How To Prepare For Winter Driving

As winter’s chill sets in, drivers find themselves navigating a unique set of challenges on the road. From icy surfaces to reduced visibility, the colder months demand a specialized approach to driving. It becomes imperative to ensure not only your safety but also the longevity of your vehicle, especially if you have recently been in a collision. Let’s delve into how to prepare for winter driving, include what items you should have in your vehicle and some maintenance tasks to complete. 

Key Takeaways

  • Always prioritize your safety, as winter driving requires heightened awareness and preparedness. 
  • Be ready for emergencies with a well-equipped car.
  • Consider switching to winter tires for enhanced traction and safety.
  • Regular servicing and repairs done at an auto body repair shop like Elmer’s Auto Body play a crucial role in preserving your vehicle throughout winter. 

The Importance of Preparing for Winter Driving

Winter’s arrival introduces a host of challenges that make it difficult to drive. That is why it is important that you prepare adequately before anything happens. Sudden snowstorms, icy roads, and reduced visibility are just a couple of the concerns that you may deal with when driving in the winter. By taking the necessary steps to prepare for winter driving, you promote not only your safety but that of other drivers, as well as the longevity of your vehicle. 

The Common Hazards of Winter Driving 

Understanding the hazards of winter driving is key to mitigating risks effectively. Let’s take a look at some of the weather and dangers of driving during the winter:


Snow, while picturesque, can be a treacherous element on the road. Its slippery nature makes it challenging to maintain control of your vehicle. Carelessness can lead to dangerous skidding, putting you and other drivers at risk. Furthermore, snow reduces visibility, especially during active storms, covering the road and making it difficult to spot potholes, debris, and other potential hazards.


Icy roads significantly increase the chances of losing control of your vehicle, potentially resulting in collisions. The tricky part about black ice is that it can be challenging to see, especially in the dark or when covered by a layer of snow.

There is not much you can do to avoid ice when you don’t know it is there. Yet, you can drive cautiously. Move more slowly and leave more space than usual between your vehicle and others on the road. In the most treacherous conditions, you may want to pull over and avoid driving. 


Low-visibility conditions pose another significant challenge during winter. As the days get shorter, so does your window of clear visibility. Driving at night becomes more dangerous for various reasons, and many individuals have no choice but to commute in the dark. Whether dealing with nightfall or adverse weather conditions such as snow, fog, or hail, drivers must prepare for decreased visibility throughout the season.

What Should You Have in Your Car for Winter Driving?

Equipping your car with a well-thought-out emergency kit is a prudent step to take before venturing out onto winter roads. The unpredictable nature of winter conditions makes having essential items on hand crucial, especially if you’re driving through remote or unpopulated areas or if you encounter freezing temperatures.

Here’s a comprehensive list of items to include in your winter emergency car kit:

  • A well-charged cell phone: Also, consider keeping a portable charger and/or extra batteries in your vehicle for extended use.
  • Clothes and blankets: In case of a breakdown, having extra hats, coats, gloves, and blankets can keep you and any passengers warm until help arrives.
  • Tire chains: Particularly important if you’re driving through higher elevations or on icy roads.
  • A shovel: Useful if you get stuck in the snow and need to dig your way out.
  • A windshield scraper: Essential for ensuring clear visibility on icy mornings.
  • A battery-powered radio: In case your phone has no signal, a radio may still provide a means to reach help. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries.
  • A flashlight: Having a flashlight with extra batteries could be a lifesaver if you need to get to safety or attract attention in the dark.
  • Water and snacks: A gallon or two of water and a few protein bars are essential in emergency situations.
  • A first-aid kit: Include pain medication, bandages, and a pocket knife.
  • Jumper cables: Cold weather can stress your car battery, so it’s wise to be prepared.

Should You Change Your Tires For Winter Driving?

The answer is that it depends. While some people opt for all-season tires to reduce the need for consistent tire changes, this isn’t a universal solution, especially for those living in areas with extreme weather throughout the year.

