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Things to do  to keep your family busy! 

It’s been almost two  weeks since the COVID-19 outbreak  arrived in Michigan.  Kids have been off school for nearly two weeks  and I’m pretty sure parents are running out of ideas on how to keep them busy  all day… EVERY DAY!!

  1. Home economics.   What a better time to teach your kids how to operate the kitchen?   Have them make dinner twice a week from start to finish or bake cookies. Maybe, teach them how to use the grill.  Teach them how to paint, clean, or fix the squeaky chair.
  2. Go on hikes. Governor Whitmer stated in her press conference on March 23 that you can go outside for walks and hikes. Use this as a motivator to take the dog and check out a new park nearby. Take the family or go by yourself for some alone time!
  3. Limit screen time. As much as social media will keep us connected, try limiting how much you are on it. For the first time in a long time  your family will have each others undivided attention.   Yes, this may ruin your kids’ “snap streak “  on Snapchat, but it will enhance family relationships. Create a zoom account for your kids to chat with their friends or connect with family members .
  4. Go through all the clothes that are stuffed to the back of the closet. We all have that dark corner of the closet with clothes we haven’t worn in months maybe even years. Go through it and donate what you don’t wear anymore.
  5. Do a puzzle.  Get the juices in your brain flowing again. Challenge yourself with a larger puzzle.
  6. Download Dualingo, or something similar to try learning a new language.
  7. Indulge in self care.  Try that 10 step face care routine you usually wouldn’t have time for during the week. Take time after to meditate, regulate your breath, and relax.
  8. Write actual, hard copy letters to family members and friends.
  9.  Clear out the family room and camp indoors. It is still a little chilly outside to do this so set up the tent inside. Pop on a movie and enjoy a comfy night of camping inside. You could even spruce it up by roasting hot dogs and s’mores over the grill.
  10. Create a scrapbook of all the fun things you did in 2019!
  11. Pick a local restaurant and order take out once a week to show your support for the community.
  12. Make a list of the museums, sporting events, concerts, and  stores you want to go to once they reopen.
  13. Create  a vision board or dream board. Don’t know what that is? A vision/dream board is what you would like to accomplish in a specific amount of time. Goals and dreams. Cut out magazines or print off pictures. Make it easy and create a Pinterest   board. Maybe even create a family vision board!

There are so many things you can do that you probably haven’t even thought about!

 

In conclusion,  we want to reach out and say we are thinking of all the businesses and families that COVID-19 has affected.  We are doing everything we can at Auto Body Xperts to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in  our facilities.   The safety and health of our customers and employees is our #1 priority.

 

Take care of yourself.

Coronavirus — Helpful Tip to Keep your Family Safe and Healthy

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We know the past week has been stressful with all the news outbreaks of the COVID-19. We’re here to reassure and help with some helpful tips of how to keep your family safe. 

 

  1. Disinfect surfaces around your home and work place. The majority of germs and bacteria are transferred through surfaces. This includes but not limited to door knobs, light switches, handles, desks, pens, and phones. Disinfecting these items regularly will help reduce the risk of illness. 
  2. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Long time? Maybe, but distract yourself by singing Happy Birthday or Itsy Bitsy Spider. The time will go by faster and you’ll have clean hands. Make sure to clean around any rings and in-between your fingers. 
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. During the day you’ll find that you touch your face more than you think. 
  4. Stay home if you’re sick unless for medical care. 
  5. Sneeze and cough into your elbow. The average sneeze can travel roughly eight meters and suspend in the air for 10 minutes. While a cough can travel roughly six meters. 

 

Symptoms can start 2-14 days after being infected. These symptoms include but are not limited to cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms consult your medical professional. 

 

Here at Auto Body Xperts, we are doing our best to keep our offices clean and safe for customers.  We are making a point to disinfect all counter spaces, phones, computers, keyboards, chairs, and signing pads to ease comfort.  

 

Xpert Tips for Spring Cleaning

It is that time of year again. The dreary clouds are parting and the sun is peaking through. Birds are finally chirping again and snow is dissipating. YES! What does this mean for your car? Spring cleaning! Here are some helpful tips for washing away the winter blues and welcoming the spring.

  1. Empty out your car. Throw away all trash.We all know that during the winter we pull up to the gas pump, fill up, and out we go. Who wants to stand in the cold cleaning it out? Not me. Spring is the perfect time to   clear it all out.
  2. Make sure you have your registration and insurance and it is up to date. Clean out your glove box. Crazy the things you’ll find hiding in there. Like the long lost snickers from three years ago or your car registration from high school.
  3. Vacuum / shake out the mats.   Vacuum underneath your seats and shake your mats. If you have WeatherTek mats spray them off and let them dry before putting them back in your cars. If you need help           with this, stop by 1 of our 4 locations.
  4. Check fluids (oil, washer, gas). It is easy to skip past checking the fluid levels in your vehicle in the winter months. Now is the time to check them. Make sure all fluid levels are at a healthy level for your car.
  5. Check windshield wipers. With “April showers bring May flowers”, we want them working properly. Using rubbing alcohol on a cotton swap to clean the blade takes off the residue from the salt and ‘muck’ from the winter weather.
  6. Wash the outside. Seem silly? Yes, but so important. Cleaning off the salt residue will help prevent rust damage to your vehicle. The Michigan roads do a number on your vehicle. After washing, waxing your vehicle protects the paint for the upcoming sun; provides protection against scratches, saves you money (it costs a lot of money to have a paint job done on your vehicle), improves resale value, and the obvious- makes your car look shiny.
  7. Wipe down the interior. Wiping down the dash and other plastic interior pieces with a sun protecting cleaner will  keep the youth of the interior. With the sun coming out more often, it is important to protect your dash from sun damage.
  8. Wash your windows. Cleaning your windshield will make it easier to see with the blinding sun. Obvious? Yes, but it will also help with morning and night-time driving.
  9. Keep your car smelling fresh.  Stop into 1 of 4 Auto Body Xperts locations to pick up a free car freshener. There is nothing better than climbing into a good smelling, clean, and well cared for vehicle.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in accidents related to distracted driving in 2016. Thanks in part to driver awareness and legislation, that number fell to 3,166 in 2017. However, it’s likely that number isn’t accurate, given that drivers are often reluctant to admit that they were distracted at the time of the accident. Agencies, such as the NHTSA, suspect the actual number of deaths is much higher.

