There are some similarities between being an auto mechanic and an autobody repair professional, at least insofar as both are directly related to restoring vehicles to good operating condition. However, most of the similarities end there, since an auto mechanic is much more concerned with vehicle operation and efficiency of all the parts which make up a motor vehicle.
An autobody repair specialist, on the other hand, is much more concerned with the aesthetics of a vehicle, since most vehicles coming to a repair shop will have been involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident. In some cases, the exterior damage is relatively mild and doesn’t require a great deal of effort, but in other cases, severe damage will have been done to the body of the vehicle.
Several techniques will be necessary to restore a vehicle to its former condition, for instance removing dents, repairing internals, and repainting or refinishing to achieve a look that is close to new. In some cases, auto body repair is necessary for vehicles that have been neglected over a long time, and which may have rusted out in certain areas.
Generally speaking, however, an autobody repair technician will be responsible for repairing the alignment of the vehicle as well as its body panels, and then refinishing it when bodywork has been completed. To make the vehicle look like new again after having been damaged, it’s often necessary to apply sand, filler, and fresh paint to restore that original look the vehicle had. Some kinds of auto body repair work are done on vintage or classic cars, and this can be just as painstaking as any other type of car, especially since these kinds of cars are often displayed in shows and other events.
For the most part, automotive service technicians, or car mechanics as they are popularly known, will be responsible for handling mechanical issues which usually aren’t visible, but are very noticeable when a car is not functioning correctly. This could be anything from repairing and installing brakes to changing spark plugs and tuning up an engine so that it can run smoothly.
There are also tons of potential problems that could arise under the hood, given the fact that there are so many moving parts there that could fail. For example, there are several belts, motors, and other systems that could fail at any time, resulting in either degraded performance or a non-operational status for the vehicle.
It’s also necessary for a car mechanic to be familiar with computer systems, even though diagnostic machines tend to remove all the guesswork from electrical systems that have issues. Since computer systems play a large role in the operation of virtually all modern vehicles, it’s necessary to at least have a familiarity with which operations they influence.
At times, it may be necessary for an auto body repair specialist to have some of this same knowledge, especially if any of these internal systems are impacted when a vehicle has undergone a collision. There are many situations where the damage done to a vehicle in a car crash reaches deep inside to affect internals, and these all have to be checked during the examination process.
However, for the most part, the responsibility of an auto body repair technician lies in the restoration of the external framework and structure of the vehicle, rather than internal operating components. When a vehicle has been involved in a collision, one of the first things that an auto body technician will work on will be the car’s framework.
Generally, a laser frame diagnostic system will be used to determine what exactly needs work, and once this has been identified, it will generally take several days to accomplish the work. After this, all the metalwork on your car will be evaluated and analyzed to make sure that the mechanical repairs are in sync with factory standards.
This will guarantee that the frame has structural integrity for driving and that the chassis is straight. Then it will be necessary to check wheel alignment and the suspension so that it can be determined whether or not you have appropriate maneuverability, and that your vehicle is capable of safe operation on the road.
If it becomes necessary to repair internals, an auto mechanic specialist may have to be called in to handle that, while exterior needs are handled by the auto body repairman. Generally, after a vehicle has been involved in an auto collision, it will be necessary to analyze the structural integrity of the vehicle.
It will also be necessary to ensure that the vehicle has proper alignment and that the body panels are still in good shape. It happens fairly often that some kinds of damage are not visible to the naked eye at first glance, so many specialized tools have to be used to determine invisible damage, and to diagnose the vehicle’s true condition.
Auto body repairmen will always work in an environment known as an auto body shop, and this area will be equipped with much different machinery than you would find in an auto mechanic repair shop. This is understandable, given the fact that the two types of repairs being carried out by these two individual specialists are generally much different.
One of the biggest differences between the two working environments is that auto body shops will generally have extensive painting facilities, which you would not see in a typical auto mechanic environment. When working in an auto mechanic setting, you would normally see all the tools and facilities which are necessary for the repair of a vehicle’s internals, for instance, the engine, the brakes, and all the moving parts.
There are also a great number of specialized tools that you’d find at an auto mechanic shop, which are just not necessary at an auto body repair workshop. The tools which you might expect to see at an auto body repair shop are those used for hammering out dents, and for filling damaged areas with appropriate material. You would also find painting equipment such as spray painters and protective equipment which the painters would use during the painting process.
