What Are the Most Common Repairs Auto Body Shops Do?

Damage to your vehicle’s exterior not only looks bad, it can also compromise performance if the issue isn’t addressed as soon as possible. Fortunately, a reliable auto body shop will offer many different services, which can restore the appearance of your vehicle while also ensuring it runs optimally.

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I’ve Just Been Rear-Ended, What Now?

You have little control over whether you’re involved in a rear-end collision. However, that doesn’t make these accidents any less upsetting. Rear-end accidents can be minor, or they can result in serious injuries depending on speed and road conditions. While you can’t always avoid them, taking the following steps will help you handle a rear-end accident to the best of your ability.

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4 Ways to Promptly Find Reliable Auto Collision Repair Services

You’ve been in a car accident. You’re shaken up. Once you’ve finished taking care of exchanging insurance information, filing a police report and tending to any injuries, now you have the work of getting your car repaired.

So how do you quickly find a reliable auto collision repair service?

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Should I Repair My Car or Keep the Cash?

You’ve been in an accident and have been given an estimate for repairs to your car from the insurance company. Now you have two options:

  1. Repair your vehicle
  2. Keep the cash but don’t do the repairs

Before you make a decision, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Actual Damage to Your Car

Some damage can look minor but still present a significant safety issue. For instance, damage to a fender or a ding in a door may seem insignificant but can hide dangerous structural damage. Alignment issues may be imperceptible, but a bent frame can compromise your vehicle’s ability to absorb impact in a subsequent accident, increasing the chances of severe injuries and death.

Knowing the extent of the actual damage requires disassembly and further exploration by a certified technician. Your insurance company’s estimate may not tell the full story.

Whether you can see the damage or not, if it would make driving the car dangerous, you need to repair your car. If the damage is purely cosmetic, then the choice is yours…but do keep in mind how cosmetic damage may affect resale value.

Who Really Owns Your Car

If you still owe money on your car, the bank technically owns your car. With that comes the expectation that you will keep it in running order and good appearance. In this case, the decision isn’t yours. You must repair your car instead of taking the money.

Continued Car Insurance Coverage

If you choose to keep your car the way it is—i.e., damaged, you may not be able to insure it against physical loss. In other words, accident damage left unrepaired may make you ineligible for comprehensive and collision coverage. So, if you are in another accident, you may have to pay for repairs or a new car entirely out of pocket.

At Quanz Auto Body, we are one of the top collision repair centers in Albuquerque. Our goal is your safety and satisfaction. If you’ve been in an accident, bring your car to us. We’ll quickly and professional assess the damage so you can get the full picture and make the decision that is right for you. Contact us today!

Does a Car Accident Void the Warranty?

Tow Truck

You bought a car with a warranty for a reason—you want to be able to replace parts without it costing a fortune. But what happens when you’re in an accident? Does that void the warranty?

Your Warranty

Standard warranties have bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage. They usually cover a specific number of miles or years.

Powertrain warranties deal with the repair of parts that provide power to make your car or truck go—that includes the engine, drivetrain and transmission. Bumper-to-bumper warranties will also cover just about everything else, like tires, your infotainment system, AC/heating system, etc.

Every manufacturer and dealer is different, so to know what exactly your warranty covers, you’ll have to ask your sales person or read the fine print.

What Affects a Warranty

Many of the conditions that void your warranty are under your controls, such as:

  • Off-roading or racing
  • Maintenance neglect (e.g. failing to get regular oil changes or scheduled maintenance)
  • Vehicle modifications, including the odometer

However, there are some conditions, like floods, fires and other “Acts of God”—that are out of your control. In general, though, an accident is not one of them.

An Accident and Your Warranty

Your warranty should be good even after an accident, but there are some exceptions. Your warranty could be void after an accident if:

  1. You use aftermarket parts on your vehicle for repairs
  2. Your car insurance declares your vehicle to be a total loss and they give it a salvage title

Quanz Auto Body can help ensure that your vehicle remains under warranty after an accident. We use OEM parts and will warn you about possible warranty issues if you opt for aftermarket parts. Contact us to make collision repair better.

What Happens When Your Car is Totaled, and You Still Owe on the Vehicle?

At Quanz Auto Body, we know that getting into a car accident is bad enough. It just adds inconvenience and hassle to be without your car while it’s being repaired. But what about when your car is beyond repair—what then? And worse, what happens when you still owe on a car that can’t be repaired? Unfortunately, if your car is totaled and you still owe on it, you could be stuck with a car payment on an undrivable car.

