The Importance of Wheel Alignment in Collision Repair

After an accident, you may find yourself dealing with a lot of exterior damage on your vehicle. However, you mustn’t overlook the wheels. Collisions can often cause the wheels to slip out of alignment, leading to worse performance and safety. Even if you were only in a small collision that resulted in minor damage, you should still consider taking your vehicle to a collision repair center. The technicians will need to look at the wheel alignment to ensure everything is all right. Let’s look at the reasons why such a step is so important in maintaining your vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • Wheel alignment is crucial for maintaining the stability, handling, and safety of a vehicle.
  • Collisions can easily knock wheels out of alignment, leading to various performance issues and safety concerns.
  • Signs of misaligned wheels include uneven tire wear, drifting to one side, and steering wheel vibrations.
  • Trusting a certified collision repair center ensures the use of advanced techniques and equipment for precise wheel alignment, restoring the vehicle’s optimal performance.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Important?

Wheel alignment is important for several reasons. Technically, wheel alignment refers to the adjustment of the wheel angle to the manufacturer’s specifications. When the wheels are properly aligned, the vehicle is more stable. This contributes to a smoother, more controlled ride. Plus, your get the maximum life of your tires. When your tires wear evenly, you also get improved fuel efficiency. Accurate wheel alignment also plays a significant role in preserving the suspension system, steering components, and overall vehicle safety. 

Can Wheels Become Misaligned After a Collision?

Yes, wheels can become misaligned during a collision or as a result of other damages afterwards. Consider this: During an impact, your car may be rocked or tossed by the momentum of the other vehicle. When this happens, the wheels can be knocked out of alignment. Any jolt can disrupt the balance—even hitting a pot hole. Even an inconsequential misalignment can lead to significant issues down the road if not corrected right away. 

Signs Your Wheel Alignment is Off

Detecting signs of misaligned wheels is crucial for preventing further damage and ensuring a safe driving experience. Paying attention to the following common indications can help you identify potential wheel misalignment issues:

Uneven or Rapid Tire Wear

Misaligned wheels often cause uneven tire wear, which is visible as excessive wear on one side of the tire tread compared to the other. This uneven pattern can lead to premature tire deterioration, compromising the overall performance and lifespan of the tires. Regularly inspecting the tire tread for uneven wear patterns can help you detect and address potential wheel alignment problems promptly.

Vehicle Pulling to One Side

If you notice your vehicle veering to one side, especially when driving on a straight road, it could be a clear indication of wheel misalignment. This pulling effect occurs when the wheels are not properly aligned, causing the vehicle to drift towards the side with more resistance. Addressing this issue promptly is crucial to prevent potential safety hazards and ensure a stable and balanced driving experience.

Steering Wheel Vibrations

Vibrations in the steering wheel, especially at higher speeds, can indicate wheel misalignment. These vibrations are often a result of the wheels pulling against each other due to misaligned angles. Ignoring these vibrations can lead to further damage to the suspension system and other crucial components, affecting the overall stability and safety of the vehicle.

Noticeable Drift in the Steering Wheel when Driving Straight

A noticeable drift or off-center steering wheel position when driving on a straight road is a clear sign of wheel misalignment. This issue can affect the vehicle’s handling and responsiveness, making it challenging to maintain a straight trajectory. Promptly addressing this symptom is essential to prevent uneven tire wear and ensure a smooth and controlled driving experience.

How is Wheel Alignment Corrected?

Wheel alignment correction involves adjusting the angles of the wheels to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The process typically includes the following steps:

  1. Evaluation and Assessment: Certified technicians begin by assessing the current alignment status of the wheels using precision equipment. They measure the angles of the wheels, including the camber, caster, and toe, to determine the extent of misalignment.
  2. Adjustment of Camber, Caster, and Toe: Based on the assessment, technicians make necessary adjustments to the camber, caster, and toe angles of the wheels. Camber refers to the vertical tilt of the wheels, caster to the forward or backward positioning of the steering axis, and toe to the inward or outward alignment of the front of the tires.
  3. Utilization of Alignment Equipment: Technicians use specialized alignment equipment such as computerized alignment machines and laser alignment tools to ensure precise adjustments. These advanced tools enable them to make accurate and real-time adjustments, guaranteeing that the wheels are aligned according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  4. Test Drive and Final Adjustment: After the initial adjustments, technicians conduct a test drive to evaluate the vehicle’s performance and handling. They assess the steering response, stability, and overall driving experience to confirm that the adjustments have effectively restored the vehicle’s optimal alignment.
  5. Post-Alignment Inspection: Once the adjustments are made, technicians conduct a final inspection to ensure that the wheels are aligned correctly. They examine the camber, caster, and toe angles to verify that they meet the manufacturer’s recommended specifications, thus guaranteeing the safety and stability of the vehicle.

