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Category: Auto Body Repair

Do Deer Mount Bumpers on THEIR Walls?

Deer hunting season is right around the corner! In the autumn, with the deer migrating and chasing mates, it can seem like the deer are the ones hunting US – or our cars, at the least. Auto-deer collisions increase sharply from October through December, with November winning title of “The Month Most Likely to Hit a Deer.” (November didn’t really “win” anything. We made that award up.)

The middle and northern plains states, including Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota, are some of the highest at-risk locations for deer-car incidents. West Virginia is actually THE most likely, with a 1 in 53 chance. But we Iowans are a close second, with the odds only slightly better with a 1 in 77 chance.

Are we all doomed? Should you mount enormous flood lights on the hood of your car, illuminating the surrounding brush to identify potential deer collisions before they happen? Of course not. That would just be silly.

But there ARE some precautions you can take to lower your personal risk and raise the odds in your favor.

  • Be aware that deer travel in herds. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security if you see one deer safely cross the road well ahead of you. Where there’s ONE, there’s usually a couple more. Keep a look out for more trailing close behind.
  • Dusk is the most popular travel time for deer, usually between 6 and 9 p.m. We can’t recommend that you stay home during those hours, but just prepare for this “rush hour” and watch your surroundings.
  • Don’t ignore or dismiss Deer Crossing signs. These are placed strategically in locations with a high history of deer-car accidents.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles that you mount on your car. While they are designed to emit an ultrasonic sound that humans can’t hear, these devices work sporadically at best. Your own sharp attention is still the best defense.
  • Sometimes you can’t avoid hitting a deer, but attempting to swerve out of the way could put you and your passengers at higher risk of injury if you lose control of your car or swerve into oncoming traffic. The best plan is to simply slow down – not so hard that you lose control, but enough to minimize impact.

There you have it. We may have just saved your life. Or at least your bumper. But feel free to come see us if you are targeted by the Iowa Deer Mafia (also totally made up) and we’ll get your car back in shape!

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Saving You Time & Money – And the Environment, Too!

We at Minor Wreck Express take great pride in not only saving YOU time and money, but in saving the environment in our own unique way.

“What?!” You may ask, “Minor Wreck is GREEN? But HOW?” Oh, let us count the ways…

  1. Minor Wreck saves literally THOUSANDS of parts from ending up in landfills. Bumpers, hoods, quarter panels – we can repair almost all of it instead of throwing it out. THAT is our biggest contribution to the well-being of Mother Earth.
  2. That loose headlight? You don’t need to get a whole new light. With our fantastic plastic-weld techniques, Minor Wreck can re-mount your composite headlight instead of replacing it, saving that light from the dump and saving YOU money.
  3. We not only recycle all of our thinner and reducer waste, we use it more than once, producing less waste than traditional body shops. How you like THEM apples?
  4. All of our sprayers are “high volume-low pressure.” What does that mean, you may ask? That means that more of the paint gets on your CAR and less winds up in the air/on the pavement/in the environment. And when we say “more paint on your car” we’re not joking – our sprayers get 70% of the spray where we direct it, as opposed to the usual 20%. Yeah, buddy.
  5. Going back to #1, where we keep thousands of parts out of the landfills: We have the talent and training to repair and redye your car’s INTERIOR. We’re talking about dashboards, seats, floor mats, ceilings. If it’s in your car, odds are we can make it look like new!

These are just the most current and most obvious ways we’re protecting the environment. But you can be sure that Minor Wreck Express cares about our environment and uses GREEN practices – without sacrificing price and quality.

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Prevention NOW Could Save you $$$ LATER!

Crazy winter drivers who behave like they’ve never seen snow before aren’t the only dangers your poor car faces each time the season changes. That wonderful stuff we’ll affectionately call “brine” that the city puts on the roads BEFORE the snow comes turns into a Brillo Pad for your car with the slightest meltage! (Yes, we DID just make up that word.)

