Whether it is a rouge baseball, golf ball size hail, or you were one of the five million crashes occurring in the United States (according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), it is a given that most people will visit an auto body shop at some point in their lives.
But while choosing a doctor for your runny nose might be simple, how do you choose the right auto body shop that will not only fix but also protect the value on the four-wheeled love of your life.
After an accident or damage has occurred, sometimes the insurance claims representative will suggest specific auto body shops. But remember, these are auto body shops the insurance company typically works with and you deserve the final say on who repairs the vehicle you have invested time and money into.
Looking for an auto body shop can be a hard process. But talking to friends, relatives, business associates, and even the dealer where you purchased the vehicle can make this process easier.
Another step is to check out auto body shops online. Look for online reviews about the body shop to see what strangers or other businesses have said. These reviews may ease the burden on your mind and narrow down your choices. Often, if the auto body shop has a website, they will also list pictures and information on their work quality.
Try to stick with companies that have an established business and proof of their work. If they have proof they have fixed hail damage, scratches caused by keys or doors, scuffs or paint chipping, they will most likely be able to do it again.
The next step is to make an appointment and take your vehicle to the auto body shop for an estimate. With this visit, get a feel for how they do business, especially their attention to detail. There are some important key questions you can ask to determine if you want them repair your damaged vehicle.
– What is your experience? – How long have your been repairing vehicles? – Do you have examples of prior work? – Do you have any customers I can call about your work? – Have you had any complaints with the Better Business Bureau or your county’s consumer affairs office? – Do you have a guarantee on your work? – And, do you have any advanced techniques?
As far as advanced techniques, there are some alternative auto body shops that have selected a “greener” restoration process that includes paintless dent removal or PDR. Auto body shops offering paintless dent removal have the advanced tools that:
– Saves the environment by avoiding painting a large section – Retains the resale of your vehicle by minimizing or eliminating body filler – Reduces the time to repair
These shops provide way and means to fix a wide variety of damage without sanding or abrasive methods including:
– Hail damage – Small dents – Scratches – Creases – Scuffs
When your vehicle can receive the care and attention to repair needed without replacing or even disturbing the clear coat or manufactures paint job, you will get your money’s worth in the repair and resale value.
When you pick up your car following the repair, thoroughly check it from top to bottom to ensure the work was completed as promised. Check everything out to make sure it looks, feels, and works the way it was designed.
Repairs and wrecks can be a stressful time on any vehicle owner. But with the right repair shop, you and your vehicle can be restored to driving shape in a timely fashion with outstanding results.