Reasons to Bring Your Vehicle to a Certified Collision Repair Center for an Alignment 

Entrusting your vehicle to a certified collision repair center ensures the use of advanced techniques and specialized equipment for precise wheel alignment. Certified technicians have the expertise and knowledge to accurately assess and adjust the wheel angles, ensuring that they adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications. By choosing a certified repair center, you can rest assured that your vehicle’s wheel alignment will be restored to its optimal condition, guaranteeing a safe and smooth driving experience.

Looking to Get Your Wheels Aligned After a Collision?

Wheel alignment is vital. After a collision, it is important to have your vehicle inspected and repaired at a certified collision repair center. There, your vehicle will have its wheel alignment checked and fixed, if necessary. 

If you’ve recently experienced a collision or suspect that your vehicle’s wheel alignment may be off, trust Elmer’s Auto Body for expert wheel alignment services. Our certified technicians utilize advanced alignment equipment and precision techniques to ensure that your vehicle’s wheels are perfectly aligned according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Give one of our three South Jersey locations a call today or fill out the contact form to schedule an appointment.

Weather Damage and Your Vehicle: Assessing and Repairing Storm-Related Damages in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Weather Damage and Your Vehicle: Assessing and Repairing Storm-Related Damages in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

You wouldn’t think that living in Mt.Ephraim, New Jersey meant dealing with wind, rain, and hail throughout the year, but it does! There are many weather conditions relatively common in NJ that take a toll on vehicles. Dents, dings, broken windshields, and water damage…it can all happen. Unfortunately, these issues can be more severe than they look at first glance. To ensure the safety and longevity of your vehicle, it’s important to assess and address any storm-related issues promptly. Let’s talk about the process of assessing weather damage and then how to get those issues properly repaired at an auto body shop in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.


What Kinds of Weather Damage Can Happen to a Vehicle?

Weather damage encompasses various issues that can affect your vehicle, including:


Hail Damage

Hailstones may cause dings, dents, cracks, and shattered windows. Upon impact, it is not uncommon for hail to cause cosmetic and structural damage to vehicles.


Water Damage

Flooding or heavy rain can result in water-related damage to vehicles. Even driving through flood water can cause significant issues. This can include water seeping into the interior through compromised seals or leaks, leading to damage to the upholstery, electrical systems, and electronics. Water damage can also affect the vehicle’s mechanical components, such as the engine and drivetrain.


Wind Damage

Strong winds during storms can cause flying debris, fallen tree branches, or other objects to collide with the vehicle, leading to scratches, dents, or even more severe damage. Additionally, high winds can cause objects like signs or poles to topple over onto vehicles.


UV Damage

Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can cause damage to a vehicle’s paint, leading to fading, chipping, or peeling. UV rays can also degrade rubber seals and trim, resulting in deterioration and potential water leaks.


Temperature-Related Damage

Extreme heat or cold can impact various components of a vehicle. High temperatures can cause damage to the interior, including fading or cracking of upholstery, dashboard, or steering wheel. In contrast, extreme cold can affect the battery, fluids, and engine performance.


How to Assess Weather Damage on a Vehicle

To assess the extent of weather damage on your vehicle in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, follow these steps:


Exterior Inspection

The first step is to visually inspect the vehicle for any immediately visible signs of damage. This includes scratches, dings, dents, cracked or broken windows and mirrors, broken antenna, and damaged lights. You should also pay attention to the tires and rims. Check for bulges, punctures, or anything else that could become a hazard. Once you have done that, look at the undercarriage for leaks, dents, or damage.


Hail Damage Inspection

If there was a hailstorm, examine the vehicle’s surface for hail damage. Carefully inspect the roof, hood, trunk, and sides of the vehicle. Hail damage typically appears as small dents or dimples, but it can also cause more significant dents with cracked or chipped paint. Take note of the size and severity of the damage to determine the appropriate repair method (some methods only work on shallow hail dents).


