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When shopping for a collision repair shop, be sure to look for a shop that takes pride in its appearance. They say don’t judge a book by its cover but a messy shop may be an indication of a lack of pride, and a lack of pride is likely to reflect in their workmanship. Most professional auto body shops will keep their office and shop clean and orderly. Carefully inspect the office first then ask to see the shop. Most shops will give you a tour if you request it but be cautious with ones that hide their shop behind policies. If the shop is messy and disorganized, you may want to keep shopping.

Be sure to look for their various licenses, permits, and certifications. All Alaska shops are required to have a state & local business license, a tax permit, an EPA certificate, and a hazardous materials permit. The better shops will be certified by I-CAR (the training standard of the industry) as a Gold Class shop. For even more professionalism, look to see if they are certified ASE mechanicss, and members of the Better Business Bureau or their local chambers of commerce.

When touring a shop, be sure to ask about their equipment. Do they have a frame rack with a computerized measuring system? A car accident can bend your frame, and a bent frame can be dangerous. Believe it or not, some body shops don’t have proper frame equipment; it not required by law. Also be sure that if they have a frame rack, that it has a computerized measuring system that can print you out a copy of the before and after results. Don’t take any chances.

Do they have a downdraft paint booth? All body shops are required by federal laws to paint in booths that filter the harmful vapors produced by paints. However, most body shops use an overhead draft system which forces the paint, as well as dust and contaminates from the floor, to vent over the vehicle. This creates unnecessary extra steps for cleaning and drastically takes away from the overall quality of the paint job. A downdraft spray booth pulls all the air from the top and forces it down to the floor, leaving your vehicle dust free afterwards.

Also, make sure that their paint booth has baking capacity. It literally takes weeks for new paint to fully cure, but to ensure the quality of the paint, the outer shell should be a hard as possible before reintroducing into the shop. If not dust and contaminates will get stuck in the new paint. Most professional shops have paint booths with baking capacities and the best shops have smart baking cycle systems. Be sure to ask or contact us at www.chazautobody.com for more information.

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A great deal of business for Chaz Auto Body comes from drivers who are careless in the winter driving conditions. While many times it is impossible to stop an auto accident from happening when ice and snow are on the ground, there are some things you can do to decrease the damages and hopefully prevent injuries in the process. Here are some easy tips will help you stay safe while driving this winter.

Scrape, Scrape, Scrape!
Never try to drive your vehicle anywhere without scraping the ice off all the windows so you can see clearly. Too often, drivers simply clear off a spot on the windshield and think it is fine to go along their way. This is dangerous, irresponsible and even disrespectful to other drivers.

Brake Slowly
Stopping quickly on the snow and ice is a recipe for losing control of your vehicle. You could slide into trees, curbs, other cars or even people. Learn how to brake slowly in various situations so you do not panic when gradual stopping is needed.

Be Aware
Knowing what is around your vehicle is an ideal way to preventing accidents. If you constantly know your surroundings, you can make split second decisions that will either help prevent accidents or decrease the effects of a collision.

Winterize your Car
Severe cold and heavy snow can be hard on your vehicle. The first thing you need to do is have your car winterized to make sure it is in the best shape possible to take on winter storms.  Some simple steps to take are:

  • Make sure the battery is fully charged
  • Check your tires pressure
  • Change to an oil that provides better winter performance
  • Check windshield wipers and wiper fluid

If you skid or get stuck
If you start to skid turn into it and accelerate slightly to get control of your vehicle
If you get stuck in the snow try rocking it back and forth until your tires are free

Be ready To Deal With Emergencies

  • Learn how to replace a flat tire
  • Practice installing tire chains for hazardous road conditions
  • Carry jumper cables and learn how to jump-start your car battery
  • Carry an ice chipper and snow brush to maintain clean windows

Driving on winter roads can be scary but if you are prepared and ready for any situation it will ensure a stress free snow season. Knowing what is around your vehicle is an ideal way to preventing accidents. If you constantly know your surroundings, you can make split second decisions that will either help prevent accidents or minimize the effects of a collision.  Your friends at Chaz Auto Body hope that by following these quick and easy steps will help keep you and yours safe and secure on the dangerous roads this winter.

Chaz Collision Express is Alaska’s premier auto body repair shop. For more than 30 years Chaz Collision Express has providing Alaskans superior auto restoration services.  Whether your car needs repair as a result of a collision or because of the hard Alaska winter, remember Chaz is there to make your car look new again.  Our top of the line technicians combined with state of the art equipment and facilities makes Chaz Collision Express your go to place when you need auto body repairs or you are looking for an auto body shop .  Chaz Collision Express has five convenient locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla to make your life as easy as possible.

Our experts at Chaz will assist you in making the right choices when it comes to repair of your vehicle and many insurance companies trust Chaz to keep their customer happy.  Chaz Collision Express also provides free auto body shop estimates so you know what to expect without any surprises.

The staff at Chaz Collision Express wants you to make the right decisions when you need help repairing your car.  So please check back time to time as we post articles in this blog providing advice and tips about exterior vehicle maintenance, winter driving tips, and things you should  remember when selecting a car repair shop to restore your car to a “factory new finish”.  And of course we love comments and feed back, so if you ever have questions about auto body repair, auto body shops, collision centers, or just want to say hello, please email us or post a comment on our blog and we will be more than happy to respond.  We look forward to creating many new friendships across the state of Alaska.

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