Anytime you’re involved in a roadway accident, it’s always a tremendous hassle getting your car back on the road again. It will be necessary to file insurance claims, you’ll have to arrange for a police report, and there may be injuries resulting from the accident that requires treatment or further testing. On top of all this, the damage to your car has to be repaired, so that you can continue with your normal life and maintain your livelihood. If you’ve never dealt with Auto Collision Repair operations before, there are some important things you should know about, so you don’t get surprised by what comes after an accident.
In some cases, an insurance company will send their own appraiser to assess any damages which may have occurred to your vehicle, but you are always better off working with a very skilled appraiser whom you have confidence in. A knowledgeable appraiser will be able to identify all the damage which has been done to your vehicle, whether that damage is visible or whether it’s somewhere among the internals of the car. Your appraiser needs to convince the insurance company about all legitimate damage, otherwise, they won’t be interested in footing the bill for it. When you’re looking for an experienced and knowledgeable appraiser, make sure that he/she knows their business and can accurately assess all kinds of damage to your vehicle.
Some insurance companies already have pre-established relationships with specific collision shops in your area, and those are likely to be the shops they prefer you to send your car to. Keep in mind that you are not required to have the work done at these recommended locations and that you have the right to choose any collision shop you want to. It’s very often in your best interest to find a collision shop other than the one recommended by the insurer, because you may have greater confidence in them, or because they can do a good job more quickly than another shop.
Ideally, you should avoid having the usage of body filler by any Auto Collision Repair shop which does the repairs on your vehicle, because body filler is simply sub-standard, compared to the original components your vehicle is made of. In years past, you could always determine a car that had been in an accident by running a magnet all over the surface area, because it would quickly adhere to the metal components within the body filler. Some cars are directly manufactured today with body filler which is used to conceal imperfections that might exist with the metal components of the car. Nowadays, there are paintless dent techniques that make it possible for a body shop to do repairs without using any kind of sanding or body filler in the process. Make sure you inquire with your collision shop about whether this is their practice, and you should insist on it to be sure.
Don’t let your insurance company tell you that they won’t cover repairs if you go to a collision shop which they don’t recommend, because the warranty will be invalid in that case. This is completely untrue because warranties are covered by the collision shop rather than the insurance company. Make sure to choose a collision shop which offers a written warranty, and which also provides a guarantee of your satisfaction with all work carried out by their specialists.
You must make sure all repairs are done by a reputable collision shop, which puts your needs first and which uses only high-quality replacement materials when they are necessary. Make sure also that they offer warranties and guarantees of your satisfaction, in case you should end up unhappy about any work which is done. It’s always prudent to do extensive research on any collision shop, and to read online reviews by other customers so you’ll know exactly what to expect of that organization.
When it is necessary to use replacement parts in the repair of your vehicle, you should insist on original manufacturer parts (OEM), because these are quite often made to a higher standard of quality than aftermarket parts are. OEM parts are those which are originally made for the vehicle you own, and which have been patented by the car-maker. In most cases, aftermarket parts may indeed be compatible and functional for your vehicle, but it’s entirely possible that they won’t be as high-quality or as high-performance as the OEM parts are.
A car is only considered totaled by an insurance company if it costs more to repair the vehicle than the current book value is for the vehicle. That’s why an older car is much more likely to be considered totaled than a newer car because its book value is generally far less than a newer car would be. If your car is relatively new, you would have to have major damage to it, for it to be considered totaled by your insurance company.
It used to be that a car that had been involved in a collision seldom if ever returned to its former state of operational excellence. However, today’s collision shops have become far more sophisticated, and it is now possible to restore many vehicles to their original condition after they’ve been involved in a collision. The key to this is making sure that all repairs performed on the vehicle are done correctly so that the car has the same sound structure, functionality, and the same beautiful appearance which it had before the collision. If your vehicle has been involved in a highway accident, make sure to find the right appraiser, and to choose the right collision shop, so that your vehicle can be just as efficient and good-looking after an accident, as it was before the collision.
Auto repair shop mechanics are essential individuals who deserve respect like other specialized personnel such as teachers and doctors. They take multiple exams, training as well as 2-year work experience before acquiring ASE certification.
A reputable auto repair shop employs competent and licensed personnel to offer satisfactory services. They should, therefore, be treated with respect if you want to reap excellent repair services.