Wind and Water Damage Evaluation

Recently driven through a hurricane? Even if you didn’t, strong winds and heavy rain cause a variety of issues, such as cracks and chips in the windshield from flying debris or water damage. Look at the doors, windows, and seals around the windshield for any leaks or compromised weatherstripping. Next, examine the body panels for scratches, dents, or other damage resulting from falling tree branches or other objects.


Mechanical Assessment

While most weather damage is visible on the exterior, it’s also important to assess the vehicle’s mechanical components. Check the brakes, suspension, and exhaust system for any signs of damage or abnormalities. If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or handling issues, consult a professional mechanic for a thorough evaluation.


Weather Damage Repair Options in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Based on what you find when assessing your vehicle for weather damage, you may need one service over another, such as:


Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

PDR is a technique used to repair small dents and dings without the need for repainting. Skilled technicians like those at Elmer’s Auto Body in Mt. Ephraim, NJ manipulate the metal back to its original shape, preserving the vehicle’s factory finish.


Windshield Repair or Replacement

Cracks or chips in the windshield should be addressed promptly to prevent further spreading. In many cases, small chips can be repaired, but larger or severely damaged windshields may require replacement.


Traditional Body and Paint Repair

Severe scratches, dents, and other cosmetic damage can be repaired through traditional body and paint techniques. Skilled technicians will sand, fill, and repaint the affected areas to restore the vehicle’s appearance.


Upholstery and Carpet Replacement

In cases where the water damage has extensively affected the upholstery or carpeting, it may be necessary to replace these components. Professional upholstery services can help restore the interior to its pre-damaged condition.


Component Replacement

If specific interior components, such as electronic modules or control units, have been damaged by water, they may require replacement. The same is true for other moving parts, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and so on. A qualified technician can diagnose the affected parts and replace them with new or properly functioning components.


Fluid Checks and Changes

Storms and flooding can contaminate or degrade fluids in the vehicle, such as engine oil, coolant, or brake fluid. Checking the fluid levels and condition is crucial, and in some cases, fluid changes or flushes may be necessary to ensure proper functioning of the vehicle.


Alignment and Suspension Adjustments

If the vehicle’s alignment or suspension has been affected by storm damage, realignment or adjustments may be necessary. This helps ensure proper handling, tire wear, and overall safety.


Looking For Weather Damage Repair in Mt. Ephraim, NJ?

Storms can cause significant damage to vehicles, requiring prompt attention and repair. Conducting a visual inspection, assessing hail, wind, and water damage, and seeking professional assistance are essential steps in addressing storm-related issues in Mt. Ephraim, NJ. By working with a trusted auto repair service, you can ensure a thorough assessment and receive expert repairs to restore your vehicle’s safety, functionality, and appearance.


Elmer’s Auto Body has extensive experience and expertise when it comes to repairing mild and severe weather damage. Whether your car has some dents and dings from hail or the interior was flooded, our technicians can help. Give one of our South Jersey locations a call or fill out the contact form to schedule your appointment today!


Water Stains, Mold, & Odor: Effective Solutions for Interior Water Damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Water Stains, Mold, & Odor: Effective Solutions for Interior Water Damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Water damage can be a frustrating and problematic issue for car owners. Whether it’s due to a leaky window, a flooded area, or heavy rain, water intrusion into the interior of your car can lead to unsightly stains, unpleasant odors, and even mold growth. If you find yourself dealing with interior water damage in your car in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, it’s essential to take prompt action to mitigate the damage and restore your vehicle’s condition. Let’s look at the effective solutions for interior water damage, including professional services for the most severe cases.


What are the Causes of Water Stains, Mold, and Odor in a Vehicle?

There are several possible causes of water damage in vehicles. Understanding why water stains, mold, and odor may happen can help you address the issues more directly. Here are some common factors:


Leaky Windows, Sunroof, or Weatherstripping

Improperly sealed or damaged windows, sunroofs, or windshield seals can allow water to enter the vehicle during rainfall or car washes. Furthermore, worn-out door seals and window gaskets can also cause leaks, particularly during heavy rain or when driving through flood water.


HVAC System Issues

Problems with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, such as clogged drains or malfunctioning components, can cause water to accumulate inside the vehicle.


