How to Pick the Right Auto Body Repair Shops

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.

Selecting an Auto Body Repair Shop

Due to the amount of time we spend on the road the chances of us needed to find a great auto body shop may come up more than once. Most of us get a little flustered at the thought of searching for the right place that can work in your price range. No one ever knows where to start though. Here are a few tips on choosing the perfect auto body shop for you.

The first step is finding an auto body shop that will fix your car to look like the collision never happened. Some good auto body shops will only have the ability to fix your car to a point called pre-loss condition. Pre-loss condition is when the mechanic fixes your cars appearance, body structure, and keeps your cars mechanical reliability.

Next comes customer service, our favorites. Everyone has horror stories about bad customer service in numerous places of business. However, if you are calling an auto body shop that means that lives were once in danger so they should immediately ask if anyone was injured. Their chance at making money should never overshadow your needs or concerns. Many body shops are only in the business because they know that everyone will need to have their car repaired at some point. Most of those businesses do not have a skilled and knowledgeable staff. That is why it is so vital to find the right body shop so you and your insurance company are getting what you have paid for.

When dealing with your insurance company, make sure that you fight for the right to pick your own repair shop. Most insurance companies and repair shops have a deal worked out to lower the shops cost in exchange for giving them business. The shop then cuts corners and leave out steps to keep the cost down. This in turn means you are paying the insurance company the inflated premiums and your deductible but are only receiving second rate repair. The insurance company may respond saying that they can not guarantee the work of other shops but in reality all good shops guarantee their work for as long as you own that car. If a shop says that they do not have that standard, it is a sign to keep looking.

Always ask the person who is estimating your damage questions. If you are working with a smaller shop the person you are speaking with will probably be the one working directly on your car. In larger chain shops they have sales people who do the estimates and have no direct connection or knowledge about your car. The techs working on your car may not want to rewrite you an estimate to make it the correct amount. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are confused. Larger shops may have fancy equipment and tools to make people believe that they are much more advanced then other shops but in reality, those fancy tools are rarely even used in fixing your car.

Always ask the body shop about their insurance programs or DRP (direct repair programs) because this may mean they can not create their own business and need the help of a deal. Not all shops that have these programs are bad shops but it can defiantly be a red flag.

The very best way to find a good body shop is by word of mouth, so ask around. Most people would never send you to a place where they were not satisfied with the work they were given.

Now when you are stuck in a bind after a collision you will have the right information and questions to ask before selection the body shop for you. The last and the most important thing to remember is, if you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured by a body shop, move on because they may be desperate for business because they are not known for their good service.

Specialty Auto Repair

Specialty auto repair refers to the repair and servicing of specialty autos and specific auto parts. Specialty auto repair centers take special care to provide you with genuine factory parts. Specialty auto repair technicians are highly skilled and experienced and they can pin point the problem of the automobile. Whatever model of luxury car or foreign car you are driving, there are repair centers specializing in those very models.

Specialty auto repair centers offer special dealer alternative maintenance and service packages. Some of them give extended warranties services for their clients. They even undertake heavy engine and transmission repair and replacement if needed. Some of these dealers have their own websites from which you can download special auto repair discount coupons.

There are specialty auto repair centers that repair and service specific auto parts such as the brakes, engines, air conditioning, mufflers, and radiators. They also take care of wheel alignments, transmissions and paintless dent repair. Replacement of windshield or window is also included in specialty repair.

Specialty auto repair is regarded as a business with reputation and significant advertising budgets. For specialty auto repair, technicians need a trade certificate, which could be as automotive service, auto body, heavy equipment or recreation service technician.

Specialty auto repair has several benefits. Standard jobs such as lubrication, oil filter, and oil change charges are less compared to general repair. These types of services have retail outlets and the service hours ideally match the timings of customers. Specific fluids, light bulbs and other critical parts are readily available in such shops. Specialty repair shops make use of computers to maintain complete and detailed information.

The disadvantage of going to a specialty auto repair shop is that they have a high sales pitch, they might urge you to do more and more work.

Auto Repair Guides

Auto repair guides explain the maintenance, repair, and cleaning of automotive supplies. These are guides meant for home users as well as professionals. Nowadays, these are available in electronic versions, and there are many software packages available to diagnose and fix automotive problems.