You are likely to come across multifarious and high-tech automobiles on highways. Mechanics undergo training on different and modern vehicle services to prevent any lapse in vehicle repair that carries an extra cost to the owner.
They also have excellent knowledge of multiple automobile parts that are currently available in the market. Vehicle owners lack sufficient knowledge about automobile parts; they have to rely on auto mechanics’ capability. When visiting auto repair shops, the following information will help you acquire excellent repair service.
‘Can You Reduce the Price?’
Can you ask your dentist to reduce the cost of replacing your tooth? Although you might ask, you won’t get a favorable answer. The mechanic also needs to earn income, and it’s challenging to find an auto repair shop owner flying in private jets! Vehicle technicians are blue job workers earning blue job salaries, and they have to pay for other expenses in the shop.
The mechanics also use quality parts that come directly from your vehicle manufacturer, and their experience and training are essential in fitting these parts. The vehicle parts also have a warranty, so trying to bargain the price won’t be fair to the shop.
‘There Are Other Places With Better Deals’
Although this can be true, you would have gone there in the first place. If you feel the mechanic is not giving a reasonable price or service, you can consult someone else’s assistance. However, there is no reason to handle the issue from a negative aspect. Sensitive matters such as car and money problems and stressed mechanics and clients can culminate in poor service delivery.
Do what suits you, if a local technician on the street who charges cheaply is your option, then go for it at your own risk. Professional mechanics need years of training and experience to handle various vehicle issues adequately, ensuring you make the right choice for your car.
‘Do Whatever It Needs’
This leaves the car owner open to a costly repair. The mechanic can identify a plethora of issues in the car. Repairing all of them may cost you a fortune that didn’t plan for.
‘Do I Have to Fix That?’
Even when driving a few miles, a surfeit of drivers will eventually trade or sell their automobiles. The buyer will research all the vehicle details, and the discovery of poor conditions because of inadequate maintenance will reduce the owner’s credibility. Note that all vehicle issues will eventually require repair.
‘I Want to Bring My Parts’
Bringing your parts creates an overall profitability and liability issue. In case the sourced part is defective, the auto shop will have to face lawsuits and lose its reputation. The court understands auto shops to be better-informed and will deliver hefty punishments for ignorance and negligence.
‘But My Uncle Told Me This Was the Problem’
Your uncle is not an expert, and some vehicle issues require an expert eye to diagnose. Unless your uncle physically inspected the vehicle and identified the problem, you can’t rely on their opinion.
Let the Mechanic Do their Job
No one likes being rushed or supervised as they conduct their responsibilities. Although you can stick around while the mechanic explains the issue, it’s dangerous and distracting. Leave your car with the mechanic or use the waiting room as the technician performs his/her magic.
Carry Vehicle Records
Identify all the records necessary for marinating your vehicle. Well-kept paperwork can be beneficial in diagnosing a car issue in the first instance. Incomplete vehicle documents may culminate in unnecessary vehicle repairs that waste your funds and time. Vehicles with proper repair history show the mechanic that the owner values top-notch service, and they have completed their section of maintaining the car in excellent shape.
Select OEM Parts
When replacing the vehicle parts, opt for legit OEM components rather than aftermarkets. Sticking to the original manufacturer’s recommendations is vital in reaping optimum performance. Although aftermarkets may seem like a cheaper alternative, their low-grade material construction inhibits vehicle longevity.
After identifying the ideal auto repair shop, conduct homework on what your vehicle requires. Understanding the issue will indicate the extent and approximate repair expenses, thus improving your communication with the mechanic. Use online platforms to see if other drivers have experienced the same problem. Try also to discern the repair process.
Discuss the Expenses Involved
The mechanic will inform you about the total repair costs. In case the vehicle requires multiple repair steps, it will fetch high repair costs. Ensure you request an estimated breakdown to understand every facet of the repair.
Auto service experts like Showcase understand that most car owners avoid splashing money on repair costs; thus, you can ask the technician to prioritize necessary repairs.
Ensure the Car Has Gas
Vehicles require a test drive to get more insight into what the customers are complaining about. The test drive is also necessary after repairs, and in case they need to stop for fueling, it wastes time and results in fee accumulation.