If you expect frost or snowfall over the winter, changing to winter tires is one of the most effective ways to enhance your safety on the road and mitigate the hazards of winter driving. Winter tires are recommended once the temperature consistently drops below 46°F. These specialized tires come with deeper tread patterns, allowing for superior traction and more efficient braking performance. Additionally, winter tires are made from highly durable rubber designed to prevent blowouts and withstand winter weather conditions such as snow, sleet, and hail.

Does Your Car Need to Be Serviced Before Winter?

Routine servicing of your vehicle is crucial, and this responsibility becomes even more pronounced as winter approaches. Ensuring that your car is in top working condition can prevent breakdowns, reduce the risk of accidents, and contribute to a smoother driving experience in challenging winter conditions.

Some key aspects to consider during pre-winter servicing include:

  • Tire Inspection: Check the condition, pressure, and tread depth of your tires. Replace them if needed.
  • Brake Testing: Ensure your brakes are in optimal condition, as efficient braking is critical in winter driving.
  • Battery Check: Cold weather can put stress on your car battery. Ensure it’s in good condition or consider a replacement if needed.
  • Heater Functionality: Confirm that your car’s heating system is working correctly to keep you warm during winter journeys.
  • Oil Change: Regular oil changes contribute to the overall health of your vehicle. Consider an oil change before winter to improve engine performance.
  • General Vehicle Health Check: Have a comprehensive inspection of your vehicle, addressing any potential issues before they escalate.
  • Dent and Rust Repair: Dents, dings, scratches, and rust patches all mean one thing—that your car’s structural integrity may be compromised. If you have any dents and rust that may worsen during the winter season, considering bringing your vehicle in for repairs. The sooner you get these issues fixed, the less costly it will be.

Contact a Trusted South Jersey Collision Repair Center Today

As winter approaches, the importance of partnering with a trusted auto body shop cannot be overstated. Elmer’s Auto Body, a leading South Jersey collision repair center, is here to ensure your vehicle is in top-notch condition for winter driving. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to assist with routine servicing, tire changes, and any collision repairs that may be needed.

Our commitment to safety and quality craftsmanship sets us apart, making us the go-to choice for all your auto body needs in South Jersey. Get in touch with one of our three South Jersey locations or fill out the contact form today to receive more information or to schedule an appointment.

Should I Get Hail Damage Fixed on my Car?

Is your car suffering from the aftermath of a hailstorm? Don’t underestimate the impact of those seemingly harmless pea-sized hailstones. Neglecting hail damage can lead to a decrease in its value and potential financial losses. Let’s explore the reasons why you should get hail damage fixed on your car, as well as how long repairs take.


Why Should I Get Hail Damage Fixed on my Car?

One common misconception about small-sized hail is that it is not harmful. However, this is not the case. While the hail itself may appear small and harmless, it can actually cause significant damage to your car. Due to the high speed at which it falls and the impact of your car’s movement, it can create hundreds of small dents on the surface. So, if you encounter pea-sized hail while driving, it’s important to take precautionary measures to avoid potential damage to your vehicle.


Hail Damage That You Can Not See

Although a small dent on your car may seem insignificant, it is important to address it before it causes further damage. Even if it may not be visible to the naked eye, a trained professional can detect any underlying damage to the paint. This is especially important in cases of light hail storms, where the dents may not be noticeable without proper lighting. Ignoring these dents can lead to a decrease in your car’s value over time and potentially affect the amount of insurance coverage you receive. Make sure to have them repaired by a professional to maintain the integrity of your vehicle. After all, a car is a valuable investment and should be taken care of properly.


Maintain Your Car Value

If you’re a vehicle owner, it’s important to keep in mind that your car is an asset to your financial portfolio. Its value plays a crucial role in your future plans, whether it’s for selling or trading it in. Unfortunately, hail damage can significantly lower the value of your car and have a negative impact on your investments. In fact, skipping hail repair in an attempt to save money can actually end up costing you more in the long run. It’s best to prioritize repairing any hail damage to maintain the value of your vehicle and avoid potential financial losses.


