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.
Auto Glass and Body 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.
How to Find Auto Body Shops
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.
>> I'm Chad.
I'm a second-year student here at DCTC.
I've been an apprentice at ABRA inBloomington for just about a year, now.
Doing some frame damage,here, repair on a 2005 Ford.
Three door, got hit here,and this here was the main impact.
We've already cut the reinforcementand impact bar off.
Now, we're going to be pulling onthis frame here, to get it straight, using the three-dimensionalmeasurement system to make sure that everything else is inline where it should be.
>> I'm Gerry Rainford.
I'm a second-year instructor here,at Dakota County Technical College.
Chad's a typical second-year student, wherewe get into different levels of repair needs, from just simple door repair to, well, you cansee here, is a full unibody reconstruction.
Mechanical aspects, as well.
Getting into the air conditioning andother mechanical systems on the vehicle.
This is kind of the way that once we havethe vehicle anchored on our frame rack.
We come through and we can actually do pull out.
We're going to be doing a light pull,this morning on the unibody structure.
We're going to see if we can't repair the rails.
Typically, when they're kinked to thispoint, we would do a replacement procedure.
But we're going to see ifwe can't repair them, today.
So, we'll just kind of talk as we go through it.
And we'll see if we can getthe rails to come out.
So, Chad, please take over from here.
>> All right.
I'm going to be using these towers, here, thatare capable of pulling 10,000 pounds apiece.
Try to get this mash come outon this left frame rail, here.
>> So, once again.
We're going to be pulling at a constantlevel that's going to be straight out, to try to replace the height, thelength, and width of the rail.
So, we're going to keep the directionstraight and at a straight pulling distance.
>> And all I'm doing here, now, is justwatching as I'm pulling, going slowly to find out how the metal's going to react.
Everything reacts different,not any accident is the same.
Everything needs to be takenon with a different viewpoint.
What I'm going to do now, isjust hit this metal, here, to try to relieve some of this stress.
[ Hammering Sound ] And always while you're pulling,what you're going to want to do is check your anchoring points, again, tomake sure that the car is not going anywhere.
Make sure all your chainsand clamps are still tight.
As you'll notice, I'm staying above,not standing behind these chains, just in case anything would happen to let go.
[ Hammering Sound ] >> Let's work the backside of the railthrough here a little bit, as well.
[ Hammering Sound ] [inaudible] target.
One of the things we don't want to do, is we don't want to do additionaldamage as we're pulling.
Looks like we're pulling morefrom the bottom of the rail.
>> Than we are from the top.
So, at this point in time, I think we shouldstop, rehook, and grab a hold of the top of the clamp support and pullmore on the top of this rail.
>> All right.
Both these dozers here are run by the same pump.
So, as I pull it's going to pull them equally.
Let's get some pressure on there.
[ Inaudible Comments ] [ Hammering Sound ] >> Just trying to relieve this stress.
Move the metal where I want it.
>> So, let's get a couple ofhits with this on the backside.
[ Hammering Sound ] Right now, we're concernedwith overpulling on it.
And so, I think we're going to stop.
And we're going to regrab ontothe rail at a different location.
Once you've overpulled and it distortsthe rail, then we've got an issue.
>> We're going to cut this outsideof this rail, here off, this cap.
Just a piece of the sheet seal,here, out of high strength steel.
We're going to pull this out here, sothat way we can get inside here, too, and make proper welds and getthis metal straight, again.
I'm just going to be countered along,drill out these spot welds, here.
And then, cut it here at the seam.
I'll run a line, section it out.
>> Why don't you show them how we know how farwe need to pull by using the measuring system? Then, to explain the measuringsystem, real quick? >> All right.
As we pull out on this stuff here, toget this rail out to where it should be, these targets here measure with this beamunderneath the vehicle, measures the vehicle at all kinds of different points.
Four in the middle of the vehicle, twoat the rear of the vehicle, and then, these here in the front closest to the damage.
This vehicle, this chart here for thevehicle is specific for this vehicle.
What this does here, is it hangs targets fromthe vehicle at specific manufacturing locations.
