Top 5 mistakes San Jose auto body shops make.
Top 5 mistakes San Jose auto body shops make
When you bring your car to a body shop in San Jose for auto body repairs, of course you’re going to want the job to be done properly. Unfortunately, there are some very common mistakes that San Jose body shop technicians make when repairing damage. If you’ve just brought your car to a shop for repairs or if you just got your car back and suspect that something is not quite right, here is our list of common mistakes San Jose body shops make and how you can spot them.
1. Bad Paintwork or paint prep work.
Before painting any car or car part, an auto body technician must thoroughly mask off every section of the car that is not to be painted. If the technician leaves any area exposed, it will likely get sprayed unnecessarily. We have seen some San Jose body shops that will avoid taking the time to mask important features, like mufflers, and will wind up painting right over them. It is a short cut for a body man to paint over parts rather than remove them, even though you are likely being charged to remove them.
How to spot it: Inspect the area of repair carefully, particularly around your doorjambs and trim. Overspray can make a surface look slightly foggy or even overly shiny, depending on the paint and the area that was sprayed.
2. Really bad color matching.
Color matching is a science that requires the right kind of computer controlled equipment, experience, and a well-trained eye. There are many different shades of colors that vehicles are painted these days, which can make color matching tricky, but what really adds to the challenge is that vehicles typically experience color changes over time due to exposure to the elements and fading from the sun, especially here in San Jose.
How to spot it: While you are still at the body shop, take your car out into the sun, since paint can sometimes seem to match in the shop’s lighting, but might look different in the sun. You should also try to get a look at the repair under some type of fluorescent lighting, since a man-made light source can sometimes expose more color discrepancies. Never pick up your car from a San Jose body shop at night, and refuse to pay for the car until the paint matches properly.
3. Taking short cuts in reassembly.
When your fender came off, it had four bolts and two plastic fasteners. But when the technician put it back on he lost a bolt and didn’t even bother with the fasteners. When you picked up the car it was nice and tight and fine. But then a few months later as things started to vibrate loose, you began to wonder wht was wrong. Also since the person repairing and painting panels might not be the same person putting it back together, auto body technicians can sometimes overlook your equipment, like windshield wipers, turn signals, or headlights, or can reinstall them improperly leading to failures.
How to spot it: Check your wipers, turn signals, power windows, and lock switches to ensure they are working properly. Make sure that you’re not getting any error codes, such as your airbag light coming on or you check engine light. Also check that your headlights work correctly and aim where they should.
4. Leaving gaps between panels.
A major pet peeve of ours at Car West is when bad San Jose auto body shops don't take the time to propely align panels and treat panel gaps. We can spot bad work from several feet away, but most owners don’t notice these things. Manufacturers design vehicles with very tight panel gaps these days, so it requires precision and diligence to install panels correctly. Your San Jose auto body shop should take the same effort in reinstalling all the panels.
How to spot it: Take a close look at the gaps between the repaired panels and compare them with the gaps in other areas on your car. Do they match the pre-existing panels? Also check to see whether the gaps are uniform all the way around each panel. While you’re at it, test your hood and doors to make sure they open and close smoothly.
5. Neglecting to align tires.
Another area that San Jose auto body techs can sometimes overlook is proper tire alignment, yet this is important for the health and longevity of your tires as well as your braking efficiency and your steering.
How to spot it: Drive the car for a few weeks and note any tire wear. If the vehicle is out of alignment you might not even feel it, but it will not take long to begin to see the telltale signs of wear on the edges of the tire. If you do see issues return the car to the shop and ask to have the alignment checked.
When you take your car to an auto body shop in San Jose to have it fixed, naturally you’re going to want to make sure the job gets done right. For a repair you can trust, bring your car to Car West. We have twelve facilities in, Mountain View, Fremont, Santa Clara, San Jose, Yuba City, Dublin, Palo Alto, and Milpitas where we provide a lifetime warranty on any work we do.