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How To Take Care Of Your Car After An Accident

by Amy Walters

After a car wreck, if your body is OK and the other driver or drivers are also fine, one’s thoughts tend to wander towards getting back on the road ASAP. Although many insurance options offer replacement rental cars while you fix your car, it still helps to learn the best way to navigate around a mechanic’s work and policies. These tips not only insure that the repairs are performed in a timely manner, they give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your car is back at 100 percent.

keep your new car new

1. Understand Your Options

Insurance agents will often provide you with a list of qualified mechanics. First, be sure this lineup is comprehensive, as some agents will limit the search to a specific, smaller radius. Then, investigate each mechanic for customer-provided and professional reviews. These steps will prevent you from being saddled with a repairman that has a past of shoddy or untimely work.

2. Get Repairs in Writing

Itemized accounts of part replacements, deductible costs and labor estimates should always be obtained prior to any work being done. Save yourself some time by asking your insurance agent for the quote they received from the mechanic. Take some time to note each repair and keep a permanent copy for your records. This information can be useful in case of malfunction down the line.

3. Assess the Mechanic’s Work

Reviewing the engine and body repairs is the most important and time-consuming part of this entire process. From your estimated assessment of the car to a third-party mechanic’s inspection, determining the quality of the work must be thorough. The initial look of the car should be reviewed first. Does the car’s interior or exterior appear dirty? A clean vehicle displays an auto body shop’s attention to detail and desire to please. Keep an eye out for any gaps in your vehicle’s panels. Interior and exterior panels should lineup as you remember them. Uneven or larger gaps can indicate a lack of proper repair.

Be sure to test each feature of your vehicle as well. The hood, trunk, doors, horn, radio, blinkers, wipers and other electronics should be in working order before you qualify the mechanic’s work as completed.

It’s important to not sign off on any repairs until a trusted, trained professional from another auto body shop performs an inspection. I learned this well when I was living in West Chester, PA. This practice will keep faulty work from creeping up on you in the future.

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