Sharing the Road with Bicycles and Motorcycles

As the spring is in full swing, so is the use of motorcycles and bicycles in the greater St. Louis area. Vehicles on the road are a danger to both. Drivers of cars and trucks are protected by a tremendous amount of metal, safety devices, and other material designed to absorb impacts and minimize injuries to vehicle occupants. Those whose preferred mode of transportation is by means of a motorcycle or bicycle have no protection against negligent drivers.

Below are a few things you need to pay special attention to. This will ensure you are not posing a threat to motorcycles and bicycles you share the road with.

  • Distracted driving
  • Running stop signs or stop lights
  • Failing to give motorcyclists and bicyclists adequate room
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Following too closely
  • Speeding
  • Not yielding the right of way

If you are on a bike or motorcycle it is important to understand the factors that can contribute to your safety. You may be particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by road defects. Always wear the proper safety gear when traveling on your bicycle or motorcycle and keep in mind, Missouri’s law, known as a universal helmet law, requires all riders to wear helmets and has been on the books since 1967.

Some common road defects that cause serious bicycle accidents include the following:

  • Potholes
  • Cracked pavement
  • Shoulder drop-offs
  • Inadequate signage
  • Misplaced road signs
  • Overgrown vegetation
  • Missing or faded bicycle lane markings

In fact, while motorcycles only comprise 3% of registered vehicles in Missouri, motorcycle accidents are on a steady rise throughout Missouri since 2013 with operators six times more likely to be killed when involved in a collision than that of passenger car injuries.

2016: 122, 40 of the fatalities included motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
2015: 91, 28 of the fatalities included motorcyclists without helmets.
2014: 89, 26 of the motorcyclists were not wearing helmets.
2013: 74, 16 of the fatalities included motorcyclists without helmets.

If you are among the vast majority of individuals who drive cars, vans and trucks, it’s quite possible that as a driver you rarely think about motorcycles. We hope by sharing these alarming statistics and what you should be looking for will aide in decreasing fatalities on our roadways.

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will be celebrated next month in May. The National Safety Council reminds riders – and drivers – to do their part.

If you are unsure if Paintless Dent Repair is right for your damaged vehicle, contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.


April Car Events Near You!

As temperatures heat up, so do auto events for car enthusiasts, families and just about anyone to enjoy. With best of show competitions, 50/50 raffles, attendance prizes and much more, there is a show near you to enjoy this month.

Orchard Farm Fundraiser Car Show
When: April 7, 12pm– 3pm
Where: Discovery Elementary School, 500 Discovery Path Lane, Saint Charles, MO

$15 entry at the gate for car show participants, there is a $5 discount for registering on  the website. Keep the registration receipt email to show at the entrance for the discount. (Cash or check please) Entrance is free to the general public. More info

Outsiders 12th Annual Year Car Cruise
When: April 5 through Oct 18th, 5pm– 10pm
Where: Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 3889 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St Charles, MO

Held every other Friday night Apr 5th thru Oct 18th. All pre-1980’s Vehicles welcome There will be a 50/50 drawing, bicycle raffle and attendance prizes. Please no alcohol or burnouts. More info

Sonic Car Cruise Season
When: April 12 through September 27, 5pm – 9pm
Where: 1002 South Kirkwood, intersection of Big Bend & S. Kirkwood, Kirkwood, MO

DJ Choice Award “$30.00 Sonic Gift Card” given to “Best of Show” vehicle every show. There will be a 50/50 drawing and attendance prizes. More info

St. Louis BMW Club Spring Picnic
When: April 20, 10:30am– 2pm
Where: Broemmelsiek Park, 1795 Hwy DD, Defiance, MO

Join the St. Louis BMW Club at Broemmelseick Park for our season kick-off picnic and car show!

Socialize with BMW fanatics and their families while local chef Brandi Childress whips up an amazing lunch of burgers, brats, and pork chops. Alongside getting to know each other better, there is a judged car show. You have the opportunity to bring your favorite car to compete for amazing prizes in a concours-style event. Cleanliness and originality matter! Prize sponsors include Plaza BMW and A&G Auto Spa with a few more in the works! More info

If you are involved in an auto collision and need repair service, contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.


Missouri Texting and Driving Law


Missouri is one of only three states in the country that does not have an all driver texting ban in place.

With an estimated more than 1 trillion texts sent worldwide last year alone, the law, or lack thereof, is alarming. Especially since, according to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, nine out of 10 people use their smartphones in some way while driving.

Under current Missouri law drivers of 21 years of age or younger are prohibited from sending, reading or writing electronic messages while driving.

Any person 21 years of age or younger who operates a moving motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text or electronic message by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device will be guilty of an infraction and will be fined $200 and two points against their driving record.

Keep in mind, Missouri is only the ninth state, however, to single out a particular age group and while the law is obviously well-intentioned, some drivers say it is simply unfair.

Obviously, nothing happens upon a person’s 21st birthday that suddenly makes texting while driving acceptable and safe, so why did Missouri lawmakers target this specific group? It is believed the law applies only to those drivers between 16 and 21 based in part on studies such as one in 2007 that showed that this age group experienced more crashes than any other.

Texting while driving has reached epidemic proportions and is resulting in careless driving that increases the incidence of being involved in an auto collision.

“Seventy percent of all accidents, I believe last year, where texting and driving was a problem actually involved people over the age of 22,” Sergeant Larry Stobbs of the St. Joseph’s police department stated.

According to a report by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, cell phone related crashes have increased by 35 percent since 2014. So why target a small group when it comes to everyone’s safety on the roadways?