It measures the vehicle throughout there.
You can tell that our centersection here, is good.
And the back of the vehicle is good.
But up here, we're dealing with offmeasurements on the front end from the impact.
>> We're going to take and when we getthe rails pulled back into a location by the manufacturer's specifications, we'lltake, we'll hammer and dolly all this straight.
And we'll take, we've got new components.
We've got a new reinforcement barthat we'll be welding into place, to replace the structure of the vehicle.
But we'll come through, replace the.
You want to come around over here.
You can see that the radiator condenserhas been damaged in this accident.
And it's completely, we've lost all the Freon.
So, we'll be doing an R and Rprocedure on the condenser assembly.
Then, we're going to evac andrecharge the air conditioning system.
And then, move forward with the restof the mechanical repairs at this time.
In some situations, when you getcomposite intake manifolds, like this, components can come back and dodamage to the intake manifolds, starters, alternators, AC compressors.
We have additional damage deeper in the vehicle.
And this one, we've simplygot a condenser to replace.
What's so, how long will ittake you to do this repair? >> This repair here, will take me probablyabout two weeks to finish, to complete.
Done quite a bit already.
Already had all my parts ordered.
Those have already been checkedin and identified, and made sure that they are the rightparts, so I'm not scrambling at the end of the project to find the correct parts.
I'd say about two weeks; two to three weekswould be a good timeline for this vehicle.
>> Well, thank you, Chad.
I appreciate it, taking your time withthe students and this is what we do here at Dakota County Technical College.
It's a two-year program.
We try to get you ready with the latesttechnology and the latest equipment to make sure that they're ready for the industry.
And so, they can be productive and profitablein today's unibody reconstruction world.
Thanks, very much.
Mechanics Veto Extending Oil Changes
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?
>>> WELL, IF YOUR CAR IS EVER DAMAGED IN AN ACCIDENT OR REPAIRED THROUGH MAJOR INSURANCE COMPANY IN THIS COUNTRY, THERE ARE STATE AND FEDERAL LAWSUITS IN THIS COUNTRY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. AUTO BODY SHOPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MORE THAN 500 OF THEM CLAIM SOME BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES LONG DELIBERATELY SKIMPED WHEN IT COMES TO REPAIR DAMAGED VEHICLES. ALSO, THE INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN HAVE THEIR PROFITS. THE LAWSUITS ALLEGE IT'S A SCHEME THAT CANNOT ONLY LEAD TO RUSHED AND MINIMAL REPAIRS BUT RECYCLED, REMANUFACTURED AND ONE LAWYER PUTS IT JUNKED PARTS TO FIX YOUR CAR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BELIEVES THE ALLEGED SCHEME YOU COULD BE DRIVING A DANGEROUS CAR. CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT DREW GRIFFIN REPORTS. >> Reporter: TO SEE WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON, YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING YOU PROBABLY CAN'T DO AT HOME. LIFT WHAT YOU THINK IS YOUR REPAIR CAR, GET OUT SOMETHING CALLED A BORROW SCOPE AND CHECK