6 Simple Tips to Keep You Out of the Auto Repair Shop

Everyone knows that going to an auto repair shop can be quite the task. It can take a lot of time and money, two things we don’t always have. Here are some tips to keep you out of the repair shop and on the road.

Owner’s Manual: The first thing you should do as a car owner is look over the owner’s manual. This book was literally written for your car. It has everything you need to know to set up your vehicle. Like how to initially set up your car, how to check your fluids, and even how to access technical data.

Oil Changes: This one is pretty basic but a lot of times, overlooked. Simply changing your oil at the recommended time can increase your vehicles performance tremendously. When you don’t change your oil it thickens and becomes sludgy, it loses some of its lubricity and makes the engine work harder. Old oil will break down due to exposure to heat, losing its ability to maintain the viscosity needed to do its job. Without the right viscosity, the oil loses its ability to get where it needs to go in the engine. The engine runs hotter and less efficiently, robbing the engine of both gas mileage and horsepower. Putting it simply, an oil change is the number one thing that will keep any vehicle running well for its entire life.

Rotate Tires: Rotate those babies! The reason why you want to rotate your tires is because they wear unevenly. The front tires tend to wear on the outside edges because the tire leans over when you turn a corner. The rear tires usually wear more evenly. If you never rotate your tires, those outside edges on the front tires will wear down much quicker than the rear tires. You’ll end up having to replace the tires thousands of miles sooner!

Air Pressure: Not too little, not too much. Keeping the PSI too low can cause problems such as the shoulders of the tire to wearing prematurely and a decrease in fuel economy. When the PSI is to high is causes other problems such as center wear, which wears down the middle of your tires. It can also be more easily damaged by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road. The air pressure in your vehicles tires is something you want to keep spot on. When at the correct PSI, it fixes the problems mentioned above. Your tires will wear evenly, which prolongs their life and can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. Also, your tires can perform at their best which means better handling, dependable traction and a more comfortable ride.

Brake Pads: I don’t need to explain why changing your brake pads is so important, just imagine you can’t stop your two ton vehicle while your going 60mph and approaching a stop sign. It would be terrifying, right? This is why it’s important to pay attention to the signs and change your brake pads on time. You can check your brake pads manually by just looking at them. If you see that the depth of the pad is less that 1/4 inch. You need to replace them soon! If you wait too much longer you could cause rotor damage and end up paying a lot more to replace them. You will Also know you need to change them by the sound. If you are hearing a screeching sound when you put your foot on the brakes, it’s time for a change. If you continue to put it off, you will start to hear sounds that are more like grinding on metal, and by that point I’m afraid you have damaged your rotors and you need to fix the brakes immediately otherwise you could cause major damage. Not to mention how unsafe it is for you and other people around you. Brake pads are something anyone could change with the right tools and knowledge. But, If you have never attempted to change brake pads before then I would suggest leaving it to the professionals. However, if you are going to attempt to change them yourself, make sure you have someone there to help you and call for help in case of an emergency.

Air Filter:  The build up in the air filter that causes it to clog doesn’t happen all at once, it accumulates gradually. Cleaning your air filter at the halfway point (before you replace it) keeps it ready to defend against pollen and debris getting into your engine. It doesn’t take much to just slip it out and give it a quick vacuum or wash. If you decide against cleaning it before you replace it; Make sure you are replacing it at the correct mileage (see owners manual). If the air filter is not replaced in time it can cause symptoms such as potential ignition problems caused by foul spark plugs. A dirty air filter prevents the necessary volume of clean air from reaching the engine which affects the emission control systems of the car; reducing air flow and causing the too rich air-fuel mixture to foul the spark plugs.




Joe Hudson’s Collision Center now has 56 auto body shop locations!

Joe Hudson’s Collision Center was founded in 1989. Over the years, it has provided quality service for thousands of customers, including free auto body repair estimates and a repair tracking system that allows its customers to stay up-to-date with the repair process of their vehicle. Joe Hudson’s work is guaranteed and carries a limited lifetime warranty.

Since 2014, Joe Hudson’s Collision Center has experienced rapid growth. The number of auto body shop locations have doubled, from 23 in 2014 to 56 in 2017. These locations are currently spread throughout 6 Southeastern states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas. This expansion is expected to continue in the coming years with acquisitions throughout more US states.

To view these locations or find an auto body shop near you, please go to our “locations” page.

