If today's the day you get to pick up your freshly repaired vehicle from the local auto body repair shop, then you are likely wondering how you ensure they correctly fixed all of the body damage. Though many consumers only look at the overall body shape and quality of the paint matching, there are other things you should also check before signing off on the repairs. If you don't know where to start, then these consumer tips will help you out:
Consumer Tip: Ask for the Computerized Report Generated When a Car's Frame is Mechanically Straightened
If your accident was severe and your car's frame was bent out of shape, then it will be mechanically straightened at the body shop. The specialized machinery that performs the straightening is computerized and prints out a report when the job is completed. If the report isn't voluntarily provided to you with your other paperwork, ask to see the report to ensure the straightening work was actually performed.
Consumer Tip: Check the New Paint to Ensure it Matches and Doesn't Have Any Surface Blemishes
With the understanding it's nearly impossible to completely match the paint on a car that's been aging in the sun for many years, the new paint on your car should be close enough it doesn't stand out and it should be surface blemish free. The best way to check the new paint is to park your car in the direct sunlight and view it from both up close and then farther away.
Consumer Tip: Examine Any Repaired Moving Parts
If your vehicle was damaged in an area where moving parts had to be repaired, it's important you take the time to open and close each of them. For example, if your vehicle's trunk was damaged when your car was hit from behind, then you need to open and close it. While doing so, check the alignment of everything, ensure the spaces on each side of the trunk are even and make sure there are no squeaks or other noises the trunk didn't previously make.
Consumer Tip: Never Sign Off on Body Work Without a Test Drive
Finally, before you sign off on the completed bodywork make sure you always take your car for a short test drive. This is especially important if your car had work done near a wheel well or arrived at the body shop with a bent frame. Test drives are vital for spotting handling problems you don't have any way to see by just looking at a parked vehicle.