Collision repair centers have become more advanced over the years, now capable of fixing a wide range of issues. Most repair centers today can handle body damage, wheel alignments, frame damage, and glass replacements. If the damage is major, the shop can even replace a body panel with a new one.
What Does a Collision Repair Specialist Do?
Visiting a collision repair center is your first step in getting your car repaired. From there, you’ll meet with a specialist who will handle all aspects of the repair process. They’ll prepare a damage report, deal with your insurance company, and get to work on fixing your car. Really, your only job is to find a capable shop at a good price.
How Do I Estimate Collision Repair Costs?
Receiving your final estimate will require a hands-on inspection. However, there are a couple of ways to estimate your costs beforehand. Larger collision repair centers such as Caliber and Service King offer an online approach. Both nationwide brands actually allow you to submit images of your car’s damage for a free estimate.
Another option would be to call shops directly. Over the phone, you can describe damages for a rough estimate. Calling multiple shops will also allow you to compare prices and get to know the people responsible for fixing your daily driver.
At the end of the day, you will still have to take your car into a shop for a final inspection. In some cases, surface damage is only the beginning. More serious concerns could be lying beneath such as engine, frame, or suspension damage. A collision repair specialist will have to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before giving you a final estimate.
What Does the Collision Repair Process Involve?
The first step in the collision repair process is to find a local repair center. You can use Google Maps to find a list of all shops in your area and give them a call. Be sure to look for the highest-rated shop with good customer service.
Before any sort of repair work can begin, an inspection of your vehicle needs to be done. A certified technician will look over all damages and come up with a custom plan for repair. The damage report and repair estimate will be sent to your insurance company by the shop asking for their approval to begin.
At this point, the collision center will order any parts necessary and begin to take your car apart. While waiting for the new parts, any minor damage, such as small dents, gets worked on. When the new parts finally arrive, your car is put back together.
If you’re worried about improper paint matching, it’s safe to say that’s an issue of the past. A lot of collision repair centers now pride themselves in using manufacturer-approved colors, completely hiding the prior damage.
After any touch-ups, the repair process ends with you taking delivery of your recently repaired car. There, you should receive a report of all the repairs done alongside any notes that the technicians might have.
At this point, you should do a walkthrough of the vehicle yourself and present any questions about the repair. If your vehicle is good to go, you can drive off knowing that your car is once again road-worthy and safe.