Signs You Need New Tires

Figuring out the lifespan of your tires isn’t as simple as determining how long you’ve had them. You also need to pay attention to more than just the tread depth. Learn what makes tires wear out and how to tell when you need new ones.

Why Does Tire Tread Matter?

There are two main reasons why you should worry about the tread on your tires:

  • Safety: Tires are a vehicle’s single most important safety system. The condition of the tread determines how fast your car accelerates—and how effectively it brakes. If your tires are wearing out, the tread may not be able to handle wet or icy conditions.
  • Legal reasons: Driving with worn-out tire tread is illegal because of the safety issues associated with bald tires. Illinois, along with most other states, requires a tread depth of at least 2/32”.

Why Do Tires Wear Out?

The mileage you can expect from your tires depends on a combination of factors, including:

  • Road conditions: Roadways aren’t perfect. Driving over potholes, speed bumps, loose rocks, and sharp objects can increase tire wear. Hitting curbs and other obstacles also shortens the lifespan of your tires, as does driving through oil, road salt, and other chemicals.
  • Driving habits: Peeling out and skidding to a stop increases friction between your tires and the road, which wears out the rubber faster. Going over the tire’s speed capacity or load index could also cause catastrophic failure.
  • Improper inflation: If the pressure is too low, more of the rubber comes in contact with the road, which could cause rapid, uneven tread wear. If the pressure is too high, the tire could overheat at high speeds, increasing the risk of a blowout.
  • Neglected maintenance: Have your tires rotated, aligned, and balanced every time you get an oil change. If you swap out your tires for different seasons, store the unused ones in a cool, dry place until you need them again.
  • Improper use: Driving with winter tires in the summer or summer tires on snowy, icy roads will wear them out sooner. Mixing tire types and combining incompatible wheel and rim sizes are also bad ideas. In addition, driving faster than 50 miles per hour with a spare is not recommended, as this could damage the rest of your tires.

How to Tell If You Need New Tires

Even with excellent care and maintenance, you will need new tires eventually. Keep an eye out for these signs:

  • Low tread: The easiest way to tell that you need new tires is by examining the tread. You know it’s time for a replacement if the rubber has worn below the recommended tread depth of 2/32”. Most new tires have wear bars built into them. These indicators run perpendicular to the tread so you can tell at a glance when the tires are wearing out.
  • The penny test: If you can’t locate the wear bars, conduct a penny test. Insert the coin somewhere on the tread with Lincoln facing downward. If part of his head is covered, your tires still have some life left in them. However, if Lincoln’s entire head is visible above the groove, your tire is worn out and needs to be replaced. Repeat this test in several places on all four tires to find out if they pass or fail.
  • Uneven wear: If you have neglected to rotate your tires, the tread may be wearing unevenly. If a single spot fails the penny test, the tire needs to be replaced. Make sure your wheels are properly aligned to help prevent uneven wear in the future.
  • Visual damage: The tread isn’t the only part of a tire that can wear out. Act quickly if you notice cracked or bulging sidewalls or cords peeking through the rubber. These problems can increase the risk of a blowout or fire, making the tire unsafe for driving.
  • The feel of your tires: Pay attention to how your tires feel as you drive. A rough ride may indicate tire damage or excessive wear. If you often get stuck when driving on icy roads, your tires may lack sufficient grip, making winter driving a hazard until you replace your tires.
  • Age: Even if you don’t drive much, exposure to temperature fluctuations and UV rays can cause structural changes in a rubber tire. Therefore, regardless of tread wear, many manufacturers recommend getting new tires after six to 10 years. You should also replace your spare tire every 10 years, even if you’ve never used it.

The collision repair specialists at B&L Automotive Repairs offer expert wheel alignment and computerized tire mounting and balancing to help your tires last as long as possible. For more information about our services, or to schedule collision repair in Chicago, please call us at (773) 463-1622 or contact us online.

