Monterey Collision & Auto Repair

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Category Archives: Auto Maintenance

Minimizing Distractions Inside Your Vehicle

Minimizing Distractions Inside Your Vehicle

Distracted driving is more and more common on the road these days, and has become the number one killer, literally even more than drunk driving. We are all guilty from time to time of driving distracted in one way or another, it is human to do so, and ultimately convenient to multi-task. We all know or have that one friend that is the cell phone chatter, the texter, the make-up expert, the food queen, or the in-car DJ. Distracted driving has become nearly fashionable in some sense. However, it also can become quite deadly, so here are some tips to help reduce distractions in the car.   Use the phone for emergencies only  When you are driving, it is best to keep both hands on the road, and your mind trained at the task at hand, driving. Cell phone use should be reserved for emergency use only when driving, and it is even better to pull over to the right side shoulder of the road if you need to make a call. Did you know that even hands-free devices still pose a distraction? It ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Window tint - Pros and Cons

Window tint - Pros and Cons

  Tinted windows are great for a number of reasons. They can block dangerous UV rays, they look good, and also offer some privacy, so you don't feel like you are driving in a fishbowl when on the road. Keep in mind; there is such a thing as too dark of tint.   Is It Legal? In the south, we encounter many cars with really dark tinted windows. The advantage of dark tint is heat repellant and UV ray reduction. The intense heat of the south does tend to tax your air conditioner, so it is an advantage. As we move to the northern states, dark tint tends to signal that whoever is inside may have reason to hide. Many states have laws in place to limit the tinting of vehicle windows.   Vision Limitation Yes, tinted windows can keep your eyes from sun damage, on darker days, that same tint can impede your vision. Missing an animal crossing the road, a car without headlights, or worse yet, a child running into the way could mean ultimate disaster. It is a good idea to re ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

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Check Engine Light, Not Again!

Check Engine Light, Not Again!

  The dread of finding a new check engine light on in your car can be stressful. Luckily for you, the auto repair experts CARSTAR Robert's Collision and Repair in Monterey are experienced in troubleshooting and are here to take your worries away. Check engine lights come on for a variety of reasons. Before you get stressed out, check your gas cap, some sensors monitor for vapor leaks and will throw a code for merely not having your fuel cap adequately secured. Of course, a blinking check engine light could also mean something as serious as engine misfire, which needs to be addressed by a professional right away to avoid permanent damage to your engine.   You want to pay attention to your check engine light; it is connected to your vehicle's emission system, explicitly designed to monitor it throughout the life of your car. Emission systems and engines in your car are directly tied together, which means the health of one can indicate the health of the other, so pay ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

What is a clutch?

What is a clutch?

  Accelerating and decelerating should be a smooth, uneventful process. If you feel your car shifting hard, be sure to bring it to the auto mechanics at CARSTAR Robert's Collision and Repair in Monterey, your one-stop repair shop. Catching your shifting issues early can save you a lot of money and be as easy as an adjustment.   Some folks say a clutch is the foot pedal to the left of your brake on the floor of your manual transmission vehicle. Yes, they are half right, the far-left foot pedal is the actual switch which activated the clutch assembly. However, the location of the clutch itself is in your transmission. Does your automatic have a clutch? The answer is yes. An automatic transmission does have a clutch in addition to having sensors automating the activation process, so no foot pedal is needed when driving.   There are five main parts in your clutch that, together, work to sync your engine and wheels, allowing your engine to rev at full speed while you ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Preparing for Holiday Road Trips

Preparing for Holiday Road Trips

  It may be too late for full-on maintenance before heading home for the holidays, but there’s a few things you can do yourself to help get you where you are going safely and without a breakdown. While most of us don’t have to worry about snow, we want our cars as roadworthy as possible. Check your wipers and if they are deteriorating or simply not doing their job, replace them Check all of your fluids to make sure they are at proper levels Check all hoses and belts to make sure they aren’t loose or deteriorating If you are heading to a snowy areas, have good chains at the ready Check your tires for proper inflation as well as for tread depth and sidewall damage  Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times just in case you get stuck in traffic Have an emergency kit that is updated Your emergency kit should include: current medications, snacks, water, gloves, warm blankets, jumper cables, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, and a well-stock ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Take Care of Your Brakes!

Take Care of Your Brakes!

When it comes to your vehicle's braking system, you never want to put off necessary repairs. You must be able to stop when you need to stop. That may seem obvious to you, but you'd be surprised how many people put off taking care of their brakes. You want to have them inspected periodically, and anytime something seems off with your brakes, that's the time to quit messing around and get them taken care of ASAP! Your safety and that of your passengers are always the number one priority at CARSTAR Robert's Collision & Repair. Make sure that it's yours too.    Here are some common issues that we see here at CARSTAR Robert's Auto Repair that require brake repair and service:   General wear: Over time, the brake pads wear down. Your braking system works hard for you every day. Because of their regular use, take the time to have your brake pads checked every six months or when you suspect a problem. Things to look out for include squeaking, grin ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Preparing for Holiday Travel