Though you should be mindful of common driving distractions year round, take this month to remind yourself of common driving distractions and how you can avoid them. Here are a few of the most common distractions for drivers.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are obviously one of the biggest when it comes to distracted driving. You might think that glancing at your phone for a few seconds can’t be that bad, but if you’re driving 55 miles an hour, in the five seconds it takes you to glance at your phone, you will drive the length of an entire football field.

Many states have passed laws regarding distracted driving that prohibit texting and/or talking on a cell phone while driving, especially for novice drivers. Regardless of what the law is where you live, it’s important to avoid using your cell phone while driving as much as you possibly can. Many cell phones now have an option to automatically turn on a “Do Not Disturb” mode while driving. This can be a huge benefit to drivers who feel they’re often distracted by incoming calls, texts, or other notifications on their phones.

Food and Drink

Anything that prevents you from having your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel can be a driving distraction, and eating or drinking while driving qualifies. Aside from requiring the use of your hands and your eyes, eating or drinking while driving can present the additional risk of causing a spill, which creates another distraction that can catch drivers off guard.

Other Passengers

Talking to other passengers is another common distraction for drivers. Children are a common distraction, particularly younger children, as they often divert their parents’ attention from the backseat.

Audio

Getting too absorbed in whatever you’re listening to, adjusting the volume levels or changing the station or audio source can all be sources of distraction for drivers.

Certain states have outlawed the use of headphones, earbuds, or other kinds of headsets while driving due to their potential to distract drivers or inhibit their auditory awareness of their surroundings.

Zoning Out

Zoning out and being generally distracted or lost in thought is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving related crashes. Many drivers have experienced what’s known as highway hypnosis, a phenomenon in which the driver travels a distance and arrives at their destination having no recollection of how they got there. This kind of behavior is especially common with routine commutes. Often, the driving seems so comfortable and routine that our mind wanders, rather than paying strict attention to the task at hand.

These are just a few common distractions drivers face, but there are numerous other things that can distract drivers. Be mindful of what your common distractions are and make an effort to reduce them, for Distracted Driving Awareness Month and all year round!

Winter Road Trip Safety Checklist

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Getting your vehicle ready for holiday travel doesn’t necessarily require the skill of a professional mechanic. In fact, with these nine tips you can easily prepare your car for a winter journey yourself! But don’t wait until you’re ready to hit the road. Do these safety checks now so you can make any necessary repairs before the big day.

 

1. Inspect windshield wipers.

Damaged windshield wipers can reduce visibility. Make sure your car’s wipers are in good condition and operating as they should. If they are streaking or skipping across the windshield, replace them.

2. Top off windshield washer fluid.

Windshield washer fluid helps your windshield wipers perform at their best during wintery weather. Before heading out, fill your vehicle’s windshield washer reservoir with high-quality, “no-freeze” fluid — and keep an extra gallon stored in your car just in case.

3. Gauge tire pressure.

Proper tire pressure helps maximize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, stability, and can reduce the risk of a flat tire or a blowout — all things that are particularly important during a long, wintery drive. Check each tire and make sure it is filled to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure specified in your owner’s manual. Keep in mind that as the temperature drops so will tire pressure, so check your tires periodically throughout your trip.

4. Check tire tread.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average winter holiday road trip length is 275 miles. Whether or not your road trip will be that long, make sure your tires are prepared for the journey by ensuring the tread is 1/16 of an inch or greater. If it isn’t, the risk of hydroplaning increases and your car’s traction and braking ability diminish.

There are a few quick and easy ways to check tire tread depth. One way is to insert a penny into the tire’s tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, the tire should be replaced.

Tip: If you’re going to face harsh winter road conditions, winter tires may be a worthwhile investment. When compared to traditional tires, winter tires offer better grip, improved stopping power, and better all-around control when roads are wet or snowy.

5. Stock your vehicle with essentials.

Before you embark on a long road trip this holiday season, put together a car emergency kit. At minimum, your kit should include an ice scraper, a flashlight, a blanket, jumper cables, abrasive material like sand or kitty litter, a small shovel, and winter boots if you aren’t wearing them already. Of course, you’ll also need food, water, and any necessary medications.

6. Ensure lights and signals are in working order.

Walk around your vehicle and check that the headlights, taillights, break lights, turn signals, and hazard lights are working properly. You’ll also want to be sure the lights are free of debris and take time to clean them during your trip as built-up snow, ice, and dirt can reduce their effectiveness. Then be sure to have your lights on at all times while driving!

7. Add roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy.

Most auto insurance policies offer roadside assistance plans. If you’re not signed up for roadside assistance, consider adding it to your coverage before your trip. In addition to services like towing, flat-tire repair, and lock-out assistance, some roadside assistance plans also offer travel interruption reimbursement, as well as hotel and car rental discounts.

 

With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to overlook car care. But if you face winter weather conditions during your holiday road trip, you’ll feel more secure knowing your vehicle is up to the task.