Five Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Choosing an auto body shop doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Estimates from different shops will likely fluctuate, sometimes to the point where you wonder if you are getting quotes for the same repair on the same vehicle. Consider these five tips to help guide you in making your decision:

1. Get Multiple Estimates

This one is obvious. Not only will multiple auto body shop quotes give you some idea of the “middle ground,” you’ll feel better knowing that you did your homework and you aren’t simply going with the cheapest… or worse yet, the most costly proposition.

2. Are They Certified and Insured

Do they seem reputable and carry all the appropriate certifications insurance?

Is the location a direct repair facility for your insurance company?

If you are completely new to the facility and going in with very little information on them, check for appropriate licensing hanging on the wall near the register.

Things can go wrong with any repair shop and your vehicle will be living there for a while, so you want to make sure that the repair facility you choose is protected in the event of fire, theft, or natural disaster.

3. Parts and Warranty

What is the warranty on repairs? Depending on whether they are a direct repair facility for your insurance company, you will likely get anywhere between 1 year and a lifetime warranty. Comparing warranties between locations can be a big indicator of the quality of parts and workmanship. You want to hire someone willing to stand by their craft.

Do they use aftermarket or used parts? Used parts don’t necessarily mean quality is bad, but when comparing quotes, you want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If one location is offering used parts and another new, and their estimates are the same, look closer. What is making up the extra cost in the estimate for the shop offering the used parts? The per-hour labor costs may be higher at that particular shop.

What kind of paint matching technology do they use? You want to be sure that they can make an exact match of the paint code for your vehicle, and that they are using a high-quality coating.

4. Reputation

Do they have a good local reputation? Are they part of a social network where you can check for reviews? Ask around to friends and family; almost everyone has used an auto body shop at some point, and you’ll be surprised how much information you can gather by listening to other people’s experiences.

5. Trust Your Gut… and Relax

If you are searching for an auto body shop, you and your car likely just went through a stressful experience. Trust your gut after visiting the location; you want to leave feeling that the customer service seems knowledgeable about their industry and genuine about service. If anything about the experience seems not above board, keep looking, and use the tips above to guide you until you find a professional you can feel good about.

The "Clunker" Bill For Cars – Will This Destroy Many of the American Muscle Cars?

Future generations may not be able to able to shop for cars that are part of their youth like older people can. Most of us can purchase cars that we drove in as teenagers, which are the old classic muscle cars. There is a new bill that has pass the “clunkers” bill this is where the Government will give rebates if you turn in cars that do not get great gas mileage.

 

If you trade in a “clunker” for a newer car that gets better gas mileage you may qualify for that rebate.

 

What they consider a clunker is a gas-guzzler which is a vehicle that gets less than 18 MPG. This would cover many vehicles SUV’s, Trucks, and muscle cars. This could cover many of the classic vehicles and the vehicles that may be considered classic in a few years off the roads permanently.

 

Cars are part of our history. Cars have always held a soft spot in many of our heats and souls, what will happen to these vehicles that they consider clunkers? In order for this bill to pass, the dealers would have to crush them and get the clunkers off the roads. This bill is designed to replace the old model cars which they are hoping will be 1984 or later with the newer fuel efficient vehicles which will get better fuel mileage. This will take off the road many dependable vehicles that are not only classics but will be desirable in the future as vehicles that are sought after for collectors of automobiles.  

Help the Environment With Auto Body Repairs

We all live, breathe, eat, sleep, and enjoy our lives on the planet earth. Even though we do so much here and depend so greatly on our earth we continue to harm it by harming the environment. There are many things that we can do to help the environment and keep it clean for a long time. Things like not wasting water, recycling, not cutting down trees, not polluting the earth and getting auto body repairs. Yep, you heard right! You should get auto body repairs versus replacements parts or new vehicles to help the environment. Helping the environment is easy, find out how you can do your part by getting auto body repairs!

You are probably surprised that auto body repairs help the environment. Well, they do. Auto body repairs involve using the existing materials on the vehicle and repairing them. With means there is less trash to go to the dump. Whereas with auto body replacement there is a lot of waste going to the dump from the old part being thrown away and the packaging that the new parts come in. Also most auto body shops recycle what materials they do have to discard, which is a big help and keeps a lot of build up at the dumps. In case you don’t know there are many auto body repairs that can be completed on all vehicles. Some of these repairs include paint touch up, auto body repair, bumper repair, windshield repair, wheel rim repair, paintless dent removal and more. Also another plus with auto body repairs is that they can be completed quickly, usually within two to six hours. The best part is that they are affordable for most people and auto body shops will work with insurance companies. Make sure that you choose an auto body shop who is part of the “Go Green” campaign and that it is doing their part to help the environment.

Also, if you are thinking of getting a new vehicle because your current vehicle has a few damaged areas, you should reconsider. With so many different auto body repairs that can be completed there is no reason to just give up on it and get a new vehicle. Many times old vehicles end up in the dump if no one will buy them. So many cars go to the junk yard and the dump too soon. So, getting auto body repairs will keep less vehicles from being sent the dump too soon and filling it up. Also remember that new cars cost a lot of money. Auto body repairs can cost you some money out of your wallet, but not nearly as much as buying a new vehicle.

So, join everyone else with the “Go Green” campaign and do your part to help the environment! Doing something as simple as getting auto body repair instead of replacement. You will not only be helping the environment but you will be saving money and get your vehicle looking great for less!

When to Replace Brake Pads

Worn brake pads can adversely impact your ability to bring your car to a halt. This can be especially dangerous in an emergency situation when adequately working brakes are a must to help you stop your car promptly. There are some telltale signs of pending brake problems; do you know what they are? Awareness of a problem is the key to avoiding potential harmful consequences; let’s examine some well known warning signs.

Signs of pending brake trouble include the following:

  • Squealing brakes
  • Pulling of the car from one side to the other
  • Wheel grabs
  • Brake pedal pumping
  • Sudden and hard brake pedal
  • Spongy brake pedals
  • Grinding of the brakes

    While some of these problems may necessitate you replacing other brake components, an inspection of your brake pads should reveal that they are worn and are in need of immediate replacement.

    Your next course of action depends on your expertise, your time, and on your wallet. Most garages offer a free brake inspection and this can be a wonderful opportunity to have someone else inspect your system to confirm your findings.

    Ask your mechanic for a complete diagnosis of your brake system and an estimate on what parts and repairs will cost you. A good garage will give you a print out showing a fairly close estimate of what your costs will be. Throw in your local taxes and the price quoted should be within 95% of the final cost, barring an unforeseen additional problem being detected [for example, brake master cylinder failure].

    If you feel reasonably confident that you can do the work yourself, you stand to save yourself plenty of money, at least in labor costs. You can save money with parts, too, by shopping around; the highest prices you pay will likely be through your dealer’s parts department. Prices at a national auto parts supply store should be lower, while prices through an online wholesaler should be about the lowest available as they purchase directly from the manufacturer.

    If you decide to purchase online, only obtain parts from a reputable dealer selling parts from trusted manufacturers. Be careful of those sites selling generic parts from overseas merchants. Make sure that you can return what you purchase, if needed, to address in based in the U.S.