Preparing for Holiday Travel

Before you hit the road and head out for Thanksgiving travel, make sure to take the time to prepare for your trip. One of the most important things to do that is often overlooked is some simple preventive maintenance. You want to be prepared for the road ahead and that can help decrease the likelihood of getting stranded or worse. Here’s a short list of some of the things you can do to be prepared:  Replace worn out wiper blades Check your tire pressure regularly Also check tread depth, wear, and for anything that’s penetrated a tire Keep your gas tank at least half full  Check to make sure your rear window defroster is working Have your vehicle serviced before long drives Have an updated safety/emergency kit Keep your eye on the weather. Remember that even here on the coast, the weather can surprise us. Even more so if you’re heading inland and through any mountain passes. This will help you stay prepared and ready for the unexpected. If you are head ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Improving Fuel Efficiency in Winter

Improving Fuel Efficiency in Winter

  Fuel efficiency can easily start with your tires. When we head into the colder months, even though we live in a temperate climate, it still affects your tires and your fuel efficiency. In general, the colder weather can greatly affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. It takes longer for your​ engine to warm up and reach its best fuel consumption temperature.  When the weather changes, make sure you regularly check the air pressure in your tires because they fluctuate with the weather. When the air pressure is just right, you’ll get the most out of your tires and your fuel efficiency will improve.  When you are looking for more ways to improve fuel efficiency, try these suggestions: Whenever possible, park in the warmest place. If you have an option to park in a garage, do so. Any shelter will help with warmth.  Even on cold days, don’t warm up your car too much. The longer you idle, the less fuel-efficient your car. Combine your trips. Planning a ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Headlight Lens Polish and Restoration for Better Night Driving Visibility

Headlight Lens Polish and Restoration for Better Night Driving Visibility

When doing maintenance on our cars, there can be a few places that can be easily overlooked. While our headlights themselves are not one of them, the lens very well could be! When we drive, we can take for granted the amount of wear and tear our car takes, but the lens of our headlights also takes a beating from the bugs, UV rays, dirt, and gravel.  Clean lenses provide increased visibility and improved safety, but when they get worn, they get cloudy, yellowed (caused by UV rays reaction with the polycarbonate material that almost all headlights are made from), and decrease just how far you’re going to be able to see. At night, decreased visibility severely increases the likelihood of something going wrong. Your headlights are your eyes and you want them clean and at peak condition. Thankfully, replacing them is not the only way to ensure that you’re safe driving at night. The auto repair team of highly skilled auto mechanics at CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Listen to Your Car: It Doesn't Lie!

Listen to Your Car: It Doesn't Lie!

Just like you would listen to your child or your pet if they weren’t feeling well, take the time to listen to your vehicle. Know the regular sounds it makes so that when something is amiss, you’ll recognize it as an issue that needs to be addressed.  The longer you ignore a weird sound or check engine light, the more serious (and expensive!) the problem can become. When you receive regular preventive maintenance, that can help you stay ahead of issues too. The following is a shortlist of the sounds that are telling you it’s time to see the pros at CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & Repair in Monterey! Squealing or grinding noise when you apply pressure to the brakes. That could mean worn out brakes pads or worse. The grinding noise could mean you’re down to metal and that’s never good. Stay safe and have that taken care of ASAP!  Ticking or tapping noises coming from the engine could mean that you are low on oil or that your engine has lost ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Decorating Your Car for Halloween!

Decorating Your Car for Halloween!

Some people just can’t help themselves when it comes to decorating their cars for Halloween. And even if we aren’t one of those people, most of us certainly enjoy seeing what others have done. It’s fun to see a car that’s all dressed up and ready for some trick-or-treating. Take a look at what we’ve spotted that are easy ways to dress up your car for this Halloween… or maybe for year-around fun! Just click on the photo and it will take you to the Amazon page so you can start dressing up YOUR car!     ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Love Your Car and She Will Love You Back!

Love Your Car and She Will Love You Back!

Americans place a high value on their cars. It represents freedom and status and allows us to show off ait about who we are. If you love your car and want to keep it running at optimum performance levels for as long as possible, or you simply want to get the best gas mileage possible, you’ll want to make preventive maintenance a priority. Here are a few basic maintenance and cleaning tips to keep your car loving you as much as you love your car:   Preventive maintenance pays off in the short term and the long run. Some of it you can easily do yourself and some you’ll find helpful to have a trained, qualified auto mechanic with the skills and equipment to do the job right. Listen to your car and get to know the regular noises it makes so you will know when something is off-kilter. Also, get to know what is in your owner’s manual and use it as a guide for staying on top of your preventive maintenance.    Here are some of the simple checks and procedur ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Building Trust - It’s What CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & Repair is All About!

Building Trust - It’s What CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & Repair is All About!

