When you’re selecting the auto body shop where your car will be repaired, there’s nothing more important than making sure your technicians have both the right equipment and the right training. Too often, auto repair shops skip over certain equipment and use less functional versions, resulting in subpar work that can end up causing more harm than good.
If you’re curious about how a shop does things, you can always visit to ask questions and have them explain their process. You’re going to want to choose a shop where the staff is certified and hopefully uses OEM parts when possible so that you know you’re getting quality parts that meet the standards your car did when you first drove it off the lot. Once you have a good idea of how they run their shop, try speaking to a few customers if they’re willing, or checking reviews online to see what people have to say about the quality of the work. Remember, for your safety and peace of mind, it’s better to look for quality over low cost.
As far as equipment goes, it’s really important that they have the appropriate tools for the job and that they know how to use them. There are a lot of businesses that use the wrong equipment, and it results in shoddy work at best and dangerous situations at worst. For example, many shops don’t invest in proper aluminum repair equipment. Aluminum is a popular metal to use in the construction of most cars, but you’ll find that several companies will use panel bonding instead of rivets, which is a mistake that can result in bad consequences in the event of an accident.
Instead of panel bonding, the proper tool to use is a rivet gun. We use one made by ProSpot that is approved by Ford for use on their vehicles. It allows us to both remove and install rivets. Without this tool, you flat-out can’t install self-piercing rivets. There’s no other way to do it. It’s a pretty sizeable investment, so some auto body shops will skip it altogether and use alternate methods, which results in suboptimal work.
It takes extra investments in both money and time to make sure the shop has a tool like this, but in our opinion, it’s absolutely necessary to get the job done right. Beyond spending the money on the tool itself, everyone who uses it should be properly trained, or else it’s just as bad as not having the tool at all. Take a peek onto the floor of an auto body shop if you can and note what sort of tools are being used. Do you see a rivet gun anywhere? If you’re not sure, ask.
We are always happy to talk you through our methods and discuss our recommendations for your repairs. If you have any questions at all, please ask. We encourage all our clients to know exactly what’s going on with their cars!