Trying to find the best auto body shops does not have to be a difficult task. Having good awareness when it comes to locating these shops is the key to understanding how to pick the best one. Not all of these auto body shops are created equal and some tend to specialize and deal with certain types of work over others. Other factors such as the type of car you have may limit your selection as far as choice goes because not all shops are properly equipped to, say, for example, handle higher-end sports cars that are fine-tuned and delicately calibrated.
List of Contents
- 1 Find An Auto Body Shop for Collision and Repair Work
- 2 Have You Selected the Right Auto Body Shop?
- 3 Different Types of Auto Body Shop Jobs
- 4 Getting An Auto Body Shop Estimate
- 5 Custom Work
- 6 Auto Body Shops Prefer to Work Through Collision Insurance
- 7 What Kind of Work and Modifications Can I Have Done?
- 8 Time is Everything
Find An Auto Body Shop for Collision and Repair Work
Looking for a good local auto body shop that deals with a collision can be a hassle and often times it is not the fault of the shop itself. Insurance companies are known to be picky when it comes to who they will work with and allow claims to go through. This is why it is important to always try to find an auto repair body shop you can trust as the mechanics and the owners of these places will attempt to work more in your favor. Just as with any other type of business, there are distinct advantages to being a returning customer that you will not find anywhere else.
If you need to find auto body shops in your area, it is always best to try and go to those garages that have existing relationships with your friends and relatives as they will work with you more and be more willing to extend the same benefits your friends and family enjoyment to you also. Another alternative is to do some preliminary research on the Internet – this will allow you to gather together a collective understanding and basic knowledge obtained from various auto body shop ratings you have discovered on the web.
Have You Selected the Right Auto Body Shop?
If you drive an exotic or sporty car, especially those made by European auto companies then your car is going to create some problems for traditional shops. Special auto body shop tools are required to perform even the most routine of maintenance to these high-end European and sports cars – this may force you to change your plans around a little bit and seek out places that deal exclusively with these types of cars. Always double-check with the shop you plan on going to before you get there if they have the equipment needed to work on your car.
Just like people of various professions inevitably choose some type of specialization, auto body shops also tend to specialize and excel in certain types of jobs more so than other types of work. Before bringing your car in for work, it is important to identify the different types of auto body work and make sure your mechanic feels comfortable or at least has other employees, that feel comfortable in performing the job. Do not be afraid to ask questions and find out exactly who will be doing the job, how much experience they have, and how they will be doing the job – it is also not a bad idea to ask what materials and tools will be used in the process. A quick check with a friend or the internet will provide good information as to the quality of the mechanic and his work.
Different Types of Auto Body Shop Jobs
The different types of sub-divisions of auto body work are:
- Body and Paint
- Welding and Frame
- Sanding, Buffing, and Polishing
- Fiberglass and Plastic
Any type of problem you can ever imagine will fall into one of these categories. Once you know which kind of work you need to be done and where it falls under, it is time to start finding out the most appropriate auto body shops in your area to get the job done. While many automotive body shop mechanics are able to do all of these things, you should make sure the work will be supervised by at least one person who specializes in that particular kind of job.
Getting An Auto Body Shop Estimate
Once you know what kind of work you need to have performed on your automobile, it is time to find an estimate. During this process, you should be calling as many automobile body shops that you are aware of and have been recommended and referred to in order to establish a good idea of a baseline price. Going for the cheap auto body shops is not always the best option as you sometimes get what you tend to pay for. If one shop, in general, has a good recommendation from multiple people and costs slightly more, then it is probably much more worth your time and money, in the long run, to have your job done correctly the first time which allows you to avoid future headaches with bad bodywork.
In the cases of collision work, it is important to remember that auto body shops always tend to favor working through insurance and collision and will be more inclined to work with getting you a faster, accurate estimate rate since they are harder pressed by the insurance company and quite honestly, they know they are going to get their money and money can be a great motivator for anything.