Flooded Areas

If you have a smaller vehicle, then driving through flooded areas or having your vehicle trapped in a flooded area highly increase the chance of water getting into the interior.



Excessive condensation can occur if there is a temperature or humidity imbalance inside the vehicle, leading to moisture accumulation and potential mold growth.


Spills or Accidents

Spills from drinks, open containers, or accidents involving liquids inside the vehicle can contribute to water stains and odors—as well as a messy appearance—that impacts your vehicle’s value.


How to Deal With Interior Water Damage

Moisture within the car is never beneficial. Such factors as those listed above can create an environment that is damp and conducive to mold growth, unpleasant odors, and even water stains. So, how do you deal with these issues at home? Here are some tips:


Remove Standing Water

The first thing you have to do if your vehicle is waterlogged is to remove any standing water. If available, use a wet/dry vacuum or towels to soak up as much water as possible. Pay special attention to carpeted areas, seat upholstery, and the trunk, as these are common areas where water tends to accumulate. Remove any coverings and mats for air-drying.


Dry Out the Interior

Once you have soaked up some of the water, start to dry out the interior. Open the windows or doors, promoting airflow. Consider setting up dehumidifiers or fans to accelerate the drying process. It may take some time for the moisture to be completely eliminated. Continue patting the upholstery or carpet with towels throughout the day.


Clean and Disinfect Everything

Water damage can leave behind stains and create an environment where bacteria and mold can thrive. Clean the affected areas thoroughly with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the upholstery, carpets, and hard surfaces to remove any visible dirt or stains. For disinfection, use a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water or a commercial disinfectant specifically designed for automotive use.


Eliminate Lingering Odors

Sprinkle baking soda liberally on carpets and upholstery, let it sit for a few hours, and vacuum it up. Activated charcoal or odor-absorbing sachets placed strategically in the car can also help remove unwanted smells. Additionally, using an automotive-grade odor eliminator spray can provide temporary relief while you address the underlying cause of the odor.


Deal With Mold and Mildew

Use an antifungal cleaner or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to treat affected areas. Scrub gently, ensuring that you reach all the nooks and crannies where mold can hide. Consider using a soft brush or toothbrush to access tight spaces.


Professional Services for Water Damage in Vehicles in Mt. Ephraim, NJ

Dealing with water damage, mildew, and musty odors can be daunting. Fortunately, there are professional automotive cleaning services. Auto body shops in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, such as Elmer’s Auto Body, often have the expertise, experience, and equipment required for effectively cleaning and restoring your vehicle’s interior.


Here are some of the services offered by auto repair shops to tackle interior water damage:


Deep Cleaning and Restoration

Car detailing professionals can provide deep cleaning services, including thorough upholstery and carpet cleaning, to remove water stains, dirt, and other contaminants. Detailing may also include restoring upholstery, including leather and vinyl. Experts can also assist with trim and any exterior water damage, like rust.


Water Extraction

Professionals can efficiently remove standing water from your vehicle using specialized equipment like wet/dry vacuums or pumps. They also know where to look in your vehicle for water that may be hidden or hard to reach.


Mold Elimination

If mold has already developed, professionals can perform mold remediation procedures to safely remove mold growth and treat affected surfaces. They have access to appropriate antifungal products and techniques to eliminate mold effectively.


Looking For Interior Water Damage Services in Mt. Ephraim, NJ?

Water stains, mold, and odor in a vehicle can be effectively addressed by promptly removing standing water, thoroughly drying the interior, and cleaning and disinfecting affected areas. Professional services specializing in water damage restoration and car detailing can provide comprehensive solutions for severe damage.


Though water damage can happen at any time, you are not alone with interior water damage in Mt. Ephraim, NJ. Contact Elmer’s Auto Body today either by phone or by contact form to schedule an appointment. Our exceptional team can restore your vehicle so you can get back on the road.

Auto Body Repair: How To Maintain Your Car’s Resale Value

Auto Body Repair: How To Maintain Your Car’s Resale Value

Did you know that, from the moment you drove your car off the lot, it lost about 20% of its value? Cars depreciate in value with each new mile on the engine. Worse, minor and major accidents alike can diminish their worth. Therefore, if you plan on selling or trading in your vehicle after a certain number of miles, you are going to need to know how to maintain your car’s resale value. Here are some tips to ensure that you get what your car is worth.