Major companies in this industry such as Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen provide electronic auto repair guides so that even amateur users can learn a lot about auto repair. Auto repair guides usually tell you how repairs are done on all major parts of an automobile including the brake system, cooling system, electrical system, engine system, A/C-heat system, body and exterior, exhaust system, fuel system, steering and suspension system, and drive train.

A number of good online auto repair guides are provided free on selected websites. These sites provide useful articles and FAQs that enable you to learn the techniques of auto repair step by step.

Lots of auto repair guides tell you how to do simple auto repair jobs at home.

They also help you find quality used auto parts. Lots of auto repair guides also give you advice on auto repair shops in major cities. Auto repair guides also provide information on auto insurance, car rentals, driving schools and car washes. They help you learn more about automotive maintenance, car accessories and car audio systems.

At the most basic level, general auto repair guides walk you through some of the most basic maintenance and repair processes that are common to all vehicles. If you are new to auto repair, these may help you a lot. Auto repair guides also tell you how to choose a repair shop and how to choose a technician. They provide you with an idea about repair charges and preventive maintenance too. You can learn a lot about protecting your auto repair investment from these guides.

Choose a Good Auto Repair Shop to Keep Your Car Working Properly

Have you ever been out driving on the road without a care in the world and suddenly your car starts to make a funny noise? While you turn down the radio so you can hear the sound clearly, do you start to think about all of the things that could be wrong with your vehicle? Maybe you start thinking about the last time you took your vehicle in for repairs. No matter what you start to think about during that time, one thing you can’t ignore is the fact that your car needs to go to an auto repair facility.

Instead of taking any chances on the problem getting worse, you need to contact your local auto repair shop and find out when is a good time for you to bring your vehicle in for service. The longer you drive around ignoring the issue, the larger your repair bill will be. If you don’t have a good auto repair facility that you can take your car in too, it is time for you to start looking for one.

Any auto shop that you decide to take your vehicle to needs to be run and managed by state certified mechanics. You do have the option of choosing to have your vehicle serviced at the dealership or at an independent shop. You may want to check around and get some recommendations on where you should go so you don’t end up wasting a ton of time. Some places are pretty fast when it comes to repairing your vehicle and others may be a bit slower. Some places require that you leave your car with them and others will fix it while you wait.

Keep in mind that all auto repair shops aren’t the same. While many of their workers may hold the same credentials, the rate charge for service can differ greatly. Don’t be so quick to go with a facility that charges rock bottom prices, because you may not be happy with the end result. You need to make sure that any parts they are using on your vehicle are new unless you have specified otherwise.

Pay attention to how you are treated when you visit different auto repair facilities. No matter what type of vehicle you have or what type of work needs to be done on your car, you should be treated as if you are the best customer in the world. That means that any questions or concerns you have should be addressed promptly. You should be treated as if your time and patronage are very valuable. If there are going to be any delays or unexpected issues concerning your vehicle’s repairs you should be notified as soon as possible. A good shop is one that communicates with its customers every step of the way and charges them fair and competitive prices. The work they perform should be exceptional quality and they may even offer warranties with their work. The bottom line is you should end up a happy and satisfied customer after having your car worked on.

Car Repair Can Be Green

If you are like most people today you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment. Perhaps you have gone to compact fluorescent bulbs in all of the light fixtures of your home to reduce energy use. Another common change is bringing reusable grocery bags to the store to reduce consumption. One area that most people don’t think of is car repair but there are in fact a number of ways to make this part of your life more “green.”

First off you will probably have to do a little more work than usual to find a shop who is participating in a more environmentally conscious process of doing car repair. A good place to start would be to simply start cold calling auto shops in the area and asking what sorts of steps they have taken to reduce their impact on the environment.

Another place to look would be online. Most places that offer a service that is more environmentally friendly advertise that they are doing good work so that they will draw in people interested in this kind of company. Also ask people you know if they have been using a business that in eco-conscious.

There are a bunch of different things that car repair shops are doing to be more “green” and it is not necessary, or in many cases possible, to find somewhere that does all of them. One of the most common things being done today is a transition from solvent based parts washers to types that use water. Chemical solvent tanks wreak havoc on the environment and contribute a large amount to the pollution generated by auto shops.

Other way businesses are going “green” is recycling and proper disposal. There are numbers of machines and technologies today that recycle or repurpose used solvents and used oils for reuse or disposal. An eco-friendly business has systems in place to properly remove and dispose of used chemicals and also to prevent accidental spillage or release into the environment.

