After a car accident, making difficult decisions is the last thing you want to do. Not a lot of people can deal with the trauma of being in an accident, worrying about repair costs, and ensuring that you and your passengers are unharmed.
Knowing whether your repairs will be handled by a body shop or a repair shop can make things easier. This seemingly insignificant detail can make or break how smoothly the process goes and how much it ultimately costs you.
The best place to start is to know what each of them actually do, and what they have to offer. This way, you can make a more informed decision on what your vehicle actually needs.
What are Auto Body Shops?
Auto Body shops, on the other hand, deal extensively with damage or flaws to the vehicle’s body: the frame, windshield, windows, roof, doors, fenders, bumpers, hood, trunk, and so on. They also work on the restoration of body panels, paint jobs, and other aesthetics, and they occasionally work on the vehicle’s frame as well.
Technicians in this field of expertise do more than just inspect and replace parts. They also consider damage to the entire vehicle and use a holistic approach to ensure that the vehicle looks and runs exactly as it did before the collision.
Common Auto Body Shop Services
Dents and other surface imperfections can quickly worsen, so take care of them as soon as possible after an accident. These flaws can be corrected immediately when identified and addressed with professional dent repair. Dent repair is a meticulous procedure that necessitates the services of a skilled technician. During this operation, the technician meticulously manipulates precise spots of metal to the correct height. This is frequently done from the inside of the panel, using metal roads and body picks to massage out the dents and restore the panel to its original condition.
Paint can be damaged due to poor quality or from outside sources. The severity of this defect can vary greatly, but in the majority of cases, paint repair can often solve the problem.
Sanding down the affected area to remove any scratches is usually the first step in the paint repair process. Typically, two coats of primer (or base coat) are applied, followed by a smoothing pass over the affected area. It is then refinished, sanitized, and after the primer has dried, a layer of clear coat is applied for both aesthetic and paint protection.
Windshield repair is no small joke. A crack or even a minor chip in your car’s windshield can dramatically impair your driving experience. Windshield cracks and chips are not only unsightly, but also dangerous.
In order to restore the integrity of the glass and improve its beauty, a transparent, curable resin is injected into the outer layer of the glass. The resin is then cured and polished, resulting in a smooth surface and preventing the crack or chip from spreading and causing further damage.
Bumper and Fender Repair
Dings, scrapes, dents, and scratches on your bumper detract from your vehicle’s curb appeal and worth. Furthermore, it degrades your vehicle’s first-line defense in the event of a collision or a vehicular accident. Bumpers are there to protect you and your passengers in your car. If your bumper is damaged, its ability to protect you is jeopardized.
The car’s bumper cover must be removed during the repair process. After it has been detached, any flaws are removed or sanded down to create a smoother surface. Following the removal and repair of all flaws, the technicians begin the painting process. Only after the paint has completely dried and become safe to handle will it be reinstalled on the car.
After a car accident, auto body shops are concerned with restoring your vehicle to its pre-collision condition. The majority of these shops are concerned with your vehicle’s aesthetics, such as its overall appearance and body balance. Repairs to the engine, as well as other mechanical and electrical components, are usually excluded.
Rather than maintenance, auto body work is reserved for repairs or upgrades. As a result, it isn’t the best place to take your car for routine maintenance. When your car requires oil changes, tire rotations, engine flushes, or other preventive and corrective maintenance, it’s best to make an appointment with an auto repair shop.
However, because auto body shops sometimes provide services that overlap with auto repair shops, it’s still a good idea to know what services are being provided in case of an emergency or if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident.
Where Do You Go After an Accident?
Larger auto body shops, as previously stated, usually have an in-house mechanic who can deal with damage to the car’s internal components. When these shops assess the collision’s body damage, they also look for more serious internal damage. They can do both interior and exterior repairs at the same time if something needs to be fixed.
As a general rule, take your car to an auto body shop rather than an auto repair shop after an accident. This will save you the trouble of having to take your car to a different shop and pay a different price to have the external damage repaired. If your local auto body shop does not offer these additional services, they can help you get your vehicle in a state where auto repair shops can apply their services more quickly and easily.
What are Auto Repair Shops?
An auto repair shop is a place that specializes in mechanical and electrical repairs. They handle all repairs and maintenance on the vehicle’s internal components, such as changing the oil in a car, repairing faulty electrical systems, and repairing combustion engines.
Mechanics at auto repair shops have knowledge of the vehicle’s more delicate components as well as the ability to restore them to working order if they are damaged. If you suspect that some parts of your vehicle are faulty, you can have them checked at an auto repair shop. This can include suspicious engine noises, malfunctioning vehicle lights, and even problems with your dashboard.
Common Auto Repair Shop Services
Oil changes are similar to regular checkups in a sense that they help keep your vehicle healthy. Engine oil degrades and wears out over time. When this happens, it loses its ability to lubricate the engine and absorb heat.
During this process, the old oil in a vehicle’s engine is removed and replaced with new, fresh oil. Typically, the engine oil filter is also changed at the same time. This can result in better gas mileage, less engine wear, and a longer engine life span overall.
Your car may feel like it’s pulling to one side at times, causing you to struggle to drive in a straight line. If this sounds familiar, it means that something in your car needs to be aligned as soon as possible.
The process of aligning a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects the vehicle to its wheels – is known as alignment. It is not simply an adjustment of the tires or wheels, as most people believe. An alignment involves placing a vehicle on a rack and adjusting the wheels to ensure that they are properly aligned to your vehicle, driving preferences, and manufacturer recommendations.
