It happens to all of us at one point in time. We get into an automobile collision and need the best auto body shop in Livingston. Hopefully, it is not too bad and we are not seriously injured. But usually the car does not fare as well and comes away with significant damage.
What is the next step after your collision and you need an auto body shop?
Likely, after informing the insurance company you take your vehicle to one of their “approved” vendors.
Here is what happens next. You tell the insurance company what company you choose. By this time they have already taken phones of the car and know how extensive the damage is. If you need an expert to take a look, make sure you go to a repair shop in Livingston.
They have a computer system that gives them a printed estimate stating what the replacement parts and labor will be based upon a set hourly rate.
This statement is given to the body shop. It comes with a break down of what the labor and parts “should” be and the company has to usually be able to totally fix the car for that price.
The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment
Keep in mind that what is printed out represents the best case scenario and doesn’t allow for items on the car that was missed or problems that come up.
Now here are some things to watch out for. a local auto body shop in Livingston is operating under very, very thin margins and the incentive to “cut corners” is huge. Getting an extra $300 off a job can really add up over the course of the month when you are talking about doing at least 3-5 vehicles every week.
How to Spot a Scam Auto Body Shop
Replacement Parts in Auto Body Shops
Make sure the parts being used on your car are OEM parts. These are replacement auto body parts in Livingston are sent directly from the car manufacturers and are designed with the same specs as the vehicle came with.
Aftermarket parts can be significantly cheaper yet are not the same quality and make not hold up the same in the event of another accident.
No Realignment? Talk to Your Auto Repair Team!
The frame is usually somewhat bent when a car goes through an accident of any kind. It needs to be properly realigned. You need a serious all hands on deck auto body shop to take care of you here.
Unfortunately, because the money made off one car can be very little the propensity to skip this step is very high. Later down the road this will cause your car to not drive straight but at a tilt and your tires will wear prematurely. So if you need to brush up on some tire repair, ask your mechanic straight away.
Using Bondo (Fillers) Instead of Replacing the Part
Filling any damage in with bondo is not bad in itself. If you know what the auto body shop in Livingston is doing, they tell you, and this is what you are paying for then it is fine.
The problem comes in when you think you are getting a vehicle back that is 99.9% the same as before it was wrecked and it is not. Filling a damaged part in with filler rather than replacing the expensive part is a common tactic and you want to make sure it is not done on your vehicle.
Laser Wheel Alignment: Chassis Mounted Vs Wheel Mounted
All damaged parts should be replaced unless you are paying a lower price for the car to just be fixed (in the case you want the cheapest price and do not care about having a car exactly the same as before). Again, you should really speak to your best auto body shop nearest you!
Keep in mind that most auto body repair shops are honest and are surviving in a tough industry.
What is a wheel alignment? How does it effect handling and tire wear? When should I do an alignment? What causes alignments to go out? How would I know if my alignment is out? A wheel alignment is nothing more than setting the angle of the hub/wheel so it tracks in the right direction. Most vehicles have four-wheel alignments, meaning each of the four wheels is separately aligned. Your basic alignment consists of three angles: camber, caster and toe-in. Camber is the tilt of the tire when viewed from the front of the car. Positive camber means the top of the tire is tilted away from the car. Negative camber means the top is tilted in. Camber has a lot to do with cornering performance. Too much negative camber will wear the inside of the tires prematurely. Too much positive camber will wear the outside tread. Caster is the inclination of the front spindle. Picture the angle of the forks on a bike top to bottom. When the caster is out, it creates a pull or wandering condition and sometimes a slow responding steering wheel. Toe-in is measured in inches or degrees. Viewing from the front of the car, it is the difference between the front and rear center-line of the tire. Toe-in means the fronts of the tires are closer together. Toe-out means, the fronts of the tires are farther apart. Toe-in or out has the most effect on tire wear. There is a lot more to suspension alignment, especially if you push your vehicle on the track. The modifications you make on your suspension are just the beginning. Once you start down this road you will be concerned with things like bump steer, weighting (vertical load), preloading, tire traction versus tire load, and more. Now you're thinking under-steer, over-steer, tire compound, sway bar design, and other topics that can be covered in a later article. For now, just remember to have your vehicle aligned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles in normal driving conditions.If you accidentally hit a curb, or drive through a nasty pothole or other road obstruction, that would be a cue to have your car's alignment checked more often. Proper alignment is good for your car. It will save unnecessary wear on your tires. It will ensure that your vehicle is giving you the handling the factory designed the car to have. And, most importantly, a properly aligned car is safer and more fun to drive.
Wheel Alignment And Balancing
The insurance companies nickel and dime them at every turn and they are made to give them at time ridiculous discounts to get any business. That’s why having an auto body shop in your corner can’t be stressed enough.
Nevertheless, all an auto body shop should be on is your side and corners should not be cut at your expense and being watchful is just a smart way to go.
Your Auto Body Shop In Livingston Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?
Before you try to run out and find auto body shops near you, take a moment to read through this article and consider including some of my personal experience as a mechanic into your own personal deliberation about what constitutes the best auto body shops in business. When you break things down, there are really two types of garages in business: good ones and bad ones. The best place to start when trying to scope out a potential body shop is the owner. In bad auto body garages the owner usually instructs the employees to give the impression that your car is in worse shape then you think, or that something is broken and needs to be fixed right away. In a legitimate auto body garage, the owner is more concerned with forging a long standing relationship with you and getting your repeat business rather then just ripping you off and potentially never seeing you again.
The reason why most owners are concerned with ripping people off, especially in a body shop, is because the only two reasons cars ever go in there is for repairs on collision damage or for custom work; this means that the owners of the shop realistically do not see the owners of vehicles too often and do not see the value in repeat business, they would rather try to squeeze every dime out of your while you are there.
The best auto and body shop you can ever find is where the owner looks to develop long term relationships with their clients. While it is true they can potentially never see a newer customer again, these owners are smart and do the best work possible not only to help you out, but to impress you and have you refer your friends and family to him or her. These owners are less interesting in gouging your wallet and more interested in establishing a reputation in their local community for outstanding work and service. These types of people see the value in what it means to be a true professional and are more successful then their more selfish friends in the business.
The best way you figure out which owners are the good or bad guys is either by your own direct experience or the experience of others. You should not be afraid to talk to the auto body shop manager directly and begin to get a feeling for what he is about. After a short conversation and carefully studying his body movement and language, the first impression you get is often the right one.