Whether a collision repair is for a simple fender bender or involves major work, like a crushed door or crumpled hood, you want choose a shop that can return the vehicle to its original shape. Here are some tips to help you figure out which shops should be at the top of your list for repair work.
Skills of the Collision Repair Shop
Verify the shop is clean. Overflowing trash cans and tools splayed all over the shop doesn’t provide a professional appearance. A proficient collision shop will be organized and clean with helpful employees. Also look at the type of cars they are repairing, are they all old cars or farm equipment? You want someone who works on the latest models and trusted with high dollar cars.
An employee should be willing to explain the repair process and answer any questions you may have. Ask about replacement parts and if the shop uses original or non-original parts. You may have a choice of what parts you want used and non-original parts may cost less. In some cases, if the vehicle is over 10 years old, original parts may no longer be offered. However, this is information you want upfront.
ICAR Trained Employees and ASE Certified
Ask if employees are ICAR trained. This stands for Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. It means an employee has attended courses that will improve their ability to work on collision repairs. ASE certified stands for National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. This means the employee has taken certification tests in areas like structural repair and paint refinishing. The collision repair shop should have ICAR and ASE certificates hung within the shop for easy viewing by the public. If you don’t see these certificates, ask about them. The more certifications the shop’s employees have, the better service you’ll receive.
Vehicle Repair Estimates
The body repair shop will provide an estimate for the repair work. The estimate is only an approximation of the total cost, but the final bill shouldn’t stray too far from it. While your insurance company may question the estimates, be sure to speak your mind. Let the insurance company know if you consider one shop’s professionalism to be superior. Having your vehicle repaired structurally may leave you anxious. However, knowing the repair shop fixing your vehicle is professional and has knowledgeable employees will make the experience less nerve-wracking.