For the majority of drivers, going to an auto body shop in Summit NJ is a mysterious experience, a scary encounter with the unknown.
Once you hand over your key, you instantly feel uneasy; will your car be returned as good as new, or will the repair specialists do a shoddy job?
How will you know? How will you be able to figure out if you hard-earned money is just being tossed down the drain?
The best way to know if you are receiving excellent service and professional care is to find a reputable Summit NJ Auto Body shop and then build a relationship with that shop.
However, most people who take their vehicles in to the Auto Body Shop are doing so for the first time. So, how do you know whether or not you can trust an auto body shop?
First of all, it is important to know that most auto body shops are reputable businesses. The majority of Summit Auto Body owners are just struggling to make a living like most small business owners – they want to do a great job on your car so you will return or refer others to their shop.
However, there are a few bad apples that spoil the whole bunch, and you need to be diligent when selecting a shop.
The first thing to do is get a referral or locate a shop online using reviews and testimonials.
MUSIC HUNDREDS OF COMPLAINTS IN A MATTER OF MONTHS.
PARKING AND NOISE VIOLATIONS.
EVEN THE SITE OF A DEADLY-OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING.
(REPORTER: "AND WHAT IS THE ISSUE IN YOUR OPINION?") DARREN WYDERMYER: "UH, NO FURTHER COMMENT.
" MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, WE FIRST INVESTIGATED THIS AUSTIN NIGHT CLUB, OWNED BY DARREN WYDERMYER -- A BUSINESSMAN.
THESE DAYS, HE'S SWITCHED CAREERS.
OPENING UP TWO GARAGES IN AUSTIN CALLED "D- TOWN BODY SHOP.
"AND THE COMPLAINTS HAVEN'T STOPPED.
ROBERT:THIS TIME, THEY'RE FROM CUSTOMERS WHO TELL US HE'S HOLDING THEIR CARS HOSTAGE - SOMETIMES FOR YEARS!CASHING THEIR INSURANCE CHECKS, BUT NEVER FIXING THEIR VEHICLES.
SYDNEY:TONIGHT, THOSE CUSTOMERS ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO RECLAIMING THEIR CARS.
AFTER KXAN INVESTIGATOR BRITTANY GLAS TRACKS WYDERMYER DOWN.
AND EXPOSES HIS OPERATION.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: CRYING, "I'VE GONE TO THE EDGE AND BACK, MAN.
" WHEN CAMILO MACIEL TOOK HIS BRAND NEW FORD FUSION TO D-TOWN BODY SHOP BACK IN 20-16.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "I HIT THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF MY CAR FROM A CURB.
SO, IT WAS JUST MINOR DAMAGE ON THE FENDER.
HE WAS HOPING FOR A QUICK FIX.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "GOTTA PUSH FORWARD AND JUST FIGURE IT OUT.
"LEFT WITHOUT A VEHICLE TO GET TO WORK.
AND SHUTTLE HIS KIDS AROUND.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "I TAKE YOUR JOB AWAY AND OK, NOW HOW YOU GONNA EAT NEXT WEEK? AND IT'S NOT ONLY YOU, YOU GOTTA THINK ABOUT YOUR GIRLS.
" MACIEL SAYS HE CHECKED IN WITH D-TOWN OWNER, DARREN WYDERMYER.
WHO HAD ALREADY COLLECTED HIS INSURANCE MONEY.
AND WOULD BEGIN CHARGING HIM A STORAGE FEE FOR KEEPING HIS CAR.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "I NEED MY CAR BACK.
WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE IN? AND HE KEPT SAYING NEXT WEEK, NEXT WEEK, NEXT WEEK.
" WEEKS WENT BY.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "MY CAR WAS THE SAME.
SAME WAY IT WAS THE DAY THAT THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED.
SO HE STOPPED BY AGAIN.
CAMILO MACIEL, CAR OWNER: "THEN HE SAID YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU NEED TO GET OFF MY PROPERTY, CALLED THE COPS.
I SAID NO, NO, NO WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?""CALLING THE COPS" ON CUSTOMERS.
IS PRETTY COMMON AT D-TOWN.
HUNDREDS OF TIMES IN RECENT YEARS, ACCORDING TO POLICE RECORDS AND 9-1-1 AUDIO.
BRITTANY GLAS, REPORTING: "HI DARREN, MY NAME IS BRITTANY GLAS WITH KXAN NEWS.
I'VE BEEN TRYING TO REACH YOU.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY OF MY MESSAGES?" BRITTANY GLAS: PHONE MAKES END CALL NOISE.
