Why You Should Only Trust ASE- and I-CAR Certified Technicians

There are dozens of automotive and auto body shops in the greater Albuquerque area. It’s understandable if you’re confused about which garages you can really trust. There is one way to quickly narrow your choices—only consider shops with technicians that have the right credentials—ASE-certified technicians for automotive maintenance repair, I-CAR certification for collision repair.

These certifications ensure that the people working on your car really have the right knowledge and skills.

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4 Ways to Promptly Find Reliable Auto Collision Repair Services

You’ve been in a car accident. You’re shaken up. Once you’ve finished taking care of exchanging insurance information, filing a police report and tending to any injuries, now you have the work of getting your car repaired.

So how do you quickly find a reliable auto collision repair service?

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3 Ways You Can Increase the Longevity of Your Vehicle

Cars are a significant investment, and you want to get the most for your money. The best way to maximize the value of your investment is to make sure your vehicle lasts as long as possible. Fortunately, a vehicle’s useful life is not just a matter of change. There are a number of ways you can extend your car’s longevity, and our top there are:

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5 Things You Should Know before Getting Auto Body Collision Repair

Here’s the situation: You were in an accident; thankfully your car wasn’t totaled. The insurance company has given you the go-ahead to get repairs done. But before you approve any repairs yourself, there are a few things you should know before getting body collision repair.

  • There may be more damage beneath the surface

When a vehicle hits an object at high speed, the impact moves through the entire car. The damage that impact causes isn’t always visible right away. Components are designed to absorb or transfer impact in different ways/at different rates to minimize risk to driver and passenger. That means there may be damage to other parts, including the frame, alignment or body panels beneath what may look like just a bent fender or dented panel.

It is essential that you have a certified technician do a thorough inspection and disassembly of your car before any repairs begin. It will give you and the insurance companies a clear picture of all the repairs needed and how much it will cost.

  • Your car can be good-as-new

A reputable, experienced auto body shop can restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition (sometimes better). But this requires expert knowledge, certified and experienced technicians and the right parts.

  • Your insurance company may try to use aftermarket parts

There are two types of parts to replace those that are damaged: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and aftermarket parts. OEM parts are produced by your car’s manufacturer to fit your model specifically. Aftermarket parts are often mass-produced parts made by a third party and may fit many makes and models, so they’re cheaper.

Often, insurance companies will only approve repairs using aftermarket parts because they are less expensive. However, aftermarket parts may void your warranty and affect your resale value. Aftermarket parts could also be a poor fit, causing mechanical and/or safety issues down the road. 

Make sure you go with a shop that will notify you if the insurance company is only covering aftermarket parts so you have the opportunity to tell them you want OEM parts.

  • You don’t have to deal with insurance companies alone

A quality collision repair center will help you deal with insurance companies. They will send the first and the tear-down repair estimate directly and talk to your claims agent to explain why they need to repair an issue that may not have been on the original estimate as well as update your insurance company (and you) about the repair progress.

  • You can choose your collision repair shop

You do not have to go with the collision repair shop the insurance provider recommends. That’s your choice (by law, in most cases). After all, your insurance company may be recommending a shop solely based on location (the closest) or the least expensive (which doesn’t always translate to quality repairs).

When choosing a collision repair center, check references and the internet for reviews and information.

Quanz Auto Care has been voted “Best in the City” for collision repair year after year because we genuinely care about you. Our certified technicians have the experience needed to get your car back to pre-accident condition with minimal disruption to your life. And we communicate directly with the insurance companies, so you don’t have to. Contact us today!

Should I Repair My Car or Keep the Cash?

You’ve been in an accident and have been given an estimate for repairs to your car from the insurance company. Now you have two options:

  1. Repair your vehicle
  2. Keep the cash but don’t do the repairs

Before you make a decision, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Actual Damage to Your Car

Some damage can look minor but still present a significant safety issue. For instance, damage to a fender or a ding in a door may seem insignificant but can hide dangerous structural damage. Alignment issues may be imperceptible, but a bent frame can compromise your vehicle’s ability to absorb impact in a subsequent accident, increasing the chances of severe injuries and death.

