Posts Tagged ‘Car Repair Santa Barbara’

Why You Should Warm Your Car Up

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Santa-Barbara-Auto-Repair-Car-Warmup Facebook, taken as a whole, is like having some pushy friend who has to give you advice on everything. Lately, that pushy friend has been telling you not to bother warming up your car in winter, and posting many articles explaining why. Should you believe him? Absolutely not. It seems that most of these anti-warming up articles are missing some huge points, and could be giving a potentially damaging message to most people… The main thrust of these articles saying there’s no need to warm up your car is that it’s wasteful of fuel, creates needless pollution, and modern, fuel-injected cars just don’t need to be warmed up to run well like old carbureted cars did. And, generally, these statements are all true — modern car engine control computers are vastly better at managing the engine to run well even when cold, and, sure, if you idle the car for 20 minutes, you’re not really accomplishing anything beyond turning gas into pollution. But that’s only a part of what’s going on with your car when it’s really cold. Even though these articles headlines proclaim there’s no need to warm up your car, in the stories you can usually find that they say a short warm up of 30 seconds or so is “okay”. In reality, when it’s really cold out, you’d be crazy not to warm up your engine for at least a minute or two. The reason has nothing to do with fuel or a latent desire to pollute your driveways — it has to do with oil. When your car has been sitting out overnight, all the lubricating oil that’s coating all of the crucial, moving metal bits of the car has settled down to the bottom of the oil pan. When the temperatures are really cold, not only is that oil not near the areas it needs to be, its viscosity — ability to flow — has been severely impaired by the cold. You’ve seen how differently, say, refrigerated maple syrup flows compared to hot syrup — your engine oil is the same way. So, when you start that cold engine, it’s essentially running without lubrication. If you start up and immediately put a load on the engine, things could get damaged. It’s just not ready to go. Take a minute or two to get that oil pumping around before putting any load on the engine, and your pistons, camshafts, turbos and other spinning, moving bits will be much, much happier.

The Dangers of Getting Cheap High Impact Collision Auto Repair in Santa Barbara

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Prestigious Auto Body Collision Repair
Being involved in a high impact collision is a scary experience, and the aftermath of the accident is often sometimes just as scary. It can be very confusing when dealing with insurance companies, claim adjusters and mechanics, especially if you have limited automotive knowledge. How do you know where to go to get your car repaired in Santa Barbara? How do you know if you are getting ripped off? How are you going to pay for the repairs? These questions are not easily answered. But one bit of advice given universally, is to not go the cheap route when getting repairs on a car that was in a high impact collision. There are many dangers associated with getting sub par repair work done on a car that was severely damaged. This article will walk you through these dangers.
Danger #1: Mechanic may not be Trained in High Impact Collision Repairs
High impact collision repairs require a higher level of mechanical knowledge. Make sure the Santa Barbara mechanic you hire has experience working on cars that have been in high impact collisions. When a car has been severely damaged, the problem lies not just in what is currently wrong with the car, but what problems can occur later on as a result of the initial damage. A good mechanic understands how all of the parts of a car work together and how to diagnose and fix any problems.
Danger #2: Your Insurance Company may not Pay for Repairs Performed by Unapproved Mechanics
When you hire a mechanic to get your car repaired in Santa Barbara, you need to be sure that your insurance company is willing to work with that mechanic. When you call your insurance company after an accident, they will recommend a mechanic for you. Most plans do not require you go to the recommended mechanic, but if you decide to go elsewhere, you should call your insurance company and ask if they will work with the place you chose. To reduce the risk of you getting into another accident, the insurance company wants to make sure you are taking the car to a reputable mechanic.
Danger #3: Your Safety will be Compromised
The most important factor here is your own personal safety. With high impact collision auto repair in Santa Barbara, costs can be high and the estimates can scare people into running out and finding the cheapest mechanic around. It is understandable people would be frightened by the prospect of having to pay hundreds–even thousands–of dollars they may not have to spend. But nothing is more important than your health and safety. If you don’t have the money for the repairs and can possibly go without the car for a while while you save up money for quality repairs, do so. If you need to have the car fixed right away, ask your mechanic about the possibility of a payment plan. Anything is better than receiving poor maintenance.
These are the basic dangers associated with cheap high impact collision auto repair in Santa Barbara. Make sure you get your car repaired by a reputable mechanic. You don’t want to risk an auto breakdown!
Article sourced from

The Best Kind of Repair Shop

Written by zeeblu on . Posted in Uncategorized

Often during Tom Torbjornsen’s radio show he gets the question, “Should I take my vehicle to a dealer, a local independent shop, or a specialist?” It’s a good question, but the answer depends on various factors.

