Collision Repair and Diminished Values

Diminished Value Collision Repair

When you’re looking for a collision repair shop, you’re often frantic and worried, so it’s tempting to go with the first body shop you find.
 
In some cases, an insurance company (maybe even the company of the person who hit your car!) pushes you to choose a specific shop. However, it’s your right to choose the collision repair team you want, and in most cases the shop an insurance company recommends will not have your best interests at heart.
 
Many people don’t understand the nuances of diminished value claims (DVCs) until it’s too late, but it’s an important part of collision repair.
 
When a vehicle is in an accident, its value is diminished. Even if your vehicle is flawlessly repaired — as it should be — it’s going to have diminished value in the eyes of a future buyer or dealer offering a trade-in. Nobody wants to pay the same price for a vehicle that’s been in an accident compared to an identical vehicle that hasn’t.
 
Choosing the right collision repair shops and making sure you file a diminished value claim with your insurance company are equally important and should be taken care of in tandem.
 
Why Does the Shop Matter if I Have a DVC?
 
Your collision repair shop can make a huge difference in your DVC. With three types of legal DVCs, it’s paramount that you get the repairs and compensation you deserve.
 
An immediate diminished value is the difference in resale value before and after damage occurred, but before any repairs are made. When legal decisions are being made to reimburse for damage, this is the DVC courts consider. However, the catch is that most property damage claims aren’t decided in courts.
 
The inherent diminished value assumes that the best repairs have been made, and is the new resale value of a vehicle that has been repaired. The value is now a little lower than pre-accident, because it’s assumed that even with flawless repairs, the vehicle has a damage history now and isn’t as valuable.
 
Inherent diminished value is the most popular and recognized. It’s sometimes called supplemental diminished value by court systems and insurance companies.
 
A repair-related diminished value considers extra dollars that a resale value might be lowered thanks to subpar repairs, and covers everything from big structural problems to the tiniest cosmetic nicks.
 
A Collision Repair Shop that’s DVC Minded
 
Choosing the best collision repair shop is paramount to your peace of mind, wallet and safety. However, know that no body shop can reverse damage, and your vehicle always will have a damage history. Pore over your auto insurance policy, preferably before an accident, and get acquainted with its DVC rules. In some cases, you may want to increase coverage for a better DVC option.
 
After an accident, make sure you choose a shop that’s reputable and will restore your vehicle to the best possible state so your DVC is the best it can be. Contact Dent Master today for a free collision repair quote.

Auto Body Shop Detailing Perks

Car Detailing

Did you know your local auto body shop offers some of the most comprehensive, fastest and quality detailing in the city?
 
Auto detailing, both exterior and interior, offers many perks beyond feeling like you’re a VIP in your ride. For instance, many times when customers think their old muscle car is in need of a new paint job, what they really need is a full exterior detailing.
 
Wet sanding, buffing and touching up a car’s exterior can lead to incredible results and even make some vehicles look brand new. These tactics can often remove many surface scratches, and touching up more serious scratches with expert paint matching gives you the look of a repaint without making a big dent in your wallet. Such details cost a sliver of what a paint job costs, too.
 
Quality of materials used, including paint matching systems, as well as the application, make all the difference in the results.
 
It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts
 
Interior detailing should include proper leather cleaning when applicable, shampooing of carpets and cleaning and sanitizing every nook and cranny.
 
Cost depends on the vehicle and level of detailing, but ranges from $100-$175 for most vehicles. Point out any particularly troubling spots, and the detailer may be able to work miracles! Coffee and juice stains, scratches in leather and caked-on mud are no match for a reputable detailer.
 
If you want to treat yourself or just show off your ride, detailing is the answer. If you’re planning to sell your vehicle, having it detailed may get you a higher price. Plus, that clean-car smell (much like the new-car smell) is a big selling point. If you’re keeping the vehicle, you’ve got even more reason to get a detailing.
 
Optimize Your Health
 
A clean vehicle means a healthier you. Particularly for those with long commutes, having a clean vehicle means less allergen exposure due to the lower amount of dust. The average commute in the United States is getting longer, in some cities up to two hours each way. You spend a lot of time in your car, and having it sanitized is critical for overall health. Your mental, emotional and spiritual health will benefit too.
 
Many studies have shown the connection between a neat, clean space and mental and emotional health. When your surroundings are neat and tidy, your body mimics them from the inside out (and vice versa). Your vehicle should be an oasis where you can listen to favorite podcasts, music or even learn a foreign language while you’re in traffic.
 
