Qualities to Look for in a Dependable Auto Body Shop

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Getting in an accident or having repairs done to your car be stressful, especially when it comes to how it gets repaired. There are most likely tons of auto body shops in your area but which one should you bring it to and why? Here are five qualities to look for in a trusted a dependable autobody shop.

1)    Experience

No one wants to bring their car to someone who says “I think I can”. You want your car to be handled by a professional. Getting your car fixed isn’t just about the repairs, it’s about coming up with a long-lasting solution so the issue doesn’t arise again. There hundreds of different parts that all work together as one cohesive unit in your car and you want to be sure more issues aren’t created when one is fixed. The more experience the better!

2)    Licensing, Certification, and Insurance

There are dozens of different certificates and licenses that auto body shops can obtain. If your mechanic says, for example, he works at an Audi Certified Collision Repair Center, that status certifies all staff has been trained and certified to work on Audi vehicles. You also want to make sure the auto body shop is insured. This ensures that if additional damages happen to your vehicle you are not liable

3)    Well-Rounded Service

If your car is in an accident you are most likely going to need more than one type of repair. Make sure your auto body shop can handle multiple different repairs or it will cost you both time and money. From fixing bumpers to repairing glass and providing touch up painting services, the more services an auto body shop can provide the better.

4)    High-Tech Resources

As cars evolve, so do the resources shops have at their disposal to fix them. Bring your car to a shop that stays up to date with the latest trends to ensure your vehicle is being dealt with in a proper and modernized fashion. For example, if your car needs a paint job, find out if the company uses computerized automatic paint matching for a seamless finish.

5)    Services Provided For Convenience

Although the main repairs to your vehicle are important, companies that provide extra services for free or at a discounted rate show a sense of loyalty and care for the customer. Providing free detailing services or a free paint job after an incident are different services a company may offer to show you how important your business is to them.

Automotive Specialties Inc.

At Automotive Specialties Inc. we go above and beyond to make our customers happy. We are licensed, certified, and insured and can offer you some of the best deals in the area! For more information on our services, give us a call at  (617) 364-1722 or fill out a contact form.

Automotive Specialties: An Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facility 

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When it comes to your Audi, the best and only place to get great repair services is an Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facility. Audi Certified Collision Repair Centers are places that have gone through a rigorous training program to provide high-end repair services. There are two types of Audio Authorized collision repair facilities which are Audi Authorized Collision Repair Network and the Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facility Program. The main difference is that Aluminum Collision Repair Network can only fix aluminum Audis whereas both have the ability to fix non-aluminum models.

Automotive Specialties is one of two Audi-certified aluminum repair centers in Boston one of only five in the entire state of Massachusetts. We are proud to have this designation as it is the highest certification you can get offered by Audi. The long hours, endless training sessions, and continuous learning are worth it in the end in our efforts to provide the best Audi and luxury repair services in Boston!

What You Can Expect

When you use an Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facility you can expect the following:
• Audi technicians who have been trained in factory approved procedures. Technicians are required to have over 80 hours of training per year to ensure they not only know what they are doing but also can do so in a timely fashion.
• Technicians using specialized tools customized to your make and model. We know how tedious it can be working with a foreign car like Audi so we acquired the best tools on the market to ensure we not only get the job done but get it done the right way.
• The use of Audi Genuine Parts. We won’t settle for anything less than the best Audi parts for your vehicle.
• Complimentary towing via Audi Roadside Assistance. Don’t pay for towing when you can get it done for free through our services. We know how much our customers depend on their vehicles so we try to make the repair process as easy as possible from start to finish.

Automotive Specialties Inc.

With only 190 Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facilities across the United States, Automotive Specialties takes pride in knowing it is one of the best places to get your Audi repaired. Don’t bring your car to any dealer, bring to a place where you know the job will get done the right way. For more information on our services, give us a call at (617) 364-01722 or fill out a contact form.

Automotive Specialties: Gold Class I-Car Recognized Company

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Automotive Specialities is proud to be a member of the Gold Class I-Car community. Our hard work and dedication over the years lead to us becoming a leader in automotive collision repair. The Gold Class I-Car designation is given to companies that display the highest form of training when it comes to collision repair. With only 20% of companies meeting the rigorous Gold Glass I-Car standard, it is a special honor to have Automotive Specialties given this recognition.