Time To Head To The Dealer

The dealership is obviously the place to go when the vehicle is under warranty. It’s common sense to have repairs done that are under warranty. If you take your new car that’s under warranty for repairs to shops other than the dealership, problems can arise when it comes time for a warranty claim. In this scenario, warranty coverage can be denied if the shop used non-OEM (original equipment) parts or if accessories were installed which compromise the vehicle in a way that could void the warranty. If the vehicle is out of warranty then it’s a matter of where you are comfortable taking your car. Philosophy of old suggests that car dealers always charge more, but that’s not the case any more. Having experienced decreased profits from the sale of new and used cars in recent years, car dealers have stepped up their efforts on the service front. Thus, they are quite competitive in the retail repair business. Comparison-shopping reveals that automotive repair and general maintenance pricing are about the same at dealerships and independent shops. In addition, dealers commonly offer nationwide warranty coverage for their services, which is a big plus in their column. There are several reasons cited for why some people avoid the dealerships for repairs and maintenance: Perceived higher pricing, non-personal service and attention to customers, less recourse in the event of a problem, and technicians paid on a flat-rate basis. However, there are other considerations. For example, when there is a recall on your particular year, make, and model vehicle you may not be able to get coverage from anyone other than the dealership. Finally, consider the fact that the techs at dealerships work on the same makes every day and, more often than not, this enables the tech to diagnose the problem more efficiently because they see the same problems over and over, and become more proficient doing those repairs.

Seeking Out An Independent

Independent repair facilities tend to be woven into the fabric of a community. Oftentimes the owner comes from the neighborhood he or she lives in and knows many people in the community. This gives independents a high grade for the personal touch, generating feelings of trust and comfort with their customers. However, in the past there was a major problem with the independent shop. They didn’t have access to the tools, information, and technical training compared to the car dealers (not to mention the dealers’ access to “inside” information from the carmaker) and thus they weren’t able to maintain and repair current model vehicles as well. But this disadvantage no longer exists, as independent shops now have access to a number of information services, scan tools and software programs capable of accessing vehicular data, as well as factory-like automotive repair training available to technicians of independent shops. The caveat when selecting an independent repair facility? Making sure they actually have these tools, information, and trained technicians. Monikers and shingles to look for when selecting an independent shop are: AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility, ASA (Automotive Service Association), iATN (International Automotive Technicians Network), and ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). Membership in these associations means that the business and technicians invest in up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment and repair information. Ask to see the training certificates from the techs. If they have the credentials, they are most likely keeping abreast with updated training. So when should you consider taking your vehicle to an independent repair shop? After the warranty on your new car has expired, if you feel more comfortable with the independent shop versus the dealer, go for it. Independent shops are often more convenient because they can turn a repair around faster than the dealer that might be backlogged a week or two. Maybe you want to experience the benefits of developing a personal relationship with your service provider, so that you feel like you are doing business with a friend. For many of us, that goes a long way. Shops that want to develop relationships with their customers will usually keep thorough records of your vehicle’s repair history, so that a repeat problem or other patterns can be diagnosed quickly and accurately.

The Specialist

Specialty automotive repair shops come in lots of flavors: transmission and drivetrain specialists, HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning), electronics & drivability, radiator and cooling systems, under car (brakes, front end, tires, wheels, steering/suspension), and foreign car repair. But why would you go to a specialty shop? Simple: When no one else can fix your specific problem. Specialists are recognized experts in their field and you want to take advantage of that expertise to get the best possible job done. Typically, specialists have the specialized tools, equipment, and knowledge to render an effective and accurate repair in the shortest time possible. Not only do they have the specific knowledge and training needed for the job, but they also deal with the same types of repairs over and over. They understand the idiosyncrasies of the vehicle and/or problem better than most other general repair professionals. Often these sorts of shops will actually work as subcontractors to general repair facilities, including dealers. Article sourced from

Four Auto Body Repair Tips To Keep In Mind

Written by zeeblu on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. With millions of drivers on the road every day, many of them distracted by phone calls, messy burritos, bad weather or lack of sleep, crashes are inevitable. Luckily, most of these accidents are relatively minor and nobody gets injured. But a minor accident can seriously damage the outside your car. Areas like the fenders and doors are especially susceptible to damage. While it’s generally the insurance company’s job to get your car patched up and back on the road when this happens, there are a few things you should know in order to ensure that your car is properly fixed.

