Uh Oh. Better Get… a Better Body Shop with guests Ron and Julie Hardman


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Uh Oh. Better Get... a Better Body Shop with guests Ron and Julie Hardman

Whether it’s a rogue shopping cart or one of countless distracted drivers, chances are good that at some point you’re going to need to: fix a ding, buff out a scratch or maybe more. But, not all body shops are the same.

Collision Works Mesa is a family owned and operated auto body repair shop located in Mesa. Owners Ron and Julie, high school sweethearts—married 38 years, take pride in their work ~ just ask their customers.

They joined to enlighten us on just how much goes on “under the hood” (pun intended) when it comes to fixing your car’s body, and why you really want to be picky when it comes to deciding on a collision repair shop.

Episode Recap

Steve welcomed his sponsors and co-hosts, Ryan Steckelberg and Matt Watson, as well as guest Ron and Julie from Collision Works in Mesa, Arizona. Felecia was out of the booth today, learning and networking with auto shop owners in San Diego. The crew talked recalls, what to do after an accident, and dug into some auto and collision repair talk. It was a great show. Give it a listen. Recap below.

More Recalls from Toyota

Big news! After their discussion last week on recalls, Toyota announced that they had to re-recall the same 928,000 vehicles to replace defective airbags that were replaced by defective airbags! Due to thermal cycling, the airbag could blow for no reason. The driver is at risk from the shrapnel. Think snowbirds: going from Minnesota to Arizona. Take those in and get ‘em fixed. This is not directly Toyota’s fault. Takata supplied Toyota with these airbags. Toyota makes a great car. It’s just this supplier.

Dealers love recalls because it brings you back to their shop. Often, they try to sell you additional services. Seventy percent of people end up buying additional services.  Don’t fall for it! Get the recall work done at your dealer and bring your car to a trusted shop for the rest.

Notifications on these recalls will be coming November 15th. You can go to recall.gov to check your car. Call Toyota at 888-270-9371 or Lexus at 800-255-3987 or visit nhtsa.org.

And don’t forget, a shout-out to the best crew of mechanics out there at Friendly Auto Center, who happens to be a finalist for the Torch of Ethics award. That crew deserves it.

Matt mentioned that new customers get a free oil change, and his customers always come back with raving reviews.


There is a great team in the booth for collisions, from Matt’s insurance to Collision Works to Friendly.

For Ron and Julie, customers always come first. If you want more than an 800 number, Matt and Collision are the way to go.

Collision Insurance and Repair

Matt Watson of State Farm welcomed the segment in with Ron and Julie. They talked collision work. They’re located in Mesa at McKellips and HIgley by Falcon Field. They do all kinds of custom work, restorations. They just finished up a ‘68 Camaro. That’s all in addition to collision repairs.

The collision industry is being absorbed by large, corporate entities. Just know that you don’t have to go anywhere. You have the right to go anywhere you want. You can choose the best, local shop, like Collision. There is a chance that when you end up there, you can experience a reduction in quality, due to discounts that were ‘promised’ to the insurance companies. Ron wants to control the quality of his repairs.

If you end up at the franchise stores, there’s a chance you’ll get lower-quality, after market parts, like OKQ (Okay Quality) or knock-offs. Steve told how he’d gotten the hood replaced on a truck a few years ago, with a lifetime warranty. Now, he’s not warranting it, and the paint is fading. That’s why authentic parts (even used) are better than knock-offs.

Can a consumer demand factory spec parts? State Farm is one of the only — if not THE only — insurance company that allows for OEM parts. They want your car to be back to original quality. No after-market parts. It’s actually better, in most cases, to use an authentic used piece.

Not all insurance companies are the same. Be careful with your insurance partners. Many won’t bring your car back up to spec. They also turn the screws on the service providers, sometimes pushing them to the point of losing money. And consumers end up coming out of pocket for more than they should.

Ryan pointed out that Friendly and Collision are not competitors. Both may do insurance work, but no, they don’t compete. They partner.

What To Do When You Get Into an Accident

Ryan welcomed us back. The topic is, “What do you do when you get into an accident?” The Risk Advisor, Matt Watson, says move it out of the way to safety, assuming the car can move. Move debris off the road before you move the cars.

Do you call the cops or not? They all say yes. Most people don’t. Call the police.Take pictures of the cars, the area, the signs. Get info from any witness. Exchange information from the other driver. Then, wait for the police to get there. Don’t get into an argument.

Do you report to your insurance agent? Most won’t because they don’t want their premiums to go up. If you’re at fault, you’re legally obligated to provide your insurance information to the other party. It’s up the other person to file the claim. What if you do all that, and the other person offers to pay out of pocket. That’s okay, and sometimes the agent will recommend it. However, if the other party files the claim, then it’s filed.

Ron mentioned that the at-fault party will offer to pay for repairs to avoid an insurance claim. The problem is if the at-fault party changes their story. That’s another reason a police report is important. A police report does not affect your insurance.

Will a body shop cover a deductible? There are some shops that do, but they’ll have to cut corners. Your options will be limited. Work can’t be done for nothing.

Final Segment: Brake Fluid in a Power Steering Pump?

In the final segment, they took a call from Gary, a friend they used to hang out with at The Bagel Stop in Long Island. Gary called in about his power steering leak. His guy said to put in transmission fluid. Steve confirmed that’s correct. They’re both hydraulic fluid. Some pumps will call for it explicitly. Gary’s 2000 Ford Edge is one that does call for it. Steve likes the transmission fluid also because of its red color, that tells you where the leak is coming from.

Gary also wanted to know how to winterize his boat. Steve says fill it up with oil and a supplement like Justice Brothers. Also, inject some oil through the air filter.

Mortgage Rates and Time to Refinance

Ryan talked mortgage. Lots going on with mortgages. Rates have trickled up, but there are still lots of folks refinancing, taking money out of their homes for repairs and upgrades. You might be able to redo your floors and see a $30 bump on your mortgage with the right loan.

He recommended getting a quote. Rates are low, but they may have bottomed out. The national average is 3.92%. If you’re over 4%, get a quote. Google Ryan Steckleberg for his Facebook page.

Collision Works

Back to Ron. He’s got 45 years of experience in the body shop business! Times have changed, with pricing, employees, and the price of parts. However, the price of labor to the consumer really hasn’t gone up. Steve pointed out how a professional mechanic will have over $100K of his own tools. Yet, they’re still paid less than plumbers, electricians. Collision guys are the same, because insurance will only pay so much — $52/hour.

Hey, a call from Felecia! Steve answered, “Who is this?” It was his wife! She’s in San Diego meeting with the most elite shop owners. What an industry!

Wrap Up

Steve is a self-admitted perfectionist. And he’s always grateful to Ron and Julie for how they take care of customers he sends them. They treat them like family! And of course, they offer a lifetime warranty. Go see ‘em!

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


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