Knowing the extent of the actual damage requires disassembly and further exploration by a certified technician. Your insurance company’s estimate may not tell the full story.

Whether you can see the damage or not, if it would make driving the car dangerous, you need to repair your car. If the damage is purely cosmetic, then the choice is yours…but do keep in mind how cosmetic damage may affect resale value.

Who Really Owns Your Car

If you still owe money on your car, the bank technically owns your car. With that comes the expectation that you will keep it in running order and good appearance. In this case, the decision isn’t yours. You must repair your car instead of taking the money.

Continued Car Insurance Coverage

If you choose to keep your car the way it is—i.e., damaged, you may not be able to insure it against physical loss. In other words, accident damage left unrepaired may make you ineligible for comprehensive and collision coverage. So, if you are in another accident, you may have to pay for repairs or a new car entirely out of pocket.

At Quanz Auto Body, we are one of the top collision repair centers in Albuquerque. Our goal is your safety and satisfaction. If you’ve been in an accident, bring your car to us. We’ll quickly and professional assess the damage so you can get the full picture and make the decision that is right for you. Contact us today!

4 Ways You Can Preserve Your Vehicle’s Paint

Your car is an investment, and you want to keep your car’s paint looking good-as-new for as long as possible. But life’s every-day doesn’t make that task simple. As car repair specialists, Quanz Auto Care is here to help you with a few pointers to help you keep your car’s paint shiny and new!

  • Be gentle

Your car’s paint job is made to stand up to a lot of abuse. But over time, small rocks, rubs, scrapes and even sunlight can cause your car’s paint to look less than its best.

There’s no way to avoid all paint-damaging hazards, but one of the most important things you can do is to avoid rough roads, gravel roads and construction zones as much as possible. (Although, who isn’t already trying to stay away from construction zones, right?) Keeping on smooth, clear roads will dramatically decrease the amount of debris you encounter, which reduces the overall amount of damage your paint sustains.

  • Keep it covered

Much like photos and fabric, your car’s paint will fade and crack from exposure to UV rays. Keeping your vehicle covered is the best protection.

Ideally, keeping your car covered means parking it in a garage or carport. Under shade is good, but be aware that trees introduce other paint hazards—like sap, perching birds and falling branches.

  • Wash carefully and regularly

To keep your car’s paint looking fresh and new, wash gently. Use detergent formulated for cars and soft, clean sponges to wash and a clean chamois and microfiber towels to dry.

Make sure you wash your car either in the shade or on a cloudy day. Mineral deposits from water drops left to dry can also cause damage to paint. And wash often (but not too often—we recommend once every three months) because dirt left too long on a car invites further damage.

  • Choose the right repair shop

Repairing a vehicle’s paint is as much an art as a science. If you take your car in for repair because it doesn’t look good, you don’t want it leaving with the same problem.

Choosing the right repair shop can mean the difference between a lousy paint job, good-looking paint job that only lasts for a few weeks and a durable, great-looking paint job. To get the latter, bring it to Quanz. Whether your paint just needs some touch-ups or requires serious repair, our certified technicians will take your vehicle through a quality-controlled, eco-friendly process to make it look as good-as-new! Contact us today!

Does a Car Accident Void the Warranty?

Tow Truck

You bought a car with a warranty for a reason—you want to be able to replace parts without it costing a fortune. But what happens when you’re in an accident? Does that void the warranty?

Your Warranty

Standard warranties have bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage. They usually cover a specific number of miles or years.

Powertrain warranties deal with the repair of parts that provide power to make your car or truck go—that includes the engine, drivetrain and transmission. Bumper-to-bumper warranties will also cover just about everything else, like tires, your infotainment system, AC/heating system, etc.

