Spring Check up for your Car

Our Spring Maintenance Checklist

  • Check Your Tires: Winter weather means tires pressure fluctuates with the temperature. Check your tire pressure and tread. If you had winter tires on swap out to all season tires. New England streets are full of potholes – it’s worth getting your alignment checked as potholes and icy roads may have impacted it.
  • Check Your Bulbs: Head and tail lights get easily burnt out with cold frigid temperatures. Be safe – ensure all your exterior lights are functioning at full brightness to keep yourself visible and safe during everything from thunderstorms to foggy mornings.
  • Check Your Battery and Plugs: Cold weather wears out plugs and batteries faster than warmer weather. Check and replace your plugs as needed, and consider a voltage test on your battery to make sure it’s ready for another year of smooth sailing.
  • Change Your Oil: Your engine has greater demands placed on it during warmer weather, so make sure it’s ready to go by getting the oil and filter changed. 
  • Change Your Cabin Filter: Spring means pollen and allergen season, so get your filter swapped out to keep your cabin air clean and allergen free.
  • Test Your Air Conditioning: Be proactive! Make sure your A/C is in tip-top shape before you really need it.
  • Check Your Wiper Blades: Spring means rain is in the air! Avoid driving with poor visibility during a spring shower or blizzard by ensuring your wipers are in the best shape possible.
  • Wash Your Car: It’s hard to motivate yourself to get a car wash when another snow storm is around the corner. As the weather gets a little warmer, though, it’s time to make sure all of the grime and de-icing agents are washed off your vehicle – we have a great detailing bay waiting for you!
  • Vacuum and Clean Your Interior: Road salt and grime will wear down your carpet if left for too long – an interior detail is what you need.
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How long should an auto body repair take?

You would think it would be a cut and dry answer for an accurate auto body collision repair time, but there are many factors that have to be considered including:

  1. Your insurance company. They need to give us approval. Sometimes it take a day – sometimes it’s several days. This is beyond our control.
  2. We can only see the visible damage. Once we start removing parts, we may f ind other internal damage.
  3. Is it a minor accident? or a major one?
  4. The type of car you have can make a difference. Older parts are harder to locate. Foreign cars parts, sports cars or a specialty vehicle may take longer to receive the replacement part.

How does Auto Body Repair Work?

It all starts with an estimate. You bring your car in. We provide an estimate and send it off for approval to your insurance company. In order to get your car fixed as soon as possible, we pre-order the parts we know are needed -even before the approval comes in- so that we’re ready to go.

Once we get the insurance approval and you drop off your car, we disassemble it and look for further damage. Most often there is additional damage. Now, we have to re-submit for a another approval (supplement) from the insurance company. So, even if we pre-ordered parts, we have to do another order for the supplement parts. Once we get approval from both you and the insurance company for that, we’re ready to start. This all takes another day or two.

Finally, if you have a vehicle with alot of advanced electronic features, once we put it all together, we have to do an electronic re-calibration to reset the electronics in the bumper for back up cameras, lane warning system, etc.

So, as you can see, even just a simple bumper repair or replacement that “should” to take 1-3 days in the past, depending on your make/model and electronics can in reality take 3-5 days or longer.

What adds time to an auto body repair?

1. Part Availability.
At St Laurent, we try and pre-order parts while waiting for the insurance approval. Most parts are available within 1- 2 days, but not always. Sometimes a part can be on back-order and take weeks.

2. Industry Standard Repair Time We use an industry standard time guideline to prepare your estimate so it’s the most realistic timeframe as possible.

3. Complexity of the Vehicle Body Repair. The type of repair can greatly influence how long the job may take. If a job has structural repair it needs a special piece of equipment to get it done correctly and this can add quite a bit of time.

Like many things these days, the electronics are now more complicated and add additional time to the repair process. Factory scan tools then run diagnostics to insure everything is communicating.

4.Insurance Company Approval for Auto Body Repair. At St. Laurent Collision Center our shop is electronically connected to insurance company’s. Each insurance company has their own process for verifying and approving the repair. If they can do it with photos the response time is fairly quick. Sometimes, they require an onsite review which can add days to the approval cycle. We try to avoid this as much as possible by sending accurate, clear photos.

5.Quality Control Check. At St Laurent the quality of our work stands out. As an ICar certified center, we provide continuous training for performance standards and new technology techniques. Every vehicle is double checked before we authorize a release back to you.

We will do everything we can to get your car back to you as quickly as possible, but as you can see, there are a lot of variables that are hard to control. Therefore, we make sure we keep you informed via phone, text or email on what your car status is.

At St Laurent Collision Center in Nashua New Hampshire we take pride in every vehicle that leaves our shop and we always go the extra mile for each and every customer that entrusts us with their repair. Come see us the next time you need an auto body repair. – 603-882-6822

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Auto Body OEM Parts vs Aftermarket Parts: What’s better?

