Will Your Car Still Have Issues After An Expensive Collision Repair In South Jersey?

Will Your Car Still Have Issues After An Expensive Collision Repair In South Jersey?

After you receive the repairs from a collision, you don’t want to take it back to the auto body shop. You paid hard-earned cash and have a right to expect that the repairs made will make a difference. You wonder if your car will still have issues after you took it in for expensive collision repairs. Where you take it in will make a difference because not all auto body shops perform at the same level.

How Bad was the Damage?

Most accident damage can be repaired. Insurance companies wait until about 70 percent damage to total the vehicle. After the auto body shop repairs the vehicle, you should inspect it closely. All respectable auto body shops will stand by their workmanship. You have a right to inspect the car before you pay for it or authorize your insurance to pay for it. In many cases like with prior severe damage, the auto body shop will recommend that you take it for a quick test drive to ensure that no damage remains.

You should check to see if the wheel alignment was corrected, and you should also check that the steering is normal and the headlights work right.

How to Inspect Your Car After the Repairs

First, if you have any issues, discuss them with the manager. For example, if you disliked how they fixed the damage, the painting or the quality of the parts, speak to who carried out the repairs. You want to point out the potential defects before you pay the bill.

Second, request a post-repair inspection. Not all auto body shops will perform this, but reputable auto body shops will do this to verify that they fixed the damage. This inspection provides you with a full assessment of the original damage to ensure that you can safely take the car on the road. Important to note, the post-repair inspection should be performed by a knowledgeable and independent third party. They can support or dismiss doubts that you might express about the repairs.

In some states, they will provide you with no-cost inspections for collision repairs. Let’s say that you can’t reach an agreement with the body shop about the repairs. You would then speak with your car insurance company. They will manage the dispute even if you used an auto body shop outside of their network.

File a Complaint if Required

Good auto body shops should be willing to address your complaints and ensure that the repairs get done right. Let’s say that you can’t come to a resolution. You might file a complaint with the state bureau of auto repair. This bureau exists to ensure that customers who seek car repairs receive fair treatment. A bureau of representatives will review the case, and if they find that the repairs don’t meet the standards of the industry, they will either negotiate further repair work, or they will transfer your repairs over to a more reputable auto body shop. They might also seek a refund or adjustment for the customer in some cases.

Only Work with Auto Body Shops That Offer a Guarantee

Great auto body shops will provide you with a guarantee that lasts for as long as the repairs were made. This is a lifetime warranty on all of the repairs and replacement parts. Going with an auto body shop that offers this guarantee shows that they will do quality work, and even if you experience problems, they will back you up.

When done right, your car won’t continue to have issues after the collision repairs. The one exception to this would be when you had extensive damage done to the frame or severe damage to an essential part of the car. Most often, the insurance company will total the car in those cases.

How Long Do You Have to Determine if There’s Hidden Damage

Each auto body shop will differ on this, which is why you would want to have an inspection done to find any hidden damage before it manifests itself. Some of the most common types of hidden damage after a car accident include:

  • Brake damage
  • Bumper damage
  • Trunk damage
  • Suspension system damage
  • Leaking fluids

Reputable auto body shops will do their best to catch hidden damage, but even great auto body shops will occasionally miss something because the issue can materialize more as you run the vehicle.

Interesting Statistic About Auto Body Repairs

In most cases when the repairs cost under $10,000, most customers feel satisfied with the repairs made. Once the repairs cross the $10,000 market, only an estimated 26.6 percent of all customers feel satisfied with the repairs.

When it comes to cars needing to go back to the auto body shop after repairs, they call these cars go-backs because they need to return to the auto body shop. An estimated 10.9 percent of all cars fixed at the auto body shop will be go-backs. That means that one out of every 10 cars will need to return to the shop. Unfortunately, car accidents can severely damage the essential components in a vehicle, and in some cases, they can be difficult to fully fix.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, auto body repairs will fix the car, but you do have cases where they can’t completely get rid of the issues. Some will also make the repairs better than others since this field requires skill. When looking at auto body shops in South Jersey, Elmer’s Auto Body is one example of a great company that has served South Jersey for over 75 years. This is the best body shop in NJ because they hire the best auto body and paint technicians to ensure that the repairs are done right. If you’d like to learn more, you can call us at (856) 218-0202.

