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Your Auto Body Spring Checklist

Keeping your vehicle in top shape at all times will ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently when you need to travel from one place to another. Many drivers believe that the services of an auto body shop are only needed after a vehicle has been involved in a major collision. This simply isn't true. Auto body shops can offer a wide range of services that are designed to help address structural issues and extend the life of your car. Spring is a great time to take inventory of the condition of your vehicle's body and frame. Follow this checklist, and you may be surprised to find that you do need the help of a professional auto body specialist to keep your vehicle in top shape.

Address Winter Driving

Vehicle damage caused by winter driving conditions might not be at the top of a Bay area driver's list of concerns, but you should still address any potential damage winter may have caused to your vehicle. A lot of people visit family members for the holidays in snow-packed areas or take their vehicle to ski resorts for winter vacations. These trips can expose your car to the dangers of road salt. Road salt is used to lower the freezing point of water so that ice will not form on the surface of the road. Salt is paramount to the safety of winter driving, but it can wreak havoc on your vehicle's undercarriage. Exposure to road salt can lead to serious corrosion of your vehicle's frame and subframe. If you have engaged in any winter driving over the past few months, have an auto body specialist complete an inspection of your undercarriage for evidence of salt damage so that you can address this damage before it takes a toll on the stability of your vehicle's frame.

Check for Rust

One of the most dangerous things that can be found on your vehicle is rust. Rust slowly eats away at the metal components of a car, leaving your vehicle susceptible to serious structural issues over time. Most cars will be plagued by rust at some point during their service life. Addressing rust problems early can help you limit the spread of this corrosive substance to protect the integrity of your car for as long as possible. Inspect for rust by checking in the wheel wells of your vehicle and around the door frames, as these are areas where rust typically appears first. If you see any reddish-brown discoloration during your inspection, take your vehicle to a body shop for remediation. An experienced body shop can buff out minor rust and replace any metal panels that rust has ravaged.

Identify Dents

Small dents in the exterior of your vehicle can be caused by a number of things. A stray shopping cart might have run into your car in a store parking lot, you might have bumped your garbage cans while backing out of the driveway, or neighborhood children may have hit your vehicle with a ball while playing. No matter the cause of the dent, you should always have an experienced body shop repair damaged areas as quickly as possible. Dents weaken the protective paint layer of your vehicle and make the underlying metal more vulnerable to rust. Dents in the doors might compromise the locking mechanism of your vehicle, reducing safety and security. Auto body repair specialists can use specialized tools to pull out minor dents to ensure you are back on the road quickly. Take inventory of the condition of your car this spring. If you spot any signs of damage, contact Jim's Auto Body for help scheduling the repairs needed to maintain the integrity of your vehicle in the future.

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