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Summit Auto Body – Where to Get the Best Tires and Brakes Service?

Peotter’s Tire and Auto understands that, without knowing what to look for, choosing a quality auto body shop is difficult.

It’s important to select the right auto shop to ensure the vehicle is fixed correctly the first time.

It’s also the best way to make sure the shop is honest and reliable. There are many important features of a good shop, including an experienced staff and certifications.

Auto Body Repair Quote

It can also help to read customer reviews before making a selection.

A Certified Summit Auto Body Shop

A good body shop is certified by the largest auto organization. Facilities that gain the approval of the organization have proven their abilities as certification is often a lengthy process.

To become approved, an auto shop must demonstrate it has the latest equipment, qualified technicians and a proper facility.

It must also show it offers above average training to its employees. Larger associations always collect feedback from prior customers as well before issuing an approval.

A car is a very complex piece of machinery. Each individual part is vigorously tested before it ever goes into production models and, like a chain, relies upon every other part in order for the vehicle to function. One poorly built aspect can cause serious malfunctions leading to costly repairs, or worse, an accident.

Even something as simple as the glues used to hold a tire tread to the rest of the tire is an integral part of a car or truck. Just ask Firestone. That exact issue resulted in a costly recall of thousands of tires, legal recourse, as well as over 500 injuries and 148 deaths. All of which could have been prevented with only a little bit of testing. Be wary of new designs rushed into mass production.

Often a seemingly superficial part to a vehicle actually provides a significant amount of safety. Everyone knows a windshield protects the driver and passenger from wind and debris. Most also know that they are also designed with a thin film that prevents them shattering upon impact. What most people don't know is that the windshield provides over half of the structural support for the car during an impact. The windshield combined with the frame of the car makes it structurally safer than a car without one. Cracks in a windshield can greatly reduce their protective power, as well as obstruct the driver's view which is even more dangerous.

Replacing or repairing cracks and chips in a windshield should be done by trained professional at a certified and insured auto glass or body shop. Avoid independent installers and people who operate only out of their truck. The adhesive used dries in about an hour, so if any body shops quote you a turn around time less than that, they are either lying or don't know what they are doing.

Also, it is a good idea to know a little bit about the glass windshields they will be installing. There are three aftermarket windshields that exceed OEM and DOT specs, they are P.P.G., L.O.F. and Plinkington.

Other suitable windshields are made by the car factory. Ford's factory glass is called Carlite, and Chrysler's is Safeguard. Expect to pay more money for factory glass. A good auto glass installer will sand all the rust around the windshield after it is removed, and then prime and paint it before installing the new windshield. It is best to go with body shops that have been around for at least five years as they are more likely to be around to guarantee warranties and make repairs in the future. Many shops will also work with your insurance carrier to get you the best price on a windshield, sometimes completely paid for by the insurance company.

Body repair is another story and can become very expensive. Newer cars with plastic and fiberglass bodies are almost impossible to repair, the body panels are often much easier to just replace, and that can be accomplished by almost anyone with a wrench and screw driver. Repairing dents and rust on metal bodies can be time consuming as well as expensive. It also requires a matching paint job which is similarly expensive. If the dented or rusted panels can be removed it makes it much easier. Dents can be pounded back into shape. In addition to this, it is often just easier to work on and paint a detached piece. Some work can be done by the average Joe, but extensive body work should be done at an established body shop.

Auto shops can also receive certification from parts manufacturers and organizations like Auto Body Alliance, which requires the shop to meet certain qualifications.

Qualified and Experienced Staff in the Repair Shop

A good auto body shop has qualified staff with a number of certifications. Certification from ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) is especially important.

ASE is a non-profit organization that offers certifications to automobile technicians that show proficiency in their trade.

Technicians may also have certification from car manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan, showing their knowledge and experience dealing with particular car brands.

Some auto technicians also receive aftermarket training from Bendix, Moog, or NAPA. Most training requires a great deal of knowledge and experience and demonstrates a technician is a professional in their field.

Positive Customer Auto Body Shop Reviews

When possible, former clients should be consulted about their experience with the shop. Some resources to find reviews are online, making it easy to decide if a body shop has good feedback from the public.

Reviews should mention that the vehicle was fixed properly the first time and work was completed in a timely fashion.

Positive reviews should also discuss whether a warranty was offered by the body shop and if the facility was clean and orderly.

A facility that has the approval of a large automobile association has shown a history of positive feedback from customers, although it’s always a good idea to check into a shop as much as possible.

Accepts All Insurance

Another important aspect of a good body shop is its acceptance of all forms on insurance.

Peotter’s Tire and Auto believes that an auto body shop that accepts all insurance providers demonstrates it has experience working with insurance companies to settle claims quickly.

Accident Repair

In Summary:

A shop that is hesitant to accept major insurance providers is a red flag that something may be wrong.

This is also a matter of convenience and makes it easier for the vehicle owner to select a shop they feel comfortable with.

Selecting the right auto body shop requires a bit of patience and consideration.

For example, choosing the first shop available can be a disaster if the employees aren’t trained properly.

A good auto shop is clean and up-to-date with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The shop should have positive reviews and a range of certifications for both the facility and technicians.

It should also accept all forms of insurance, making repairs easy and convenient.

Auto Body Shop Quotes

One of the most puzzling things about shopping for relatively expensive services (more than $500) like home remodeling, cosmetic surgery, and auto body repair is the wide range of price quotes you receive for essentially the same service. When I ran an auto body shop, we would see quotes from big name shops of $2000 for a front bumper and grille replacement. Sometimes, we could do the job for $1000 and still make a fair profit.

So, was the big name shop's work better? Frankly, yes. Their painter could get a closer color match. Their body man could line up the bumper absolutely perfect...to within a millimeter of factory spec. But...was their work twice as good? Only a body man or painter could spot the difference. From a certain angle, in a certain light, he could see the slightest mismatch in paint color. And with a fine-grade ruler. He could check the gap between bumper and fender and find the slightest differences.

But could a customer perceive the difference between a $2000 and $1000 bumper job? No chance. If I could quantify the difference, it might be (an undetectable) 5%.

I'm not advocating that you choose the lowest bid every time (there are some bad shops out there), but as a former shop owner, I can tell you with confidence that it's seldom worthwhile to choose the highest bid.

You're going to want to choose the most affordable bid from a shop with a good reputation.

Here's how to find that "just right" shop:

1. Get at least 4 bids.
2. Toss the high bid.
3. Do some research on the remaining 3 bids.
4. Check online reviews: Google, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.
5. Check with the Better Business Bureau.
6. Inspect the shop...is it clean and orderly?
7. What about the customer service? Do they answer the phone? Are they polite? Do they answer your questions? Does the manager/estimator create a good, knowledgeable impression?
8. Do they guarantee their work? You will want at least a 3 year guarantee from defects like peeling and discoloration.
9. Usually, the shop will have completed cars waiting for pick up. Inspect the work. Would you pay for that work?

After you've done your investigating, circle the shops you felt comfortable with trusting your car. Trust your gut instinct! Then choose the one with the lowest bid. You'll get a repair that you will be very happy with yet spend hundreds if not thousands less.

What to Look for in an Auto Body Shop