It’s Spring, There Is a Hail Storm – Hail Damage Repair Information

Luckily for car owners without garages, most hail storms do not cause body damage to cars until the hail is larger than ½ inch in diameter. Even then, it takes bigger hail than that to cause significant damage. The first thing that happens after a hail storm is car dealers offer Hail Sales and hail repair outfits pop up like mushrooms after a rain.

  1. Hail Sales offer damaged cars at prices well below book value. However, the real result is that car dealers simply make bigger commissions and sell more cars. Any car sold with unrepaired damage means that the damage was either too severe or too expensive to be worth fixing. Every car that a dealer can fix before sale with Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) will have been fixed already.
  2. Repainting a car after PDR or other hail damage removal adds extra costs. PDR works well for small dents where the dent has no cracked paint within the dent.
  3. Dents to large for PDR to repair must be handled at a conventional auto shop and the repairs will need to be painted and finished.
  4. Large or deep dents or those where the metal is very stretched or even cracked require a body shop repair job. Deep dents that break the paint will result in rust to the metal body of the car if left unrepaired.
  5. Some insurance companies pay car owners the amount on its estimate, regardless of whether the owner gets the repairs done or not. Keeping the insurance money without fixing it is legal but choosing to leave damage unrepaired can impact your ability to get full-coverage insurance on the car. It can also affect the amount you get for future repairs or similar damage since future occurrences will be excluded from the coverage.
  6. Having a car’s hail damage repaired using insurance money does result in the repair being listed on the CarFax vehicle report from that point onward. This helps insurance companies avoid bogus damage claims and also is used by car buyers to know the damage and repair history of their potential vehicle.
  7. Owners who choose to leave it unrepaired may find the cost of the hail damage deducted from damage claims later in the life of the car. Document any repairs to hail damage to ensure future claims are paid in full.
  8. If you own your car outright, you need to decide how long you plan to own the car and how important the repair is to you. If you have a car that has little value and plan to drive it until it dies, there is not much point in repairing hail damage.
  9. If you have an active loan on your car, your lien holder will probably require verification that the damage was fixed. In some cases, they might allow you to apply the hail damage repair check to the balance of your car loan.
  10. Get damage estimates and compare that with the claim payout offer minus your deductible before making a decision about filing an insurance claim.
  11. The insurance company may “total out” an older car with only relatively minor hail damage simply because the vehicle has less useful life remaining. Motorcycles can handle very little hail damage before insurance companies consider them a total loss.

When checking for hail damage or getting an insurance estimate, make sure to check windshields for cracks and chips. If glass is involved, get that repaired and make sure the permanent seals along windshield and rear window edges are properly repaired and set, too.

How to Select an Auto Repair Shop

Selecting an auto body repair shop can be a bewildering and confusing experience. There are hundreds of shops to choose from in any city and they all claim to offer the best prices, the fastest service, and the highest quality. Can they all be trusted? Or should you be on the lookout for scam artists and individuals trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers?

Choose Value for Auto Body Repair

Low prices are an attractive promotion, but it is not always best to just go with the body shop that is offering the lowest priced repair. Though most body shops do honest work, there are some that cut corners or install used parts with informing customers just so they can lure people in with rock-bottom pricing. Getting value for car repairs is paramount – value is the combination of reasonable pricing and high quality work completed in a fair amount of time.

Protecting Yourself and Getting the Most out of an Auto Repair Shop

Before deciding on the low bid, or any price quote, find out more about the body shop. Do some research on the Internet and ask around for any reviews and testimonials. There are great online review sites on which people give unsolicited opinions about their experiences with local businesses. Any auto body shop you are considering should have mostly positive reviews – don’t let a few negative ones scare you away as almost all businesses will have a few dissatisfied customers from time to time.

A recent trend in the industry are the use of auto accident consultants. These individuals or companies have established relationships with a network of auto repair specialists and can offer understanding and insight into the workings of the industry. Car crash consultants are often able to offer connections to legitimate repair specialists and may even be able to save you money on a car repair.

The other way to protect yourself is to ask your insurance agent or carrier. Though you are not required to use a body shop they recommend, they do work with a variety of different legitimate repair shops. Using a recommendation from your insurance company may not mean you will get the lowest price, but it will ensure that your insurance company will not balk at paying the balance due.

Finding the right auto body shop can be frustrating, but the frustration level can be reduced with a little research and effort. Spend some time on the Internet, and talk to family, friends, neighbors, and peers. One last piece of advice – get at least three quotes before you select a shop. Shopping around may take a little extra time, but it is often worth the effort.

Auto Repair Guides

Auto repair guides explain the maintenance, repair, and cleaning of automotive supplies. These are guides meant for home users as well as professionals. Nowadays, these are available in electronic versions, and there are many software packages available to diagnose and fix automotive problems.

