car body work

Car body work : Everything you need to know

Stew Broward
Head of PR (Enzo Collision)
August 31, 2023
Did you figure in a fender-bender? Or did someone key your car? How about a parking snag? All these will require car body work to fix the damage and restore your vehicle’s appearance.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of body work cars need, the processes involved, how much it costs, and more. Read on to get a sneak peek of what our auto body technicians do to your car when you bring it to our shop:

What is body work on cars?

Auto body work refers to all repairs, customizations, and touch-ups done on the exterior of your car. It involves all the work on the frame of your vehicle, whether it’s for aesthetic or repair purposes. This includes your car bumpers, body panels, doors, fenders, and so on.
Although car body work focuses on the outside look of your car, it’s also a matter of safety. By repairing the body of your car, it will be ready to endure harsh outdoor elements.
Aside from that, body work also ensures that your car’s frame is in good shape for driving. Otherwise, your vehicle will have poor handling, uneven tire wear, and repetitive damage.

Professional vs. DIY Car Body Work

When dealing with car body damage, there are two options for you: seek professional help or take the DIY route. Both work, but not with the same results.
Always remember that a damaged car body can be expensive to fix. If you tried a DIY solution without much experience, you may end up making the situation worse, thus more expensive repairs.
Nevertheless, we recognize the fact that many car owners have excellent DIY skills. Many successfully managed to patch up a scratch, ding, or pop a small dent.
So if you’re unsure which way to go, the following points may help you decide:

Pros and cons of professional car body work



  • Access to experts. With professional car body work, you’ll have licensed and certified technicians working on your vehicle. They have the knowledge to deal with extensive damage using specialized tools and techniques.
  • Efficiency. Professional auto body technicians know exactly what techniques, equipment, and car body work tools to use for your vehicle. Thanks to their experience, they can repair your car faster than your DIY efforts.
  • Warranty and guarantee. The best thing about going for professional repairs if you’ll enjoy a guarantee on the repairs done. This is added peace of mind, especially if you paid for expensive repairs.
  • Insurance claims assistance. Many car body work shops like Enzo Collision offers complete insurance handling for eligible claims. This way, you can submit and get your claims approved as fast as possible.


  • Cost. One downside of professional service is the car body work cost. You’ll have to factor in labor costs, parts, and other things that will add up to your final bill.
  • Availability. Most of the time, body work shops will ask you to book an appointment before getting repairs. This means you may have to wait for your car to get repaired, especially if you prefer a shop with a large clientele.

Pros and cons of DIY car body work:



  • Cost-effective. The biggest benefit of DIY repairs is you can save a lot of money upfront. You just have to invest in an affordable car body work kit and you can start your own repair efforts.
  • Learning experience. DIY body work repairs are also a great chance to learn new skills for your car’s upkeep.
  • Flexibility. Since you’re working on your own, you have full control over the timeline of how fast the repairs will be done. You can also do the repairs in your free time.


  • Limited expertise. If you haven’t done car body work repairs before, you’re risking making the damage worse. Also, it would be impossible for you to perform complex repairs that need heavy equipment that you can only find in auto body shops.
  • Quality of work. With DIY work, the quality of the repairs is as good as your skills. So if you’re not much of a handyman, you’ll likely get a subpar result. Worse, you’ll end up bringing your car to an auto shop just the same.
  • Potentially costly outcomes. If your DIY work didn’t pan out, you’ll end up paying more for repairs since the damage got worse. So if you’re not confident with your repair skills, we highly suggest that you contact a professional instead.

Common Types of Car Body Damage

You may require body work for a car for various reasons. Here are some of the most common culprits behind this damage:
  • Scratches. This is the most common car body damage and the easiest to fix. Overall, paint scratches on your car are superficial and can be repaired on the same day, depending on the severity.
  • Dents. This can occur when something hits your car, like a shopping cart in the parking lot, hail, falling branches, and so on. For minor dents, paintless dent repair can be done to fix the issue without damaging your car’s finish.  
  • Chips. Chipped paint can be due to airborne debris or rocks that hit your car while you’re driving.
  • Rust. Corrosion can occur on your car’s body if it’s been exposed to moisture for too long. This requires immediate body work on a car to prevent the spread of rust.
  • Cracks.  Cracks usually occur on your auto glass, but they can also occur on your bumpers after a minor accident.
  • Hail damage. After a hailstorm, your car may sustain dings and dents throughout its entire body. In some cases, the dents can be large and extensive.
  • Bumper damage. You’ll need bumper repair as part of car body work after a crash, collision, or similar accident.
  • Key scratches. This is intentional damage done by someone who scratched a key or any sharp object through your car paint. Key scratches are intentional scratches caused by someone deliberately scratching the car’s surface with a key or other sharp object.
  • Collision damage. After a road accident, you’ll need collision repair for an extensive restoration of your vehicle’s body. Depending on the impact, your car may need to stay in the shop for a few days to weeks.

