The event of an accident can be very stressful. Finding the right Auto Body Shop can be just as excruciating, I hope to alleviate most of your worries in this article explaining what makes a good (if not great) Auto Body Shop, and how you can find the one that’s right for you.
The best auto collision shops are determined by the quality of work/materials that are applied, and the timeliness of the overall job. Quality can be separated by two different attributes (1) parts/materials and (2) labor. The quality of factory OEM parts far exceeds that of the aftermarket kind. Sure aftermarket products are cheaper, but that’s what’s also happening to your vehicle it’s being “cheapened.” Simply put the materials used are of poor quality, this problem magnifies with misshapen parts due to terrible molds. A good shop will avoid this route by any means necessary. With a factory OEM part the vehicle owner is maintaining the value of their automobile, along with its structural durability. The bondo, primer, and paint needed to repair your vehicle should be of the highest quality in order to produce the best resulting finished product. Most auto body shops have converted to water-based environmentally safe painting, and only a good body shop will offer a lifetime guarantee on these paint jobs.
The quality of labor is a significant factor in a vehicle’s finished result. Starting with properly trained technicians who should be certified in their field of automotive work (iCar, PPG, etc.). Their experience plays a bigger role as well, for example we have employees with various related backgrounds in mechanics, engineering, and custom fabrication. This helps out when rapid knowledge is needed regarding a vehicle with custom modifications. A good collision repair shop will also have knowledge in all major automobile models including old and new.
A shop’s slow repair process can sometimes be unintentional. Insurance companies are required to pay within 10 days after a claim receipt has been made, but this isn’t always the case; Insurance companies avoid payment by evading phone calls to “wear you out”. A good shop will stand up for their customer, and deal directly with the insurance. This is not to be confused with a “direct repair shop” or a “preferred provider” shop that works with the insurance to save them money and devalue your vehicle with aftermarket parts in order to secure work for themselves. A good shop will advocate for their customer against the insurance company in order to receive optimum repair coverage for your vehicle. Once the correct claim estimate is fashioned a well-established body shop will order the parts needed to repair the vehicle as soon as possible. It is important to do this right away to keep from back orders, shipping delays, or any other problems that can occur (like the wrong part showing up). The overall turnaround time is determined by the amount of work needed for the vehicle, delays caused by insurance and parts companies, and the effectiveness of the auto collision repair shop.
A great way to determine how effective an Auto Body Shop operates is to use review sites. Yelp is a great way to see how well a collision repair shop is doing. You will most likely be able to verify a business’s time or quality based off of reviews created for that specific shop. Another way to find reviews regarding a shop is to use Facebook or Google Reviews. Although these sites aren’t as reputable as yelp (due to superior algorithm functions), they can give you more perspective of how well that specific collision repair shop is doing. Try to use your best judgment, and don’t always trust every review. Remember you have the choice to choose the body shop you want! Don’t be steered by your insurance company or anyone else. Do the research and educate yourself, and I promise you will be satisfied with your newly repaired vehicle.
If you are enthusiastic about Jeeps love reading up about them, you might have often wondered what ‘JK’ stands for. Simply put, JK is a code that internationally famous brand Jeep uses to identify some of its vehicles.
Why the Code ‘JK’?
The code ‘JK’ has not been just assigned by Jeep without any kind of thought. Jeep has been creating the best off-roading vehicles for a long time now, and their vast range of vehicles are not designed all the same. To help them, and more importantly their customer to identify their vehicles better in case they have a requirement for certain parts of the vehicle, the code ‘JK’ was assigned to all the vehicles that were manufactured between 2007-2017.
The code is also backed up by the vehicle design specifications that Jeep have followed during the manufacture of their JK Wranglers. Most JK vehicles manufactured by Jeep look quite similar to each other in their original form. Of course, there might be differences between a regular JK Wrangler and a heavily customized one, but in essence and in shape, all JK Jeeps look alike.
Advantages of the ‘JK’ Coding System
- Easier to Find Parts: Many other vehicle manufacturers often go with complicated coding systems that make it difficult to search for their parts in the market. It doesn’t matter if you go to an established store in your neighborhood, or search online for the parts you need; what good is any of it if you cannot identify the parts that you really need? Four-wheeler details are quite intricate, and you can’t really take a chance on parts that would not fit your Jeep, can you?
- Time Saver at Stores: When you go to a store that sells vehicle parts, you might often have to provide the storekeepers a ton of details before they exactly understand what you precisely need. However, with the JK coding system used by Jeep, it isn’t any problem if you happen to own a Jeep JK model. Simply say ‘JK’, and the storekeeper can start helping you without wasting any more time.
- Helps to Distinguish from Other Product Ranges: The ‘JK’ coding system extends only, and only to the vehicles manufactured by Jeep between 2007 and 2017. The newest Wrangler models, slated to be released sometime in 2018, would be assigned the code ‘JL’. So, this kind of coding system makes it easy to distinguish between the JK product range and previous and later ranges of vehicles.
No Space for Confusion
On first glance, you might not find the code ‘JK’ on the surface of the jeep. In fact, there is no mention of the code on the surface. All you probably might see is ‘Polar Edition’, ‘Rubicon’, and ‘Wrangler’. While this might lead to some confusion, it really is quite simple. No matter what edition of a jeep you own, Rubicon or Wrangler, if it was made in the 2007-2017 period, it is a JK!
Transmissions can sometimes be very costly to repair if they require a complete rebuild. When they require a rebuild, you are often asked to spend quite a bit of money to have a problem fixed that you probably don’t understand very well.
Transmission Repair Cost
Getting an accurate price quote for a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission is important. There are many different types of transmissions and each type requires different parts and different rebuild kits.
When a transmission requires an overhaul, there are generally three options that you have. The first is to remove your existing transmission and rebuild it, then put the same, newly rebuilt unit back in your car. The second option is to replace your existing unit with a remanufactured transmission. The third is to replace your existing unit with a used transmission.
Rebuild / Rebuilt Transmission
In an overhaul typically done at a transmission shop (also known as rebuilding a transmission), the transmission is removed from the vehicle and completely disassembled with the parts laid out on a workbench. Each hard part is inspected for wear and damage and then either cleaned in a special cleaning solution, or replaced with another part depending on its condition. Parts that have friction surfaces, such as bands and clutches are replaced as are all seals and gaskets. The torque converter is also replaced, usually with a remanufactured one. Upgrades are typically performed to fix any original design defects from the year of manufacture. Automobile manufacturers often make upgrade kits available to transmission shops to resolve these design defects.
The remanufacturing process brings a transmission back to as “new” as possible (original equipment). Most internal transmission parts are replaced and any worn parts are brought back to original production specifications. Technical service bulletins are checked and performed. The remanufactured transmission is fully tested and usually comes with a 3 year or longer warranty. There are several brands of remanufactured transmissions sold by auto parts stores and repair shops.
Used / Junkyard Transmissions
Used transmissions normally have high miles and no guarantees. Added to that, the exact make, model, engine size and computer coded transmission has to be installed in your vehicle. Many times, you will be responsible for the labor costs (several hundred dollars) and fluid costs (around $50) of removal and reinstallation if the first unit does not work properly. For every unit that does not work properly, the costs of installing a junkyard unit will double. If the unit is found to have high mileage (there is no way to tell), the unit will fail at any time.
Choosing An Option
When choosing an option, try to be as informed as possible. There are many honest transmission shops and remanufactured transmission companies. But just remember one last piece of information: “Cheaper is not always better”.