What is a body shop and what they do_

What is a body shop and what they do?

Stew Broward
Head of PR (Enzo Collision)
August 30, 2023
If you’re a newbie car owner you’ve probably heard the term “body shop” before. But do you know exactly what they can do for your vehicle?
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what a body shop is, what services it offers, and what you should look for when hiring one. You’ll surely need the help of a body shop in the future, so keep reading!

What is a body shop?

Body shops, or auto body repair shops, specialize in repairing and restoring a car’s exterior. They are the place to be after your car figured in a fender-bender.
In a body shop, they focus on restoring the cosmetic and physical appearance of a vehicle’s frame and other outer parts. This is done by licensed technicians who have experience working on various car makes and models.
However, you should know that car repair and body shops are two different facilities. For one, car repair shops specialize in the mechanical aspect of your vehicle. In short, they repair engines, electronics, and other internal parts that power up your car.
On the other hand, body shops, as they are called, only work on the body or frame of your vehicle.
So where should you bring your car? Here’s a quick answer:
Bring your car to an auto body shop if…
  • You have damaged bumpers, hoods, panels, auto glass, and frames.
  • Your vehicle got involved in a collision and needs exterior repair.
  • You need a new paint job or touch-ups for your car’s appearance.
  • You need custom window tinting.
  • Your car has dents, dings, scratches, scrapes, and other similar damages.
Bring your car to an auto repair shop if…
  • Your vehicle won’t stop for unknown reasons.
  • You need routine maintenance like tire rotations, oil changes, or brake inspections.
  • You’re experiencing engine problems or faulty parts.
  • You need mechanical repairs for components like suspension, transmission, or fuel system.
  • Your car is making weird noises.
  • You need repair for your vehicle’s HVAC system.

Auto body shop: services offered

So what do auto body shops do? Below, we listed the most common services you can expect from an auto body shop:

1. Collision repair

Collision repair is the main service auto body shops provide. They can restore the appearance of your car after it figures into an accident and sustained minor exterior damage.
Take note that collision repair includes a lot of processes, which may include dent repair, bumper repair, painting, refinishing, and so on. In serious cases, frame straightening may also be needed.

2. Restoration and customization

Aside from repairing accident-related damage, body shops also offer customization. For example, if you want custom paintwork or body modifications, they are the place to call. Their licensed technicians can bring your vision to life, whether it’s a custom paint color or a rare finish.

3. Painting and refinishing

Is your car’s paint fading, chipping, or heavily damaged? A body shop can restore it through professional auto paint and refinishing. The good thing about body shops is they use computer software to match the exact hue of your car’s paint. They also use various painting techniques to achieve the finish that you like.

4. Structural repairs

But what do body shops do aside from external repairs? Well, they can also perform frame straightening to restore the structural integrity of your vehicle. This includes twisted or misaligned frames, which will directly impact the roadworthiness of your car.
Take note that body shops have technicians specifically trained for these repairs. They also use advanced equipment and techniques that amateurs can’t provide.

5. Dent removal

Dents are one of the most common reasons why car owners go to body shops. And at some point in your car-owning life, you’ll face this same problem.
For this damage, auto body shops can use various techniques like paintless dent repair. With this process, the dent is popped back into place without damaging your vehicle’s paint. But for bigger and deeper dents, traditional repairs might be needed.
Whatever the method is, the main goal is to restore the smooth surface of your car.

How do body shops work with car insurance?

When getting auto body repairs, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding a shop that works with your insurance provider. This way, you won’t have to shoulder the entire cost of the repairs, especially if the damage is quite extensive.
The good thing is that most reputable auto body shops have direct repair status with many car insurance companies. Their process usually includes the following:
  • Initial assessment. After an accident, you have to contact your insurer to file a claim. Your insurance provider may also request body shop inspection and estimates before they approve any repairs.
  • Estimate submission. Once you have an estimate from an accredited body shop, you need to submit it to your insurance provider for approval. Take note that this estimate should include both labor and parts.
  • Approval process. The next thing you need to do is wait for the insurer’s approval. They may also ask for additional documentation, depending on specific situations. Once approved, the insurance company will pay for the repairs directly to the accredited body shop.
  • Repair process. Once approved, the body shop will start the repair process of your car.
  • Additional charges. In some cases, the auto body shop may charge additional fees if they discover more damage that wasn’t initially diagnosed. For this, the shop will coordinate with your insurance company to get the costs covered.
  • Final inspection. Once the repairs are complete, you should expect both the body shop and the insurance company to conduct a final inspection. This is to ensure that the repairs on your car are done within industry standards.

Do auto body shops give free estimates?

Another question we often get is this: Do body shops give free estimates? Since it’s usually a requirement by insurance companies, it’s normal for you to wonder if it comes at an added cost.
The good news: most auto shops provide free and no-obligation estimates. This means that you’re free to weigh your options and see which shop offers the best value for money.
After all, auto body shops are aware that insurance companies will require car owners to find the best pricing for repairs. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to request a quote if you need body repairs for your vehicle.
When requesting an estimate, you should ask questions about the cost, inclusions, and repair process. An expert technician will be more than happy to walk you through the process in detail. They can also give you an upfront estimate for necessary parts, labor, warranties, and so on.

How much are body shop repairs?

The cost of body shop services varies widely, depending on several factors. This includes the extent of damage to your car, your vehicle’s make and model, the location of the shop, and so on.
On average, minor cosmetic repairs can set you back by at least $100 to $500. However, for bigger repairs, say frame straightening, you should expect to shell out thousands of dollars. This is much so if your car figures in a major collision.
If you need a more accurate estimate, don’t hesitate to contact your preferred auto body shop. They can give you a detailed breakdown of expenses based on the specific repairs you need. Also, they will have to inspect your car in person to give you an accurate quote.

What to look for in an auto body shop?

What’s a body shop if not for the quality of their service? If you’re looking for a body shop, make sure that you check for the following aspects:  
  • Experience. You should look for a body shop with years of experience in the industry. This is solid proof of their expertise in handling various repairs and restoration projects.
  • Certifications. If you want quality repairs for your car, you should look for certified body shops. For example, they should have certifications from organizations like the I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) and ASE (Automotive Service Excellence).
  • Client reviews. You should also check the body shop’s client reviews. From there, you can see how well they do repairs and the quality of their customer service.
  • Warranty. Auto body repairs can be expensive, so make sure that the shop also offers decent warranty coverage. You should ask about their guarantees for both the parts and labor included in the repairs.  
  • Customer service. During your consultation with the body shop, you should observe their willingness to address your concerns. If they are snobbish, you should look for another option.
  • Cleanliness. You should also observe if the body shop has a well-maintained and clean facility. It’s a good sign that they provide organized and quality repairs.

Are you looking for an auto body shop near you?

Do you need quality body repairs for your vehicle? If you’re in Burbank or surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact Enzo Collision. We provide full-service collision repair and customization service for any car make and model.
We know that car damage is frustrating, especially if it’s accident-related. So to save you from getting ripped off by other shops, we offer a written lifetime warranty for all repairs. Call us today and let’s restore your car to its original glory!
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