Finally many car repair businesses are looking into purchasing renewable energy credits to offset their carbon usage. Although it is not as good as actually reducing their impact it is a step in the right direction toward zero impact operation.

Even if none of these things are offered or available at your local car repair company it doesn’t hurt to mention them. You may be able to persuade a businessman in your area to look into and maybe take up some of these actions. Raising awareness is in many instances just as good as action.

How Car Mechanics Use Technology

Do you know why it’s important to find a good mechanic or a good repair shop to repair your car? The reason: it could save you hundreds of dollars in parts and labor! When we say a “good mechanic” or a “good repair shop”, we’re referring to mechanics who are equipped with the latest technology. You don’t want to entrust your car to a shop with outdated machinery and equipment because it will take longer to arrive at a diagnosis. And the longer a mechanic takes to make a diagnosis, the larger your bill for labor!

Remember that car mechanics charge by the hour.

Car repairs can cover any one or a combination of the following (note that this is not a complete repair list).

• Air conditioning checks

• Air bag checks

• Electrical wiring

• Cables

• Clutch service and repair

• Transmission repair

• Wheel Alignment

• Suspension

• Brakes

• Heating system

• Oil and lubrication

• Battery

• Power windows

Much of the troubleshooting that mechanics use to diagnose a problem is facilitated by car repair technology.

Ever noticed how some lights on your panel come on when something’s wrong? In most cases, an experienced mechanic will know immediately what the problem is, but there are instances where it will take sophisticated technology to lead to an accurate diagnosis.

Sophisticated technology comes in many forms and one popular one is troubleshooting software. Companies like Auto Tech have a software program that car owners can use to find out what is ailing their vehicle.

Most car owners who were cynical about software programs before should seriously consider purchasing a reliable car troubleshooting software program. For instance, some programs start out by asking you to input your car make and model number, the year of the car and what kinds of equipment it has. The software features a large database of information about all cars in the market and a car owner simply follows the steps when prompted. It employs what the industry calls a “tree diagnosis” where logical steps take you through the entire diagnosis process.

After you’ve keyed in your car’s profile, you use the drop down menu to choose the symptoms that your car is exhibiting. For instance, if you choose “squealing brakes”, the program mimics the squealing of brakes and if that’s the sound you hear, you confirm it and the program recommends a series of steps.

You may not really want to use a troubleshooting software, but imagine how much time and money you could save if you spoke to the mechanic intelligently, letting him know that you’re in the know.

Students who are studying towards certification buy certain tools of the trade. A couple of examples are Snap On and Mac Tools. These two are the most popular in the United States and Canada.

Mechanics now have a wide range of technology tools to help them understand car problems better: digital multimeters (electronic measuring), boroscopes (testing heat exchangers), fuel diagnostic testers (testing and balancing fuel injectors) and other such new technologies.

New car mechanic technologies help shorten the learning curve and speed up diagnosis so that the car owner isn’t saddled with too many labor hours.

Traits of the Best Auto Repair Shops

Having a car that needs auto repair can be nerve wracking, especially when you do not know, which auto repair shop to take it to. The truth is, many car owners wait until they require auto services to start searching for a reputable service provider. But what exactly makes a good auto repair shop? These are some of the things you should look out for:

Excellent customer service

It all starts with that first contact you make when you call to inquire about the services offered and the charges of the same. If it sounds as if the person on the other hand is genuinely interested in helping you, then you can go ahead and visit the auto repair shop. The best auto repair shops understand that satisfying the customer is key, and that professionalism, respect and open communication are part of that process.

Mechanics who are not just competent but personable as well

Before a mechanic can work on your car, you need to make sure they are ASE Certified. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence standards. Depending on the kind of work you need done, you might require the automotive technicians to have additional certification.

On top of the technical know-how, it is crucial that a mechanic have the personality required to interact amiably with the clients bringing in their cars for auto repair. The mechanics interact with the car owners on a one-on-one basis and as such must know how to do so well.

Reputable guarantees and warranties

Competent auto repair shops guarantee their work and offer warranties for at least 12 months and 12,000 miles. This way, you can put your mind at ease knowing that you are getting professional services from a competent provider who is confident in the kind of services they offer.

Great hours/Flexibility

Auto emergencies happen when you least expect them. Good auto repair shops understand this, and this is why they offer flexible working hours that allow you to call in when that emergency happens on a Saturday. They are open on Saturdays, offer towing and service your car on the same day that you bring it in.

