2015 Hyundai Elantra LTD

Collisions are never fun. Even if you’re lucky enough to walk away unharmed, it’s not usually the same outcome for your vehicle. When looking for collision repair, you want to find a shop that can get it done quickly, efficiently, and with honest pricing.

Direct Paint & Collision will have you back on the road in no time. We’ll make sure your car looks brand new, and that you won’t have to worry about ongoing safety issues after an accident. Just take a look at our reviews page to see what previous customers have said, or view the before and after photos in the gallery below.

Cost of Vehicle Ownership Falls to 6 Year Low

Accident on a roadThe annual cost to own and operate a vehicle is now the lowest it has been in six years, big part in thanks to the low fuel prices. According to AAA, the average cost of ownership in 2016 is $8,558. This breaks down to roughly 57 cents per mile driven.

The items that factor into the cost of ownership include fuel, insurance, maintenance, depreciation, license, registration, taxes, finance charges, and tires. You can find more specific information for each type of vehicle in the table below.

Based on 15,000 miles Small Sedan Medium Sedan Large Sedan Sedan Average SUV (4WD) Mini-van
Annual Total Cost $6,579 $8,604 $10,492 $8,558 $10,255 $9,262
Annual Cost Per Mile $0.439 $0.574 $0.699 $0.571 $0.684 $0.618

It’s interesting to note that it actually costs less to own minivan than a large sedan or SUV. This is something to consider, especially if you’re considering purchasing a new car. Minivans offer roughly the same cargo space and can carry more passengers.

To get an even clearer idea of what your car is costing you, check out these average annual prices for varying factors:

  • Fuel – 8.45 cents per mile/$1,267.50 per year
  • Insurance – $1,222 per year
  • Depreciation –  $3,759 per year
  • Maintenance – 5.28 cents per mile/$792 per year
  • License/Registration/Taxes – $687 per year
  • Finance Charges – $683 per year
  • Tires – 1 cent per mile/$150 per year

This information comes from AAA’s annual Your Driving Costs study, which AAA has been publishing since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile, and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon.

Five Tips for Your Spring Break Road Trip

road tripAccording to AAA Mid-Atlantic, many are choosing local destinations for Spring Break trips. This means that many will be driving for these trips rather than flying, and creating a surplus of Spring Break road trips. Some of the top driving destinations include:

  • Philadelphia
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • Washington DC
  • Baltimore
  • Clearwater, FL
  • Virginia Beach

If you’re planning to travel to one of these destinations, make sure you’re ready for your time out on the road. Although some of these places are only a few hours away, you’ll still want to be as safe and as comfortable as possible. Here are our tips to prepare for your best Spring Break road trip:

  1. Check your tires, brakes, and windshield wipers before you leave. Be proactive with possible road troubles.
  2. Clean and vacuum the inside of your car. You may even stow a few blankets in the back seat so passengers can get comfortable.
  3. Pack a car charger for your cell phone.
  4. Have a backup plan in case of traffic. It might be a good idea to check out some back roads on your phone or GPS.
  5. Make sure all car documents, such as your registration and proof of insurance, are up to date and readily available.

Follow these tips to make your trip run just a little smoother. After all, no one likes a stressful vacation. For more information about vacation car maintenance, check out a previous blog post.

Beware of Potholes

PotholeAlthough it’s nice and sunny today, not too long ago snow blanketed the streets. We’re happy to see that cold weather go, but now we’re left with the annoying aftermath — potholes.

In March 2014, AAA responded to 27,639 tire-related calls and from the looks of things, this year could be just as treacherous. Actually, pothole damage cost our nation $6.4 billion last winter. In order to avoid damaged tires, bent axles, ruined wheel alignment, and costly repairs, AAA has a few tips for motorists:

  • Keep an eye on traffic patterns. Cars that slow down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.
  • Beware of snow, ice or water that may be concealing a deep pothole.
  • Report major potholes or road damage to your state or local transportation department.
  • Avoid swerving. Swerving can cause a loss of vehicle control.
  • Slow down. Carefully avoid sharp impact with potholes.
  • Roll through. Rolling through the pothole is better than braking rapidly.
  • Inflate tires properly. Over inflated and under inflated tires increase risk of tire and wheel damage.

Be sure to take these tips seriously, but make sure you stop and think if your vehicle does get damaged as a result of a pothole. Remember that filing a claim with your insurance could affect your rates in the future. According to a survey by Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) , 65% respondents who needed repairs opted to pay for them out of pocket.

For more about pothole repair in our area, check out this article by CBS Philly.

Before and After Front End Damage

Accidents happen. No matter the details, you’ll need to find an auto body shop you can trust to perform quality repairs. The team at Direct Paint & Collision performs such repairs each and everyday, and we’re happy to share photos of our work with our clients.

Both of the vehicles in this before and after post suffered some front end damage on the driver side. The first two photos are of a 2007 Honda Odyssey EXL, while the second two are of a 2008 Ford Explorer 4×4 Eddie Bauer.

Tips for a Safe Super Bowl Sunday

Super BowlNow that it’s officially Super Bowl weekend, you’re probably thinking about all of the great food, drinks, and football that will be at your party. Once you’ve got all of the essentials planned — like who’s bringing the wings, dip, hoagies, etc — you might also consider making a backup plan for those driving home.

