Car Body Work is Expensive… So Who Gets the Job?
Finding the right auto body shop after you’ve been in an accident is hard enough; but, even with your best friend Google to help you search for a place, it’s hard to see what’s under the proverbial hood (pun intended). GrandSport Auto had a great article written on how to pick the best place. You’re going to want to focus on some main factors here: shop capacity/capabilities, your purse/wallet and the good old gut feeling.
Can they do it?
It’s good advice to first check and see if you believe the shop is up to the task. Buildings that look rundown offer a hint that perhaps if they don’t have the money to maintain or upgrade their look they might not have the money to properly upkeep their existing or invest in new equipment. For faster repair completion, multi-location collision companies have an advantage because they can load-level the job. This means that if one of their locations is extremely busy, they can move vehicles to another location that isn’t as busy to stay current with completion times/dates. These examples are not always the case but worth mentioning nonetheless.
What happens if things go wrong?
You want to be sure that there is some sort of guarantee in place. Most NJ auto body shops, for instance, have that word in their literature but it could mean different things. Sometimes the guarantee is for customer satisfaction, other times it is a warranty on the repair and still other times it’s a warranty for the paint but not the body work. Warranties vary from shop to shop so you want to be able to have some sort of recourse if something bad happens.
Paper or plastic?
Materials matter when it comes to longevity of a car or truck body repair and not all shops have the same processes and/or standards. People normally think that a used part would save money over a new part. However, many lower cost aftermarket parts are touted to be just as good as the original manufactured ones. This could save you some cash.
Though not always the case, used parts are sometimes sold illegally from stolen vehicles that were run through so called “chop shops” and then resold. There was an episode of “American Underworld” on The Discovery Channel that shows how it’s done.
The repair shop thinks they’re giving you a legitimate part but is unaware of its origin. Federal law requires salvage yards to print the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the parts invoice to the auto body shop. This is not to say that recycling of old vehicles is bad… just that you should choose a reputable collision repair facility.
It just doesn’t feel right
In the end, it’s pretty safe to go with your gut feeling when choosing an auto body shop in PA or NJ. Over the years the stigma of a dirty, creepy and shady auto body shop has faded some and that’s because the industry has some real cutting edge businesses out there that care and are honest. There are still some shops out there that perpetuate this negative view, but follow the above advice and it should point you in a favorable direction.