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.
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.