Breaking News! Robert’s Collision & Repair is a State Farm Preferred Vendor

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Robert’s Collision & Repair is proud to announce that we have been added to State Farm’s Select Service Provider list. This is great news for anyone who has State Farm Auto Insurance and needs auto collision repair.

What does that mean for our State Farm customers? It means that when your vehicle needs auto body repair, Robert’s Collision & Repair has been vetted by State Farm as a preferred shop. As a State Farm Select Service Provider, you can count on our team to provide a seamless auto body experience when you bring your vehicle to us for collision repair.

If you are insured with State Farm Auto Insurance, and you need to file a claim, visit their website to begin the collision repair process. If you have specific questions about how Robert’s Collision & Repair will handle the repair process, feel free to contact our Body Shop office at 831-373-1535. Conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, our team will be happy to help provide an estimate and begin the repair process for your vehicle.

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It’s Auto Show Season!

Summertime is always a busy time for auto shows here on the Monterey Peninsula. Mark your calendars! Here are some upcoming car shows you won’t want to miss:

Capitola Car Show — June 6 – 7, 2015

Just to the north of us, but still on the Monterey Bay, Capitola hosts its annual Rod and Custom Classic Car Show. Over 300 hot rods, muscle cars, vintage coupes, roadsters, and classics drive along the coast and shine in the sun along Capitola Beach. http://www.capitolacarshow.com/

FIM Superbike World Championship / GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round — July 17 – 19, 2015

If you’re into sport bikes and racing, you don’t want to miss the high rev excitement at Laguna Seca. This famous Mazda Raceway is known around the world for its tough track, and there are plenty of motorcycle and auto races going on through Summer. http://www.mazdaraceway.com/events

Monterey Car Week — August 10 – 16, 2015

This is the biggest annual auto show on the Monterey Peninsula. Don’t miss out on the elegant vintage vehicle auctions. If you’ve never been to Monterey Car Week, expect to be dazzled. http://www.montereycarweek.com/

Want help preparing your vehicle for your upcoming car show? Contact Robert’s Collision & Repair at 831-373-1534 to schedule a detailing appointment and/or maintenance service. 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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Frequent Misconceptions About Paint

Do my parts come already painted from the factory?

Some do, some don’t.  Some parts, like bumpers and moldings come painted from the dealers, but some are blanks that need to be painted.  However, if the painted part comes already painted, there is no guarantee that it’ll match the paint on your car.  Sometimes it is better to mix the paint from scratch to match the tint and shade of your vehicle as closely as possible, especially if your vehicle has been weathered or faded over time.

Can I get pre-mixed paints from the factory?

The factory does offer touch up paint, but that is intended for very small areas. You will not save money or time by purchasing pre-mixed paint from the factory because the weathering or fading of your vehicle’s paint may change the tint of the original color. That is why it is important to have an expert auto body painter mix and match the paint to the same shade on your vehicle. If you were to go ahead and put pre-mixed factory paint on your faded vehicle, the paint job will look terribly splotchy, and that’s not a good way to protect the investment in your car.

If a bird poops on my car, or if acidic sap gets on my car, will it affect the paint?

Yes, acid will eat away the clear coat over your paint, and will eventually eat away the paint color underneath. We suggest wiping off the dead bugs, bird poop, or sap off your vehicle as soon as possible. Cleaning off bird guano, tree sap, and dead bugs properly only takes a few seconds and will help your paint last longer. Also, you can protect your paint by having your vehicle waxed regularly. See a professional if you have questions about how to properly clean your vehicle.

If I get my car repaired after an accident, can I get away with not painting it?

After an accident, you may be able to repair it without painting, but it depends on the type of damage. If the paint is not damaged, you’re lucky and you won’t need paint repair. To test your paint, run your fingernail over the damaged area. If it snags your fingernail, it shows that the clearcoat and paint has been damaged and the vehicle needs repainting. If your paint is indeed damaged, we need to sand it down, repair the dented area, paint it, cure it, and seal it. Some people mistakenly feel they will save money if they opt out of a new paint job, but what it does is reduces the value of your investment.

Are all paint protectors created equal?

No. Some paint waxes and sealants will last longer than others. Even though they call a wax a “clear coat”, it eventually wears off. Kind of like how sunblock lotion on your skin eventually wears off, so does the wax protecting your paint. Ask your detailing experts about the types of paint sealants they are using and how long they are expected to last. Also, understand that some paint sealants are easier and faster to apply, and some involve multiple steps before completion. These factors affect the cost of detailing, plus the amount of time it will take.

Do you have more questions about paint? 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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When Do Your Tires Need Replacing?

Not sure when you replace your tires? Here are some tips that will help you determine when your tires should be repaired or replaced.

Step 1:

Check your tires periodically for wear. We understand that you probably don’t look at your tires very often, but it’s a good habit to get into. If you look at them regularly, you will have an easier time discerning whether the tires are in good shape or if a problem is developing.

Step 2:

Recognize what’s going on with your tire wear. Do any of your tires look like this?  If yes, it’s time to replace your tires.

tire wear

Step 3:

How is the tire tread holding up? If you can stick a penny in between the tire tread and Lincoln’s head is covered, your tires still have plenty of tread. However, if you stick the penny in between the tread and you can clearly see Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.

tread-wear

Step 4:

Do you see any signs of bubbling, cupping, or bulging in your tires? If yes, your tires are at risk of blowing out, and that’s very dangerous. Do your best to avoid driving your vehicle until you replace those bubbling, cupping, or bulging tires.

bulgingtire

Step 5:

Look for nails or other debris stuck in your tires. Nails can cause a flat, but often we can repair the flat right away. If your tires have any nails breaking the surface, get your flat tire fixed right away.

flat-tire-repair
In sum, come and see us at Robert’s Collision & Repair when your tires need to be repaired or replaced. From wheel alignments and tire rotation to installing a full set of new tires, we are happy to help. 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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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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