When the time comes that you need auto body repair work done on your vehicle, the situation can be overwhelming. Especially in the aftermath of a crash, when you’re dealing with insurances and trying to process what’s happened. However, there are a few things you should know – these auto body repair tips will help you look out for your best interests and ensure your vehicle is getting taken care of well and quickly.
You Have a Choice
When you’re talking with your insurance in the wake of an accident, they will likely give you recommendations of shops to visit. These are shops the insurance company has worked with in the past, but at the end of the day the choice is really up to you. You can do your own vetting of local shops rather than the big box places if you’re looking for a different standard of service. If you have a favorite auto body shop, but they aren’t on the “suggested” list you hear, don’t get discouraged! Making the choice should be about who will do the job well and thoroughly, not who will get it done the quickest and the cheapest. If you settle for the latter, you’ll be right back in the shop before you know it.
Check the Lights
When you get your car back, it’s important to check the engine lights and make sure they are all, appropriately, off. You should also take note of any lights that are illuminated before you hand your vehicle off to the shop. If you notice a light still illuminated when you pick up your vehicle, don’t panic! It could very well be that the computer simply needs to be rebooted and the lights will disappear. However, it can also indicate an issue that is still present under the hood. Checking with your technician before you leave will give you a peace of mind and save you a trip when you get home and realize something’s still lit up!
If the repairs you’re looking at include body paint retouching, you’re gonna want to get up close and personal with the finished job. It’s pretty annoying to have a single patch on your vehicle that doesn’t match the rest. Don’t be afraid to examine it from several vantage points. Sometimes it’s more obvious up close and sometimes the difference is most apparent when you’re several feet back from your vehicle. Either way, this is something you want to notice before you drive away.
You’ll have some choices to make with your chosen auto body shop. There are levels of parts you can elect to have used in the repair work. You can get new parts from the manufacturer, used parts (still from the manufacturer, or manufacturer certified), or you can choose aftermarket parts. The latter will almost always come back to make you regret the choice. Aftermarket parts are often cheap imitations that aren’t built to hold up to the actual wear and tear a normal person puts on their vehicle in daily usage. We know the price tag may be tempting, but consider the damage you could do to your vehicle (not to mention it’s resale value) if you settle here. Choosing new or used manufacturer parts is pretty much always the way to go.
Having to take your car, truck, SUV, van, or motorcycle in for repairs is never a fun time. It almost always comes with a bill you’d rather not have to budget for, and even if insurance covers most of it, you’re still left dealing with the hassle of it all. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can make the most of a bad situation, and feel comfortable with the choices you’re making. And when you’re dealing with your main mode of transportation, peace of mind really is priceless.