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what auto body repair steps are important
The more you know about collision repair, the more you can get out of your visit to the body shop. Shops should make several steps throughout the process of fixing your car.

Before you take your car to a collision center, ask about these steps and how they put them into action.

1. Checking the vehicle for damage

Every body shop should scan a vehicle for performance issues and to verify any damage to operational parts. This helps the technician find any damage not immediately visible. This should be done both before and after repairs to make sure all issues have been resolved.

2. Following procedure for auto body repair steps

After the team inspects the car, they must refer to the manufacturer’s repair recommendation procedures. This sets a higher standard for repairs.

As an example, if the manufacturer recommends using certain parts or tools, but the shop does not have access to those and uses a substitute, this may compromise the safety of the vehicle.

3. Quality check

All collision centers use an internal checklist to set their standards of safety and performance. If you take your car to a place that has been recommended because of the quality of work performed, this is a good indicator that the shop has a detailed checklist and knows what to inspect for quality.

4. Final scan

Once the technicians do their own inspections, a post-scan should be performed on the vehicle to ensure that anything operational that was broken is working again and to also make sure the repairs did not cause anything to malfunction.

5. Clean the car

A close-up of a soapy hand and sponge washing the hood of a grey car.
A good body shop will wash your car after they’re done working on it.

When you pick up your vehicle, it should be clean. A clean vehicle is more than a customer service perk. This gives the customer the ability to have a good look at the repairs. If you needed car paint, take a look at your car in the daylight for any flaws in the paint job.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin auto body shop, we have believed in providing the highest quality for more than 60 years. Contact us for a free estimate and to learn more about our high-quality collision repair.

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An angry-looking man talks on his cell phone, with his wrecked car visible in the background.
Everyone who has experienced a wreck has questions about their car repair process. We’re here to help.

After a car wreck, most drivers have questions. The process can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time experiencing a wreck with car damage.

You are not alone with body shop questions. The more you know about collision repair, the easier and more efficient your experience will be.

How do I find a reliable body shop?

Most people go to an auto body shop based on recommendations, which can be very helpful. Your insurance agent may also recommend a body shop. Take these recommendations into consideration along with your own research.

Should I use my insurance’s recommendation?

Insurance companies have a list of direct repair shops (DRP). The insurance companies regularly monitor these body shops to make sure they still meet their set criteria. If you choose to have your car repaired by the recommended DRP, the shop can begin the repairs without waiting for the insurance adjuster. This makes your car repair process more efficient.

Is the shop certified?

Close up of a man writing on a clipboard in a garage, with a car with an open hood in the background.
If your auto body shop is certified, it is more likely to have more qualified technicians working on your vehicle.

Before taking your car to a body shop, find out if the shop offers certified collision repair. This means manufacturers train the technicians to repair that specific model of vehicle.

If your car is new, find out how often technicians train. This gives you an idea of their experience on the newest vehicles.

How much will repairs cost?

The biggest question you may have is how much the repairs will cost. Most shops will not provide an estimate over the phone. Technicians need to see damage for a general idea of the repairs needed.

However, at Ellis & Salazar Collision, an Austin body shop, a Smartphone Estimating Tool is available to find out a quick approximate cost of repairs. Drivers snap a photo, send some information, and get an estimate.

This estimate is not a final cost and the amount can change once a technician thoroughly looks at the car for any damage that isn’t immediately visible. It can, however, give you an idea of your cost.

Ellis & Salazar has been providing body shop repair in Central Texas for more than 60 years. We are ready for any questions you may have about the repairs and process. Use our estimating tool for a free estimate or give us a call to schedule your repair.

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technology at austin collision center

When you have an accident, you might worry your car will never be the same. To get repairs that work right and long-term, it’s important to find an Austin collision center with technicians trained in the latest technology to repair your vehicle.

Collision repair on new vehicles goes beyond fixing dents in the car’s body. A majority of a newer car’s operating functions are computerized, and technicians need to have current training to have the skills required to make the repairs. Some body shops in Austin can make the repairs, but some may not be able to fully repair the newest models.

The right repair equipment

It takes new equipment to provide collision repair on the latest vehicles. Find out if you can visit a body shop before taking your car there. If you see technology that looks older, that shop may not have the ability to make the repairs properly.

Maintaining the latest technology to repair new vehicles is a costly expense for any body shop, so many go years between getting new equipment.

Certified repair

As you talk to someone about their technology at a collision center, ask about the training for technicians and if they are certified. Inquire about specific certifications by your vehicle manufacturer. Manufacturers train technicians to repair their vehicle to their specifications. Also, if your vehicle is hybrid, ask if anyone has received training specifically for hybrid vehicles.