  When you need quality auto repair services, whether it’s for the outside body or what lays under the hood, you’ll want to turn to a reputable shop you can trust. It can be scary to leave your vehicle with just any shop and that’s why CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & Repair has worked so hard to earn a solid reputation for not only quality workmanship, but for also delivering the very best in customer service experiences. We are here for you and it shows in all that we do.  The entire team at CARSTAR Robert’s Collision & Repair follows up on our mission to ease your worries and help to decrease the stress around having your vehicle worked on to bring it back to its original splendor or simply help you get the most out of it in a way that you remain safe. We work on gaining and keeping your trust from the moment you drive onto our property and well beyond the moment you pull away. It’s a lifelong endeavor and one we take seriously. Th ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Traveling with Fido

Traveling with Fido

For many of us, some of our very best friends are furry and have four legs and we don’t like to leave them behind. Traveling with Fido can be wonderful. It can also be challenging. When we plan ahead and remember that they have needs too, it usually can be a lovely harmonious experience.  Take breaks: Every couple of hours to take a potty break and stretch your legs and theirs.  Hydrate: They need to stay hydrated just like you do. It doesn’t require fancy expensive bowls off of Amazon. Simple goes a long way and water rules. Seatbelts: Seatbelts for all! As much as seat belts keep you safe, they do that for Fido too. They can also prevent Fido from turning into a projectile and that would be terrible for you both.  Fido-friendly places to stay: You might be surprised just how many places are open to Fido staying with you. Doesn’t even require you to sneak him in under the cover of darkness. Check out https://www.bri ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Basics That All Car Owners Should Know

Basics That All Car Owners Should Know

Whether you are a new car-owner or you’ve been driving the roads of Monterey and beyond, there are a few things that are important for all vehicle owners to know about and have on hand. You don’t want to get caught unaware and you certainly do want to get the most out of your vehicle even if you only paid $500 for the one you’re driving right now! It doesn’t take much effort or a lot of money to stay ahead of the curve.   Simple preventive maintenance. You don’t have to be a trained mechanic to handle the most basic preventive maintenance practices. Regularly check your basic fluids: oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid. Checking tires regularly is another simple preventive maintenance activity that can save you money and keep you safe. Look for wear and tear, check tread depth, and check the air pressure. When your tires are in good shape, your car grips the road the way it was intended and it helps you maximize your gas mileage ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Could it Be Time for New Brakes??

Could it Be Time for New Brakes??

When you’re driving around Monterey, or anywhere else for that matter, it’s important that you can stop when you too and in a timely manner. It’s easy to let brakes go and to keep pushing off getting them taken care of because we always think we can get just a little bit more out of them. We often worry that it’s going to be an expense that we don’t want to have to prioritize right now. The thing is, though, that your brakes are often your first line of defense out on the road and it’s never worth risking your life or the lives of others. So whether you're a race car driver or just an average driver, it's never a good idea to let your brakes get to the smokin' stage! Watch out for these signs and don’t wait to have them looked at by a trusted professional: Squishy pedal Squeaking while braking or even sometimes when baking up Pedal bouncing while coming to a stop off of the freeway (or any significant speed) Pedal going to ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

What to do if your car overheats!

What to do if your car overheats!

  Even the most proactive vehicle owner can find themselves dealing with a car that’s overheated. It’s true that if you stay on a regular preventive maintenance schedule, not only will you save yourself money in the long run, you’ll significantly decrease the chances of ending up broken down on the side of the road.     Regardless, if it ever happens to you, make sure you know what to do to minimize the damage that’s already been done. The worst thing you can do is to keep driving it like nothing's wrong.    Your best bet is to pull over immediately. The more you drive after it overheats, the more extensive the damage. Even so, stay safe and pull over in a good location and turn off the engine. Don’t be in a hurry to open the hood. Wait until it’s completely cooled down. You may not be able to see that on your temperature gauge on the dash, so just don’t rush.  Pull out your owner’s manual if you&r ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

What We Love About Servicing Hybrids

What We Love About Servicing Hybrids

At Robert’s Collision & Repair in Monterey, it’s well known that we are passionate about the work we do, whether it’s detailing, auto body, or auto repair and service. We love it all! But did you know that we also truly enjoy the work we do when we service hybrids? Anything that supports minimizing our carbon footprint, we support! We also recognize that while it is the future, the future is now and we are committed to staying on top of whatever we need to in order to continue to provide our customers with the very best in service under the hood and across the counter.  Another fun aspect about hybrids is they have two separate power systems. They also combine the positive aspects of both gasoline and electric powered vehicles. Aerodynamics and a light body add to their ability to expertly maximize fuel efficiency. It’s not just Toyota in the hybrid game anymore: Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, Honda, and the list is quite long.  It’s also not just l ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Safe Driving Tips

Safe Driving Tips

Summer months we tend to think of as the safer time of year to drive, but it’s actually when most accidents happen. Because we think it’s safer, we tend to take more risks and driving conditions for granted. We are less likely to leave enough space between us and the car in front of us and more likely to speed. There are many ways, however, we can reduce the likelihood of an accident.   A lot of it is common sense, but we all know that it’s not a bad thing to be reminded of even some of the most obvious ones:     Don’t drive distracted: this means no texting, no phone chatting, don’t look up your next destination on your GPS, no eating, no searching for your favorite radio station. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Follow the 3-second rule under normal driving condition, giving yourself a full 3 seconds between you and the car ahead. During wet or frosty times, or when pulling a trailer, give yourself at l ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

