What Consumers Need to Know about Collision Repair
You must need auto body repair or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Whether you were involved in a major accident or simply damaged a side mirror backing out of your garage, there are a few things you should know:
What Are My Auto Body Repair Shop Options?
- Well first let me start by saying, never use the guy in the Walmart parking lot who does quick fixes. Several of his past customers have come to us to correct his “repair” work.
- Your next option is a dealer auto body shop. Beware, they might report the repair to CarFax, because they also sell cars under that business name. If your looking for quality, keep in mind that dealers get work just because they are the dealer and customers assume they know how to repair that brand of cars. Fact is, many dealer auto body shops are not even manufactured certified for collision work by that brand. Interesting…Dealers often operate an auto body shop to generate another profit center, and as a way to sell parts.
- The next option is a corporate owned auto body shop. There are quite a few chains and yes they operate in our valley. These collision repair centers were created to work with the insurance company in exchange for a large volume of work. No one chooses these shops on purpose, they are simply told by the claims representative that this is one of their “preferred” auto body shops. Of course customers think, “well they must do good work, that is why the insurance company is making the referral.” Remember auto insurance is a business and they are watching their expenses. Over the years less independent shops are on the “preferred” list because they refuse to skimp on quality or repair parts that should be replaced.
- Lastly, there are independently owned auto body repair shops. Airpark Collision Center is one of them and has been serving the valley since 2006. Independent auto body shops stay in business only if they do quality collision repairs and depend on loyal customers and referrals. Any independent collision repair center is worth checking out, providing they have up to date equipment and on going training for their technicians. Working in the office of Airpark Collision Center has allowed me to witness insurance adjusters, agents, and service writers from dealers dropping off their car at our collision repair center. I hear things like,”I would never take it to ——— I know you guys will do it right.”
How Can I Trust That I am Getting a Fair Price?
Ok, believe it or not, I actually thought auto body estimators were honest and that giving dishonest quotes was a thing of the past. I pictured an old-fashioned gas station mechanic, inflating the price and saying all these repairs need to be completed when in actuality they were not required. Well, guess what?
We have customers come in weekly and show us quotes from nice looking, “professional” auto body shops and even some dealer collision repair facilities. In one case, a customer walked in and had scratches on his two side doors and quarter panel. Our estimator said let me see if we can polish this out. He got some rubbing compound and the marks disappeared. The customer was thrilled! He said he just came from another auto body repair shop in the area that quoted him $2,500. He was told the three panels had to be repaired and repainted.
Another customer came to us, with a very expensive car. His door was not opening and closing correctly. Our estimator told him, “first we are going to try replacing just the door latch, if that doesn’t work, then we will have to replace more interior door parts.” Again, this customer was paying out of pocket and he was relieved to find out it was just the door latch. He told us how an upscale dealer in town said all the interior door components needed to be replaced!
Where Do I Go From Here?
Well, first off I recommend using an independent auto body shop with a solid reputation. Secondly, get at least two estimates-especially if you are paying out of pocket. If one of the estimates is a lot less, compare the estimates to see if one auto body shop did not include a needed part or repair procedure. Unfortunately, some auto body shops give customers a low price to get your car in the shop. Then they call and say, “your car needs this….” By now its too late your car is disassembled and pretty much stuck. While researching auto body repair shops look to see if they have a lifetime warranty on their work. This provides the consumer added protection.
Why Should I Choose Airpark Collision Center?
Airpark Collision Center has the highest certification in the auto body industry, in addition, we are certified by numerous manufacturers. We use quality products, have the right equipment and our technicians are trained annually. We are honest because we want lifetime customers and their referrals. We work with all insurance companies but won’t be on every “preferred” list because quality repair work is our priority.