Some of the services offered by reliable companies include mechanical services, electronic ignition, alignment, automobile A/C repair, tune-ups, major and minor engine repair, factory scheduled maintenance, oil changes, coolant system service among others.

Membership in a Cooperative Marketing Association

Before an auto repair shop can belong to a network such as NARPRO, it must pass quality and integrity tests, and also receive high customer satisfaction ranking.

If you are looking for an auto repair shop that understands your needs and strives to meet them, then look out for one with great services and great prices so you can rest assured that you will get all the work you need done without emptying your wallet. Whether you want some maintenance work done, or your car just broke down and requires major repairs, you have the right auto repair shop for you.

Copyright (c) 2015 Crawfordville Auto and Tire

Avoid Being Taken Advantage of by Auto Mechanics

Auto repair rip-offs, frauds, scams are a common practice inside the auto mechanic industry. That is not to say there aren’t any reputable auto repair shops, but according to the Consumer Federation of America’s “2007 Consumer Complaint Survey Report,” the number one category among the top ten consumer complaints is auto.

To not be taken advantage of, here are a few tips to avoid unscrupulous auto repair shops.

Research and Get Repairs in Writing – Understand your car’s problems. Know what needs to be done to improve your car’s overall performance before you have the car repair shop begins any work on your vehicle. Make sure all the quotes worked on your car are in writing for you to know exactly what is done to your car with the complete service and labor cost.

Don’t be Pressured into More Services – The California Auto Body Association estimates 40% of repair bills have some degree of fraud. It is the shops job to tell their clients what else needs to be done in their vehicles, but do not be pressured to have more services done if there is no need for urgency. Be aware of long list of repairs when you only brought the car in for only one service, get a second opinion if needed.

Go for a Drive with a Mechanic – A good mechanic would not mind taking a test drive of your car to accurately identify the car problem pertaining to noise or a problem that comes and goes. Be aware of auto mechanics not taking their time to identify the problem because they are probably wasting your time and money.

Look for Reputable Repair Shop Clues – Finding honorable repair shops might not be as difficult as it may seem. Look for signs that the shop is California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), or “Triple A” approved. Other clues to look out for are professionalism, shop appearance, and personnel.

Get a Guarantee from Mechanics – Ask for the shop’s guarantee of its work in writing if possible. Find out what the guarantee covers. By receiving a guarantee, no matter where you are, the work done on your car is covered under the warranty. If you do run into trouble though, try to work it out with the shop first. Most honorable mechanics should try to make it right for you.

Car Repair Services: Learn About The Best Choices Available For Your Car Repair

Do You Need Car Repair Services?

If you are encountering a lot of problems with your car and your car needs repair, it's time to check out the different auto repair options available. There are many car repair garages and servicing shops that can offer you with quality services and fix the problem of your vehicle easily. If it's a simple issue you can take a DIY approach to complete the repairs.

Best Options For Vehicle Repairs And Servicing

Here are some of the different options available for car body repair and servicing: –

Visit The Specialist Repair Shop

If there is a problem in a specific part or auto system of your car, it is always a good idea to seek help from specialist repair shops. An experienced specialist can immediately rectify the problems of your automobile very easily.

Moreover, you can also hire a transmission specialist, a muffler specialist and many other specialists who mainly specialize in providing repair services for specific parts of your car. Hiring a specialist is always the right choice to deal with the complex problems of your vehicle.

Look For A Good Auto Dealer Repair Shop

A reputed and established auto dealer repair shop can also offer you the same garage services such as basic repair and maintenance services for the different makes and models. They may also help you with the mechanical repair or other complicated problems that cannot be fixed elsewhere.

Since they have all the latest tools and equipment they can fix any problem in a hassle-free way. Most of the mechanics usually work on a specific model and so it's advisable to look for an auto dealer shop which can offer complex repair services for all the models. If you want to replace a damaged part of your car, ask your dealership shop to install the original parts and enjoy a smooth drive.

Can You Take A DIY Approach?

If it's not a complex issue you can take a DIY approach to carry out the repairs. Not only it will save your money but you may also learn something new while performing the repairs. Car owners can do the easy repairs at home with a little guidance from the car manual.

Replacing a battery, changing the oil filter or air filter, checking the fluid level are some of the basic things that you can do on your own. Call a professional to deal with the mechanic problems of your automobile.

Conclusion

By following a car servicing and maintenance schedule you can extend the life of your car and enjoy a safe drive with your loved ones.