We do live in a close-to-perfect-weather part of the world, but there is still a transition into summer every year. We put away our sweaters and pull out our shorts and summer dresses. Even though our summer preparations are not as intense as some other parts of our country, there are still action items we like to cross off our to-do lists when the weather gets warmer. It can be easy to forget about the needs of our vehicles as we go into summer, but it’s something we shouldn’t forget.   Summer means warmer weather and this also means a change in tire pressure simply because of the change in the weather. Definitely check the pressure, but also take the time to check for wear and tear as well as tread depth. Rotate those ties regularly too and don’t forget about the care of your spare as well. No one wants to deal with a flat without a spare. When your tires are in good health, you get the best gas mileage and you’ll have the most control of your car as you ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Monaco Grand Prix: Formula One's Most Prestigious Race

Monaco Grand Prix: Formula One's Most Prestigious Race

May is the month for the Monaco Grand Prix. This is one of three races around the world that constitutes the Triple Crown of Motorsports. The other two are the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Monaco Grand Prix is a spectacular event that is unique in so many ways. It began in 1929 and is comprised of roadways in Monte Carlo and La Condamine. Many spectators view the race from yachts on the harbor and the racing scene extends well into the night with glamorous all night partying.   Its tight turns and tunnel force drivers to shift more than 50 times in a single lap. This is why pit strategy becomes so important in this race. It’s not just about the power of the car or even the acumen of the driver; the pit crew can make or break who crosses with the checkered flag.   In the earlier years of the race, safety regulations were not in place and it was common for drivers to run into walls, buildings, and even a couple of them landed in the Mediterranea ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Road Trips!

Road Trips!

While Monterey is definitely one of the most amazing cities in the country, it's still nice to get away once in a while and enjoy other beautiful spots not too far away. Spring is upon us and it's a great time for a road trip.   Before embarking on your journey, we would love to see you at Robert's Collision & Repair to help you best prepare your car for a trip. This can help keep you from finding yourself stranded on the side of the road and putting a damper on your vacation.     First destination, Malibu! Take I-5 southbound along the coast and visit a classic California city that offers fantastic views and lots to do. Stopping points include visiting Pepperdine University, Paradise Cove, and Malibu Creek State Park. If you want to experience some of the most beautiful beaches in California, check out one of the dozen beaches Malibu has to offer including Leo Carillo beach. Regardless of your length of stay, most folks never run out of things to do i ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

The Future of Electric Cars is Here

The Future of Electric Cars is Here

When we look around at all of the Prius’ on the roads around Monterey, they are nothing to get too excited about. The good news is that the auto manufacturing industry recognizes that the move away from gasoline-powered vehicles is imminent. What that means for us, the consumer, is that the further the industry dives into electric the more choices we have. Hybrids and fully electric vehicles are competing on every level even in the supercar arena.  Whether you want to go really, really fast or you are simply interested in getting to the market while leaving the least carbon footprint possible, you have choices. Let’s take a look at what’s expected in 2020: The 2020 Pininfarina PF0   If you are looking in the 7-figure range, the 2020 Pininfarina PF0 might just be the ticket. With 1,500 - 2,000 HP it’s going to get you off the starting line to 60 seconds in under 2 seconds. It maxes out around 250 MPH and as long as you aren’t going full thrott ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

National Car Care Month!

National Car Care Month!

Woo-hoo! Winter is finally over, and Spring is here with Summer just around the corner. April is your vehicles favorite month because it’s all about getting pampered for upcoming adventures and trips.  National Car Car Month is to remind and encourage you to bring your vehicle in and fix any issues that you have been putting off since winter. Yes, that means it’s time to take care of that rattle sound when accelerating or that screeching noise you’re hearing when you break. If you put off a problem for too long it could worsen and cause other issues, you don’t want that to happen as the weather finally gets nice.  Winter hazards are over, and Spring ones are coming. You should get your tires and brakes checked and replaced if needed. Spring showers can cause the roads to get very wet and slick, you want to be able to stop without sliding or hydroplaning. You should also replace your windshield wipers and put a layer of synthetic hydrophobic product ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Flying WHAT? Cars???

 Flying WHAT? Cars???

Flying cars aren’t just for Harry Potter and his friends. When it comes to the future, we don’t always know what it holds, but we do know that flying automobiles will become something real instead of something that’s been relegated to the imagination. From flying delivery trucks to airbuses… okay, so it won’t exactly look like Fed-Ex and UPS trucks with wings, but you will have to look to the skies to see them coming. A lot of the technology being developed focuses on automation as well as the bigger issues our current modes of transportation presents. Boeing is working on numerous technologies that will lead to automated ways to get around in a ride-sharing capacity. So not only will we be flying around when we want to get somewhere, but it won’t even (necessarily) be us doing the flying.   Big companies like Boeing aren’t the only ones diving into the world of aerial travel; plenty of do-it-yourselfers are hitting it hard too. F ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Oil change, shmoil change. Who needs it?!

Oil change, shmoil change. Who needs it?!

