10 things to Check before your Road Trip!

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Everyone loves the Summertime.  We have the freedom to drive to different places and explore unknown areas. Going on long Road Trips seems to be something almost every family does together at one point or another during the hot summer months.  But before you leave, you will want to make sure you have taken care of all of the following, so that you don’t get stranded.

 1.  Car Battery

Clean any corrosion build up, and test the cold cranking amps and voltage output to make sure it is at or above the batteries specs.  If below specs, the battery is probably on it’s way out and should definitely be replaced.

2.   Tires

Check pressure for manufactures suggested pressure.  Also look for any damage to the sidewall dry rotting or cracks and/or foreign objects in the tread.  If you find damage or foreign objects in the tread, the tire should definitely be replaced.  Tires that are over 10 years old or have excessive dry rotting should be replaced.

3.  Spare Tire

Even though your spare tire gives you piece of mind, you may want to make sure that it is in the proper condition to be used as a “spare”.   Check the spare’s Tire Pressure as well as the outside of the tire for any damage.  Make sure the jack and lug wrench are functioning properly.  If your vehicle is not equipped with a spare tire, make sure to have a backup such as a spare tire flat kit.  Also make sure that the kit is not expired.  Yes, they do expire.

4.  Fluids

Before leaving on your trip, check to make sure all fluids are at top levels.  Just don’t overfill them.  Make sure to include the oil, transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield washer fluid.

5.  Check Belts and Hose for any Signs of Cracks or Leaks

6.  Check and Make sure the Horn functions Properly

7.  Lights

Make sure all Lights on your vehicle are functioning.  This includes the turn signals, brakes, headlights as well as hazard and interior lights.

8.  Make sure you Windshield does not have any rock chips or cracks

9.  Windshield Wipers

Make certain that the Windshield wipers are functioning at 100% capacity and their cleaning ability is flawless.

10.  Front Bumper

Make sure to check for any obstructions in the grill as well as under the front bumper.

These are just the basics when it comes to auto maintenance prior to a roadtrip.  Depending on the make, model, year and condition of your vehicle, some of these may or may not apply.  Regardless, before venturing out on the road, the most important thing you can do for you and your passengers is make sure that they are safe.  Once Safety is addressed, the Road Trip should go pretty smooth.

Wherever you decide to travel this summer, just make sure to Enjoy!

ICC Collision Centers

3131 Standard Avenue

Santa Ana, California 92705

What Should I have in my basic automotive toolkit?

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Okay ladies, we know we can do it all.  We take care of our families, homes and our jobs.  We can do it all, with the proper tools.  This includes mechanical things and needing the tools for basic things.  Do you have your own tool kit?  ICC Collision Center knows today’s woman can do anything but if your specialty isn’t with mechanical things would you know what to have in a basic tool kit?
Here is a basic list of tools one (man or woman) should have in a tool “kit”. Keep in mind you don’t need to run out and get all of this at once.  You need to decide what will work best for your particular situation.
  1. Claw Hammer – Great tool with many uses from hanging pictures to cracking walnuts. This is a must have in any tool kit.
  2. Pliers- slip-joint, diagonal & needle nose ( I like needle nose for cutting and shaping wire for jewelry making)
  3. Wrenches- there are several types that you will commonly use for me these are socket wrenches. Standard and metric a small set will do. Vise grips crescents and hex key set I use most of all.  I use these to help tighten the rattling of the washer/dryer panels.  Mount my flat screen TV to the mounting bracket on TV stand.  Also a spark plug wrench is a good idea so you can change spark plug in lawn mower or weed whacker.
  4. Screwdriver set- most decent sets have flat head and Philips. Great for mounting switch plates, tightening door knobs, hanging curtain rods.   
  5. Level- (torpedo) the only way to hang that picture straight, period.
  6. Measuring tape- 16 foot is a good length. Obvious as to why this would be handy. Get one with a belt clip and is larger print and easy to read for you.
  7. Wood saw- Not commonly thought of but commonly needed. Use to cut wooden dolls for craft projects, Christmas tree boughs and the list can go on and on.
  8. Utility knife- choose an automatically retractable blade for safety.
  9. Flashlight- I believe you should have one in your car and a few in your home. Not always easy to keep fresh batteries in if you have children.  For that reason I recommend having at least one self- generating flashlight on hand.
  10. Cordless power drill- 14.4 volt or higher is best. Great for mounting curtain rods and blinds. So much easier than using a screwdriver if possible.
Keeping it all together- Doesn’t have to be fancy.  Just make it you!  So if it is a basket or a bag just also make sure to put in safety glasses, pair of gloves.  If you don’t want your tools mixed up with someone else’s tools use color duct tape and mark each tool.  You can also purchase most tools now in different colors!  Here at ICC Collision we will take care of all of your auto needs.  We also like to give handy tips to our customers just to make things a little easier.  Have fun building your own tool kit.  Make it unique and show your flare!

