Auto Collision Repair Shop: Your Source Guide

May 14, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 
by Kyle Chatman

One of the very first things you should think about when choosing a Collision shop is, “How much experience does the shop have?” It’s not enough to know how many years a shop has been in business, but it’s a good place to start. You should also take into account the extreme climate here in Monroe County, and the extra experience required to deal with the damage road salt can cause.

Make sure you ask the manager, and then follow up with “How much experience do your technicians have?” That’s the really important question, because you want to know that the folks who will actually be working on your car or truck, repairing the sheet metal, straightening the frame, and painting the body panels really know what they are doing. Experience, as they say, truly is the best teacher.

I have found that, here in the Flower City, the average experience of body shop techs is slightly over seven years, and rookies are few and far between right now. That means you are quite likely to find a shop with experienced techs, if you just take the time to look around.

Once the metal work has been completed, the next stage is the paint prep area, normally in this area dust extraction systems are used to remove any dust that occurs during sanding and paint primer spraying. Body shops use infrared light systems in this area to cure paint primer quickly. These lights usually speed up the drying time, allowing the primer to cure in 20 minutes rather than 24 hours; therefore, your car is ready to go a lot quicker.

The next step will be for the vehicle to move to the paint booth where all the final colors and clear coats will be applied. Many body shops will have different booths the best ones being “downdraft” units these have filtered fresh air entering the top of the booth, any over-spray is drained out through grates in the floor. This produces the best paint finishes, however, as with everything, it’s the operators that make the difference.

If the manager can’t or won’t tell you how long his techs have been working there, it may be best to move on to another auto body repair shop. Body shop technicians seem to stay longer at one shop than in many areas of the country. This stability adds up to valuable experience for you.

When it comes to choosing a body shop, there are also local factors to consider. For example, in upstate New York, winter freezing and thawing must be taken into account, and an experienced repair facility will understand how to work under those conditions. The heavy use of road salt in Monroe County and the surrounding counties is an added intangible that your body shop must be aware of. Make sure they have been doing business locally for at least three years, preferably several more.

How long has the shop been open? How much experience do the technicians have? How satisfied are the techs? Hopefully, asking these three questions will help you feel more confident and comfortable the next time the unavoidable happens, and you are faced with the need to choose the very best collision repair facility

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