1. Stay On Top of Cleaning and Waxing

When was the last time you washed and waxed your vehicle? It’s hard to stay on top of your car’s exterior, especially during the winter months, but that is when a little elbow grease is most important.

Keeping the paintwork on your car in decent condition will impact the resale value later on. Therefore, you want to do whatever you can to keep the paint looking fresh. Discoloration and rusting are almost impossible to reverse, so be sure to wash and wax your vehicle throughout the year, every year. Also, do not forget to clean out the headlights with some polish and vacuum out the interior of your car. Be sure to remove any stains from the seats. Avoid smoking in the vehicle, as well.

Stay On Top of Cleaning and Waxing

2. Fix Damages With Quality Parts

If you have had an accident, then you are going to end up doing one of two things: either wait for the money from your auto insurance company to cover it or pay for the repairs out of your own wallet. Either way, you may want to cut the cost by purchasing aftermarket or cheaper used parts. Understandably, you want to get back on the road again, but choosing parts that are of poor quality will only hurt you in the long run.

Low-quality parts not only impact the performance and longevity of the car but also resale value. If you instead visit a respectable auto body repair shop like Elmer’s Auto Body that only uses OEM parts, you can potentially save the resale value and even get more for your car when you sell or trade it in.


3. Watch the Mileage

Consider how often you need to use your car. Unless you are in a big city, you may need your vehicle to take you everywhere. For most Americans, the odometer can run away from you. But see, here is the problem: The more miles on your vehicle, the less it is worth. On average, Americans add an extra 12,000 to 15,000 miles to their odometer each year, while 20,000 miles or more is heavy use. After 100,000 miles are racked up, the value of your vehicle will plummet. 200,000 miles? The value decreases even more. So if you want to sell your vehicle in the future, you may want to reconsider that tour across the states.


4. Upgrade Your Car After an Accident

If you had an accident and are worried about the blow to resale value, why not make your car like new? Keeping the car in working order with OEM parts works, but you can further boost the value with specific upgrades. Speak to your trusted automotive technician to see what they recommend or do some independent research.

Here is an example of some upgrades you can make to increase the resale value of your car, even after a collision:

  • Rear-view or reverse camera
  • Blind spot alert system
  • High quality tires

Why are these important? Because more modern cars have these as a standard feature. Older models don’t, but if you add them? Consider the value of your vehicle increased.

Rear-view cameras and blind spot alert systems are essential for safe driving. Not only does it make it easier to see other drivers in parking lots and on highways, but it can also save you from another accident before you sell your car.

Tips To Enhance Your Vehicle's Value After An Accident

5. Diminished Value Claim

Another method for regaining some value after an accident is a “diminished value claim.” What it does is allow you to recover the amount of market value that your car was worth before the accident by a percentage.

If an accident depreciates the value of your car, you may have a claim. You will need to know how much your car was worth before the accident, who is to be held liable for the accident (it cannot be you), the laws of your state, and also the insurance info of the other driver(s) involved.


Looking For Auto Body Repair?

When you are gearing up for a car resale, the last thing you want to do is worry about a diminished resale value. Whether you have been in a car accident or not, consider auto body repair. Keeping your car in good condition can prevent its value from dropping too rapidly. The automotive technicians at Elmer’s Auto Body can help you retain the value of your car, especially after accidents. We only use OEM parts to ensure your vehicle is restored to the condition it was prior to the collision. Get in touch with one of our Elmer’s Auto Body locations today to schedule an appointment.

A Beginner’s Guide to Auto Repair “Shop Talk”

A Beginner’s Guide to Auto Repair “Shop Talk”

When your car is having a problem, the way you discuss the problem can pave the way to a better auto body shop experience. It’s kind of like talking with a doctor. The more terminology you know and understand, the more quickly a solution can be found. Otherwise, it is going to seem like whatever the auto body technician is saying is a foreign language. So, we’re going to help you decode some of the common auto repair shop jargon that you might hear. We’re also going to discuss some ways you can describe the issues you’re having so the mechanic can pinpoint the issue much more quickly.