To get an auto body shop detailing quote, contact Dent Master today, and give yourself and your vehicle the royal treatment.

Auto Body Shop Fixes Hazy Headlights

Hazy Headlight Fix

One of the most common complaints auto body shops get involves hazy, foggy and yellow headlights. Why does this happen and how can it be prevented?
 
The brutal truth is that yellow, foggy and dirty headlights simply happen, and you can thank time and the environment for it. Headlights constantly encounter dirt, pollution and more.
 
Today’s headlights are made of plastic, not glass like the classics, and these are great for protecting porous surfaces, but not so great when it comes to preventing yellow haze.
 
The clear coating on modern headlights is going to fade eventually. Summertime is especially damaging, thanks to UV rays and the constant heat. Clear coats on headlights also can be damaged from a variety of cleaning products, which can cause oxidation and in some cases an instantaneous clouding.
 
Foggy headlights can prevent your lights from doing their best job, and they’re also unattractive. Luckily, your local body shop can make them look like new.
 
Avoid Danger Ahead
 
Most headlights become foggy over time, and drivers don’t notice that their visibility has decreased. A weakened headlight beam doesn’t light up as much of the road ahead of you, and it also diminishes how well others can see you. As days get shorter in the winter, or when storms roll in, a dimmer headlight beam can contribute to accidents on the road.
 
If you think your headlights could use a cleaning, it’s best to let the pros tackle this task during the summer when the weather is fair and the days are long.
 
You also can help prevent headlight woes by carefully polishing them, but avoiding harsh cleansing agents. You don’t want to wear down clear coats faster than necessary.
 
Choose a polish with no grit, and park your car in a garage or in the shade to avoid direct sun exposure. Only use automotive soap to wash headlights, and limit yourself to once a quarter. However, if your headlights are already yellow, a professional needs to remove the old clear coat with sandpaper and apply a new layer.
 
An Expert’s Touch
 
With so many DIY headlight kits available in stores and through home shopping networks, a novice’s mistake can lead to even more (costly) work. Asking a professional to clean or re-coat your headlights is usually affordable, and should come with a guarantee.
 
These pros can also recommend the best cleaning agents and schedule for your specific headlights and clear coat, so you can rest easy knowing you’re using the best products for your vehicle.
 
True, a hazy headlight might not be as pressing a matter as worn-out brake pads, but anything that limits visibility should be addressed. Talk to your Dent Master auto body shop professional today about headlight cleaning and clear coating.

Auto Body Shop Most Common Repairs

Common Auto Body Repairs

Technicians at auto body shops have seen it all and repaired it all. Still, some repairs are more common than others and can vary based on your region.
 
A rear-end collision is one of the most common types of accidents, often brought on by frazzled drivers who aren’t paying close enough attention. These types of accidents are especially common in rainy or snowy regions where slippery roads are a factor and drivers can misjudge how much time they have to stop.
 
These repairs are often covered by insurance, so getting vehicles back in tip-top shape is both critical and affordable.
 
Unsurprisingly, another common repair is a front-end collision. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and most of the time you can’t have a rear-end collision without a front-end one as well.
 
It happens for the same reasons, but some drivers choose to avoid deductibles and they pay out of pocket when the fault is on them. If a car isn’t totaled in this type of collision, it technically can be legally drivable (even though you might have a diminished value claim on your hands).
 
Most Popular Faux Pas
 
Storm damage is another common reason vehicles end up in auto body shops, since Mother Nature is fickle and can sometimes throw tantrums. This type of damage is found in every region, from tornado damage in Oklahoma to hailstones in Utah or lava damage in Hawaii.
 
Avoiding the wrath of a storm can be difficult sometimes, but using garages when possible and not driving in bad weather can help keep you out of auto body shops.
 
Sadly, vandalism also drives vehicle owners to auto body shops en masse. Whether you have an enemy out to get you or you’re the victim of a random crime, everything from deep scratches to spray paint and slashed tires requires the touch of an auto body shop.
 
Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, rest easy knowing a reputable auto body technician will whip your vehicle back into shape.
 
Repair Woes
 
A cracked windshield can have you carefully peering through the clear section of your glass and directly into an auto body shop.
 
In some cases, chips and small cracks can be repaired with a mobile windshield unit. Bigger cracks and broken glass require full replacement. Windshield damage can be the result of sudden blunt force (like a stone getting kicked up on the highway), or can come seemingly out of the blue from a small crack that’s been ignored.
 
