Monday, March 4, 2013

How to Ensure An Autobody or Repair Job Is Completed Correctly The First Time

Car accidents are not only frightening, but they can also be emotionally and financially exhausting. Even if you end up with no injuries, most likely your car has sustained some damage and needs to be taken to a repair shop. Taking your vehicle to a repair shop can be frustrating, complicated, and time-consuming. If you have a professional auto body mechanic who is trustworthy and honest, then you are ahead of most people. If you need to look for an auto repair shop, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you find the right shop and get your repair done right... the first time!

An Estimate is not a Guesstimate!
When a repair shop gives you an estimate, it should be detailed, comprehensive, and easily explained. The mechanic should be able to clearly answer any questions you have. When the job is completed, the final paperwork should match the estimate; any discrepancies should be explained and resolved before payment is given.

Shopping Around is Worth the Effort.
Before you decide on a repair shop, you should get at least three estimates. In most states, insurance carriers are not allowed to limit you choices to their own network of shops - they may suggest, but the law forbids them to demand. When shopping around, consider the prices, the time, the cleanliness and organization of the shop, the professionalism of the staff, recommendations from friends, and online reviews and testimonials.

Don't Just Look at the Prices, Look at the Parts, Too!
Repair shops may use rebuilt, refurbished, or OEM parts (parts manufactured by the maker of your vehicle or an authorized facility). Repair shop quotes should tell you what type of part they plan to use. After your repairs are completed, you may want to ask to see the damaged parts

Expect to Inspect
Once all the repairs are made, and before you pay or drive away from the repair shop, you should inspect the work. Most people cannot tell a water pump from a carburetor, or a rocker panel from an upper frame rail, but it is still possible for the untrained eye to do a brief inspection of the completed work. There should be no visible body damage, the vehicle should be clean inside and out, and there should be no noticeable gaps or missing pieces in the repaired area. The doors and the trunk, or hatchback, should open easily and freely, the headlights should be in proper alignment, and, if you look at the underside of the car, there should be no visible evidence that a repair was made or that the frame was straightened.

Ponder the Paint
Before you drive away, the last inspection you should make is the paint job. A poor paint job is the most common complaint people have after a car repair. Look for any color consistency issues and make sure that the new paint blends smoothly with the old paint. The surface should be smooth to the touch, and it is important to look for any drips, overspray, or fingerprints.
If you notice any problems or have any concerns, talk with the shop manager immediately. Reputable body shops always stand by their work and will be happy to make sure that the job is completed correctly and that the customer is satisfied.

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