If you recently took your car to an auto body shop or had it towed there after an accident, you must be really excited to get it back now that it’s fixed. However, are you sure whether everything has been repaired correctly? Do you know what to check to determine if the repairs have been done right? The last thing any car owner wants after picking their car at an auto body shop is to take it back for repairs to the previous repairs.
However, although most auto body shops strive to deliver professional repairs that are perfect right-the-first-time, mistakes are bound to happen once in a while. Some technicians may be tempted to cut corners or carry out repairs super-fast and end up messing somewhere along the way. When collecting your car after bodywork repairs, make sure to check for the following 5 crucial things:
1. Your vehicle should be washed and cleaned
A clean car is a must. Appearances are important and show how serious an auto body shop is with their work. Dirt hides imperfections and can make it difficult for you to inspect the repaired areas. When you pick your car, it should have been washed, vacuumed and even waxed. It should be sparkling clean. A good shop will also wash down the engine compartment to make sure you receive your car while it’s as clean as new.
2. Check for misaligned body panels
Modern vehicles are designed with very tight panel gaps and require care and precision to install panels right during repairs. An inexperienced technician or one rushing through a repair may fail to perform due diligence, leading to misaligned body panels. You can spot these misalignments by observing the gaps between the repaired panels and comparing them with those in other parts of your car. If they do not match, then there is a problem. Also, find out whether the gaps are uniform all around each panel.
3. Check if body parts and equipment are re-installed properly
Make sure you carefully open and close the vehicle’s doors, hood, and trunk while listening and observing how they operate. Do they produce strange noises that were not there before? Do they open easily and close securely? Are they well aligned? Proceed to inspect your car’s wipers, headlights, power windows, turn signals, lock switches, and any other relevant body part to make sure they are working well.
4. Inspect your car’s painting
One common problem with many vehicles coming from auto body shops is painting mismatches. There are so many shades of colors painted on cars today, which make color matching a tricky job for most auto body repair shops. Inspect your car thoroughly to see if the colors match evenly. You can do this out in the sun and under some type of fluorescent lighting. It’s the obligation of an auto body shop to make sure they give your car a perfect paint job no matter how tricky your car’s paint is, so don’t accept color discrepancies on your ride.
5. Observe and listen to how your car drives
Take the car for a drive under a variety of road conditions including smooth, rough and bumpy roads. Listen for vibrations and squeaking sounds and report them immediately. Observe how the car drives. Are the wheels properly aligned? Make sure you note everything that needs re-work and have it addressed before leaving the auto shop.