Common Auto Repairs You May Need to Make After a Car Accident
After a car collision, there are almost always the chances of repairs needed for the vehicle. The extent of the damage is another thing, and expenses will increase the more work is required. Knowing what you might need fixing is a good head up as you may be slightly prepared for what you could pay.
Accidents Happen Unexpectedly and Could Cost a Fortune
Nobody is prepared for damage to their means of transport, and sometimes it’s not the driver’s fault either. Damage to the vehicle can be present in many forms. For example, a tree branch falls on top of a parked car, or a shopping cart zips ahead in the wind by itself and hits the side of the car’s door. These may be some of the unforeseen “little” ones that may not require major repairs.
However, a larger scale impact causes more damage, like misaligning the body frame, shattering windows, damage to the engine, and lots more. A few common parts are almost always an issue and would most likely need replacement.
What Should You Expect to Possibly Replace?
Many parts of a vehicle could require replacement and or repairs. The following are just naming a few of them:
Paint repairs are one of the most common things to fix when a car has had an accident. Even a minor hit to the body of the car can cause the paintwork to damage and come off. The paintwork needs to be fixed, from chips and dents to scratches and complete pieces coming off.
Major paint may need sanding down and removal of paint transfer. Paint transfer often happens when cars collide, and this is corrected during the paint repair job. There are also minor fixes that require buffing and polishing to correct the scratches on the paint. Major paint work could also be completed after the other steps are done with a fresh paint spray.
Paint protection coating is applied to ensure that the paint doesn’t crack. It’s like a set formula that seals the color coat. Vehicle paint protective measures may include having to bake the car after the spray work is done. It could cost from about $100-$1,000 per body panel. It’s best to get quotations from various paint body shops to guarantee you’ll get something to suit your budget. Remember to also check the company’s credentials to make sure that the person you hire has the skills and experience to do a proper job. You may want to check with your car insurance plan on how much they cover in the event you need paint repairs completed on your vehicle.
Windshields and Other Window Glass May Need Repairing
Depending on the accident’s impact, the car might need glass repaired, including the important windshield. Many companies fit glass and help motorists get the right fit for their car when getting windshield repairs. There are several forms of windshield damage, namely, bull’s eye chip, chip pit, a half-moon chip, and a combination break.
Sometimes, the damage can be blended out to create a smooth surface that won’t extend the break any further. On the other hand, some cannot be fixed, and the entire windshield needs to be replaced. Replacing the glass may increase depending on the size that needs to be fitted.
Windshield replacement can cost between $360 – $600, quarter panels on the driver side from $499, and rear windshield replacement from $360. Still, many factors can influence how much you’ll pay, like the age of the vehicle, type of damage, labor cost, and whether the auto insurance will make a partial payment towards the repair or replacement.
Some companies offer a mobile car repair service that’s convenient when the client cannot come out to the location of the auto shop. Mobile car repairs could range between $300 – $500 and more depending on the damage needed to be repaired and the time and labor put in. While it could seem like an expensive cost, it is extremely competitive, and thus many clients can get affordable quotations for the convenient service.
There is no hiding from the fact that auto interior repairs are required after a collision. Since some accidents can damage the car frame quite badly, the impact can also force pressure to damage the interiors. The airbags may have deployed during the impact and thus would need replacement to ensure continued safety when the car is used after repairs. The interior finishes may also be damaged, like the interior panels and plastic components. Depending on the severity of the hit, the car might need new upholstery and carpets.
Dent repairs are necessary for minor auto body collision repair. In the event of a dent repair, the process could include panel beating where the body’s dents are beaten out from the other side, so they no longer have that sunken effect. There are also special tools like a ‘dent puller’ to suck out the dents physically. Dent fixes almost always form part of the auto repairs needed, even for just minor body work. Dent repairs can cost $150 – $2,000 or more. It all depends on the damage.
An accident can also cause tires to blow, which cannot be fixed but instead replaced for a new set. A flat tire, on the other hand, can be patched and mended back to roadworthy condition. Still, whether the tire fitting center can fix the puncture depends on how badly worn the tires are and how bad the actual damage is. An auto repair service, auto body repair cover, can assist you with spares and maybe have a fitment center to sort out your tires too.
