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What Is The Difference Between An Auto Body Shop And An Auto Mechanic Shop?

What Is The Difference Between An Auto Body Shop And An Auto Mechanic Shop?

There are many people who don’t fully understand the difference between an auto body shop and an auto mechanic shop. Although they are similar, it is important to know which kind of service your vehicle requires. These are two different types of businesses that specialize in two different types of work, so it can save you some time and trouble to learn the difference. With that in mind, let’s talk about the key differences between a body shop and a repair shop.


Auto Mechanic Shops: What Are They?

These are general auto repair shops that offer a variety of services based on the expertise of those working there. While many of these shops will specialize in certain kinds of jobs, they are meant to be general-purpose repair technicians. So, this is the place to go for most minor damage.


Problems Fixed By Mechanic Shops

Here are some examples of problems that might commonly be fixed at an auto mechanic shop:

  • Brakes: This includes drums, pads, calipers, master cylinders, brake lines, etc.
  • Oil/Fluid changes: This includes switching out your old oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, etc.
  • Internal Part Replacement: This covers a lot of ground. There are many instances in which a vehicle malfunctions because one or more parts have stopped working. When that happens, those parts have to be switched for new (or at least working) parts of the same type. These are probably the most common types of jobs for auto mechanics.
  • Engine Repair: Auto mechanics should be able to do all sorts of engine work, including a total rebuild (when necessary).
  • Electrical System Problems: A general auto mechanic should also be able to fix problems with your car’s electrical components such as alternators, starters, relays, batteries, etc.


The Process Of Doing Business With An Auto Mechanic Shop

In most cases, people do not know what is wrong with their vehicle when they bring it to an auto mechanic shop. Thus, the process will always begin with a diagnosis. This means that a mechanic will check out your vehicle based on the problems that you have reported. An estimate is then made based on their findings. If you decide to have the work done, they fix the car and you pay the bill afterward.


Auto Body Shops: What Are They?

An auto body shop differs from a normal mechanic shop in the fact that they specialize in specific types of auto repair. Rather than serving as general-purpose repair technicians, the people who work at auto body shops are more specialized for their particular kind of work. You wouldn’t go to a shop like this for any of the repairs that we listed earlier, because they are only going to do bodywork and things related to bodywork.


Problems Fixed By Body Shops

Here are some examples of common problems that might be fixed at an auto body shop:

  • Dent Repair: Most dents can be repaired, and many of them can even be pulled or pushed back into place without spoiling the paint job. Any good auto body shop should be able to remove minor dents and dings with ease.
  • Paint Jobs: Vehicle paint jobs are not like normal paint jobs. It takes special kinds of paint. special kinds of coatings, and a special kind of process. That is why most DIY vehicle paint jobs look so bad. That’s also why you will get better results by hiring a professional.
  • Glass Repair: if there is damage to your windows or your windshield, it is best to get that fixed at a body shop. A cracked windshield can even get you in trouble with the law so that one is pretty important. Auto body shops are also the best place for these kinds of repairs.
  • Body Panel Repair/Replacement: When the panels of the auto body itself are damaged, it takes a trained professional to remove and replace them properly. Many collision repairs fall into this category
  • Frame Repairs: If the frame of your vehicle is damaged, it is likely better to scrap the thing. However, in cases of mild frame damage, an auto body shop can probably get you back on the road.


The Process Of Doing Business With An Auto Body Shop

The process of doing business with an auto body shop is very similar to the process of doing business with an auto mechanic shop. However, there is one difference: Most body shop jobs do not require a diagnosis step. Although someone will definitely have to look at your car to determine the work that needs to be done, most body-shop problems are not difficult to pinpoint. For instance, if you have a huge dent in your rear panel or a big crack in your windshield, the problem is already obvious.



You can see that both types of auto repair shops are similar in their method of doing business but very different in terms of the problems they can fix. It is impossible for one mechanic to learn everything, and that is why different types of mechanics and repair shops exist.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you will walk away with a full understanding of these differences. If you are in need of a good NJ body shop, you can call our team here at Elmer’s Auto Body at (856) 218-0202. There are many auto body shops in South Jersey, but only one offers a 70-year record of excellence.

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