What Kind of Collision Damage Needs Repair?

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 6,296,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015. Seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 lives of passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older in 2015. Of course, other safety issues come into play, including weather, car recalls, inexperienced drivers and impaired drivers. Whether you experience a fender bender or worse, it’s best to have your car checked out by a professional.

Door Panels

A vehicle’s door panels can take a beating in side collisions. To determine whether a new door panel is needed, technicians examine the door gaps to check for misalignment and unevenness. A straight gap with an even width from top to bottom means that your door is still in line and can open and close effectively. And if there isn’t severe denting, the panel can be repaired without having to install a new one. However, misalignment is a serious red flag, and any unevenness puts the function of the door panel in jeopardy.

Fenders and Bumpers

Usually the first points of contact, a vehicle’s fender and bumper are designed to absorb most of the impact in a collision to protect you and your passengers. However, their design and placement mean the fender and bumper are highly susceptible to damage caused by collisions. Because the fender and bumper generally are made of lightweight material, collision repair technicians check for scratches or crack following a collision. Even though the damage to your car may not look bad, you should still bring it to a collision shop to make sure there is no damage under the fender. The mechanic at the auto body shop can pull off the fender and check the frame of your car for damage. Minor damage can easily be fixed, but major cracks or denting may require the need for fender or bumper replacement to protect you from any future accidents.

Windshields

Windshield cracks and chips can occur in the event of a collision. The crash impact can cause some minor damage, and it’s important for collision repair technicians to identify this damage so steps can be taken to prevent the crack from growing and causing the driver to return for a windshield repair or replacement. While windshield cracks initially may appear small, and maybe even are hidden, over time they can expand and eventually span the width of your windshield. This is why collision repair technicians must carefully inspect both the front and rear windshields for cracks. A professional checks for windshield damage regardless of whether any cracks or chips already have been documented.

 

Air Bag Deployment

To ensure the continued protection of occupants, used air bags should be replaced without delay by an authorized repair center before the vehicle is driven again.

Collision repair technicians are diligent and have a great eye for finding irregularities in post-collision cars. A thorough front-to-back and top-to-bottom examination of a damaged car is required to provide the best care possible when making any repairs. Turk’s Collision Center is a state-of-the-art automotive body repair shop with I-CAR Gold Status, A.S.E. certified technicians and CCC Pathways certified estimators. When you bring your vehicle to our Gold Class shop, you can be confident our technicians have been trained on:

  • How and where to look for hidden damage that you may not see
  • What can be safely repaired and what needs to be replaced
  • How to inspect and repair air bags and seat belts
  • Current vehicle technologies and repair techniques

 

Don’t guess. Choose our Gold Class trained repair professionals for your collision repair because safety matters.

How to Avoid Overheating Your Car This Summer

While you get ready to hit the road this summer, keep your vehicle in top performance by avoiding an overheated engine. High temperatures, long road trips, hot pavement on roads, stop-and-go traffic, and pulling trailers and boats can go hand-in-hand with summer adventures, but can also take a toll on vehicles. Understanding how your car stays cool and what to do if your engine overheats will help avoid damage to your vehicle and keep you on the road.

Coolant: The Key Component

Your vehicle’s cooling system works hard in summer to keep your engine running at the proper temperature. Stay up to date on cooling system maintenance to make sure the radiator is free of leaks that lead to damaged hoses. If the cooling system leaks coolant, the engine can quickly overheat and melt down. Make sure coolant levels are kept high throughout the hot months and before taking any long road trips.

Other Maintenance Considerations

Stay on top of oil changes and periodically check the engine oil level. An engine can overheat more easily when low oil causes friction. An oil change should also include an inspection of the cooling fan, as a broken fan can lead to overheating.

What To Do If Your Engine Begins to Overheat

  • Keep your eye on the vehicle’s temperature gauge and dashboard warning lights on long trips and in high heat. If you notice overheating, pull over as soon as you can (preferably into a shaded area) and shut off the engine to avoid system damage. If you cannot pull over immediately, run the heating system until you can safely pull off the road. This pulls heat away from the engine.
  • Wait until the vehicle cools down before you touch anything under the hood. Hot engine parts can cause burns, and overheated radiator systems may be under pressure, which can cause serious injury if the cap is removed too soon.
  • Once the systems cools, add more coolant if needed, and inspect hoses for holes and blockages.

