There are many ways to clean and organize your car, but all of them start with some good, old-fashioned spring cleaning. Here are our 5 steps to de-cluttering your car!

  1. Cleaning. Yes, it’s the top of the list. Vacuuming the seats and floors, wiping down the dash and console, vacuuming the floor mats, washing your vehicle, and protecting it with wax or a sealant. All these regular cleaning tasks may be chores, but it’s the best place to start when tidying and sorting out the goodies from the trash in your car.
  2. Next, consider what you really need to have in your car. Return your mugs and water bottles, and miscellaneous containers to their rightful place indoors for a good wash.
  3. It would also do some good to go through your glove box, center console, and other storage compartments in your car. Do you really need every single paper evidencing your car’s SMOG from 2003 until now? Keep the necessary paperwork, and store or shred the rest.
  4. Tackle the trunk. If de-cluttering your vehicle is on your to-do list, this will likely be the most time-consuming part. We tend to toss trash, leave our spare blankets, and abandon our long-forgotten purchases back here. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, not for spring cleaning! Just as with the clutter in the cabin of your car, spend some time returning your things to their places inside. If you have a spare tire underneath the floor of your trunk, lift up the floor and check it out- dirt, grime, and clutter accumulate down there too! Once you’ve cleaned, organized, and decluttered, vacuum out the trunk and return your safety supplies like jumper cables, spare tire, and glow sticks to the trunk.
  5. Do one more sweep of the car, making sure you’ve gotten all the garbage and that you’ve returned all your emergency supplies to your car as well.


A road trip with your best friend! Your best furry friend, that is. Nothing can top the utter, childlike joy of a dog’s smiling face out the window as you drive along. As much as driving your beloved pet around with you can be fun for them and sometimes necessary (visiting the vet, the groomer, moving, etc.) it can become very dangerous, very easily. We’re going to let you in on a few safety tips for your canine companion, for puppies and for full grown dogs alike.

1. Bring Supplies

Regardless of whether you’re going for a long trip or a short run to the groomer and back, make sure you have everything you need for your dog, especially puppies! Collars, ID tags with a current phone number/address, water, doggie bags, and even some kibble and treats. Puppies can’t exactly “hold it.” You never know if you’ll be in an accident or delayed in another way, so be prepared. If something does happen with and your dog is with you, it’s one less thing to worry about- and a potential liability will turn into your dependable companion instead.

2. Kennels

As much as we know you’d love to cuddle the whole trip there and back, the safest place for a larger dog is actually in a kennel. Although they may not appreciate the confinement themselves, an appropriately sized kennel is often the safest option for long distance travel. And don’t forget to buckle down that crate! If it’s for a smaller dog in the back seat, buckle in the kennel. For the back of a truck and for larger dogs, try securing the kennel with bungee cords or purchase a kennel with its own features to tie it down.

3. Seatbelts

If you haven’t the size or space for a crate, e.g., a big dog and a tiny car, looking into dog seat belts is another option. It may sound silly, but it’s safer. There are different belts out there that vary based on the size and strength of your dog, and also the size of your car.

4. Help Them Calm Down

Kennels and seatbelts are significantly safer, but if you are in a situation where you’ve got somewhere to go, for example, in a friend’s care with no special belts or buckles, your dog’s temperament is everything. It serves you many purposes to teach your dog to stay calm in the car, as exciting as the prospect is for most puppies. Some may happily nap on the floor, others sit up anxiously or wiggle excitedly the whole trip. You can begin to train your puppy or dog to have “car manners,” but know it’s a two person job. One to drive, and one to sit with your pup in the back to give them treats, cuddles, or other rewards anytime they sit down on their own, accompanied by cue words. Eventually, your smart pup will associate laying down with treats and cues, just as any other dog trick works, and you have your safety protocol set! This may take more or less time depending on your furry friend’s temperament, but they’ll learn eventually with loving patience and persistence from their owners.

Celebrate Safe, Drive Safe

May and June is the time of year where high school students celebrate by attending proms and graduation parties. As these times of celebration near, it provides a great opportunity for families to have conversations about celebrating safe as their teen drivers get behind the wheel.

Automobile crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers. With May being Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, this time of year provides a great opportunity for families to talk about the following tips for being safe on the roadways.


  • Connect with other parents- Speak directly with any parents supervising after parties your teen will attend since some parents may allow underage drinking.
  • Talk about NOT drinking/doing drugs- 74% of kids turn to their parents for guidance on drinking. Talk to your teen about dealing with peer pressure, the dangers/repercussions of underage drinking and driving, using illegal substances, and contacting you for a ride in situations involving drugs and alcohol.
  • Offer options for rides- If a group insists on traveling together to prom and numerous graduation parties, talk to other parents about hiring a limo. That way no one gets behind the wheel. If a limo is not in the budget, offer to drive them yourself, or research other transportation options in your community.
  • Have the party come to you- Plan your own, adult-supervised, drug/alcohol free after-party at your house, school or local community center.
  • Set the example- You can’t always be in the car, but you can keep safety top-of-mind by demonstrating and enforcing habits like wearing a seat belt, not using cell phones while driving, following the speed limit and driving 2N2 (2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel).