Gold Class I-Car Designation

The Gold Class I-Car designation goes beyond in-depth training; its companies ability to perform collision repair services in a timely fashion. According to a study done by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the average length of time customers rented a vehicle after their car went into a Gold Class I-Car collision repair shop was 6.5 days in comparison to the industry average of 11.5 days.

Facts about the Gold Class I-Car Designation:

 

  • Gold Class businesses outperformed other body shops by 47% according to the CynCast Shop Performance Value Rating
  • Customer satisfaction rose 5% within 6 months after repair shops were given the Gold Class I-Car designation
  • Cycle time (the time it takes a vehicle to safely be repaired) improved by 14%
  • Touch time (the number of hours a technician works on a vehicle) improved by 33%

 

Automotive Specialties Inc.

Automotive Specialties Inc. has been in business for over 40 years providing luxury car collision services to customers in the Boston area. The Gold Class I-Car designation is something we are very proud of as it is a testament to all the hard work and dedication our employees have put into providing customers the best possible collision repairs services. We treat each car as if it was our own and provide detailing to all vehicles that have had work done on them. Our goal is to return your vehicle in better shape than it was before it was in a collision.

How Hot Weather Affects Your Car

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car breaking down

Summer weather is finally upon us! There’s nothing like rolling down the windows, listening to some tunes and breathing in the fresh air as you drive. As great as the summer weather may be, it also can take quite the toll on your car. Here are some of the most common car parts that are affected by hot temperatures.

Tires

You should be checking your tire pressure year round and putting an even bigger emphasis on them during the summer. Having hot tires on hot pavement can result in a blowout. Having improperly inflated tires can make the matter worse so make sure to check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Battery

Cold weather is usually more harmful on your battery than warm but the hot summer months can also take a toll on your battery. Long summer trips add extra vibration to the battery and can shorten the lifespan of it. Make sure to always have jumper cables or a battery box on hand in case of emergencies.

Oil

Warmer weather results in more travel and more miles on your vehicle. Changing your oil is another year-round maintenance check you should do but it should be elevated during the summer. Since your hot engine needs all the lubrication it can get, replacing your oil in intervals to make sure it always has a sufficient amount is a must. A rule of thumb is to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Coolant

Just like antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing in the winter, coolant keeps your engine from overheating during the summer. The last thing you want is for your engine to overheat and break down during a long road trip, not to mention it can end up with you having to spend thousands of dollars to replace it. Your car has a temperature gauge for a reason, keep a close eye on it!

Automotive Specialties Inc.

If your vehicle is having trouble, take it to a trusted and dependable autobody shop like Automotive Specialties Inc. We have an Audi Certified Collision Center and have worked with dozens of different makes and models from all over the world. For more information, give us a call us at (617) 462-1722.

4 Ways to Stay Warm When Your Car Heater is Broken

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person cold in car

Sitting in a cold car in the dead of winter waiting for it to warm up can be almost agonizing, but realizing that your heater is broken and that your car won’t be heating up is even worse. Even though you may want to get your heater fixed right away, this can be expensive and time consuming, and perhaps you just don’t have the time and money to spare. If your car heater stopped working, and you can’t get it fixed any time soon, there are still a number of small ways to keep yourself warm despite the cold outside.

Park inside the garage

If you have a garage, this is the best option to get a little extra warmth on those cold winter days. Parking your car inside the garage will shield it from the most brutal cold outside, and will keep it at least a few degrees warmer (and more comfortable!) for you. Plus, if your garage is connected to your home, you can avoid facing the cold outside, which will help keep you warmer in general.

Invest in a windshield cover.

If you don’t have a garage or covered area you can park in, and there’s snow and ice outside, you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time standing in the cold scraping your windshield (remember that as long as your heater isn’t working, neither will the defroster for your windshield!). Standing outside for that long will only make you colder, so cut this time down considerably by investing in a windshield cover. Lay it over your windshield at night, and in the morning all you have to do is shake off the snow, then you’ll be on your way!

