5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop, auto body repair.#Auto #body #repair


5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Save Thousands by Knowing What To Look for

03/08/2011 – By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor

It’s not uncommon for estimates from different body shops to vary wildly. One shop might give you an estimate for $500 while another wants $2,000 for the work. What’s the difference? And when is it OK to choose the cheaper shop?

1) Pay Attention to Word-of-Mouth

Any business can advertise, but you’ll do better with a shop that friends, family or acquaintances recommend. It’s a business that has proven it can satisfy customers. And it might not be the biggest or best-known shop in your area.

Mallette went to a shop years ago on such recommendations and found that the owner was a “real stand-up guy. He doesn’t advertise on the Internet; it’s a family-owned shop,” Mallette says. “But, golly, if you take your car there, you’ll get a fair price.”

In some cases, you might get a recommendation for a small shop where the owner works on the cars himself. “That’s how I like doing business,” Mallette says. “To me it seems so much more personal and then you can understand what’s really going on with your car.”

2) Consider the Operation’s Location and Overhead

“Where you get screwed in our business is labor hours,” Mallette explains. His shop charges $40 per hour for labor. But in ritzy parts of West Los Angeles, the per-hour labor charge is $60-$65. In wealthy Newport Beach, California, Mallette has heard of $90-per-hour labor charges.

Large body shops with a lot of front-office workers probably have to charge higher rates to pay their staff. While service delivered by front-desk folks, managers and foremen gives some people a feeling of confidence in the business, it can result in estimates that are padded with non-essential work. When they’re charging more labor hours at a higher rate, your bill can add up quickly.

In his shop, Mallette says he does things by the book literally. Body shops and garages use reference guides that estimate the number of hours required to perform common repairs.

“Let’s say somebody has damage to their fender, bumper and headlight,” Mallette tells us. “I go to my book, I write an estimate and I basically go by the hours mandated by the book.”

By contrast, the higher-end shops might decide to charge for everything in “the gray area,” meaning those things that they might have to do to fix the problem. In Mallette’s example, high-end estimates might include a charge for time spent removing the hood and the door, while his judgment call is not to perform this additional work.

Taking your car to several auto body shops for repair quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges, Mallette notes. “I’ll tell people to go get some estimates and bring ’em back to me. I’ll match estimates if I can.”

And while it’s important to protect against being overcharged, you shouldn’t simply take the lowest quote. “You might get some kind of midnight guy who will say he can do it really cheap,” he says. “Stay away from those guys, because there is something they’re not doing. You could have major problems down the road.”

4) Ask the Right Questions

When choosing a body shop, “you don’t go in with your pocketbook open,” Mallette explains. “You go in smart,” and ask some key questions. Does the shop provide a written warranty? And if so, for how long? What does the warranty cover?

A one-year warranty is a minimum, Mallette says. His shop offers a two-year warranty for body work and a three-year warranty for complete paint jobs. Some shops offer lifetime warranties as a selling point, but that isn’t realistic, he says.

“Most of the stipulations and conditions those warranties require are more restrictive than the majority of people can adhere to,” he says. “So basically, the warranty becomes useless.”

Another key question is whether the shop carries fire and theft insurance. You want to be sure you’re covered if your car is destroyed, stolen or burglarized. Don’t forget to ask how long the shop has been in business. Make sure it has a business license.

You will also want to know about the materials the shop intends to use. Are new, used or aftermarket body parts going to be used? New parts are obviously the best and used parts are fine, though they don’t offer the savings people imagine. Depending on the damage to your vehicle, aftermarket parts can save a lot of money and can be just as good as the ones that come from the original manufacturer. If paint work is involved, ask how many coats of paint and clear coat the shop intends to use.

Finally, it’s important to trust your intuition about the shop you’re considering. If a shop isn’t busy, maybe that’s because customers are avoiding it because of shoddy repairs. If the place is really dirty, cluttered or disorganized, this might reflect the kind of work you could expect the shop to do with your car. Is the shop owner or manager a grouch who seems to resent answering your questions? You’ll be happier with a shop where the owner communicates well and is straightforward with customers.

“Trust your gut,” Mallette says. “If your gut tells you the guy’s shady I wouldn’t even go there.”


