7 Things Auto-Body Shops Won’t Tell You

If you get into an accident, there are several things that are useful to know before you head to the body shop.

#1. A Fender Bender Can be Expensive to Repair

If you’ve gotten into a literal fender bender and it’s deemed that you’re the one at fault, you may be surprised at the cost of replacing a fender – even after the $500 deductible. The average fender replacement can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,600 after the costs of installation and painting. On vehicles with carbon fiber fenders, that cost can be as much as $5,000 to replace.

#2. Approved Shops are Often Obliged to Work on Behalf of Insurance Companies

Auto insurers contract with auto body shops to repair vehicles for a pre-negotiated rate; sometimes this includes practices like require low hourly labor rates, or making the shop pick up the cost of the rental car. Insurers often give customers so many discounts that it makes it impossible for shops to make much of a profit, causing some companies to feel tempted to cut corners.

#3. Not all Replacement Parts are Equal

OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are designed to match your make and model of vehicle exactly. Insurers generally prefer shops use generic, lower quality, or salvaged parts because they’re less expensive. If you’re at fault for an accident, you may be bound by your insurance policy to use these lower quality parts, however, if someone else is at fault be sure to tell your auto body shop to use OEM parts.

#4. The Due Date May Be Exaggerated

Mechanics often take on more work than they can handle but may blame it on things like parts being delayed. Before you choose a shop to do your body work, it’s always a good idea to check their online reviews to make sure that they deliver what they say they will.

#5. A Rental Car Can be Expensive

Renting a car is convenient if you’re going to be without your vehicle for an extended period of time, however, the costs can add up quickly. Renting a car for three weeks could cost $1,000 or more. Even if you have rental car insurance, your daily reimbursement may be limited to the cost of a compact car. Make sure your rental car insurance is comparable to the size of car you’re having repaired.

#6. Choose a Shop That Specializes in Your Type of Vehicle

Many European cars have precision parts and use types of metal that require specialized equipment to repair it. You should always take your car to a shop that’s certified by the manufacturer to work on your specific vehicle. Going to a manufacturer certified shop ensures the shop will understand your vehicle and have the right tools and parts to properly repair it back to manufacturer’s specifications. These shops do generally charge higher rates, so insurers won’t necessarily recommend them – but they should still be willing to pick up the tab.

#7. The Insurer’s Warranty Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Much

Insurers will sometimes exaggerate warranties on parts, for example, saying that they’ll be good for the life of the vehicle. This can be a tactic to urge consumers to go to a shop within their network. In reality, the body shop’s guarantee is the one that you should trust. Most shops guarantee their work, and most manufacturers guarantee their parts – those are the warranties that truly matter.

What Does MOPAR Stand For?

At Cline Auto Collision, we’re a MOPAR auto body shop, but what does that actually mean?

What is MOPAR?

MOPAR was named by combining the words “motor” and “parts.” MOPAR is the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FAC) Global Service and Parts division that’s responsible for manufacturing and distributing authentic replacement parts, components and accessories for Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. Despite being a department within the Fiat Chrysler organization, many car owners refer to all vehicles produced by them as MOPAR.

What is a MOPAR Shop?

As a MOPAR auto body shop, this means we only use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for all FAC repairs. The label of MOPAR is the same as saying that we’re FAC certified and means FAC has acknowledged that we meet their strict standards for repairing all makes and models manufactured by them. We make sure not only to use OEM parts but also to follow factory approved procedures and recommended equipment for every FAC repair job.

Why Use MOPAR Parts?

It’s crucial to use MOPAR parts for your FAC vehicles because every part is engineered specifically for your car. While aftermarket or generic parts can cut costs significantly, they may be of poor quality, fit irregularly, or may even potentially alter the appearance or structural integrity of your vehicle. Using MOPAR parts will ensure you receive high-quality repairs that restore your vehicle to factory standards while keeping your vehicle safe and reliable. If you’re in need of repairs for your FAC vehicle, contact Cline Collision Center! We’re proud to be a MOPAR auto body shop offering superior repairs that will make your vehicle look and feel like new.

Do Insurance Companies Have to Use OEM Parts?