Missouri lawmakers are considering an all age texting and driving ban, however you will have to stay safe on the roadways and steer clear of careless drivers in the interim.

If the bill is passed into law it would take effect on August 28,2019 and would impose a $50 fine for phone usage violations and a $100 fine if the person is driving in a school zone.

If you are involved in an auto collision and need repair service, contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.

Why Paintless Dent Repair May Be the Right Choice


Paintless Dent Repair has several surprising advantages as opposed to traditional auto dent damage repair.

PDR is a concept of working out small indentations in a vehicle that often occur as a result of hail damage, runaway shopping cart or stray ball.

Regardless of how careful you are, small dings and dents are inevitable when you own and operate a motor vehicle. Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair is here in your time of need and offers a solution to take care of those unsightly blemishes.

PDR removes dents, door dings and creases without compromising the integrity of your factory paint finish. Often times PDR is an affordable option that can be completed in minimal time as opposed to body work and automotive paint application.

A professionally trained technician will approach your PDR job from the inside, out. Gaining access to areas, such as the inside panels of the door can be a fairly difficult task Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair has all of the necessary tools to ensure your dents and dings are repaired properly.

Keep in mind the following when deciding how to fix your vehicle damage.

PDR doesn’t require a vehicle owner to purchase new panels or replacement paint, it’s the affordable option.

Traditional repair processes requires a variety of complex steps that may require you to leave your vehicle at the shop longer than you can afford. PDR is completed through one specialized process that gets your car back on the road quickly.

Avoid applying new paint over a vehicle’s factory finish which may significantly reduce its resale value. PDR is highly beneficial because it keeps the original finish intact and maintains the resale value of your vehicle.

If you are unsure if Paintless Dent Repair is right for your damaged vehicle, contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.


What Your VIN Number Tells You About Your Vehicle


All vehicles have a vehicle identification number, or VIN. This is a unique code assigned to a new car which stays with it throughout the car’s life. Comprised of 17 characters, your vehicles VIN tells a story, including the vehicles make and model, specifics regarding components and features and its accident and maintenance history.

To receive a comprehensive estimate you will be required to provide the VIN number. Your vehicles VIN is also used to track recalls, owner registration and insurance coverage, among other things throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.

It’s most basic function is to identify a vehicle, especially if it has been abandoned or stolen.

An important function of the VIN is related to recalls as well; if there’s a problem with a particular make, model or even just a batch of cars, this number helps to easily identify the specific vehicles affected by a manufacturing recall.

Because your vehicles VIN tells us so much about the car, it’s useful for planning repairs and ordering the right replacement parts. Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair keeps track of vehicle VIN numbers we service in case you or our technicians need to know what work has been performed in the past.

Your auto insurance company will rely on the VIN to evaluate the safety standards and operational risks associated with your vehicle. It is utilized in formulating coverage rates or premiums you will pay.

A car’s VIN is comprised of 17 capital letters and numbers and each of them speaks volumes about the vehicle.

The first three numbers indicate the country of origin and the automotive manufacturer. For example,cars made in the United States have a VIN that starts with 1, 4 or 5. Mexican vehicles have a 3, Canadian cars begin with 2, J for Japan, and so on.

The 5 characters following the initial 3 give us a description of the car, to include the brand, engine size and type. This part of the VIN is valuable to us as it tells us the automobiles line type and model, body style, if it has a 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive transmission, the type of restraints included in the vehicle and much more.

In the 80’s VIN forgery was addressed by the meaning behind the 9thdigit, known as the check digit. The check digit is essentially an equation which is used to validate the VIN. If the other VIN digits are correct, the check digit should be “X.” It is basically a mathematical equation used to combat forgery.

The following two characters tell us the model year and the plant where it was assembled. The final six digits are the vehicle’s unique serial number.

If you are unsure where your VIN is located check the dashboard towards the driver’s side. If you are standing outside your vehicle, looking from the front end, you VIN should be where the dash meets your automobiles windshield. If you don’t see the VIN there, check on the edge of the driver’s side door where the door locks when closed.

For reference, use this VIN decoder tool to get a vehicle history report about your car. You may be surprised by the results.

If you are looking for auto collision repair service in the West St Louis County area, contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.

Car Maintenance for Older Models

With increased pricing and better built vehicles that provide upwards of a 100,000 mile warranty, many car owners are keeping their vehicles longer. If you are among this group of drivers, you will need to care for your car differently as it ages.

It is important to keep a few things mind ensuring your car will continue to run smoothly as the mileage increases.

Here are a few some tips to keep your older vehicle on the road for many more miles.

Routine maintenance may feel a bit mundane, but it is key to keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Oil changes and routine maintenance are even more important as your odometer climbs and your vehicle ages. You should add reminders to your calendar, so you can stay on top of these service intervals.

If your vehicle has quite a few miles on it, consider getting your transmission serviced. Transmission repairs can be expensive, so routine maintenance can help you avoid more expensive repairs or the cost of having your transmission replaced.

If you have put your automobile to the test through the years, the cooling system has been tested as well. Keep in mind your cars cooling system has worked equally as hard to regulate the heat that is radiated by the engine. Green fluid leaking under your car can be a sign of an antifreeze leak. Also, if you have never replaced the water pump in your car, you may want to consider having your cooling system flushed.

These are just a few tips for older and high mileage vehicles and your car may require more extensive service. The key is to stay in tune with your vehicle and on top of scheduled maintenance. We hope you found these tips helpful.

For more helpful advice or if you are in need of auto collision repair service contact Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair at 636.394.1712 Monday through Friday between 7:30am-5:30pm or stop by our convenient location at 610 Park Lane, Manchester, MO 63021.