This liquid concoction may be effective and wonderful when it comes to keeping the snow and ice from sticking to the road – and causing YOU to slip-slide away – but when mixed with enough melting snow, it splashes up and COVERS your car. That white film on your quarter panels, bumpers and wheel wells? Mostly comprised of Sodium Chloride (uh, SALT) this will eat into your paint finish.


If, by chance, you already have some scratches or dings that have compromised the protective barrier your paint and clear coat provides…well, that could pose a much bigger and much more expensive problem: Rust.

Melted rock salt, liquid magnesium chloride and brine mixtures can be very harsh to your car’s finish when it’s in good condition, so can you imagine how much worse it is when you have scratches in your paint? Imagine thousands of little Pacman heads chomping away at your car’s finish and opening the rust gateway! Once you have rust damage on your car, it’s difficult and COSTLY to repair.

Minor Wreck Express loves cars even more than we love fixing auto body damage. That’s why we strongly urge you to get those seemingly insignificant paint chips and little paint scratches corrected properly before the wicked winter driving conditions set in. We can do most auto body repairs – ranging from bumper dents and paint chips to plastic door damage and quarter panel crunches – in half the time and at half the cost of traditional body shops!

Spending a little bit of cash NOW can keep a lot MORE money in your pocket down the road. Stop by Minor Wreck Express today for a FREE repair quote and get while the gettin’s still GOOD!

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Watch Your Back – Winter Hazards Are EVERYWHERE!

So, here we are, heading into December again. Perhaps you’ve lived in the Midwest all your life – or at least most of your DRIVING life – and yet we all seem to forget how to drive during the winter. Every. Single. Year. We at Minor Wreck Express would like to give you a quick reminder course so you aren’t “that guy” on the road that everyone else on the road is cursing.

  • Slow Down. You most likely are not in a Zamboni and, therefore, are able to fall prey to ice, black ice and slippery slush on the roadways. So decrease your speed, leave earlier than you would in good weather, and make sure you leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead for stopping. Keep in mind that even four-wheel and front-wheel drive cars can get into trouble in icy driving conditions!
  • Don’t Be In Such a Hurry. While this may sound like the same thing as #1, it isn’t. Don’t try to pass snow plows and sanding trucks – they can’t see you very well and it’s a safe bet that the roads in FRONT of them are worse than where you are.
  • Keep It Smooth. Press steadily and gently on your brakes, don’t jam them to the floor. Keep a light touch on your steering wheel and turn it gently, don’t jerk it to the side. Accelerate steadily, no pedal-to-the-metal business. Although your significant other may appreciate spontaneity, ice does NOT. Smooth, easy, and mellow is the way to play it.
  • Know How to Get Out of a Sticky Situation. Sometimes you can’t avoid going into a ditch or getting stuck at the bottom of a hill. Keep calm don’t spin your wheels – flooring it will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side to move the snow out of the way. Try “rocking” your vehicle – shifting from forward to reverse repeatedly, lightly pressing the gas each time – to try to find some traction. It’s also not a bad idea to carry a small shovel and some sand, kitty litter or ice melt in your trunk.
  • Wait For Help. For the love of Pete, stay in your car! We can guarantee that you will stay warmer – even in a non-running car – inside than you will outside. Get out to make sure your tailpipe is cleared of snow and debris, to get things out of your trunk, or for short periods of time but in today’s day and age there is very little need to go wandering off through the snow.
  • Plan Ahead. We all have extra blankets laying around that aren’t needed on a daily basis – throw a couple into your trunk! While you’re at it, why not spend less than $10 and put a couple bottles of water and some protein bars in your glove box (or somewhere the water might not freeze) just in case you have to sit for more than an hour or two. Oh yeah – those little hand-warmer baggies? Those are cheap and easy to use and can keep you from losing fingertips to frostbite!
  • These are just a few tips that we think could be helpful, especially during this long holiday season. Minor Wreck Express wants your auto body repair business, but not THAT badly!