Every manufacturer and dealer is different, so to know what exactly your warranty covers, you’ll have to ask your sales person or read the fine print.

What Affects a Warranty

Many of the conditions that void your warranty are under your controls, such as:

  • Off-roading or racing
  • Maintenance neglect (e.g. failing to get regular oil changes or scheduled maintenance)
  • Vehicle modifications, including the odometer

However, there are some conditions, like floods, fires and other “Acts of God”—that are out of your control. In general, though, an accident is not one of them.

An Accident and Your Warranty

Your warranty should be good even after an accident, but there are some exceptions. Your warranty could be void after an accident if:

  1. You use aftermarket parts on your vehicle for repairs
  2. Your car insurance declares your vehicle to be a total loss and they give it a salvage title

Quanz Auto Body can help ensure that your vehicle remains under warranty after an accident. We use OEM parts and will warn you about possible warranty issues if you opt for aftermarket parts. Contact us to make collision repair better.

What Happens When Your Car is Totaled, and You Still Owe on the Vehicle?

At Quanz Auto Body, we know that getting into a car accident is bad enough. It just adds inconvenience and hassle to be without your car while it’s being repaired. But what about when your car is beyond repair—what then? And worse, what happens when you still owe on a car that can’t be repaired? Unfortunately, if your car is totaled and you still owe on it, you could be stuck with a car payment on an undrivable car.

When a Totaled Car Isn’t

When you hear the word “totaled” or “total loss,” you think about a car beyond damaged beyond repair. That isn’t always the case. More often, your vehicle could be repaired—it’s just that the cost of repairs is more than your vehicle is worth.

For example, say your insurance company values your car at $8,000 but repairs after an accident would cost $10,000. The insurance company will deem your car a “total loss” and will not pay for any repairs. Instead, they will pay cash for the value of your car (minus your deductible). If your deductible is $1,000, you would end up getting a check for $7,000.

When You Still Owe

Unfortunately, an accident does not cancel out your car loan. That $7,000 would go directly to the bank to help pay off your debt. If you owed less than $7,000—great! Your loan’s paid off and you may have a few hundred to put down on a new vehicle.

But, if you owe more than your car is worth, you will have to continue to make monthly payments for a car you don’t even have anymore. It’s not a great situation but one that many people find themselves in since car loans now average 60 months to pay off.

Really, there’s not much you can do in this situation. Some states require that the insurance company reimburse your for the sales tax of your car, giving you a little bit of extra cash, but New Mexico is not one of them.

When You Have Gap Insurance

Your story may have a bit of a happier ending if you have gap insurance. Gap insurance will help you pay off your car loan in the event your car is totaled and you still owe on it. However, it won’t help you put money towards a replacement, so you are still out a functional vehicle.

Whether or not you have gap insurance, you can choose to keep your car even if it’s been “totaled.” In this case, your car will have a “salvage” title, which means you cannot apply for new plates until you’ve made repairs…and you may be paying completely out-of-pocket to have those done. If your car was damaged so severely that it was totaled in the first place, it’s more likely than not that it’s not safe to drive in the meantime.

So, here’s the moral of the story: to avoid getting in a situation where an accident may leave you with a hefty bill but no car, carefully consider your car purchase. In addition to the retail price, also keep in mind:

  • The length of loan terms needed to make payments manageable
  • Estimated depreciation of the vehicle

These factors will help you determine if a long-term car loan is really your best option. And if you have any questions about your repairing damage to your car, or if you need an estimate, we’re here to help! Contact Quanz today!

Why You Should Always Choose OEM Parts for Collision Repair

When you’ve been in an accident and your car needs collision repair, you want to know that your car is once again safe to drive. At Quanz Auto Body, we truly care about our customers, and we want to ensure that you do get your car back in the best condition possible so you know you can drive it safely for years to come.

One of the best ways to do that is to always choose OEM parts for collision repair.

What are OEM Parts?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts are made bythe car manufacturer, not a third party. In other words, OEM parts are made specifically for your vehicle make and model.