What Does ADAS Calibration Mean On My Auto Body Repair Estimate?

Reading over your estimate from the auto body repair shop and wondering what in the world “ADAS calibration” means? You’re not the only one. ADAS calibration is not just some fancy lingo meant to increase the price of your repairs. Elmer’s Auto Body believes that, by demystifying repair procedures and steps, we can better serve our customers. That is why we are going to tell you everything you need to know about ADAS calibration, including what it means, why it is necessary, and what you can expect when it is done.

Let’s get started.


What is ADAS?

ADAS is short for “,” all of which are technologies incorporated into your vehicle that make it safer to drive. ADAS utilizes what is called a “human-machine interface” to improve your ability to react to whatever arises on the road, from dodging accidents to stopping on a dime. Most systems come standard in many modern-day vehicles, but there are aftermarket features that can be added to personalize your experience.

Some common ADAS technologies include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warnings
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • High beam safety system
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Traction control
  • Blindspot detection


Anti Lock Brakes


How do ADAS work?

Most ADAS are controlled by a number of computer sensors placed throughout the vehicle. They also have multiple ways to receive data, including automotive imaging and LiDAR (light detection and ranging). This allows sensors to be able to survey a full 360-degree area, regardless of the weather conditions or visibility. Data can also be processed through things like vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X), WiFi, and other vehicles (V2V).

These systems are meant to decrease human error since the majority of road accidents are caused by the mistakes people make. ADAS improves driving ability overall, reduces the number of deaths, and improves awareness. However, like all technologies, ADAS can malfunction over time and need to be maintained and re-calibrated, especially after damages or accidents.


What is ADAS Calibration?

The states that ADAS calibration is “a process carried out to correctly align the cameras and sensors of a car so that its ADAS system can work as intended.” Such calibration can only be done using specialized tools that are wielded by trained technicians who have experience dealing with such systems. Every sensor has to be precisely positioned. Otherwise, the systems will fail.

ADAS calibration is not something you can easily neglect. Even if the position of the cameras and sensors are off by a hair, there is a significant influence on the effectiveness of the entire system. In other words, the sensors could end up focusing elsewhere, jeopardizing your safety—and the safety of every other person on the road.

Failing to re-calibrate your ADAS can cause other issues, including:

  • Steering wheel vibration
  • Harder steering
  • Steering wheel pull
  • Diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) stored in the system computer


Steering Wheel Calibrated


When Does ADAS Need to be Calibrated?

Calibration is needed whenever the sensors of a vehicle have been disrupted. Fender benders, collisions, airbag deployment, or even mistakes made during maintenance can upset an ADAS. Some ADAS sensors can be affected by things like wheel alignment, suspension repairs, tire size changes, car roof repair, and windshield replacement. Calibration must also be done whenever a sensor or the mounting bracket is repaired.


How is an ADAS Re-calibrated?

As mentioned earlier, when an ADAS is displaced or damaged in an accident, you will need to have it re-calibrated. Usually, this requires a trip to the dealership, since every manufacturer is going to have their own measures for ADAS calibration. Generally, sensors are aimed at targets while the technician works to scan the ADAS through your vehicle’s OBD port. The process is time-consuming, and if full attention is not given, the entirety of your car’s ADAS can be decreased.

Because many auto body shops cover a broad range of auto makes and models, it is best to let a specialized dealership or auto body shop do the ADAS calibration. The vehicle will be returned to the auto repair shop once the calibration is complete so any further work can be finished.

Therefore, if you receive an estimate that has “ADAS Calibration” written on it, it is most likely because the technician or mechanic is assuming that the sensors have been disrupted for some reason (or simply want to double-check for safety purposes).


Who in New Jersey Can Perform an ADAS Calibration?

Looking for an “auto body shop near me” in New Jersey with knowledge about ADAS and ADAS re-calibration? Elmer’s Auto Body has a long history in auto repairs, and we have seen ADAS technology evolve throughout the years. Furthermore, we know that ADAS calibration takes time, the proper equipment, and highly specialized knowledge to complete. Each of our technicians has been trained for OEM parts, and our shop has I-CAR certification. You can trust our mechanics to have the highest level of training and skill.

Learn more about our services by giving us a call. You can also fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation or to receive a quote. We are more than happy to answer whatever questions you have.

