enforcement personnel.
Locksmith. If your emergency road assistance does not offer locked car assistance, ask them to send a local locksmith. The good news is that each car key is coded by the auto manufacturer, and if you have the key code number and personal identification, a locksmith can make you a new key. Store the key code number on your cell phone, so it is available immediately, and leave it where someone at home can read it to you in an emergency.
Call a Tow Truck: As a last resort, although somewhat expensive at least you’ll know help is on the way.
We certainly hope that these tips are helpful. At Davis Body Shop, we are ready to discuss any car-related topic with you! Drop by or simply ring us…. Our numbers are: Atascadero (805) 466-2446 or Paso Robles (805) 239-8752.
Here at Davis Body Shop we pride ourselves in being the best in the business when it comes to collision repair. But just because we’re the best doesn’t mean we want everyone to have a damaged vehicle. In fact, we want you and your family to drive safely and avoid accidents as much as possible – while knowing that if the time ever comes when collision repair is needed we’ll be here for you.
Listed below are the top ten tips from the editors of Edmunds.com, on how to avoid a vehicle collision.
1. Avoid the “fast lane”
2. Keep your eyes scanning the area ahead.
3. Beware of blind spots.
4. Drive with your hands in the 9 and 3 o’clock position.
5. Get racecar driver control of the wheel.
6. Judge a driver by his/her car’s condition.
7. Know your car’s limits.
8. Keep your car in good shape.
9. The nighttime is not the right time.
10. Learn how to drive a racecar.
To read more about these top ten tips click here.
We hope these tips help you and your family stay safe on the road. Feel free to give us a call at our Atascadero location at (805)466-2446 or the Paso Robles location at (805)239-8752 for more information on how we can help serve you.
When you’re looking at buying a used car, the last thing you want is to get ripped off. You want a vehicle that is reliable, reasonably priced and can get you from point A to point B without problem. Before you go online for a great deal, you might want to consider how you intend to use the vehicle. Will it be driven around town for short trips to the market, a second car to transport you to and from work, or is it a family car, maybe one you intend to keep for a few years? Asking yourself these questions at the onset will give you the power to resist an impulse buy later.
Now, you’re ready to roll with a search that fits your needs and your lifestyle, but keep in mind that in order to avoid the pitfalls of buying someone else’s problem, you’ll need to ask some questions about the vehicle you intend to buy, so here’s a handy checklist to get you started:
- Mileage: Ask how many miles the vehicle has on the odometer. 12,000 miles per year is standard.
- Ownership: Is the seller the original owner? If so, they’ll be your complete source of information.
- Service Records: Does the seller have records of repairs and maintenance? Can they present service receipts?
- Reason for The Sale: Is the owner relocating out of the area, buying something new or something else entirely? Buyer Beware: note the seller’s response and check your intuition meter. If the answer doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. Remember, the seller is in the business of selling and so may not reveal that it leaks oil like Niagara Falls or that it shakes like a wooden roller coaster when it reaches 35 mph.
- Accidents: Has the vehicle ever been involved in an accident? Hopefully, you’ll get an honest answer. If you’re in doubt, Davis Body Shop can check the car for signs of accident repair or you can research this information on-line or via CarFax and AutoCheck car history services.
- Check It Out: Ask to take the vehicle for a test drive and possibly to a local service garage for a once over.
- MPG: These days, it wouldn’t hurt to ask about fuel economy and miles per gallon. Also ask about E85 fuel. Some vehicles with smaller engines use this flex fuel, which is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
- Price: How much is the asking price? If it doesn’t fit your budget, is the seller willing to haggle a bit?
- Happiness Factor: Was the owner happy with the car? This is the question you should never fail to ask and the one that’s met with the most surprise. If the owner has been happy with the vehicle, you can see it in their eyes; there’s just no getting around pride of ownership.We certainly hope that these tips are helpful in conserving fuel and saving you some dough!
- At Davis Body Shop, we are ready to discuss any car-related topic with you! Drop by or simply ring us…. Our numbers are: Atascadero (805) 466-2446 or Paso Robles (805) 239-8752. Also, please stay in touch with us on Facebook!
We thought we’d address tire care in the middle of summer when it’s unlikely that you are dealing with extreme weather and poor road conditions and have experienced an emergency. This can push you into purchasing tires under duress which is best to avoid. Perhaps this way you make a more sound and informed decision and save yourself a few bucks too.
Tire wear is caused by friction and it is generated from simple driving. It is what actually allows a vehicle to move across the road. If there was no friction, the car would not move forward. Ice, for example, provides no friction and is in fact a hazard as such because there is no control. Though friction is necessary, there is a price to pay. As tires move over any material with friction, the sheer force involved is distributed and absorbed by the road or surface, the car itself and naturally, the tires, causing small amounts of rubber to burn off.