The Terms Mechanics Say

There are a number of terms that accurately describe what is happening with a vehicle. Unfortunately, unless you love cars or are mechanically inclined yourself, you might not know the terms an educated mechanic would know. That’s usually fine, but understanding what the following terms mean will help you out during your next body shop visit:

  • Engine Knock: Ever hear a pinging or ticking noise coming from the engine? That’s called engine knock, and it means that there is air and leftover fuel getting trapped in the combustion chamber whenever the spark plug fires. If you are hearing engine knock, you need to take your vehicle to the auto body shop as soon as you can.
  • Fast Idle: This refers to the faster, higher-revving of a vehicle. Though this generally happens during the first thing in the morning or after a car has been sitting for a long period, the fast idle should decrease as the vehicle warms up.
  • Fuel Injection: Not only the name of a service, fuel injectors are what replaced carburetors in modern vehicles. These instruments are designed to mix fuel more efficiently into the manifold of the engine. Sometimes, your fuel injectors need to be cleaned.
  • Hesitation: You might notice how your vehicle struggles to respond or loses power during acceleration, a condition mechanics call “hesitation.” When a vehicle hesitates, it often means that there is an issue with the fuel injection system.
  • Non-Aspirated (N/A): In the automotive world, N/A doesn’t mean “not available.” Instead, it means that you have a non-aspirated engine or one that is neither supercharged or turbo.
  • Play: Describes the amount of tension (or lack thereof) in the steering wheel you feel before the vehicle begins to turn. Too much play reduces responsiveness. Play is mentioned when discussing things like steering, suspension, and when components start getting worn.
  • Pull: When you start to brake or even while driving on a straight road, your car might start to drift in one direction. This is called pulling and happens when your vehicle is in need of an alignment.
  • Torque Steer: Many cars today are made with front-wheel drive (FWD). A torque steer is what happens when you begin to accelerate and the steering wheel rotates in one direction. If you accelerate too quickly with FWD, you could lose control if the torque steering is too strong.


Body Shop Talk

When you are in the auto repair shop, reviewing the estimate on collision repair, or you are talking to the insurance company about an accident, you might come across some common body shop parts or terms:

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): When you receive OEM parts, it means you are getting parts made by the original manufacturer of your vehicle. For example, if your Ford needs a new bumper or grill, the OEM parts would come directly from Ford or authorized dealers rather than another brand.
  • Aftermarket Parts: These are not the same as OEM parts. Aftermarket parts are sold from other companies that are not the original manufacturer. Most aftermarket parts are designed to meet the same standards of quality as OEM. That said, some non-approved aftermarket parts could jeopardize the factory warranty on your vehicle. If you are unsure, speak to the insurance company or body shop for more information.
  • Beltline: The beltline is also called the “waistline.” The beltline is used to describe the top of the car from the bottom and is visually seen as the line right where the window frames meet the metal/paint.
  • Betterment: Insurance companies more commonly use this term to describe the situation in which new car parts improve the overall condition of the vehicle. In some instances, the insurance company might ask you to pay for a portion of the costs because the value of your vehicle has increased.


Precise Statements for Faster Solutions

When you are describing symptoms that your car is experiencing, it is best to be as descriptive as possible, even when you don’t know the technical terms for things. You can utilize some of the terms we have discussed to make issues all the more clear. Here are some examples:

  • When I drive over a bump, I hear rattling under the front passenger side of the vehicle.
  • When I apply the brakes, there is a grinding sound and the car pulls to the left.
  • The vehicle sometimes stalls while at traffic lights. When I restart the engine, I smell gasoline and see black smoke.
  • When I drive uphill, the vehicle hesitates and slows down.


Find a Collision Repair Shop That Speaks Your Language

Whenever you take your car to the body shop for maintenance or repairs, you are going to hear some confusing terms. Hopefully, with this list of words in mind, you’ll be more prepared and confident about discussing the issues. You should also seek out an auto body repair shop near you that speaks your language. Elmer’s Auto Body is one of the best in the region. We are transparent and honest, and we’ll always describe the problems and solutions so you know exactly what we’re going to do. Give us a call or send us an email today to schedule your next visit.

Understanding Auto Body Shop Certifications

When it comes time for a vehicle repair, you want to find a shop equipped to handle your specific make and model. From oil changes to frame repairs, vehicles can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Auto body shops often obtain different certifications to work on these vehicles. These certifications let consumers know that the shop can fix their vehicle. Here are a few things to help you understand these certifications.