Windshield damage is especially dangerous when it happens while driving, and even more so at high speeds.
 
Finally, mystery dings and dents finish this list. Whether your car had a run-in with a shopping cart while you weren’t around or someone at the gym banged their car door into yours, these dents can drive you crazy. Depend on Dent Master, the local auto body shop experts, to have your ride looking and driving like new.

Collision Repair: Which Car Parts Are Damaged Most?

Collision Repair

Even great collision repair can’t entirely restore your car’s value.
 
It’s understandable. If you were choosing between two cars that were identical in every way, except one had been in a collision and then expertly repaired, which would you choose? Everyone wants the damage-free car, because you don’t want to worry about the car’s safety (and besides, just like with a knockoff designer purse, you’ll know, even if nobody else does).
 
However, buying a car that’s been in a minor collision can save you big bucks.
 
Depending on several factors, including speed at the time of the collision, you can expect different “average damages.” With front-end collisions, the most likely damaged area is the front bumper at 28 percent. This figure is according to Honda crash statistics, which analyze nearly 20,000 accidents per year. At No. 2 are the headlights at 21 percent, and 20 percent of these crashes damage the grill as well.
 
The hood sustains damage 10 percent of the time, and the A/C and/or heater is damaged about 6 percent of the time. The cooling system comes in last at 5 percent.
 
Center Yourself
 
A collision that impacts the central part of a car, such as with a T-bone, damages the fender the most at 21 percent. The silver award goes to the rear door at 7 percent, followed by the front door at 4 percent. Air bags get 3 percent of average damages, and in last place is the roof at 2 percent (common when a much larger or taller vehicle collides with a smaller one).
 
At the rear, you’ll find (no surprise here) the No. 1 damaged area is the rear bumper at 20 percent. The wheels also take a lot of abuse, with 15 percent damage. Taillights come in at 9 percent, and on their heels is the trunk lid at 5 percent. Rounding out the list is exhaust, at 2 percent.
 
Repair or Replace?
 
Laws state that the car owner gets to choose his or her collision shop. If you’re not happy with an estimate from the insurance-provided collision repair pros, get a second opinion. Maybe you think the car is totaled, but a shop said it was fixable. Depending on the damage and your insurance coverage, you might be putting your safety at risk as well as losing your ROI when it comes time to sell your vehicle if you go with an unreliable opinion.
 
Using a trustworthy and high-quality collision repair shop is absolutely critical for peace of mind, and to address a diminished value case. Many small fender benders cause damage that can be repaired, but sometimes seemingly minor collisions cause much more damage than seems apparent.
 
Rely on the best and call Dent Master today for a free evaluation and quote for collision repair.

Auto Painting: Was Yours Done Right?

Auto Painting

You just splurged on auto painting for your vehicle (or maybe your insurance covered it after a fender bender). At first glance, it hopefully looks like a job well done. Look a little closer.
 
With effort, you can spot telltale signs of whether your auto body shop did a quality job or a subpar one. A lot can go wrong with auto painting. Factors that matter are the equipment and paint used, the painter’s skill and whether the job was rushed or not.
 
One of the biggest signs — which actually has nothing to do with the paint job itself ― is whether the car was clean when you picked it up. The level of cleanliness shows you how committed the shop is to customer satisfaction and how detail-oriented they are.
 
Plus, it’s no easy task to keep a car clean in an auto shop! If it looked like it needed a wash when you drove it away, there’s a good chance the paint job isn’t up to snuff.
 
Details Matter
 
Paint matching is, by far, one of the biggest challenges any auto body shop can face. If you’re not having the entire car painted, the odds of perfectly matching paint colors are slim to none. However, your body shop should have been able to achieve a color match close enough that it takes a close, eagle eye to notice any difference.
 
The majority of factory paint jobs have an “orange peel” finish in varying degrees, similar to the most common drywall finishes in homes. It’s standard for factories, but tough for shops to replicate.
 
If you want to see if the colors match, schedule your pickup during daylight hours and on a sunny day. Look at the car from many angles to make sure the color of the paint as well as the finish are solid.
 
A Closer Inspection
 
Look closely at the paint for any imperfections, runs, hairs or dirt/dust that got caught in the paint. If it’s not easily brushed off (or buffed away, compliments of the shop), you deserve a re-do.
 
Painting is no easy task, but that’s what you’re going to the experts for. It’s not enough to get a close match on the color and finish; you need a flawless end result as well.
 