Bring portable heat

If you’ve got a couple extra blankets lying around the house, keep a couple in your car to use while driving around. Laying them around your shoulders and on your lap can provide a little extra warmth. If blankets just won’t cut it, consider buying a heated seat cover that you can plug into your car’s interior power socket. Sitting on a heated seat will certainly bring you warmth and make you feel cozy.

Buy a pack of hand warming packets

Sometimes the worst part about a cold car is having to grip the steering wheel, which feels like an icicle. To avoid this, consider buying a pack of small hand warming packets, which you can slip into your gloves, lay on your lap, or even slip under your socks. Although they may not warm up your whole body, that little bit of warmth will still help to make your drive more bearable.

Automotive Specialties Inc.

If you car is having trouble with heat, bring it to Automotive Specialities. We fix luxury cars and can have your car back on the road in no time. For more information about our services, give us a call at (617) 364-1722 or fill out a contact form.

How Living on the Coast Affects Your Car

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Living near the ocean can offer a lot of perks. You get the cool ocean breeze, the calming sound of the waves and beautiful views of the sparkling sea. But, while life along the coast may seem ideal, it may not be easy on your car. In fact, certain environmental factors present in coastal locations may cause or accelerate vehicle corrosion and damage.

car driving next to oceanOcean Air and Paint Damage

The coastal environment can affect a vehicle’s paint. The combination of the sun and salt air near a coast can destroy a car’s finish. That’s because the hot sun increases the pores in the paint, which results in greater absorption of salty moisture — and ultimately, more corrosion.

Humidity, Dew and Corrosion

Other parts of the vehicle, including brake calipers, nuts and bolts, can corrode as well. Salty humidity and dew are among the largest factors in progressing corrosion, particularly during certain times of the year.

The longer cars have been exposed to the ocean, the more damage you will notice.

And if the body of the car is extremely corroded it is sometimes cheaper to replace the car rather than try to fix and repaint it.

Preventing Ocean-Related Car Damage

If you are moving to a coastal location or have recently purchased a new car that you want to protect from the coastal elements, there are steps you can take to help slow salt damage to cars. If you are just a few blocks from the beach we suggest the following practices to help you prevent ocean-related damage to cars:

  • Park in a garage or use a vehicle cover, particularly in winter.
  • Wash and wax the paint regularly.
  • Don’t drive on sand or into ocean water. If you do, rinse the underside of the car with a hose after it has cooled off.

Living near the ocean may have negative effects on your car, but if you understand why the damage happens and take the appropriate steps to help limit or prevent it, you can enjoy coastal living with minimal corrosion to your vehicle.

Keeping Your Car Cool

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA hot car during the summer can be the absolute WORST! After a day at the beach or long work day, stepping into your car can be almost painful on a hot sunny day. The inside of your car can be around 20-30 degrees warmer then it is outside, so doing everything you can to keep it cooler is important.

Notice: During all times of the year, never leave children or pets in an unwatched car even if you follow these tips.

To stay a little cooler this summer, follow these tips to keep your car cool!

Park In The Shade: If possible, park your car in the shade, or in a parking garage, especially during the warmest times of the day.

Turn Your Car Around: While it isn’t always possible to park in the shade, you can try to turn your car around so most of the sunlight hits the back of your car. This will help your steering wheel or seat from getting too hot.

Cover Up The Windows: Window covers will ensure that sun doesn’t directly hit the seats of your car. It can make a difference and wont make your body sting when sitting down.

Window Tinting: Tinting your vehicles windows can be a really good way of keeping your car much cooler. Whether you are driving or your car is parked, this can be a big help.

Air Ventilation: To get some air flow through your car, crack at least two windows open. This will help with circulation. Just make sure you dont leave your windows so wide open that someone could break into your car.

Blast A/C: When all else fails, turn your Air Conditioner on full blast before you get in. Giving your car just a few minutes to cool down can make a huge difference.

 

 

Driving Safety Misconceptions

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speed limitMost people think they are good drivers and while they may be, there are things you aren’t doing correctly. Traits or knowledge that you have learned throughout the years may not be the actual right way to do things. Read these tips to ensure you are following the right safety protocols.

1.  The Signs Speed Limit is Safest – The speed limits on roads are calculated and provided under the case the conditions are perfect. If it rains or snows, you should drive slower then the posted speed limit.