Why Is It So Hard To Find A Trustworthy Auto Shop?

In a perfect world, you could trust those who service your vehicle to do the right thing. You expect nothing but your damaged car to be returned to you in perfect condition. What you don’t suspect is that the auto body shop may be going behind your back, covering up damages, and sticking you with a more expensive repair bill. There are plenty of auto body shops that upsell and behave unethically, but that does not mean every business acts this way.

You may be wondering why it is so hard to find a trustworthy auto body shop. Don’t worry. With some research, you can find a reputable auto body shop that will be transparent and honest about vehicle repairs. Just follow the tips we have outlined for you in this article.


Do Some Online Investigation

As with most things people purchase these days, the internet is a wonderful tool for gathering information. Rather than going right to your favorite internet search engine, check out their mapping services, since this will help you pinpoint local businesses. Or, you could access an online database compiled by your insurance company or AAA. Such resources help you seek out auto body shops based on their rating as well. You can then cross-check these ratings with other websites, such as Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Keep in mind that solely relying on online reviews is not always the best idea. There are some companies that will pay people to write 5-star reviews about them on their testimonial section, skewing their overall rating. Sometimes, companies will remove or conceal poor ratings from their site and others to hide the fact that they have had less than satisfied customers.

So, go to multiple sources—and not just online ones, either.


Listen to Your Friends and Family

Any organization worth it’s salt will have people talking about it. To find a quality auto body repair shop, first, turn to friends and family. These people will be able to give you recommendations based on their experiences. Use their advice and start doing some preliminary research on those auto body shops. Some may be too far for you, but you can still look at their services, their website, and their reviews to glean some information on what you should be looking for in a local auto body shop.

Though you can ask your insurance company, remember that they play a role in the quality of repairs. Avoid shops that may be partnered with insurance companies and adjusters, since they usually go for the lowest common denominator in repairs.


Get More Than One Estimate

Before selecting the auto body shop you want to work with, ask for each candidate to provide you with an estimate. Quotes may vary, but if there are any extremes, such as the one appearing too cheap or too expensive, cut them out. A trustworthy auto body shop is going to use standardized quoting. This means that every quote should be about the same when it comes to the cost of parts.

Here is another reason to do some research: you need to understand the estimate. Most will outline the steps required to make the repairs and the cost of each. If you don’t understand what is required, the auto body shop may take advantage and claim they found new damages to increase the cost.


Interview The Mechanic

Asking the wrong questions can get you duped quickly, no matter where you are. The same thing happens in auto body shops. You gloss over the critical questions that could tell you how the business operates, and you end up slammed with the bill you didn’t expect. Get the information you need with targeted questions.

Here are some examples:

  • What kind of warranty comes with your auto body repair work? If yes, how long does the warranty last, and what is covered?
  • Will I receive calls, texts, or emails about the status of my vehicle’s car status?
  • How long do you estimate my repair to take?
  • Will the paint match the rest of my vehicle?
  • Do you use OEM parts?
  • Does the auto body shop have certifications?
  • Will you put everything in writing (estimate, contract, and payment policy)?


These questions help you understand whether the auto body shop is qualified and professional. For instance, the minimum warranty that should be applied to their work is one year. Anything less disqualifies the auto body shop, and you should look elsewhere. Some auto body repair shops will have lifetime warranties on some aspects, like paint.


Establish Trust With Your Chosen Auto Body Shop

Even with all the research and questions you ask, there may be a kernel of uncertainty that remains—and that is okay. Just make sure you address it before you hand your vehicle over to the auto body repair shop. Go for an in-person visit. When you arrive, be sure to go straight to the mechanic with any remaining questions. This is one of the most important steps in finding a respectable auto body shop because you can now speak directly to the individual who will be responsible for your car while you are gone.

Establish Trust

Trust your gut. If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t.

With your car at the shop, the technicians should be working to make you as comfortable as possible. A trustworthy auto body shop will have people keeping you informed, whether you are present or not. If you do not hear anything from the auto body shop within 1-2 hours of dropping off your car, you can give them a call to check on the progress. Also, do not be afraid to ask about seeing the repairs already completed. The mechanic should have no qualms about letting you see what they are working on or if they found any other damages when repairing your vehicle.