"ALRIGHT, SO HE HUNG UP.
"WHEN WE SHOWED UP TO HIS SHOP IN SOUTH AUSTIN, HE LOCKED US OUT.
DARREN WYDERMYER, OWNER, D-TOWN: "YOU'RE NOT WELCOME.
" BRITTANY GLAS, REPORTING: "WE JUST WANTED TO TALK TO YOU BECAUSE A NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS HAVE REACHED OUT TO US, SAYING YOU'RE HOLDING THEIR CARS HOSTAGE.
"JEAN PELISSERO, LANDLORD: "I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYBODY WORKING HERE.
"WE FOUND NEARLY TWO DOZEN OF THOSE CARS.
DUSTY AND STILL NEEDING REPAIRS.
ACROSS TOWN AT D-TOWN'S NORTH AUSTIN LOCATION.
JEAN PELISSERO, LANDLORD: "I SENT HIM A LETTER ASKING HIM TO TELL ME WHICH CAR BELONGED TO WHOM, BUT NEVER HEARD FROM HIM.
"THE BUILDING'S LANDLORD EVICTED D-TOWN LAST MONTH FOR FAILURE TO PAY RENT.
AND IS NOW WORKING TO GET OWNERS THEIR VEHICLES, INCLUDING MACIEL'S.
WE FOUND HIS - STILL UNTOUCHED.
MORE THAN TWO YEARS AFTER HE DROPPED IT OFF.
CAMILO MACIEL: "IT'S JUST UNBELIEVABLE THAT THAT MANY PEOPLE HAVE GONE THROUGH THAT AND THAT NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.
THEY'RE STILL IN BUSINESS.
"CAMILO MACIEL: "IT DIDN'T JUST AFFECT ME.
IT AFFECTED MY FAMILY.
IT AFFECTED EVERYTHING.
"SO WHY CAN'T THE COPS DO ANYTHING HERE?WELL, IT'S A CIVIL CUSTOMERS HAVE THE OPTION TO SUE, BUT THAT CAN GET EXPENSIVE.
AND HERE'S THE THING -- THE STATE DOESN'T REGULATE BODY SHOPS.
BUT WE'VE BROUGHT THIS CONCERN TO A CENTRAL TEXAS STATE LAWMAKER, WHO WANTS TO LOOK INTO CHANGING THAT NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
TOMORROW NIGHT ON KXAN NEWS AT 10.
WE'LL SIT DOWN WITH HER TO FIND OUT WHAT RULES COULD CHANGE.
TO PROTECT YOU FROM PLACES LIKE THIS.
KXAN BRITTANY GLAS.
SYDNEY:THE CAR OWNER IN THIS INVESTIGATION TELLS US - HE DIDN'T DO MUCH RESEARCH BEFORE TAKING HIS CAR INTO D-TOWN.
A SIMPLE CHECK WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU SHOWS THE BUSINESS HAS AN "F" RATING.
AND FAR MORE COMPLAINTS THAN OTHER BODY SHOPS IN THE AREA.
THIS INVESTIGATION ALL STARTED WHEN VIEWERS REACHED OUT TO US.
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING YOU THINK WE SHOULD INVESTIGATE, EMAIL.
Create a list and call each shop to see how well you are treated on the phone.
Select three or four shops that sound good and are in close proximity to your location, and you are ready to take your vehicle in for an estimate.
You should get at least three estimates from three different shops.
The estimate may vary because Auto Body Shops may use different estimating software, but they should all be in the same ballpark. If an estimate differs by a great deal, you should ask why.
The body shop expert should be able to explain all prices on the estimate, including all price quotes and labor charges.
When you get the estimate, you should also be evaluating the Auto Body customer service:
How quickly were you acknowledged?
How efficiently were you helped?
Were all members of the staff polite and friendly?
Did the staff seem knowledgeable?
Be observant during the estimate and you will have a good idea of how you will be treated during the entire repair process.
If the customer service seems lacking, move on to the next place even if the estimate seems reasonable.
If you decide to leave your car, and the shop contacts you later to tell you about additional charges, this may be a sign that it is not a reputable and honest repair facility.
Though additional charges can happen occasionally, it is not a common practice for a reputable shop.
If you do your homework, have some patience, and get a few estimate, the odds are good that you will find a reputable auto body shop.
Once you have found one, it helps to direct all your business to them, and refer them to others.
If you do this, you will have established a good relationship, and you will no longer need to worry about finding an honest auto body shop.
The Results Are In – Who Do You Think is the Best Summit NJ Auto Body in the Area?
