Are Do-It-Yourself Auto Body Repairs Wise?


Your car recently sustained some damage while rear-ended at a traffic light. The other driver was found to be at fault, and their insurance company cut you a check for the collision repairs. However, you’ve decided to forgo taking it to an auto body shop, do the work yourself, and pocket most of the insurance money. But is that really wise? Even minor car accidents can cause hidden problems that may not present until later. And, if you’re not experienced at auto body work the results may reflect that. With this in mind, here are some potential problems with do-it-yourself collision repairs.

Matching Auto Paint Is Difficult

Matching the original paint for even minor scratches on your vehicle is difficult. Newer cars use formulas that require two or three coats of different colors or special finish treatments to give the paint job its unique look. Metallic and pearl finishes are very hard to match. When you’re done, you may end up with dull or faded patches of mismatched paint. Also, breathing auto body paint fumes, especially those containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), can be very hazardous to your health. Body shops use restorative paint finish processes and safety precautions that may be unavailable to you.

Hidden Vehicle Electrical Problems

Even minor fender benders can jar loose hidden electrical wiring connections. If you don’t have the equipment and expertise to check the electrical systems, you could later experience problems with your lights, battery, stereo, power windows, seats and door locks. Some of those could take a while to show up, and then cost you a lot of money to diagnose and fix.

Unseen Frame and Alignment Damage

Even low impact car accidents can cause minor frame bending. It also doesn’t take much to knock a vehicle out of alignment. Regarding the body’s frame, if it’s even slightly bent it reduces your vehicle’s ability to absorb an impact at any speed. Bent frames can also interfere with normal airbag deployments during an accident. Auto body shops have equipment that measures how straight your frame is, and then straightens it if necessary.

When your car is misaligned, it will pull to the right or left while driving. In addition to poor steering, a vehicle that’s out-of-alignment causes uneven tire tread wear and more frequent tire replacements. Most do-it-yourselfers don’t have the ability to check their vehicle’s alignment, and will have to spend some out-of-pocket cash to have it aligned properly.

Windshield Replacements Are Tricky

Let’s say you were involved in a front-end impact that cracked the windshield and you’ve decided to replace it yourself. Windshield replacements aren’t hard, but they can be dangerous if you don’t have the right tools. For one, a windshield is very heavy and can easily be dropped. Or, when installing it you could set it into place incorrectly, unknowingly creating a crack that may grow into a larger one later on. The windshield must also be sealed properly against moisture and wind or you’ll have leaks. That’s why windshield replacements are best left up to experienced technicians.

Auto Body Shops Nearby Do It Right

When your car needs some collision repair work done, auto body shops in your area stand ready to answer the call. Afterwards, your car will look better, drive safer and perform as it should. They have the tools, equipment and expertise to get the job done right. And, body shops near you have the safe working conditions and waste disposal capabilities that you probably don’t at home. In fact, do-it-yourself auto body repairs could cost you a lot more in the end when something goes wrong. To search your zip code for a better collision repair shop near you, visit www.carwise.com now.

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