THE FRAME TO SEE IF THE AUTO BODY SHOP FIXED IT, WHAT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY LIKELY RECOMMENDED. >> THERE'S THE RIFF IN THE RAIL. >> Reporter: BILL BURN, A NATIONAL AUTO REPAIR EXPERT TESTIFIES ABOUT BAD REPAIRS AND THIS, HE SAID, IS ONE OF THEM. THE RESULT OF A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO SAVE MONEY FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES. >> WHAT THEY DID WAS REPLACED THE NEW END CAP ON THERE AND THE END CAP COVERS THAT, SO THE CONSUMER WOULD NEVER SEE THIS. IT IS UNSAFE. >> AND YET THEY PUT IT BACK. >> CORRECT. >> Reporter: BURN IS NOW PART OF THE MAJOR LAWSUIT INVOLVING MORE THAN 500 AUTO BODY SHOPS IN 36 STATES. ALL SUING DOZENS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE SHOPS BELIEVE THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IS INVOLVED IN A DELIBERATE SYSTEM TO SEND YOU AND YOUR CAR TO SHOPS THAT ARE PRESELECTED BY INSURERS TO DO THE ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM TO FIX IT. EVEN TELLING BODY SHOPS TO USE USED OR RECYCLED PARTS BECAUSE THEY'RE CHEAPER. MATT PARKER IS AN AUTO SHOP OWNER IN MONROE, LOUISIANA, WHO SAID HE SEES THE SAME PROBLEM. HE SAID STATE FARM TOLD HIM TO USE A REMANUFACTURED HEADLIGHT IN A TOYOTA TACOMA. THIS IS WHAT HE GOT. >> IT'S GOT A HOLE IN IT HERE AND THEN YOU CAN SEE WHERE THEY SCREWED THIS BRACKET BACK ON THE VEHICLE. NOW, YOU CAN SEE HERE WHERE ALL THESE PARTS WERE KNOCKED OFF AND GLUED BACK TOGETHER. YOU CAN ALSO SEE HERE WHERE THE TOP CORNER AND THE LENS IS BUSTED AND THIS PART OF THE HEADLIGHT IS BROKEN. THIS CAME OUT OF A BOX WRAPPED LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE -- ABSOLUTELY, LIKE A NEW PART. THE INSURANCE COMPANY WANTS US TO PUT THIS STUFF ON THE CAR. IF WE REFUSE TO PUT IT ON THE CAR, THEN THEY LABEL US AS A SHOP NOT WILLING TO GO ALONG WITH THEIR PROGRAM AND THEN TRY TO STEER OUR BUSINESS AWAY FROM US. >> Reporter: THIS IS WHY HE AND THE OTHER SHOPS RETAINED JOHN ARTHUR EVES TO SUE. >> EVERY STATE IN THE UNION IS EXPERIENCING THE SAME SORT OF STRUGGLE HERE BETWEEN THE BODY SHOPS TRYING TO DO AND INSURANCE COMPANY TRYING TO USE UNSAFE PARTS AND METHODS ON THEIR CARS. >> Reporter: BUDDY CALDWELL OF LOUISIANA BELIEVE IT TOO. PREPARING A LAWSUIT. LOUISIANA FILED CLAIMING STATE FARM'S PRACTICE IS PUTTING DRIVERS IN DANGER. AND WHAT IS THE PRACTICE? WHAT'S BEING PUT IN THEIR CARS? >> AFTERMARKET PARTS, JUNK YARD PARTS AND ALL OF THIS WITHOUT ANY COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER AND THAT'S THE MAIN ISSUE, THE SAFETY ISSUES AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR PRODUCT IS BEING DEVALUED BY THE PRACTICES OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY. I MEAN, BUDDY HAS FOUND NUMEROUS CASES HERE IN LOUISIANA. WE FOUND IN MISSISSIPPI, THE BODY SHOPS, PUT JUNK PARTS AND WELD THE PATCH. >> Reporter: WHEN AUTO SHOPS DON'T GO ALONG, MISSISSIPPI'S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THOSE AUTO SHOPS BUSINESS GETS CUT. IT'S CALLED STEERING. INSURANCE COMPANIES STEERING BUSINESS ELSEWHERE. >> THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, WE'LL BLACKBALL YOU. WE WON'T PUT YOU ON OUR SELECT SERVICE LIST AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE YOU SEND ESTIMATESTOUS TO FIVE