Brake Repair in Maplewood

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Some of the biggest questions people run into deal with the repairing their vehicles. Many times people are confused and don't know how to go about picking the right auto body shop. What process should I run through in picking the right vehicle repair shop? What questions should I consider?

What value am I getting for my Auto Body Repair?

The most important question in determining what auto body repair shops is: What value am I getting in repairing my vehicle here? Many body shops out there are looking for unsuspecting customers and ways to pad their bottom dollar. A lot of times body shops will offer the lowest price because they know this will attract customers. Unfortunately, from a customer standpoint choosing the lowest price is not always the way to go.

Daniel T., Vice President of National Auto Parts, in Dallas, Texas, concurs that doing this will only create more car issues in the future. "Repairing your vehicle is always about what you get in return. These days, body shops continue to push the limits of their customers to see how much more they can get away with. At this point the body shop knows exactly what they're doing. Is the customer to know the better?"

What can I do to protect myself?

A solution that's been picking up a lot of traction recently is hiring a third party to assist you in this area. There are a few good car crash consultants out there that will help you figure out what's being put on your vehicle and how the vehicle's being repaired. When looking for a good car crash consultant selecting one that gives you a lot of insight on the repair and product being used is imperative. Using these specialists provides visibility in an area with many questions.

Another way is looking for a detailed report of the work being put into the vehicle and reviewing the warranty the shops offers. When you get into an accident, every insurance gives you an assessment of the damages, take a look at the sheets and read over to see what product they've listed for use. Auto Body Shops sporadically will attempt to use cheaper parts to make more money. Requesting the use of what's listed on your insurance assessment is not unusual and will help protect against this. In regards to warranties, most legitimate body shops will have an extensive warranty and stand by their work.

Where should I look for the body shop?

Driving to the nice plush auto body repair shops off the highway might be convenient, but doing this often drives up the price of the job. "All businesses have costs and are in it to make money. With this assumption, you have to believe any cost a business incurs will be passed onto their consumer," Daniel says. Hanging off the highway, and looking more in-city gives any prospective client a better chance to keep labor costs low. Prices per hour for labor can vary wildly from $30-$100 for the same type of work. Don't misunderstand the shop may not look the best, but you can be guaranteed going this route will provide good value.

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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 Maplewood Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?

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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.

Summary

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.

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