A few years ago, manufacturers introduced more than 140 redesigned cars to the market. This means techs must learn about new features on the vehicles and how to make the repairs.

Training should be frequent and recent. A tech may not be well trained to work on your new vehicle if they were last trained a few years ago.

The team of technicians at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, completes ongoing training from manufacturers and other sources so the repairs to your car are exactly as the manufacturer requires. We also routinely invest in the latest technology. Our team can repair your vehicle no matter how old or how new. Give us a call for a free estimate.

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Woman in polka-dot dress leans in close to a blue vehicle and smiles as she runs her hand along the outside.
Getting certified auto body repair not only better ensures safety, but also better maintains your car’s value.

After a car accident, you need to find a body shop you can trust to make quality repairs. One way to know if collision centers are qualified is to find out if they offer certified collision repair.

Learning About certified collision repair

When body shops provide certified collision repair, it means their technicians are trained by the manufacturers. An auto body shop commits to quality repair through certification. It costs a shop to train employees and purchase the right equipment to do the job precisely.

As vehicles change it is necessary for shops to learn new changes from the manufacturer. Research several shops to find out if those body shops offer certified collision repair and how frequently their technicians have trained on your car make.

The difference in certified

With better training and equipment, there are better odds that the work performed on your car will be higher quality. A body shop with certified collision repair wants your satisfaction and recommendation to others.

Today’s vehicles are more detailed than ever. There’s more than just repairing the body: The function and safety of a car relies heavily on technology. Each of these details are different from manufacturer to manufacturer, and repairing something incorrectly can affect how the car operates.

For example, if the automatic emergency braking system needs repair after an accident, the repairs must meet manufacturer specifications so your car is safe to drive. Repairing this incorrectly could be dangerous.

Owners of luxury vehicles should also have certified repair performed on your car to maintain its value. A certified body shop typically uses manufacturer parts. There is a better guarantee these parts will fit and function better than an aftermarket part. Additionally, for luxury vehicles it will make a difference in the value if there are manufacturer parts.

Different manufacturers, different certifications

Tech wearing overalls and a grey sweatshirt holds out car keys to the camera.
Manufacturers often set high standards for their certified techs, making sure you get the best quality care for your vehicle.

Every vehicle is different and that is why each manufacturer’s certification requirements differ.

GM requires certified technicians to perform a pre-scan and post-scan to find damage and check that the repairs are correct. This requires special equipment to find trouble codes and diagnose problems in the vehicle’s safety and powertrain systems. Along with the scanning requirements, GM allows technicians to only perform repairs for which they have been trained and certified.

GM is not the only manufacturer to enforce specific regulations for its certifications. Honda ProFirst also has the scanning mandate and it has specific requirements for repairing aluminum vehicles. Audi routinely audits collision centers with technicians it certifies and found some body shops are not reviewing instructions before repairs. Auto makers want to guarantee that their certifications have purpose and value to customers.

Certified repairs for aluminum cars

New cars use aluminum to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Repairing aluminum is not the same as repairing steel and requires different training and equipment. Manufacturers can certify technicians to repair their aluminum vehicles.

Manufacturers regulate any collision center with aluminum certified technicians. Honda certified auto body shops are required to have separate spaces for repairing aluminum and steel.

Before having your car repaired at a body shop, ask if technicians are certified to repair your brand of vehicle. Shops may list being Ford Aluminum Certified, but it takes an extra training course to also be certified to make aluminum repair on a Lincoln Navigator.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, an Austin body shop, we have been repairing cars in the Austin area for 65 years. Along with locations in Austin, we now have locations in Hutto, Buda, and San Marcos.

We believe in continuous training to become highly skilled in the latest techniques for repair. Our team holds 14 OEM certifications from various manufacturers including Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Land Rover, Honda, GM, and more. Our technicians are also trained by the manufacturers for aluminum certification. Give us a call with questions and to schedule a free estimate to see how we make collision repair hassle-free.

A woman holds her hands up in the air, outraged, behind the wheel of her car. She appears to be yelling in rage.
Keep calm. We have tips for a better Austin commute.

It may come as no surprise to Austin drivers that major collisions are a problem in the capitol city. Accidents in Texas caused over 3,700 deaths on the roads in 2017, and over 17,000 people sustaining a serious injury in crashes.

With more than 675,000 miles of highways in Texas, there is a lot of ground for drivers to cover, and many drivers unfamiliar with the roads. Drivers should know where the most accident-prone highways are near them so they can use caution.