How Long Does Hail Damage Take To Repair?

It’s a common misconception that severe hail damage car repairs will always take a long time. While it’s true that damage can be extensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that repairs have to be lengthy. Traditional auto body shops may have longer wait times, especially during peak storm seasons, but choosing to work with a reputable auto hail repair specialty shop can expedite the repair process.


The repair shop will assess the damage and determine the most efficient repair method, which is typically paintless dent repair (PDR). This technique can be completed in a relatively short time, but if your vehicle requires additional paint repair or parts replacement, the repair time may be extended. It’s also important to consider that insurance companies can also affect the timeline of repairs as they process the claim. To learn more about the factors that can affect repair time for hail damage on cars, check back on our website in a few weeks for more information.


What Kind Of Budget Do I Need To Fix Hail Damage On My Vehicle?

Has your vehicle been caught in a storm in New Jersey? Although hail is not very common in NJ, there is always a chance of intense thunderstorms sometimes producing hail. These ice balls can range from small like peas to as large as baseballs. The size and duration of hail can cause significant damage to your car, truck, or SUV. This can result in anything from minor damage to a total loss that requires an insurance claim. Repair costs for automotive hail damage will vary depending on the severity, with some ranging from $750 to $10,000. If your car has been affected by hail, it’s important to get it checked and repaired as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road.


Will The Damage Require Repainting The Vehicle?

The extent of damage caused by hail will determine whether a panel on your car can be fixed with paintless dent repair (PDR) or if it needs to be replaced or repainted. Moderate to average hail damage can usually be fixed with PDR, while more severe damage may require panel replacement and conventional body repair. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace a damaged hood rather than attempting to repair it with PDR. Additionally, if hail dents are too deep or large, PDR may not be a suitable option and the repair may need to be outsourced to a trusted body shop for conventional repair and refinishing. Rest assured, Dent Hero works closely with reputable body shops to ensure your car is restored to its pre-damaged condition.


Where Can I Take My Hail Damaged Car To Be Fixed?

In most cases, your insurance provider will refer you to a nearby body shop for your car’s repair. The body shop will handle your claim process and then contract a PDR company, such as Dent Hero, to take care of the dent repair. Since most body shops don’t have PDR technicians on their staff, they will also manage any part replacements, billing, and conventional repair and painting, if necessary.


Involving Your Insurance

If your vehicle has been damaged by hail, it is in your best interest to file an insurance claim to cover the repair costs. This will save you from having to pay a significant amount of money out of pocket. Typically, your deductible will be the only amount you need to pay, which is generally in the range of $100-1000. Let your insurance provider take care of the rest of the repair costs, making the process more affordable for you.


Get Your Hail Damage Repaired at Elmer’s Auto Body

Don’t let small dents lead to big regrets. Addressing hail damage promptly is essential. Even damage that’s not visible to the naked eye can affect your car’s integrity over time, so don’t ignore it. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we’re here to help you restore your vehicle to its original condition. Your car deserves the best care, and we’re ready to provide it. Contact us today by calling one of our three locations or by filling out the contact form. Let us bring your vehicle back to life. Your car, your investment, and your peace of mind are worth it.

Weather Damage and Your Vehicle: Assessing and Repairing Storm-Related Damages in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Weather Damage and Your Vehicle: Assessing and Repairing Storm-Related Damages in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

You wouldn’t think that living in Mt.Ephraim, New Jersey meant dealing with wind, rain, and hail throughout the year, but it does! There are many weather conditions relatively common in NJ that take a toll on vehicles. Dents, dings, broken windshields, and water damage…it can all happen. Unfortunately, these issues can be more severe than they look at first glance. To ensure the safety and longevity of your vehicle, it’s important to assess and address any storm-related issues promptly. Let’s talk about the process of assessing weather damage and then how to get those issues properly repaired at an auto body shop in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.


What Kinds of Weather Damage Can Happen to a Vehicle?

Weather damage encompasses various issues that can affect your vehicle, including:


Hail Damage

Hailstones may cause dings, dents, cracks, and shattered windows. Upon impact, it is not uncommon for hail to cause cosmetic and structural damage to vehicles.


