It’s getting to be the most wonderful time of year again, but that also means that the weather will be less and less enjoyable, along with the added risk of automobile accidents in harsh conditions. Take a moment to review what you need to know to keep you and your family safe for this 2011 Winter.

Driving in Winter Conditions:

1. First and most importantly, give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destinations. Stopping and starting needs to be slow in order to keep control of the traction on your tires. Skidding is one of the leading accidents during wet, snowy weather.
2. Leave more space between you and the car in front of you. Even if you are prepared, the driver in front of you may not be.
3. Do not speed up a hill. As you reach the top, reduce speed as you will obviously move faster going downward.
4. Keep your windshield and lights free of snow. Leaving snow on that will land on the car behind you and may affect their vision.
5. Turn on your lights for better visibility.
6. Do not use cruise control on wet/icy/snowy roads.
7. Always keep your gas tank at least halfway full to avoid freezing when nearing the end of a tank.
8. Know the roads. If you know where you can avoid hills and sudden stops, you can plan the safest path possible.
9. If you don’t need to be out, don’t. Just because you know what you’re doing doesn’t mean everyone else on the road will be as prepared.

Getting Stuck in Snow:

1. Do not spin tires, as this will only get you deeper.
2. Turn your steering wheel from side to side a few times to push snow out.
3. Shovel snow out of area if necessary, and place a type of traction aid around tires such as gravel, sand, etc.
4. Lightly press the gas to gently move your car out.

Stay safe, warm, and happy this winter!

At Chaz Limited, we know that no one is perfect. There will be times when customers are unsatisfied with our work. There will be problems, there will be complains.

Our secret weapon to combat these issues? Doing the best job we can to resolve the problem. If a complaint gives us insight to a critical error, we can then analyze what needs to be done in order to make corrections. Getting to know what the customer wants and seeing what steps we can take to prevent these issues in the future is as good as a customer compliment.

Showing a customer that Chaz Limited goes above and beyond to listen, combined with taking action can make someone that was once angry into a person that understands you really do care about their service. When a customer views what a few people are willing to do to correct a situation, they admire the attitude and determination involved in the process. This turns an upset customer into a promoter, who will surely come back again in future instances.

Chuck Miller, CEO of Chaz Limited Collision Express, aims to ensure that his business gives Alaskan’s the best possible care they can receive in these unfortunate incidents. Customers come in from a bad situation and want to be treated with comfort and respect. They need to know they can trust the company to handle these tough situations and in the fastest turnaround time possible. Thanks to our measures, we’ve been able to prove this by our continuing expansion. Chaz now features 5 locations, with two in Anchorage, 2 in Fairbanks, and 1 shop in Wasilla.

If you ever have a problem with our services, please let us know so that we can address the situation and make things right for you. With communication and kindness, a problem can turn into a pleasant experience.

- The Chaz Crew!

So, you’ve come for the wonderful view. You’ve come to go ski in some of the top conditions for skiing. You’ve come to love Alaska, but you aren’t prepared for the every day living that goes on in a climate so cold. If there’s one thing you need to get this winter, it’s a block heater.


What is a block heater?

A block heater is a device used in cold climate temperatures (usually 20 and below) that helps your car keep coolants and oils warm, while helping your heater emit warmth faster. Block heaters also help start your car up faster than it would battling against the temperatures.  This shortened time of engine idling not only prevents gasoline from waste, but you can also lessen the harmful emissions that extract from your vehicle. Furthermore, studies show that  a car stared without a block heater has been proven to use as much as 25% of the fuel in your tank on a regular sized trip, where as a car with a block heater used considerably less.

Those months are coming where the snow will go past your knees and the cars will begin to suffer. If you can expect a winter with harsh conditions, you must prepare your car well in advance to make sure your wheels are in the safest conditions to face everyday life with obstacles all around.

Make sure you follow these simple steps to ensure the best possible preventative measures from disaster on the roads this winter.


1. Oil Change

Get the correct oil change for your vehicle, as regular oil tends to thicken in colder temperatures and will not lubricate your engine as needed.


2. Windshield Wipers

Replace windshield wipers if needed. Getting snow and ice out of your vision is crucial every day. Refill your wiper fluid as well.


3. Check  your battery

Making sure there is no corrosion around the connections as this is a pure cancer to the car. Test to make sure your battery holds a good charge. On that note, keep jumper cables in your car. Maybe your battery is fine, but it’s nice to be a good Samaritan and help someone else in need.