Most dangerous highways in Austin

If you live in Austin and hear the traffic reports, you may not be surprised at the highways that made a list of most dangerous highways in a recent study. There are five highways that were ranked among the deadliest.

Those highways are U.S. 290, State Highway 71, U.S 183, Interstate 35, and FM 734. During the period of the study from 2013 to 2015, there are 127 fatalities along these roads.

Driving on dangerous highways

Avoiding congested highways in the Austin area may be impossible if you commute daily to work. Here are some tips to drive cautiously and safely in commuter traffic:

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, has been part of the Austin community for more than 60 years. Our body shop team has watched the city grow and the roads expand. We have repaired thousands of cars involved in accidents over the years, and we take pride in providing the highest quality auto body repair. If you are in a collision, our certified technicians will take care of your vehicle. Use our Smart Estimating Tool to schedule a free estimate so you can get back on the road.

The odds of being in a car accident increase as the Austin area grows. If you’ve found yourself in this position, you aren’t alone. With all the options available for a local auto body shop, how do you know which one to choose? The situation gets more complicated if you have a teen driver.

The differences go beyond cost. Services and quality set shops apart. Consider local auto body shops that can provide special benefits. Local shops compete for business. Check online reviews to see what other customers are saying. Good reviews give you confidence that your vehicle will be in good hands. Additionally, consider reputation when it comes to repairing your car. Make sure you choose a local auto body shop with a history of doing quality work. Your vehicle is a big investment, and one that you rely on daily to keep you safe. Cheaper isn’t always better if it means the shop is cutting corners and not doing the job right.

Austin has lots of traffic. How do you find the best local auto body shop when you have a wreck?

Choosing a local shop means you support a business that may give back to your community. That also means what you spend on repairs goes further. Think about what matters most as you research for an Austin auto body shop.

Establishing a Relationship with a Local Auto Body Shop

The highest quality auto body shop Austin offers earns trust through remarkable customer service. Collision centers frequently earn new business through recommendations. If a customer sees quality work and has a positive experience, that establishes trust.

Body shops in Austin depend on reviews and recommendations.This service is not like maintenance where customers may return frequently. If a customer shares a positive experience, others may bring their vehicles in for repair.

Shops with More Than One Location

You may find an Austin auto body shop has more than one location. Shops with multiple locations can bring additional benefits to the customer. Multiple locations indicate success for an auto body shop.

With additional locations, the auto body shops have more resources. Shops can share tools and parts. Also, it helps technicians share expertise.

Ask a body shop in Austin with multiple locations if it honors warranty at any location. If you have an issue with the repairs and you are not near the original shop, it helps to go to the nearest collision center to have warranty work completed.

Insurance Company Referrals to Local Auto Body Shop Providers

Your insurance agent may recommend a few Austin body shops. These shops are on the insurance company’s list as direct repair shops. You can use a recommended shop or choose one on your own. However, there are benefits to using a direct repair shop.

Insurance companies set criteria for shops to meet and maintain. Choosing a direct repair shop can save time because many provide a more streamlined process for repairs and payment. Some shops are considered a “one-stop shop” for giving an estimate, repairing the vehicle, and providing a rental car to pick up. Additionally, some insurance companies give preference to shops that provide reasonable time frames and costs. Most direct shops offer a lifetime warranty versus one with a time limit.

Remember that you have the choice of any collision center you want to take your car.

Certified Collision Repair

Once you find a local body shop, find out how often technicians train. Certainly, ask if that shop has the proper tools to fix your vehicle.

Above all, ask about the shop’s certified collision repair. Not only are the technicians trained by manufacturers, but the vehicle makers typically require the shops to have proper equipment.

Also, if you have an aluminum-made vehicle, this is a separate certification technicians must obtain. Shops must have proper equipment, and some manufacturers require a separate area for repairs.

If a local auto body shop has all of this, it is a sign it invests in its employees and the shop to earn your business. Consequently, local auto body shops can spend thousands each year for training and new equipment.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, has served customers in the Austin area for more than 60 years. Our certified technicians can perform paintless dent repair and collision repair on a variety of vehicle models. This includes luxury models such as Porsche, Land Rover, and Audi. We are also aluminum certified. Even more, we believe in giving back to the communities where we work and live. Whether it’s repairing and donating a car or participating in a local event, we are proud to be in the Austin area. Contact our team to schedule a free estimate or use our Smartphone Estimating Tool for a fast estimate that you can do at any time. Our goal is to make collision repair hassle free.

Having a car accident can be stressful. If no one had injuries in the accident, you can focus on auto body repair. Remember, selecting a nearby Austin collision center may not be the best choice. Research ahead of time to find the body shops in Austin that meet your needs.