Water Damage

Flooding or heavy rain can result in water-related damage to vehicles. Even driving through flood water can cause significant issues. This can include water seeping into the interior through compromised seals or leaks, leading to damage to the upholstery, electrical systems, and electronics. Water damage can also affect the vehicle’s mechanical components, such as the engine and drivetrain.


Wind Damage

Strong winds during storms can cause flying debris, fallen tree branches, or other objects to collide with the vehicle, leading to scratches, dents, or even more severe damage. Additionally, high winds can cause objects like signs or poles to topple over onto vehicles.


UV Damage

Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can cause damage to a vehicle’s paint, leading to fading, chipping, or peeling. UV rays can also degrade rubber seals and trim, resulting in deterioration and potential water leaks.


Temperature-Related Damage

Extreme heat or cold can impact various components of a vehicle. High temperatures can cause damage to the interior, including fading or cracking of upholstery, dashboard, or steering wheel. In contrast, extreme cold can affect the battery, fluids, and engine performance.


How to Assess Weather Damage on a Vehicle

To assess the extent of weather damage on your vehicle in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, follow these steps:


Exterior Inspection

The first step is to visually inspect the vehicle for any immediately visible signs of damage. This includes scratches, dings, dents, cracked or broken windows and mirrors, broken antenna, and damaged lights. You should also pay attention to the tires and rims. Check for bulges, punctures, or anything else that could become a hazard. Once you have done that, look at the undercarriage for leaks, dents, or damage.


Hail Damage Inspection

If there was a hailstorm, examine the vehicle’s surface for hail damage. Carefully inspect the roof, hood, trunk, and sides of the vehicle. Hail damage typically appears as small dents or dimples, but it can also cause more significant dents with cracked or chipped paint. Take note of the size and severity of the damage to determine the appropriate repair method (some methods only work on shallow hail dents).


Wind and Water Damage Evaluation

Recently driven through a hurricane? Even if you didn’t, strong winds and heavy rain cause a variety of issues, such as cracks and chips in the windshield from flying debris or water damage. Look at the doors, windows, and seals around the windshield for any leaks or compromised weatherstripping. Next, examine the body panels for scratches, dents, or other damage resulting from falling tree branches or other objects.


Mechanical Assessment

While most weather damage is visible on the exterior, it’s also important to assess the vehicle’s mechanical components. Check the brakes, suspension, and exhaust system for any signs of damage or abnormalities. If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or handling issues, consult a professional mechanic for a thorough evaluation.


Weather Damage Repair Options in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Based on what you find when assessing your vehicle for weather damage, you may need one service over another, such as:


Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

PDR is a technique used to repair small dents and dings without the need for repainting. Skilled technicians like those at Elmer’s Auto Body in Mt. Ephraim, NJ manipulate the metal back to its original shape, preserving the vehicle’s factory finish.


Windshield Repair or Replacement

Cracks or chips in the windshield should be addressed promptly to prevent further spreading. In many cases, small chips can be repaired, but larger or severely damaged windshields may require replacement.


Traditional Body and Paint Repair

Severe scratches, dents, and other cosmetic damage can be repaired through traditional body and paint techniques. Skilled technicians will sand, fill, and repaint the affected areas to restore the vehicle’s appearance.


Upholstery and Carpet Replacement

In cases where the water damage has extensively affected the upholstery or carpeting, it may be necessary to replace these components. Professional upholstery services can help restore the interior to its pre-damaged condition.


Component Replacement

If specific interior components, such as electronic modules or control units, have been damaged by water, they may require replacement. The same is true for other moving parts, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and so on. A qualified technician can diagnose the affected parts and replace them with new or properly functioning components.


Fluid Checks and Changes

Storms and flooding can contaminate or degrade fluids in the vehicle, such as engine oil, coolant, or brake fluid. Checking the fluid levels and condition is crucial, and in some cases, fluid changes or flushes may be necessary to ensure proper functioning of the vehicle.