4. Belts and Hoses

Cold weather can wreck havoc on these, especially if they are already in bad condition. A few minor replacements can save you from a more expensive situation later on.


5. Tire Pressure

Traction is your best friend and making sure your tires are up to par can do wonders on the road. Keep them inflated at the right level, and continue to check them throughout the winter months. Cold temperature naturally deflate your tire pressure.


6. Winter Tires

If you live somewhere that is known for heavy winters and lots of snow, you might consider investing in winter tires. These can provide phenomenal traction and strength against conditions that regular tires cannot provide. It might be a bit costly, but it may also save your life.


7. 4 Wheel Drive

If you adjusted your car during the spring and summer to work on less, make sure you reinstate it again.


8. Antifreeze

Getting the right amount of antifreeze with water is crucial to ensuring all parts work properly. Half antifreeze and half water will prevent your radiator from freezing over. Invest in an antifreeze tester to correct any issues.


9. Keep an Emergency Kit

There are plenty of items to keep handy in your car to combat against any of the situations you may find yourself in. Being a step ahead is key.

  • Blankets
  • Extra clothes
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Ice scraper
  • Shovel
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains
  • Tire gauge
  • Spare tire
  • First aid kit
  • A bag of abrasive material (kitty litter, sand, gravel, etc.). This will help move your car out of a spot in case you get stuck.
  • Map
  • Old cellular with a full charge. You can call 911 as long as your phone has a charge.


10. Have a Plan

Like this plan and the supplies in our car, have an idea of what you would do in case you get stranded or have a blow out. Know where you are with a map, use flares to signal for help. Let loved ones know where you’re going and check in once you reach your destination.

Source: MSNBC.com

The Environmental Protection Agency passed 6H, a rule that restricts and monitors how body shop owners use paint stripping chemicals and complete news finishes with dangerous chemicals. The EPA aims to reduce hazardous pollution of metals consisting of chrome, lead, cadmium, manganese and nickel, while reducing methylene chloride fumes from refinishes.

Under this new measure, painters are now required to utilize a paint booth with a 98% efficient filtration system, and an “HVLP (High Volume/Low Pressure) spray gun and that you can’t use a solvent to clean the gun.” It also states that the “painter must be properly trained and must have completed or be undergoing a continuing five-year education in auto painting. Anyone using VOC or HAP-containing paints will have had to comply by January 2010, and there is no “grandfather clause” for pre-existing paint shops or booths.”

Here are some of the new rules that Chaz Limited is complying with for all painting services in order to respect this new rule as well as help protect the environment:

• Filter technology must be installed and operated on all spray booths.

• Spray booths must be fully enclosed and ventilated at negative pressure.

• The spray booth must capture 98 percent of hazardous emissions.

• Booths that have seals on all doors and other openings and have an automatic pressure balancing system must be ventilated up to 0.05 inches water gauge positive pressure.

• Spray booths used to coat miscellaneous parts must have a full roof, three complete walls or side curtains, and be ventilated so air is drawn into the booth.

• Spray coatings must be applied with a high volume, low-pressure spray gun, electrostatic application, or an airless or air-assisted airless spray gun.

Paint spray gun cleaning to prevent atomization of hazardous materials to the air is required.

Chaz Limited continues to use DuPont, a premiere paint product to finish your automotive needs to the brand new state that you desire. Let us take care of your next revamping of your favorite vehicle. We’ll use precision, care, and follow the rules.

Change is inevitable. And for the car industry, embracing these changes is not an option, it’s a necessity.

The Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt are two of the hottest new cars on the market. Their ability to run without regular means makes them a popular sale yet their design are innovative and different from what the traditional car is made of. This is a complete game changer, and mechanics must be parallel to the technology used in creating these new vehicles.

The Chevrolet Volt is said to be the most fuel-efficient compact car sold in the United States. This model can travel 25-50 miles on pure battery power, whereas its fuel economy is at 93mpg. When this battery dies, the car automatically shifts into a gasoline engine.

 

The latest model from Toyota, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, contains a 4.4kWh lithium-ion battery, in which cars can be charged to go 15 miles, with 87 mpg in fuel mode. These models are expected to sell as many as 15,000 in their first year in the U.S. alone. Previous version of the Prius has sold as many as 2 million cars worldwide since their sale in 1997.