Tire rotation is the process of changing the position of each tire on your vehicle on a regular basis. Doing so also allows you to visually inspect them for damage, check the air pressure, have them rebalanced if you notice any vibration, and inspect its tread depth.
The rubber on a tire’s circumference that makes contact with the road or the ground is commonly referred to as tread. By rotating your tires, you can ensure that wear is distributed evenly across all four tires and that their tread life is maximized.
Furthermore, even tread wear keeps your tires’ tread depth uniform, which can aid in maintaining consistent traction and handling across all four tires. This critical factor will improve cornering and braking performance while also making your vehicle safer to drive in general.
The repair or replacement of auto brake parts, such as brake pads, rotors, or calipers, is known as brake repair. In this process, brake fluid will be inspected for proper level and moisture content.
Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that is used in a vehicle’s brake and clutch applications. It is in charge of converting force into pressure and amplifying braking force. Every couple of years, brake fluid should be changed to ensure that the brake performance isn’t reduced due to boiling caused by water saturation.
The brake caliper, caliper pins, and sliders will also be inspected and, if necessary, replaced. This will not only keep your vehicle’s braking system operating at peak efficiency, but will also extend the life of your braking system and keep you safe.
The electrical system in your car is a complex network that demands the use of specialized diagnostic equipment for thorough servicing. The electrical system is essential to the operation of a vehicle and provides power to a variety of components such as the alternator, starter, and battery. The electrical system of each vehicle differs depending on its age, make, and model.
If you hear grinding, clicking, or no sound when starting your vehicle, or if your vehicle’s dashboard lights aren’t working properly, it’s best to schedule an appointment with an auto repair shop as soon as possible to have your problem diagnosed and repaired.
Believe it or not, auto repair shops, or mechanics, are not trained to repair every component of your vehicle. They are only truly qualified to evaluate the inner workings of your vehicle, including components and related parts that wear out during normal driving, such as the engine, brakes, wheels, and axles, and so on.
The main benefits of visiting an auto repair shop are preventive and corrective maintenance of a vehicle. When your car is involved in a collision or other serious accident, you should contact an auto body shop because they specialize in exterior repairs and restoration.
It isn’t a question of who is better at what job. Both auto repair mechanics and auto body technicians have extensive experience and training in their respective fields. While there is some overlap between the fields, they are not interchangeable.
How Do You Find A Reputable Shop?
So you’ve finally decided what kind of service your car requires. The next most important question is: how do you locate a reputable shop that you can trust to get your vehicle back to near-perfect condition as soon as possible? You also want to work with trustworthy professionals who charge fairly for their services. Where do you look for such a place? Here are the first things to think about:
Do Your Research
If you take the time to research about the shop you intend to go to, you can avoid a lot of mistakes. Examine the track record of the company performing the repairs. Ask questions like, “How long have they been in business?” and Do they have a proven track record and can you contact them for references?”
Additionally, you can seek advice from your family and friends on their opinion regarding this matter. Take into account their recommendations, feedback, and comments when selecting a service provider. This will give you an idea of how the repairs will be carried out, and whether it is or isn’t right for you.
Expanding on the previous note, it is good to be aware if you have any friends or family members who have recently had their vehicle’s bodywork done. These people are an excellent resource for locating a reputable service. Their knowledge will help you narrow down your choices and determine which companies are trustworthy and which ones were less than accommodating.
Reputable companies also provide you with information on prices and schedules, and make these particular tidbits of information easily accessible. It is best to look elsewhere if they take a long time to respond. The certificates of most body shops are displayed on the walls as well, and this can indicate whether they have valid licenses or credentials. These documents also show when the body shop first opened for business and whether they have won any service awards, which can be a deciding factor in your selection process.
Read Customer Reviews
Even if one friend had a positive experience in their repair process, the larger opinion may not always be the same. Look through their online moving reviews as you consider potential companies to get a broader perspective on the shop.
It’s always a good idea to look at online reviews and ratings. However, you can’t always trust what you read on the internet. Businesses can easily collect fake reviews or report poor ratings and have them removed. Furthermore, many companies cherry-pick which reviews appear on their websites, ensuring that you only see the positive feedback!
In the end of the day, an auto body or auto repair shop‘s goal is to get you back on the road safe, sound, and happy. Good mechanics and body shops are just as concerned about your car as you are — both involving the quality of work put in, and the value of the experience overall. Every job puts the mechanics’ and technicians’’ reputations on the line, as well as their names on the work. The end result should always be high-quality work, and having the right people on your team can make all the difference.
Anchor Auto Body places a premium on the level of care that you and your vehicle should receive. Hear what Julie M. has to say about our services:
“Tom and his crew at Anchor Auto Body made the process of having my car repaired very easy for me, once they had the car the worked with my insurance and handled everything. They kept me updated on the status if repair and when my car would be ready. After getting car back we noticed something was off when we did the oil change and Tom had me take the car back in and he checked it and even put it on the lift and had us go back with him to see what we were talk8ng about, come to find out the car had been in an accident previously that I was unaware of since I only had car for 3 months. Tom was very helpful and I appreciate him taking the time to show us what was wrong and it had nothing to do with why my car was there to start with. Thank you Anchor Auto Body for such good work and going the extra mile.”
In addition to that and to put your mind at ease, our expert technicians are always available to answer any questions you may have about our services and methods. Looking to learn more our other services? Contact us today at (408) 737-8673 and set up a free appointment and quote — because you deserve only the very best.
Read our blog on “Windshield Woes: Do I Repair Or Replace My Damaged Windshield?” here