Top 5 Things to Look for in a Collision Repair Center in 2015
March 31st, 2015 by Eli P
Fix Auto is excited to share with you a comprehensive and exciting guide for the “Top 5 Things to Look for in a Collision Repair Center in 2015”!
Just as we all make resolutions to take better care of ourselves as 2015 arrives, we should also make a commitment to take better care of our vehicles. If you’ve been involved in an auto collision, whether a minor fender bender or a major accident, knowing what to look for when choosing a collision repair center can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your repair and your experience. You want your vehicle to be fixed correctly the first time and to allow you to get your life back in order quicker.
Choosing the best collision repair center for your vehicle can feel like an overwhelming process, especially given the initial stress of the accident itself. To help you navigate this important decision for your vehicle, we’ve created this guide to highlight the top 5 things to look for in a collision repair center in 2015.
5. Check for a Warranty
When choosing a collision repair center, you should also look for a shop that offers a warranty on the work they perform on your vehicle. What’s included in the warranty and how long it covers the repairs to your vehicle can vary from shop to shop. Find out the specifics of what the shop offers. A one-year warranty is considered the minimum, while some shops offer two to three year warranties.
Collision repair centers that belong to the Fix Auto network, which includes over 300 shops internationally, offer a lifetime limited warranty on all repairs performed in our shops. This guarantee stays intact for as long as you own your vehicle. The Fix Auto warranty is valid throughout our network of repair centers. Speak with your local Fix Auto repair center or contact us to learn more about the details of our lifetime limited warranty. Some restrictions may apply.
4. Repair Techniques and Replacement Parts
You want to choose a collision repair shop that has years of experience working on cars like yours to ensure that the workmanship will be of high quality, particularly if specialized parts are needed.
When you’re checking out a repair center, you should visit the location first before repairs begin—likely when you’re having an estimate completed. A reputable shop will be proud of their facilities and team, and this will show clearly in the lobby. Look for neatness and organization.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the shop plans to repair your vehicle. Find out if they use state-of-the-art technology and techniques for vehicle repair service. Here are some questions that may be useful to ask:
- How much is my deductible?
- If my frame is bent can my vehicle still be repaired?
- Will you be able to match the original paint on my car?
- Will the parts align with the rest of the vehicle?
- Will the airbags be replaced?
- What if damage is found during the repair that is not on the original estimate?
- What do I do if my vehicle is not drivable?
- Will I be provided with a rental car?
- How long will repairs take?
Your insurance policy will likely have specifics about what parts the shop will use on your vehicle. If you are choosing to pay out of pocket, and not use insurance, you may wish to speak with your repair shop to find out if and where they will be using original equipment manufacturer (O.E.M.) replacement parts or if they will use aftermarket or recycled parts. In many cases, shops will use O.E.M. parts for structural components and salvaged parts for non-structural components.
3. Helpful and Courteous Staff, Experienced and Trained Technicians
You can tell a great deal about a repair center from the very first interaction you have with their staff. Whether you call or stop by the shop, take note of how the staff, including those in the front office interact with you, other customers, and with each other.
You want to select a repair center that treats everyone with a high level of respect and courtesy. The staff should be helpful in answering any questions or concerns that you might have about your repair, and never make you feel as though you are inconveniencing them or be made to feel badly for asking.
It’s important to find out if the technicians are well trained and experienced. A quick glance around the lobby should reveal framed certificates of advanced coursework training from I-CAR (the Inter-Industry ASE Conference on Auto Collision Repair), and certifications—a national standard of technician competence issued by the non-profit national institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Fix Auto technicians are considered to be the best-of-the-best as they continually go through training on the latest repair methodologies and technologies used to repair today’s modern vehicles.
One of the most critical components of choosing a collision repair center is finding one that offers you excellent communication and professionalism. The staff should be willing to explain every step in the repair process and answer any questions you have. You should be treated with the utmost professionalism throughout the entire process. From handling your insurance claim, if applicable to the moment you drive away in your repaired vehicle, you should feel that you can trust and rely upon your chosen collision repair center.
2. Positive Online Reputation
Find out as much as you can about the collision repair center ahead of time as you can.
Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers to find out if they have had any experience with the shop or if they recommend a particular shop. Read online reviews of the shop, but be sure to make your own judgment, as well to find out what other customers’ experiences have been with the shop, and look for one with high and honest ratings. Looking for your local Fix Auto shop is a great way to find a repair center with excellent standards—ratings are published online and awards and certificates are hanging on the walls of their lobbies.
You can find out a lot of information about a location from social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. View your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) site and see if anyone has filed complaints and what the resolution was, if any. You want to choose a repair center that has lots of positive ratings and few complaints. Sites like Yelp, SureCritic, and even the repair center may post their own testimonials. Again, make your own decision.
Many collision repair shops operate independently, but belong to national or international organizations that will certify that the shop provides high quality repair work and customer service. By belonging to organizations such as the Fix Auto network of repair shops, your repair center of choice offers you the peace of mind that your vehicle is in good hands. Fix Auto takes pride in their work, so you can rest assured that quality control on your vehicle is a quality standard you can rely on. They’re warranty is also valid at all Fix Auto collision centers.
1. Work with Your Insurance Company
If you’ve been involved in a collision, chances are you will be dealing with your insurance company, unless you are paying repairs yourself. Before taking your car in for repairs, you want to be sure that the collision repair center works with your insurance carrier; most collision repair centers do so already. By taking your car to a repair center that works with most insurance providers, as Fix Auto does, the entire claims process becomes simplified. Your ideal collision repair center will work closely with your insurance provider every step of the way, including arranging for an insurance claims adjuster to inspect your vehicle before repairs if required by your carrier, if needed.
Insurance providers may recommend a shop, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go to a shop they suggest and can choose where you want your car repaired. Your main concern should not be the cost of repairs, but that they are done well, to your satisfaction, and in a timely manner.
When you choose a great collision repair center, you can feel confident that your vehicle will receive the best possible repairs, your insurance claim will be handled smoothly, and you’ll experience the highest quality customer service. As much as we all do our best to avoid collisions, they are sometimes an unfortunate inevitability on the road. Keep this guide close at hand, so that you’ll be well prepared in the event of an auto collision or any time your vehicle needs repair or service. We also recommend researching and choosing a collision repair center near you in advance, that way you will be prepared with a shop that you trust in the event of a collision.
To learn more about collision repair or to find the shop nearest you, contact Fix Auto.
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