How To Change A Tire

Everyone should know how to change a tire, even if they are lucky enough to never have to. Knowing how to change a flat tire is one of those life skills that is right up there with knowing how to administer CPR, and knowing how to swim. Even if you already know how to change a tire and it has been a while since you have had to do it, here is a helpful reminder.

Step 1:  Pull over to a safe spot off the road. Try to head for a well lit area that is far enough away from moving traffic.

Step 2:  Turn on your hazard lights. Not only will this safety feature let other drivers know that your vehicle is stranded, but it may also summon help from other passersby.

Step 3:  Look for the tire changing tools in your vehicle, often stored near the spare tire in the trunk area.  Grab the wrench and use it to loosen the lug nuts on the tire.

Step 4:  Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Follow jack directions accordingly to ensure safety.

Step 5:  Remove the lug nuts from the tire and keep them in within easy reach so you can use them for the spare tire. Pull the flat tire off the car and replace it with the new one.

Step 6:  Place the lug nuts on the new tire, but don’t tighten them just yet.

Step 7:  Use the jack to lower the car back to the ground.

Step 8:  Tighten the lug nuts on the spare tire.

Step 9:  Place the wrench, the jack, the flat tire, and any other tools back into the car, making sure not to leave anything behind.

Step 10:  Drive carefully when re-entering the road. Your spare tire may not be able to handle speeds exceeding 55 miles per hour, so proceed with extra caution until you flat tire is repaired and replaced.

What happens if you have no spare tire, jack, or tools? Chances are good that you have run-flat tires on your vehicle. This means that your tires will still function, even when there is a flat, but it is best for you to replace your run-flat tires immediately with a reputable tire center.

If you have a tough time changing your flat tire, contact Robert’s Collision & Repair and we will make arrangements to pick you up and bring you to our shop for tire repair or replacement. Robert’s Collision & Repair is a full service auto repair shop, complete with a tire center. If your flat tire needs to be repaired or replaced, we have the capability to get you back out on the road in short order.

If you require a new set of tires, or if you have any other issue you with your vehicle, stop by or contact Robert’s Collision & Repair at 831-373-1534. We are conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, California, just off Highway 1 and the Pacific Grove Del Monte Avenue exit as you’re driving into Monterey. See you soon!

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Visual Inspection vs. Computer Notification: Which Is Better?

Is a visual inspection better than a notice generated by your vehicle’s computer? Yes, and no. Both are important aspects of auto repair, and both have their advantages. Ideally, you should combine the two for a thorough inspection and assessment of your vehicle’s safety.

Computer notifications are great, because they notify you — assuming you have a newer car with a system display or readout — when your tires are low, your engine needs service, your air filters need to be replaced, your oil needs changing, etc. Take a Mini Cooper Countryman, for example. The display will show green tires if the tire pressure is good, and red tires if the tire pressure is too low.

Additionally, when you take your car into Robert’s Collision & Repair for service, its computer will give our technicians a readout of things to check. Using the Mini Cooper Countryman example again, the computer notified our staff that the brake pads may need to be replaced. Computer notifications are a good thing, for it helps remove the human error of “forgetting” to check something. Computers will also help you and the technicians to service certain parts on a factory recommended basis. So, yes, computer notification is a wonderful thing!

However, visual inspection, when combined with the computer notifications, helps verify if the computer’s recommendations should be acted upon. Those brake pads may only be worn by 50%, so the technician can decide whether the brake pads need to be replaced now or during the next scheduled service.

If your vehicle indicates that it needs service, you can be confident that the technicians at Robert’s Collision & Repair will utilize both the visual inspection and computer notifications while surveying your vehicle’s safety. If we see something that needs attention, we’ll notify you about it so you can decide the next steps of repair or replacement. Either way, we use all our facilities to keep you and your passengers safe while out on the road, because we care deeply about each and every one of our customers.

To schedule a safety inspection, factory-recommended service, or auto repair, contact us at 831-373-1534. We will be happy to schedule an appointment and get you back out on the road within a short time. Robert’s Collision & Repair is conveniently located near Highway 1 at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, CA. See you soon!