Major companies in this industry such as Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen provide electronic auto repair guides so that even amateur users can learn a lot about auto repair. Auto repair guides usually tell you how repairs are done on all major parts of an automobile including the brake system, cooling system, electrical system, engine system, A/C-heat system, body and exterior, exhaust system, fuel system, steering and suspension system, and drive train.

A number of good online auto repair guides are provided free on selected websites. These sites provide useful articles and FAQs that enable you to learn the techniques of auto repair step by step.

Lots of auto repair guides tell you how to do simple auto repair jobs at home.

They also help you find quality used auto parts. Lots of auto repair guides also give you advice on auto repair shops in major cities. Auto repair guides also provide information on auto insurance, car rentals, driving schools and car washes. They help you learn more about automotive maintenance, car accessories and car audio systems.

At the most basic level, general auto repair guides walk you through some of the most basic maintenance and repair processes that are common to all vehicles. If you are new to auto repair, these may help you a lot. Auto repair guides also tell you how to choose a repair shop and how to choose a technician. They provide you with an idea about repair charges and preventive maintenance too. You can learn a lot about protecting your auto repair investment from these guides.

Selecting an Auto Body Repair Shop

Due to the amount of time we spend on the road the chances of us needed to find a great auto body shop may come up more than once. Most of us get a little flustered at the thought of searching for the right place that can work in your price range. No one ever knows where to start though. Here are a few tips on choosing the perfect auto body shop for you.

The first step is finding an auto body shop that will fix your car to look like the collision never happened. Some good auto body shops will only have the ability to fix your car to a point called pre-loss condition. Pre-loss condition is when the mechanic fixes your cars appearance, body structure, and keeps your cars mechanical reliability.

Next comes customer service, our favorites. Everyone has horror stories about bad customer service in numerous places of business. However, if you are calling an auto body shop that means that lives were once in danger so they should immediately ask if anyone was injured. Their chance at making money should never overshadow your needs or concerns. Many body shops are only in the business because they know that everyone will need to have their car repaired at some point. Most of those businesses do not have a skilled and knowledgeable staff. That is why it is so vital to find the right body shop so you and your insurance company are getting what you have paid for.

When dealing with your insurance company, make sure that you fight for the right to pick your own repair shop. Most insurance companies and repair shops have a deal worked out to lower the shops cost in exchange for giving them business. The shop then cuts corners and leave out steps to keep the cost down. This in turn means you are paying the insurance company the inflated premiums and your deductible but are only receiving second rate repair. The insurance company may respond saying that they can not guarantee the work of other shops but in reality all good shops guarantee their work for as long as you own that car. If a shop says that they do not have that standard, it is a sign to keep looking.

Always ask the person who is estimating your damage questions. If you are working with a smaller shop the person you are speaking with will probably be the one working directly on your car. In larger chain shops they have sales people who do the estimates and have no direct connection or knowledge about your car. The techs working on your car may not want to rewrite you an estimate to make it the correct amount. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are confused. Larger shops may have fancy equipment and tools to make people believe that they are much more advanced then other shops but in reality, those fancy tools are rarely even used in fixing your car.

Always ask the body shop about their insurance programs or DRP (direct repair programs) because this may mean they can not create their own business and need the help of a deal. Not all shops that have these programs are bad shops but it can defiantly be a red flag.

The very best way to find a good body shop is by word of mouth, so ask around. Most people would never send you to a place where they were not satisfied with the work they were given.

Now when you are stuck in a bind after a collision you will have the right information and questions to ask before selection the body shop for you. The last and the most important thing to remember is, if you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured by a body shop, move on because they may be desperate for business because they are not known for their good service.

Car Repair Loans – Do They Exist?

Car repairs are expensive. While the initial cost of a car might not be that much, bringing that same car to the mechanic can easily empty your bank account. Hundreds of people lose money every day due to a car that doesn’t work properly. If you rely upon your car to get to work, to pick up your children, and to simply get around town, you know how important your vehicle really is. But, what can you do if you just can’t afford to pay for those pricey car repairs?

Have you considered applying for a car repair loan? That’s right – car repair loans do exist. These loans are reserved exclusively for those that cannot pay for car repairs up front. While traditional lenders might provide loans to those with stellar credit, these lenders hardly every approve any kind of loan for those with poor credit. If your credit report isn’t something that you are proud of, you can take solace in knowing that there are private lenders out there that will approve a car repair loan for you – no matter what your credit report might look like.

How does this type of loan work? While customary lenders will base your loan entirely upon your credit history, other private lenders will base a loan only upon your assets. This means that your bad credit report doesn’t matter at all. All you need to have is some form of steady income, a car that’s less than eight years old, car insurance, and a clear car title. Car repair loans through bad credit lenders are the easiest and most efficient way to fix your vehicle. Car owners with no credit, bad credit, and a history of bankruptcy can gain a specific car repair loan. This type of loan is also perfect for truck drivers.