When a Totaled Car Isn’t

When you hear the word “totaled” or “total loss,” you think about a car beyond damaged beyond repair. That isn’t always the case. More often, your vehicle could be repaired—it’s just that the cost of repairs is more than your vehicle is worth.

For example, say your insurance company values your car at $8,000 but repairs after an accident would cost $10,000. The insurance company will deem your car a “total loss” and will not pay for any repairs. Instead, they will pay cash for the value of your car (minus your deductible). If your deductible is $1,000, you would end up getting a check for $7,000.

When You Still Owe

Unfortunately, an accident does not cancel out your car loan. That $7,000 would go directly to the bank to help pay off your debt. If you owed less than $7,000—great! Your loan’s paid off and you may have a few hundred to put down on a new vehicle.

But, if you owe more than your car is worth, you will have to continue to make monthly payments for a car you don’t even have anymore. It’s not a great situation but one that many people find themselves in since car loans now average 60 months to pay off.

Really, there’s not much you can do in this situation. Some states require that the insurance company reimburse your for the sales tax of your car, giving you a little bit of extra cash, but New Mexico is not one of them.

When You Have Gap Insurance

Your story may have a bit of a happier ending if you have gap insurance. Gap insurance will help you pay off your car loan in the event your car is totaled and you still owe on it. However, it won’t help you put money towards a replacement, so you are still out a functional vehicle.

Whether or not you have gap insurance, you can choose to keep your car even if it’s been “totaled.” In this case, your car will have a “salvage” title, which means you cannot apply for new plates until you’ve made repairs…and you may be paying completely out-of-pocket to have those done. If your car was damaged so severely that it was totaled in the first place, it’s more likely than not that it’s not safe to drive in the meantime.

So, here’s the moral of the story: to avoid getting in a situation where an accident may leave you with a hefty bill but no car, carefully consider your car purchase. In addition to the retail price, also keep in mind:

  • The length of loan terms needed to make payments manageable
  • Estimated depreciation of the vehicle

These factors will help you determine if a long-term car loan is really your best option. And if you have any questions about your repairing damage to your car, or if you need an estimate, we’re here to help! Contact Quanz today!

What to Do after You’ve Experienced an Auto Accident

When you’re in an accident, what you do immediately following impact is vital. From gathering information to documentation, it can mean the difference between easy claims coverage and a smooth repair process or hassle. So, what do you need to do to facilitate quick recovery from an auto accident?

  • Move to a Safe Area if You are Able

If your vehicle is drivable, move to the shoulder of the road so you are out of the way of traffic. If you cannot move your vehicle, put on your hazard lights, cones or flares to alert others to your presence and inability to move. Put on your parking break and ensure it is safe to get out of your car before you open a door. Be aware that sometimes, it may be safer to remain in your vehicle until emergency crews arrive.

  • Make Sure All Involved are Okay

Check to see if anyone involved was injured. Some injuries may be evident—call 911 ASAP. However, some injuries may not be immediately noticeable. It’s probably best to call 911 anyway.

  • Call the Police

Even for a minor accident, call police. Nearly every insurance carrier want a police report to process your claim. If the accident is minor, a police dispatcher may advise you how to make a police report at a local substation if no officer is available.

  • Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other party, including:

  • Insurance information
  • License plate numbers
  • Names and numbers of the driver(s) and any passengers
  • Makes and models of the cars involved
  • The name and number of responding police officers

Do not give out any personal information beyond your insurance and contact information. And do not apologize, admit to or speculate about fault. Anything you say could cost you coverage.

  • Document Damage and the Scene

It’s easy to forget details as the claims process drags on. Documenting the accident will help you provide the details your insurance carrier needs to process your claim.  Documentation that will be helpful includes:

  • Detailed photos of the damage and of the scene (including any street signs or signals)
  • Names and numbers of any witnesses
  • Notes about the circumstances and conditions, such as speed and direction you were traveling and what contributed/led to the accident and how it happened
  • File a Claim with Your Insurance

As soon as you are able (maybe even while you’re waiting for police to arrive), contact your insurance agency to report the accident. The agent you talk to on the phone will help you understand what will happen to open and process the claim. They may also provide some helpful tips for documentation you’ll need about the scene/circumstances to make the process go more smoothly. Once the accident has been reported, documented and “claimed,” you’re ready to begin the collision repair process. And the first step for that is to get your car to Quanz Auto Body for a full inspection and repair quote. We are a preferred partner by seven major insurance carriers, and we offer on-site Enterprise car rental. We make the rest of the accident repair process better.