Joe Hudson interview on WSFA, Children’s Hospital

Joe Hudson was recently featured on WSFA in an interview about Children’s Hospital. Click the link below to see the video.



What Can $5 Do Campaign

Joe Hudson’s Collision Center cares for the community and has created a unique partnership with the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders (ACCBD) at Children’s of Alabama. During the month of October, Joe Hudson’s Collision Center locations across Alabama (currently 20) will donate $5 to Children’s of Alabama for every vehicle repaired. Click on the link below to learn more and find out how you can get involved.


The Top Five Requirements for an Auto Body Shop

These days, most of us spend many hours in our vehicles, driving to and from work, carting kids here and there, running errands, and often, just taking a leisurely drive in the country. It goes with the territory that at some point, most of us will experience the need to find an auto body shop to do some repairs. In most regions, there is no shortage of repair shops, so make sure the one you choose meets these top five requirements.

1. Make sure the auto body shop is willing to work with your insurance company. Even if you’re not filing a claim on this particular repair (say, for example, it wasn’t a collision-related repair), you still want a company that is professional enough to be willing to work with the insurance company in case you do have to file a claim for a collision or other incident in the future.

2. Get testimonials from customers. Finding out what other people have experienced when working with the auto body shop that you are considering will tell you volumes about what you can expect. Often just going to the shop’s website will let you read testimonials. If the shop doesn’t have a website, or if they don’t have testimonials posted on the site, ask for some references. Most reputable shops will have some customers that will speak on their behalf.

3. Be sure you feel comfortable with the person giving you the estimate. Does he or she smile? Look you in the eye? Is he or she friendly, and willing to talk over the various items on the estimate?

4. Confirm that the auto body shop is a licensed and insured place of business. You will not only be entrusting them with your repair, you’ll likely be leaving your vehicle in their hands for several days, if not longer, and you want to be sure that you can trust that should there be any incident in the shop (such as a fire or burglary), they have the ability to compensate you for any potential losses.

5. Get your estimate in writing. Even if it’s a small job, such as just touching up the paint on a bumper or installing a power-window motor, you want to be sure that the shop is comfortable standing by their word. A written estimate is a must-have when choosing a body shop.

Whether you’re changing body shops due to a bad experience, or just looking for a new shop, chances are you’ll be starting a long-term relationship, because most of us need an auto body shop more than once. It’s worth doing the homework up front, so that you’ll be glad you did, instead of wishing that you had!

How To Choose The Right Auto Body Repair Shop

Choosing an auto body repair center for your vehicle should not be taken lightly. Not only do you want a company that is courteous and professional, but ideally you want one that has experience dealing with the insurance companies. Many times you will see advertisements from collision centers telling you that you don’t have to take the insurance company’s recommendations. However, if the insurance company is recommending the collision center, then you can be confident that they are doing so because the collision center has a good reputation and completes the job properly. It’s not because the insurance company is trying to get the job done cheap. More importantly, it’s because they know the job will be done right.
Another important factor to consider is if the collision center is experienced with the various makes and models of different vehicles. You want to be sure the technicians are trained well for different vehicle body types as well. Feel free to ask the collision center if they have repaired other vehicles like yours. If they have testimonials on their website, browse through them to see what others are saying. You can also browse through testimonials found by performing a search on the internet. Also, the longer a company has been in business is usually a good indicator that they have plenty of experience working on various vehicles and serving a large number of customers.
Another important factor when choosing an automotive collision center is the quality of training provided to their technicians. Many times, you can find information about technician training on a company’s website. Also, you can see if the company offers or requires continuing education classes for its technicians. Companies that offer training usually will have highly trained technicians. Many of today’s vehicles have complex computerized systems that keep them operating properly. It’s not enough to just know body work, you have to understand how the computer and wiring schematics work together with the rest of the vehicle. Properly trained technicians understand this.
We never plan on having an accident, but sometimes it happens. If you are involved in an accident, the last thing you want is for the situation to become worse by hastily choosing the wrong auto body repair center. Take a few moments to research the company. Check customer testimonials. Check to see if their technicians are trained properly. Find out how long they have been in business. Listen to the insurance company’s recommendation and then you can make an informed decision about which company is best for you.

Welcome to our new website

At Joe Hudson’s Collision Center, we constantly strive to make your experience the best possible. We have created this new website to better serve you by making company information as well as the status of your repairs more accessible. Browse through our site and if you see anything we can improve on, let us know. If you have questions, give us a call. We look forward to serving you.