If you don’t know cars, it’s easy to think that every mechanic is out to get you. While it’s not entirely true, you could be at the mercy of the person giving you the estimate and some will take advantage of it.
They might try to upsell you on things they know you don’t need. In some scenarios, they could end up creating issues, or cheat you on the job. Some might use old parts instead of new parts, while others might not perform some of the repairs they said they would. However, there are some things that anyone can do to protect themselves when entering a body auto repair shop. Here are a few of them.
Check their Reputation
The first step is to run a background check on any shop you are thinking of working with. While references and reviews are nice, you also want to look at any certifications that they have.
For instance, auto paint and repair shop San Diego Auto Body & Paint have an ASE and I-CAR Gold Class Certification. These are issued only to shops that have attained a certain level of excellence, expertise, and service. These are the kinds of things you should be looking for in a good shop and will give you additional confirmation besides what you hear online.
If you’ve suffered specific damage to your vehicle, try to do some general research on the area of the car that was affected first. There are plenty of videos and resources online that will give you more information on how cars are built.
Also, check for the kind of repair you are thinking of getting done on YouTube. Then go to shops and ask them how they would perform the procedure. If all sorts of additional steps get thrown in and they’re trying to make an originally simple job complicated, you know that you’re dealing with a liar. It’s also a good idea to check a few different shops and eliminate those who have a completely different procedure.
Get the Price First
You want to get a clear final price before anything starts. You also want to know how this will be spent. If you feel like they’re overcharging you for parts, ask if you can bring your own and if they’ll offer you a discount. Make sure that everything is written down on paper. Also, make sure that everything is itemized. If you have to pay more at some point it has to be justifiable and written into contract.
Ask as Many Questions as You Can
You should never be afraid to ask questions with something as important as auto repair. You want to know where the parts will come from. You want to know which type of paint will be used. You also want to know if they offer any type of warranty on their work. The more you know, the lesser the chances for a nasty surprise later on.
These are all tips that you can use to prevent being a victim on your next visit to an auto body shop. Know that most out there are honest, but it’s your job to learn how to spot the few bad ones.