Everyone wants to save money, right? And we want to save you money too – so where can you save?

Well, oftentimes you have to consider the quality and longevity of OEM parts vs aftermarket parts. If you’re going to keep the vehicle, we strongly suggest using OEM parts. The OEM version is built to exact specifications and design. Aftermarket parts are promoted to work the same, but generally under perform as 3rd party companies don’t go through rigorous testing process that the auto manufacturers do. Our recommendation is using factory direct items whenever possible.

Aftermarket items are similar but not exact to manufacturer specifications. In many cases this could lead to parts not fitting or functioning properly. We’d recommend only using Aftermarket parts when a part is no longer available through the manufacturer.

So, back to pricing. At St Laurent Collision Center our estimating system provides the appraiser with both OEM and aftermarket pricing. Our team goes the extra mile by working hard to negotiate a better price for the OEM product.

It’s a WIN-WIN. You save money and still get an OEM quality built product.

Next time you need an auto body repair – think St. Laurent. We’ll take care of you.

St Laurent Collision Center 149 Amherst St., Nashua, NH 03064


St Laurent Collision Center – Voted Best Auto Body Shop in NH

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tips for senior drivers

5 Driving Tips for Seniors

Senior drivers present unique safety challenges brought on by the aging process itself.  If you’re an older driver or know one, here are 5 ways that seniors can help improve their odds of not being involved in an accident:

1. Get Regular Hearing and Vision Tests.

Hearing and vision loss tend to occur as we age, so for seniors it’s wise to have a doctor test those key senses every year.

  • Impaired hearing could cause an older driver to not hear an emergency vehicle or train
  • Compromised vision can interfere with their ability to see oncoming vehicles, pedestrians and traffic signs

See an audiologist to confirm you don’t need hearing aids and an optometrist to confirm your vision is where it should be for driving safety.

2. Stay Physically Fit to keep your Reflexes Sharp.

Regular exercise helps improve strength and flexibility and the ability to react quickly in a vehicle if needed. Walking and water aerobics, are healthy low-impact exercises for older people to engage in, with the added benefit they could help avoid accidents later.

3. Know Your Limitations.

Seniors should listen to their bodies when it comes to driving limitations. For example, if their hands hurt while gripping the wheel due to arthritis, using a steering wheel cover will make holding and turning it more comfortable. And, a vehicle with a larger and easier-to-read dashboard display might be safer for someone with a visual impairment. Most newer cars now come with safety advancements like lane change and blind spot sensors that alert older drivers when dangers are present.

4. Check out the Road Conditions.

When there’s snow, ice or poor visibility, it’s probably best for seniors to stay off the road. Bad night vision means avoid driving after dark. Driving when one is tired or upset is never good, and when it comes to “conditions”, drivers of all ages should never get behind the wheel while under the influence of mind-altering substances like alcohol and some medications.

5. Keep Your Driving Skills Sharp.

Just because someone has held a driver’s license for 50 years doesn’t mean they’re still capable. It’s not a bad idea for drivers over 65 to take a driving refresher course periodically to keep their skills sharp, and doing so could also possibly earn them a car insurance discount.


Even when using these safe driving tips, drivers of all ages can still be involved in accidents. When one happens to you near Nashua, NH contact St. Laurent Collision Center. Our I-CAR certified technicians will restore your vehicle to like-new again promptly and reliably. We work directly with insurance companies, so you don’t have to.

St Laurent Collision Center, 149 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03064 603-882-6822



NH Bans Cells Phones Usage in Cars

Distracted driving is a major traffic safety issue.

With more than 220 million people on cell phones today it’s no surprise that using your cell phone while driving is commonplace.

New Hampshire is one of many states that has now banned hand-held phone use by all drivers. Legislatures in other states have prohibited cell phone use by younger drivers or school bus drivers, improved data collection or limited local authority on the issue.

Texting and driving accidents are still prevalent in NH because of the attention texting requires. According to the Driving Toward Zero Program, a single text can distract a driver for up to five seconds. Over 5,000 drivers, passengers and pedestrians in the U.S. are killed annually due to inattention while on the road, an unfortunate statistic for a preventable issue.

Distracted Driving Laws in New Hampshire for Handheld Devices

The most common type of distracted driving law that exists is the use of handheld devices like GPS, cellphones, tablets and more. Passed in 2014, the hands-free law in NH addresses drivers’ use of handheld devices except for the below exceptions:

  • An an emergency call to public safety agencies for legitimate reasons.
  • The driver is using a two-way radio.
  • A hands-free bluetooth device is being used.

Note: If the driver is younger than 18 years old, hands-free devices are not permitted at any time while operating a vehicle.