If you’re like me, you don’t pay as much attention to the needs of your car as often as you should. For most of us, we know what we like in the way of auto aesthetics and we want to get to where we need to go with as little challenge as possible. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but if we refuse to provide our vehicle with some much-needed love, then it might simply refuse to love us in return and leave us stranded on the roadside. It’s not just about a pretty face and just like humans, if we don’t take care of what’s under the hood, the results will not be kind to us.  Yes, cars these days can often go much longer than the olden-days-recommended 3,000 miles, but they still need changing once in awhile. Oil is the lubricant your engine needs in order to run. Period. Without it, your engine will seize up and you’ll be looking at either a seriously ridiculous repair bill or you will need to buy a new (to you) car. Preferably one whose owner ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Why Drive a Mercedes-Benz?

Why Drive a Mercedes-Benz?

Those loyal to the brand would ask the question, why NOT drive a Mercedes-Benz? The automobile marque first appeared in 1926 although the history goes back to the first petrol-powered car receiving its patent in 1886. Karl Benz created it and Bertha Benz finance the venture. The slogan for the brand is “the best or nothing” and it really does show in every effort they make in design, technology, and drivability. So why else would one want to own and drive a Mercedes-Benz? To start with, did you know that driving a Mercedes Benz will make you live longer? Okay, well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but at the same time, think about this: Mercedes Benz designs cars to make your life a nicer place to be. They are beautifully designed and engineered in a way to help you relax behind the wheel. So, in reality then, maybe driving a Merc really DOES help you live longer.  You drive a Mercedes because you appreciate the finer things in life. You like to look good as y ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Love Your Car

Love Your Car

  The Valentine season is upon us and it is not reserved for humans alone. Sometimes we love our cars more than most humans we know and they give us love that simply cannot be offered from a guy or a gal. Who knows what I’m talking about? The feel of the steering wheel under our grip, the way we mold into the seats as she hugs a tight curve, the power we experience as we navigate our way through 17 Mile Drive… these are the gifts our car gives us every day. How can we reciprocate, you ask?   Take your car out for a drive. Hit 17 Mile Drive and let ‘er rip down our beautiful coastline. There’s no better feeling for you and your car than hitting the open road. We live in such a beautiful part of the world and there are so many wonderful places to explore right here in our own backyard. So, fill up your gas tank, check your fluids and your tire’s air pressure and hit the road for a freedom-filled afternoon or pedal-to-the-metal fun! A ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Let’s Get your Vehicle Ready for Winter!

As we move into the winter season, even though we live in a weather-wonderful location, it’s still important to have our vehicle ready for winter. Whether we stay on the roads of Monterey or head up into the snowy mountains to ski, snowshoe, or spend time with friends and family, it’s essential that we are well prepared, and the team at Robert’s Collision & Repair want to help keep you safe this holiday season. Check all fluids and make sure they are appropriate for the weather you’re heading into. Proper tire pressure and wear are critical whether you're driving on wet roads or heading into the snow and ice. Inspect your tires before venturing out on a winter wonderland expedition and have chains in case you are heading up a mountain.  Have your battery checked out, so you don’t stall out while heading to your mothers-in-law for a holiday dinner… unless of course, you WANT that to happen.  Brakes: have them inspected to help m ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

For all the BMW Owners and Lovers Out There…

For all the BMW Owners and Lovers Out There…

Okay...if you’re going to drive a BMW or even TALK about them, then you’d better get this straight right away, or you’re just going to look silly. If you are talking about a BMW motorcycle, then yes, go ahead and refer to them as Beemers or Beamers. HOWEVER, if you are talking about your BMW automobile, please for the love of the brand, call it a BIMMER. Yes, that’s right. B. I. M. M. E. R. Bimmer it is! Whew. Now that we have that out of the way let’s dive into a brief history of the Bimmer. You want to seem in-the-know at your next cocktail party, don’t you? For instance, did you know that the origin of BMW is traced back to three different German companies: Rapp Motorenwerke, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, and Automobilwerk Eisenach. The first engine they produced was the Illa aircraft engine known for its good fuel economy and high-altitude performance. The BMW came from Bayerische Motoren Werke when it was renamed such in 1917. Even though the first ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Breaking News: The Hybrid Mustang

Breaking News: The Hybrid Mustang

It’s a little hard to believe that we’ve already started the slide into 2019. Even crazier to think about the electric slide the auto industry is making. While automakers aren’t making much money on their hybrids quite yet, the auto manufacturing industry is investing a lot into this technology because they know it’s the wave of the future. Ford is investing $700 million into it’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant and canceling the plans on the $1.6 billion new plant in Mexico. This will also bring about 700 new jobs in Flat Rock.   By 2020, Ford plans to introduce a hybrid version of the Mustang with power that promises to compare to a V-8. Ford plans to launch a hybrid F-150 (without losing any power from its gas model) and a small SUV alongside the Mustang in 2020 with a plan of introducing another 13 hybrid models over the next five years. In 2021 Ford will debut an autonomous model for the ride-sharing market as well as hybrid pursuit-rated police cars ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Some of these are obvious but are still worth mentioning. At Robert’s Auto Collision & Repair we want to help you in any way we can, and if we can save you some money, then that’s what we want to do!  All insurance companies offer discounts. Take the time, no matter how much you don’t want to, to talk to your agent. It has the potential to be time well spent. Shop around. Again… you’re not going to want to, but you’ll be surprised just how different insurance rates can be among the various companies.  Know your numbers. How much coverage do you want? Take the time to ask your agent about the numbers and why you might want to go with these numbers vs. those numbers. How much coverage? Deductibles? Liability? Etc! And don’t carry coverage you don’t need! Do you REALLY need comprehensive coverage on a car that’s worth less than your deductible? Drive safely. Even one ticket can cause your insurance to go up.  C ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Fun Car Facts