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A Healthy Coolant System = Fewer Breakdowns

When engines do their job of producing mechanical power, they produce heat. When the heat builds up too high, it can cause problems for the engine, causing a breakdown. The cooling system in your vehicle is designed to temper the heat that comes from the engine by transferring it to the air. Therefore, it’s the cooling system that allows your vehicle to maintain a moderate temperature while you’re speeding down the freeway.

Interestingly enough, your engine needs to run at a moderate heat, for if it is running too hot or too cold, components can wear out faster, it operates less efficiently, and it emits more pollution. So, a cooling system doesn’t make your engine run cold, per se, but at a constant, optimal temperature.

But, what happens if you neglect your coolant system? It will eventually fail, and that could mean anything from a inconvenient breakdown on the side of the road, or major engine “meltdown”.

Your car’s cooling system is made up of multiple parts that operate independently and eventually wear out. Because we have government mandates for fuel efficiency in our modern vehicles, the parts are more often made of lightweight plastic. These plastic parts are not designed to last forever, so they will need to be replaced, per the factory recommendation. These parts may include:

  • Hoses
  • Pumps
  • Caps
  • Fan
  • Radiator
  • Thermostat
  • Reserve Tank

When you come to Robert’s Collision & Repair for automotive service and repair, we will visually inspect your cooling system to see if any parts require replacement. If we see anything that requires your attention, we will notify you and let you decide what steps need to be taken to prevent a potential breakdown.

If you would like us to inspect the health of your cooling system, contact us at 831-373-1534. We will be happy to schedule an appointment and get you back out on the road within a short time. Give us a call and we’ll help your vehicle “keep its cool”. Robert’s Collision & Repair is conveniently located near Highway 1 at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, CA. See you soon!

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It’s Time For Some Automotive Spring Cleaning!

When was the last time you treated your vehicle to a thorough Spring Cleaning? Now, when we say Spring Cleaning, we mean the following:

  • Complete interior and exterior detailing
  • Factory-recommended maintenance service and repair
  • Dent repair, scratch removal, windshield repair, and paint touch ups

Oftentimes, we overlook the deeper aesthetics of our vehicles. Beyond a car wash, most people don’t have their vehicles fully detailed and restored to a level that make the car look like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Admittedly, detailing costs more than a gas station car wash by a longshot, but the results are night and day! If you go with the Ultimate Facial for Exterior Paint package for $250, plus the Complete Carpet and Seat Shampoo for $85.00, your vehicle is going to be ready to compete in a car show!

If you would like more information about our detailing services, contact us at 831-373-1535. We will be happy to schedule an appointment and take a look at how much Spring Cleaning your vehicle requires. Once we come to an agreement about the services we will perform on your vehicle, we will do the work and get you back out on the road within a day.

Give us a call today at 831-373-1535 and let’s get your vehicle looking its best. Robert’s Collision & Repair is conveniently located near Highway 1 at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, CA. See you soon!

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What Are The Auto Trends for 2015?

At the Hyatt Regency Monterey, there was a gathering that we wish we could have attended. It was the 2015 Western Automotive Journalists Media Days conference, April 6 – 8, and it was a blend of the folks who write about cars and the manufacturers. Those lucky ducks had the opportunity to do an on and off road ride and drive, plus a day at the Laguna Seca racetrack. Suddenly, we all wished we were the esteemed journalists who work for the world’s top auto magazines!

Though we could not attend the event — we don’t belong to that industry and we weren’t invited, as much as we would like to — there are several auto trends happening in 2015 that are changing the way we drive, slowly but surely.

Small but Flexible Crossovers:

In 2015, we see a growing number of compact car-based sport utility vehicles. Auto brands like Jeep, Honda, Mazda, and Mini are rolling out these vehicles and targeting young, urban explorers.

More Trucks and Fast Cars:

Because gasoline prices are lower, we are starting to see more trucks and fast cars coming into the 2015 market. Toyota and Nissan are heavily competing against each other in the truck market, while Acura and Cadillac are making a splash in the fast car market. This should be a fun year for road trips!