Alignment and Suspension Adjustments

If the vehicle’s alignment or suspension has been affected by storm damage, realignment or adjustments may be necessary. This helps ensure proper handling, tire wear, and overall safety.


Looking For Weather Damage Repair in Mt. Ephraim, NJ?

Storms can cause significant damage to vehicles, requiring prompt attention and repair. Conducting a visual inspection, assessing hail, wind, and water damage, and seeking professional assistance are essential steps in addressing storm-related issues in Mt. Ephraim, NJ. By working with a trusted auto repair service, you can ensure a thorough assessment and receive expert repairs to restore your vehicle’s safety, functionality, and appearance.


Elmer’s Auto Body has extensive experience and expertise when it comes to repairing mild and severe weather damage. Whether your car has some dents and dings from hail or the interior was flooded, our technicians can help. Give one of our South Jersey locations a call or fill out the contact form to schedule your appointment today!


Water Stains, Mold, & Odor: Effective Solutions for Interior Water Damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Water Stains, Mold, & Odor: Effective Solutions for Interior Water Damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Water damage can be a frustrating and problematic issue for car owners. Whether it’s due to a leaky window, a flooded area, or heavy rain, water intrusion into the interior of your car can lead to unsightly stains, unpleasant odors, and even mold growth. If you find yourself dealing with interior water damage in your car in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, it’s essential to take prompt action to mitigate the damage and restore your vehicle’s condition. Let’s look at the effective solutions for interior water damage, including professional services for the most severe cases.


What are the Causes of Water Stains, Mold, and Odor in a Vehicle?

There are several possible causes of water damage in vehicles. Understanding why water stains, mold, and odor may happen can help you address the issues more directly. Here are some common factors:


Leaky Windows, Sunroof, or Weatherstripping

Improperly sealed or damaged windows, sunroofs, or windshield seals can allow water to enter the vehicle during rainfall or car washes. Furthermore, worn-out door seals and window gaskets can also cause leaks, particularly during heavy rain or when driving through flood water.


HVAC System Issues

Problems with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, such as clogged drains or malfunctioning components, can cause water to accumulate inside the vehicle.


Flooded Areas

If you have a smaller vehicle, then driving through flooded areas or having your vehicle trapped in a flooded area highly increase the chance of water getting into the interior.



Excessive condensation can occur if there is a temperature or humidity imbalance inside the vehicle, leading to moisture accumulation and potential mold growth.


Spills or Accidents

Spills from drinks, open containers, or accidents involving liquids inside the vehicle can contribute to water stains and odors—as well as a messy appearance—that impacts your vehicle’s value.


How to Deal With Interior Water Damage

Moisture within the car is never beneficial. Such factors as those listed above can create an environment that is damp and conducive to mold growth, unpleasant odors, and even water stains. So, how do you deal with these issues at home? Here are some tips:


Remove Standing Water

The first thing you have to do if your vehicle is waterlogged is to remove any standing water. If available, use a wet/dry vacuum or towels to soak up as much water as possible. Pay special attention to carpeted areas, seat upholstery, and the trunk, as these are common areas where water tends to accumulate. Remove any coverings and mats for air-drying.


Dry Out the Interior

Once you have soaked up some of the water, start to dry out the interior. Open the windows or doors, promoting airflow. Consider setting up dehumidifiers or fans to accelerate the drying process. It may take some time for the moisture to be completely eliminated. Continue patting the upholstery or carpet with towels throughout the day.


Clean and Disinfect Everything

Water damage can leave behind stains and create an environment where bacteria and mold can thrive. Clean the affected areas thoroughly with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the upholstery, carpets, and hard surfaces to remove any visible dirt or stains. For disinfection, use a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water or a commercial disinfectant specifically designed for automotive use.


Eliminate Lingering Odors

Sprinkle baking soda liberally on carpets and upholstery, let it sit for a few hours, and vacuum it up. Activated charcoal or odor-absorbing sachets placed strategically in the car can also help remove unwanted smells. Additionally, using an automotive-grade odor eliminator spray can provide temporary relief while you address the underlying cause of the odor.


