Monthly Archives: September 2018

Find An Auto Body Shop

How to find an auto body shop with Body shop 101: Taking the stress out of post-accident repairs
(ARA) – No one wants an accident to happen. But chances are at some point you’ll wind up in a fender bender that requires repairs at an automotive collision center. The common misconception about post-collision auto body work is that the insurance company dictates where the claim’s repairs will occur. This isn’t the case. In fact, it’s the owner’s responsibility to choose where the repairs will be done.

“Don’t wait until you need to find a body shop,” says Craig Williams, director of OEM Global Marketing and Services for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Investigate several body shops before you find yourself in that kind of stressful situation.”

And, as with any business segment, there are some collision repair centers that are better than others. Knowing your options ahead of time is a good thing.

“There’s still no better recommendation than word of mouth, so be sure to start your search by asking friends and family for recommendations of good collision centers or ones they would not recommend,” Williams adds.

A local consumer organization, such as the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List, can provide insight into the quality of facilities you are considering. Ask about the number of complaints, if any, and also inquire as to how the complaints were resolved.

“The Better Business Bureau is a great resource,” says Johnny Mock, owner of Johnny Mock Auto Body in Turtle Creek, Pa., near Pittsburgh. “If a shop has numerous complaints, you know it’s one you should avoid.”

Another good source is Automobile Association of America. “AAA will only put a business on their approved list if it meets a certain high level of customer satisfaction,” says DeLee Powell, president of Baker’s Collision Repair Specialists in Mansfield, Ohio. “The approval process is pretty stringent.”

Next, be sure to visit any shops that you are considering, keeping these three factors in mind: cleanliness, readiness and presentation. A premier collision center will be neat, well-organized and have modern equipment.

“You should feel comfortable the minute you walk into a body shop,” Powell advises. “You immediately should feel like it is a place that can properly repair your vehicle.”

“Ask for a tour of the shop and take a good look around,” says Mock, a former BodyShop Business Executive of the Year recipient. “Is the shop clean and neat? What does the quality of work look like? Is the person giving the tour proud of what they are showing you?”

A professionally run collision center also should have a courteous staff who is willing to answer important questions. Some key ones to ask include the following:
* Do you have experience handling the make/model of my car?
* Do you have experience working with my insurance carrier?
* How long does a repair take?
* What kind of training and certifications do your technicians have?
* Will I be able to track the progress of my repair online and/or will you keep me updated on a regular basis?
* What kind of technology do you use in your shop?

The latest equipment in alignment systems, diagnostics and painting technology signifies a tech savvy shop. Believe it or not, the painting system a body shop uses is one of the most important facets of a repair.

“Factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints, and without the use of sophisticated techniques and training, high-tech factory finishes cannot be duplicated successfully,” Williams says. “Be sure the body shop you select has invested in the finest, most advanced painting system available and takes pride in its ability to match factory finishes. A bad paint finish will detract from any other well-done repairs.”

Mock suggests holding a discussion with shop management about what you can expect. Make sure they follow an internal quality control checklist when you come to pick up your car. Management should include items such as paint match, door gaps and even cleanliness of the car on their checklists.

“You want to find a shop that is helpful in taking the stress out of the situation,” Mock says. “The expense of vehicles today is immense, and if you do have an accident, you want to be confident that the body shop you select will put your vehicle back into its pre-accident condition. The idea that a car that has been in an accident will never be the same is a misconception. A quality body shop can restore it to pre-accident condition.”

 

How Many Scratches Will You Get

How many scratches will you get this summer? What hurts more? Scratches on your car or scratches on your skin…many car enthusiasts will say it’s the scratches on the body and windows of their cars that hurt more. Find out hwo to protect your car’s exterior finishes from unsightly scratches.

(NC)—For auto enthusiasts, the scratches you get from hiking through the woods or slipping on the rocks at the cottage are minor in comparison. The worst summer scratches are the ones you get on your car every time you load in (or on) the canoe, the camping gear, the bikes – or even just the suitcases.

And cars are only part of the summer scratch story. Imagine what your boat goes through every summer? The wear and tear on things like the cluster gauges, plastic handles and plastic chrome trims, takes away from the beauty and value of your boat. And those scratched windows are unsightly and can even be dangerous if they reduce your visibility.

No matter your sport, our active Canadian summers can wreak havoc on your paint and acrylic finishes. Experts don’t hesitate to tell us the truth:

1. Every car and boat will get scratched, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

2. The most common way to scratch your car is by doing it yourself with cheap soaps or detergents that don’t properly lift dirt.

3. Professional repair could cost anywhere from $200 – $1200 or more.

4. Scratches will instantly devalue your vehicle or boat, which will cause you to lose money on the future sale (or a lease return of a car).

5. Most scratch removers just cover up or temporarily clean scratches and do not work on scratches deep enough to feel with your fingernail.

Scratch Solutions

Ugly scratches are unavoidable over time, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Expert detailers agree that by following a few easy steps, you can minimize scratches and easily fix the ones you already have.

1. Examine the paint surface frequently.

2. Use only high quality products. Avoid using dish soap, which can only aggravate and cause scratches.

3. Innovation brings us permanent fixes, too, like products from Quixx. Autos will benefit from the High Performance Paint Scratch Remover. Boat surfaces respond especially well to the Headlight Lens Restoration Kit.

Vehicle Safety Items

It’s crunch time and if you’re still struggling with what to give a loved one, family member or friend this holiday season, the perfect gift can be an item related to vehicle safety. Tire pressure gauges, ice scrapers, emergency kits, windshield wipers or the consumer Car Care Guide, published by the Car Care Council, are suitable items for any drivers on your list.

“These small and relatively inexpensive items play a big role in vehicle safety and reliability especially during winter driving when road conditions can be hazardous and unpredictable,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “They’re a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday gift that shows the drivers on your list that you truly care about them this holiday season.”

Low tire pressure and windshield wipers were among the top six items that had the highest failure rate during National Car Care Month check-up events. Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month as properly inflated tires are critical to the vehicle’s ride, handling, traction and safety. For optimum performance, wiper blades should be replaced every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.

An emergency road kit is something that can be easily compiled or purchased. A kit should include an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, candles/matches, bottled water and dry food snacks.