 

Carry Emergency Supplies

Just in case of a breakdown in high heat, carry an emergency supply kit in the vehicle. We recommend including drinking water for each passenger, jumper cables, a portable car battery charger, energy snacks, any form of sun protection (sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, umbrella, and blanket or tarp for shade), work gloves, and extra coolant.

Turk’s Collision Center is a state-of-the art auto body and collision repair shop located in East Peoria, Illinois. Find out more about us by visiting our website or by calling (309) 694-2905 today. For more helpful auto safety and maintenance tips, visit our blog!

Wiping Winter Off Your Car

Spring has sprung here in Peoria. With it comes the desire to jump in your car, roll down the windows and go for a drive. Perhaps you have noticed that the look of winter is still firmly entrenched on and in your vehicle. Now is the perfect time to let go of winter and get your car ready for the warm weather ahead.

 

Pressure washer

Road salt and dirt can build up in all the tiny crevices of your automobile. The undercarriage is particularly vulnerable because it is hard to reach. If salt is left in this area, it can cause the underbody to rust and corrode. Using a power washer allows you to blast away the debris from the underside of your car as well as other hard to reach locations, including the wheels, door jambs and the areas around the bumpers.

 

Suds up

Use a soft sponge and your favorite car cleaner, or an all-purpose household cleaner to thoroughly clean your car. Work in small sections and rinse thoroughly so that the soap does not dry onto your car and leave spots.

 

Dry

Once your car is washed, give it one more quick rinse and then dry it thoroughly with a soft lint free towel or chamois – this will prevent surface spotting.

 

Windows, mirrors interior

Are you seeing a glare on your windows? Perhaps they need a good cleaning on the inside. Use a streak-free window cleaner and a paper towel or newspaper for the best results.  In addition, take time to make sure your mirrors are clean and remove the dust and debris from your dashboard, instrument panel and other surfaces using a soft towel and interior cleaning product

 

Carpets and upholstery

If you do not use rubber mats in your car during the winter months, your floor mats could probably use a good cleaning. Vacuum the carpeted and upholstered areas of your car thoroughly and then use a steam cleaner to remove any dirt and stains. Leave mats to dry in the sun before putting them back into your car so that they don’t become musty.

 

Wax

A good waxing is the final step to protect the exterior of your car from the elements and give it a spot-free shine.

 

At Turk’s Collision Center we offer a lifetime warranty on all our work. Contact us today for an estimate.

Driving Tips for Severe Weather

Like many parts of the country, Illinois gets its fair share of extreme weather events. Unlike many parts of the country, however, extreme weather runs the gamut from ice storms and whiteouts to tornadoes. Severe weather can come on suddenly, catching drivers in their vehicles. Keep safe by knowing the warning signs of extreme weather, and follow these driving safety tips.

 

High Winds & Heavy Rain
High winds and heavy rain are two common components of summer storms. Listen to the news and weather, which warns people long in advance of storms. Do not drive during storm warnings or any heavy winds, as you risk getting hit by flying debris. Some vehicles, such as panel trucks, may be difficult to control during winds greater than 25 miles per hour.

 

Hail Storm

Hail is more difficult to predict, so have a plan where you can wait out the storm safely in your car. If it begins to hail while you are driving, seek an underpass or other structure to park underneath. If that is not possible, pull over and wait until the storm is over. Do not exit your car. Large hailstones can break car windows, so imagine what they can do to you.

 

Lightning
If you’re caught driving during a thunderstorm and lightning is close, stay inside your vehicle. If you can’t get to a building, a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal top is a safe place to ride out a storm. Pull over, do not touch any metal or electrical parts of the vehicle (including the steering wheel), and do not use your mobile phone.

 

Flooding
Heavy rains can trigger flash flooding. If you see a large puddle or flowing water on a road, go around it or find a different route. The water may be deep enough to stall or damage your vehicle. Be sure your wipers and headlights are in top working condition. Use them in heavy rains to ensure you can see and be seen.

 

Tornado Warning
Never drive during a tornado warning, and never try to drive away from a tornado in your vehicle. Tornados can change direction quickly and are powerful enough to hurl vehicles through the air. Instead, get out of your vehicle and seek shelter in a building. If you can’t reach a safe structure, lie down in a ditch or low area. Stay face-down to protect yourself from flying debris, and cover the back of your head and neck with your hands.


Snowstorms

The best advice for driving in winter snowstorms is the same as the other extreme weather events: don’t do it! If you must, keep your lights on, reduce speed, and allow more time and distance to stop. If you get stuck in snow during a storm, stay with your vehicle. Tie a bright piece of material to the antenna to make it easier for travellers and rescuers to see you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and get lost.