We all love fun facts, don't we? Today, we thought it would be cool to share some fun facts about cars. Fact #1  Did you know that the very first car to hit the road was a Benz? No, really. It was. German Inventor Karl Benz bought that vision to fruition in 1886 (well, the first time it hit the road was New Year’s Eve 1879). It was the first stationary gasoline engine and was a one-cylinder two-stroke unit. One of the first cars designed and built for the masses was our very own Model T manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Most of us already know that fun fact, but did you know these? Fact #2  The world's record for replacing a car engine is 45 seconds, completed on a Ford Escort in 1985. Hmmm… do think they got it all locked down right?? Fact #3  Cruise control was developed by an annoyed blind man. He was annoyed with his friend, who while they were on horseback, would speed up when listening and slow down when talking. Ralph Teetor wanted co ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Road Trip Preparations

August is a favorite month for road trips, and since there are so many beautiful and scenic destinations here on the west coast, it’s no wonder, so many of us hit the road over the summer months. There are some tips to keep in mind while road-tripping that should help you stay safe and stay on the way. First of all, cars that are 10 years old or older tend to break down twice as often as younger cars and are 4 times more likely to need a tow. That doesn’t mean you can’t successfully take your ‘05 Subaru for a trip up the 101, but that alone should encourage you to do some prep work.  The top reasons for needing a tow are electrical system issues, a dead battery, problems with the engine cooling system, and tires that can’t just be replaced roadside. Much of a pre-trip inspection is simple: check all fluids, tire pressure and wear, your battery, all lights, and make sure your wipers are working well too. It’s also a good idea to have your brakes ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Keeping Our Vehicles’ Interior Cool this August

While we are incredibly fortunate to live in a place where the sea breezes help to keep us more relaxed than most of other California cities, it’s still all relative, and on a late August afternoon, our vehicles can get roasting. After only one hour in the sun, the average auto interior is 43 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Youch!  Your car’s color contributes to the interior temperature. The darker colors absorb more heat while a white or silver vehicle can be about 10 degrees cooler. If your married to your sleek darker colors, consider a solar reflective paint that will help keep things cooler by up to 6 degrees. Okay, so you're saying that those choices are too late for THIS August, and you want to know what you can do right now! Some of these are obvious, so bear with me: Park under a tree or in a garage. (Any shade helps!) Purchase a solar-powered fan (although reviews seem to be split). Basic car shades can reduce the interior temp by 15 deg ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Back to School Driving Safety Tips

Back to School Driving Safety Tips

  Hard to believe that summer is over and it’s time for school to start yet again. Whether we have children of our own in the local school system, we are all affected by the change in driving in and around schools. Not only is it a hefty fine if we get caught speeding in a school zone, but it’s also dangerous. A child is most likely to be hit by a car close to their school… much more so than any other location. There are a few ways we can avoid a steep fine and keep the children in our community safe while getting to and from school every day.  Whether or not the yellow lights are flashing, if we see children near the road, it’s best if we slow down. They often are distracted by their friends and most kids these days are walking around with phones in their hands just like their parents. The more we keep our own distractions to a minimum (hands off our phones for starters!), the safer we keep THEM.  Having patience can go a long way too. Not bei ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

The Emerging Ride Industry

There is so much going on in the emerging ride industry. From mobile apps to self-driving cars to bigger carpooling platforms, the automotive industry is certainly changing. As our big cities get bigger and parking spaces can come at a premium, we tend to look for more alternative options. The green movement also compels us forward in making better choices when it comes to getting where we need to be. Both to cut down on energy consumption as well as simply using fewer overall resources required in the automotive manufacturing realm. The Grab app currently serves mostly Asia, but is quickly moving into other regions, the U.S. included. It is an app used to hail a ride, whether it’s a tax, Uber, or Lyft. It’s also a delivery app, currently offering food options but with a plan to expand. Right now, the Grab app in the United States is limited: 200 cities and a partnership with Lyft. Worldwide, however, Grab reports more than 6 million rides a day with more than 100 million ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Ways to Keep Your Auto Safe from Thieves

Did you know that the most likely months to have your car stolen are July & August? In the U.S., nearly every 44 seconds someone falls prey to an auto thief. Close to 50% of those thefts could be prevented by us, the auto owner, by following a few simple rules. A lot of these seem obvious, but since we never think that it could happen to us, it’s good to be reminded!   Don’t leave your keys in the ignition or cup holder. Even if you have a keypad entry, a car thief won’t hesitate to break a window if they see your keys waiting for them. Know where your keys are always. The first question a police officer will ask you is, “Do you have your keys?” Don’t leave a hide-a-key somewhere on your vehicle. Car thieves are onto that trick! Lock your car. Even if it’s in your driveway in the safest of neighborhoods. Roll up your windows and secure the top if you are lucky enough to have a convertible. It might be hot when you first get in you ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