 

Cars are developed with new standards and technologies that alter the components of traditional cars; most seasoned auto mechanics are unaware of these. Every year we send our technicians to participate in the annual Chief Automotive Structure training, as well as I-Car training.  Managers also reinforce their skills with I-Car, DuPont, and Chief training classes. Being able to stay on top of the game is essential in running a collision shop. Chaz understands that constant education and being up to date is key to running a successful business.

Chaz Limited began with Chuck Miller who was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. His first shop began in his own garage until he moved shop to the 30th Avenue location in Fairbanks. Since then, many more locations have sprouted, one of our biggest shops being Anchorage South, located at 6210 Old Seward Hwy.

Our auto body shops strive to deliver high customer satisfaction. When you have an unfortunate accident with your car, bring her in and we’ll give you an estimate fast. We also work with insurance agents and handle claims so that you deal with little to no stress whatsoever. Going through a wreck is enough, why go through more pain?

Chaz handles all of the problems your car or truck may face. We meet with your adjusters to ensure that everyone is on agreement of what needs to be done, at a fair price. If you have a little ding on your truck, or need a new fender, hood and windshield, we can repair or replace to your liking. No matter where you car has been damaged, Chaz specializes in finishing a job to restore a car to a brand new state. We can install brand new taillights, new windows, fenders, hoods, and more.

We paint it all: drivers hood, fender, drivercab, driver bed, down to the whole vehicle. Chose your color from our top of the line DuPont selection. We work with complete care under the 6H law to make sure your finish is not only outstanding, but environmentally safe as well.

No matter what kind of damage has been done to your car, no matter what kind of incident you find yourself in, we take care of our customers and their cars. We’ll get the job done fast, working with your insurance company to give you the outstanding service that a person deserves. You won’t find us on a BBB or a rip off report, and our years of success and expansion testify to this statement.

Channel 2 completed a survey on Facebook asking viewers to pinpoint the worst areas to drive in around Anchorage. Most agreed that the roundabout at Dowling and New Seward leaves many drivers in a sweat over the confusion and risk of injury.

“The ridiculous roundabout at Dowling and New Seward,” wrote Johnny Mabry. “I’ve seen more collisions there thanks to it’s goofy, nonsensical layout, than any other intersection in this city. I’ve personally sacrificed a side view mirror to the moron DOT gods thanks to a driver next to me realizing he was in the wrong lane at the last minute.”

There were many other noted areas including:

Elmore and Coventry
Elmore Rd extension
88th Avenue & Arlene

The Department of Transportation noted that they receive about 3 complains a week about other areas in need of renovation. These areas could result in minor to major collisions and require heavy repair. Chaz Limited Collision Express specializes in automobile accidents to repair the structure of your vehicle into a state of like – new.  Our services enlist auto body painting, body repair, scratches, and dents to bring your automobile back to life. No matter what has happened to your car, we can mend it. Chaz also works with insurance companies to get your repair estimates quoted without any hassle or bother to you. We will assess the damage of your vehicle and apply integrity in getting you a fair bargain with your claims specialist.

Once the initial meeting has explained what will occur under our maintenance, our mechanics and specialists work with precision and care to renew every detail that needs attention.  We employ a program called the Customer Service Index in order to ensure that every customer is treated with the same respect and speed that you desire. It is our goal to innovate our CSI in order to satisfy what customers needs may be, adjust with feedback and concerns.

Preventative measures can be taken in order to minimize the risk of collision. Know the roads before you go, the stops, the speeds, and anything that may impair you from driving at the safest. With winter around the corner, these hazards will only double in risk.

These areas in Anchorage are dangerous no doubt. We hope to see changes from the DOT in order to prevent these instances of uncertainty in safety.

Safe driving!

- The Chaz Crew

It was reported that last Friday, a man committed a hit and run at Arctic Boulevard in Anchorage, then crashed later himself a few mile down the street. The man, remaining unidentified, was pronounced dead on the scene. He had  been speeding, and not wearing his seat belt. “Evidence indicated that the vehicle had been traveling southbound on Arctic at a high rate of speed and that the driver lost control, the Blazer rolling over three times before coming to rest facing north on the east side of the street.”

While this might be common knowledge to some, a majority of people do not take wearing a seat belt into serious consideration. A car, and your body, are very sensitive things. You never know how a car accident can affect you, minor or complete collision. Something as simple as a seat belt can greatly affect your chances to survive.

Our five locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla can take care of your collision needs, but we unforunately cannot restore your body! That’s why we hope people would be more careful about how they drive. You can end your life in instant if you do not think.

Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right.

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