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Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

Winter is a tough season for your car. Your tire pressure is probably low, road salts have likely accumulated on the undercarriage, and potholes may have thrown off your wheel alignment. Now that winter snow has turned into spring rain, it’s time to get your ride ready for new driving challenges. And just in time—April is National Car Care Month, so give your vehicle a thorough once-over. This 15-point checklist will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

  1. Install new wiper blades: There’s nothing mild about winter in Chicago. Revitalize your windshield wipers so they’re ready for wet spring weather. This is a task most people can handle without a mechanic’s help.
  2. Top off your fluids: Speaking of windshield wipers, make sure your washer fluid is topped off. Check the coolant level as well, and if needed, add a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water while the engine is cool. Other fluids that need your attention include the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.
  3. Test the battery: Cold weather is hard on a car battery. If the engine sputters to a start, headlights seem dim, or windows roll down slowly, the battery might be dying. To avoid getting stranded, have your battery tested and replace it if the charge is getting low.
  4. Change the oil: While you can top off the oil when needed, an oil change and engine filter replacement is necessary once the liquid turns from honey-colored to dark brown. If you take your car in to have the battery tested, you may as well get an oil change, especially if you didn’t have one all winter.
  5. Replace the cabin filter: An oil change comes with an engine filter replacement, but the cabin filter is something different. This sifts the air that blows toward the driver and passengers, keeping the cabin air smelling fresh and clean. Spring is a good time to replace the cabin filter to prevent you from breathing in pollen, dirt, and dust every time you go for a ride.
  6. Get a car wash and wax: If your car is still holding onto road salt and grime, a good wash offers more than just cosmetic appeal—it can also help prevent corrosion. Make sure you choose a car wash that sprays down the undercarriage to remove salty buildup. Finish with wax to protect the paint and make your car shine.
  7. Touch up chipped paint: While you’re at it, check your car for any body damage. If ignored, exposed metal could rust and degrade. Keep a bottle of touch-up paint on hand to fix small chips. For larger dents or scrapes, you may need to take your car to an auto paint shop.
  8. Check the tire pressure: Tires lose 1 to 2 pounds per square inch for every 10-degree temperature drop. This means you probably topped off your tires for winter driving. Now that it’s getting warmer, keep tabs on your tire pressure to make sure it’s not any higher or lower than the recommended psi.
  9. Measure tire tread depth: While you’re scrutinizing your tires, check the wear bars on the tread surface. Roads are likely to be wet this spring, so make sure your tires aren’t going bald. If you can’t find the wear bars, conduct a penny test. That is, insert a penny into the tread so Lincoln’s head is facing down. If the tread isn’t deep enough to obstruct any of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires. It’s also time to change back to summer or all-season tires if you switched to snow tires last fall.
  10. Test the air conditioner: Don’t wait until June to find out if your air conditioner is working. If the air feels weak or lukewarm, you might need to have the AC recharged. Do so now—you’ll be glad you did when summer arrives in full force a few months from now.
  11. Declutter and clean out the car: Junk may have accumulated on the floor and backseat over the winter months. Take a break from spring cleaning the house, and give the car a little attention. Bring your winter gloves and hat inside, and throw away fast-food wrappers. Vacuum the seats and floors. Dust the dashboard. Wash the inside of the windows, and finish up with carpet shampoo and leather conditioner.
  12. Remove debris from under the hood: While you’re cleaning the car, pop the hood and trunk, checking the compartments and hinges for leaves, pine needles, and other debris. Remove these to eliminate all traces of winter from your car.
  13. Get a wheel alignment: Does the steering wheel vibrate excessively or feel like it’s pulling to one side? You might have hit one too many potholes this winter. A wheel alignment will help your car drive straight and true once more.
  14. Replace burned-out lights: The days may be getting longer, but you don’t want to get caught after dark with burned-out vehicle lights. Make sure your headlights, blinkers, and all other interior and exterior bulbs are working properly. You may need help from another person to check your brake lights.
  15. Don’t delay repairs following an accident: From scraped doors to dented bumpers to cracked windshields, cars can experience all kinds of damage in a collision. If you recently had a run-in with another vehicle or a stationary object, don’t put off the repair. Your quick response following the accident will restore the safety, performance, and aesthetics of your vehicle.

