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 Berkeley Heights. 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 Berkeley Heights.
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.
How to Pick the Right Auto Body Repair Shops
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 Berkeley Heights 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.
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 Berkeley Heights 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 Berkeley Heights 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.
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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.
For the majority of drivers, going to an auto body shop is a mysterious experience, a scary encounter with the unknown. Once you hand over your key, you instantly feel uneasy; will your car be returned as good as new, or will the repair specialists do a shoddy job? How will you know? How will you be able to figure out if you hard-earned money is just being tossed down the drain?
The best way to know if you are receiving excellent service and professional care is to find a reputable body shop and then build a relationship with that shop. However, most people who take their vehicles in to the shop are doing so for the first time. So, how do you know whether or not you can trust an auto body shop?
First of all, it is important to know that most auto body shops are reputable businesses. The majority of auto shop owners are just struggling to make a living like most small business owners - they want to do a great job on your car so you will return or refer others to their shop. However, there are a few bad apples that spoil the whole bunch, and you need to be diligent when selecting a shop.
The first thing to do is get a referral or locate a shop online using reviews and testimonials. Create a list and call each shop to see how well you are treated on the phone. Select three or four shops that sound good and are in close proximity to your location, and you are ready to take your vehicle in for an estimate.
You should get at least three estimates from three different shops. The estimate may vary because shops may use different estimating software, but they should all be in the same ballpark. If an estimate differs by a great deal, you should ask why. The body shop expert should be able to explain all prices on the estimate, including all price quotes and labor charges.
When you get the estimate, you should also be evaluating the customer service. How quickly were you acknowledged? How efficiently were you helped? Were all members of the staff polite and friendly? Did the staff seem knowledgeable? Be observant during the estimate and you will have a good idea of how you will be treated during the entire repair process. If the customer service seems lacking, move on to the next place even if the estimate seems reasonable.
If you decide to leave your car, and the shop contacts you later to tell you about additional charges, this may be a sign that it is not a reputable and honest repair facility. Though additional charges can happen occasionally, it is not a common practice for a reputable shop.
If you do your homework, have some patience, and get a few estimate, the odds are good that you will find a reputable auto body shop. Once you have found one, it helps to direct all your business to them, and refer them to others. If you do this, you will have established a good relationship, and you will no longer need to worry about finding an honest auto body shop.
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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 Berkeley Heights Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?
Jeff what are the three questions should ask a body shop before they consider dropping their car off for repairs? Well what's important is that the repair shop actually be qualified to fix that particular vehicle.
Today modern cars require specialized training and equipment to be able to perform repairs to the manufacturer's standards.
For instance, this Mini Cooper and other BMWs require what's called rivet bonding.
So, glue joints and rivets.
They're actually repaired like aircraft today.
This is important because this maintains the structural integrity the manufacturer designed for a repair situation.
Like this fixture frame bench here that utilizes actual jigs to support the vehicle across its entire platform and place factory components precisely where the manufacturer has designated.
These systems are different than generic systems that simply are reverse engineered and don't have jig and holding capacity.
Shops that aren't trained and equipped to properly perform a repair utilizing generic equipment or generic procedures can't restore the vehicle to the manufacturer's standards and that doesn't necessarily maintain the safety ratingdesigned for the vehicle.
You potentially jeopardize the collision energy management system.
The vehicle might not perform the same in a future collision and you could possibly be more injured than you would if the car doesn't perform as the manufacturer intended.
The second question a consumer should ask is "Where does the body shop's loyalty lie?" Is it an independent repair center that relies on satisfied customers to drive business through their door and therefore fixes vehicles correctly? Or is the body shop on the insurance company's "preferred network?" Those body shops rely on the insurance referrals and when those body shops utilize cheap, imitation, and savage parts utilize the quickest possible repair times and keep costs as low as possible that generates the next referral.
But that's a recipe for shortcuts.
The third question, Paul, is "Can the repair shop make this process convenient for me?" Most consumers today want convenience and ease.
Repair shops that are high-quality repair shops are going to put their customers' interests first & do everything they can to have a satisfied customer.
That includes sheduling a rental car, scheduling a tow engaging in conversations with the insurance company and making sure the vehicle is fixed right for the consumer.