Today's vehicles are made with many different types of fuel-saving materials like lightweight alloys and plastics. It is important for an auto body shop to be aware of the different materials and techniques used for repairing them.
Auto body shops and collision repair services refer to manuals for instructions repairing bumpers. The different material types require various finish materials, removal and installation procedures.
When a plastic bumper is cracked or has a small hole it can be repaired to look as good as new. Replacing the bumper is wasteful and it creates unnecessary debris for our landfills. A good, eco-friendly auto body shop will only recommend replacing the bumper if the damage is severe enough that repair time would be considered unreasonable and quality of results would be unsatisfactory.
The cost of repairing small abrasions, cracks and holes in plastic bumpers is often much cheaper than replacing the part. Of course, many collision repair technicians would rather replace the part and charge a fee for their labor plus mark-up on the price of the part because they lack in cosmetic repair skills and it is easier to warranty the work.
Working with Plastics
The first step to repairing plastic bumpers is to identify the material in order to choose the method of repair. Auto body shops use ISO codes on the parts to identify the various families of plastics. They cross-reference the codes with charts from the suppliers or by accessing reference materials on the internet.
It is important that the collision repair technician determine the type of plastic they are working with so they know the proper welding procedure to use to avoid damage to the part.
Some plastics can be welded with an airless welder or hot-air welder; others require a hot glue type of procedure. Tests must be performed and welding procedures have to be done correctly to avoid adhesion failure. Some bumpers will melt with a slight color change and they will remain tacky in the area where they have melted.
The bumper repair technician must identify the type of plastic they are working with in order to be successful with adhesive repairs. Failure to properly identify the plastic results in adhesion-related problems.
Some repair materials are based on flexible and rigid plastics. Using the wrong material can cause cracking when the part is flexed or it may not provide the correct strength for the repair area.
Cleaning and Prep
Proper cleaning and prep is critical for proper adhesion and finish. Whether the technician is repairing or replacing the bumper, the part will need to be cleaned. The bumper being repaired is likely to be dirty from the road; the new replacement part can have contamination on it from the manufacturing process.
Auto body repair professionals should use a low-VOC surface cleaner or a special plastics parts cleaner to help prevent solvents from going too deep into the plastic. If solvents are too harsh, they go deep into the plastic and cause adhesion problems after repairs are done.
This is an overview of the process of working with plastics. Time is money in the auto body industry; therefore, many collision repair technicians choose to replace rather than repair plastic bumpers and other parts.
Technology allows us to repair many items that are often replaced. As resources become scarce and landfills become over-full, we really should consider repairing rather than replacing when possible.
Auto Body Shops - Few Tips For Dealing With Them
Jeff what are the three questions should ask a body shop before they consider dropping their car off for repairs? Well what's important is that the repair shop actually be qualified to fix that particular vehicle.
Today modern cars require specialized training and equipment to be able to perform repairs to the manufacturer's standards.
For instance, this Mini Cooper and other BMWs require what's called rivet bonding.
So, glue joints and rivets.
They're actually repaired like aircraft today.
This is important because this maintains the structural integrity the manufacturer designed for a repair situation.
Like this fixture frame bench here that utilizes actual jigs to support the vehicle across its entire platform and place factory components precisely where the manufacturer has designated.
These systems are different than generic systems that simply are reverse engineered and don't have jig and holding capacity.
Shops that aren't trained and equipped to properly perform a repair utilizing generic equipment or generic procedures can't restore the vehicle to the manufacturer's standards and that doesn't necessarily maintain the safety ratingdesigned for the vehicle.
You potentially jeopardize the collision energy management system.
The vehicle might not perform the same in a future collision and you could possibly be more injured than you would if the car doesn't perform as the manufacturer intended.
The second question a consumer should ask is "Where does the body shop's loyalty lie?" Is it an independent repair center that relies on satisfied customers to drive business through their door and therefore fixes vehicles correctly? Or is the body shop on the insurance company's "preferred network?" Those body shops rely on the insurance referrals and when those body shops utilize cheap, imitation, and savage parts utilize the quickest possible repair times and keep costs as low as possible that generates the next referral.
But that's a recipe for shortcuts.
The third question, Paul, is "Can the repair shop make this process convenient for me?" Most consumers today want convenience and ease.
Repair shops that are high-quality repair shops are going to put their customers' interests first & do everything they can to have a satisfied customer.
That includes sheduling a rental car, scheduling a tow engaging in conversations with the insurance company and making sure the vehicle is fixed right for the consumer.