Common Mistakes Auto Body Shops Make

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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.