We treat every Scottsdale collision-repair need as we would our own vehicles. That’s how seriously we take the highest possible appearance, performance and safety standards for your automobile.
Not every shop takes the job quite so seriously, unfortunately.
More than a few collision repair centers in Scottsdale and elsewhere around the country will take advantage of distressed, rushed customers. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a client who just can’t tell a timely, thoroughly completed repair from a hurried one that cut corners to save the shop money and time. Either way, the same end results: a vehicle leaves the shop after under-performed collision repair that left it in not much better condition than when the specialist took the keys.
We’d like to help. The next time your vehicle needs collision repair or other body work performed, keep an eye for these several significant warning signs of shoddy workmanship. If you spot something troubling, address it with the shop’s management before you pay your bill.
Anybody could check this one off or tell when it needs work at a first glance. It’s either clean or it isn’t.
On the outside, your shop should have given your vehicle a fairly thorough cleaning. Dirt, dust, gravel and other particulates can wear away at its factory coating and paint job when left on the exterior too long. Additionally, particles fly everywhere during a collision-repair shop’s sanding of your vehicle’s or another’s paint.
This is also why any vehicle should be returned with a cleaned, vacuumed interior. Odd as it may sound, peek inside the trunk. Some shops have been known to leave spare parts inside. The most conscientious ones will protectively cover certain vehicle areas with paper and masking tape while working and even wash the engine compartment out to clear away any wandering particles that could clog up the works.
Never settle for a clashing paint job.
Factory paint jobs don’t duplicate easily, due to a characteristic “orange peel” texture on the finish. For the most part, the shop guarantees a close match when they enter the vehicle’s matching factory code for the paint. That much at least gets the shade right.
That’s about 95 to 99 percent of properly matching the paint. The rest takes a certain expert touch and a keen eye for blending.
If at all possible, pick up your vehicle during the day. Inspect the body under direct sunlight from a few angles, in order to give places where the collision repair work’s color consistency might stick out against other sections. Also look carefully for anything that looks like it might be trapped beneath the finish (hair, dirt specks, etc.) or any unsightly runs.
Drivers can spot these signs of quality collision repair workmanship easily enough. Some of the more critical deficiencies in repairs can take a keener eye that throws up the red flag automatically at certain signs.
GAPS – Check the spacing between panels where the shop performed the repairs. Any curious spacing between sections means that they weren’t properly realigned. If doors don’t open and close properly with their usual alignment, that’s also a bad sign.
FRONT-END – If your vehicle needs work following a front-end collision, your collision repair shop has probably bent and straightened the frame. Ask to see the printed-out frame specifications for your vehicle and make sure that the frame measures the same post-repair as it did when you brought it in. Also, examine the make sure that there’s an even spacing – not too narrow on one side and not too wide on another – between your tires and fender.
CONCERNS? – Take your vehicle to a second shop for a fresh set of eyes if something doesn’t seem quite right to you.
One last tip: be mindful of your vehicle’s performance even after you leave the shop. Alignment issues may arise months later from improper suspension straightening that can cause uneven tire wear, for example. If the problem arises, bring your paperwork, receipt and vehicle right back to the shop for a chat with the technicians who performed the repair.