How To Do Body Work On A Car

Body work shops for cars use various methods in fixing specific damages on your vehicle. Usually, you can expect the following steps:

1. Assessment and Estimation

Before any repairs are done, the auto body technicians will inspect your car properly. They will look for damages and assess their severity. From there, they can give you a car body work estimate based on all the repairs needed to be done.

2. Dent Repair Techniques

If your car sustained dents, the body shop can either use paintless dent repair (PDR) or traditional methods.
With PDR, the dent is popped back into place without damaging the paint and finish of your vehicle. However, this only works for small dents. So if your car has larger dents, the shop may decide to use traditional methods, which include painting and finishing. It can be more expensive due to the extra work involved.

3. Rust Repair

Auto body work also includes fixing rusting on your car. This is done by sanding the rust off the metal and filling the spot with a body filler. From there, the technician will smooth out the surface and apply touch-up paint that matches the original color of your car. However, if the rusting is too extensive, the shop may suggest that the part be replaced instead, say a rusty fender or panel.

4. Paint and Refinishing

Do you want a custom paint job or repairs for faded paint? All these are part of body work on cars.
Auto body shops can deal with small scratches or an entire color change, depending on what you want. They also use computer software to ensure that the color is a perfect match. And if you want a custom color, the shop can also find it for you.

5. Frame Straightening

Unlike the other body work we listed above, frame straightening is a more technical task. It’s often done after a collision and other major accidents.
For this repair, auto body technicians will check the alignment of the frame. They will use hydraulic tools and specialized equipment to realign the frame back to its original specifications.
Take note that DIY frame straightening is a no-no. Aside from the fact that it needs expertise, using makeshift tools can lead to serious injuries if gone wrong.

6. Collision Repair

If your vehicle gets involved in a major accident, it will sustain extensive damage both in the body and engine. For the bodywork, it’s important to seek professional collision repair. This way, your vehicle will be repaired properly, so it will be roadworthy once again.

7. Restoration and Customization

Do you have a vintage car that you want to spruce up? If so, you can opt for restoration and customization as part of extensive body work.
For this project, the auto shop will transform your old car into its good-as-new look. They may also have to procure OEM parts, especially for high-end makes and models.

How Much Is Body Work On A Car

Car body work prices are often a major concern among vehicle owners. The actual cost depends on various factors like the extent of damage, the location of the shop, and so on.
On average, you can expect to pay about $100 to $500 for minor problems like fixing a small scratch or ding. However, if you need full collision repair, you should repair to spend thousands of dollars.
We suggest that you ask for a quote from various shops to compare your options. Make sure that you factor in labor, parts, and other fees. Also, you should consider these factors:
  • Type and Extent of Damage. In general, small damages are cheaper to fix than larger ones. So if you’re dealing with collision damage, you’d have to shell out thousands of bucks.  
  • Parts and Materials. If you want to save some money, you can opt for after-market parts. However, this can affect your insurance coverage and the warranty of your vehicle. And if you’re driving a high-end model, you’ll have to spend more to acquire OEM parts.
  • Labor Costs. This varies per shop, but it usually reflects the range of repairs your car needs. For example, if you need full-service collision repair, labor costs would be at a higher range.
  • Location. Auto body shops in major cities often charge higher due to higher costs of materials and cost of living. So if you want to save on repairs, consider going for shops located in less busy areas.

How To Choose The Right Body Shop For Cars

“I need car body work near me!” Before you sign up for the first shop you’ll find, let’s stop you there. Make sure you consider these points first:
  • The shop’s reputation. Before you sign up for repairs, you should check the shop’s reputation through online client reviews. You can also ask your friends and family if they know a reliable auto body shop where you can get repairs.
  • Industry experience. Most of the time, you’ll never go wrong with a shop that’s been in business for years. It’s a reflection of their experience in repairing all types of car body damage for various vehicle models.
  • Certifications. Although amateur shops can offer the cheapest rates, they often lack certifications that guarantee the quality of their repairs. This is why you should inquire if the shop has certifications from authorities like ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) or I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair).
  • Warranty. Whether it’s a small repair or a full-service restoration, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for guarantees. Most shops will offer warranty coverage on parts and labor, which is a sign that they swear by the quality of their work.

Are you looking for a car body shop?

If you’re in Burbank and looking for car body repair, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Enzo Collision. We can handle all kinds of car body damage – be it a small dent or the aftermath of a collision.
Rest assured that all our technicians are licensed and certified for the highest quality of repairs. And if you’re still weighing your options, don’t hesitate to ask for a free quote! Our team is more than happy to give you an estimate, so you can get the best bang for the buck!
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