2. Left Lane is the Fast Lane – People believe that since the left lane is filled with people driving faster, that it is the “fast lane”. This is not correct. The left lane is the “passing lane”. People should only use this lane to pass people, not to travel on.

3. Hands Free Phone Use Means You’re Safe: People think that phone use is safe if they have a hands-free device. This is not true as using your phone at all, automatically makes you more of a distracted driver. If you can avoid any phone use, this is your best bet to stay safe.

4. Fog Lights Always Help: A lot of people think that fog lights can be used all the time, and even at night. Using them during clear conditions can blind other drivers on the road.

5. Larger Car Means You’re Safe: Some believe that a larger car will keep them safe. It is true that if a crash happens between two cars, the larger one will fair better. But, larger vehicles have the tendency to change direction and slow down less efficient. This could increase your chance of crashing in a single-car accident.

New Audi A4 vs BMW

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Audi A4A recent article by the business insider dug into the emergence of the Audi A4 and how BMW is going to have to step their game up. For decades, the BMW 3-series has been the top dog when it comes to compact sport sedans. Since 1995, when Audi released it’s A4, Audi has been pushing to pass BMW ‘s reign.

In 2015, Business Insider tested a sporty variant of the A4 and noticed it to be extremely comfortable and also highly competent in terms of performance. While they liked their Audi test, they did notice the 7-year-old design and how it felt dated.

As for 2017, Audi released the 5th generation sedan. It looks sleek, and seems to still have all of the traditional charm and style of an A4. Along with that, the new A4 will have many features that we are continuing to see in recent releases.

Quick Notes:

  • The 2017 Audi A4 will force the BMW 3-series to step up their game after being the gold standard for over 30 years.
  • The 5th generation A4 will look completely different the current model
  • Lightweight materials will be included to make the A4 up to 265 pounds lighter
  • One largely noticeable difference will be the interior. A massive improvement shows a stunningly nice look.

Automotive Specialties is a collision center that specializes in working with luxury vehicles. We are also Audi certified meaning as of only a few shops in Massachusetts, Audi themselves suggest that you work with us. We are looking to see 2017 A4 hit showrooms this spring! Keep your eyes peeled for it’s arrival.

For more information please feel free to give us a call at 617-364-1722 or stop by our location at 12 Providence Street, Hyde Park, MA 02136.

 

How Do You Choose The Right Collision Center?

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Choosing the right collision center can be a stressful experience. If you are either new to the area or have yet to find a reliable center, how can you know what the best collision center is? While pricing is important and we often see estimates range, what is the difference between shop A & shop B?

Word Of Mouth

Any shop can advertise but the true key is to ask your friends and family to see what they recommend. A business that has satisfied customers far and near are the ones that are getting the job done right.

Operations’s Location & Overhead

Where customers get hit by extra charges is labor hours. Large body shops with a lot of front office workers will have to bump up their per hour rates to pay for these workers. Each shop may have their own reason and way for developing this per hour rate.

On the other side of things, high end shops may charge more because they look around for everything in the “gray area”, meaning that those things they “may” have to do in order to fix a problem.

Look Around At Estimates

Bringing your car around the area for multiple estimates is the best way to ensure that you don’t get over charged. While it’s important to make sure that you don’t get over charged, you shouldn’t also just go with the lowest cost. The really cheap guys could sound like a good idea now but they could lead to major problems in the future.

Ask Questions

Don’t go into an auto body and collision center with your pocket book open. Go in and ask important questions, such as: Do you provide a written warranty? If so, how long?  What does your warranty cover? Each shop may have a different warranty and that is important.

Also be sure to ask what type of products the shop is using. Are they new, used or aftermarket parts? Obviously new parts are the best but they don’t offer the best savings that people are looking for. Some aftermarket parts based off the damage, can save a lot of money and can be just as good as the manufacturers originals.

Follow Your Gut

Finally, be sure to follow your intuition. If a shop is always empty that may because people have had bad experiences and they are avoiding it. If the shop is filthy, cluttered and all over the place, maybe that reflects on the work they do?

For more information about how Automotive Specialties Inc can help you, we would be happy to talk. Ask us questions! We can be reached over the phone at (617)364-1722.

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