 

Extreme Cold

You should also take some precautions when driving in extreme cold. Road salt does not work effectively at low temperatures, so slow down, as roads may be slippery. Bring warm clothes, such as extra socks, sweater, and mittens, when traveling long distances.

 

Fog
Day or night, headlights should be on and set to low beam. Wait it out. If you’re having trouble seeing, safely pull over to the right side – well out of the traffic lane – and turn on your emergency flashers. Wait until visibility improves before continuing.

Always buckle up, avoid distractions and store an emergency kit in your trunk or cargo area with items you could use in the event of a roadside situation. No matter how prepared you are, damage can happen during extreme weather events. If you have an accident, call Turk’s Collision Center, once you are safe. We strive to be the leading automotive body repair shop in Illinois with excellent workmanship, advanced training, and superb communication with the customer. We know this may be a stressful time, so we offer quick turnaround, a lifetime warranty and direct billing with all insurance companies.

Insurance Claims: Step-by-Step

Car accidents can be a traumatic event.  For many people, that experience is compounded by complicated insurance claims.  Here’s what you need to know to streamline the process.

Immediately After the Accident

  1. Collect Relevant Information: Speak to the driver of the other vehicle. There’s a lot of information to gather.
  • Driver’s name, address, and phone number
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Vehicle description (make, model, year), vehicle registration number, license plate number
  1. Call the Police: This may not seem necessary for a minor fender-bender, but a police report will establish who is at fault and give you a clear paper trail for your claim. In the worst case scenario, the police will ensure your safety if the other party turns difficult.  They can also contact other emergencies services for injured parties or for handling dangerous situations like leaking flammable fluids.
  2. Take Photos: Use your smartphone to capture photos of the damage and the location of the vehicles.

Working With Your Insurance Company

  1. Contact Your Representative: Contact your agent or the emergency claims number as soon as possible to give them the relevant information and get started on your claim.
  2. File Your Claim: Many insurance companies have an app or online portal where you can file claim. Use the information you gathered at the scene to assist with this process.  Provide a copy of all relevant documents like police reports and photos, but make sure you keep copies for your own records.
  3. Work with an Adjuster: The adjuster will work with you and any other parties to settle your claim. They will likely have follow-up questions regarding property damage and personal injury.

Getting Back on the Road

  1. Get an Estimate: The claims adjuster will recommend a location for your car to be repaired, but you are free to choose a repair shop. Turk’s Collision Center works proactively with your insurance company to deliver estimates timely and accurately to get you started on the high-quality service you deserve.
  2. Rent a Car: Some insurance companies will cover the cost of a car rental while your car is being repaired. At Turk’s, we can even make the arrangements for you with our trusted local car rental company.
  3. Schedule Your Repairs: Once you’ve selected a repair shop, bring in your car for the repairs. Turk’s Collision Center has been awarded I-CAR Gold Status for the technicians’ advanced level of collision repair training.  Our technicians are S.E. certified and will get you back on the road in no time.

In need of some body work or a repair estimate?  Find directions to Turk’s Collision Center on our website and give us a call at (309) 694-2905 to set up an appointment.

 

Be Prepared For Winter Driving Emergencies

Winter can be beautiful. When you’re on the road, dangerous road conditions can occur quickly. Whether it’s a winter storm, freezing temperatures, or even wind chills that cause unexpected patches of glare ice, winter driving requires defensiveness. It is important that all drivers be prepared in case of a winter roadside emergency.  Here are some tips from Turk’s Collision Center to ensure you stay safe on roads in case of an emergency.

Prepare Your Vehicle

A well-maintained vehicle is much less likely to break down unexpectedly or cause an accident. Before winter, make sure that your car’s:

  • Tires have good traction for snowy and icy conditions.
  • Battery is in good shape for extreme cold.
  • trunk has a snow brush, shovel, and ice scraper
  • gas tank is at least half-full at all times.

    Have an Emergency Kit

Just in case you do get stranded on the road, it’s essential to have a winter emergency kit. Some items to include are:

  • Extra blankets, sweaters, and winter gear
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Hand warmers
  • High energy snacks
  • Road flares
  • Flashlight
  • Fresh water
  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit

Know Who to Call

Knowing who to call in case of a road emergency reduces panic and anxiety in an already-stressful situation. Be sure that each member of your family has a list of emergency numbers to call for assistance. Some suggestions include the number of your roadside assistance company, family members, friends, and neighbors. Of course, 911 is always the first number to call for life-threatening emergencies.