B&L Automotive Repairs provides professional automotive painting, frame straightening, dent repair, computer diagnostics, wheel alignment, tire mounting and balancing, and much more! Come in, call us at (773) 463-1622, or contact us online to schedule collision repair in Chicago.

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The Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to Insure

Car shopping is an exciting process. As you consider your budget, you need to account for more than just your down payment and monthly loan or lease amount. Other ownership costs include gas, yearly registration fees, maintenance and repairs, and insurance.

Did you know that the type of car you buy can greatly affect your insurance premiums? Take a look at the cheapest and most expensive cars to insure and why carriers price them so differently.

Cheapest Cars to Insure

The top 20 most affordable cars cost between $1,300 and $1,375 to insure in 2019. These include:

  1. Honda Odyssey LX
  2. Jeep Wrangler Sport
  3. Subaru Outback 2.5i
  4. Mazda CX-3 Sport
  5. Honda HR-V LX
  6. Honda CR-V LX
  7. Jeep Renegade Sport
  8. Ford Escape S
  9. Subaru Forester 2.5i
  10. Jeep Compass Sport
  11. Mazda CX-5 Sport
  12. Subaru Crosstrek
  13. Buick Encore 1SV
  14. Honda Fit LX (with Honda Sensing)
  15. Nissan Frontier S
  16. Jeep Cherokee Latitude
  17. Dodge Grand Caravan SE
  18. Ford Transit Connect SL
  19. GMC Canyon SL
  20. Chevrolet Traverse L

Most Expensive Cars to Insure

On the other end of the spectrum, these five cars ranked the most expensive to insure in 2019 at about $3,700 to $4,000:

  1. Nissan GT-R
  2. Mercedes Maybach S650
  3. Porsche Panamera
  4. Mercedes AMG GT R
  5. BMW M760i xDrive

Why Carriers Price Cars So Differently

Here are the factors that insurance providers look at when pricing different makes and models of cars:

  • Odds of being stolen: If you buy a car that’s popular among thieves, your insurance rate will be higher. Some of the most commonly stolen cars include Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Altima.
  • Vehicle size: The Honda Fit is the only sedan on the list of cheapest cars to insure—and that’s only for models with the accident-reducing Honda Sensing feature. Larger cars are more likely to keep the driver and passengers safe, so they’re cheaper to insure.
  • Durability and safety: Cars with good track records and advanced safety features are less likely to malfunction or be involved in an accident. Carriers know this, so they charge a lower rate.
  • Performance: What do the most expensive cars to insure all have in common? They’re sports and luxury vehicles. Carriers assume that people who buy high-performance cars are more likely to drive dangerously, so the rates are higher.
  • Repair costs: Exotic luxury cars tend to have specialty parts that make them more expensive to repair, yet another reason why insurance companies set high premiums.

No matter what car you drive, B&L Automotive Repairs can help you get back on your feet after an accident. We repair all makes and models and help you file a claim with your insurance company to get you the money you deserve. To learn more about our services, or to request a collision repair estimate, please contact our Chicago collision repair shop at (773) 463-1622.

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How You Can Save Money on Car Insurance

While some places in the US have seen steady or even decreasing car insurance rates in recent years, here in Chicago, premiums are on the rise. The average cost hovers around $1,100 per year or $92 per month.

High premiums are sometimes out of your control. For instance, your age, gender, zip code, and severe weather events in your area affect what you pay, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Fortunately, if your premiums are higher than you think they should be, you still have several ways to bring your costs down.

