How do I know which body shop is a good facility?

The first indication you can check is if there is two large ventilation stacks coming out of the roof.   This means that your car will be painted in pressurized spray booth booth.   The importance of that is your car will have no dust or dirt imperfections caused by shop contaminants.  It will be same or better than a factory finish.  Another thing to look for is to look for a clean organized facility both outside and inside, it will reflect the kind of work that is done at that shop.

Rental Car Coverage

If you are in an accident, it is always a good idea to have included rental coverage on your policy.   It will pay the rental company for a car for you while yours is being repaired.   Keep in mind that when you are in a rental, your insurance should  cover any damage that may happen to that rental vehicle.  You do not need to purchase additional coverage from the rental company if you do not want to.  Check with your insurance to make sure it will cover damage should that happen.  One thing to remember is that the coverage you have will only cover costs up to the value of your car.  So if you have 2002 Taurus in the shop, and you are renting a 2013 Malibu, the coverage is going to be for the value of the Taurus, not the Malibu.

What is the advantage of waterborne paint

The obvious advantage to waterborne paint is the environment.  It greatly reduces the pollutants  that the alternative solvent paint creates.   It is being required more and more by the EPA, who enforces the laws that oversee the environment and the impact of pollution.  New car manufacturers are now using the waterborne paint on their vehicles.

Waterborne paint also provides a superior color match to cars that are coming off the assembly line with waterborne paint finishes.

What is paintless dent repair

Paintless dent repair or PDR is a method of dent removal that does not require conventional repair or painting.  A PDR technician has special tools that he utilizes to “massage” dents that are from hail or small dings.  It is an alternative repair that is less costly and can be done in a day if the damage lends itself to this type of repair.

What does R&I mean

R & I means remove and install.  For example, if your door is damaged and needs to be repaired and painted,  a good shop will remove  the mirror, the handle and mouldings and clean and scuff the whole panel in preparation for painting.  Some shops tape these parts off, but then the new paint does not get behind these pieces and in the end, your paint will start to peel away around these pieces.  Always insist that parts are R&I’d!

What is the difference between OEM and after market parts

OEM parts are Original Equiment Manufactured parts meaning it is a part that is made by the maker of the auto.  A Ford OEM part is made by Ford Motor Company.  Traditionally, these parts are more expensive than others, but also have the best quality fit and performance for your vehicle.  After Market parts are usually made overseas as copies of OEM parts.  The quality and fit of After Market parts is  always a concern for a shop because the precision of the part can never be assured.   Sometimes, After Market parts are returned and OEM parts ordered because of this issue, and can cause a delay in the completion of the job, frustrating both the customer and the shop. 

Insurance companies very often default to After Market requirements because of the cost factor.  Unfortunately, this is an issue that all shops deal with.  Fortunately, many OEM manufacturers are now matching the After Market pricing to remain competitive.

Do I Need 2 Estimates on Damage?

You pick the shop you want to fix your vehicle.  A good shop will do all the footwork for you with the insurance company.  Don’t be steered to a shop that you do not know.   This is an insurance picked shop that does work at a reduced rate to save the insurance company money.

What happens when my car is totaled in an accident

We had a customer whose car was totaled by the insurance company after an accident.  The customer did not think that the total loss amount was sufficient, so the customer researched prices for comparable cars (same model, condition and mileage) within a 50 mile radius of home.  The customer found after 3 searches that the car was worth more than what was being offered by the insurance company.   When presented with this information and documentation, the insurance company renegotiated the amount and the customer was satisfied.  It’s always a good idea to do your homework.

How do I know the best shop for my car?

Insurance companies sometimes tell you where you should take your car,  but do your homework and take it to the best shop in your area.  The insurance company has to pay for the shop you choose.  A good shop will do the work for you and deal with the insurance company. 

Some insurance companies have contracts with shops at a reduced laborand parts rates, so they want you to go to the shop that costs them the least amount of money.  This is not an owner friendly environment at times.  Owners can luck out and get a very good shop, but you should never have to take that chance.  TAKE YOUR VEHICLE WHERE YOU TRUST THE WORK THAT IS DONE!

 

 

How Do I restore the clarity on my headlights

You wetsand the lens with a 600 grit sandpaper.   You can do this by hand, and it will take a while.  Then go to a 1500 grit sandpaper, this will take out the 600 grit scratches you have created.    You then use a buffing wheel (available at most hardware or automotive stores) and purchase buffing compound.  Put the compound on the buffing pad and buff it until the scratches are removed.  This is not going to be a 5 minute process, but will save you a lot of money and take between 1 and 2 hours to do, depending on the condition of the headlight.  Some headlights are beyond repair and may need replacing.