1. You can choose the body shop

Insurance companies can refer you to shops that they work with, but ultimately you can choose who does the work. Most insurance-recommended body shops are reputable and perform high-quality repairs, but there are a few bad eggs out there that cut corners to get the job done faster and cheaper. These shops will entice insurance adjusters with lower repair costs, but that could result in a shoddy repair. Before agreeing to get your car fixed at an insurance-recommended shop, do some research online by searching Yelp or other sites with small business reviews.

2. Avoid aftermarket parts

When you take your car in for repair in, you should inquire about the replacement parts that are being used by the body shop in Santa Barbara. Body shops may use new original parts, used parts or aftermarket parts. While used parts were made by your vehicle manufacturer and perform as well as new original parts, aftermarket parts are often cheap imitations with inferior quality. These parts can corrode, rattle and ultimately diminish your car’s value.

3. Carefully examine paint match

All too often, you see cars on the road with body panels that don’t match in color. Matching a newly painted body panel to the rest of your car is a difficult challenge, and sometimes there can be a big, obvious difference in shade. When you pick up your car from a Santa Barbara body shop , ask which panels are original and which ones were painted. Step back ten feet from the car and see if there’s a difference in color. If there is, there may be additional paint work necessary to get a better match.

4. Check warning lights

After an accident, there are a number of warning lights that may turn on in your dashboard. These can include the airbag light, the low coolant light, the check engine light and others. When you pick up your finished car, make sure all of the problems have been corrected and none of the lights are illuminated. Illuminated lights can indicate that your car’s on-board computer may need to be reprogrammed, or that certain electrical components need replacement. Article sourced from

Cold Weather Care Tips for your Car

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Car-Snow-Covered Okay, let’s be honest we don’t really have “winter weather” in Santa Barbara. However, our vehicles still should get some TLC during the cold weather season and in preparation for those road trips that we Santa Barbarans love to take up to Big Bear, Mammoth, or Tahoe. What are some of the things we can do to maintain our cars when it’s cold outside? Per the DMV website, here are some tips:  

Engine Oil in the Winter

The outside temperature affects the internal temperature of your engine. Make sure to use the proper oil for the conditions. When it’s below freezing, which we have approached a couple of times, switch to thinner oil. “If you run a 10W-30 in the summer, for example, try moving to a 5W-30 when changing your oil in the fall or winter. If you are in doubt, refer to your manual or the manufacturer.”

Engine Coolant

The coolant system keeps the engine from overheating and also protects the engine from corrosion. Per the DMV, use a coolant with ethylene glycol to protect your engine. Refer to your owner’s manual or your service technician to find out the proper ratio of coolant to water.

Cold Weather and Battery Capacity

Make sure your batter is in good condition. Cold weather affects the battery’s ability to start easily. Inspect the cables for cracks and breaks, the terminals should fit snugly, and the battery fluid level should be above the bottom of the cap. If it is below, refill it with distilled water. Additional note, check the date of your battery. Especially in the Santa Barbara heat, battery life spans are not as long as they would be in milder climates.

Proper Tires

The DMV recommends snow tires for those living in snowy conditions….ok so that’s not for us here in Santa Barbara. But we do have to deal with the bit of rain that we get which causes slick conditions on the roads. Make sure your tires are in good condition and that they are properly inflated. If you plan on taking a trip up to hit the ski and snowboard slopes, make sure to check the conditions of the roads where you will be driving to and have proper snow chains if required.

Windshield Treatment

After a long hot summer, there’s nothing like trying to turn on your windshield wipers to clear rain or fog only to find them crumble apart because they sat unused all summer and had dried out. Check that your windshield wipers are in good condition and that your fluid is the right type for colder weather. The DMV recommends a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. Just make sure the fluid doesn’t damage your car’s paint.

Emergency Kit

Regardless of the weather, I recommend having an emergency kit in your vehicle. The DMV’s Emergency Kit list includes: – Flares – Blankets – Boots – Radio – Engine oil – Washer fluid – Coolant – Flashlight – First Aid Kit – Water – Food (protein bars and snacks in case you are stranded for a bit of time) – Emergency charger for your cell phone – Tool Kit – Coat – A spare pair of athletic shoes or boots and socks so that you aren’t stuck at a break down in your slippers or heels – Cleansing hand wipes – Paper towels For the full DMV article, click here Article sourced from Fox5 and


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