Keep the Car Clean Before Repairs
In case you need interior repairs such as electrical wiring or replacing the heater cores, ensure your vehicle is clean before repairs. It gives them ample mechanic space to work on the problem without the need to rush.
Ensure you leave your contact details where you can easily be reached. The mechanic requires your approval to begin the repair, and you will also want to know the cost of the service and if the repair is complete.
Leave the Lock Key
In case of tire rotation or brake examination, you should leave the lock key in an easily accessible spot to avoid wasting time.
The best way to keep a vehicle in excellent condition is through regular service. However, it may be difficult to know where to go to receive quality service. Choosing auto repair shops near home or work is critical if drivers want their cars to last as long as possible. Use these tips to find the right auto shop, to get repairs done quickly, and to have every service completed in a timely fashion.
Searching for auto repair shops should be one of the first things that people do when they move to a new area. No one wants to try to find an auto shop when their car is broken down or doing something that it should not. It can be very stressful to search for an auto shop if the car is not performing well, and drivers should consider all these options before they select the auto shop they will use in the future.
Drivers are going to invest a lot of money and time in these auto shops, and the only way for these drivers to remain happy is to find a shop that makes them feel comfortable.
Going to the dealer might be the first choice for most drivers because they think the dealer can handle everything that goes wrong with the car. Dealers may have access to factory parts on-site, and they can often complete the repairs quickly because every technician knows how to handle these vehicles, but it is certainly more expensive than getting serviced at an independent shop and not all of them do body repairs.
The downsides of a dealer are that the service department will have a lot of turnovers and you’ll be just another face in a crowd. Drivers who fall in love with a certain technician or technical advisor might not get to work with that person for a long period. Dealers are so busy and oftentimes so packed that drivers may not have time to form relationships with the service staff.
Independent shops are all over America, and people can find a shop on every corner in their hometown. Independent shops like Showcase give drivers the chance to form relationships with the owner and staff. Plus, these shops might be able to give drivers amazing deals, fast service, or make promises that a dealer cannot.
The personal customer service, however, is often worth the money for the driver. If family members or friends have gone to the same mechanic for a long time, then it might be worth going there for help.
Specialists are often chosen to have repairs done because the shops are busy and these companies can have access to all the parts that people need. A specialist might only work on German cars, Japanese cars, or a certain brand. These specialists might also sell certain products that drivers need.
Going to a specialist that sells only tires might be a very good way to get other minor repairs done. A specialist that only handles mufflers or engines can help with other repairs because the mechanics are quite experienced, and the specialist might even offer custom work.
Repair chains and franchises are volume businesses that tend to offer low prices, discounts, and deals to customers. These shops may sell tires or brakes and batteries. They often have a niche audience that they cater to most of the time, but they also help other customers because they have experienced mechanics in the shop.
Drivers can get to know the mechanics, or they might know managers or owners of these franchises. Large franchises can often store cars overnight, and they typically have more capacity than an independent shop or specialist mechanic but in turn, they can be quite hectic.
Once a driver finds a nice shop, they also need to check the company’s reviews, read testimonials, or even ask for references. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to look for reviews, and local bulletin boards or review sites might shed some light on how the company does business. Use these additional tips to evaluate the shop before going. These tiny bits of information help drivers choose the best places to go for car repairs.
Searching for a random mechanic can be difficult. It makes much more sense to look for an auto repair shop that fit the criteria above. These tips ensure that drivers save money, get quality work done, and can trust the people that are repairing their vehicles.
When you’re looking for a good auto repair shop, one thing you need to keep in mind is exactly what kind of work you need to be done on your vehicle. If you’re just talking about normal maintenance, those are typically services recommended by the manufacturer in order to maintain the vehicle in good running condition. Repair work is something entirely different, and that may call for a specialist who is experienced in working on your make and model of vehicle.
When your car needs collision work or any other kind of auto repair, the first thing you have to do is get some kind of repair estimate, so you’ll have some idea of the cost involved in fixing it. Typically, you might want to go to several repair shops to get their estimate of the repair cost, so you can be confident about at least a ballpark figure. It’s also usually worthwhile to do some comparison shopping, to see where you might get the best price.
Over the river and through the woods was more dangerous back when cars had crummy bias-ply tires, rear-wheel drive and ordinary brakes.
This process repeats many times per second until the vehicle stops or you lift your foot off the brake pedal. The ABS computer does a power-on self test every time you cycle the ignition.