After experiencing a collision or an accident, you’ll want to put the incident behind you quickly, and one way to do that is by having your car undergo a body auto repair. However, days or weeks later, when you go to pick it up, you may want to confirm that the job was done properly before you sign those papers and drive off.
But how do you know your car has been repaired to greatness again? The first step to ensuring that your vehicle has been properly fixed is choosing the right auto repair body shop, like a collision center in Miami that deals with high-quality parts and has years of reputation under its belt. With a reputable auto repair company, you will have quality parts and service, a warranty, and peace of mind.
That said, here are tips on inspecting your car to make sure your auto repair is done correctly.
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Give Your Car an Overview
Once you are in the auto shop, have a member of the place walk you around the car and explain what’s been done and why. Take this time to ask questions on things you need clarification on. If you have yet to learn about the shop’s warranty when dropping the car off, ask about it then. Most body shops have a guarantee on their work for a year or 12,000 miles once you’ve had your overview do a visual inspection.
Inspect the Repaired Areas
After the general appearance is up to your standards, you can look at the repaired places. Firstly, check the gaps between the body panels; if they are uneven, it’s a sign that they haven’t been properly aligned. If repairs need to be done around your doors, hoods, trunk, windows, or gas tank, ensure you can open and close them easily.
If the damage was extensive on your car’s front end, inspect it from a distance. That’s how you can spot any issues between the tire and the fender. Suppose you notice that one side is wider and the other narrow; something needs fixing. Check underneath the hood to ensure the wires and hoses are properly connected.
However, visual inspections can be difficult for an average person to do. One can have a look at the automated printout of the frame specifications. The body shop workers can measure the damaged area of your car and then do it again after the repairs. The frame specifics should be similar after repair to those before repair. The printout can be a handy reference document to check if the job is well done. If there are concerns that major repairs weren’t done correctly, you can have a second opinion.
Is It Clean?
When you are picking up your vehicle, how does it look? Your car should be washed, vacuumed, and cleaned. Dust or dirt on your car usually hides imperfections in the paint. Ensure that your vehicle has no old parts lying around in the engine compartment, trunk, or interior.
How Is the Paint Job?
Paint jobs can be a challenging job in a body shop. That’s why spotting a car with three colors on the road is easy. Most paint jobs from the factory usually have an orange peel texture used to the finish to a greater or lesser degree. And because of this, body shops typically have a hard time trying to duplicate the factory texture.
Pick up your car from the auto shop during the day since it’s possible to see if the new paint job matches the original shade and finish. Additionally, look for color consistency if the vehicle has been repainted on several panels. Finally, examine the paint for imperfections such as hair or dirt trapped in the finish.
If your car has mechanical issues, take it for a test drive. Begin with starting the engine and looking at the dashboard to see if there are warning signs. For a properly repaired vehicle, the error codes should be cleared. Next, turn on the headlights as you face the wall for easy spotting. Play around with the blinkers, brake lights, and hazards to ensure they work correctly.
When driving, focus on how your car feels. Are there vibrations or rattling sounds? Is the steering responding the same way it was before the accident? How is the tracking? And finally, is the vehicle staying straight when braking, or is it pulling on one side?
Track the engine’s temperature throughout the drive since uncorrected front-end damage can cause coolant leakages. These leakages can prevent the radiator from getting adequate ventilation that removes the heat from the coolant.
Common Repair Issues to Consider
What is the status of your airbags? Were they replaced? Regrettably, body shops charge insurance companies for new airbags and later sell them. Check the light of your airbag to see if it’s still on. Does the center of the steering wheel sound hollow after knocking on it?
Does your car pull in one direction after the repair? This may be a sign that the frame is bent or that you have a misaligned unibody structure. If some frames are not straightened after a collision, it will lead to poor handling and rapid wear and tear of the vehicle.
Clipping is a repair method where you have an entire section of another vehicle welded onto yours. This was a common practice years ago, and it’s not recommended, especially when dealing with newer cars made from lightweight materials. Your safety can be compromised after clipping on a new car since it creates structural damage.
- Aftermarket and Used Parts
Some insurance companies push body shops to use used or cheap aftermarket parts. However, these parts may fail to meet the original manufacturer’s recommendations or specifications. Therefore, ensure you ask for an invoice or receipt of the parts used for repairs.
After making all the above checks, and you are satisfied with the inspection, you can drive off with your car. However, if the repairs are unsatisfactory, let the shop know immediately. A well reputable auto will be willing to correct the issues you find.