  • Groom before you zoom- Before it’s time to go, take one last look in the mirror and make sure you’re looking good so nothing takes tour focus off the road while driving.
  • Get your beauty rest- Since many parties last until early morning, make sure you get plenty of sleep, or ask your parents to pick you up so you and your friends don’t have to drive tired.
  • Set limits- Put a limit on the number of friends you ride with. The risk of fatal crashes increases with each passenger. And if riding with friends, remind them to put their phones away and turn the music down.
  • Don’t drink/do drugs and drive- Drinking before the age 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix no matter your age. This goes for using drugs and other illegal substances as well.
  • Seatbelts are the perfect accessory- A little wrinkle in your dress, tux or graduation gown is hardly worth not buckling up for. Buckling your seatbelt can save your life and keep you from getting seriously injured. Plus, It’s the law.

Cut Teen Crash Risks With These House Rules

A teen driver is most likely to crash in the first six months after receiving a license. That’s why it’s wise to increase driving privileges gradually.

Work with your teen to set clear rules for driving without adult supervision. Be sure to discuss how your teen can demonstrate experience and maturity to earn new privileges.  Let him or her know the consequences of not following the rules.

Fatalities and Facts:

  • Moto vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S.
  • The fatality rate for drivers age 16-19 is four times that of the drivers age 25-69 years.
  • The crash fatality rate is highest for 16-17 year olds within the first six months after getting their license – and remains high through age 24.
  • The top three predictors for fatality are non-use of seat belts, teen drivers, and roads with speed limits of 45 mph or higher.
  • Approximately two-thirds of teem passenger deaths (ages 13-19) occur when other teenagers are driving.

Set permanent driving safety rules:

  • Use seat belt on every trip – driver and all passengers.
  • Don’t use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
  • Follow all driving laws.
  • Don’t drive while impaired (drugged, drowsy, or drunk) or ride as a passenger with an impaired driver.
  • Don’t ride with an unlicensed or inexperienced teen driver.

Set limits to driving privileges:

  • No peer passengers
    • Start: Only adult passengers
    • Include siblings as passengers after six months of responsible driving.
  • No nighttime driving
    • Start: Only in daytime
    • Gradually increase driving curfew after practicing driving at night with your teen, obeying your State’s time requirement.
  • No high speed roads
    • Start: Only on low volume, low speed familiar roads.
    • Gradually add more difficult roads after practicing together.
  • No driving in bad weather
    • Start: Only in fair weather driving conditions.
    • Gradually allow driving in conditions such as light rain or snow after practicing with your teen.
  • Control the keys
    • Start: Make your teen ask for the keys.
    • Gradually increase amount teen can drive after first six months of driving responsibility.
  • Other tips
    • Pay attention. Keep the lines of communication open.  Know where they are going and why.
    • It’s about safety, not control. Make sure your teen understands that these rules come from love.
    • Lead by example.

Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Car From Sun Damage


We all know that sun exposure can harm our skin, but did you know the sun’s rays can also damage your car? When you leave your car in the sun for extended periods of time, the temperature inside can reach as high as 145 degree Fahrenheit, while the surface of the car’s exterior can reach much higher – up to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit!

Your car is not immune to negative effects caused by such heat. Here are 10 simple ways to protect your vehicle from sun damage.

  1. Regularly check your fluid levels: When it’s hot outside, the fluids in your car can get used up more quickly than under normal circumstances.
  2. Have your battery tested once or twice each summer: When it’s hot outside, there is often a higher load placed on your car’s battery from running systems like the air conditioning.
  3. Get the air filters checked: There is typically more dust and debris circulating in the air during the warmer months, and this can clog the air filters in your car. This could have an effect on your gas mileage, and it could even damage your mass air flow sensor.
  4. Use reflectorized sun panels on your front and rear dashes: While it may seem like a hassle to whip these fold-out panels out every time you go to the store, it pays off in the long run. These panels greatly reduce the overall temperature inside your car, which you’ll appreciate when you return, and need to use less air conditioning to cool the car. They also help to prevent the bleaching effect the sun has on your interior surfaces and upholstery, which can lower the value of your car should you wish to sell it.
  5. Perform tire pressure checks monthly: Extreme heat, trapped air, and rubber can be a volatile combination.       Underinflated tires are more likely to blow out in high temperatures, so prevent accidents (and poor gas mileage) by checking your tire pressure at least once a month.       Do this as early in the day as possible when the temperatures are coolest for the most accurate pressure readings.
  6. Park smart: If you have the choice between parking your car in the middle of a blazing parking lot or under a broad tree, opt for the shade.
  7. Regularly clean your car’s interior: The pairing of dust and hot sun can wreak havoc on your interior. Just be sure to use cleaners intended for automobile use to avoid stains and unnecessarily drying out materials at risk of cracking.
  8. Wash and hand dry your car often: Just as dust and debris can cake onto your interior surfaces when exposed to high temperatures, your exterior paint can suffer in the summer sun.       Frequently wash your vehicle to keep the surface clean, and dry it thoroughly by hand with a soft cloth, so bits of minerals and grime don’t stick to the residual moisture after a rinse.
  9. Use a protective wax: It’s not enough just to clean your car from time to time; you should wax it at least twice a year to lock in the natural oils in the exterior paint and provide a payer of protection not just from grimy bits that can scratch the surface, but also from the sun’s rays.
  10. Consider paint protection film: If you truly want to be vigilant against potential sun damage to your car, you may want to invest in a paint protection film kit. If you adopt some or all of these simple tips to provide protection from the hot sun, your car will age more gracefully, much like your skin will with the regular application of sunscreen.       They don’t take much effort to implement, and these small actions can save a lot of money down the road and help retain your car’s value over time.