All of this will help establish trust. And remember, if at any time you feel you are not getting the best service, you can have your vehicle taken somewhere else. You do not have to accept any repairs you do not want or didn’t originally agree to. A good auto body shop will respect your wishes and consult with you should they find anything that would add to the original estimate.


Finding a Good Auto Body Shop is Possible

Yes, locating a trustworthy auto repair shop can be difficult, especially with the costs of repair, labor, and the presence of insurance companies breathing down the technicians’ necks. The best way to find a good auto body shop is to understand the process and stay alert. You can find shops that are committed to quality and do not balk at insurance companies, but you will have to call around and ask questions.

Elmer’s Auto Body is proud to say that we are an OEM certified shop with thousands of satisfied customers at every location in South Jersey. Give us a call or fill out the contact form to learn more about our services or request a consultation. We promise complete honesty and transparency.

Do Auto Repair Shops Report To CARFAX?

“Show me the CARFAX!” You probably heard the catchphrase before and remember the fox mascot from commercials, but have you ever thought about how a simple CARFAX could affect you? Usually, a CARFAX report saves buyers from purchasing a lemon that will only be a nightmare later on. There are a number of ways CARFAX gathers information about your vehicle, such as police reports, the DMV, and the insurance company. But will your auto repair shop give CARFAX details about that little fender bender? And how will that affect you if they do?

Let’s find out.


What is CARFAX and How Does it Really Work?

A CARFAX report is a history of a vehicle that is compiled by a third party. Many dealerships will provide free CARFAX reports on used vehicles so that prospective buyers can make a more informed decision. A report will detail things like:

  • Repair history
  • Odometer readings
  • Number of past owners
  • Reported accidents
  • Whether the car has been salvaged or junked or called a lemon
  • Whether the car was ever a fleet vehicle
  • Repossession and lien history
  • Manufacturer recalls
  • Emission inspection status and so on.

The main goal is to prevent people from getting scammed when purchasing a car. The more information you know, the less of a risk it is to buy a used vehicle. In theory, this sounds wonderful, but there are some drawbacks which we will explain soon.


Where Does The Data Come From?

You’re probably a bit shocked by how much information can appear on a CARFAX. But where does it all come from? Believe it or not, CARFAX uses over 92,000 sources to compile a single report. Here are some of the sources that the company draws from:

  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Fire departments
  • Motor vehicle agencies in the US and Canada
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Salvage auctions
  • Collision repair and auto body shops
  • Service and maintenance shops
  • Insurance companies
  • Rental/fleet vehicle enterprises
  • Extended warranty companies
  • Automobile import and export companies
  • Inspection stations

For this reason, any time you have an accident, it can show up on a CARFAX report, even if it has not been reported. CARFAX reports receive information from a broad number of sources, including auto body shops that do collision repair, and they catalog everything from minor accidents to the most severe.

CARFAX does warn that, because not every accident is reported or does not have easily accessible information, they cannot guarantee 100 percent accurate information.


Do Auto Repair Shops Report to CARFAX?

As mentioned earlier, auto body shops—primarily collision repair centers—can report to CARFAX. Not every auto body shop is going to opt into contacting CARFAX to update information about your vehicle. If you are uncertain, you can ask. However, there are some actions that can get your vehicle’s information taken in by CARFAX, even if you and your auto body shop did not directly connect with the company. These include:

  • Shopping for quotes on repairs or receiving multiple estimates. Some software is programmed to automatically report to CARFAX, even if the job you need to be done is just a simple scratch or dent repair.
  • Ordering parts with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Opening an insurance claim.
  • Going to a dealership.

There are also auto body shops that say they report to CARFAX on the premise of record keeping. Should someone aim to purchase your vehicle in the future, they will be able to see a clear maintenance record, for instance. However, since these services are automatically recorded by CARFAX, it skips over the will of the vehicle owner to decide whether that information is distributed or not.

Car Reports

Does Reporting Ever Cause Trouble?

Unfortunately, this automatic reporting feature can complicate matters for drivers. First off, let us touch on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN is how CARFAX keeps tabs on what has happened to your vehicle, and since the VIN is used for a number of services, like insurance and auto body shops, it gets pinged often.

And what happens? Some people have seen their insurance rates go up. Others have reported that when they go to trade it in. Even when any repairs were a result of a small fender bender, CARFAX did their own investigation and called the damage significant enough for structural damage.

