How To Choose An Auto Body Repair Shop

Do you have any idea how many auto body shops there are in L.A.? Do a quick Google Search for “auto body shops Los Angeles”, and you get literally MILLIONS of results. No matter where you are in L.A., you can’t walk five blocks without running into a half-dozen body shops.

But are they all auto body repair shops you can trust? Will they charge you a fair price for top-quality work? That’s the most important thing to figure out before taking your car to any repair shop.

Here’s what to consider when choosing the best auto body shops in Los Angeles:

Location — Who wants to drive clear across L.A. to get a dent in their car fixed? You should try to find an auto body repair shop in a convenient location–either near your office, your home, your gym, or another place you frequent.

Reputation — What is the body shop’s rating on the Better Business Bureau? Is it even registered? Are there complaints about the quality of their service, customer handling, payments, etc.? What do users have to say on Yelp or Google? Are the reviews mostly positive, or are there a lot of negative reviews? Do the positive reviews look “fake” (a few lines praising the auto body shop, but in vague detail)? You want to find a body shop that has a reputation for delivering quality work, so it’s worth doing a bit of research before you visit a body shop.

Appearance — They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s not the case for an auto body shop. What does the shop look like? Is it old, run-down, and dirty, or does it have a fresh, clean, and modern appearance? Are the cars in the shop older and beat up, or are the technicians working on newer vehicles? Does the equipment look a few days away from breaking down, or is it well-cared for and in good condition. Appearance isn’t everything, but a clean, tidy, well-maintained body shop is a sign that the technicians and owners have a high standard of professionalism.

Parts — Before you hand your car over, ask about the parts used. Are they going to install after market parts (manufactured by a third party, usually lower in quality), or will they install the Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts (manufactured by the company that built your car, top-notch quality)? You want to find a body shop that will install only the best-quality parts in your vehicle!

One of the best ways to find an auto body repair shop in Los Angeles that you can trust is by calling your local dealership and asking for a recommendation. Dealerships are usually very choosy about the body repair shops that they recommend, so you can be certain that they will send you to a facility that does quality work (though the price may be a bit high).

Your goal is to find a repair shop that gets the job done right, and if it takes a bit of work to find that shop, so be it! In the long run, your vehicle will be better off for it.

Hand Polishing – How It’s Done By The Pros

Pay attention of the cost of professional car buffing machine tool and services can climb quickly. Though both waxing and polishing is completed with a buffer, they perform entirely different functions, and are needed at different moments. It’s easy to confuse the two, but a proper understanding is integral to properly treating your car.

Modern car paint is well advanced in recent years with the benefits of nano technologies. Companies like Fine Shine Detailing are specialist applicators of such processes as paint protection and paint correction of automobiles.

Well-maintained vehicles may only need a layer of wax, but in order to explain the contrasts between the services, let’s discuss both in the context of a full detail: polishing is the tedious buffing done to remove defects from your paint job, and waxing is the protective later put on as the final step. Many drivers look to forego polishing and simply get a wax, but that won’t correct a bad paint job!

Compare car polishing and car waxing to a family portrait. Everyone wants to capture a beautiful moment and protect it with a nice frame. You may have an expensive, solid gold picture frame, but it can’t change a bad picture where your aunt and cousin’s eyes are closed.

Likewise, if a driver is seeking the best paint job possible then polishing may have to be done before waxing. Many paint jobs have deep defects that wax merely hides. As mentioned before, even a brand new car will need paint correction after just one bad wash. The swirls, scratches and air contamination that lay on an untreated car make waxing a stopgap solution at best. A contaminated paint job won’t gloss, and once the wax compound wears off, the defects will still be there. To properly eliminate those paint job defects, claying and/or polishing with an abrasive is necessary.

What’s An Abrasive?

An abrasive is any compound or instrument that has the ability to “cut” into your vehicle’s paint job and level out the defects. When a vehicle is fresh from the manufacturer, there is (hopefully) one top coat of paint evenly distributed along it. Over time, scratches, swirls and other scrapes tear into that top coat, leaving noticeable dips in the surface.

In order to re-align the paint job, paint correction must be done with abrasives such as car polish, clay bars, or even sandpaper. The average full paint correction consists of:

• Clay Barring, which removes surface contamination
• Wet Sanding or Color Sanding, which refines and smooths the paint job, priming it for
• Polishing, which eliminates swirls, scratches and other marring.

When polishing, detailers create a combination of friction and heat with their buffers, and eat away at all defects. Depending on how level (or not) the paint job is, a variety of buffers and compounds may be used to polish a vehicle’s surface. Paint correction is generally measured in three levels:

• 1-Step Paint Correction (Up to 75% of defects) – A less aggressive cut that removes most scratches on vehicles
• 2-Step Paint Correction (Up to 90% of defects removed) An aggressive approach which leaves only the deepest swirls apparent.
• 3-Step Paint Correction (90%+ of defects removed) A tedious, aggressive polish typically

Once proper correction has been done and any potential micro-marring (residual marks from aggressive polishing) has been removed, the wax process begins.

All About Car Wax

Car wax doesn’t have the restorative properties of polishing compounds, but it’s still of vital importance to your vehicle. A pure wax or “glaze” will protect your car’s paint job from the elements. Not only does wax provide a layer of security, it provides a beautiful gloss that will help your car shine like it did when you bought it.

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Most auto industry waxes are made with Carnauba wax, which comes from Carnauba trees.

Carnauba Wax is favored by the industry for many reasons, including:

• It’s durability against rain and other contaminants that have to be clayed off of unprotected cars.
• It bonds easily to most paint jobs
• It’s ability to withstand heat and still protect vehicles

During a full detail, wax is applied as a final touch, so it relies on the paint correction process to reach maximum gloss.

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