Thursday, September 4, 2014

Game On! Some Tailgating Tips from Mike’s Auto Body



It does not matter who your favorite team is, tailgating is a sport all in itself and now that we’re approaching football season, it’s once again time to party in style. At Mike’s Auto Body, we want you to have a safe and fun time as you cheer for your Giants, 49ers, A’s, Sharks, Raiders, Warriors, favorite college teams or attend a big arena concert.

Tailgating used to involve simply a vehicle, food and libations, but now people have taken it to a whole new level, including amazing trucks, campers, modified cars and even buses. They’ve also integrated new technology, with high-tech music systems, large screen TVs and outdoor kitchens. And the old days of hot dogs and burgers accompanied by beer have been replaced by gourmet fare and fancy cocktails.

“Tailgating used to be a pickup truck and keg of beer. Now it’s an art form,” says Peter MacGillivray, vice president of events and communication for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a 50-year-old automotive trade organization with 6,500-plus member companies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is Your Vehicle Ready to Go Back to School?




If you’re a student or a parent, this time of the year is filled with either dread or joy, depending on your perspective. Back to school time is right around the corner, and Mike’s Auto Body is here to make sure that you and your car are ready for the coming school year. At Mike’s we’re parents too-so we know how important a safe, clean and well-running vehicle is for when school starts in less than a month.
Going back to school means more carpools, practices, bake sales, dances, field trips, sports events and other functions. That equates to more passengers and cargo. It’s a long school year, and there aren’t too many opportunities to catch your breath. So make sure your vehicle is ready to handle the extra miles as soon as the bell rings.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mike’s Auto Body’s Community Give Back Program


By giving back, it can open your eyes to what's really important and perhaps inspire you to "share the wealth" with others while making your local community a better place for everyone to live. And that’s the thinking behind the Mike’s Auto Body’s Community Give Back Program.


Mike Rose's Auto Body will donate 3% of the parts and labor of your auto body repair to the local non-profit organization of your choice, whether it’s a school, charitable cause or other non-profit organization that’s close to your heart, because we want to help them and this is one way that we can do it together.


To be eligible for Mike’s Auto Body’s Community Give Back Program, select one of the organizations from the participating organizations list or print a certificate for the local non-profit organization of your choice and then bring it to Mike’s Auto Body when you come in for an estimate. 

When the repair is complete, Mike’s Auto Body will send 3% of the parts and labor directly to the non-profit organization that you’ve selected along with a check and a letter informing the organization that the gift is from you!!

If you would like to add your organization to the Community Give Back Program and have it listed on our website, simply fill out the form below. Our staff will review your request and promptly email you back once it’s been accepted.

For a list of the charities on our Community Give Back Program, visit our web site at: www.MikesAutoBody.com 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let's meet James Maltbie, our manager in Antioch


Q: How long have you been with Mike’s Auto Body?
A: Four months

Q: How many years of industry experience do you have?
A: 25+ years 

Q: What do you do when you're not working at Mike’s Auto Body?
A: Spending time with my son and watching him play baseball and basketball are my favorites.

Q: Major interests?
A: Cycling, road racing and mountain bike racing

Q: What are the 3 things you want to do in your life?
A: Raise my son to be the best man he can be. Travel and tour Italy by bike.

Q: What was the title of the last book you read?
A: Steve Jobs


Q: Pets & their names?
A: A Rhodesian Ridgeback named Zoey


Q: Favorite outdoor activities?
A: Cycling and hiking

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
A: My father, definitely

Q: What are some of the customer service things you're proud of at Mike’s Auto Body and describe your view of what exceptional customer service is?
A:The seamless process between the initial call center contact all the way through when the finished vehicle is delivered. To me personally, great customer service is when the customer has minimal inconvenience and continually updated throughout the repair process.

Q: What are some of the changes you've seen in this industry over the years and how has Mike’s Auto Body reacted to these?
A:Automotive technology is changing rapidly and Mike's puts a lot of effort into staying current with training and the tools necessary to repair today's high-tech cars correctly.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summerize Your Car & It Will Take You Far




Like most of us at Mike’s Auto Body, summer is vacation time, especially if you have school age kids. Disneyland, the beach, Lego Land and other attractions await you. So, if you’re going to drive any distance this summer, it would be wise to Summerize! Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance...Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Air Conditioning: A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval

Cooling System: The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Oil: Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

Engine Performance: Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drive-ability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

Windshield Wipers: A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights: Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Tires: Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes: Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

Battery: Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Emergencies: Carry some basic tools — ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight.

Fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Leaving Kids Alone in Hot Cars — Know the Risks and Consequences




Message to Parents and Caregivers: Now that the weather is heating up, the people at Mike’s Auto Body are once again offering timely and helpful safety tips. This advice is being provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTA) and most of it is basic common sense.

Tips:
·         -Never leave a child alone in a car.
·         -Don’t let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
·         -Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.
·         -Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it’s empty. -Move the teddy bear to the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a visual reminder.
·         -If you are dropping your children off at childcare, but normally your spouse or partner drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure they were not left in the car.
·        -Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front and back before walking away — always!
-Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to transporting children are especially prone to forgetting. Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking “I’ll just run into the store for a minute.” In either case, it’s important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars — especially hot cars.

Risks:
·       - In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         -Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
·         -With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
·         -A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.
·         -Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!
·        - A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.
-Don’t become a tragic statistic and pay attention. Be vigilant and safe, courtesy of 

Mike’s Auto Body, a company that has been fixing cars to their pre-accident condition for thousands of satisfied customers since 1972. Mike Rose and his family have built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being a company that cares.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

High-Tech “Smart Seats” Protect Kids More than Ever




With summer right around the corner, the people at Mike’s Auto Body are offering a series of helpful tips about driving and safety on the highways throughout these hotter months. As you travel this summer with your family, please make sure the little ones are always safe within your vehicle. One great thing is that children’s car seats are better and safer now than ever, because they’re utilizing new technology and embracing recent innovations in plastics and lighter metals, such as aluminum, for example. 

"Car seats are one of the biggest success stories we have in auto safety right now because the newer ones are incredibly effective at reducing injuries and fatalities to children," says Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D., Engineering Core Director for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in an article that appeared recently on Edmunds.com.

The newest car seats can do just about everything short of actually babysitting your child. But, until an electronic nanny hits the market, these new car seats are as cutting-edge as they can possibly be. They’re called “Smart Seats” and part of an evolution led by child safety seat manufacturers that are going way above the current car seat standard to develop even safer seats.

Here is the newest, safest and most popular of all the high-tech child car seats available on the market today, with the latest side-impact safety innovations to protect the youngest passengers. It’s called the Cybex Aton 2 and it is getting amazing reviews by consumer publications worldwide. It’s a rear-facing car seat for infants 4-35 pounds (preferably until age 2), up to 30 inches tall and it retails at $299.

This German-engineered rear-facing-only infant car safety seat is the first to offer the linear side-impact protection (LSP) system, which is designed to absorb more of the energy of a side-impact collision. To engage the LSP system, you simply flip out the wing on the side of the car seat near the car door after clicking the car seat into its base. (You don't need to use the LSP system if you install the car seat in the rear center spot, which is the safest car seat position.) The plastic wing helps transfer the energy of a crash into the shell of the car seat so a child isn't jostled around as much. Safety testing by the manufacturer found the LSP system increases safety by 40 percent in a side-impact collision.

“Cars are entering a new age, so why not kids’ car seats?” Peter Bizaca, Marketing Manager at Mike’s Auto Body explained. “We get second and third-generation customers here every month and many of them have very young children and that’s why we’re happy to see these developments in car seat safety. Anything that can save lives and make us all safer, it’s a win-win.”

The Cybex Aton 2 also features a load leg, which is commonly found in European car seats. The leg, which extends from the car seat base to the floor of the car, affixes the car seat base for added stability in a frontal crash. An added bonus: The seat itself is lightweight, weighing just 9 pounds because the release mechanism, which typically adds heft to a car seat, is in the base that's attached to the vehicle seat, not the car seat itself.

Other new high-tech “Smart Seats” that have received top reviews include the Safety 1st Advance 70 Air ($189.99) and the Britax Advance 70-G3 ($379).
Protect you most-prized cargo as you travel this summer. Take a close look at the Cybex Aton 2 and see if it works for you and your family. 

This is a safety tip courtesy of Mike’s Auto Body, a company that has been fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public.