Did Your Last Auto Body Repair Shop Do a Poor Job?
When picking up your vehicle at the auto body repair shop, take a critical eye on the following areas. The sooner you notice an oversight or poor work, the quicker it can be addressed.
Check the Repaired Areas
It might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to visually inspect the areas of the vehicle that were damaged and that the auto-body shop agreed to fix. We go into what to look for concerning paints and finishing below. But you also need to ensure repairs underneath that surface are complete.
If you aren’t a mechanic, it can be hard to determine if a repair was done well. But even to a layman's eye, a poor job will stand out. A vehicle should not be returned by a repair shop with any of the following issues:
- Panel Gaps: Body panels should fit snugly together without gaps.
- Dents: Fenders, bumpers, and body panels should be smooth with no indentations.
- Asymmetry: Vehicle engineering is based heavily on symmetry. When you look at tire placements and other items, it should be the same across the car.
- Stuck Doors: A tell-tale sign of some frame misalignment is the doors not operating as they should. If they are difficult to open or close, you may have an underlying issue.
Visible Paint Issues
The exterior of your car is the first thing you, or anyone else for that matter, will notice. Most accidents require some level of repainting by the repair shop. And a good auto body shop will take the time and care necessary to make sure that the paint applied fits seamlessly with existing surfaces and is smoothly applied.
Auto body repair shops can be very busy and dusty from all the work going on, which adds an extra layer of difficulty for achieving a paint job without issue. But while matching exact custom tints can be difficult, if you notice any of the following problems with a repaint, it is a sign that they didn’t do a good job.
- Bumps in the Surface: If you notice bumps from dirt and dust that have been painted into or over, it may be signs that the car wasn’t cleaned properly before painting or that they are not using an appropriate air filter.
- Drips and Runs: Large drips and runs are a sure sign of a rushed paint job. They occur when the paint is applied hastily and is too thick of an application.
- Messy Details: Good paint requires prep work and finishing. Painters need to mask off windows and trim, so they don’t get hit accidentally with spray. Molding and trim should be cleaned and buffed, and you shouldn’t see any rough patches from sanding.
- Mismatched Tint or Color: Even with the correct formula matching an existing paint job exactly can be sometimes impossible, which is why this is placed last on the list. However, it shouldn’t be immediately apparent to the eye under most normal lighting conditions.
Depending on when you go to pick up your finished vehicle, the lighting may not be ideal to try and find issues with a repaint. But do your best to give the car a thorough inspection.
As inconvenient as it may be, it is much quicker to identify an issue while the vehicle is still at the shop and have them address it than to get the car home and have to reschedule for additional fixes.
Pay Attention to the Basics
It may seem trite compared to other potential issues, but when you pick up your car, if it isn’t clean, your auto body shop might not have done a good job. We have mentioned repair shops can be dusty and dirty.
A sign of a shop that pays attention to details is one that cleans the car inside and out before returning it to the customer. It should look new when you pick it up.
Long-term Repair Problems
Unfortunately, you might not know a shop did a poor job until you have driven the vehicle for a longer amount of time. Always keep documentation of the shop's work, installed parts, and the warranty for those repairs. If you find yourself with mechanical problems, electronic wiring on the fritz, or misaligned tires within a few months of auto body work, it may have been due to bad repairs.
Selecting a Good Repair Shop
Picking the right auto body repair shop might seem daunting, especially after a traumatic collision. But there are a few things that you can look for that make the selection process easier, good long-term reviews and ASE Certification.
ASE, or Automotive Service Excellence, is an independent certification that technicians can apply for that demonstrates expertise in mechanical repair and professional-level customer service. Using an ASE-certified shop lets you rest easier, knowing technicians will do repairs correctly and that your insurance is more likely to cover the cost.
First Aid Collision
When you need a full-service body shop located in Asheville, look to First Aid Collision. Over the past ten years, our technicians have honed their skills for a wide array of makes and models and have ASE certification. We have an in-house quality control department that ensures repairs are done the first time correctly.
No matter how big or small the damage, we stand by our work with a lifetime warranty on paint and a manufacturer’s warranty on parts. Contact us to get a free estimate on your needed auto bodywork.
See what makes our team unique and get your vehicle back in top shape in no time!