Car repairs might cost a lot, but repairing a large truck is another kind of expense altogether. If your rig needs major alterations, don’t skip another day of work. There are lots of loads out there that you might be missing out on if your truck doesn’t work properly. Still, finding the money to repair a large truck might seem like an impossible feat. If you are stuck in this situation, you should know that car repair loans can apply to you as well – regardless of your credit history.

You’ll also be happy to know that paying back this kind of loan is also easily attainable. Monthly payments will always be well within your budget, and you’ll find those repayment terms easy to follow. Why should your credit report prevent you from getting where you need to go? It shouldn’t. Instead, apply for your car repair loan online right now. Within moments, you should be approved for that loan that you so desperately need. Why put your life on hold due to car repairs? Instead of trying to scrape together the money for those large car or truck repairs, sign up for an Auto Title Loan… and get your life back in motion.

The Art of the "Invisible" Auto Body Repair

There are few good things about needing auto body repairs, nor about the fender benders, collisions, and other unfortunate circumstances that make them necessary. Besides the obvious risk of injury, the lost time chasing repairs and rental cars, and the hassle of having to figure out the insurance claims process, there are also the financial challenges. Even with the best car insurance coverage, you may have to pay a deductible. And, once your vehicle has been in an accident, the risk exists that its value could be significantly reduced. The good news is that the quality of collision damage repair after the accident can make a world of difference.

What is an Invisible Car Repair?

The concept of the “invisible” car repair is simple, although elusive. An invisible repair is one that is done so well, with such high quality materials and workmanship, that even you can’t tell the vehicle was ever damaged. You may think this means simply matching the existing paint color and finish, but it is much more than that. To be truly invisible, the damage must be repaired flawlessly on the outside, but also on the inside. Using today’s technology, many repair shops can match factory paint. But a truly invisible car repair uses high quality, original manufacturer’s replacement parts and complies exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle. Body damage repairs use the best of modern technology and materials, and are performed by trained, experienced service professionals. In other words, everything about the restoration is perfect, and the vehicle both looks and functions just as it did before the accident.

How Do I Find High Quality Collision Repair?

Many collision damage repair shops claim to use high quality materials and deliver flawless results, but how do you know if it’s true? How can you tell which one will make good on the promise of an invisible damage repair job? Start by asking friends, coworkers, or other trusted sources for recommendations. You won’t have a lot of time to figure this out, assuming you need to get your vehicle under repair as quickly as possible, but don’t rush the process too much. Look for a locally owned shop with history in the community. Chain or franchise shops can be qualified too, but a local small business stakes its future survival on its reputation. Ask smart questions about important issues like warranties, and the materials and equipment that will be used on your vehicle. Do they use manufacturer’s parts and specifications and do they have the technology necessary to do the job right? Are the service technicians trained, experienced, and appropriately certified? Will the shop handle your insurance claim for you? Are the customer service staff members helpful, courteous, and professional?

Finally, trust your instincts. You don’t have to know a lot about the auto body industry to know when you’ve found the right shop for your repairs, as long as you know which questions to ask. Don’t hesitate to tell the collision repair technician that you want – and expect – an “invisible” repair. If they don’t understand what you mean, you may not be in the right place!

5 Key Steps To A Successful Autobody Repair

Autobody repair can really be a daunting task and surely requires a great deal of effort to successfully accomplish. This is particularly true if you are not fully aware of the basic information on getting a vehicle repaired. Here is an overview of the basic steps which may make the process easier:

1. Get an Estimate

In order to provide the most precise estimate possible, the collision estimator in most larger autobody shops will enter all the details regarding your repairs into a programmed estimating system. A report will then be generated outlining the amount of repair that your car needs along with the costs involved.

2. Get an Insurance Approval

Once you get a repair estimate from a reputable collision repair shop, an agent from your car insurance company may require to inspect the vehicle and project their own estimate for comparison. In most cases, your local body shop work with the insurance company to ensure the figures on the car repair estimate is in line with the amount from the insurance company as well as the repair procedures to fix the damages.

3. Ordering Parts

Before any car repair work begins and in most cases, before you are asked to bring your damaged car into the autobody shop, all parts are to be ordered to ensure they are available when the actual work begins. This is to guarantee that the repairs are done as quickly and efficiently as possible, having the least amount of inconvenience to you as their customer. Occasionally, there may be the need to place a special order for parts which can then add time to the repair process.

4. Body Repair and Finishing

Depending on the severity and nature of the damage to your car, there may be a need to perform major body repairs. This repair process involves replacing damaged exterior parts and performing any necessary metal painting and finishing.

5. Inspection

When everything in your car has been put back together, a test-drive of your car is necessary in order to perform a quality control system check. This must be done to ensure that everything functions correctly after the repair. Only when you and the technician are both satisfied that the car repair process is successfully completed.