8 Tips for Buying a Car

Buying a new car, even if it’s just new to you, is a huge deal. So many choices these days and it can be difficult to narrow down the field as well as the decision of who to trust. The better prepared you are before walking onto a lot or someone’s driveway, the more power you have to negotiate and the more confidence you will exude. Take your time and do your research. It will serve you well! Here’s a list of the top 8 things to do to prepare for your next automobile purchase:   Get your financing in order. Whether it’s your local credit union or nationwide bank, it’s important to know your buying power. It’s also important to know what kind of monthly payments you can truly afford that will work within your budget. Also, listen to what the local dealership has to offer because sometimes they really can deliver the best financing option. Define what’s really important to you ahead of time. That list is going to be different for a teenag ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

A Musical Solution to Speeders

For those drivers possessed of a lead foot, the speeding ticket is an annoying—and expensive—fact of motoring life. And they’ve been around for a long time. Englishman Walter Arnold has the distinction of the being the first motorist to receive a ticket. On January 28, 1896, he was cited for driving at the breakneck pace of eight mph in a two-mph zone. That set him back one shilling. The first American was Jacob German, a New York cabbie. He got nailed for zooming along at 12 mph on Lexington Avenue. He didn’t get off as easily as Arnold though: he had to serve time in the hoosegow. Transportation departments all over the world have devised many ways to keep drivers from exceeding the speed limit, including new, high-tech methods. Some municipalities utilize automated radar units that capture car’s license numbers, register its speed and send the driver a nastygram in the mail. Doesn’t seem quite fair. Several places around the world have come up w ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Uh-Oh. The Low Fuel Light is on…How Far Can You Go?

Uh-Oh. The Low Fuel Light is on…How Far Can You Go?

Some cars have a light that comes on. Some emit an attention-grabbing tone. Other, older models just quietly sneak into the red zone. All have a needle pointing ominously to “E.” We’re talking about the “Low Fuel” warning. We’ve all been there. During a busy day, it’s easy to neglect that stop for a fill-up. Many times, we think it can wait: “Oh, I can go another 50 miles, easy,” we think. Maybe yes, maybe no. The fact is that some mechanics say you should always keep at least a quarter-full tank. That’s because it’s bad for your fuel pump. How? The pump is submerged in fuel, and that keeps it cool. Letting it work out in the open air can cause overheating and an expensive repair. We’re not the first to ponder this subject. A company called Your Mechanic did the research and found that the distance you can go with the fuel warning on varies wildly. For instance, a Ford Escape’s or Transit’s light co ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Winter Car Care Tips

Thankfully, on the central California coast, we enjoy a temperate climate. While we do experience some heavy wind and rain events that cause localized trauma--like the devastating  Big Sur storms of 2017 that led to that area being effectively isolated for months to the rains and resulting mudslides in the Santa Barbara area last month--we don’t get the kind of deep freeze that regularly occurs in the midwest and east coast of the US. But you still need to winterize your vehicles. Wet, slippery roads combined with colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours mean we you keep our cars in tip-top shape. And it’s even more vital if you’re planning a trip to the mountains for some fun in the snow. Here are some tips on how to make sure you don’t get stranded in a storm:   Make sure your vehicle is up to date on the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including oil, coolant, brake, transmission, windshield wiper and steering fluids C ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Cheap and Simple Ways to Keep Your Car Smelling Wonderful

Cheap and Simple Ways to Keep Your Car Smelling Wonderful

  For the amount of time Americans spend in their automobiles, it’s not a surprise that sometimes our cars get a stench that is less than desirable. Some of the common culprits responsible for stinking up our cars can include:   Trash Mold Dirty Cabin/HVAC Air Filter Coffee Stains Old Food Dirty Clothes   The good news is that there are several simple inexpensive remedies for this issue. Below are some ways to keep your vehicle delightful smelling great:   1. Open a box of dryer sheets   Keeping an opened box of dryer sheets under the front seat actually lasts longer than air fresheners. For best results, it's recommended to change the sheets every two months. Drivers can also rub the fabric softener on all the fabric surfaces on the ceilings, carpets, and seats.   2. Put coffee beans in a sock   For those who just love that fragrant smell of freshly-brewed coffee, you might be interested in creating a simple coffee air-fres ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Holiday Traffic. Should You Go or Should You Stay?

Holiday Traffic. Should You Go or Should You Stay?

