It is a pleasure driving a car that looks beautiful and polished. However, when you are in an accident, the state of your car can be depressing. Thankfully, you can depend on a body shop to fix the problem and restore your car to its former glory. No doubt you will be spending a lot of money getting your scratched and banged up car fixed, but if the body shop does its work properly, it will be a worthwhile expense.
But how do you figure out whether the body shop has done a good job with your car? Here are some tips that will help you.
How and where to get your car repaired
There are numerous places that claim to have the expertise to fix cars and make them as good as new. However, these claims are not really true. Once your car has been involved in an accident, you can restore its appearance, but not to the same level that the auto manufacturer does.
So, the first thing to do is to find a reliable repair shop. Ask around and get opinions from family and friends. Then shortlist a few body shops. Get them to give quotes for the repair work. Get everything in writing, so that you can compare the work and prices. Remember, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. So, don’t take up the offer with the cheapest quote unless they are a solid car shop that other people you know have mentioned.
Inspecting before you leave your car
Once you select the body shop, inspect the damage that your car has sustained. Make sure you are around when the technician is inspecting your car. Speak to the technician and find out what work they are going to do on your car and how will they go about doing it.
Get everything in writing, so that you can verify it when you come to collect your car. Be sure to inquire about warranties that will be applicable after the work is done.
Inspecting and things to look out for
When go the body shop to collect your car, there are few things you should do before driving off.
- Inspect the car thoroughly.
- Check the damaged portion of the car carefully to see there are no abnormalities visible.
- Write down any problems you notice.
- Check that the doors open and close properly.
- If the damage to the car was severe, there could be some alignment issues, which may affect the doors. The car doors should not creak or squeak.
- Ensure the alignment of the panels is correct. This can be identified by the gaps between the panels. Uneven gaps will tell you if the alignment is incorrect.
- Switch on the headlights and see the beams are aligned correctly to check the alignment.
- Another way to check the alignment, especially if the front part was extensively damaged, is to check the tire to fender distance. If on one side of the gap seems narrower than the other, something was not fixed right.
If the collision caused damage to the front of your car, there is a possibility of the frame being bent. A bent frame, if not repaired correctly may be tough to spot. It would take a keen and trained eye to spot this problem. So don’t ignore it. The frame is pulled when there is a bend and if you inspect closely, you will be able to figure out the telltale marks on the frame that indicate improper work.
You can use a frame spec printout to check if the alignment of the frame. Compare it to the specs to determine whether it requires more work. If you have a doubt, get a second opinion from another specialist body shop.
Paint job for your car
After checking the bodywork, it is time to move to the paint job. Nowadays you can get colors to match the original color of a car. However, at times, there can be mistakes, causing your car to have two different colors.
The original and fresh coats have to be the same. If the body shop is reputable, you will have no cause for concern. Make sure you collect your car during the day when there is ample natural light. This will let you check whether the new paint matches the original shade and finish.
Addressing problems after repairs
There is a chance some of the repairs were not up to the mark. Problems may surface a few weeks or months later. This is where warranties come into play. It could be tires wearing out unevenly or rattling and squeaking sounds emanating from the body. Whatever it is, go back to the repair shop and explain the problem to them. There could be more than one reason for what is happening. Be firm but polite and have them look into your complaint. A prolific body repair shop would stand by their commitment and resolve the issues.
Use these tips to ensure your car was restored properly and that the body shop did their job properly.