Collision Auto Repair, auto collision repair.#Auto #collision #repair


Collision Auto Repair

Auto collision repair

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Safety First – Follow OEM Procedures!

Factory repair procedures are essential for many reasons – from identifying and locating materials (UHSS, mild steel, aluminum, magnesium, plastics etc.) to programming a multitude of electronic systems. And today you need OEM information for the structural repairs you used to do in your sleep…before cars became so extremely complex.

Genesis Sedan Lane Departure Warning System Calibration

Auto collision repair

The technology just keeps on coming! Systems you now commonly see in your shop include backup cameras, front view cameras, programmable seats and mirrors, collision avoidance, blind-spot alert, parking assist, rear-mounted radar,

Protect Your Shop with Recall Information

Auto collision repair

Cars and trucks are a big part of people’s lives. They help us go places, do things, and we depend on them like few other things in our lives. People also tend to love their cars and spend lots of money on them. So when defects – real or perceived – are brought to light,

Five Collision Repairs

that May Slow You Down

Keeping up with the latest vehicle technology can be challenging these days – numerous control modules, alternative materials, new construction techniques and just plain tricky engineering — just to name a few!

You Really Do Have to Sweat the Small Stuff

You pride yourself on taking a pile of twisted metal and restoring it back to its vehicular glory. It is a marvelous thing to bring back a car to its roadworthy pre-collision state. But when that same vehicle comes back to the shop with minor issues, it presents a scenario that could go for or against you.

To your customer, no problem is “minor.”

12 Steps to Flawless Plastic Body Repairs

Auto collision repair

Did you hear the one about the vehicle that collided with a collision shop? No joke… It really happened in Texas in early 2014. An SUV demolished a collision shop’s wall and ended up on its roof inside a storage area. No word on whether or not that particular shop was selected for the repair.

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The Jeep ® was a recognizable symbol of American fighting forces in World War II, just as the “Huey” helicopter was an iconic symbol of Vietnam.

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To me, a car has always been a thing of beauty. The bodylines, the sparkle of fresh paint, the sound of a finely tuned power plant, a glowing instrument panel, chrome shining in the sun and the feel of leather as you strap yourself into the driver’s seat.

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If you are working on a Chevy ® Silverado ® or GM ® Sierra ® , you may have to remove one or more of the body mount bolts. You may then discover that one of the cab mount bolts won’t loosen from the vehicle. The bolt may act like the nut is cross-threaded or no longer secured to the floor pan of the vehicle.

This Ain’t Your Father’s Collision Industry

The collision industry amazes me. Mostly in a good way. Today’s rapidly changing technologies keep things interesting. New materials, such as ultra high strength steel, plastics, composites and other materials offer up challenges we didn’t have to deal with in “the good old days.”

Without Manufacturers’ Information, You’re Flying Blind.

OEM information prevents a serious headache on a Jeep Liberty repair.

Mike is a great guy who runs a collision repair facility in Joliet, Illinois. We’ve always had a good relationship and he never holds back when we talk. Good or bad, you’ll get exactly what you asked for – complete honesty.

GM With Multiple SIR Codes? Connectors Maybe the Culprit!

One Friday, I stopped into a friend’s shop to discuss going over to Serino’s Deli ® for lunch. Instead, Mike drags me into the shop. I was hungry and I’m thinking this better be some exotic car if Mike is jeopardizing our ability to get a table at the deli.

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Auto collision repair

Has this scenario ever occurred in your shop? You make relatively minor repairs to a vehicle and it appears as good as new. A few days later, the owner brings it back and says you missed something. In this example, the driver’s side door glass on a 2009 Ford

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Alternative Vehicle Systems

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Even though hybrid vehicles have been around for a few years, they still present some unique challenges to both the automotive service and collision repair industries.

Was a Perfect Repair “Spoiled”?

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Your customer was thrilled with the way you repaired her vehicle as good as new. As she drove off, you knew she would be recommending your business to her friends and family. So, why is she now walking back into your shop looking less than happy?

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Maintain profitability with OEM information at your fingertips!

Auto collision repair

and Jeff Webster, Technical Editor

Ever wonder how to repair warped or wavy door panels?

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Auto collision repair Radar – really? If you haven’t seen it in a crunched car yet, you are probably overdue. Vehicles utilizing this technology invented for ships and planes are now rolling (or being towed) into shops as a result of collisions.

