Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another 5-Star Review from a Mike's Auto Body Customer

"Super nice people all the way around, bring your car here and you won't be disappointed. They even washed my car, which was filthy when I brought it in."

Earlier this month, we received this 5-star Yelp review from a gentleman in Oakland, CA. Thanks for all of our customers who take the time to review our work, because this is the type of feedback we desire. By learning more about what you want and need, it helps us to provide the finest customer service we can possibly offer.

"I was very pleased with the service I was provided by Mike's Auto body. After dropping my car off, they shuttled me over to the car rental agency, this certainly seems obvious to most but I can see how this might be something that doesn't always get provided at other shops. Maybe I'm wrong, but they seemed to be falling over themselves to make me happy. Considering how minor my repair was I got treated like they were rebuilding the whole car, at least it felt like it to me.

Anyways they always kept me updated about the repairs which took 2 days. When I dropped off the rental, I call Mike's for a ride and again, said no problem, then driver even helped me load my kid's car seat. Again I didn't expect that, but it felt like it was just second nature to them to do that, which to me didn't go unnoticed. We got back to Mike's and the estimator walked over the repairs with me, again were minor, and then talked casually. Super nice people all the way around, bring your car here and you won't be disappointed. They even washed my car, which was filthy when I brought it in.

PS they didn't steal my change. I had like .75 there just begging to get snatched, few quarters too, which I bet was pretty tempting, obviously I kid. Stand up place all way round."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Top 10 Car Safety Innovations

 
Today’s cars are safer than ever, and that’s why automotive fatalities are at an all-time low. At Mike’s Auto Body, we’ve witnessed the technological evolution of cars and trucks. By working on almost every type of vehicle, we’re aware of all the newest features and are cognizant of how they can benefit the driver.
These 10 safety features make driving easier and safer and we believe every car on the road should have them.
1. Electronic Stability Control
It’s all about control. Electronic Stability control helps drivers maintain control. It compares steering and braking inputs with the car's lateral acceleration, individual wheel speeds, and rotation. The brake is automatically applied to help balance the vehicle. This safety feature is important for reducing skidding. All new 2013 models are required to be equipped with this safety feature.
2. GPS Systems
Drivers don’t have to get lost ever again! Navigation systems make traveling more efficient and safer. Drivers no longer have to struggle with looking at a map while driving. The GPS will direct the driver turn by turn and will reroute if necessary.
3. Rearview Cameras
What you can see could save your life or someone else’s. Rearview cameras make backing up and parking much easier. The vehicle issues a warning if there are any obstacles in the way. Certain vehicles have the whole rearview camera feed displayed on the dashboard. There are also cars now that have blind spot detection. These safety features make merging, parking, and driving much safer.
4. Tire pressure monitors
Tire blowouts don’t cause as many accidents anymore. Since 2008, all new vehicles include a tire-pressure monitoring system. This system uses sensors to provide the driver with information on tire inflation. This prevents tires from underinflated. Underinflated tires are the main cause of tire blowouts.
5. Hands Free/blue tooth
Now you can use your cell phone safely while you drive. Mobile use while driving is incredibly distracting and dangerous. Many new cars now include blue tooth hands-free systems. This system allows you to call and talk on the phone while still focusing on the road. You can use voice commands to make and answer calls.
6. Voice activation
Talk to the car! There are many distractions while driving. Changing a radio station or the temperature of the car is not only distracting but potentially dangerous. Many vehicles now have voice activation. The driver can use voice activation to enter destinations into a navigation system, change the radio, and more. Voice activation allows the driver to control the car without lifting a hand from the wheel.
7. Rollover protection
Many new cars have rollover protection. Different cars offer different rollover protection. Some cars include additional airbags. Certain cars have external rollover protection structures that lessen the force of the rollover.
8. Airbags
Airbags have evolved and improved over time. Currently, many vehicles offer multiple airbags. Dual stage airbags are required in all passenger cars and light trucks made after September 2006. Side airbags are also very important. These airbags greatly reduce injuries. All airbags are incredibly important for protecting the driver and passengers.
9. Brake assist
Brake assist technology is very important in emergency situations. Sensors detect can detect panic braking. When the sensors sense this type of braking, brake assist applies a brake boost. This will make the car brake faster.
10. Adaptive headlights
This is a feature found in mostly luxury cars, but it will probably trickle down into more affordable mainstream vehicles within the next few years. This technology adjusts headlights to the direction that the steering wheel is turned. It illuminates the way more efficiently for drivers trying to change lanes or turn.
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, March 6, 2014

When Will Self-Driving Cars Hit Our Roads?


Looking forward to jumping into your self-driving car, pulling out your iPad, having lunch or watching a movie as you travel to your destination?  Does this sound crazy? No, but it’s going to take time, research and a lot of money to get it done. At Mike’s Auto Body, we’re always looking to incorporate the automotive industry’s newest technologies into our repair processes. When the self-driving car becomes a reality on the roads of the Bay Area, you can count on the fact that we’ll be right out there on the cutting edge and prepared to work on these vehicles when accidents occur.
Despite Google's impressive fleet of autonomous cars and interest from Audi, GM, Toyota and others, self-driving cars won't be ready for the general public anytime soon. Experts at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress said recently that the mass market won't get them until 2025, the Detroit News reports, while others are targeting 2030 and beyond.

SAE, whose standards influence everything from cargo specs to horsepower, invited panelists from automakers, suppliers, universities and more to its annual conference in Detroit. So-called "semiautonomous" technology, which fuses collision-detection and steering technologies to keep you in your lane and far enough from the car ahead, will hit the market much sooner, experts said.
The potential for driver distraction spawned debate, says the News. After all, a self-driving car would seem to only encourage more texting — or sleeping or reading. If you had to remain as alert behind the wheel as if you were driving, the benefits would diminish. Such systems offer high safety potential, given most accidents result from human error, but should any malfunction cause an accident, one expert said it would turn the discussion on its head.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in October it would launch a $1.75 million multiyear research project to determine the human controls necessary in driverless cars.
So, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Driver-less cars will exist one day and I don’t doubt it for a millisecond. But, I’m guessing it won’t be a reality until 2030 or even later. Stay tuned and in the meantime, drive safely. Your kids will be driving self-drivers or even vehicles with jet packs, but today, we’ll just have to settle for cars we have to drive ourselves.

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.