The alternative to OEM parts are aftermarket parts—components manufactured by a third party. Aftermarket parts may be of comparable quality and fit…then again, they may not. Sometimes (and it’s not always easy to know when), aftermarket parts are not made to manufacturer specifications or properly fit a specific make and/or model. Because aftermarket parts are often designed to fit multiple makes and models, they are generally produced at high volume, and thus, they are usually cheaper.

Why You Should Always Choose OEM Parts for Collision Repair

Although aftermarket parts may reduce the cost of collision repair, the certified auto body technicians at Quanz Auto Body recommend choosing OEM parts for collision repair. Like we said earlier, OEM parts are made by your car’s maker—they fit your car. Period. And the right fit is crucial to ensuring the integrity and safety of your vehicle after an accident.

Plus, OEM parts give you greater assurance of quality and typically come backed by a more extensive warranty than aftermarket parts. And in some cases, the use of aftermarket parts may decrease the resale value of your car.

Quanz Cares  

Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to reduce the cost of repairs they’re covering for you by approving estimates with aftermarket parts. At Quanz, we use OEM parts in our collision repair estimates to avoid cost comparisons that could jeopardize the quality of your repairs. But, if your insurance carrier insists on aftermarket parts, we will alert you so that you can contact your insurance provider and request approval for OEM parts. We are always happy to assist with your claims processing, so we’ll provide the documentation and communicate directly with your insurance carrier as needed.

Your safety is our priority. For collision repairs you can feel good about, contact us and find out for yourself what award-winning collision repair really is.

What to Do after You’ve Experienced an Auto Accident

When you’re in an accident, what you do immediately following impact is vital. From gathering information to documentation, it can mean the difference between easy claims coverage and a smooth repair process or hassle. So, what do you need to do to facilitate quick recovery from an auto accident?

  • Move to a Safe Area if You are Able

If your vehicle is drivable, move to the shoulder of the road so you are out of the way of traffic. If you cannot move your vehicle, put on your hazard lights, cones or flares to alert others to your presence and inability to move. Put on your parking break and ensure it is safe to get out of your car before you open a door. Be aware that sometimes, it may be safer to remain in your vehicle until emergency crews arrive.

  • Make Sure All Involved are Okay

Check to see if anyone involved was injured. Some injuries may be evident—call 911 ASAP. However, some injuries may not be immediately noticeable. It’s probably best to call 911 anyway.

  • Call the Police

Even for a minor accident, call police. Nearly every insurance carrier want a police report to process your claim. If the accident is minor, a police dispatcher may advise you how to make a police report at a local substation if no officer is available.

  • Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other party, including:

  • Insurance information
  • License plate numbers
  • Names and numbers of the driver(s) and any passengers
  • Makes and models of the cars involved
  • The name and number of responding police officers

Do not give out any personal information beyond your insurance and contact information. And do not apologize, admit to or speculate about fault. Anything you say could cost you coverage.

  • Document Damage and the Scene

It’s easy to forget details as the claims process drags on. Documenting the accident will help you provide the details your insurance carrier needs to process your claim.  Documentation that will be helpful includes:

  • Detailed photos of the damage and of the scene (including any street signs or signals)
  • Names and numbers of any witnesses
  • Notes about the circumstances and conditions, such as speed and direction you were traveling and what contributed/led to the accident and how it happened
  • File a Claim with Your Insurance

As soon as you are able (maybe even while you’re waiting for police to arrive), contact your insurance agency to report the accident. The agent you talk to on the phone will help you understand what will happen to open and process the claim. They may also provide some helpful tips for documentation you’ll need about the scene/circumstances to make the process go more smoothly. Once the accident has been reported, documented and “claimed,” you’re ready to begin the collision repair process. And the first step for that is to get your car to Quanz Auto Body for a full inspection and repair quote. We are a preferred partner by seven major insurance carriers, and we offer on-site Enterprise car rental. We make the rest of the accident repair process better.