Many auto body shops and insurance companies also agree that since the reports are about the vehicle’s history, not yours. You can contact your insurance company directly to opt-out of CARFAX reporting, but there is probably information about your vehicle out there already.


Final Thoughts

Auto body shops, as well as many other businesses and organizations, use CARFAX and also report to the company on a regular basis. Most of the time, that reporting is automatic, and most people are unaware of how much is relayed to CARFAX until it comes back to affect them. Be sure to ask your local auto body shop whether they report to CARFAX. You may be able to opt-out of the reporting.

Elmer’s Auto Body believes in transparent and honest service. Our team will be completely upfront with you about what we do and what our services include. If you are looking for a trustworthy collision repair and maintenance shop, then you should call us or fill out the contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Electric Cars?

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Electric Cars?

How many hallmarks of science fiction (post-1950) are shown in vehicle innovations? For as long as most of us can remember, we’ve seen flying cars, self-driving cars and yes, electric cars as emblems of a more advanced and always forthcoming future. Here at the end of the second decade of this century, we at last find that in fact, all of these things are indeed real.

Self-driving cars make Google headlines daily, and their adoption into mass use is inevitable before this century’s end for sure. Flying cars are also being tested, but are likely to never be something everyone has in their driveway for a host of different reasons.

Where does this leave electric vehicles? Well of course, it’s no secret that electric vehicles not only exist, but have for some time been available on the consumer market. In fact, there have been consumer electric concepts many times over the past several decades, just many weren’t tested or ever known in the US for reasons we’ll get to in a minute.

Pros of Electric Cars

  • Environmental: While you’re not emission-free with an electric car (most electricity supplied to charge them is produced by burning fossil fuels), you’re having a much lower impact on the environment with an electric car.
  • Less Expensive to Power: Gasoline is ridiculously expensive when you do the math. Yes, electricity isn’t cheap either, but it’s far cheaper than gasoline. This is why gas generators, even in a pre-green society, were never used for more than emergencies. Thus, recharging your electric car will now, and forever, be far cheaper than pouring gas into a tank.
  • Cheaper Maintenance: Electric cars are complex, but they have a lot fewer obtuse mechanical parts than a traditional internal combustion engine. The motors, control systems and power supply are remarkable pieces of advanced technology, but they’re longer-lived, and less physically complex to repair, replace and maintain.
  • Tax Deductions: The government, after dragging its feet for some time, has taken it upon itself at last, to positively reinforce green practices. In the past, their sole contribution to environmental activism was negative reinforcement through regulation and EPA enforcement. Tax deductions are available when electric vehicles are used, though these vary from state to state.
  • Safety: The power supply and electric motors involved in these cars are lighter than an internal combustion engine and gas tank, which means a little bit of this lost weight can be given to reinforcing the integrity of the car. Not all of the weight can be shifted (more on that in a moment), but still. On top of this, there’s nothing severely volatile and combustible present by way of motor oil or gasoline, which means in severe accidents, these are less of an issue or hazard.

Cons of Electric Cars

Now, let’s look at why these benefits haven’t propelled the electric car into the mainstream, and rendered traditional gasoline vehicles obsolete.

  • Not Completely Green: We mentioned this in the benefits section, but it merits repeating – you’re still contributing to a carbon footprint if the electricity with which you charge this vehicle was made by burning fossil fuels.
  • Range Limitation: This is a problem with batteries really. You can’t get as far on a charge as you can on a tank of gas. This is because battery technology to hold the amount of energy for long journeys, while being light and small enough to be carried on said journey, is a checks and balances challenge not yet overcome.
  • Recharging Problems: Recharging is a problem in two ways. One, you need a special charging station for your vehicle, you can’t just plug an extension cord up at a gas station and pay them a fee to do so. These are few and far between in most of the world, outside some major cities. It also takes an absurdly long time to charge, upwards of hours.
  • Cost: Of course, because of the niche demand, prices haven’t lowered much on this technology for now, making it more expensive than gas vehicles, as well as less convenient.

The old conspiracy that big oil suppresses electric vehicles is mostly a myth, and while they have a lot of benefits, the limitations for now make them more of a novelty than something ready to be the new norm. To learn more about this and things like it, fill out our contact form today!