Prevent an Accident

It is certainly important to practice good defensive driving no matter what the season. However, hazardous road conditions require a higher level of  vigilance. Accidents can occur with little warning when to snow or ice is present.

  • Slow down and allow more distance between vehicles
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Avoid texting, phone usage, and other forms of distracted driving
  • Drive when you are feeling alert and awake. Winter days are shorter, and if you tend to feel sleepy while night-driving, plan your route so that you arrive before dark

Make sure to discuss winter driving and road safety with younger drivers. These drivers may not have much experience driving in hazardous conditions. Younger drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted.

For more tips on handling a winter driving emergency, click here.

If you’ve been in an accident, whether it be major or minor, trust the professionals at Turk’s Collision Center.  Turk’s Collision Center is a state-of-the art auto body and collision repair shop located in Peoria, Illinois. Our A.S.E. certified technicians are dedicated to restoring your vehicle to its pre-accident condition, with quick turnaround and a lifetime guarantee on all of our work. Find out more by visiting our website or by calling (309) 694-2905 today!
Digital Service Team
866-275-1561, ext. 503

Sleeping at the Wheel

It is 1:30am and you are on your way home from your cousin’s New Year’s party. The heat in your car is cranked because it is freezing outside, and you are whizzing down a smooth, direct line of expressway road. It has been a long day, and in the craziness of the holidays you find yourself in bed hours later and rising earlier than usual in order to fit everything in.

You notice that it is becoming increasingly difficult to concentrate, and quickly recognize that your eyes seem to be closing on their own. You turn the radio up but it quickly sounds like white noise. “Just ten more minutes, we’re almost there…”

Sleep deprivation is no joke. In general, it is linked with memory impairment, slowed reaction times, depression, increased anxiety, hormonal abnormalities, skin aging, weight gain, and even a significantly heightened risk of developing certain diseases. Sleep deprivation also has been linked to some of the most serious accidents in history such as the Exxon Valdez oil tanker and the explosion of Challenger.

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a thorough two-year study which found that adults require 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night in order to function optimally. Performance and reaction times decline exponentially once an individual is attaining six hours of sleep per night or less. Drowsy driving is particularly dangerous, almost as much so as driving while intoxicated. A study conducted by the AAA found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident while people who sleep four or less hours per night are 11.5 times more likely to crash. Over 100,000 automobile accidents every year are caused by tired drivers and on average 6,000 of these are fatal. Have a long night working overtime? It has been proven that being awake for eighteen hours is the physiological equivalent of having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the same percentage as being legally drunk.

Luckily, you can minimize your chances of experiencing road exhaustion by taking some simple proactive steps. These including prioritizing sleep and getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night, sticking to a regular sleeping schedule, traveling with a companion, taking a break from driving every two hours and avoiding alcohol or taking medications that make you tired prior to driving.

Don’t fall victim to drowsy driving. If possible, avoid driving when it is late at night, very early in the morning or when you simply feel tired. If this is not practical, find some company willing to accompany you in your travels.

Visit our website to learn more about Turk’s Collision Center.

Thank you!

Winter Maintenance Checklist for Your Vehicle

Driving down the winding farm roads of the Midwest is beautiful this time of year. Sadly, as the leaves are falling so are the temperatures. Before you know it, snow will be falling instead. Even if you aren’t ready for sleet, snow, and ice, your car should be. Here’s a maintenance checklist to ensure you (and your car) stay safe this winter.

  • Check your battery. Car batteries operate 30 to 60 percent worse when temperatures are below freezing. Scrape away any corrosion (while wearing gloves and protective eye gear).
  • Check fluids, make sure your antifreeze is correct for your conditions.
  • Pack an emergency kit with a flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, hand warmers, and kitty litter or sand for traction. If you don’t have litter but can’t get traction, take the floor mats out of your car and place them under your tires.
  • Check your air, fuel, and PVC filters.
  • Check your windshield wipers. If you live in a climate that sees a lot of snow and ice, purchase rubber-clad blades. These hold up better when removing ice and snow.
  • Check that your heater and defroster are working.
  • Put a snow brush and ice scraper in your trunk.
  • Make sure your headlights aren’t cloudy, burnt out, or oxidized.
  • Examine the tread on tires. Need help? Most states require tread 2/32” deep. Take a penny, turn Abe upside-down and stick his head in the tread! Can you see the top of Abe’s head? If so, it’s time for new tires.
  • Check your tire pressure.
  • Make sure you have a spare tire and functioning car jack.
  • Purchase a tube of glycerin to keep at home. This can be used to de-ice a frozen lock.