  Christmas is just around the corner and we want to be sure you arrive safely wherever you’re headed. Make sure your vehicle is safe for holiday travel at Robert”s Collision and Repair in Monterey. But how do you know when to avoid the traffic? Good news! AAA and Waze, the consumer-controlled traffic app offer this holiday traffic forecast.   According to AAA, in 2017, more than 100 million Americans will travel between December 23 and January 3. That’s the largest number of cars on the road ever predicted during this holiday.   According to Waze, this year, the worst day to travel will be Wednesday, Dec. 23 with vehicles starting to crawl along the highways as early as 11 a.m. You may as well stay at work and earn points with your boss, especially as the roads are expected to be tied up until at least 6 p.m.   Christmas Eve will be even worse starting at noon and extending all the way through Thursday evening. The return trip also offers ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

A lit up check engine light could mean a lot of things. Perhaps it’s a small issue or it could indicate the problem is more serious. If your car is not surging smoke, chances are that you are not in immediate danger. The check engine light is there to keep car drivers aware of engine irregularities and sensory malfunctions. The vehicle’s onboard computer, or engine control unit (ECU), can adjust to make sure that the engine is running efficiently. What do you do when the sensor is getting a bad reading and that “pesky” check engine light turns on?   It’s best to have a professional auto mechanic take a look at your vehicle when your check engine light comes on. They’ll use a code reader that plugs into the vehicle and gives a report. In some cases, there may be an easy solution and you can remedy the problem yourself. For example, not tightening your car’s gas cap all the was could result with a flashing check engine light. If you have ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

No matter what type of car you own, the significance of preventative maintenance is absolutely essential. The team at Robert’s Collision & Repair feels that all responsible car owners need to be very mindful of preventive maintenance. Our highly skilled auto mechanics are happy to inspect your vehicle to see if any repairs should be done to prevent malfunctions, dangerous situations on the road, and hefty costs down the line.   Safety Preventative maintenance lets drivers have some peace of mind because it’s comforting to know that your automobile is in good working order. For example, if your brakes are inspected regularly, you’ll know that they are operating within safe operating limits. If you wait until something goes wrong, you’re putting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road at risk.   Extend lifespan of car Preventative maintenance is one of the easiest things you can do to prolong the life of your vehicle. When you ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

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November 2017 Special: 10% Off Transmission Service

10% Off Transmission Service. Offer valid through November 30, 2017. One coupon per visit. Not valid with other specials and offers.   For many car owners, transmissions are one of the most overlooked and often forgotten components of a vehicle. Why? We’ve been trained to change your oil, change our spark plugs, change our windshield wipers, etc., but we often forget to notice the transmission until the car won’t go.   To prepare your vehicle for the upcoming holiday shopping and road trips, we are offering the following November special:  10% Off Transmission Service.   Transmission service is important and here are four reasons why:   Transmission service prevents “lock up”. Lock up happens when your vehicle’s transmission gets so hot that your vehicle simply shuts down. Transmission service saves money in the long run. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can help prevent most transmission prob ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Oh Say, Can You See? - Are Your Headlamps in Good Shape?

Oh Say, Can You See? - Are Your Headlamps in Good Shape?

Autumn is here and with it come shorter days and longer nights. Daylight savings ends in a couple of weeks and that means more driving in the dark and at dusk. Your vehicle’s headlamps are like eyeglasses. Dirt and grime accumulate so gradually we don’t notice and before we know it, our vision is hindered. Headlamp restoration is important in prolonging the life of your vehicle’s exterior lighting system. Poor upkeep could result in replacement and, depending on your vehicle, that can be costly.          Here are some headlamp maintenance tips from Robert's Collision & Repair in Monterey:   Check your headlamps regularly. If they’re starting to yellow, wipe them off with a mildly abrasive cleaner. Be sure it’s not too abrasive - you don’t want to scratch them. Have your headlamp alignment checked. Be sure your headlamps are both pointing in the right dir ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Most Common Electrical Problems for New Cars

When a brand new car gets purchased, expectations can be extremely high. Although electrical systems have been a huge compliment to the classic mechanics in cars, they come with their own batch of drawbacks too. Sometimes, poor electrical systems can indicate a flaw in the manufacturing process or could be a clue that your new car might not be as new as you were led to believe. It can be difficult to discern which one of these possible explanations is the case. Let’s take a look at the most common electrical problems for new cars, and what they may indicate about why your car is underperforming.   Dead Battery This is usually the go-to assumption when the electrical system isn’t working properly. An easy test of this is to flash your headlights and see how bright they are, if they turn on at all. A dead battery could mean you need a jump, or that it needs replacement altogether. A dead battery could also indicate that your car may have been more pre-used that you m ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

August 2017 Special: 10% Off Labor for Tire Rotation Service.

10% Off Labor for Tire Rotation Service. Offer valid through August 31, 2017. One coupon per visit. Not valid with other specials and offers. Did you know that tire rotation can extend the life of your tires up to 20 percent? That means if you have tires that are rated for 50,000 miles, you may be able to squeeze an extra 10,000 miles out of them if you rotate those tires at the factory’s recommended rate. To extend the life of your tires, take advantage of our monthly special in August:  10% Off Labor for Tire Rotation Service. Our tire rotation service is not only good for your tires, but it’s good for your vehicle, too. Yes, a tire rotation allows us to inspect the health of your tires, but it also alerts us to other issues that may be going on with your vehicle. For example, the wear on your front tires may indicate underinflated tires, or worn out struts. Seeing what is going on with your tire wear means that we could pinpoint potential mechanical issues, keepi ... read more

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