Deal With Mold and Mildew

Use an antifungal cleaner or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to treat affected areas. Scrub gently, ensuring that you reach all the nooks and crannies where mold can hide. Consider using a soft brush or toothbrush to access tight spaces.


Professional Services for Water Damage in Vehicles in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Dealing with water damage, mildew, and musty odors can be daunting. Fortunately, there are professional automotive cleaning services. Auto body shops in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, such as Elmer’s Auto Body, often have the expertise, experience, and equipment required for effectively cleaning and restoring your vehicle’s interior.


Here are some of the services offered by auto repair shops to tackle interior water damage:


Deep Cleaning and Restoration

Car detailing professionals can provide deep cleaning services, including thorough upholstery and carpet cleaning, to remove water stains, dirt, and other contaminants. Detailing may also include restoring upholstery, including leather and vinyl. Experts can also assist with trim and any exterior water damage, like rust.


Water Extraction

Professionals can efficiently remove standing water from your vehicle using specialized equipment like wet/dry vacuums or pumps. They also know where to look in your vehicle for water that may be hidden or hard to reach.


Mold Elimination

If mold has already developed, professionals can perform mold remediation procedures to safely remove mold growth and treat affected surfaces. They have access to appropriate antifungal products and techniques to eliminate mold effectively.


Looking For Interior Water Damage Services in Mt. Ephraim, NJ?

Water stains, mold, and odor in a vehicle can be effectively addressed by promptly removing standing water, thoroughly drying the interior, and cleaning and disinfecting affected areas. Professional services specializing in water damage restoration and car detailing can provide comprehensive solutions for severe damage.


Though water damage can happen at any time, you are not alone with interior water damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ. Contact Elmer’s Auto Body today either by phone or by contact form to schedule an appointment. Our exceptional team can restore your vehicle so you can get back on the road.

Addressing Hail Damage: Repair Options for Dents and Dings on Your Vehicle in Sewell, NJ

Addressing Hail Damage: Repair Options for Dents and Dings on Your Vehicle in Sewell, NJ

Living in Sewell, New Jersey often means being exposed to the state’s unpredictable weather patterns that sometimes includes hailstorms. Although NJ does not receive as much extreme weather as other parts of the country, when inclement weather does happen, you can expect damages. Hail, for instance, can wreak havoc on vehicles, leaving behind unsightly dents and dings. If you’ve fallen victim to hail damage, it’s important to understand your options for repair. Let’s explore your repair options for dents and dings in Sewell, NJ, so you can address the issues and get them resolved as soon as possible.


What is Hail and How Can It Damage a Vehicle?

Hail is a type of precipitation that consists of frozen raindrops that are formed within thunderstorm clouds. When strong updrafts in a storm cloud carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas, they freeze into ice pellets. As these ice pellets are lifted and fall within the storm cloud, they can accumulate additional layers of ice, resulting in hailstones of varying sizes.


Hail can cause significant damage to vehicles due to its impact force, even when the pellets are small. When these hailstones fall onto a vehicle’s surface, they can create dents, dings, and even cracks or shatter windshields and windows. The force of impact can also chip or scratch the vehicle’s paint, leaving it vulnerable to rust and further deterioration if not repaired promptly.


Fortunately, there are options for repairing these damages quickly and affordably.


Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a specialized technique widely used for repairing hail damage. With PDR, the focus is on manipulating the dents from the inside of the vehicle’s panels without the need for repainting. Skilled technicians use a variety of specialized tools, such as metal rods and gentle pulling or pushing techniques, to carefully massage the metal back into its original shape.


PDR is highly effective for small dents where the paint is undamaged. Because PDR repairs dents without impacting the original factory finish, it is one of the best options for maintaining the value of your vehicle. Furthermore, your technician doesn’t have to worry about color-matching chaos.