TIMES. >> Reporter: U. S. SENATOR RICHARD BLOOMEN THAT WILL WHO USED TO BE CONNECTICUT'S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOT ONLY THE POTENTIAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS TO BE HURT BUT BELIEVE CARS REPAIRED THROUGH THE PREFERRED SERVICE CENTERS PROPOSE A SAFETY RISK AND ASKED THE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE. >> SALVAGE PARTS INFERIOR OR EVEN COUNTERFEIT PARTS RAISE SAFETY CONCERNS AND OFTEN, THOSE KIND OF PARTS INVOLVED IN THE PRACTICE OF STEERING AND THAT'S WHY I HAVE BEEN CONCERNED FOR YEARS ABOUT IT. AND WHY I THINK THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATING. >> Reporter: LOUISIANA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL CHOSE STATE FARM BECAUSE THEY'RE THE BIGGEST INSURER IN HIS STATE AND LEGAL FILINGS, THE COMPANY DENIES ALL THE ALLEGATIONS INCLUDING THE ALLEGATION THAT STATE FARM MANDATES USING AFTERMARKET PARTS. STATE FARM WOULD NOT GRANT INTERVIEW BUT SENT A STATEMENT INSTEAD. IT SAID OUR CUSTOMERS CHOOSE WHERE THEIR VEHICLES ARE GOING TO BE REPAIRED. WE PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR SELECT SERVICE PROGRAM WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAKING IT CLEAR THEY CAN SELECT WHICH SHOP WILL DO THE WORK. STATE FARM TOLD US TO BRING OUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO NEIL OLRIDGE WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES. >> IT'S NOT JUST IN THE ECONOMIC INTEREST OF THE INSURER TO HAVE A CAR GO IN AND OUT OF AN AUTO BODY SHOP FOUR OR FIVE TIMES TO GET IT RIGHT. >> Reporter: WHY WOULD THEY RECOMMEND USED PARTS, FIXED PARTS OFF MARKET? >> SURE. MOST COMPANIES DON'T REQUIRE THIS. MOST COMPANIES OFFER A CHOICE TO CONSUMERS. MOST OF THE ANY SORT OF AFTERMARKET PART YOU MIGHT HEAR ABOUT ARE USUALLY COSMETIC PARTS. NOTHING RELATED TO THE SAFETY, THE MECHANICAL PARTS OF THE OPERATION OF THE VEHICLE. THERE ARE LAWS IN ALMOST EVERY STATE THAT REQUIRE CONSUMERS TO BE TOLD THAT IF AFTERMARKET PARKTS ARE USED AND WHAT THEY ARE. >> Reporter: WE FOUND THIS NOTICE ON PAGE FOUR OF THE ESTIMATE ON PAGE SIX OF THIS ONE. >> IN MANY CASES, THESE PARTS ARE NO DIFFERENT. THEY'RE MADE ON THE SAME FACTORIES. ONE JUST COMES OUT WITH AN AUTO MANUFAC MANUFACTURER'S NAME ON IT AND OTHERS DON'T. >> THAT'S NOT TRUE. >> IT IS TRUE. >> Reporter: IT CERTAINLY ISN'T TRUE IN THE CASE OF THIS REPLACEMENT HOOD FOR A HONDA MADE IN TAIWAN AND ALREADY COMING APART. THIS AFTERMARKET BUMPER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX NOT ONLY DOESN'T FIT BUT THE FASTENERS HAVE BEEN GLUED BACK TOGETHER AND THEN THERE'S THE QUESTION ABOUT THAT BROKEN AND REPAIRED TOYOTA TACOMA HEAD LAMP. >> IT'S OBVIOUSLY A REPURPOSED PART FROM A JUNK YARD AND IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, YOU'LL SEE HOW IT WAS GLUED TOGETHER, SNAPPED TOGETHER AND IN SOME CASES, EVEN WELDED AND SCREWED TOGETHER AND THIS IS WHAT THE INSURER TOLD THE PREFERRED BODY SHOP TO PUT ON THE CAR. LOOK AT THIS. YOU WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN YOUR CAR, I WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN MY CAR. >> I DON'T KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PICTURE, SO I REALLY CAN'T COMMENT ON IT. >> Reporter: SO ARE THE ATTORNEY GENERALS WRONG IN SAYING