When thinking about auto repairs, everyone associates all types of repairs with an auto mechanic shop. The truth is, this is a case of a general catch-all term, just like how people refer to all tissues as “Kleenex” or all sodas as “cokes”.
In all reality, there is a very distinct difference between a mechanic and an auto body shop. Not having a proper understanding of why they are different can lead to less than satisfactory results when you have repairs done on your vehicle. Not only will this result in a lot of list time and money on your part, but it unfairly paints both professions in a bad light at the end of the day.
What Mechanics Do
Contrary to popular belief, mechanics don’t specialize in the cosmetic aspects of a vehicle. Scratched paint, dents, broken windshields, busted bumpers and fenders – these aren’t their area of expertise.
No, mechanics actually work with, get ready for it, the mechanics of your vehicle. If you need systems checked, tune-ups completed, parts replaced, engine repairs done, or other mechanical system-related maintenance, mechanics are the ones to get the job done.
Should you be in an accident, mechanics should always be your first stop, so that critical operational systems can be inspected and repaired. Failure to ensure the safe and effective operation of the car’s mechanical systems could result in further damage being done.
What Auto Body Shops Do
Likewise, auto body shops do not specialize in mechanical systems. They do not inspect electrical systems, replace damaged engine components, work on brakes, do tune-ups or other system-related tasks.
Auto body repair shops have specialized tools and knowledge to do structural and cosmetic repairs crucial to keeping your vehicle presentable, safe and with a preserved resale value. If your vehicle’s paint is scratched, doors dented, bumpers/fenders are busted, glass is broken or panels are crumpled, they’re the ones to restore it to like-new condition.
Once a mechanic inspects and repairs functional systems in your vehicle following an accident, your next stop is to see these artists so they can make the car’s exterior match the repairs the mechanics did to the critical systems.
More than Meets the Eye
When deciding which profession you need to consult, consider the nature of the problem. Are you experiencing functional difficulties such as steering, electrical, brake, or engine problems? These are functional systems in which a mechanic can expertly diagnose and repair.
If the exterior shows damage of any sort aside from tires, this is a job for an auto body shop. They have the specialized skill and expertise to not just look at the visual damage, but other body problems that could result from the same incident. A crumpled bumper may be obvious, but minor damage to side panels etc. may be less apparent. A mechanic knows how to replace a bumper or panel, but won’t take the time to do a full body inspection and eliminate additional problems.
The Challenge of Painting
Painting is a difficult, involved process. Spraying paint requires a lot of preparation and skill. Mechanics don’t paint. It’s not cost-effective for them to dedicate the space to a paint repair area nor have skilled painters on hand when this isn’t their field.
Auto body shops continually handle these sorts of repairs and thus have the equipment, space, and talent to match paints and apply them.
Know Your Problem
As said earlier, it all comes down to knowing what type of problem needs fixing, and which business is dedicated to it. It doesn’t pertain to which is better at a given thing – they each specialize very strictly in a specific set of services at which they excel.
To learn more about the differences between Auto Body Shops and Auto Repair shops fill out the contact form today!