Collision Avoidance Systems As Revenue Opportunities

It’s a whole new world in the collision business. After your shop repairs a vehicle, it might look as good as new, but how about all those electronic systems that need resetting, reinitializing and adjusting? In the past, you may have subletted these “non-collision” jobs to a mechanical shop. But today, with the right information and a good scan tool, you can keep these jobs – and the profits they generate – in house.

Chevrolet Volt, Ford F-150 Repair Procedures

In Part 1 of this Tech Tip, we discussed how accurate and timely OE collision repair information can help production managers:

Sectioning the Front Hinge A-Pillar of the Buick RegalSectioning the Front Hinge A-Pillar of the Buick Regal

A new car is in the shop, and the front end looks like it ran into a tree. Turns out it did! So what’s it going to take to get it back on the road? Well, it starts with you, the estimator. As an estimator, you need experience, good judgment, diplomatic skills and accurate information.

TSBs Can Generate an Additional Income Stream

So what does it mean for you to “one up” the competition? You’ve invested time and money to install the latest and greatest software systems throughout your business. You have the best frame rack and electronic measuring devices available on the market. You have the most talented welders who allow you to replace panels and structural components according to OEM standards, and you have the equipment necessary to refinish vehicles in a way that rivals factory paint jobs. So what more do you need?


Car Scratch Repair, Auto Body Tips, Liberty Collision Reno, auto scratch repair.#Auto #scratch #repair


Car Scratch Repair Tips

Many of us end up with some unsightly scratches on our vehicles, and it can seem daunting to take the time to fix even minor car scratches. Let’s make car scratch repair less daunting with a few cosmetic car repair tips and tricks from yours truly at Liberty Collision!

Why Repair Car Scratches?

Some small cosmetic damage to the body of your car seems like a car repair that can wait. The most important thing to drive a safe, fully-operating vehicle out on the road. Why is it important to repair car scratches on your car sooner rather than later? One of the biggest reasons to fix car scratches is to prevent rust on your car. A deep scratch can reveal the metal of your car to the elements, which leads to rust.

First Steps in Car Scratch Repair

The absolute first thing you will want to do in your car scratch repair process is make sure what you see is in fact a scratch! In small collisions like fender benders, some paint from the other car may be left on the surface of your car. This is an easy fix!

Before you repair scratches on your car, prepare your garage area to make the repairs. If you are repairing car scratches while outside, make sure it is not windy and kicking up dirt. The dirt can get on the surface of your car and cause more scratches as you try to repair the initial scratch. Clean your car around the scratch so you also have a clean and dry working area on the car’s surface.

DIY Car Scratch Repair

Your next steps in your DIY car scratch repair process are sanding down and buffing the scratched area. Sand with the grain of the scratch to avoid making the scratch have ridges, which can make this cosmetic car repair more complicated. Be sure to rinse off the area every once in awhile as you sand it down to make sure you have sufficiently sanded down the scratch.

Once the scratch is sanded down, you even out the sanded space by using a buffer and a rubbing compound. This step helps you make sure you have an even surface before you wax the area. You don’t want your one sanded down scratch to look like a bunch of small scratches in the sunlight! The even look makes a big difference.

Now that you’ve repaired the scratched area of your car, you use wax to make this spot look like the rest of the car. Waxing is imperative at this point so that this area can still repel water. Give some love to the rest of your car as you wax the previously scratched area, since waxing your car prevents paint chips and dirt being embedded in your car’s paint.

Auto scratch repairCar scratch repairs at Liberty Collision in Reno.

Car Scratch Repair at Liberty Collision

At Liberty Collision auto repair shop in Reno, our team can take care of car scratch repairs, paintless dent repairs, windshield replacements and more! Our car scratch repair process is efficient so you can get back on the road quickly and feel good about the appearance of your car at the same time.

Stop by Liberty Collision today for an estimate on your car scratch repair!


5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop, auto repair shops.#Auto #repair #shops


5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Save Thousands by Knowing What To Look for

03/08/2011 – By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor

It’s not uncommon for estimates from different body shops to vary wildly. One shop might give you an estimate for $500 while another wants $2,000 for the work. What’s the difference? And when is it OK to choose the cheaper shop?