THAT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE, STATE FARM IN PARTICULAR, IS STEERING THEIR CUSTOMERS TO PREFERRED BODY SHOPS, PREFERRED BECAUSE THEY SAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY, NOT THE CONSUMER? >> THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY PROVIDE A LIST OF AUTO BODY SHOPS. AND THE CUSTOMER CAN SAY NO, I WANT TO GO TO JOE'S BODY SHOP AROUND THE CORNER AND THAT'S THE CHOICE. >> Reporter: THAT'S WHAT PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE TOLD US HAPPENED FOR THIS CAR. REMEMBER, IT'S THE CAR WE TOLD YOU ABOUT EARLIER WITH THE RIP TAIL FRAME THAT YOU COULD ONLY SPOT WITH THE BOROSCOPE. ONLY HIT FROM BEHIND. A PREFERRED BODY SHOP AND SENT BACK ON THE ROAD WITH A RIPPED AND HIDDEN TAIL FRAME. TURNS OUT IT WASN'T OLD, NOT REPAIRED. THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS ARE DAMAGED AND THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE CAR IS PUSHED IN ACCORDING TO AUTO EXPERT BILL BURN AND OUTSIDE, THE PAINT JOB IS FILLED WITH POCKMARKS. PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE SAY THEY DIDN'T CHOOSE THE BODY SHOP, THE OWNER DID. WELL, THIS IS THE OWNER. EUG EUGENEA RANDALL WHO NEEDS THE CAR TO CARRY HER 2-YEAR-OLD SON ROMAN AND REMEMBERS THE CONVERSATION WITH PROGRESSIVE MUCH DIFFERENTLY. >> THEY DIDN'T GIVE ME A CHOICE AS TO WHERE I WANTED TO TAKE IT. THEY JUST TOLD ME TO TAKE IT TO THEIR PREFERRED SHOP. >> Reporter: RANDLE SAID BECAUSE IT WAS A PREFERRED SHOP, IT WOULD BE REPAIRED TO A HIGHER STANDARD BUT WHEN SHE PICKED IT UP, SHE IMMEDIATELY KNEW SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT. >> COSMETICALLY TO ME IT LOOKED FINE BUT ONCE I GOT IN AND GOT DOWN THE STREET, IT JUST STARTED DRIVING REALLY CRAZY AND I IMMEDIATELY TOOK IT BACK. >> Reporter: SO HOW CRAZY WAS RANDLE'S CAR DRIVING? I DECIDED TO FIND OUT FOR MYSELF BY GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL. >> ANYTHING OVER 50 MILES PER HOUR, THIS THING JUST SHAKES. THIS THING IS REALLY SHAKING NOW. >> Reporter: NOT ONLY THE TAIL SECTION RIPPED AN UNREPAIRED, THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS DAMAGED AND AS I DROVE, THE STEERING WHEEL SHAKING SO VIOLENTLY, I HAD TO GRIP DOWN FROM VEERING TO THE RIGHT. THE FRONT LEFT TIRE WAS JUST WOBBLING. I CAREFULLY DROVE THIS SHAKING CAR RIGHT BACK TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S PREFERRED AUTO BODY SHOP. WHERE THE GENERAL MANAGER PROMPTLY TOLD US TO LEAVE. >> DON'T TURN THAT ON WITHOUT THE SERVICE PERMISSION IF YOU DON'T MIND. >> Reporter: AS FOR THE SHAKING CAR, THE INSURANCE COMPANY EVENTUALLY DECLARED IT A TOTAL LOSS GIVING HER FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE. BUT ONLY AFTER SHE HIRED AN ATTORNEY AND CNN BEGAN INVESTIGATING THIS STORY. >> THE VEHICLE SPUN OUT. >> UNBELIEVABLE. DREW GRIFFIN JOINING US NOW. I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THIS WHOLE PLAN THEY HAVE. DID THE REPAIR COMPANY THAT SUPPOSEDLY FIXED THE SHAKING CAR EVER GIVE AN EXPLANATION? >> Reporter: THE COMPANY SERVICE KING SAID THEY DID WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY APPROVED AND SAID ALL THEIR REPAIRS COME WITH A WRITTEN LIFETIME WARRANTY. SERVICE KING'S CORPORATE OFFICE SAID IT WAS UNAWARE THERE WERE PROBLEMS OR COMPLAINTS AND.