Your car’s been left alone for weeks due to repairs, but now it’s ready to be claimed at the body shop. All that’s left to do is take care of the payment or balance due and the vehicle is yours again. But how do you verify that the technicians took care of everything that needed fixing—even the parts not immediately visible?
Perhaps the best way to guarantee your car’s proper restoration is by choosing a certified, reputable collision repair shop. Verified reviews, recommendations, licenses, awards—all these will speak of the shop’s talent, customer service, warranties, etc. However, no matter how glowing the reviews, you should still inspect the work done to your car before driving back home.
Below are important things to consider when examining your car after a collision repair job.
The exterior of your car matters a lot. When you go to pick up your car, you should immediately be able to tell that it was washed, cleaned, and vacuumed. You should not see any dust or dirt in the surface, and tools or old parts—if any—shouldn’t be in the trunk.
Why is this process important? Body shops can be very dirty, so workers must take extra precautions to keep the vehicles clean. This shows that the car has been taken care of during its time in the body shop.
Paint jobs are a part of collision repair, and therefore are a fair metric for assessment. Many factory paint jobs produce a texture similar to an orange peel. Whether it’s an effect you want on your car or not, it’s a pretty standard result with factory production. However, body shops might find it difficult to duplicate.
Experts suggest you arrange to pick up your vehicle from the body shop during the day. Try looking at the car in the sunlight if possible. By doing so, you can check if the new paint matches the original finish and shade of your vehicle.
If you had several panels repainted after the collision, inspect the side of your car for color consistency. You also need to examine the paint job to see if there are any imperfections (i.e. specks of dirt) or runs in the surface.
There are instances when an issue with the repair shows up only months later. It’s very common to see the front tires of a car to wear unevenly. If you encounter this problem, it could be caused by a front suspension that has not been correctly repaired.
A legitimate and capable collision repair body shop will stand by their work. As long as you are within the warranty period, the shop will take care of the problem for you. Simply find your paperwork and receipt for the job, bring it back to the shop, and show the manager the wear pattern of your tire. The issue should be fixed under the warranty.
Carefully examining these three physical features ensures that the collision repair job was properly performed. And before approving the work, test drive your vehicle to see if there are any changes in the performance. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to ask a technician at the body shop what could be wrong.