Tips for packing your car

Going on a trip or moving into a dorm?  Need to fit a LOT of stuff in a small space?  Being prepared is half the battle.  First thing you should do is completely clean out your vehicle. Take out everything that is not needed on the trip and all trash.  This will save much needed space. 
What are you taking?  This is where prioritizing is very important.  Do you really need to take that oversized teddy bear or blanket?  If it’s the key to get that toddler to sleep then YES it’s important!  If not then maybe it can stay behind this time.  If you are moving then it may be of more importance to bring it.  If you know for sure you will need an item then it needs to go in the pile that has to be packed.  Prioritizing is important, so put important things in first.  Suitcases, boxes or duffel bags go in first. Breakable things or things you may need to reach on the trip goes on the top.   
Start putting the pieces together and fitting things in, rearrange if you need to but take your time and make sure you don’t leave anything out! If you have clothes on hangers, leave them on the hangers and lay them over the top of everything else.  After all you will be just hanging them right back up when you get there!  If you have something important that you will need right when you reach your location, pack it in a bag or box marked “pack this last”.  This will keep it all together and you will be able to easily get to what you need. 
Don’t forget the snacks!  Save time and money by bringing food with you!  Snacks, drinks and/ or sandwiches should be easy to get to.  When it’s time to eat pull over and stop at a rest stop or gas station.  This is not only safer for you and other on the road, but it gives you time to get out and stretch your legs.  Fresh air and moving around will give you a “second wind”.
Road trips, either for vacation or relocation should be fun and exciting!  Proper planning can make all the difference!
ICC Collision Center hopes you have a safe trip!

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Take Your Dog For A Safe Car Ride

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We all love our dogs and we love taking them in the car with us around town or on long trips. Your main job is to keep him safe and make sure he is secure in your car when you take him for a ride.

Here’s how to reach your destination safely and happily with your dog in the car. 

Help Keep Your Dog Comfortable in the Car

Boxer Puppy in Rear Seat of Car

Be sure to make a comfortable place for your dog to sit or lie in the seat. Use a blanket or buy a seat cover made just for dogs to protect the cars upholstery. If you have an SUV, use a crate for your dog. Giving the dog a nice place to rest and feel safe is important during a long drive.

Keep Rover Confined

You may think it’s more fun for the dog to roam the car while you are driving, but it’s actually much safer to keep the dog confined and tethered by a safety harness. Dogs can be a distraction to drivers and can also be dangerous for both of you in the event of an accident. Just stopping the car too quickly could seriously injure a dog.

Take Frequent Breaks 

If you’re on a long trip, be sure to give to yourself extra time when a pet is involved. Stops for potty breaks will need to be made every hour or so and allow for a quick walk for some much needed exercise.  The walks will help release nervous energy and keep Rover happier during the trip!

Provide Entertainment 

There are dogs that love going for rides and will nap for hours or just be content to be with you in the car. Other dogs get nervous and restless especially on longer rides. Be sure to take your dog’s favorite toy or some bones to chew on while riding in the car to keep them occupied. Just like children, they need things to do to keep them happy on long journeys from home!

NEVER Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

A car can quickly reach high temps and become a death trap.  On a 78-degree day, the temp in a parked car can reach 100 to 120 in just minutes. On a 90-degree day, the inside can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. When the temps get into the 100 degree mark, your dog can sustain brain damage in as little as 15 minutes. Avoid Rover and you any stress from the heat by just leaving him at home on hot days.

After taking your dog on those trips, your car may need a nice cleaning. Call our Mobile Detail & Spa Service at 714-444-3100 and we’ll be right over to clean up after Rover!