1) Pay Attention to Word-of-Mouth

Any business can advertise, but you’ll do better with a shop that friends, family or acquaintances recommend. It’s a business that has proven it can satisfy customers. And it might not be the biggest or best-known shop in your area.

Mallette went to a shop years ago on such recommendations and found that the owner was a “real stand-up guy. He doesn’t advertise on the Internet; it’s a family-owned shop,” Mallette says. “But, golly, if you take your car there, you’ll get a fair price.”

In some cases, you might get a recommendation for a small shop where the owner works on the cars himself. “That’s how I like doing business,” Mallette says. “To me it seems so much more personal and then you can understand what’s really going on with your car.”

2) Consider the Operation’s Location and Overhead

“Where you get screwed in our business is labor hours,” Mallette explains. His shop charges $40 per hour for labor. But in ritzy parts of West Los Angeles, the per-hour labor charge is $60-$65. In wealthy Newport Beach, California, Mallette has heard of $90-per-hour labor charges.

Large body shops with a lot of front-office workers probably have to charge higher rates to pay their staff. While service delivered by front-desk folks, managers and foremen gives some people a feeling of confidence in the business, it can result in estimates that are padded with non-essential work. When they’re charging more labor hours at a higher rate, your bill can add up quickly.

In his shop, Mallette says he does things by the book literally. Body shops and garages use reference guides that estimate the number of hours required to perform common repairs.

“Let’s say somebody has damage to their fender, bumper and headlight,” Mallette tells us. “I go to my book, I write an estimate and I basically go by the hours mandated by the book.”

By contrast, the higher-end shops might decide to charge for everything in “the gray area,” meaning those things that they might have to do to fix the problem. In Mallette’s example, high-end estimates might include a charge for time spent removing the hood and the door, while his judgment call is not to perform this additional work.

Taking your car to several auto body shops for repair quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges, Mallette notes. “I’ll tell people to go get some estimates and bring ’em back to me. I’ll match estimates if I can.”

And while it’s important to protect against being overcharged, you shouldn’t simply take the lowest quote. “You might get some kind of midnight guy who will say he can do it really cheap,” he says. “Stay away from those guys, because there is something they’re not doing. You could have major problems down the road.”

4) Ask the Right Questions

When choosing a body shop, “you don’t go in with your pocketbook open,” Mallette explains. “You go in smart,” and ask some key questions. Does the shop provide a written warranty? And if so, for how long? What does the warranty cover?

A one-year warranty is a minimum, Mallette says. His shop offers a two-year warranty for body work and a three-year warranty for complete paint jobs. Some shops offer lifetime warranties as a selling point, but that isn’t realistic, he says.

“Most of the stipulations and conditions those warranties require are more restrictive than the majority of people can adhere to,” he says. “So basically, the warranty becomes useless.”

Another key question is whether the shop carries fire and theft insurance. You want to be sure you’re covered if your car is destroyed, stolen or burglarized. Don’t forget to ask how long the shop has been in business. Make sure it has a business license.

You will also want to know about the materials the shop intends to use. Are new, used or aftermarket body parts going to be used? New parts are obviously the best and used parts are fine, though they don’t offer the savings people imagine. Depending on the damage to your vehicle, aftermarket parts can save a lot of money and can be just as good as the ones that come from the original manufacturer. If paint work is involved, ask how many coats of paint and clear coat the shop intends to use.

Finally, it’s important to trust your intuition about the shop you’re considering. If a shop isn’t busy, maybe that’s because customers are avoiding it because of shoddy repairs. If the place is really dirty, cluttered or disorganized, this might reflect the kind of work you could expect the shop to do with your car. Is the shop owner or manager a grouch who seems to resent answering your questions? You’ll be happier with a shop where the owner communicates well and is straightforward with customers.

“Trust your gut,” Mallette says. “If your gut tells you the guy’s shady I wouldn’t even go there.”


