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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.

Many may not realize that when it comes to finding an honest Austin auto body shop, personal choice carries most of the weight. In fact, there are no official Texas state bodies or laws that specifically regulate auto body shops, which means much of the responsibility falls on you to find a shop you can trust.

This doesn’t mean mechanics and auto shops can do whatever they like – there are sections in Texas consumer protection acts that prevent auto repair shops from things like knowingly making misleading statements or representing refurbished goods as brand new. But the lack of a regulatory body does make it very important for consumers to find a reputable body shop.

How to find a reputable body shop in Austin

One of the best ways to find a trustworthy shop is through good old fashioned word of mouth. Ask friends, family members or coworkers for recommendations. An auto body shop that has earned the respect and repeated business of those you trust has probably earned it through good customer service and honest practices.

You can also call your local Office of the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau to see if any suspicious complaints have been filed about auto shops you are thinking of patronizing. These resources can help provide you with information on the shops’ histories and sometimes even contact information for customers who have had issues in the past.

Get Auto Body Repair Estimate in Writing

After selecting a shop, it is always wise to get agreements about repairs in writing. That way if there are any questions later, there is written information for both parties to refer to. Any reputable body shop should be more than happy to get you information on necessary repairs in writing.

If you are on the hunt for a new auto body shop in Austin or Buda, Texas, the experienced team at Ellis and Salazar is ready to help. We are happy answer any questions you have about the process, provide you with repair information and estimates in writing, and make you feel comfortable knowing that your vehicle is in expert, trustworthy hands. Give us a call today to make an appointment.

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.

There are many good reasons to keep your car in a garage.  In cold climates, salt can damage your car.  In warm and sunny climates, the sun’s rays can damage your car’s paint.  Many people are surprised to learn just how damaging UV rays can be to their auto paint.  What will the sun’s rays do to even the best auto paint job?  With enough exposure, you can be certain that your car paint will fade, thanks to intense summertime sun.

 Sun is Your Car’s Enemy

 The best ways to keep your car paint job from fading is to limit its exposure to sunlight.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should only come out at night!  Your car paint isn’t that fragile, but limiting the number of hours that your car logs in baking in the sunlight, especially very intense, direct summertime sunlight, is essential.  If you want to keep your car paint job looking great, following the steps outlined below will keep your auto paint looking great for years to come.

 Ways Around a Garage

If you have a garage, use it!  Many of us don’t have garages or have no choice but to leave our cars exposed to the elements while we’re at work.  There are a few options in this regard.  One option is to pay for covered parking.  If covered parking is cost prohibitive, or not available, there are other solutions.Another option is to look for consistently shaded areas and park your car in those places.  Sometimes following this course of action might mean a longer walk, but a little extra exercise isn’t a bad thing.  In the winter months and in colder climates  you won’t have to worry as much about the sun fading your car’s paint job.  But you want your auto paint job to look great for years, then it’s wise to invest in some preventive and protective measures.

A garage isn’t the only way to protect your car while at home.  If you are a homeowner without a garage, then you might want to consider either building a low cost garage or opting for a car port.  Car ports are an easy way for you to protect your car’s paint from UV rays and they are surprisingly affordable.

Wax On, Wax Off

Waxing is another way to protect your car’s paint job.  If you make waxing a regular part of your car maintenance you will decrease the risk of a faded paint job.

 Give Your Car a Little Protection

Finally, you may have seen people opting for protective car covering. This is usually an option followed by those who have expensive cars.  While car coverings do help, they can also come with problems.  In high density urban environments a car covering can be an invitation to people looking for trouble to mess with your car.  Be aware of the risks of using a car cover to protect your car paint job from the sun and be sure you don’t wind up doing more harm to your car than good!

A little planning can go a long way in preserving the look of your car’s paint job.  Prolonged exposure to UV rays will damage your paint, and getting a new top quality paint job can be both time consuming and expensive.  If you want to keep your car in optimal shape, preventive maintenance is your best choice.

The day all drivers dread has arrived.  You’ve been in a car accident and now you’re searching for a reputable Austin auto body shop and have no idea where to start.

With the help of the internet and a little bit of research you can save yourself a lot of headache down the road.  Be prepared as you begin getting estimates and decide who to trust with restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition.

Austin Auto Body Repair
Car wreck? Don’t lose your sanity dealing with repairs.
(Image courtesy: Roadsidepictures on Flickr.)

1)      Referrals

When dealing with something as important as getting your car repaired after a wreck, it’s important to work with someone you can trust.  The best way to find a reputable collision center is to ask your friends, family and co-workers.

Many people have been in a car accident in Austin and are happy to share their experiences if you ask.  Good experiences with a collision center can provide a great place to begin your search; bad experiences can help you narrow down your list.

2)      Research

The internet is a valuable resource for doing research once you’ve narrowed down your search.  Has the Austin auto body repair shop been around long enough to establish a reputation?  Are their facilities up to date, professional, clean and do they instill trust that your car repair will be done right?  Do they guarantee their work?  Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau and do they hold industry affiliations and certifications?

Doing the proper research before you trust your car to an Austin auto body repair shop is the best time investment you can make.  It’s tempting to go with the first one that sounds good, but doing background research can either instill additional confidence in your decision or make you run for the hills.

3)      Comparison

For any major car accident repair in Austin you’ll want to get several estimates.  Don’t be tempted to shop only based on price. Take into account the feeling you got from the shop and its employees.  Did they treat you with courtesy and respect? Were they fair and did they take the time to explain the collision repair in depth?

Remember that you have the right to choose which auto body repair shop you use. While it’s valuable to take the suggestion of your insurance agent into consideration, the ultimate decision is up to you.  Comparing multiple collision centers in Austin is the best way to make a sound choice and keep your sanity intact.

To get started finding a reputable auto body shop, check out the BBB ratings in your area.

 

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