How To Identify A Shoddy Panel Beater
Not all Panel Beaters Were Created Equal
When you take your damaged vehicle into a repair shop, you probably just assume they are going to do a good job and return it to its previous condition. This, however, is a rather large mistake, as not every panel beater is made equal. You should never settle for shoddy work, and while it might look alright in a dimly lit garage, there are some very important tells you need to identify, all before driving it off of the premises. This way, you know if you are receiving the best work possible, or if there are still problems lingering with the panels. An improperly worked on panel can eventually cause other damage to your vehicle in the long run, which is why it’s so important for you to identify shoddy panel beater work ahead of time.
Never accept a vehicle that hasn’t been cleaned when you go to pick it up. Even if you dropped it off covered in mud, it needs to be clean now. It is difficult to identify problems with the panel if it’s dirty, and it also reflects poorly on the panel beater shop. When you are proud of your work, you want to make sure it looks its very best, and this is something the repair garage should do as well. Dirt and dust suggests the part has been removed from an old car that has been sitting around for some time. Ask questions right away.
Take a Closer Look
Sure, the car might look great when you walk up to it. After all, you dropped it off with a giant dent in it and now it’s gone. However, upon closer inspection, you might notice other issues with the panel that should not be there. Start with looking at the gaps between panels. If the gaps are uneven, the panel has not been aligned correctly, as is the case if the gap is larger than it should be. You can compare the gap between panels on one side of the vehicle with its counterpart on the other side of the vehicle. You can also see if there is a difference in colour here. While common colours are easy to obtain, if you have a specialty paint, you don’t want a panel to have a different shade, as this is just going to throw off the entire look of the vehicle.
Arrive During the Day
Even if you work during the day, you need to make sure to arrive during prime daylight hours, and not at the end of the day when the garage is closing up. It is easier to spot shoddy work and problems with the panels in full light, which makes it valuable and worth your time to stop by in the middle of the day. Should you drive off the lot and experience damage later on due to poorly installed panels, your insurance company is probably not going to cover it and you’ll be stuck forking over money for a new bill, simply because you missed some work that should have been picked up before you drove it away.
Sometimes, spotting problems with the naked eye can be difficult, even when done by a professional. This is exactly why you need to have exact dimensional information when you go to inspect the vehicle. The best panel beaters are going to return your vehicle back to factory specifications, which is why you need to compare it to this as well. While the dimensions are most likely available in the car’s manual, you can also obtain the information through the manufacturer’s website. This way, when you arrive at the garage, you can compare the measurements the panel beater provides you with the information you obtained from the car manufacturer itself. Just make sure to print off the exact model, year and trim of your car, as the dimensions can often be different just between trim options and models.
If in Doubt, Ask Around
If you aren’t quite sure about a panel beater, it is always a good idea to ask around. Check with a couple of the local shops close by, do they know how long the panel beater is in business, have there been any issues with customers recently, etc. You can also look for reviews left by customers online. Once you have all of this information, it is much easier to make an informed decision.
Driving away from the panel shop you should always be happy with the work you received on the car. There are so many different variables associated with car work it can be difficult to identify issues sometimes, but as long as you follow these tips and instructions, you should do just fine, even if you don’t know all that much about your car.
PJ’s Panels pride themselves on their workmanship, quality and even get you the customer to look closely over the panel beating repairs and sign a certificate to make sure you are happy with the overall repair of your car.
PJ’s offer a guarantee on repairs and stand by their timely repairs and professional panel beating repairs every time.
Make PJs Panels your first panel beating call on 1300 545 363 – call and discuss your needs today.
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