  • Choose your car wisely: In general, vehicles that cost more to purchase are also more expensive to insure. Run an insurance cost estimate before buying a new vehicle so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
  • Reduce your coverage: Illinois has minimum requirements for car insurance—$25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $20,000 property damage liability—but you are not required to have personal liability, collision, or comprehensive. Try lowering your coverage in different areas to see how it affects your premiums.
  • Raise your deductible: If your deductible is set to $500, but you can handle a $1,000 loss following an accident, change your coverage to save on car insurance premiums.
  • Combine policies: Do you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance with a company that also offers car insurance? See if you qualify for a rate cut by bundling your policies.
  • Claim discounts: Insurance companies offer numerous discounts to help their policyholders save. These may include being a safe driver, getting good grades, having multiple cars covered, going paperless, and more. Call your provider to find out what discounts you may qualify for because they may not apply unless you ask.
  • Pay by the mile: Illinois is one of seven states that offer pay-per-mile car insurance. If you drive less than the national average of 12,000 miles per year, you could save by making this change.
  • Pay semi-annually: You may have the option to pay premiums in monthly installments or one lump sum every six months. While paying six months’ worth of insurance is more money out of your pocket upfront, you may avoid installment fees in the process.
  • Compare rates often: Carriers entice drivers with loyalty perks, but it’s still wise to check car insurance quotes once a year. Identical policies can vary widely in price, so focus on keeping your premiums low to maximize your savings over time. With useful online tools, you can compare multiple quotes in minutes without hurting your credit score.

You may dislike paying for car insurance, but you’ll be glad you have it if you ever get in an accident. B&L Automotive Repairs can help you file a claim to get you the money you’re entitled to. To learn more, or to request a collision repair estimate, bring your car to our Chicago collision repair shop or call us at (773) 463-1622.

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How to Drive Safely with Pets in the Car

Dogs love to ride in cars, but keeping your pet safe is a big responsibility. Many dogs get excited at the sound of keys jangling, especially if you ask them if they want to go for a ride. There’s no reason not to take your dog on a ride, but following some safety tips is important to make sure you and your pet gets home safely. Your dog should be restrained while in a vehicle, so they are not injured and do not cause distractions to you while driving. Learn how to do so properly so that you can sit back and enjoy the ride with your pet.

Seating Arrangement

Dogs make great companions, but they should not sit in the passenger’s seat. Keep them in the back seat for your safety and theirs. Having them ride on your lap is even more dangerous because they’re unlikely to sit still. You don’t want to risk your dog being injured by airbags, so keeping them in the back is your best bet.

Keeping Them Contained

Letting a dog wander around increases the chances of them getting injured and you getting into an accident. Unfortunately, a seatbelt isn’t the best way to keep a dog restrained safely. A pet carrier is a good way to keep them safe while enjoying a ride. Secure the dog carrier and arrange it so they can see out the window and get some fresh air with the window down. A dog harness is another way to keep them safely contained. If your dog is too big for these options, you can opt to install a dog barrier in between the rear and front seats.

More Pet Safety Tips

This one might be unpopular, but it’s best not to let your dog stick their head out the window. Dogs love the wind, but they can get small particles in their eyes and ears. While most don’t, some dogs have been known to jump out of open windows. Never leave a pet unattended in your car, especially on a hot day. If it’s too hot and you’ll be running errands, bring them in or leave them at home. Be sure your dog is getting plenty of A/C in the back seat as well.

B&L Automotive hopes you’ll practice these tips to keep your pets safe while riding in your vehicle. We’re here for all your collision service needs, so give us a call at (773) 463-1622.

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A Step by Step Guide for What to Do If You Get Rear Ended

Many of us have experienced it. You’re on the road driving and minding your own business, and then it hits you. Getting rear ended is a sure-fire way to ruin your day. It’s often jarring and takes a few seconds to realize what has just happened to you. Many drivers are in shock when they get rear ended, and they may not know exactly what they should do. Read this step by step guide so you can be prepared if and when this unfortunate event happens to you.

