We get this question a lot. Any time a technician has to cut into your car, it becomes altered from the way it left the factory. However, a good body shop and a good technician can put it back exactly the way it left the factory.
Each car company sends out what is called a TSB or “technical Service bulletin” which explain how to make a repair, and they are very detailed and very specific. Now these TSB’s explain to a technician every single step required in order to replicate the factory construction process, and it is up to that technician to follow these procedures exactly. But there is no guarantee to you that the procedure was ever done correctly.
Auto body shops are fighting a tough battle for survival
It is a tough time to make money in the collision repair business right now. Cars are vastly more complex requiring more education, more equipment to make the repairs, more specialized training (which means higher labor costs), and more and more vehicles are being written off as a total loss, while less and less vehicles are getting into accidents because of all the accident avoidance technologies.
One of the easiest ways for dubious shops to make up for that loss of revenue is to cut corners, and there are shops out there who do cut corners.
Lets take a frame rail or a door skin replacement as an example. When these items are replaced, even if it is an OEM part, it may require a few extra steps to make it just like the factory. Some of these steps you will never see or have any way of verifying if they were even done.
There are areas where a body cavity wax needs to be applied (such as inside a frame rail, or inside a door, or the factory might require painting of a weldable primer, or even a specific type of seam sealer installed for corrosion resistance.
This is extra labor hours and extra materials that a shop can charge to you or the insurance company but never apply because you will never be able to verify if it was ever done. That is until years down the road when these problem areas start to rust- from the inside out.
Beware of bad body shops.
The reason some shops get away with this is because the effects are not immediate. And if the parts do start rusting, it can often be hard to prove that it was the result of a poorly done repair, due to the advanced age of the vehicle and the repair. Years ago when people would replace cars more frequently, the odds were good that you wouldn’t even own the car before problems started developing. That’s not the case any more. We hang on to our cars a lot longer, they last a lot longer, and therefore the importance of a properly done repair are vital.
Next time you are in a parking lot keep an eye out for cars that for the most part look OK but have a weird spot that is rusting like a wheel well arch, the bottom of a door panel or along the rocker panels (just below the doors). Chances are you might start seeing examples like the ones in these pictures.
When you take your car to an auto body shop in Harford County to have it fixed, naturally you’re going to want to make sure the job gets done right and you want the work to last.
When it comes to auto body repair, it’s important to choose a body shop you can trust. There are lots of shops out there that just want to make a quick buck, so they hire untrained technicians, have poor equipment, and use the cheapest paint supplies they can. In too many instances, car owners don’t realize they were ripped off until years later when they suddenly notice rust in the places that were repaired.
At Bel Air Autobody we offer a lifetime warranty on your repair.
At Bel Air Autobody, your vehicle's health and appearance are important to us. We have built our reputation on being an honest and trustworthy repair facility. We service the residents of Harford County and we too are proud Harford County residents. If you are looking for a neighborhood body shop that you can trust, rest assured that you have come to the right place at Bel Air Autobody. On top of that, we offer a lifetime warranty on all of the work that we do.