General Motors is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers on the planet. Brands such as Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac have been absorbed by GM, making them a very multi-faceted company. Of course, any of these vehicles can easily be involved in a collision. Even if you are the safest driver in the world, the mistakes of another driver can cause the same level of damage. For those who find themselves in this situation, it is important to take your vehicle to a shop with a GM collision certification.
How Hard Is It To Get A GM Collision Certification?
Unlike some certifications of this kind, a GM collision certification requires a fair amount of education and time. As part of the GM collision certification program, the license holder must become familiar with a wide variety of vehicles and systems, including (but not limited to):
- Engine repair
- Transmission repair
- HVAC repair
- Electrical work/ wiring
- Body work of all kinds
Of all these criteria, that last one is probably the most important. In the event of a collision, the body is normally the first part of the car to feel the impact. With the plastic-like bodies found on many modern cars, whole sections can be crumpled like a tin can. Needless to say, most collision repairs will begin with the bodywork.
Why Gm Collision Certification Matters
There are several factors that make it important to use a certified body mechanic. First of all, a certified mechanic will be more familiar with the details and needs of your vehicle. As such, they will be far more likely to do things right the first time. Secondly, taking your car to a non-certified shop can (and probably will) void the warranty. So, unless your warranty doesn’t matter to you at all, you pretty much have to stick with a GM-certified collision shop.
On a lesser note, asking for a GM-certified collision specialist is a good way to filter out the unprofessional choices. Some shops are simply not operating with a high degree of professionalism, and these will almost certainly be non-certified. By demanding to see that collision cert, you can immediately see who is serious and who is not. A shop that isn’t likely to be around in a year or two isn’t going to care about certs, so a lack thereof should be considered as a red flag.
The Importance Of Using The Right Parts
There is another reason that you should avoid non-certified body shops, and it is a very practical one. When you go with a certified shop, you can be sure that they will only use original GM parts. At the very least, they will use parts that have been approved by GM, even if they aren’t 100% original.
On the other hand, many disreputable shops will make use of cheap aftermarket parts to make some extra money. Basically, they charge you for a premium part and then order the cheapest part that they can find. Of course, the cheapest option probably won’t be approved by GM. This allows the crooked mechanic to pocket the extra money that would have been spent on a high-quality part. If you really want to be sure, ask for the part number or product code on any replacement part that your body shop may use.
The Importance Of Using The Right Tools
If you have ever tried to do some DIY mechanic work (particularly on foreign-made cars), you may have noticed that some tasks will require specialized tools. These are what most authorities call “proprietary tools” and that means they are not so easy to acquire. In some cases, you can’t even get the right tools for a repair job unless you are certified by the company that made the car. In other cases, getting the right tools might cost a non-certified mechanic hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, for those who are qualified, it is easier to get those specialized tools and do the job correctly. While it still isn’t cheap, it is a lot more realistic.
You can bet that auto companies do this sort of thing on purpose. They don’t want just anyone working on their vehicles, so they make it difficult for non-certified mechanics to do that work. Some people think that they do this in order to “screw” the customer, but this doesn’t make much sense if you think about the particulars. The auto company doesn’t really make any money by forcing you to visit a mechanic (unless you go to a dealership, which many people will avoid due to the higher costs). In reality, these specialized tools are used to try and filter out substandard mechanic work.
Don’t Trust Your Vehicle To Anyone Else
Here at Elmer’s Auto Body, we only employ the best mechanics that we can find and all of them must be properly certified. If you happen to be within our service area and you need some collision repair, you can stop by anytime and see what we have to offer. We have no problem showing our credentials and certs to any customer, as you have a right to know what kind of people you are hiring. Your vehicle is important to you, and it’s equally important to us.
Right now, you might be asking, “where can I find the best auto body shop near me?” If you are in or around South Jersey, Elmer’s Auto Body shop is the answer to your question. We pride ourselves on doing the most professional work because we value our customers very highly. We understand that a vehicle collision is a traumatic event and that most people simply want to get it behind them. If you would like us to help you do exactly that, feel free to call our shop at (856) 218-0202.