Check for Injuries

The first thing to do is check yourself for injuries. Next, you should check on the passengers in your own vehicle, and then on those riding in other vehicles impacted by the accident. If anyone is severely hurt, be sure to call for medical assistance.

Report the Accident

Even if there isn’t much damage or the other driver is asking you not to, you need to call the police to report the accident. They’ll come to the scene and provide a written accident report which is especially important when it wasn’t your fault. Make sure you get a copy of the report because you might need it for your insurance or other claims.

Document the Scene

Almost everyone has a camera on their phone, so take photos or videos of the accident scene. You should also write down what you were doing when the other driver hit you and how it happened. Do this as soon as possible so you don’t forget, especially if you have whiplash.

Exchange Information

Even though you may be angry at the other driver, you need to exchange information. Don’t admit fault or make any statements that might come back to hurt you later on. Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate number.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company or contact them online and provide them with the information you have gathered. You’ll also want the police report, any photos or videos, and your written description of the accident.

Getting Your Vehicle Repaired

After everything else has been taken care of, it may be time to have your vehicle repaired. The experienced experts at B&L Automotive offer a lifetime guarantee and will work with your insurance company on your behalf. Give us a call today at (773) 463-1622 to schedule an appointment.

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6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Car Insurance

Car insurance is important for your peace of mind, serving to protect you financially if you get in an accident. Before you buy a policy, make sure you’re getting the coverage you need by asking these questions.

What’s covered—and what isn’t—if I get in an accident?

It’s a common misconception that car insurance automatically covers the cost to repair or replace your car, along with paying for towing, providing roadside assistance, and covering rental car fees. The reality is you only enjoy these benefits if you have the right coverage.

Car insurance policies are broken down into the following categories:

  • Bodily injury and liability insurance is required in most states, including Illinois. This covers the cost of anyone who is injured or killed, along with any property damage that occurs from an accident you caused.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is automatically included in the minimum requirements for liability insurance under Illinois law. It protects you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage is also important to help supplement the at-fault driver’s insurance if the damages exceed their policy limits.
  • Collision covers vehicle repair costs after an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. This coverage is most beneficial if you have a newer car with a relatively high value.
  • Comprehensive pays for non-accident damage to your vehicle, such as theft, fire, vandalism, and acts of nature. The more your car is worth, the more it makes sense to have comprehensive coverage.
  • Personal injury protection covers medical payments and lost wages to you or your passengers if you’re in a collision. This coverage also reimburses your medical expenses if you’re injured while riding in another person’s vehicle. It might only make sense to get this coverage if your health insurance plan has a high deductible.
  • Towing and roadside assistance are useful if you have an accident or mechanical breakdown. You might not need this coverage if you have a membership with AAA, OnStar, or another roadside assistance program.
  • Additional coverage may include rental car coverage, lost income reimbursement, total disability, accidental death benefits, funeral expense coverage, and more. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have all the coverage you need.

What is the minimum car insurance required in Illinois?

Every state has minimum coverage requirements. For Illinois drivers, this includes:

  • Bodily injury and liability insurance: $25,000 per person /$50,000 all persons/$20,000 property damage per accident
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of bodily injury coverage

If you prefer not to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can reject it in writing. Illinois doesn’t require drivers to carry collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, or other additional coverage. Failure to have car insurance could result in a minimum fine of $500, and your license plates could be suspended for up to four months.

What level of coverage should I get?

Having at least the minimum coverage required by state law allows you to drive legally, but it may not provide adequate protection. For instance, if you cause an accident that results in $100,000 in property damage, and you only have $20,000 of coverage, you will be held responsible for the remaining $80,000, which could be financially devastating.

Talk to your insurance agent about the level of coverage recommended for your situation. Most drivers find that a “middle of the road” policy provides the best balance between affordability and peace of mind.

What is the deductible?

Collision and comprehensive coverage usually come with deductibles, or the amount you must pay before the insurance coverage kicks in. These amounts range from $0 to $2,000 or more, depending on your policy.

