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 Maplewood. 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 Maplewood.
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.
Auto Body Shops - Bumper Repair Vs Bumper Replacement
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 Maplewood 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.
Wheel Alignment Tech Talk - Camber, Caster, Toe-in
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 Maplewood 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 Maplewood 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.
Take Control: Choose the Right Body Shop
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.
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 Maplewood Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?
If you’re ever involved in an accident in a leased car, there are a few very specific things that you need to do. The first step is to call 911, even if it’s a relatively minor accident, you still need to report it to the police. That’s because insurance companies need the police report to resolve disputes about who’s at fault.
The second step is to notify your insurance company. Regardless of who’s fault it is, your insurance company will help you file your claim against the other driver. And if the other driver wasn’t insured or underinsured, your insurance company will pay for the damage, as long as your policy covers such things.
The third step is to notify your lease finance company, especially if the car was declared totaled. Since they definitely would want to know if one of their cars got destroyed and will need to talk to the insurance company.
If the vehicle can be repaired
If your car wasn’t declared totaled and can be repaired, it’s very crucial to have the work done by a professional body shop which has been approved by your insurance company. It’s also helpful if the shop is authorized and recognized as a repair shop for your particular make of the vehicle. Talk to your dealer about finding an authorized shop.
When repairing your vehicle, it needs to be done in a way that restores it to a like-new condition and uses only OEM parts. If you use substandard parts or repair shops, you run the risk of being charged at the end of your lease for any re-repair costs that will be needed to bring your vehicle to an acceptable condition.
If the vehicle is totaled
If the necessary repair costs exceed 70% of the vehicle’s value, that it will be considered a total loss. In this case, the insurance company will pay the market value of the car to your lease finance company.
If you get lucky and your lease buyout balance exceeds the payout from the insurance company, the lease company may possibly refund the difference to you. But this rarely happens with leases.
Majority of the time, the payout from the insurance company is less than the lease balance, which leaves a deficiency that you will be responsible to cover. The good news is that most lease contracts require GAP insurance, which would cover that deficiency.
So where does this leave you?
If your leased vehicle can be repaired and you have the repairs done then proceed with your lease as normal and return the car once the lease ends. There’s one note of caution, however. Whenever a vehicle is involved in an accident, the trade and resale value gets reduced. Sometimes the insurance company may give you or the lease company a “diminished value” payment.
If your leased vehicle is totaled, then your basically left without a car, the same as if you returned your car at the end of a lease. If your car was over the mileage limit when the accident happened then you will still be charged for the extra miles as you normally would at the end of your lease. Might not seem fair to you but the lease company see’s it otherwise.
If you’ll need a replacement car
If the leased car gets totaled and you need another vehicle, you will need to start over with a new car lease or simply buy another car.
So, if you ever get into an accident in your leased car, first call 911, then your insurance company, and your lease company last. What happens next will largely depend on the severity of the accident, repair costs, and your insurance coverage policy. And it’s possible that you might end up owning more money to the lease company.