Keeping Kids Safe in Your Car


When driving around with children inside your vehicle, there are many extra precautions you should take to ensure their safety.

The most obvious one that comes to mind for many are seat belts. But are you sure your child passenger is using the safest car seat for his/her body weight, age, etc.? Many car seats are not used or installed correctly.  We recommend checking online for instruction guides on what your child requires.  This goes for other children that may be riding in your car, every child should bring their car seat with them when riding in other cars.   According to NHTSA, “a child in a correctly used safety seat in the back seat of a car is 73% less likely to be hospitalized than an unrestrained child in the front seat.”  With that said, children under the age of 12 should always sit in the rear of the car.

Look before you leave! With the weather getting warmer we need to remind ourselves to not leave children and pets in hot cars, but every summer there are horrific stories of caregivers doing just that.  These three tips can help remind you of child or pet passengers in your vehicle.  The first is to look before you lock.  Before locking your car, check all the seating positions and make sure no one else is in there.  Don’t check from the drivers seat where your view of the backseat can be obstructed,  get out of the vehicle and look through the windows.  You could also use the teddy bear defense.  Place a large stuffed animal in your child’s car seat.  When you put your child in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the passenger seat.  After you remove the child from the car seat, put the toy back.  The stuffed animal acts as a reminder: If it’s in the front seat, your child is in the car.  And lastly,  having someone hold you accountable can save lives.  Many children who are left in hot cars where supposed to be dropped off at daycare, but their parents forgot and left their child in the car while they went to work.  Have an agreement with your daycare provider to call if your child isn’t dropped off by a certain time.  Getting that call can mean getting your child before it’s too late.

The Process of Painting Your Vehicle

So, you might be wondering, what all is involved in painting a car? There are a few steps to the process. First, the car must be prepped for a new coat of paint. This includes a power wash, a layer of grease remover, and the car is sanded down completely. Then, the car is prepped with plastic covering to protect all areas that should not be painted; including: tires, windows, headlights, etc. Once complete, the car is ready for paint. However, getting the paint ready to be sprayed is a whole other process.

The color paint is applied in even coats, then a clear coat is applied at the end. The clear coat is what gives cars a shiny finish, the color alone is a matte finish. A fresh paint job might be just what your car needs to make it feel new again either for your personal use or to help spruce it up to sell.

Deer Season Driving Tips & Facts

With deer season approaching everyone here at Lancaster Auto Body would like to give some tips and facts to help ensure safe driving during this time of year.

A few facts…
-Deer collisions are most likely to occur during deer breeding season – from October through early January.
-Prime times to find deer near the roadside are around dawn and from dusk to late evening.
Deer are pack animals. So if you see one, be assured that others are usually close by.

A few tips…
-Always wear your seatbelt – Sixty percent of fatal animal crashes occurred when the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.
-Know the likely deer-crossing zones – Whether or not a road is marked with a Deer Crossing Sign, be especially alert for deer when driving on roads or highways on the outskirts of town and in rural areas – especially where roads divide farm land from wooded land.
-Know when deer are on the move – Be especially careful between 5AM and 8AM and between 5PM and midnight.
-Don’t rely on devices – Items like deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven effective at deterring deer crossing roadways.
-Brake firmly if you notice a deer near the road – Slow down and stop if necessary. Be careful not to swerve out of your lane either into on-coming traffic or off the shoulder and into a ditch.
Keep your distance – If you do strike a deer, don’t approach it. An injured deer is frightened and can injure you as well as further injuring itself. If the deer is blocking the roadway, it poses a threat to other drivers; so call the authorities immediately.

Be alert and drive safe….or come visit us here at the shop