Straight to the auto-body shop? Or online?
Being quite the auto body repair enthusiast myself (If you want to call it that. Otherwise I just enjoy restoring vehicles or get in a lot of wrecks.) I always advise everyone to search online for “body repair” before taking your vehicle to the auto body repair shop. There most definitely is a high cost in taking your car to the auto-body shop and the reason I say search online will be lined out throughout this article. In which hopefully by the end of the article you will have at least saved money, even if you did go to a auto-body shop.
The first reason I say searching online before going to the body shop is because some of the fixes are simple. So simple that you can purchase some of your products from Auto Parts Warehouse, JC Whitney, Pep Boys, or Pure Diesel Powered Simple do it yourself auto body fixes, in my opinion, are as follows: Side View Mirrors, Head Lights, Bumpers, Trim Pieces, Hub Caps, Door handles, and for slightly more advanced drivers door glasses. The next reason why I advise searching online is actually a lot easier than these simple fixes. “Easier than installing a headlight you may ask?” Actually, yes it is.
Body panels are relatively cheap if you look online. Body panels are the sections of sheet metal on your vehicle. Such as the doors, fenders, quarter panels. Looking online you might find a fender, in fact I know you can find a fender, for 50 dollars. But when you take it to a auto-body shop they are going to charge you at least 3 times as much. So why not purchase the body panel and take it to your body shop of preference, and have them install it and finish their work using it. This will save you a few bucks at least. Speaking of taking your car to a auto-body shop of preference, how do you choose a auto-body shop?
For questions you should ask yourself about what you should consider when going to a auto-body shop I will be referring to Edmunds. Pay attention to the word on the block. What is everyone saying around town about the specific shop you are thinking about going to? We often forget about this most simple question we should be asking ourselves. “Consider location and overhead” This one speaks for itself. The more office workers, and staff, the highest estimate is going to be. Plus higher end shops often pad prices with what “could” be wrong. Get several estimates. I don’t necessarily go with the cheapest or more expensive but, you guessed it. “I ask questions” From what type of paint you use, if you use aftermarket body parts or OEM, to how long are you going to keep my automobile? Last but not least in questions you should ask yourself, “Go with your intuition”. Do you have a sixth sense that something isn’t right? Well it probably isn’t. Go somewhere else. Lastly on our reasons to go online before we go to the auto-body shop, is for our do it yourselfers.
Do you like to do everything yourself? Do you have the tools or the means to get them? Well why not trying even the difficult fixes yourself? The internet is a great place for how-to videos and directions on do it yourself body work. Granted, there are some things “You” may not be able to do. I say that because I mean yet. I learned it so you can too. But things such as welding and painting may need some additional help. Quite possibly you have a friend that knows how to do these two things. However, if an entire door or fender need replaced, why not put your “fingers to the grindstone” and get to work”. I personally hope you are up for the challenge and willing to try welding and painting yourself! There are definitely plenty of how-to videos online on “how-to” weld and paint. Let’s sum up why you should go online before going to a auto-body shop for your auto body repair needs.
Some simple parts such as body panels can be purchased on sights like Pure Diesel Power If you are up for it you can take the simple task and utilize some of the simple videos online on how to install some of the simple parts such as headlights and side view mirrors. Or you can take the much more difficult task of installing more difficult parts such as body panels yourself. Always ask yourself these five questions in the article. Am I following my intuition, Did I ask questions, Did I get several estimates, Did I consider location and overhead, Did I pay attention to word around town? Last but not least you could possibly buy the body panel and have your auto body mechanic install it. That wraps up why you should go online before going straight to the body shop for your auto body needs.