High Tech Cars:

From USB ports for your thumb drive, to touch screen navigation systems, to driverless cars, there is a whole lotta high tech going on in the 2015 automobiles. We all know that driving while holding your cell phone is illegal, and so is texting and driving. With this new technology, we have an easier time staying connected to the outside world, but we are safer with our hands on the wheel. As for the driverless cars that Google is testing, we can’t wait to see how those vehicles are going to revolutionize the driving experience.

Green Vehicles:

Tesla, Honda, and Toyota are all doing a great job of promoting their green machines. Teslas are sporty, sleek, electric vehicles, and we are seeing a growing number of them here in Monterey. Honda and Toyota have been building environmentally friendly automobiles for a long while, but they are taking it to the next level in 2015.

What do all these trends mean for us here at Robert’s Collision & Repair? Well, our commitment is to stay up to date with all the auto trends and provide premier service when they come into us for auto body, mechanical, detailing, and/or tire service.

If your pre-2015 vehicle requires service, we invite you to come in and see us here at Robert’s Collision & Repair. Known to be the premier auto repair shop on the Monterey Peninsula, we are located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. Call to schedule an appointment at (831) 645-4712. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Engine Fluids: What You Need and When To Replace Them

Cars need a lot of maintenance to keep them up and running. From windshield wiper blades to tires, our cars require tons of TLC. One of the most vital aspects of our vehicle’s engine is its fluids. Luckily, it is quite simple to monitor these fluids. Most of the time, all you need to do is lift up your hood and have a look. Checking your vehicle’s fluids on a regular basis is guaranteed to save you time and money down the road.

Which fluids should I check? Here are five of your engine’s fluids you should make a habit of checking:

Engine Oil

  • Check your oil once a month.
  • Check out your owner’s manual to know when to have the oil replaced. Timeframes depend on the car.

Transmission Fluid

  • Transmission fluid should be checked monthly.
  • It should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Coolant

  • Coolant should be checked twice yearly, before summer and before winter.
  • It needs to be replaced every 2 to 3 years.

Brake Fluid

  • You should check this once a month.
  • Brake fluid needs to be replaced every 2 years.

Power Steering Fluid

  • This fluid should be checked once a month.
  • Check your owner’s manual for information of replacing power steering fluid. It greatly depends on the car.

The team at Robert’s Collision & Repair is always happy to answer any of your questions. We can also check your engine’s fluids and replace any necessary fluids. A well-maintained car is synonymous with safe car. To schedule an appointment for a check-up, repair, detailing work, tire work, and/or bodywork, please call us at 831-373–1534.

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Top 5 Road Trips Around Monterey County

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  1. Big Sur / Highway 1
  2. Carmel By-The-Sea
  3. 17 Mile Drive
  4. Carmel Valley Wine Tasting
  5. River Road Wine Tasting

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? What about a road trip around Monterey? Monterey has such beautiful scenery. Why not enjoy it? Here are the top 5 road trips:

  1. Big Sur / Highway 1: Highway 1 is an estimated 85 miles of lush, beautiful, and unique scenery. To many, Big Sur right next to New York Times Squares in a list of must-sees in America. Luckily for us, Big Sur is basically in our backyard.
  2. Carmel-By-The-Sea: Carmel-By-The-Sea is a beautiful, quaint town. Take a drive by Carmel Beach, or even visit the historic Carmel Mission.
  3. 17 Mile Drive: Pebble Beach is world-famous for it’s breathtaking 17 Mile Drive. The drive hugs the beautiful Pacific coastline. You and your family will be able to take a look at the famous Lone Cypress tree or Bird Rock.
  4. Carmel Valley Wine Tasting: Carmel Valley is full of delectable wine tasting spots. From the elegant Chateau Julien Winery to Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley Road is sprinkled with distinct wine tasting rooms.
  5. River Road Wine Tasting: Otherwise known as the The River Road Wine Trail, this route is conveniently located east of Monterey and Carmel. This road boasts several winery tasting rooms for you to visit.

