Tips to Mitigate the Expense of Auto Body Repair

2-collision-repair-advertisementMost people think that when they find themselves in the position where their car is sitting on the lift of an auto body Salt Lake City repair shop they are then at the mercy of whatever the mechanic or technician chooses to charge them for his or her services. There are, however, some tactics that the customer of said auto body repair shop can employ to lower the price of the bill he or she may receive.

For example, most auto body repair Salt Lake City shops will charge different rates for the labor associated with mechanical repairs and the labor associated with auto body repairs. The repairs associated with the auto’s body will usually cost less than mechanical repairs. Accordingly any customer who has taken their car to be fixed by an auto body repair shop should take the time to examine the repair invoice in order to make sure that the appropriate rate had been charged for the services rendered. If the repair required is relatively minor, many times it can be repaired using a technique known as PDR. PDR is an acronym which stands for “Paintless Dent Repair.” This technique is less expensive than a repair which employs the use of paint and sanding. The customer can request this technique be used by the mechanic if the damage warrants such a repair.

In fact, if the damage is significantly minor the customer may choose not to take their car to a collision repair Salt Lake City shop in the first place and make the repair themselves. For example, scratches and chipped paint can be remedied by finding the car’s paint code (usually located inside the door jam) and then match it with the appropriate touch up paint. If executed appropriately by the customer, often these repairs can make the damage look as if it was never there.

Cars in an Accident Destined for an Auto Body Salt Lake City Shop

2-collision-repair-advertisementYesterday I saw a car accident at an intersection on my way home from the grocery store. One car was facing the wrong direction in the right hand lane. The other car was parked perpendicular to the first car a little behind it. One of the cars’ bumpers lay in the middle of the street. It seemed obvious that one or both cars was destined to end up in an auto body repair Salt Lake City shop in the near future. I did not see any people in or near either car as I drove past the scene. I did however take out my cell phone and call 911 to report the accident. The person on the other end of the line (an African American by the sound of his voice) asked me what was the emergency. I told him that there was a car accident and where it was located. The location happened to be in front of a medical center which I suppose is fortunate if any of the people involved in the accident happened to be injured and require medical attention. The man on the other end transferred me to the local police department. When I spoke to the gentleman on the other end at the local police department he told me that they were aware of the accident and a police car was en route to the scene as we spoke.

 

I thanked the man and hung up the phone. As I continued down the road I felt a certain sense of satisfaction that I had performed my civic duty by reporting the accident even though the authorities already knew about it. The important aspect of this story is the intention to do my part and make the world a better place. This is a small comfort I can take but probably not too comforting for the people whose cars are now sit in a collision repair Salt Lake City shop somewhere.

Auto Body Repair Salt Lake City Like the Accident Never Happened

auto-enthusiastsPicture the crumpled wreck of an automobile sitting in the bay of an auto body repair Salt Lake City shop. The question is: what needs to happen to transform this wreck back into the fully functional vehicle it was before the accident? Well, the first thing that must happen to accomplish this intention is that all the damage must be fully assessed. Once the damage has been fully assessed a plan of repairs must be mad because the order in which the repairs are made will depend on many factors most notably including the spatial relationships between the parts requiring repairs as well as the relative importance of the repairs.

 

Picture the distorted hulk of the automobile resting in the garage of an auto body Salt Lake City shop. What was the series of events that led to this car being in its present location? What could have been done to prevent this accident from happening in the first place? Would it be enough for the driver to have pulled out of his driveway ten minutes later than the time he actually pulled out? Of course the answer to this question can never be known with certainty because in the time line in which we live (at least for the purposes of this mental image) that is not how the events unfolded.

 

Now picture a fully repaired car emerging from the bay of the collision repair Salt Lake City shop appearing as if it is good as new. From the appearances of the car it is hard to tell that it was ever damaged in the not too distant past. This is the goal of the auto body repair shop. That is, to make the present reality seem as if the accident never happened. In this reality, the car owner takes his car home and goes about his daily business just as he did the day before the accident.

The Impacts of a Car Accident

2-collision-repair-advertisementWhen a person’s car is damaged in an accident the impact can be grave. The severity of the impact upon the car will depend upon the nature of the accident, the degree of force applied to the vehicle, the area impacted by the force and the angle at which the force arrived to impact the vehicle. All this is governed by the laws of Newtonian physics. However, this physical impact is not the only impact the accident will have. This other impact of which I speak is the psychological impact of damaging and perhaps loosing the use of such an important tool used on a daily basis. This psychological impact is definitely not governed by the laws of Newtonian physics.

 

When a person’s car is damaged in an accident and taken to an auto body repair Salt Lake City the mechanics will get to work on the car. Most of the time, however, the mechanics can do little work on the emotional impact the owner of the car will undergo. Perhaps from time to time a car owner who has been in an accident will encounter the kind mechanic with compassion and empathy. But it is rare indeed for a mechanic to have the counseling skills that a trained psychiatrist would possess. After all, that is not their job. Their job is to fix the impact suffered by your car in the accident.

 

Now how to deal with the psychological impact of a car accident is certainly beyond the scope of a three hundred to five hundred word article intended for web bots to read. Probably the best thing to do is talk to someone about it if the emotions feel overwhelming. This can certainly be someone in the mental health field such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. But it could also be a trusted friend with a sympathetic ear. Probably, it is best to leave the mechanics in the auto body Salt Lake City shop free to do their job.

Road Trip Adventures

auto-enthusiastsI am now going to tell you the story about how my wife and I found ourselves sitting in the lobby of an auto body shop in Salt Lake City. There is a little bit of background information I need to lay out before we get to that point but don’t worry. I will get you there.

So we planned a road trip of the southwestern United States because neither of us had spent much time in that region. We flew to Phoenix, Arizona and spent a few days in a nice hotel. When we went to pick up our rental car the dealer did not have the model we reserved and upgraded us to a Cadillac. Let me tell you it was one sweet ride.

From Phoenix we drove north to the Grand Canyon. We hiked down the Kaibab trail. We both grew up in the northeast and had never seen such scenery before. I remember having the experience upon first seeing the canyon that my brain did not believe what my eyes were seeing. At the bottom of the canyon we ate a glorious hiker’s stew in a cabin mess hall and then spent an uncomfortable night camping at a campsite that must have had thousands of previous occupants because the ground was as hard as cement. The next day we hiked up the Bright Angel trail which was longer, but not as steep as the trail we hiked the day before. This hike taught me to carry only what I need and nothing more, bring plenty of water, and never wear boxers hiking because they ride up the legs and chafe my inner thighs. By the time we made it back to the Cadillac our legs were dead tired. From the Grand Canyon we drove north to Sedona. On the way we stopped for gas. I could barely lift my legs out of the car to get to the pumps.

Little did I know, in less than a week I would be sitting in the lobby of a collision repair shop in Salt Lake City.

To be continued…