Another advantage of Paintless Dent Repair is that it is non-invasive. There is no sanding, filling, or repainting required, making PDR a quicker and more cost-effective option compared to traditional repairs. Additionally, PDR produces seamless results consistently. Once your car is returned to you, you will be hard pressed to remember exactly where the dents were! However, it’s important to note that PDR may not be suitable for larger or more severe dents where the paint has been extensively damaged.


Traditional Body Shop Repair

In cases of more severe hail damage or when the paint has been compromised, traditional body shop repair becomes necessary. This comprehensive repair process typically involves several steps. First, the damaged area is sanded down to remove any chipped or peeling paint, as well as any uneven surfaces caused by the hail impact.


Once the surface is smooth, skilled technicians like those at Elmer’s Auto Body in Sewell, NJ use a filling material, such as body filler or putty, to level out the dented area. This step ensures that the repaired surface is even and matches the contours of the surrounding panels. After the filler has dried, the technician carefully sands it down to create a smooth and seamless surface.


The next crucial step is repainting the affected area. The hail damage repair technician will match the color of the vehicle’s original shade to the new paint. They take into account the hue, texture, and metallic content. Once the newly painted surface is complete, the technician then applies a clear coat to provide additional protection.


While traditional body shop repair provides a comprehensive solution for more significant hail damage, it generally requires a longer turnaround time compared to PDR. The process involves multiple steps and may take several days, depending on the extent of the damage and the workload of the body shop.


Insurance Coverage

Here is an option you probably didn’t know you had. If your vehicle has been damaged by hail, it’s essential to review your insurance policy to determine the coverage you have for hail damage repairs. Many insurance policies include coverage for hail damage under comprehensive coverage in New Jersey. Contact your insurance provider to understand the process and any specific requirements for filing a claim. They can guide you through the necessary steps and recommend approved repair shops in Sewell, NJ.


Are DIY Options Worth Trying?

There are several DIY options out there (and also many myths, like sun exposure removing hail dents) that may potentially help, such as the hot water method for small or shallow dents. This requires pouring hot water over the dented area to make the metal more malleable then plunging it. Suction sometimes forces the dent to pop out.


Another option is using a hair dryer and compressed air. This method is effective for small to medium-sized dents. Using a hairdryer, heat the dented area for a few minutes, ensuring the paint becomes warm to the touch. Quickly switch from the hairdryer to a can of compressed air held upside down, spraying the dent for about 30 seconds. The sudden temperature change can cause the dent to pop out. It’s important to exercise caution while handling compressed air, wearing protective gloves and eyewear.


However, there is always a chance of such methods producing less than satisfying results. For larger dents, extensive damage, or if you are uncertain about DIY methods, it’s advisable to consult a professional hail damage repair technician in Sewell, NJ. They have the expertise and specialized tools required to safely and effectively restore your vehicle’s appearance. Furthermore, auto body shops can assist with the insurance claims process, especially if your insurance covers hail damage. They can work with your insurance provider to ensure proper documentation, accurate estimates, and a smooth repair experience.


Looking For Hail Damage Repair in Sewell, NJ?

When it comes to addressing hail damage on your vehicle in Sewell, NJ, it’s essential to explore the available repair options. Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a popular choice for smaller dents where the paint remains intact, offering a non-invasive and seamless repair process. For more severe hail damage or instances where the paint has been compromised, traditional body shop repair becomes necessary. This comprehensive approach involves sanding, filling, and repainting the affected areas to restore the vehicle’s appearance.


If you are unsure which of these repair options is best for you, be sure to speak with an auto body shop like Elmer’s Auto Body. Our repair shop has over 75 years of experience dealing with issues like hail damage and beyond. We offer traditional repairs and Paintless Dent Repair, alongside the added benefit of masterful technicians. Give one of our NJ locations a call or fill out the contact form today to schedule your appointment!

Driving With a Cracked Windshield

You were driving along when all of a sudden a stone was kicked up by a passing truck. Now you have a tiny star-shaped crack in the windshield. Sure, that crack might be harmless right now, but it can quickly go from being a swift repair to a total windshield replacement very fast. If you’re thinking about driving with a cracked windshield, don’t. There are too many risks involved.