Texting and Driving Laws in New Hampshire

Unlike in other states, NH’s texting and driving laws allow police officers to stop drivers they suspect are texting or using a cellphone unsafely. Because texting and driving is classified as a primary offense under state law, drivers do not have to commit other traffic violations to be pulled over.

New Hampshire safety officials take texting while driving laws seriously, so drivers need to know when it is appropriate to text in a vehicle to prevent fines and accidents.

The law applies to all drivers while they are behind the wheel in the flow of traffic. This means that texting at stop lights and stop signs, even if the vehicle is completely stationary, is also illegal. No texting and driving is permitted until the vehicle is parked or not in a moving traffic lane.

Newer Drivers New Hampshire Laws on Distracted Driving

The NH Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that drivers younger than 18 years old with a youth operator license can not:

  1. Operate a vehicle from 1 to 4 a.m.
  2. Drive with more than one non-relative passenger who is younger than 25 years old unless accompanied by a licensed adult aged 25 or older
  3. Drive with more passengers than seatbelts in a vehicle
  4. Use electronic devices of any kind unless reporting an emergency

While these laws do not stop distracted driving altogether, they may dissuade novice drivers, particularly those with a learner’s permit, from adopting some dangerous driving habits.

CDL Holder New Hampshire Distracted Driving Regulations

Commercial drivers have different rules. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders receive stricter distracted driving penalties when they perform hazardous actions while driving. As CDL holders operate larger vehicles they must follow higher driving standards.

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) indicated that about 8 percent of crashes involving large trucks were caused by CDL holders getting distracted. Motor carriers cannot require CDL holders to use hand-held phones in any fashion. Cell phone distraction resulting from dialing, pressing a button or reaching for a phone is illegal under NH law. Txting and driving is prohibited for commercial drivers.

What are the Penalties for Distracted Driving in New Hampshire

Anyone found to violate laws will be fined. Distracted driving fines are determined by the number of offenses drivers have committed. Below is a list of fines:

  • First offense: $100 fine
  • Second offense: $250 fine
  • Third offense within two years: $500 fine

However, distracted drivers who cause collisions, injuries or deaths will be subject to fines of up to $1,000. Special consequences for distracted driving for commercial drivers include license suspension. After two or more distracted driving convictions within a certain period, CDL holders’ licenses will be disqualified for up to 120 days. Their employers may also face penalties like fines.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving in New Hampshire

To ensure road safety, drivers should abstain from all cell phone use while driving and refrain from other distracting tasks such as eating, reading, smoking and talking emotively. Quick tips:

  • Turn off all electronic devices. 
  • Make sure all passengers and pets are buckled in for safety. 
  • Avoid eating or responding to work email. 

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Why does there always seem to be supplemental damage found once my car goes in for auto body repair?

Please be aware that the auto body repair shop must follow the process set forth by the insurance company who is managing your auto body repair claim. Whether an insurance adjuster wrote your original estimate or the body shop wrote your original estimate the insurance company will typically not allow them to write for unseen/hidden damage even if more damage is suspected. This means that the person writing the estimate can only write for damage they can actually see and take photos of. If the vehicle is drive-able at the time the estimate is written then the vehicle will not be torn down to assess for further damage until it is actually dropped off at the shop for the repair. This allows you to continue driving the vehicle until your repair can be scheduled.

This is why it is not uncommon for an auto body shop to report supplemental damage once a vehicle is dropped off for repair and has the opportunity to tear the vehicle down. This allows the estimator to see the previously hidden damage take photos and report it to the insurance company. At this point the insurance company will either give the approval to move forward with the repair or in some cases they may want to come out and review the additional damage them selves. Be aware that additional damage may increase the cost of the repair and can also extend the time it takes to complete the repair. The insurance company will cover the additional damage if it is related to the accident and if you are in a rental they will typically extended the rental to cover the additional time it may take to fix the supplemental damage found. Your auto body shop should have an open line of communication with you and the insurance company keeping you both fully informed.

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Automotive Sensors and Cameras in Today’s World

It is true that sensors and Cameras are an important new tool in the automotive industry. They help detect objects in our blind spots while driving, if your vehicle is getting too close to the vehicle in front of you, if there is something behind you when you are backing up, and so much more. They are there not as a full proof but as an additional precaution to help improve our driving.

Please make sure you use these as a tool to assist in your driving but do not solely depend on your sensors and cameras to keep you safe and your driving in check. It is still important that you look around, keep fully engaged, and are aware of your surroundings when operating a vehicle. To many times here at St. Laurent Collision we have had people come into the shop with collision damage who are blaming the sensors in their vehicle for the accident.