    Stay safe out there!

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What To Do If You Get In An Accident?

While we’ve gotten PLENTY of snow and ice already this winter, this is Iowa and we are bound to get more. No matter if it’s in December or April, treacherous roads make getting into a car accident more of a possibility. But do you know what to do if it happens to you? Keep our Accident Checklist handy – just in case!

  • STAY CALM. Panic will only make things worse, and someone needs to be calm enough to determine the extent of the damage and if anyone requires immediate medical attention. Easier said than done, of course, but still the most important thing to remember.
  • REMAIN AT THE SCENE. You will be subject to criminal charges if you leave the accident. If possible, move everyone to safety and move the cars to a safe location. If the damage is too extensive or if there are potentially serious injuries, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt ON.
  • CONTACT THE POLICE. Even if you think it’s a minor accident, it’s important to have a legal accident report. This can help insurance companies determine fault and settle damages much more quickly.
  • DON’T DISCUSS COVERAGE OR FAULT. No matter if you think it was your fault, don’t admit to it. If the other driver(s) decide to sue down the road, even an apologetic admission could come back to bite you in the backside later on!
  • TAKE YOUR OWN PICTURES. Use your cell phone or any other camera in your possession to get shots of the accident from several different viewpoints. It’s important to document as much information at the scene as possible.

Getting in a car accident is frightening, with or without injuries or major damages! We know you can’t always avoid them, however, so we hope you keep these tips in mind.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact Minor Wreck Express with questions about what we can do for YOU, or to get your free estimate at the shop or online!

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Deer Got You Down?

More than 1 million collisions between deer and vehicles occur in the United States each year, leaving herds of bewildered motorists in need of minor collision repair, bumper repair, dent repair or scratch repair.

In Iowa, 1 in 77 drivers will likely hit a deer in 2012, according to an estimate based on claims data by auto insurer State Farm and counts by Federal Highway Administration, putting the Midwestern state second behind West Virginia on a list of states with the most deer versus vehicle encounters.

Whether it’s a deer hit, hail damage or a winter fender bender that’s left you in need of professional and qualified auto repair services, the qualified technicians at Minor Wreck Express are standing by to save you both time and money with revolutionary techniques and outstanding customer service.

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It’s Okay to Love Your Car – No, Really!

Before the jokes start flying about the guy who has a “personal relationship” with his car (there are no excuses – that’s just wrong) let’s explore the reasons people have an emotional attachment to their cars – and why that’s okay.

  • First and easiest to recognize is that your car can’t reject you. Fender benders, door dings, leaving it out in the cold – that relationship is solid until YOU call it quits.
    Taking car of your car and making it look good provides a pride of ownership and possession that you don’t get in a person-to-person relationship.
  • When some other guy whistles at and appreciates how beautiful your car is, you don’t get jealous – you feel HONOR and a sense of social acceptance, which is something we all crave.
    Human relationships require a lot of attention and work. Cars are relatively low maintenance. You get a large sense of acceptance and satisfaction from very little time and hard work. Who doesn’t love that?
  • Instant gratification. You hand-wash your car, lovingly rub protective wax into the finish and replace the oil and filters periodically and your car purrs with pleasure. You don’t get mood swings or sport distraction from your car. When you want to show it off, it’s THERE.

We could go on and on about how your car will never tell your secrets or laugh at your poor chair-dancing skills or tell you that you sing off-key. We aren’t saying that cars are better than people – we all need and crave human contact. We’re just saying it’s okay to be attached to your car. It’s okay to give it a name and to brag about it to your friends and to bling it out with sweet rims and seat covers.

To honor all you car lovers, Minor Wreck Express is offering a FREE complete detail package ($250 Value!) when you spend $500 or more on your baby at MWE!

If you keep your car looking and feeling good, it WILL love you back. And that’s not weird.

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