What to Do (and Not to Do) After a Car Accident: 5 Collision Repair Tips from Carter Volkswagen in Seattle

Things to Know After Getting in a Car Accident - Service Information at Carter Volkswagen In Ballard

When you've been in an accident, there's a lot to think about, and it all comes at you fast. For one, you've got to deal with insurance, police and maybe even the possibility of a trial. You also have to consider the possible medical consequences. And all that's not to mention finding alternate transportation and doing the things you've still got to do today!

Luckily, there are all sorts of resources online that can help you navigate this process. At Carter Volkswagen, our expertise is in automotive repair. We'll leave the insurance and medical elements of a car accident to the other guys -- but on this page, we'll tell you five things you should know about taking care of your car in the event of an accident.

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5. Know a Reputable Body Shop in your Area

If your car is disabled in an accident, you'll need to call a tow truck to get you out of the way of traffic. In the hectic aftermath of a crash, you might call a tow company without considering where they'll tow your car. When the tow truck arrives, you should specify where your car should be taken. That's why it's a good idea to know the name and address of a local body shop that you trust. If you're not sure where to go in the Seattle area, Carter Volkswagen is your local factory-authorized service partner. We can fix the damage your Volkswagen sustained in an accident.

If you don't specify, the tow truck could take your car to a less-than-reputable collision center -- and getting it towed to a different shop can be both a costly expense and a real hassle.

4. Keep Some Basic Tools in your Car

If you're involved in an accident at night, you might not be able to see the extent of the damage. So, keeping a small flashlight in your car is always a good idea. Other tools that can come in handy include a can of fix-a-flat or a spare tire and jack, a roll of duct tape to keep loose body panels in place until you can get to a garage, jumper cables to start a car with a damaged battery and high visibility road markers so other drivers can give you space as you deal with the accident.

3. Understand What Kind of Body Repairs are Available for your Car

Once your car has been taken to a shop, it'll need to be thoroughly inspected. Any underlying issues with the frame, the engine and the suspension will have to be fixed to get the car running smoothly. Then, any body damage sustained by the car will need to be addressed. If your car is newer, we might be able to source a brand-new, color-matched body panels that can simply be installed in place of the damaged ones -- but on older cars, brand new parts might not be available. In some cases, we can source salvaged parts from junkyard models of your car. Don't worry: The body panels on these cars are physically fine, and we can match the paint for a seamless repair on your ride.

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2. Don't Drive a Severely Damaged Vehicle

Involved in (what you think is) a minor fender-bender? The damage your car sustained might be worse than it appears. Before you drive off, you should know what to inspect to make sure your car is really road-worthy. If you notice green or brown coolant pooling on the ground, you could have a damaged radiator. A leaking coolant system means your engine will overheat if you try to drive the car. You'll be better off getting a tow instead. Beyond that, pay close attention to the sounds your car makes as you drive along. If you notice a new clunking or groaning noise, you could have suspension damage. And if the car's engine struggles and sputters, or if the car just doesn't feel right behind the wheel, stop driving it and have it towed to the Carter VW service center.

1. Get Help From the Pros

We're proud to operate an official VW-approved service center at Carter Volkswagen. That means we stock OEM parts designed to work best on your car. It means our technicians are specially trained by the Volkswagen factory to take proper care of your car. Most importantly, it means nobody has more experience caring for Volkswagen cars in the Seattle area. When your car's been in an accident, don't compromise your safety by taking it to a cut-rate body shop. Turn to the dealership pros who know it best instead! We'll take pride in helping get your Volkswagen back on the road and running like new.

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