The cost of tires varies from one brand to the next and also depends on the size of the tire. Factors like tire tread, terrain type, and season also weigh in on the cost. For instance, you’ll pay more for an SUV tire than you would for a small city car’s set of tires. According to Nerd Wallet, on average, tires can range in price from 12′ – 15′ costs around $80-$150, 16′ -20′ estimated $100-$400, and 18′ -26′ around $140-$500 with a median of $320.
After an accident, your car would most likely require some form of realignment. The impact causes the metal to compress forcefully; depending on the collision’s extent, the more unaligned the chassis will be. The chassis frame should be corrected in a way that complies with the regulations and the manufacturer’s original standards. In the worst cases, it might be impossible to fix the frame, and the car would then be a write-off.
You can check with the local automotive service, or an automotive service technician for quotations, and a timeline for the work to be done. If the vehicle’s frame can be restored, it might take some time, and you may need a courtesy car.
Body Panel Replacement
Removing dents is one thing, but for severe damage to the body, whole panels ought to be replaced. This takes time, and an auto body repair company often has to strip down sections to get to another part. Body panel replacement will cost more than repairing smaller dents. According to Lending Tree, it could range from around $250-$2,000. As with all the other repair procedures, the final amount depends on where the panel is situated, the extent of damage, the car model and manufacturer, and labor cost.
Broken Headlights and Taillights
Your headlights and taillights both are at risk of damage when the car is hit from either front or back. Since the lights are one of the safety features of the automobile, getting them replaced soon is crucial. Taillights can cost $5-$300, depending on whether you need to replace only a bulb or refit the entire taillight. Headlights are also vital to the vehicle and cost similar prices to the taillight. Sometimes just a small bump from another car or object could result that the entire light unit being replaced.
What Are the Benefits of Having Your Car Repaired After an Accident?
Continue using your car Once you’ve received your car from the auto shop, you can resume using it, instead of public transportation to travel. Using your own car can save you time, and convenience.
You could potentially increase the car’s value. Fixing your car after an accident may increase the value provided the damage wasn’t too extensive. Also, replacing parts like a new engine and transmission can be positive when reselling.
Have peace of mind When having your car repaired by professionals, you just feel more at ease knowing that it is in capable hands.
Get back some money spent on repairs – You can resell your repaired vehicle and make up part of the down payment for a new car. If the insurance does cover the cost of a new car, then with the sale of your repaired vehicle, you can still have a bit extra cash flow or use it as an installment payment on your continued insurance premium.
Are There Disadvantages to Having Your Car Repaired After an Accident?
Expenses can rise dramatically. Repairing your car is a good choice, especially when you rely on it for transport. Yet, it can get expensive the more repairs are required.
You might also be without a car for a few weeks. Fixing so many things on an automobile after an accident can sometimes add up to the price of a brand-new car. It’s at this point you should consider options like is a brand-new car more beneficial over keeping the old one and paying a fortune to have it fixed?
There are scam auto mechanics and repair shops. There’s no secret that scammers take every liberty they can to steal and cheat on their unaware victims. Repairing your car at a place because the guy is offering remarkably and unbelievably low prices is already a red flag. They may also not have credentials proving they have worked in an auto shop or have certified spares.
What to Look for in a Reliable Autobody Repair Shop
You can find a reputable auto body and repair shop by bearing a few factors in mind such as:
- Asking for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest ways to get a message across. Suppose your friends and family can recommend good auto mechanics based on their own experience with the individual. In that case, you can get a trusted and reputable company or individual to work with. Your insurance provider might also recommend a company to help you repair your car after it’s been in an accident.
- Do they have a portfolio? Checking their portfolio is another way to sift through the shammers and see who is legitimate. A genuine auto body repair company would have all its past work displayed in a portfolio.
- Customer reviews. Oftentimes, customer reviews can help people decide what company or product to choose as these companies would have higher ratings.
- Find an auto shop with certifications. Few things put people’s minds at ease than seeing certified solutions to problems. If the company is certified, you can be sure they are unwilling to break the law and lose their business and reputation. You can even look for the car manufacturer of the vehicle you’re fixing.
- Get estimates in writing. When estimates are in writing, they cannot be changed later. Always be certain to ask for any estimates and final totals in writing so that you know what you’re going to be charged for.
Having your car secured with insurance will help put your mind at ease that they could pay a partial amount towards your debt with the auto repairs. Still, you should check with your insurance provider what aspects are covered, and in this way, you’re better prepared financially if you need it. Accidents can’t always be avoided, but being prepared helps.