Insurance companies are a business, and like many businesses, they’re interested in maximizing profitability. This means that when insurers contract with auto body shops, there may be a tendency for them to urge auto shops to use generic parts in an effort to cut costs – particularly if you were the one at fault for the accident. In some instances, insurers may even offer auto repair shops kickbacks for using non-OEM parts. Don’t assume that your insurance coverage automatically covers OEM parts; most likely it doesn’t.

Can I still Use OEM Parts if They’re Not Covered?

If OEM parts are a deal-breaker for you, it’s recommended you find an insurer that covers them, however, even if yours does cover them, they may not be an automatic option on a standard policy. You’ll most likely need to request the coverage or even pay an additional fee. Then there’s the issue of older vehicles or discontinued models; there simply may no longer be OEM parts available. In this case, a body shop only has options to use aftermarket or used parts, regardless of the coverage you have.

If OEM parts aren’t covered by your insurance, you don’t necessarily have to go with aftermarket parts; you have the option of paying the difference between the cost of OEM and aftermarket. Your insurance will cover the price of aftermarket parts, and you can tell us that you want OEM parts for your repair instead. You’ll be fully responsible for covering the difference in cost, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the parts used in the repair are specific to your individual make and model. The cost difference can sometimes be significant, so be sure to budget accordingly for the work that you’re having done.

If you have any questions about the insurance process, requesting OEM parts, or about OEM parts in general, give us a call today! We’re always happy to address any questions you may have.

OEM Collision Repair Parts and Procedures Bill Becomes Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Senate Bill 2679 (SB 2679), that expands the state’s existing requirement that consumers be given the right to choose and insurers pay for OEM parts on claims for 30 months after a vehicle is manufactured to all claims for a period of 48 months, is now law in Rhode Island. The bill that was approved by the Rhode Island legislature in June along with its companion House Bill 8013 took effect without Governor Raimondo’s signature on July 4. This means that insurance companies in Rhode Island no longer require use of aftermarket auto body parts, and more importantly do not install these after market parts onto a vehicle without the owner’s consent. So long as their vehicle is less than 48 months beyond the vehicle’s manufacture date. There are some ups and downs to this law going into place for consumers. The upside is that you have more control of what parts go onto your new car. Some of you might be thinking “this is amazing who would want after market parts on their vehicle”? While OEM parts will restore your vehicle back to factory specifications (which, most people would prefer because their vehicle is still very new), some people like replacing parts with aftermarket ones when they either mechanically fail or get damaged by accident. Think of Jeeps. Many Jeep owners swap out the entire look of the vehicle, for after market parts. However, insurers are not to thrilled about this because it costs more to put OEM parts on vehicle’s most of the time. For example, The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America initially wanted this bill to be thrown out as it could create pressure to raise auto insurance premiums and raise auto repair costs.

“We’re disappointed that the governor decided to let this bill become law,” said Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for PCI, in a statement to Insurance Journal. “It is yet another in a series of auto body-related bills that the Rhode Island legislature has passed and have gone into effect which do nothing but increase rates for Rhode Island consumers so that the auto body industry in Rhode Island can continue to make the kind of money that it makes.”

O’Brien had previously spoken out in a PCI press release against the bill when it passed the General Assembly, adding that, “Rhode Island drivers, as a result, could end up paying the highest auto insurance premiums in the U.S.”

As a consumer, what do you think about this new law? Should California consider implementing this too? Cline Collision Center is an OEM certified collision repair facility. Give us a call today to schedule your free estimate.

why use OEM parts for BMW repair?

BMW has been a popular car brand for decades, and many drivers enjoy the speed and handling of these luxurious vehicles.

Your BMW is a luxury car. It deserves to be treated like one. You probably already make sure to maintain and service the vehicle as why use OEM parts for BMW repair?necessary such as oil changes, tire rotations, transmission flushes, and keeping the liquids at optimal levels. If you take such good care of your car’s mechanics, it’s just as important to take care of the auto body!

OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts can be more expensive than cheap aftermarket products. For this reason, some shops use aftermarket or “alternative” parts to cut costs. However, they are passing inferior workmanship onto you. This could mean parts that corrode and wear out faster, look uneven with the rest of the car, or even damage the structural integrity of your vehicle. OEM parts are specially made for your model vehicle; they are designed to fit and match perfectly, so you never have to worry about seams not lining up. Aftermarket parts can give you an inferior ride or cause more repairs down the line. OEM BMW parts are the same quality and exact design as when the vehicle was built in the factory. By using OEM BMW parts, auto body professionals ensure that your car remains at top performance.