How do you know which Austin auto body shop does the best job? As you look for a collision center, focus on high quality repairs and exceptional customer service.

Quality Reviews and Recommendations

Ask those you know for recommendations to narrow down the list of Austin body shops. Learn about their experiences. Look at how that shop makes repairs to cars.

Then, search reviews online to see what others have to say. Remember online reviews do not have both sides of the experience. However, if you see mostly negative reviews look at other body shops Austin, Texas offers.

Insurance Recommendations

Insurance agents recommend from a list of direct repair shops, or DRPs. The insurance companies establish their own criteria for a collision repair shop to be on the list. Additionally, insurance companies routinely inspect the shops. This guarantees the shops maintain the standards.

There are benefits to using a DRP. These collision centers can write an estimate and order parts without waiting on an insurance adjuster. This makes the repair process more efficient.

Most noteworthy, you can use the shop your agent recommends or another of your choice.

When you’ve had an accident that resulted in serious damage to your car, there are other questions to ask. Your insurance agent can tell you if the vehicle is worth repairing or whether it will be considered totaled.

Trained and Certified Technicians

Auto body technicians must train regularly to hold certifications. The shops must take certain steps to qualify. Two types of certifications are good indicators for quality. They are certified collision repair and the I-CAR Gold Class recognition.

As manufacturers change vehicles, technicians must know the proper techniques to repair new features. Certified collision repair means manufacturers train the technicians to make repairs to their specifications.

There is also the I-CAR Gold Class recognition. It is the highest level of role-relevant training achievement in the auto body repair industry. It signifies the shop works for the best standards of professionalism. This shop must maintain relevant training for all repair roles.

When a shop earns these recognitions, it demonstrates commitment to quality auto body repair.

Multiple Collision Center Locations

Some Austin collision centers have more than one location. Find out if those shops have owners in the area so you can have better contact with the management. Certainly, using a body shop with more than one location can have benefits. Collision centers with multiple locations reach a point of success to open new locations.

Collision centers with multiple locations have multiple resources. The shops can share technology and parts. This helps if a technician encounters a challenging repair. As a result, that technician can call another shop for expertise.

If you travel, multiple locations can help if you need warranty work performed. Another location should have access to your records and honor the warranty.

The Right Technology

Manufacturers require certified collision repair shops to have the latest tools and technology. If you visit an auto body shop, look at the technology. See if the shops repair new cars.

Manufacturer Parts or Aftermarket?

First of all, find out what type of parts a collision center will use. There are original equipment manufacturer parts, or OEM, and there are aftermarket parts.

Manufacturers make OEM parts. OEM parts fit and function better on your car, but cost more. Likewise, it also helps with the value of your car later.

If keeping the repair cost low is important, choose aftermarket parts. A variety of companies make these. Aftermarket parts may fit and function best for your car. If you want a quality collision center, that shop provides you with the option to use OEM parts.

Warranty

The best collision centers will offer a warranty for any work completed on your car. Furthermore, inquire about the types of warranty available and how long the warranty will last. Also, some body shops provide a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the car.

For more than 60 years, an Austin body shop, Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, repairs vehicles. Our technicians hold a variety of certifications. Also, they perform paintless dent repair. Ellis & Salazar backs collision repair with a National Limited Lifetime Warranty. Our shop covers paint work with the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee. Contact us to schedule a free estimate so we can show you how collision repair can be hassle free.

If you need a physician, you more than likely get recommendations from people you know and do some research. As a car owner, you should also research the body shops Austin has to offer. Normally, this is not a priority for people, so it often doesn’t happen until an accident happens. Choosing body shop locations before a wreck makes it easier when you do have a collision. As a car owner, you have the right to select the body shop that makes the repairs to your car. Your insurance agent recommends a direct repair shop on its list, but the decision is yours to make.

High quality collision repair doesn’t always mean it will come at a high price. Body shops in Austin have to compete for your business and in doing this, it means having skilled and certified technicians who know how to repair your model of vehicle.

Research the Shops

Do some research and ask people you know for recommendations. Then look online to see what others have to say, but keep in mind every review is only one side. If a shop has a majority of good reviews, that can be a good sign.

Contact the Better Business Bureau in Austin to see if the location has any negative reports. If you find out there are several positive recommendations, reviews, and reports for an Austin auto body shop, then it’s time to continue more quick research to determine if that location is where you want to take your vehicle.

Look at Location

If you have your choices narrowed down for which Austin body shops you prefer, go to the locations and see what the location is like. Higher rent locations for a body shop in Austin can affect the labor costs.