When choosing your deductible, consider the amount of money you can afford to pay if you get in an accident without incurring financial hardship. The higher you set your deductible, the more you’ll save on monthly premiums.

What are the premiums?

Once you select the right amount of coverage and choose your deductibles, the insurance company will quote you a premium amount. This is the money you pay each month to keep your coverage going.

Your premiums are affected by more than just the coverage you select. For instance, newer, higher-value cars are more expensive to insure. Your age, driving history, and where you live also affect your rate.

What discounts can I qualify for?

The goal of every car insurance shopper is to keep their premiums as low as possible without sacrificing coverage. The key to saving is to ask about discounts. This is an important step in the car insurance buying process because companies may not automatically give you the discounts you qualify for.

Some common ways to save on premiums include:

  • Driving a car with advanced safety features
  • Having a clean driving record
  • Being a good student
  • Owning a home
  • Bundling multiple policies
  • Paying your premiums in six-month installments instead of month-to-month

If you’re ever in an accident, you’ll be grateful you have car insurance to help you get back on your feet. At B&L Automotive Repairs, we have experience working with insurance companies to help ensure your claim goes smoothly. Bring your car by our Chicago collision repair shop or contact us at (773) 463-1622 for more information.

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Getting the Most for Your Money: Vehicles That Owners Keep the Longest

Americans love their cars, but that certainly doesn’t mean they keep them forever. On average, Americans keep their cars for 8.4 years. The vehicles that are consistently kept the longest indicate that they’re more reliable and their owners enjoy driving them. Most of the vehicles on this list are SUVs or sports cars, so check out which ones you’ll want to consider when looking for a car to keep for a long time.

Toyota Avalon – 9.7 years

This spacious sedan has plenty of cargo room, is in the top of its class for vehicle rankings, and is a reliable alternative for those who want space but not an SUV or a minivan.

Toyota Sequoia – 9.9 years

This three row SUV is popular because it’s extremely durable and able to rack up high mileage if well taken care of.

Porsche 911 – 9.9 years

Sports cars can be quite expensive, so most of their owners aren’t looking to get rid of them for some time. They also accrue less mileage than everyday use cars.

Toyota 4Runner – 10 years

The 4Runner is known for being a reliable vehicle that owners tend to hang onto for quite some time.

Ford Mustang – 10 years

Lots of drivers want a Ford Mustang, but not so many want to get rid of one. This sports car typically isn’t used as a primary vehicle, so it can last a long time without racking up high mileage.

Ford Expedition – 10.1 years

This large SUV is in a class of its own, making it a popular option due to the amount of room it has for passengers and cargo, as well as its ability to tow almost any sized trailer.

Audi TT – 10.2 years

This two-door sports coupe is a popular car that drivers tend to hang onto for more than a decade.

Mercedes-Benz SL – 10.3 years

This sports car has space for two passengers and luggage which makes it a popular choice, and is one of the best grand touring cars available.

Chevy Corvette – 10.5 years

This iconic sports car is known for its amazing performance and is a dream car that many drivers never want to get rid of.

Toyota Land Cruiser – 11.4 years

Toyotas are known for their reliability and longevity. This four-wheel drive utility vehicle is comfortable and comes with lots of technology features.

No matter what type of make and model you drive, B&L Automotive is here for all your collision repair needs. Give us a call today at (773) 463-1622 to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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Tips for Driving Safely During the Fall

Fall is finally here, and while it’s a great time of the year, it’s not all about pumpkin spice and cozy sweaters. Along with the cooler temperatures and shorter days come more driving hazards you need to look out for on the road to stay safe. The following safety tips can help you enjoy the season even more by staying out of harm’s way.

