Selecting an auto body shop to provide the body repair you need is not quite as straight forward as buying a car.
When you bought your car, most likely you did a little homework. You were able to…
- Consult consumer reviews
- Check reliability ratings
- Review crash-safety ratings
- Assess the value of features available
- Judge trunk space and legroom
- Test drive models you were interested in
- Get your friends’ opinions
Unfortunately, the best body shop cannot undo your accident. However, there are a few things you can do to help you get a great repair done.
A good body shop can help restore your car to its pre-accident appearance and performance. Your challenge is finding the right auto body shop to do the repair you, and your car, deserve.
Auto Body Shop Factors to Consider In Madison WI
An easy place to see how a body shop and its body repair results stack up is through online reviews. You’ll get a chance to see how satisfied customers react. You will also see an occasional unhappy customer as well. Be sure to consider the reasons unhappy customers are unhappy. Are they being reasonable or are they setting unreachable standards? An auto body repair has many elements and sometimes expectations may not align with reality. If you have a concern, ask the body shop owner or manager. There are often reasonable explanations for poor reviews. You will get a better feel for the body shop in question.
Body Shop Communication with Insurance Company
If your insurance company will be paying for the repair, an articulate body shop that can make a case for needed repairs is important. Can the representative of your body shop provide a clear estimate with proper documentation for each part of the repair? If so, chances are better the body shop will get your repair costs covered by the insurance company.
Experience with Your Model of Car
An experienced body shop is capable of repairing a wide variety of cars. Be sure to ask if the auto body shop you choose has experience repairing your make and model. The fact is, some highly popular domestic car models require unique expertise or even special equipment to complete the body repair.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), is a nonprofit organization that certifies auto mechanics, also tests and certifies auto body repair technicians. ASE’s Collision Repair and Refinish Test Series evaluates mechanics on four types of work –
- Painting and refinishing
- Nonstructural analysis and damage repair
- Structural analysis and damage repair
- Mechanical and electrical system repair.
ASE also tests and certifies individuals for skills in analyzing damage and completing estimates. It is important to note, however, that shops employing certified technicians do not have higher customer-satisfaction levels than shops with no certified technicians. It is good to know what industry standards are. Quality of character and commitment to customer service is very important in the auto body repair industry.
Ask each auto body shop you are considering for your repair to provide proof of current liability insurance and that it is bonded. Another important thing to consider is whether your vehicle will be in a secure area while the auto body repair is being done. Sometimes repair can take multiple days and secure storage is a must.
Source of Parts For the Body Repair
Do not be shy about asking what the source of the parts will be. An auto body shop can use new OEM parts (original equipment manufacturer), aftermarket parts (from independent manufacturers), or used parts. OEM parts are often the most expensive option, which is why insurers often urge shops to use less expensive aftermarket or used parts. Usually, the vehicle owner has the final say. However, depending on the policy, the insurance company may influence the final parts decision.
THE Auto Body Shop Alternative In Madison WI
Auto body repair is difficult to do well. Any blemish shows on the smooth skin of a car and even routine repairs such as patching rust spots or blending paint are challenges. It is an art as much as it is a science. When choosing a body shop, stop by Auto Color to learn about all of the options for your repair. Visit either of our locations in the Madison WI area – on Parmenter Road in Middleton or our Stoughton Road location.
Our convenient locations help us serve surrounding cities including Verona, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Sauk City, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie and Deforest and all of Dane County.
Call Auto Color Middleton at 608-831-9554 or Auto Color East Madison at 608-221-5041 or email us for help with body repair help or body shop selection assistance in Madison WI.