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How Do I Inspect My Car When the Body Work Is Done?

How Do I Inspect My Car When the Body Work Is Done?


After you have been involved in a car accident, you probably will take your vehicle to a repair shop. When they have finished the job, you can pick up your ride. However, you might feel a little nervous about the repair work. You want to know that the shop did the job correctly.

When you head to the shop, the technician will walk you around the vehicle. He or she will explain what was fixed and provide you with a written checklist of the work. At this time, you can ask about the shop’s warranty and what to do if there are any problems. It is still important for you to conduct your own inspection. Before you take your vehicle on the road, here are some key things to check.

Is the Vehicle Clean?

The first thing you want to inspect is the car’s cleanliness, including both the exterior and interior. Dirt can hide those imperfections. For that reason, you want to have a spotless car when you pick it up from the shop. Your vehicle should be washed and vacuumed so that you can inspect those repaired areas. From the engine to the floor mats, everything should be thoroughly cleaned.

There should not be any spare parts lying around in the trunk, interior, or other areas. If you find these extra components, you might want to question the professionalism of the shop’s work. A clean car gives the owner a high-quality impression, and you will have one less reason to doubt the shop’s work. If your vehicle is nice and clean, it has passed the “eye test.” Now you can conduct a more tedious inspection of the work.

Inspect All the Repaired Areas

Once you have done a quick glance at your vehicle, you should start to be more thorough. You need to pay attention to those areas that have been repaired. There should never be any gaps in the seams of the body panels. This is the time to close the doors, hood, and truck. With this, you can ensure that there are no rubbing or squeaking sounds. Along with that, this action will check that these components are operating correctly.

You might want to lift up the hood and inspect those wires and hoses. Are they all connected? Make sure that the shop correctly replaced a deployed airbag. This is also a great time to check the beam alignment of the headlights and the distance between the tires and fenders. If your frame requires an alignment, you can also request a printout of the frame specs.

You need to make sure that all the repaired areas were fixed accurately. If you find any spots with issues, you need to check the paperwork. There should be clear documentation of what was fixed on your vehicle. When there are discrepancies, you must call up the auto body shop.

If all those areas have been examined with no issues, take a look at the finish and paint on the car.

Check the Paint Job

When your vehicle has been involved in an accident, it will probably need new paint in certain areas. You want to be assured that the car will have matching colors of paint. No one wants to drive a vehicle that looks like a painter’s palette.

However, even with the factory paint codes, it can be hard to match the paint with the rest of the car. In some cases, the color has faded from other parts of the vehicle. A good technician will add a slight tint to perfectly match the shade so that you have a beautifully restored finish.

Many vehicles on the road also have something called an “orange peel” on the paint texture. With those vehicles, it can be challenging to match the color and texture. When you pick up your car, do it in the daytime, especially in the bright sunlight. You can compare the color from several different angles and look for any inconsistencies. This time of the day is the ideal way to spot imperfections due to dirt specks, hairs, or overspray.

Look for Other Collision Flaws

When you take these simple steps to inspect your vehicle, it can go a long way to ensure that the repairs were conducted properly. Before you approve the repair work, ask to go on a test drive. In some cases, the technician will take a drive with you. If you hear any strange noises, experience questionable handling, or have poor performance, you can ask for an explanation. Don’t ever sign off on the work if you are not completely satisfied. Once you leave the shop, you might be responsible for any additional repairs.

In some instances, the problems will not show up for a few days. Fluid leaks and uneven tire wear are some examples of damage from unprofessional work. A reputable shop will offer a warranty of up to 12,000 miles or one year after the shop completed the work. However, it is your responsibility to inspect your vehicle and ensure the work was done right.

Bring Out the Light

As mentioned before, you want to check your vehicle in the full light. With bright sunshine or even a pocket flashlight, you can make sure your car doesn’t have uneven panels, paint color differences, or minor dents.

Some shady auto body shops may rush you through the inspection process, but you are the one paying for the work. What might seem like a great job could turn into trouble after a detailed inspection. You have every right to check out your car. Once again, if you are not satisfied, you need to speak to the manager or owner of the shop.

Need To Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me?

Unfortunately, there are plenty of subpar repair shops in the area. At Elmer’s Auto Body, our customers’ satisfaction is our top priority. We want you to be delighted with our work. You can check our technician’s handiwork from top to bottom. We will make sure your ride is in tip-top shape before it leaves our shop. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call the shop at (856) 218-0202.


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