BMW Repair Using OEM Parts in Santa Rosa

OEM parts ensure restored structural integrity and completely repaired appearance to factory standard for your BMW. Where can you get BMW OEM repair in Santa Rosa? From Cline Collision Center, the premier auto body repair shop in Sonoma County. Our team of auto body professionals are thoroughly trained in correct repair procedures and using our high-tech equipment. We only use OEM parts, and we even offer free detailing with repairs! Bring your BMW in today for quality auto body repairs.

Is OEM the same as original?

Cline Collision Center prides itself on being an OEM auto body shop. You can see our list of OEM certifications here, for car makers like Honda, Hyundia, Infiniti, Nissan, Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, and Kia. You may have heard the term OEM over and over again and wonder what it means and the burning question: is OEM the same as original? 

What does OEM mean?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and indicates that the manufacturer was the original producer of the part – fenders, quarter panels, headlight cover, grills, etc – when the car was built. In car lingo, original parts are used to refer to the parts that the car is assembled with in the factory. Every piece of the car as it exits the factory is an original part. Anything that is replaced, including a tail light, is no longer an original part. However, OEM parts are the same as the original in the sense that they are made by the same manufacturer, with the same materials, to the same specifications. OEM parts are markedly different than aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts have questionable quality; while they may be cheaper, they also may be inferior and more likely to show uneven wear, not align with the seams of the car, and break down over time. By using OEM parts car owners know that they not only receive a vehicle that is completely returned to factory standard in appearance, they also know their car is restored in structural integrity as well.

After a collision, your car may need repairs to the body. While the replacement parts will not be original to the vehicle, they will be OEM parts that seamlessly fit in with your vehicle and ensure its resale value, structural integrity, and restored appearance. Cline Collision Center always uses OEM parts and proper repair procedures and equipment, which is why we are recognized by so many auto makers as a factory approved facility. Need auto body repairs to your vehicle after an accident? Call us today!

Is the Expense Worth It?

With popular models of Infiniti like the QX50 (formerly known as the EX) costing just under $35,000, it is possible to get the feature-rich joy of driving a luxury car at a less expensive price tag. One of the reasons consumers consistently choose Infiniti is the sleek, modern look of their vehicles and the trendy features offered. While you may enjoy the cheaper price as opposed to other luxury cars like BMW and Audi, it’s important not to choose the least expensive repairs.

You’ve already invested a lot of money into your car. You don’t want to waste unnecessary funds on a part that doesn’t matter. We totally understand. But auto body repair is not a place to skimp. There’s a reason Infiniti OEM repairs are so important. The quality you receive from a Infiniti certified collision repair shop is unparalleled. Aftermarket, or alternative, parts are inferior. They may be made by second-rate suppliers, salvaged from totaled cars, rebuilt from other vehicles after an accident, or come from a different source. You don’t know where these parts come from, who made them, or what condition they are in. There’s no guarantee that these parts won’t deteriorate over time. In fact, depending on the part, they may seriously impact your car’s crash worthiness.

By trusting an Infiniti OEM body shop, you receive high quality parts that will return your vehicle to factory condition. Not only does a certified OEM shop make sure the parts used on your collision repairs are new and original equipment manufacturer parts, specifically made to fit your car, they also are required to follow Infiniti approved procedures on all repairs.

Cline Collision Center is certified in Infiniti collision repair, meaning our work, equipment, and parts used have be acknowledged by Infiniti as being the highest quality.  Although Infiniti OEM parts may be more expensive than cheap knockoffs, you can rely on them. Inferior aftermarket parts are not necessarily made to fit your vehicle, and may deteriorate or rust over time, impacting the appearance and structural integrity of your car. Instead, trust an Infiniti OEM shop with experience, the highest certifications, and a dedication to our work. We stand behind all our repairs. Come to Cline, where “choosing us is no accident”.

The Importance of Ford OEM Repair

Why is particularly important to make sure to go to the right auto body facility for your Ford repairs? Two main reasons come to mind: OEM parts and the growing trend towards aluminum frames.