Surprisingly, black is one of the most difficult paints to match because there are countless colors within this hue. It’s also likely that your current paint job is at least somewhat faded and dull from the sun (which means truly matching it will really make the painted area stand out!). It may be wiser to paint an entire panel, rather than a small spot, in order to better blend the blacks.
 
If you want to avoid paint regret altogether, do your research before choosing a body shop. Before-and-after photos, state-of-the-art technology and positive reviews will steer you in the right direction.
 
If you need all or part of your car painted, come see the professionals at Dent Master. We’re the experts in top-of-the-line auto painting jobs.

Auto Body Shops Have to be Trustworthy

Auto Body Shop

What do you expect from an auto body shop — and what should be a given?
 
It’s tough, because most people who need a body shop are shaken up from an accident (or finding out their car unexpectedly has serious damage).
 
You want your car back, looking brand new, as quickly as possible. You also want to be treated fairly, especially if you’re paying out of pocket for services. Auto body shop customers can be prone to making rash decisions and not doing their due diligence. That’s a huge mistake.
 
Not all body shops are created equally, but a reputable shop should always have transparency and willingness to talk you through options. If a shop only uses confusing jargon, isn’t communicative and doesn’t show basic customer service etiquette, you don’t want them taking responsibility for your ride. Who knows what type of quality you’ll end up with?
 
Here’s your must-have list when researching auto body shops. Don’t compromise on any of them:

  • Upfront pricing: The shop might not be able to tell you exactly what the price will be when you drop off your car, but they should give you an estimate with a range. Once they actually get to work, if they find more or less damage than they initially thought, the shop should call you to give you a new price, so you’re never surprised by the final bill.
  • Full cleanup: When you pick up your car, no matter what type of body work was being done, it should look clean and cared for. A basic detailing should be a staple of any auto body shop. If you’re spending on auto body repairs, the shop should want to show off how good your car’s frame looks now.
  • A reasonable turnaround: Your car shouldn’t be in the shop for months (or even weeks). Sometimes it can be challenging to get a part, especially if you have a collector’s edition. Again, communication is key. You should be given a time frame of when the job will be done, and if there’s a problem it should be communicated quickly.
  • Loaner car options: A quality shop won’t leave you stranded. If your insurance doesn’t provide a rental car, your body shop should work with you for options. The best ones have a few loaner cars in their fleet so you can make do while your own ride is getting serviced.

Choosing a body shop should be a bit like choosing a medical specialist. You don’t want to see them too regularly (hopefully!) but when you do, you want to be in good hands. Contact DentMaster for all your auto body needs.

Choosing Your Auto Paint

Not all auto painting is created equally, and that goes for how the pros do it, too. Never try to paint a car yourself, and always shop around if you need auto painting, whether it’s a touch-up job or you want an entirely new color for your ride.

Choosing Car Paint

A professional paint job lasts longer, is more durable and of course looks much better than what you can achieve on your own. You’ll find a variety of price points at the professional level, and ultimately getting the best results often comes down to what you’re willing to spend.

 

Professionals use certain economy paints; however, in the world of auto painting you really do get what you pay for. Professionals know which paint brands last longer, and that goes for the economy lines, too.

 

A more affordable brand can still cover well, and can be a solid base for glosses and clear coats. You should expect these to last a few years, but they won’t hold up as well as higher-quality paints.

 

Paint Shopping

 

Be honest with your body shop about your budget, and they’ll do their best to work with it. Ask about the paint brands they use, and avoid paints made in China. They don’t hold up and are notorious for peeling and chipping in just a few months.

 

Stick with brands that are well-known in the industry, such as Sherwin-Williams. You’ll soon learn the names of the best brands like Trinity 1945, an economical choice that’s still a decent quality. Diamont, PPG and Duramix are also good brands.

 

You’ll be spending between $40 and $80 per gallon for economical paints. The total cost of your car’s paint job depends on many circumstances, but the average range is $2,000-$5,000.

 

An easy way to tell a high-quality paint from an economical one is how the paint is sold. Economical paints are sold by the gallon, while high-quality paints are sold by the pint or quart (often to the tune of $30-$100 per quart).

 

Making Your Car Pop

 

Keep in mind that these price ranges are only for standard colors. If you want a custom paint job, only very high-end paints should be used. You’ll likely be going with Auto Air Colors, House of Kolor, SEM Color Horizons or another brand known for customization.