Without a doubt, the Super Bowl is a time for celebration. There is no shame in celebrating a little too hard, as long as no one gets behind the wheel afterward. If you’re hosting this year’s get-together, here are some tips you can use to ensure your guests stay safe:

  • Take note of any designated drivers from the beginning of the night and make sure they’re the only ones with car keys
  • Offer food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • During the third quarter, throw on a pot of coffee and make sure there’s plenty of water available
  • Keep your Uber app and local cab numbers handy
  • Be prepared to set up the couch or air mattress for anyone who needs to sleep it off

If you’re the designated driver, be aware that not everyone on the road may be as responsible. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40 percent of all traffic fatalities that occur in the U.S. on Super Bowl Sunday are alcohol-related. Be on the lookout for any cars that seem to be swerving or speeding, and always buckle up.

Keeping Your Car Clean in the Winter

winter carIn the winter, it’s common to see cars driving around covered in road salt. This white dusting is unsightly, and often lasts long after the snow has melted. However, you don’t have to be stuck  with this corrosive coating all season. Here are some tips to keep your car clean even when the weather’s cold.

Invest in Rubber Floor Mats
Your slushy, salty wet shoes are bound to soak the carpet in your car. If you don’t want to be left with stains and a musty scent, it’s a good idea to lay down towels then place rubber mats on top. this way, you’re protecting your floor and can throw the towels in the wash if they get dirty.

Keep Up with Regular Washes
Most people are hesitant to wash their vehicles in the winter, but regular washes are really the only way to keep them clean. Whether doing it yourself or going to a car wash, be sure to do it in the daylight when the temperature is at least 40 degrees. Use warm soapy water, and a dash of baking soda may help to get rid of the salt.

Dry, Dry, Dry
We can’t stress this enough. After you wash your car, be sure to dry it thoroughly to avoid freezing. You’ll even want to leave the doors open while you dry so that water doesn’t pool in the crevices and freeze them shut.

Be Mindful of Where You Park
Instinct might tell you to park your car in a heated garage. However, these garages often cause slush to melt and corrode your car’s paint quicker. While parking on the street opens your car up to the elements, frozen salt may actually be the safer choice.

Winter Car FAQs

There are so many myths when it comes to proper car care in the winter that it’s pretty hard to keep them all straight. We often have customers ask us about the best ways to start their cars and get moving on cold mornings, so we decided to compile them all into one FAQ post.

Q. Should I let my car warm up before driving?

A. Unless your was built before 1990, the answer is no. Modern cars don’t have carburetors that need to warm up. Post-1990 vehicles should be ready to go in just 30 seconds. For more information, refer to a previous blog post.

Q. Should I start my car every day that it’s cold, even if it’s not being driven?

A. This is not necessary. In fact, there’s evidence that starting it without driving or taking short trips could cause damage to the vehicle. In any case, you’ll be needing more frequent oil changes.

Q. Do I need to drive around after getting a jump?

A. This one is true. After getting a jump, you should drive around for about 20 minutes to allow the battery to continue charging. Otherwise, you may have a hard time getting the car to start on your next errand.

We hope these answers put some family arguments to rest and allow you to operate your car confidently through what is left of winter. If you do get stuck out on the road, don’t forget to call Bob & Joe for a tow!

car in snow

Tips to Avoid Skidding on the Ice

winter drivingNow that it’s getting colder, you’re undoubtedly pulling out the gloves and ice scrapers to prepare for winter driving. If you haven’t, you should consider it. However there is one thing that all of the shoveling and scraping can’t save you from — skidding on ice.

It would be nice if road salt worked 100% of the time, but that just isn’t the case. Icy roads are one of the biggest hazards of the winter season. While it’s not always easy to see the ice before it’s too late, there are a few precautions you can take to skip the skidding altogether. Here are a few tips from AAA:

  • Avoid using cruise control in wet weather driving conditions
  • Look farther ahead and pay particular attention to “hot spots”: bridges, culverts, on and off ramps and elevated highways. Be alert for “Black Ice.”
  • Avoid unusual driving maneuvers that could induce a skid
  • If you find yourself beginning to skid, ease up on the accelerator, keep a firm grip on the wheel, and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.

For more safety advice, be sure to check out our tips from last year’s Winter Driving Awareness Week. Stay safe and warm!

Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers this Holiday Season

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s no secret that drunk driving becomes a big issue beginning the night before Thanksgiving and ending on New Years Day. So much traveling and an abundance of holiday parties often leads to more drivers on the road who may have had one too many drinks. While police presence is usually puffed up during these times, they may not necessarily be able to catch all of those drivers before you encounter one.

In this post, we’d like to help you detect drunk drivers before it’s too late and provide some tips on how to avoid them. Of course, you should call the police and report the driver as soon as you are out of harm’s way.

Drunk Driver Warning Signs

While on the road, beware of drivers exhibiting the following behaviors:

  • Driving too slow or too fast for conditions
  • Swerving and drifting between traffic lanes
  • Driving without headlights on at night
  • Accelerating and braking abruptly
  • Reacting too slowly to traffic signals

Preventative Actions You Can Take

Of course, the best action you take is to avoid the roads at night and especially on holidays. However, that’s not always plausible. If you do have to drive on a big drinking night, follow these tips:

  • Stay to the right of your lane. Drunk drivers often have difficulty staying within their lane. When they are in opposing traffic, they could very well drift to your side of the road. Leaving a little breathing room could save you from collision.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Just because a driver has a turn signal on doesn’t necessarily mean they will turn, in that direction, at the next cross street. It’s hard to anticipate a drunk driver’s actions, so it’s always better for you to err on the side of caution.
  • Avoid rural roads. Country roads are often dimly lit and winding, making for poor visibility. This is exactly what you don’t want when potentially sharing the road with drunk drivers. Try to stick to major roadways.

The holidays are a time for celebration, so we hope this information allows you to enjoy them safely. At Direct Paint & Collision, we’re wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!