Don’t let a mechanical issue spoil your road trip. Before heading out, make sure your vehicle is running in tip-top shape. Robert’s Collision & Repair is located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. To schedule an appointment, call us at 831-373-1534.

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Got Into An Auto Accident? Here’s How Robert’s Collision & Repair Can Help

wrecked car

To say the least, getting into an auto accident can be stressful. There is a lot to think about it, and there can be a lot to take care of. At Robert’s Collision & Repair, we are here to help. From the moment you step inside our doors, we will evaluate, diagnose, and repair your vehicle. You will be informed every step of the way. Our team will work side-by-side with your insurance company to make sure everything runs smoothly. Actually, many insurance companies, including Farmer’s and Geico, have us on their preferred vendor list.

Check out this review from one of our clients, Danielle J. Unfortunately, she was involved in auto accident, but our team was able to help get her back on the road. Here is her 5-star review from yelp.com:

“I was referred to Robert’s by an insurance company. I was driving on the freeway and I was rear-ended by a Geico policy holder. I was fortunate enough to have a very painless process while dealing with Roberts’s. They took care of everything. From the moment I walked in, I felt very welcomed and secure. Michelle, the adjuster, was amazing. She gave me accurate time lines of when my car would be fixed and made sure my rental situation was taken care of. I really appreciate the staff at Robert’s because they were able to take a really bad situation for me and make it OK. Michelle even cut me a check for a new car seat while I was sitting there. Very nice, thorough, and helpful. I highly recommend.”

Auto accidents are upsetting and worrisome. Next time you are involved in one, leave it to us to handle the situation. The team, at Robert’s Collision & Repair, we are here to alleviate your worries. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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How To Avoid Texting While Driving

A text message flashes on our phone. We think to ourselves “oh, it will only take me seconds to respond to that message. What can happen in that short time? “ The reality is a lot can happen in those mere seconds. If you are driving at 55mph, you can travel the length of a football field in no more than five seconds. Imagine what can happen in that distance.

It is quite difficult to stay off your phone while driving. It is a lot easier said than done. If you are having problems with this, try one of these tips:

  • Put your cell phone out of reach, such as in your glove box or trunk.

  • It can be as easy turning your phone or putting it on silence. We recommend doing this before even turning your car on.

  • Designate a texter. If you are driving with friends or family, assign someone the task of replying to any important texts you receive. This texter should hold your phone, read any message when it arrives, and reply according to your instructions.

  • Get an app. Many apps have been developed that keep you from texting while driving. For example, the Android app, DriveOff, immediately locks your phone when you are driving at speeds faster than 10mph. The technology in this app is able to sense when you reach a speed faster than 10mph. This app is also great for teenagers. If you are worried your teen may be texting while driving, download an app to stop them from doing so.

Safety is a top priority at Robert’s Collision & Repair. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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What Makes A Good Mechanic?

A good mechanic can be your car’s best friend, but a bad mechanic can be an absolute horror. When our car has a problem, we turn to our mechanic. Our mechanics should be able to quickly diagnose the problem, and in turn, tell us how they are able to fix it. Next, mechanics should fix the problem safely and efficiently and have us back on the road in no time. Basically, we think a good mechanic should have these qualities:

  • Excellent customer service skills: Mechanics should be able to communicate effectively to clients what the problem, along with soothing any worries and answering any questions that arise along the way.

  • Strong communication skills: A car’s engine is definitely a complex piece of machinery. A good mechanic should be able to translate into plain English what the problem is, why it happened, and how they are going to fix it.

  • Superb work ethic: A good mechanic should have an excellent work ethic. They should be devoted to solving the problem as soon as possible.

  • Skilled in technology: We believe mechanics should be able to work with and understand the most advanced technology in the field. Technology is used extensively in mechanics.

  • Certified: A good mechanic should be certified. A certified mechanic is someone who knows their stuff.

The qualities, listed above, are qualities we hold dear to heart. At Robert’s Collision & Repair, we boast a team of absolutely great mechanics. From auto painting to tires, our team can do it all. To schedule an appointment at Robert’s Collision & Repair, please call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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