The DC Auto Geek

auto-how-tos

Auto Tips and Tricks

With a passion for autos, we have come across and are continue to gather tips which make handling your autos even more enjoyable.

  • Important Auto Repair Tips- Collision Repair Salt Lake City

    Spending money to repair a damaged vehicle is never anyone’s first choice. However, if you do your research, you can find an auto body repair shop that could potentially save you money in the long run. Follow these five tips and finding that collision repair service will be easy.

    Know Your Insurance Policy- What’s covered and what’s not?

    Surprisingly most Americans are unaware what their auto insurances coverage. They know the monthly premium they pay and that’s it. However, there is much more to know about your auto insurance policy than what you pay once a month. Things you may want to look into with your policy include your deductible, declaration page, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. iStock_000002860278Medium Car Insurance Policy

    Once you are familiar with your auto coverage, it will make shopping around for an auto body Salt Lake City, shop much easier. Often times your auto insurance agent may offer you a list of preapproved collision repair shops to take your vehicle to…this is not always your best option. It may save you time… but frequently these preapproved repair shops only receive a set negotiated rate and will take short cuts when it comes to your repair.

    It’s ok to get several cost estimates! This will save you money and assure the job gets done RIGHT!

    It’s in your best interest to get more than one cost estimate. It’s fairly easy to do too…go online and search, auto body repair Salt Lake City, call three or four to set up a time for them to look at your vehicle. Most auto body shops offer free estimates anyway.  It’s important to take good notes at your first visit so you know what to compare at other repair shops.  Things they will most likely tell you are the repairs needed, as well as the cost of parts and their services.

    Nothing gets done unless you say…

    Once you’ve chosen your repair shop it’s important to let them know that no work should be done until you’ve authorized it first. It’s also important to keep your initial estimate with you when you go in to pay for your repair. Look over your final bill and make sure everything matches the initial estimate. It should look identical, if not then something is wrong and you need to address the error. It’s ok to speak up about it!Injury-Auto-Accident

    Uneccesary Insurance Policy Warranties

    Many insurance agencies offer incentives to shop within a certain network and many times it comes in the form of warranties.  Many companies may offer a warranty on replacement parts; however this warranty isn’t really necessary.   Most collision repair shops already guarantee their work and manufacturers guarantee their parts. If you agree to pay for an extra warranty, you are wasting your money.

    Rental Car?

    It’s important to clarify whether or not your insurance will allow a rental car during the time it takes to get your car repaired. Auto body repairs often take longer than expected and if your policy grants the use of a rental, take advantage of it!car-rental-companys

     

    Many of these tips you may have heard before, but it’s important to be aware and to do your research before anything gets done or your repair. If you are informed, you’ll be able to make wiser decisions. Good luck with your fix! Hopefully it’s a good learning experience.

  • Common Mistakes Auto Body Shops Make

    paint-peelingIt’s gonna happen to the majority of us. More than likely we each will get into a fender bender (or worse) in our lifetime and have to figure out where to go from there. While I’ve dabbled with some custom work myself, I usually leave any body work to the pros – providing they’re pros. Through my years, I’ve seen 4 main areas where auto body shops drop the ball. Here’s my experience to help you know what to keep an eye for when you take your auto for repair.

    1. Mediocre Paint Job
      One of the common mistakes that auto body shops make is a poor paint job. There are a couple of ways that an auto body shop can mess up an automotive paint job. One such way is by not properly matching colors. Color matching on a vehicle requires both proper equipment and a well trained eye. Currently, there are many different shades of colors that can sometimes appear the same unless under fluorescent lighting.  It’s also best to see what the pros are using (and what your repair shop should be using) for auto paint and you can find out more about that at Cars Direct. Another way an automotive paint job can be botched up is simply by being painted carelessly. It takes time and energy to paint a vehicle because a technician must first clean the car, then mask parts that do not need to be painted such as the muffler, and then primed. By skipping any of these steps, the paint job can be lumpy or sloppy. Many times, technicians do not take the needed time to prep the vehicle prior to priming.
    1. Panel Gaps
      Putting a vehicle together requires both precision and diligence. If a technician does not make the effort to put the panels together tightly, gaps can be formed. When unnecessary gaps are in a vehicle, air and moisture can leak into the vehicle which, in the long run, can cause more problems. It is important that all the automotive parts are properly aligned.
    1. Faulty Equipment Installation.
      When an automotive technician works on a vehicle, often times they have to take pieces apart to work on the initial problem.  If a technician is hasty in putting the pieces together, they can overlook reinstalling the parts. Even if they forget to reinstall a small part or reconnect a wire, it can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Many times, a customer may go to an auto body shop to have one problem fixed and leave with problems such as issues with windshield wipers, radio, or car locks. These such problems are often caused because of failure to reconnect a wire or reinstall a small part.
    1. Failure to Align Tires
      Something that is overlooked at an auto body shop is failure to align the vehicle’s tires. This can be a serious problem because a poor alignment can affect the durability and health of tires. Nothing quite as frustrating as getting a beautifully repaired vehicle that seems to keep wanting to drive itself off the road. Be sure to have the alignment checked and corrected as a misalignment will begin to make you question all the other repairs even if they’re pristine.

    As I mentioned, I have had a couple of years of experience (:)) and in those years, I’ve had some body work that has needed to be completed on several vehicles. Thankfully only a few had anything to do with me, but that’s part of the problem. You can be the best driver and you’re still likely to be in an accident caused by someone else.  I had this experience when I visited Salt Lake City, UT a couple of years ago.  It’s even worse when it happens when you’re out of town, but thankfully I was able to find Go Collision and they did a fantastic auto body repair job, although I still made sure to inspect the final product, but it did come out fantastic.  That was a real treat since I hadn’t know that much about the auto body shops in the area and they turned out to be great.

     

     

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