We’ve talked before about the importance of Ford OEM repair. But the reality is, we can’t talk enough about it. We are passionate about OEM repairs because we know the difference they make in your vehicle. Aftermarket or “alternative” parts are substandard substitutes for the real thing; these inferior parts may be lower quality, not fit your car properly, more likely to rust or wear down, or have any number of other problems. OEM parts have been manufactured precisely for your vehicle, and with the highest quality in mind. Our dedication to using OEM parts and the proper manufacturer procedures for repairs is why we are a Ford recognized body shop.

In addition to the importance of OEM, the growing prevalence of aluminum frames is another element to consider. The Ford F-150, the most popular vehicle in America, has been made with a primarily aluminum body since 2015. What does that mean for Ford F-150 owners? The distinction between aluminum and traditional steel frames is important. The two metals can be extremely corrosive to one another, so if you take your aluminum body truck to a body shop that uses the same tools and space for all types of vehicles, your truck could be damaged. Even steel shavings can be corrosive, so aluminum repairs need an entirely separate space. It’s not just tools and facility either – the auto technicians need to be properly trained in how to complete aluminum repairs.

You may have heard that OEM repairs are better. Now you know two important reasons why. Cline Collision Center is a local Ford OEM repair facility that offers the best in Ford OEM and aluminum collision repairs.  Call us today for more information.

Why “Alternative” Parts Are Detrimental to Honda Repair

You may have heard that alternative parts are cheaper that original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and much cheaper. However, you may not know that “alternative” is a blanket term and can be used to describe a wide variety of parts. Alternative could refer to: recycled, salvaged, re-manufactured, used, rebuilt, and aftermarket to name a few. This means that when you use alternative parts, you have no idea where they are coming from and what condition they are in. There’s several different scenarios.

For instance, you bring your beloved Honda into a shop for body repairs. They assure you that the parts used will be brand new. Perhaps they are new, but made by a cheap supplier. These second-rate parts are more likely to wear down over time, damaging the appearance of your vehicle and may even impact the structural integrity of the car. Since they haven’t been manufactured and approved by Honda for your vehicle, there’s no guarantee that they will fit perfectly with your vehicle, both in appearance and quality.

Or maybe the parts were original, but they come from a vehicle that has been in an accident. Unfortunately you don’t know the condition of these salvaged parts. They may be fine. Or they may have received damage that will impact your vehicle.

The reality is that many “alternative” parts are lower quality than OEM parts. The only way to ensure you are getting the best parts for your Honda is to go to a repair facility that is specially dedicated to OEM repairs. Cline Collision Center is proud to be a Honda OEM certified body shop offering world class repairs. We only use new OEM parts for every Honda repair and our auto technicians are well trained in the proper procedures for repairs, so you can be assured you will get the best Honda OEM repair possible.

Can I demand OEM parts?

Everyone knows that car accidents are inconvenient, distressing, and potentially costly. As the concerned owner of a damaged vehicle, you may be wondering whether or not you’ll be able to get OEM parts.

Insurance companies sometimes try to keep costs down by using aftermarket parts, which are cheaper and lower quality. At Cline Collision Center in Santa Rosa, we want you to know that it’s within your rights as a vehicle owner to demand OEM parts after you’re involved in any kind of car accident or collision. You do not have to use cheap knockoff parts, and your insurance cannot legally force you to do so.

Although OEM parts are more expensive, they are higher quality and longer lasting. All these original parts, from fenders to windows, have been safety-tested and quality-checked. It’s extremely important to us to prioritize the overall performance of your vehicle and the absolute safety of its passengers, which is why we use OEM parts, have MOPAR and FCA certifications, and are a recognized collision repair center for Kia, Nissan, Infiniti, Hyundai, Ford, Honda, and more.

Cline Collision Center’s certifications give you the advantage of knowing our technicians will be using only OEM parts on all repairs. OEM parts are specially made and engineered to fit your particular vehicle, guaranteeing both that the car will function to the best of its ability and look exactly like it did before any damages occurred.

Cline Collision Center will coordinate with your insurance, give you updates on all of your repairs (via phone calls or through the app Carwise), and offer consistent and quality customer service throughout the entire process.
We’re a locally owned, operated, and loved business – feel free to give us a call today at (707) 591-9909 and make an appointment, ask questions about OEM parts, or anything else!