Driving in the Dark

During the summer months you may have taken the extended daylight for granted. Fall means the days are getting shorter and we have less sunlight to work with. That means that there’s a better chance you’ll be driving in the dark on your way to work or to drop the kids off at school in the morning, and it also means you may be driving home in the dark too. Now’s a good time to clean your car’s headlights and make sure all your lights are working properly. Another useful tip for driving in the dark is to give your eyes time to adjust, especially when leaving the bright lights of an office setting. It takes your eyes about two to five minutes to adjust to the dark, so be sure not to be in too big of a hurry to get on the road.

Watching for Pedestrians

Kids are back in school which means you’ll need to be very careful when it comes to crosswalks. Make sure you slow down for all school zones and stop well in front of crosswalks. You’ll likely see more people of all ages out walking due to the nice weather, so be sure to always be alert for pedestrians.

Not Settling for Frosty Windshields

Chicagoland drivers know that cooler temperatures mean frosty windshields. This creates a hazard when it comes to visibility, but there are some things you can do about it. Put a towel over your windshield when parked and cover your side mirrors with plastic bags. You can also use a 2:1 mix of rubbing alcohol and water to clean your windshield.

Other Fall Driving Safety Tips

  • Leaves can be slippery so don’t hard brake. Drive through them slowly and pay attention because they may obscure lane lines.
  • Avoid sun glare especially after sunrise and before sunset by wearing sunglasses, keeping your windshield clean, and driving on North/South streets if possible
  • Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you in the event of rain as roads are more slippery. Also make sure your wiper blades are working properly.

While these tips could help you stay safe and avoid an accident, other drivers may not have read them like you did. If you’ve been in an accident and need collision repair services, contact B&L Automotive today at (773) 463-1622.

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Why You Should Visit a Collision Repair Shop ASAP

Was your car damaged recently in a minor collision? It may have only suffered cosmetic damage, but you can’t be sure. A cracked windshield, dented bumper or buckled hood may seem like no big deal, but here’s why you shouldn’t delay repair work on these types of problems.

Cracked Windshield

The force of a collision could send shockwaves through the windshield, causing it to crack, even if nothing actually hit the glass. Even small cracks can spread quickly with the jolt of driving over uneven roads or potholes. Cracks obstruct your view and could reflect light into your eyes when the sun is at just the right angle.

Moreover, a cracked windshield is not structurally sound, putting you at risk of greater injury or being ejected from the car if you get into a rollover accident. Optimize safety by replacing your cracked windshield as soon as possible.

Dented Bumper

The purpose of a car bumper is to absorb the energy of a crash and prevent greater damage to other parts of the vehicle. A bumper weakened by a prior collision can’t withstand the force of another impact as effectively.

Plus, if the bumper came loose in the accident, it could fall off while you’re driving, which could be very dangerous. It may only seem cosmetic, but replacing a dented or loose bumper is important for roadway safety.

Buckled Hood

Rear-end collisions often cause the hood to crumple. Even if a quick assessment of the engine reveals that everything is still in working order, you shouldn’t leave this repair undone for long.

A buckled hood may be difficult or impossible to open, so you can’t check on fluid levels and engine components. Worse still, air can blow under a buckled hood and pop it open while you’re driving, obstructing your view and increasing the likelihood of getting in another accident. Timely hood repair eliminates this risk.

Leaking Fluids

Damage from a minor collision may only seem cosmetic at first glance, but it’s possible there could be more going on than you realize. Leaking brake fluid could prevent you from stopping the car. Leaking antifreeze could cause the engine to overheat. And driving with a punctured gas tank could cause serious engine damage, leading to a more expensive repair.

Look under your car after getting into an accident. If you see any fluids dripping onto the road, call a tow truck and take the car to a collision repair shop immediately.

B&L Automotive Repairs in Chicago has nearly 30 years of experience repairing mechanical and body damage resulting from car accidents. Our staff is continually trained and educated on the state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair equipment we use to get vehicles back up and running quickly and affordably. No matter the make and model of your car, we can meet your needs. Contact us today at (773) 463-1622 for more information or to schedule a service for your vehicle.

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