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The top 5 mistakes autobody shops make and how to spot them.

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

It’s really unfortunate when it happens, but there are some common mistakes that automotive technicians at body shops make when repairing damaged vehicles.  To prevent you from having a bad experience when you take your car to a shop in Harford County for body repairs, here is our list of the biggest mistakes body shops make and how to spot them.

Bel Air Autobody

#1.  Improper color matching. 
Color matching is a science that requires both proper equipment and a well-trained eye.  There are many different shades of colors that vehicles are painted these days, but what really adds to the challenge is that vehicles usually experience color changes over time due to exposure to the elements. 

How to spot it:  Take your car out into the sun, since paint can sometimes seem to match in the shop’s lighting, but might look different in the sun.  You should also try to get a look at the repair under some type of fluorescent lighting, since a man-made light source can sometimes expose more color discrepancies. 

Bel Air Autobody

#2.  Sloppy paint job. 
Prior to painting, a technician must thoroughly mask every section of the car that should not receive paint.  If any extra section is exposed, it will likely get sprayed unnecessarily.  Some shops won’t even take the time to mask mufflers and will wind up painting right over them. 

How to spot it:  Inspect the area of repair carefully, particularly around your doorjambs and trim.  Overspray can make a surface look slightly foggy or even overly shiny, depending on the paint and the area that was sprayed. 

Bel Air Autobody

#3.  Gaps left between panels.
Manufacturers design vehicles with very tight panel gaps these days, so it requires precision and diligence to install panels correctly. 

How to spot it:  Take a close look at the gaps between the repaired panels and compare them with the gaps in other areas on your car.  Do they match the pre-existing panels?  Also check to see whether the gaps are uniform all the way around each panel.  While you’re at it, test your hoods and doors to make sure they open and close smoothly.

#4.  Faulty equipment installation.
In the midst of repairing panels and paint, auto body technicians can sometimes overlook other parts, like windshield wipers, turn signals, or headlights.

How to spot it:  Check your wipers, turn signals, power windows, and lock switches to ensure they are working properly.  Make sure that you’re not getting any error codes, such as your airbag light coming on or check engine light.  Also check that your headlights work correctly and aim where they should.

Bel Air Autobody

#5.  Failure to align tires.
Another area that body techs can sometimes overlook is proper tire alignment, but this is something that is important for the health and longevity of your tires.

How to spot it:  Drive the car for a few weeks and note any tire wear. If the vehicle is out of alignment you might not even feel it, but it will not take long to begin to see the telltale signs of wear on the edges of the tire. If you do see issues return the car to the shop and ask to have the alignment checked.

When you take your car to an auto body shop in Harford County, Maryland to have it fixed, naturally you’re going to want to make sure the job gets done right.  For a repair you can trust, bring your car to Bel Air Autobody.  We have state-of-the-art equipment, the best technicians, and we offer a lifetime warranty on all the work we do.

Click here to  schedule a free estimate

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