If your vehicle has a chipped or cracked windshield, it is best to get it repaired as soon as possible. We’re going to explain why.


Factors Affecting How Long You Can Drive With a Cracked Windshield

You might see others driving around with cracked windshields, but they probably don’t understand how unsafe cracks can become. The size of the crack is certainly a factor in this, however. Smaller chips and cracks may be safe for a while, but larger cracks, particularly those that go from one end of the windshield to the other, may be illegal in your state.


The other factor is location. Cracks can spread then hinder your view of the road while you drive. In this case, you should get the crack repaired immediately. A small crack located on the passenger side, on the other hand, is less dangerous. You can drive for hundreds of miles and never even notice it.


Interestingly, newer car models with front-facing cameras mounted near the rear-view mirror could also be affected by a chip or crack. Damages to the windshield that are close to these cameras could throw off their accuracy or affect other safety features, like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, collision avoidance, and more. If you have to get a total windshield replacement, those camera systems will also need to be recalibrated.


Why Repair Windshield Cracks Immediately

Even the tiniest of cracks should be repaired as soon as you can. Yes, the cost of a windshield repair can be expensive, but the price of a whole replacement is even more. You could potentially save hundreds by repairing the crack soon after it happens rather than waiting for the damage to spread.


Additionally, if your car is up for a state inspection, or if driving with a large crack is illegal, you don’t want to risk being penalized. That is even more costly. As long as you have less than three cracks that are less than six inches long, you can get the windshield repaired.


Why Do Windshield Cracks Grow Over Time?

There are a couple of reasons why a windshield crack grows rather than staying isolated. First, going down a bumpy road could widen the crack or make it spread deeper into the glass. Dirt can also get into the fissure, weakening the structural integrity of the windshield. Next, leaving your car in the middle of a parking lot on a hot summer day could worsen the crack. The heat will force the crack to grow wider as it tries to escape. The same is true for fluctuating temperatures or extremely cold weather.


This is why you shouldn’t go driving with a cracked windshield. Anything you do could potentially make the chip or crack worse, leading to a full windshield replacement.


Tips to Prevent Windshield Cracks From Spreading

Can’t get to the auto glass repair shop right away? Don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to make driving with a cracked windshield slightly less problematic:


1. Buy a windshield kit

You can find a high-quality windshield repair kit at your local hardware or auto parts store. To do this correctly, you are going to need to bore a hole into the top layer of the windshield with a 1/16-inch drill bit, right over the chip or crack. Take the special resin from the kit and use it to seal the hole in the glass. This helps reduce the stress on the windshield and prevents cracks from forming. Sometimes, this does the trick and you don’t have to worry about further repairs.


2. Pick a shady parking spot

Since glass expands in the heat and contracts in the cold, you want to avoid sudden temperature changes. For example, if you direct the heating vent towards the windshield when it’s freezing outside, you’re going to see the crack widen. Whenever possible, park your car in the shade and away from inclement weather. Avoid using the defroster, too.


3. Try clear acrylic nail polish

There are some auto repair hacks that claim you can use superglue and masking tape to cover the crack, but that could lead to a windshield repair. Instead, you can try putting clear acrylic nail polish over the crack instead.


The solution is temporary, though it does a great job at keeping the crack together and dirt-free long enough for you to schedule a windshield repair appointment. Plus, if you mess up, you can easily wipe away acrylic nail polish with an acetone nail polish remover. It’s safe for glass.


Wrapping Up

Whatever you do, avoid letting a windshield crack get too large. Driving with a cracked windshield might not seem treacherous, but the situation could worsen rapidly. Rather than getting slammed with a fine or an expensive windshield replacement, get your windshield chips and cracks repaired immediately.


Elmer’s Auto Body is qualified for a number of repairs, including windshield repair and replacement. Our I-CAR Gold Class rated facility has state-of-the-art technology, and we employ only professionally trained and certified technicians. Don’t drive with a cracked windshield. Call us to schedule your repair today.