Tread Wear – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are at least 400 deaths in the U.S. annually attributed to tire failure and they recommend, regardless of use, that tires be replaced every six years with maximum service life of tires being 10 years. But, in a nutshell, tires become unsafe when they’re worn, and once the tread is down to 1/16th of an inch, the tire is no longer safe. (In fact, in some states, it’s illegal to ride on tires below this number.) Newer tires have a convenience that older tires lacked. They have tread wear indicator bars built into the tires themselves. These bars, invisible or barely visible when the tires are new, gradually begin to appear as the tread wears down.
Most tires are designed to provide similar performance throughout their lives. However, at some point they start to lose their performance in terms of their traction and braking ability and this deterioration affects overall car efficiency. Front and rear tires wear differently because they’re asked to do different jobs and this factor is one which mandates us to rotate our tires (see below) so that they wear as evenly as possible and we maximize our purchase.
But, not all problems with tires are affiliated with tread. There are sidewall problems (tracks, cuts or distinct grooves) and the outer surface of a tire can weaken (bulges or blisters), creating a weak spot that could cause a sudden blow out. Much of this will be obvious to you upon simple inspection but if you suspect a problem such as this, time is of the essence and your car needs to be looked at immediately.
Vibration – If you notice an unusual degree of vibration when driving, there is a chance that there is an underlying problem either affecting your tires or coming from the tires themselves. Some causes may be that your tires are misaligned or unbalanced or even that your shock absorbers are ineffective and need replacement. Vibration can also indicate that there is an internal problem within the tire itself. Even if the tire isn’t the root cause of the vibration, the vibration could damage the tire.
Appropriate Inflation – One of the most basic things that a car owner can contribute to basic car care is to properly inflate his tires and in doing so, preserve them. Tires, when properly inflated, contribute to the quality and safety of your vehicle just as they carry the entire weight of your car. It’s no easy feat but your cooperation is essential.
Importance of Valves and Valve Stems – Check your air pressure monthly and definitely prior to a long trip. Don’t neglect to inflate your spare tire as well. This should be done when your tires are “cold” and make sure that your tires have valves that have not deteriorated. Be sure and buy new valves when you do replace your tires because if they are defective, you may be experiencing air loss.
Furthermore, ensure that you have valve caps not only because they maintain the air pressure. They also keep out moisture, dust and particles of dirt, which interfere with the proper operation of the valve core, causing air loss.
Balancing – Whenever you replace tires, you need to have your wheels balanced so that you minimize eccentric tread wear, vibration and the stress on the front end of your car. Balancing counteracts centrifugal forces which cause unusual wear on your car and eliminate vertical bouncing and side-to-side wobble in cars.
Rotation – Regularly rotating your tires ensures that all the tires wear evenly and in fact, last longer. If no period is specified in your owner’s manual, it’s recommended that they be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If you possess a full-size spare tire, that too should be included in this rotation process.
Wheel Alignment – Your last consideration is that of vehicle wheel alignment which refers basically to a vehicle’s front and rear suspension parts and ensures that the vehicle handles properly which in turn increases the life and performance of your tires. You will want to have your alignment checked if you routinely drive over potholes and railroad crossings or have been involved in a major accident. Other signs of necessary alignment are if you’ve hit something while driving, you notice a pattern of wear developing on the tires’ shoulders or if your vehicle isn’t handling properly.
We certainly hope that these tips assist you and your family to stay safe and enjoy the summer! At Davis Body Shop, we are happy to discuss any car-related topic with you. Drop by or simply ring us up….our numbers are: Atascadero (805) 466-2446 or Paso Robles (805) 239-8752.
Author: Deborah S. Cohen / FreshBuzz
Your bags are packed, your tank is full and you’re ready to hit the road! Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the warm weather and scenic views with a road trip. Here are some safety tips for your next adventure.
Vehicle: Regardless of what type of vehicle you’ll be taking, there are some checks you should make before you hit the road. Make sure that the tires are inflated, brakes are fitted and fuel is properly filled. Also keep all the papers ready required.
Planning the route: Take a look at the route maps to find the best path for travel. Choose paved roads for travel and make more adventurous filled. Know where road exists and where the roads are non-paved.
Prep properly: Defensive driving starts before you pull out of the garage. Go through a pre-trip checklist prior to leaving. Important tasks include locking the car doors, adjusting the mirrors and buckling your seat belt.
Luggage and attire: Prefer to wear comfortable clothes that do not disturb your normal movements during the road trip. Pay attention to the climatic conditions and make sure proper dresses, shoes are taken to comply with the temperature.
Emergencies: A travel may not be 100% perfect . So plan in all possibilities
Stay alert: Your mind may be on your destination, but it’s important to stay “in the moment” when driving. Ensure your focus is on the road by choosing not to drive when you’re drowsy, emotional or impaired.
Be proactive: Look down the road, and try to spot the hazards. Does a driver need to change lanes? Attempt to move over. Is it starting to rain? Ease up your speed. Does the driver ahead keep slamming on the brakes? Maintain at least a three- to four-second gap between your two vehicles.
Avoid distractions: Besides your cell phone, there’s another gadget guilty of taking eyes off the road: a GPS. “Program the GPS before you leave the driveway.