Also when ever your vehicle is in for collision repair and you have sensors that are located in the area of collision damage being repaired be sure that you are getting a pre scan and post scan for your sensors and cameras to make sure they are functioning properly. It is easy for a sensor or camera to get out of calibration in an accident or even for the paint to be applied to heavily over your sensors during the repair so always ask your repair facility to show you the pre and post scan data from your repair.

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Talk to Your Teens About Safe Driving

Teens and young adults today deal with so many more sources of distraction than they did 20+ years ago. 33% of deaths among 13 to 19-year-olds occur in motor vehicle crashes.

We know that technology is a major factor in these collisions involving teens and young adults today. 56% of teens admitted that they talk or text on the phone while driving. It’s important to discuss the dangers of distracted driving with our teens and how to avoid the pitfalls that technology may bring to their driving experience.  

Using phones that block notifications while driving are a good start, putting devices in a place that cannot be reached while driving is also a good idea to avoid the temptation of looking at the device while on the road.

We also know that with each additional passenger the chance of getting into an accident increases. It’s important that we set limits on the number of passengers we allow our teens to have in their vehicle and discuss keeping talking to a minimum and the volume down. Especially for brand new drivers.

Time is also a factor it has been determined that there are are more teen involved accidents between the hours of 9PM and 6AM. Setting a curfew for your teen driver may help decrease their changes of being in an accident.

We hope these facts and tips help you with preparing you teens to get on the road as safely as possible.

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How to Deal with a Car Accident While on Vacation

Everyone looks forward to going on vacation this time of year. No one ever expects that they may find them selves in a car accident while on vacation. But it does happen, dealing with a car accident while away on vacation can be more than stressful. There may be a number of factors that further complicate the situation.

  • You may be far away from home in an unfamiliar location
  • You may not know who to contact for assistance
  • You may have been driving a rental instead of your own vehicle
  • You may be dealing with injuries that require you to stay put for an extended period of time.

If involved in an car accident while on vacation you should keep the following things in mind:

  • Call 911: Always call 911 no matter where the accident occurs. If you are unable to call, ask a passenger or passersby to call for you. Please note that calls to 911 from an out-of-state phone number will reach local emergency responders.
  • Check for injuries: Always put your health first. Even if you don’t notice any mediate signs of injury you should still consider getting checked by a local emergency room.
  • Get the police report: Always request a copy of the police report. Do so right away, as it can be difficult to obtain a police report once you have returned home.
  • Notify the Rental Company: If the accident occurred in a rental car you must notify the rental car company of the accident as soon as possible. Even if you refused insurance from the rental company, your auto insurance may still cover you. Always check with your insurance company prior to declining rental insurance.
  • Capture the details of the accident scene: Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any thing else that would provide evidence related to the accident.
  • Collect the other Parties Insurance Details: Immediately exchange insurance and contact information with the other parties involved in the accident and any witnesses. This information may be difficult to gather later.
  • Contact Your Lawyer: It is important to ensure that your rights are protected no matter where your car accident occurred.

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Insurance Claim FAQ with Auto Collision

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Today’s world provides plenty of distractions making the probability of an accident occurring greater than ever before.  Even if you are the safest driver on the road, accidents happen.  There are imperative steps to be taken after an accident occurs.  From taking details at the scene to filing an insurance claim, dealing with an accident can be overwhelming.  The professionals at St. Laurent Collison Center have created a list of frequently asked questions regarding collision repair claims.  Litchfield NH residents and the surrounding areas have come to trust the expertise of St. Laurent.  With over 55 years of experience, St. Laurent has provided customers dependable, quality collision repair services.

How much does St. Laurent charge for a repair estimate?
At St. Laurent’s Collision Center, we will gladly look over your vehicle and provide a free estimate for repair.

If my insurance company already wrote an estimate, do I need one from the auto body shop as well?
No.  Providing the auto body shop with the estimate from your insurance company is all that is needed to get started with repair work.

What if the estimate my insurance company has written isn’t enough to cover the actual damage?
Some estimates are just what they are called, estimates. If there are additional damages or charges that the insurance company overlooked, your technician will call your insurance company for approval on your behalf.

Do I have to pay for damages prior to repairing my vehicle?
No! Payment is required when you pick up your vehicle.

How do I properly endorse an insurance check?
This depends on how the check is made payable.  If an insurance check is just made payable to you, your signature is all that is required. However, if there is a loan on your vehicle, the insurance company may make the check out to both you and your lienholder.  In this instance, it is best to check with the lienholder on their policy.  Be prepared as it may take several weeks before they are able to endorse the check, depending on what they require for paperwork.


Whatever your needs may be, make St. Laurent Collision center your go to for collision repair in Litchfield, NH and other surrounding towns.  For more information on how to obtain your free estimate, contact them today at (603) 882-6822.