 

In some cases, these paints cost up to $600 per quart, so you can imagine what the final price will be. Your auto body shop is charging you based on the cost of the paint as well as labor, so knowing the basic price points of paint can help you gauge the cost of your project.

 

The body shop also has the tools, experience and skills necessary to give you a flawless paint job. Call DentMaster today to discuss your auto painting project with local professionals.

Collision Repairs Spike in December

’Tis the season for cookies, eggnog and collision repairs.

Winter Driving - Collisions

December is the month when the most deadly traffic collisions occur, often due to poor weather and all those holiday parties where the mulled wine flows freely. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 40 percent of deadly collisions on Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk driving (in Utah, there were 1,736 alcohol-related crashes in 2014). New Year’s Eve is considered one of the most dangerous evenings to be on the road — although on any day, midnight to 3 a.m. is the most hazardous time frame.

 

This isn’t meant to scare you into staying home for the holidays. However, December drivers need to be alert and practice defensive driving.

 

Other high-risk times are rush hour, especially on holiday eves when everyone is hurrying to get home and started on their vacations. Teens and those in their 20s are the most likely to be involved in a collision, due to their lack of experience and the fact that they grew up with distracted driving as the norm.

 

Stay safe out there this holiday season. However, if a collision does occur, the right auto body shop can help you get your sleigh back on the road in time for the festivities.

 

Don’t Let the Grinch Steal the Holidays

 

December flies by because everyone is in a mad rush to celebrate, travel and build memories. Plus, that last-minute shopping can go on forever. Your local and dedicated collision repair shops know these factors are what makes this month the busy season.

 

If you find yourself in a pickle and need collision repair, call your neighborhood body shop immediately. If your car isn’t drivable, you’ll be made a priority. Choose a shop that sticks to regular office hours on most days in December. Good customer service, paintless dent removal options and maybe even a holiday bargain can help you ring in the New Year with a little less stress.

 

Add-Ons for Your Holiday Wish List

 

As long as your car is in the shop, why not splurge and treat yourself to an early gift? A full auto detail and headlight restoration is affordable, fast and will make your ride feel brand new. You’ll zoom into the New Year in style, and without a single pine needle from the garlands and wreaths you picked up. Take advantage of last-minute holiday savings before you head over the mountain and through the woods for a family gathering.

 

Call DentMaster if you have had a collision, or any time, to schedule a special holiday detailing.

Can Auto Body Shops Prevent Diminished Value Cases?

Diminished Value Case

A great auto body shop can work miracles, but they can’t fully prevent a diminished value case (DVC). A DVC is a term your insurance company knows all too well, but might not be very forthcoming about.
 
Here’s how it works: Let’s say you just bought a brand new sedan. You’ve only put 50 miles on it when you suddenly get in a fender bender. Neither car in the crash is anywhere close to totaled, but that’s a pretty ugly ding that you have, and it calls for a skillful repair.
 
To you and everyone else, the car looks as good as new afterward. However, a savvy auto body shop will be able to tell that you’ve had repairs done. If you file an insurance claim, that goes on your record (and your car’s). Even though it seems brand new, it has a diminished value because it’s been in a collision.
 
If you don’t file an insurance claim, it’s technically still a DVC (it’s just that nobody will know about it).
 
DVCs When Selling Your Car
 
When it comes to you enjoying your car, a DVC doesn’t matter. However, it can make a big difference when it comes time to sell your car. Nobody wants to pay the same price for a DVC versus a non-DVC car.
 
Plus, if you file an insurance claim, there’s no wiggle room for dishonesty. Your car’s VIN history will do all the talking for you. Still, the quality of your repair shop matters a lot.
 
Buyers are still suckers for a gorgeous ride. A car that looks flawless with a shiny paint job and not a chip in sight is going to sell for a higher price than the same car with a slightly less-than-perfect paint job. This is especially true of collector, vintage and luxury cars. Your auto body repair shop can be your wingman when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.
 
Body Shop First, For Sale Ads Second
 
Of course you want your ride to look pristine as soon after a collision as possible. However, the next best time to see an auto body pro is when you’re getting ready to sell. All those rock chips and door dings can often be worked out with paintless dent removal for a reasonable cost. A solid detailing can also increase your car’s perceived value.
 
You may be able to do little about a DVC case that went through an insurance claim. However, there’s plenty you and your auto body shop can do to get a higher asking price for your car.
 
Depend on DentMaster to make your car look like it just rolled off the truck, and know that your local auto body shop leaders won’t steer you wrong.