One of the most explosive businesses that have developed over time is custom automotive and custom bodywork for cars. This includes exhausts, body kits, lights, suspension, and just about any other type of modification you could ever want for your car. While many body shops will usually be more than happy to provide these services for you, it is always best to deal with body shops that specialize in doing the custom work. Another important thing to consider is that different types of cars generally require different types of tools and most body kits and modifications are specific to certain types of cars which require a piece of profound knowledge in order to ensure the job is rightfully done.
When seeking auto body shop services for collision and damage repairs, there are a few things you should keep in your mind during what is already a difficult time for all of those involved. While there is no doubt that a quality auto body shop can make the process a lot less difficult and easier, finding the right one to deal with and work with is key for a successful, smooth, and headache-free experience.
Auto Body Shops Prefer to Work Through Collision Insurance
If you are not going through any type of insurance to repair your car, it is not a big deal, but the difference in how the body shop handles you (in regards to time and promptness) is going to be noticeably different compared to those not going through insurance. The reason for this is that when you visit a collision auto body shop they are more inclined to work with you because they are essentially guaranteed to get their money from the claim compared to the fact that an individual not using insurance trying to get estimates is most likely just shopping around for a cheap price and not ready to commit to the work being done.
With that said, you can understand why auto body shops are more than eager to work with those individuals using insurance claims to receive their services. As I have said in another previous article, money is a great motivator and most of these shops will bend over backward to get your business, putting you at a serious advantage when dealing with them although it is likely you will have an auto insurance claims adjuster working for you on your behalf for the entire duration of the project. The claims adjuster is there to make sure the auto body shop does not overestimate or overcharge on the work. This is to your advantage because it serves to minimize how much your insurance rates will go up as a result of the extent of the damages to your car. A good auto body shop will have no problems working with you and your claims adjuster to reach a fair price.
Some auto insurance companies only let you have your vehicle repaired by shops they have already pre-selected in an attempt to keep auto body shop prices cheaper on their end which does not always serve you well as many of these shops will cut corners to complete work on time. If possible, try to find a reputable shop that does not have a high workload or seems like they are dealing with more than they can handle.
Finding a unique auto body shop that specializes in custom work can be a daunting task as not all body shops or mechanics want to deal with the high demand for custom installations and modifications that often tend to be unpredictable in terms of the labor, supplies, and tools required to complete the job. The best custom auto body shop is one that ideally specializes in exclusively dealing with your kind of car (such as BMW, Ford, or even America, European, etc) because different degrees of precision and knowledge in dealing with different cars are required that one mechanic may not very well have. It is important to remember that not all cars are created equally and you would naturally expect that some cars need higher-end tools and skills to precisely calibrate and configure certain parts to where they need to be. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while looking for custom work is simply just searching for the cheapest auto body shop you can find and assuming they are well-suited for performing any job you would need them to.
What Kind of Work and Modifications Can I Have Done?
Custom modifications that auto body shops can provide are usually the following:
- Detailing, Buffing, and Polishing
- Decals and Logos
Some untraditional auto body shops that really exclusively deal with all forms of custom modifications should be able to perform the following services that are most likely offered by that shop only and not a generic body shop:
- Rims and Tires
- Engine Modifications
- Windows and Tinting
The benefits of visiting an auto body shop that primarily deals with custom work is that they are going to be able to perform services outside of the realms of most traditional body shops, and they are going to be better suited and have all of the tools required for the job.
Time is Everything
When having any sort of custom car work done, you should have the body shop give their best estimate as to how long the job will take to complete. Depending on what you have requested of them and their workload, custom jobs may take much longer than average because there are many more unforeseen variables that will arise during the job that are not typical to standard and routine work that the mechanics are used to seeing; the pricing of custom work will reflect this and your mechanic should make this clear to you before he begins to work on your automobile.
Find your friendly, caring, and quality auto body repair shop.