Follow Rules: abide by the traffic rules and regulations during the road trip. Use necessary hand signals and indicators at required points.
Slow down: Follow the speed limit, and reduce your speed according to road conditions. This safety precaution also gives passengers time to enjoy the scenery. And if you enjoy looking out the window, consider driving in shifts.
Remember: Even the safest drivers can get drowsy. Plan to break up your trip by rotating drivers periodically. That way, the person behind the wheel is fresh and alert, and the one in the passenger seat can help the driver stay focused.
It’s important to keep safety in mind and observe them to make the road trip happy. Follow these tips and make your journey memorable.
Distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents across all ages and demographics. The statistics on distracted driving continue to pile up, and they’re not good. Below are key studies, facts and tips that are well worth the read and may save your life.
- 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, and an additional 416,000 were injured.1
- 49 percent of drivers 35 and younger who have cell phones send or read text messages while driving.2
- 77 percent of young adult drivers are “very to somewhat confident” that they can safely drive and text.3
If you are a distracted driver—or you know someone who is—help break the habit with these tips.
Get the facts.
- The total number of text messages sent or received in the United States was more than 196 billion in June 2011 alone. That’s up approximately 50 percent from June 2009.4
- Drivers who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.5
- The National Safety Council estimates that text messaging could increase the crash risk level by 8 to 23 times over that of non-texting drivers.6
Know your distractions. Your cell phone is the biggest distraction, but it’s not the only attention-hogging activity you can do behind the wheel. Eating, grooming, fiddling with the radio, reading a map or GPS and anything else that takes your attention from the road are distractions—and activities that can wait until you’re safely parked in a legal parking space.
Resist the temptation to talk and text. Out of sight, out of mind. As soon as you get in the driver’s seat, turn your phone’s volume and vibrate function off and put your phone where you can’t reach it. Find more prevention tips at stoptextsstopwrecks.org.
Commit to being an alert driver. At distraction.gov, you can take a pledge to drive phone-free. Make a commitment to eliminate distractions when you drive and encourage your family and friends to do the same.
2 2011 Harris Interactive
3 2011 Ad Council
4 CTIA—The Wireless Association
5 McEvoy, S.P.; Stevenson, M.R.; McCartt, A.T.; Woodward, M.; Haworth, C.; Palamara, P.; and Cercarelli, R. 2005. Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study. British Medical Journal 331(7514):428
6 Annual Estimate of Cell Phone Crashes
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.
With Autumn here and school getting back in session, tailgating season is in full swing! Whether you’re attending a sporting event or concert, tailgating is an all-American tradition that people continue to enjoy year after year.
Though any car can work for tailgating, it helps to have a vehicle with a spacious cabin (or truck bed), a large vehicle that can fit all your friends and tailgating supplies, and an awesome sound system to set the party atmosphere while tailgating. Here are our top 5 picks for vehicles that are perfect for tailgating.
The Ford F-150 is perfect American vehicle to complement this all-American event. The huge pick-up bed is ideal for both carrying your supplies to your tailgating event, and providing seating at the tailgating. There’s even a step that deploys from the tailgate that make’s it easy to get in an out of the truck bed. The one downside is the truck has little seating, so your friends may have to meet you there!
Another option from Ford, the Ford Flex has both a spacious cargo area and plenty of seating to get everyone to your tailgating event. It also has a slew of features ideal for tailgating, including a refrigerated compartment in the trunk to keep your drinks ice cold, and seats that can turn to flip backwards at the touch of a button.
Though it’s truck bed isn’t as big as the Ford F-150, the Honda Ridgeline can fit up to 5 passengers. You can also extent the tailgate to provide ample seating for tailgating. There’s even a drain in the truck bed, so you can ice your drinks right in the bed of the truck. The tailgate both flips down and opens from the side, providing convenience for friends to get in and out during your tailgating party.
The Nissan Armada LE offers plenty of seating, up to 8 total, and also has seats that can fold flat to provide extra space to store all your tailgating supplies. The 12 outlets throughout the car and countless storage cubbies are perfect for tailgating. The Bose-infused audio system is ideal for blasting your party music, with 11 speakers and a subwoofer.
The Chevy Traverse 2LT is another great non-truck option for tailgating. The car seats eight and has 24 cubic feet of hauling room behind the third row seat. The second and third row seats can also lay flat, providing a total of 118 cubic feet of space. Tunes will be provided by a Bose 10 speaker sound system, and upgrade options include 5.1 surround sound, DVD player and eight-inch color monitor.
These great cars are a perfect addition to the fun friends, delicious food and refreshing beverages you bring to your next tailgating party!
Davis Body Shop
2485 Theater Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Phone: (805) 239-8752
Fax: (805) 239-4158
2485 Theater Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Phone: (805) 239-8752
Fax: (805) 239-4158
7420 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422
Phone: (805) 466-2446
FAX: (805) 466-6517 DBS@DavisBodyShop.com
7420 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422
Phone: (805) 466-2446
FAX: (805) 466-6517 DBS@DavisBodyShop.com