Certification Basics

Many professional auto body repair shops require their technicians to earn specific certifications. The technicians must take professional training and meet particular requirements to be certified. There are several certifications that technicians can earn in the auto repair industry. Vehicle makers have their own set of special certifications as well. If the technician holds a specific manufacturer designation, they have been trained to understand the vehicle maker’s latest standards.

Auto body repair shops can also obtain certifications, like the I-CAR Gold Class designation. This certification is the highest training achievement in the collision repair industry. With this certification, the collision repair shop must train its technicians on a yearly basis. The shop also has highly skilled experts in four key collision roles: damage estimator, steel structural technician, non-structural technician, and refinish technician.


Professional Certifications

If you want to have your vehicle repaired by top-quality technicians, choose a shop with these major certifications. These qualifications let you know that the shop can work on your vehicle and complete repairs to the highest standards.

Assured Performance Certification

One of the top auto body shop designations is the Assured Performance certification. The Assured Performance Network sets the bar for the entire automotive collision repair industry. For an auto body shop, an Assured Performance certification is a major credential. Since Assured Performance is associated with high standards and excellence, this certification requires body shops to go to great lengths to achieve this designation. Many auto body shops will advertise that they are part of the Assured Performance Network.

Less than 10 percent of all auto body shops meet the requirements to be Assured Performance certified. These shops must pass all the requirements established by specific auto manufacturers. They also must pass an annual on-site inspection and audit. During the audit, the certified shops must have the proper training, equipment, tools, and facilities to handle all types of collision repairs. As a result, consumers can be assured that the repairs are completed using the latest technology and materials.

I-CAR Certification

I-CAR is known as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. This is a non-profit organization that trains mechanics in different practices. I-CAR believes that everyone in the

collision industry needs essential skills to complete a safe repair. With this certification, you can be confident that your vehicle is in safe and capable hands.

I-CAR certification is another gold standard for an auto body shop. Along with the certificates, I-CAR also offers classes, resources, and training activities. The highest recognition is known as the Gold Class certification. With this certification, you can identify those technicians who have been trained on the latest technology, repair methods, and vehicle models. Only 20 percent of auto body shops have the Gold Class certification.

OEM/Manufacturer Certification

With a manufacturer certification, the auto body shop can display different manufacturers’ logos, such as Ford, Chevrolet, or Tesla. Some manufacturers, like Tesla, have stringent requirements for their certifications. If you find a shop with this certification, they have met the highest training and excellence levels.

The manufacturer also approves OEM certifications. OEM stands for an original equipment manufacturer. You might think that you need to go to the dealership for quality work, but if your shop is OEM certified, they have the credentials to work on that specific brand of vehicle. They also have OEM factory-approved parts and understand the procedures to install those components.

The Better Business Bureau

You also want to look for the Better Business Bureau certification. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) uses their code of ethics, consumer reviews, business responses, and other programs to rate businesses in the community. Customers can see this public information for most businesses. An excellent BBB rating means that the shop has met stringent standards. The BBB considers the shop’s positive and negative reports, its response time and quality, and other factors when making a rating. If the business is deemed trustworthy, they are allowed to display a BBB rating badge alongside their business logo. As a result, many customers tend to associate a BBB rating with high-quality services.


Choose The Right Shop

When it is time to choose the right shop for your vehicle repair, there are a few things to consider, such as:

  • Reviews: You want to read reviews from real customers. These reviews can tell you what you can expect from a particular shop.
  • Services: Before you bring in your vehicle, you want to see what services are provided by the auto body shop.
  • Certifications: Many auto body shops are proud of their certificates, and they will showcase these industry standards. You want to find a shop that specializes in repairing your particular make and model.


Elmer’s Auto Body Offers High-Quality Work

If you are looking for the best auto body repair work, make sure to choose Elmer’s Auto Body. We have a team of certified professionals. Our technicians can repair a wide variety of models, including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and more. Along with that, we have Assured Performance and I-CAR Gold Class certifications.

Our team can help with:


Find A Qualified Auto Body Shop Near Me

If you are ready to let a highly qualified team handle your repairs, make sure to reach out to us. Elmer’s Auto Body has experience repairing a wide range of vehicles. You can count on us to get your car back on the road. We will restore your car’s appearance and functionality. You can schedule a consultation by calling the office at (856) 218-0202.