If you found some concerns during your checklist or would like a professional to take a look call Turk’s Collision Center at (309) 694-2905. Turk’s Collision Center offers quick turnarounds, a lifetime warranty, vehicle pic-up/delivery, a shuttle service, a 27-point checklist following repairs, and direct billing to insurance companies. Our technicians are A.S.E certified and receive extensive training. Customer service is important to us, check out our reviews on Yelp. To find out more, visit our website or like us on Facebook.

7 Steps To Take After A Car Accident

If you have ever been in a car accident, you know that there are a plethora of things to consider immediately following the incident. Injuries, emotions and even distractions from the other driver can increase complications in an already difficult scenario. Here are seven things to consider if you are in an automobile accident.

 

  1. Determine medical needs– The first concern should always be the well-being of all individuals involved in the accident. If necessary, call 911 and receive medical attention for each party involved.
  2. Exchange information– Take a few moments to exchange insurance details. Be sure that phone numbers, addresses and policy numbers are written correctly to facilitate accurate and timely claim processing.
  3. Contact the police– Even if it is a minor accident, call the police.  They will file a report that will aid you if legal action is required. They will also secure the accident scene.
  4. Take pictures– Photographic evidence allows you to capture details that may be forgotten after the accident scene is cleared.
  5. Contact your insurance company– Do this as quickly as possible after the accident to ensure that the claim process is efficient.
  6. Don’t sign anything – After the accident, you may be asked to sign a release settlement agreement from the other driver’s insurance company. Do not sign any documents before your attorney has had a chance to review them. They will ensure that what is being offered is the best possible deal.
  7. Car Repair Process – If you have been in an accident, there’s a good chance your vehicle has been damaged. Take your vehicle into a professional collision center that will repair and restore safety to your vehicle.

 

After an accident, you need a collision center that you can trust. Turk’s Collision Center located in East Peoria, Illinois is available to provide you with exceptional repair when you need it. We are located in a 13,000 square foot shop with quick turnaround time, shuttle service, paintless dent repair, pick-up and delivery of vehicle, and much more. Call Turk’s Collision Center at (309) 694-2905 or visit our website for more information.

Car Care for College Students

Although the academic year is already in session, many college students will be hitting the road for Thanksgiving, winter holidays, and the upcoming semester break. These breaks from the busy school year are the perfect opportunity to spend some extra time discussing car care with your college student. With winter weather ahead, plan to go over a maintenance check of their car, make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency, as well as ensure they have the proper winter and emergency supplies.

 

Maintenance: An Often Overlooked Task for Students

A driver’s education course may have taught your student the rules of the road, but almost certainly did not cover car maintenance. Not only will regular maintenance go a long way in avoiding costly repairs or breakdowns at inconvenient times in the academic year, it will lay the groundwork for good car care for the rest of your student’s life.  Make sure your college student knows how and when to:

 

  • Check tire pressure and fill to the appropriate levels
  • Check and fill windshield washer fluid
  • Check oil levels and stay within the recommended mileage for oil changes
  • Replace windshield wipers regularly
  • Obtain brake inspections
  • Check car battery life
  • Rotate tires and check the state of their wear and tear
  • Consult the car manual’s maintenance schedule and follow its recommendations

 

Emergency and Winter Weather Supplies

Getting your student’s car in top shape before winter will help prevent breakdowns, getting stranded in an inconvenient location, and even an accident. Go over what to do in case of an accident or emergency, and if your family has roadside assistance through your insurance company, AAA, or other organization, inform your son or daughter of how to contact it. Parents should check that their college-aged driver has emergency supplies in the car, such as a spare tire and jack, jumper cables, first aid kit, tire gauge, spare cell phone charger, blanket, fresh water, and nonperishable snack items. Likewise, now is the time to put winter supplies such as ice scrapers and snow brushes in the vehicle, as the first snow can hit anytime. Go over tips for winter road conditions, as students have not had as much experience driving in hazardous conditions, or may need to be reminded. For example, AAA has some great winter weather driving tips you can share with your college student here.

 

Turk’s Collision Center is located in Peoria, Illinois, and is a state-of-the-art auto body shop specializing in collision repair. Our services include lifetime warranty, direct billing of insurance companies, and dedication to restoring vehicles to their pre-accident condition. To learn more, visit our website or call (309) 694-2905.