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.
How to Spot a Scam Auto Body Shop
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.
What to Look for in an 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.
A car is a very complex piece of machinery. Each individual part is vigorously tested before it ever goes into production models and, like a chain, relies upon every other part in order for the vehicle to function. One poorly built aspect can cause serious malfunctions leading to costly repairs, or worse, an accident.
Even something as simple as the glues used to hold a tire tread to the rest of the tire is an integral part of a car or truck. Just ask Firestone. That exact issue resulted in a costly recall of thousands of tires, legal recourse, as well as over 500 injuries and 148 deaths. All of which could have been prevented with only a little bit of testing. Be wary of new designs rushed into mass production.
Often a seemingly superficial part to a vehicle actually provides a significant amount of safety. Everyone knows a windshield protects the driver and passenger from wind and debris. Most also know that they are also designed with a thin film that prevents them shattering upon impact. What most people don't know is that the windshield provides over half of the structural support for the car during an impact. The windshield combined with the frame of the car makes it structurally safer than a car without one. Cracks in a windshield can greatly reduce their protective power, as well as obstruct the driver's view which is even more dangerous.
Replacing or repairing cracks and chips in a windshield should be done by trained professional at a certified and insured auto glass or body shop. Avoid independent installers and people who operate only out of their truck. The adhesive used dries in about an hour, so if any body shops quote you a turn around time less than that, they are either lying or don't know what they are doing.
Also, it is a good idea to know a little bit about the glass windshields they will be installing. There are three aftermarket windshields that exceed OEM and DOT specs, they are P.P.G., L.O.F. and Plinkington.
Other suitable windshields are made by the car factory. Ford's factory glass is called Carlite, and Chrysler's is Safeguard. Expect to pay more money for factory glass. A good auto glass installer will sand all the rust around the windshield after it is removed, and then prime and paint it before installing the new windshield. It is best to go with body shops that have been around for at least five years as they are more likely to be around to guarantee warranties and make repairs in the future. Many shops will also work with your insurance carrier to get you the best price on a windshield, sometimes completely paid for by the insurance company.
Body repair is another story and can become very expensive. Newer cars with plastic and fiberglass bodies are almost impossible to repair, the body panels are often much easier to just replace, and that can be accomplished by almost anyone with a wrench and screw driver. Repairing dents and rust on metal bodies can be time consuming as well as expensive. It also requires a matching paint job which is similarly expensive. If the dented or rusted panels can be removed it makes it much easier. Dents can be pounded back into shape. In addition to this, it is often just easier to work on and paint a detached piece. Some work can be done by the average Joe, but extensive body work should be done at an established body shop.
Auto Body Shops and Custom Work
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?
Ever since mankind realized they could harness the power of horses and use this as a means of transportation there have been accidents. Today we associate horsepower with motor engines and where once we had just a single, pair or team of horses providing the energy to move the vehicle, we now have the power of many hundreds of horses under the bonnet of the modern motor vehicle. With this increase in power comes an inevitable increase in accidents and accidents invariably include dents.
One of the biggest issues facing someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident is the question of where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
Collision services are a collective body of services that assist motor vehicle owners in getting their vehicles back on the road after a collision. It includes the after crash repairs offered by auto repair services such as repairs to the body of the vehicle ie dent and frame repairs and paint work. Some auto repair shops work directly with insurance companies thereby reducing the need for the car owner to have to make too many decisions during what is often a very stressful time.
As with all these types of services, finding a quality, reputable company with qualified and experienced technicians to do the work is of paramount importance. Dodgy work done by dodgy repair shops will not only end up costing you far more down the track when you inevitably have to get their repair work repaired, it may also be potentially dangerous.
Top Tips For Finding A Good Collision Service
Right at the top of the list is ‘ask a friend’. Word of mouth and personal referrals have long been acknowledged as one of the most valuable, if not THE most valuable, forms of marketing in existence and there’s good reason for that. It’s the one more people trust more than any other form of marketing. So if you know someone who has been involved in a car accident and is happy with the repairs that were done on their vehicle and the customer service they received, ask them where they had the work done. You can also ask local businesses in the auto trade if they have any particular recommendations or know of any reasons why you should maybe avoid certain repair shops.
Tip number 2 is to take matters into your own hands and conduct some one on one research. Approach your local auto repairers and talk to them about the service they can offer and the guarantees they provide on their work. Ask if they have photos of some of the work they’ve done that is similar to what you require and, most importantly, whether they have unsolicited customer feedback you can view.
And tip number 3 is that Google is often your best friend when it comes to research like this. Look up local repair shops online, check their websites for photos and videos of their work and their customer feedback. See if they have customer reviews on some of the big review sites like Yelp or, if they have social media pages ie Facebook, Google + etc, whether customers have left feedback there.
What You Need To Consider When Searching For An Auto Repairer
Not all makes of vehicles are created equal and not all auto repair shops can repair all makes of vehicles. Therefore ruling out any who don’t deal with your make will narrow your search.
Which ones provide a warranty on their work, and how long is the warranty. A warranty not only provides you with peace of mind, it’s also a good way of telling whether or not a repair shop has faith in their workmanship. As a general rule, the longer the warranty period the more faith the repairer likely has in their work. If you can find one that offers a lifetime warranty so much the better.
How are you going to get your vehicle to the repair shop if it’s too badly damaged to get there under its own steam? If this is the case, you may want to find one that either has a towing service or can arrange for a towing service to get the vehicle to them. Unless you have motor insurance or a motor club membership that includes towing.
How long can you function without a vehicle? If you don’t have alternative transport and you rely heavily on your vehicle then you’ll need to find out how long each repairer estimates it will take them to fix it. However, don’t sacrifice quality of workmanship for speed because chances are you’ll end up spending more time without a vehicle down the track when you have to take it back to have those hastily done repairs repaired.
And last but not least, getting back to word of mouth and doing business by personal recommendation. Make a point of checking feedback provided by previous customers.