However, the nicer auto body shop location may offer specialized features that other shops do not. That location may have invested in the latest technology to repair vehicles and want a nicer location to attract customers.

Certified Collision Repair

Collision centers may hold several different certifications, all of which have different purposes. To keep the research simple, focus on finding out about two types of certifications, certified collision repair and the I-CAR Gold Class recognition.

Certified collision repair means manufacturers train technicians. Find out if the technicians train to repair your brand of vehicle. Also ask how often technicians train and earn certifications.

The I-CAR Gold Class recognition is the highest role-relevant training achievement in the collision industry. A body shop must show commitment to the best standards of professionalism and stay current on training for all repair roles.

Original Parts Versus Aftermarket

Luxury car owners will want to find collision centers that use original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, parts. These are made by the maker of your vehicle and have a greater chance of fitting and operating on your car, but they may cost more than aftermarket parts. OEM parts are also important for maintaining the value of a luxury vehicle.

If you prefer to reduce the overall cost of repairs, aftermarket parts are the best option. Because they are made by a variety of companies, they have a range in price.

Guaranteeing the Work

The best collision repair Austin has to offer will guarantee the work performed on your vehicle with a warranty. Inquire about the type of warranty, what it covers, and if it is a lifetime warranty or how long it will last. If you have had work on the car paint, ask about a paint warranty. If a shop does not offer warranty, keep in mind that

The warranty will be helpful later should anything go wrong with the work performed, the parts, or the paint. The body shop will be out the cost to fix any issues.

Estimate Cost

You will need an estimate before repairs begin. This also helps the insurance company determine if the car should be totaled, if the cost of repair is more than the value of the car. A collision center may offer a free estimate. Other body shops may provide a way to get an estimate quickly, such as a Smartphone Estimating Tool. A car owner can easily take a photo with a smartphone and send it for an initial estimate. Remember that the estimate could increase when a technician takes a closer look at the vehicle.

After you receive an estimate, inquire about each of the charges and find out why that shop believes those repairs should be made. Make sure you understand what is involved before the repairs begin.

Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, and Austin body shop, has served customers in the Austin area for more than 60 years. Our team will help you through the entire repair process. We offer a National Limited Lifetime Warranty to any collision repair we do on your car. If you have paint services performed, that work is backed by the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee. Plus, our technicians regularly train and certify with a variety of manufacturers, including luxury brands such as Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Give us a call or try our Estimating Tool to get a free estimate and start the easy and efficient collision repair process.

Austin Body Shop Free ACL TicketsDid you hear the news?  We’ve opened up a shiny and brand-new Facebook page to celebrate the opening of our 4th Austin area body shop location and we’d like you to join us!

To celebrate we’re giving away free ACL Festival tickets.  All you have to do to join is ‘like’ our new Facebook page and you’ll be entered in the drawing.   There are two more ways to enter too.  All the details are over on our Facebook page.

We’re pleased to be a local body shop in Austin, Texas and love all that this amazing city has to offer.

Owning a car means that at some point it’s likely you’ll need a trusted auto body shop in Austin to come to the rescue and repair damage to your vehicle.  Many people wait until they’ve been in a car wreck to start looking for a collision repair center, but the best time to establish a new relationship is before you need it!

Any time your car needs repairs, whether they’re mechanical or involve body damage, it’s a stressful time.  Dealing with insurance, car rental and the hassles of being without your usual vehicle can be a big inconvenience.  Planning ahead and having a personal connection with a collision center in Austin will save you the headache of starting your search while you’re already stressed out.

Still not sure? Here are five compelling reasons to spend a little time doing your homework beforehand:

1)      When you have a wreck, one phone call gets you a fast and free tow.

2)      Once your car is in the shop, they’ll help you find a rental car and be on your way as quickly as possible.

3)      An established relationship with a trusted collision center means you don’t have to waste time asking all your friends and reading online reviews.  You’ll be back on the road sooner if you already know who to turn to!

4)      As a valued customer, you know you’ll receive the best possible service.  No waiting around wondering if there will be delays.

5)      Working with a local business provides peace of mind that you’re supporting your local economy.

Spend a few minutes today to look up online reviews and check out what’s available.  Google+ is a great way to find out which body shop is closest to home.  You can also find valuable information on auto body shop reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List. Make a quick note in your phone contacts or on your tablet device and you’ll be ready to get help when you need it.  Your Austin body shop should be a trusted ally, not a headache waiting to happen.  Arm yourself with some research and information beforehand and you’ll have an established friend ready to help when you need them.

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