With the winter in full swing, Mother Nature has graced us with snow, ice and freezing rain. These treacherous conditions can make commuting not only inconvenient but also quite dangerous. It’s no surprise that during inclement weather the number of accidents rise.

Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life and when it happens, it’s generally the insurance company’s job to get your car fixed up. However, with the increased amount of claims associated with winter weather, it’s important that each automobile owner takes the initiative to make sure their car gets repaired correctly and back on the road as quickly as possible.

Drivers can’t avoid the headache of winter weather commutes but they can avoid the headache that comes with getting car repairs. Below are four tips you should know to ensure your car is properly fixed.

 

1.)   You have the freedom to choose the body shop

Insurance companies will interview and screen repair shops to make sure they are reputable. Once a repair shop is approved, an insurance company will refer local customers to that business to complete the repairs. A repair shop your insurance company tells you about is only a recommendation, there is no obligation to get the work done there. Insurance companies recommend places because they feel the work will be done correctly at an appropriate price but no matter how rigorous the screening process is, a few bad eggs are sure to slip through. Make sure you look at reviews of any auto repair shop online and speak with people who have used their services in the past. Just because the insurance company recommends that shop, doesn’t mean you have to use them.

2.)   Ask the repair shop to use new, original parts

Consumers should ask the auto repair shop what type of parts they will use. New, original parts are the best to use and are recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Used parts are also made by your vehicle manufacturer and will work just as good as new parts.However, one should stay away from “aftermarket” parts. Aftermarket parts are often cheap imitations with inferior quality which will wear down quicker and ultimately diminish your car’s value. They are cheaper but the driver will pay more in the long run.

3.)   Make sure the paint matches

It’s hard to color match a new car part or panel with existing paint colors. Make sure the auto repair shop is known for its painting ability and when you pick up the car, inspect it before you leave the lot. Have the auto body shop tell you which parts are new and carefully inspect them from different angles and distances to ensure the color matches.

4.)   Check warning lights

When picking up your finished car, after inspecting the paint, get inside the car and check your dashboard for any warning lights. There are a number of warning lights that could still be on. These lights can tell the driver a variety of things like whether there are additional repairs that need to be made,whether the repairs made were done correctly or even if the on-board computer needs to be reprogrammed. 

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