Auto Repair by Top-Rated Mobile Mechanics, YourMechanic, auto repair shops.#Auto #repair #shops


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Chilton auto repair manual, chilton auto repair manual.#Chilton #auto #repair #manual


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  • Transmission / Transaxle, Differential Transfer Case Rebuild Books, Tools Kits- Master Deluxe, Torque Converters.
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Chevy Repair Manuals Online with Factory Wire Diagrams, online auto repair manuals.#Online #auto #repair #manuals


Chevy Repair Manuals Online with Factory Wire Diagrams

This page is about Chevy repair manuals and the reasons why you ll most likely be happy with the amount of information included in the online versions.

General Motors provides excellent repair support. In fact, the availability of PDF manuals for some light duty car and trucks goes way back. As an example, the Chevrolet El Camino shop manuals go back to 1964.

They even have online diagrams for this 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo. You won t find this kind of coverage with popular online programs that charge a subscription fee.

Sidebar: Don t miss the 4 minute video at the bottom that shows you what the Chevrolet S10 Blazer wiring diagram section and ladder diagrams look like in the downloadable PDF format.

You can use it to solve climate control problems on many GM automobiles. Now, when it comes to the quality of the auto repair information in any web based service manual it really boils down to what s provided. Garbage in, garbage out they say.

Online auto repair manuals

The more information received from the manufacturer the more repair diagrams and service bulletins are contained in the online version of that manual.

Hats off to Chevrolet division of the General Motors Corp. for including all the information contained in the professional dealership publication to companies that provide service manuals and automotive information.

These Chevrolet repair manuals offer high quality repair procedures for DIY mechanics.

Wag of the finger to the foreign car companies like Kia and BMW that don t want to share their high quality reference materials with do-it-yourself minded people.

The Right to Repair Act

This boils down to an ongoing and raging debate about whether or not car manufacturers should be obligated to supply auto repair information to the public and aftermarket repair shops.

Online auto repair manualsLaw makers are pushing legislation called the right to repair act that will assure the information to fix cars remains available to the general public.

Nevertheless, some automakers are fighting for the right to withhold this repair information and are lobbying against the bill. Why are they against making this information public?

If you think about it, if this information is withheld then only dealerships would have the needed reference materials to perform service and maintenance. Good for them, but bad for us as the Diy car mechanic and local repair shops would be left out.

Chevrolet and the other General Motors products as well as most American car manufacturers believe that you have the right to repair your own vehicle.

Online auto repair manualsThis is why we consider the information included in the complete online Chevy repair manuals found here as high quality. Nevertheless, we really have to thank the car-makers that support our right to repair the vehicles we purchase.

Long story short, when you subscribe to a repair manual service or buy a PDF version some automobiles provide great information. However, some vehicles have a lack of quality information. Personally I have found the best ones come from Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company.

Tip of the hat to Japanese vehicles like Nissan, Toyota and Subaru that also do a nice job. I think the worst ones come from German automakers and some Korean made vehicles supply far less information as you ll find in Chevy repair manuals.

Information from the General

The wiring diagram in the video comes from a popular online service manual. At the time of this writing the demonstration vehicle is a 2004 Chevrolet Blazer ZR2. In fact, I own this vehicle and bought the shop manual for it.

This wiring diagram is the same exact one provided in a professional Chevrolet dealership publication. If you re looking for information on how to repair AC blower motors on GM vehicles we provide a comprehensive article to help you.

Do you own a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck or sport utility vehicle? Then this is your lucky day. The wiring diagram in the featured video below provides fantastic information for the do-it-yourself auto mechanic.

Online auto repair manualsChevrolet Blazer

Remember that the front AC compressor control circuit has the same layout and wire colors across many years and models. You ll find the diagnostic techniques highlighted useful even if your car has different color wires.

The video covers an extremely common failure that prevents the air conditioning compressor from turning on. It shows you how to locate the AC compressor clutch relay. And how the simple circuit operates. The theory of operation applies to many cars and trucks.

Don t have time to watch the clip or try the service? Give this Chevrolet auto repair manual page a bookmark or share with friends. If you need further support in the automotive air conditioning department we have you covered.

Chevrolet Repair Manual Video

I have a few more pages about how to use repair diagrams to fix your vehicle and home. This next link will take you to the beginning of the car repair and service manuals section.

Here you can see an older video that talks about how to use a ladder type repair diagram to troubleshoot complex car problems.

For more information about what other types of automotive information you ll find on this website visit the homepage. This website is closing in on 200 pages of high-quality information. Here you can find more answers to common car questions.

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