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How an Auto Body Shop Works
An auto body shop specializes in making repairs to the vehicle’s body after an accident. They can handle everything from painting dents to replacing hoods, mirrors and other parts. The process takes some time, but they’re experienced enough to know how to get the job done.
How a Shop Works
The first step is to look at the damage and assess what needs to be done. They’ll also talk with you to ensure they understand your vehicle and can handle the work. This will help them get the estimate right and avoid any surprises later on.
Once they’ve got all the information, they will make an estimate based on the severity of the damage. Oftentimes, they’ll take pictures of the vehicle and use computer software to create a written estimate. This will help you compare it with other estimates from other shops.
After the estimate is written, they’ll contact you and your insurance company to discuss the cost of the repairs and whether they can be completed in a timely manner. You’ll then be given the opportunity to accept, decline or change the estimate.
When you choose an auto body shop, it’s important to find one that specializes in the make and model of your vehicle. This can be a huge factor in the final cost of the repair.
It’s also a good idea to ask what type of parts they use for their work, including OEM, aftermarket and used ones. The more expensive OEM parts will likely be better quality and last longer than cheaper ones.
You can also ask if the auto body shop uses certified technicians who are trained to repair your car. This can be a sign of a trustworthy, reliable shop.
Once the repair is complete, they will give you a detailed invoice that lists all the repairs and the parts replaced. It should also show the odometer reading at the time you left the vehicle for repair and the date of preparation of the invoice.
This is an important document to keep in your wallet. It’ll help you remember all the details about the repairs and can prove helpful if you have to take legal action against the shop in the future.
What You Should Do When You Have a Problem With an Auto Body Shop
If you have a complaint about a repair shop, DMV advises you to contact the shop’s manager or business owner and try to resolve it with them. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you should file a complaint with DMV.
Typically, DMV will refer your complaint to a regional office for investigation. During this process, an inspector will review your complaint and determine whether the shop has violated the Repair Shop Act or DMV regulations. If DMV finds that there was a violation, they will send a warning letter to the shop or schedule an administrative hearing.
The administrative law judge presiding over the hearing will decide how to deal with the shop. They might impose a fine, a suspension or both. Or, they may pay restitution to the customer.