Have you recently been in an accident, got your car repaired and feel like it doesn’t drive quite like before? Or you just don’t have a good feeling about the repairs since the entire repair experience seemed riddled with issues.
This is when a post repair inspection would be a good idea. Getting a post repair inspection from a qualified shop that has no ties to the original repair shop or insurance company is the safest bet. Much like getting a second opinion from a doctor before a medical procedure, a post-repair inspection is similar to getting a second opinion after the procedure to make sure it was done right or not and help you determine if you have some malpractice on your hands.
If you are having doubts about the reliability and accuracy of your collision repair, you are not alone. The scary thing is, most of the time a good and bad repair may look exactly the same. But it is what lies underneath the shiny paint and detailed car that you can’t see that makes all the difference.
There are auto body repair customers everywhere who are driving around in cars with some really shoddy or downright dangerous auto body repair work. We see it all the time when we get asked to do a post-repair inspection.
At first, you might be asking yourself; my car was just repaired, why do I need to have another body shop look at it?
Many times, we might go to the easiest or closest choice when it comes to collision repair. That may mean your car was repaired at a high-volume national chain auto body repair shop. If so, chances are some corners were cut that could affect your safety, your finances, and the overall operation of the vehicle.
If your car’s safety features (ADAS technology) aren’t working quite right or maybe it just doesn’t feel like it used to when driving, or the body panel gaps look a little funky, you should definitely consider a post-repair inspection.
The key is, you must go to a shop that specializes in post repair inspections, especially not the shop who performed the repairs.
There are two kinds of post-repair inspections. There is a visual one, and there is the more detailed one that requires a more thorough tear down. We’ll break them both out for you.
Visual Post Repair Inspection
Collision repair shops that offer post-repair inspections usually start with a visual inspection of the exterior of your car. This should also incorporate reviewing the final estimate and work order plus supplements to the original repair. The shop might even put the car on the lift to take measurements with an electronic measuring system.
What we are looking for are any indications or small signs of an issue or incorrect repair. We look for things like apparent kinks in hidden panels like floorboards or trunk pans or frame rails. We also review the gaps which is the spacing between things like the hood of the car, the doors and frames. Uneven gaps are bad gaps and they are glaring signs of sloppy work or structural issues.
We are also looking for things like visible signs of corrosion starting, sloppy seam sealer, or signs of welding where it shouldn’t have been welded.
We use the visual inspections to determine if it is worth moving on to the more extensive post-repair inspection and consult with you on what that will involve and what you will be able to do with it.
In-Depth Post Repair Inspection
Typically, we will decide to do a more in-depth post repair inspection if the visual inspection has some indicators we discussed above. This means we will need to do a partial disassembly. Depending on where the damage was, we may need to look behind the bumper cover, or we may need to remove some interior pieces to see what’s going on behind the paint. A surface can look straight and shiny on the outside but could be a buckled mess underneath inches of Bondo and paint. Removing a door panel, a headliner, or a rear interior quarter panel will allow us to see if there are any structural issues that are being intentionally covered up or starting to fail.
We also will spend some time researching the OEM repair specifications for that exact repair on your exact vehicle. Here at Telesis Collision Center, we have somebody who’s job is to pull together all the OEM repair procedures and document them. We will compare this documentation to the repair on your vehicle and look for incorrect or even omitted steps. We will document all of this physically on the vehicle, and with your permission, we may even videotape the post-repair inspection to use as a tool in getting a resolution to the situation.
What Can I Do With My Post Repair Inspection?
A post-repair inspection is a tool that serves two purposes. First, it lets you know if you have a problem and what those problems are. Second, it’s a tool that you can use to find a resolution to this problem.
Oftentimes post-repair inspection results in the vehicle becoming a total loss. But that’s a good thing. If the repair was already performed and has been proven to have been done poorly (butcher jobs as we like to call them), it doesn’t make financial sense for the insurer to pay to have the car fixed again, it doesn’t pay for the shop to re-do all the work on their dime (and you don’t want them touching your car again anyway), and the obvious solution is to take the vehicle and write a check for the fair market value and go buy yourself a new one. It’s not the fastest solution, it’s not the easiest solution, and it’s not the most painless solution, but when it comes to your safety and your finances, it is the best solution just to walk away from that vehicle and get yourself one that has not been hacked up like the one you may have now.
Other benefits to a Post Repair Inspection:
If you are buying a used car, even if it is just a year old and even if it has a clean CarFax, you could be buying a deathtrap, and you have no way of knowing it, or any legal recourse, nobody to sue if you find out the used car you purchased has had bed auto bodywork performed in the past. So If you are considering purchasing a used vehicle and you are really unsure about its past, or something doesn’t look right, get yourself an inspection (some auto body shops call this a pre-purchase inspection). Visual inspections are fast and free here at Telesis Collision Center.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (661)-952-4732. We can provide you with a free estimate or a free online quote! Just click any of the buttons below! We look forward to hearing from you!