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Category: Auto body repair

auto body repairs regulation

We all know that each shop management has its own standard of customer service and shop maintenance. But have you ever wondered who requires collision repair shops to be in compliance with legal regulations?

The real answer is that there is not a comprehensive law in Texas that governs collision repair. However, there are still certain inspections and regulations that must be met.

Anytime you have an issue with auto body repairs made to your car or the process to make those repairs, you should always speak with the management first. Often, a shop will immediately attempt to address the issue to your satisfaction. If this doesn’t solve your problem, depending on the issue, there are state agencies and organizations that can assist.

Not what you paid for

It’s always good practice to review your bill before paying and take a close look at the work that was completed. If you believe unnecessary repairs were made, you were charged for an incorrect part, or charged for something you didn’t receive, you can contact the Texas Attorney General’s office. They can determine if your circumstance falls under the Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act.

This is important to be reviewed because it’s possible this may have happened to more than one customer.

Requirements for body shops

All collision repair shops have to follow regulations set forth by state agencies. Body shops also have to follow environmental rules established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

These rules focus on air quality, proper waste disposal, water, and other regulations that body shops must comply with every day. The agency ensures shops follow these rules and makes the necessary adjustments if they violate these rules.

Fogle Collision Centers welcome feedback from customers so we can continuously improve what we do. We strive to provide you with the best quality collision repair.

collision repair warranty

Anytime you have work done on your vehicle, it’s typically expected that the repair will last. However, that’s not always the case. Some shops are trained better than others, repair techs can make mistakes, or car parts may not perform as expected. This is why it is important to have the auto body repairs made at a shop that offers a lifetime warranty.

If a body shop offers lifetime warranty, this means that they guarantee the work performed will be the best quality. Should anything go wrong with the repairs, they’re willing to fix it free of charge.

The benefits of lifetime warranty

A warranty is similar to the idea of insurance. It’s there should you need it. Typically, a lifetime warranty is good for as long as you own the vehicle. If a problem occurs with any of the repairs made, months or years later, you can take it back to that body shop to be fixed with no cost to you.

The collision repair shop will be out the cost of the warranty repair work. When it loses money on repairs, that shop will likely review what went wrong. They will want to learn how to correct it so the repairs will last in the future.

Multiple warranties

The best time to inquire about a lifetime warranty is when you get the estimate. Ask if there are different types of warranties offered. Some collision repair centers will offer more than one warranty, one for body work and a separate one for any paint services. 

Fogle Collision Centers, an auto body shop in Houston, we stand behind the work we do on your car by offering a National Limited Lifetime Warranty for body work and the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee for any paint work.

 

 

 

a pair of hands touches a smartphone that has a Fogle Collision screen up.
It’s more convenient than ever to get an estimate on your phone. However, to know the extent of the damage, a technician should inspect your vehicle.

When a car has been in a wreck, some of the damage will be obvious. You’ll have broken taillight or a dented door, or a crunched hood. What is not immediately noticeable, and may be impossible to see unless you are an expert, is any damage that may be behind the body of the vehicle.

Technicians are trained to look for damage in the operating parts and the computer system within a car. They can determine if there is further damage beyond the cosmetics of the vehicle.

A dent may not be just a dent

Never assume that if a collision is minor that the damage is just a dent. For example, if someone backs into your car and puts a dent in your car door, there could be further damage inside, such as the power windows not operating properly.

If the dents are much larger and caved into the vehicle, the car should definitely be inspected by a technician for safety reasons.

Review the estimate

When you bring your vehicle in to a body shop, the location should give you a repair estimate. This estimate explains the cost for parts and the labor to repair the vehicle. Be sure to review the estimate and ask any questions before the work begins so that you have a good understanding of what you are paying to fix.

Many collision centers, like Fogle Collision, will offer free estimates. To get a preliminary estimate, you can use our new Smartphone Estimating Tool. You will get a repair estimate within 24 hours of submitting photos. However, we can fully determine the damage once a technician takes a close look at the vehicle.

 

a technician looks under a raised vehicle, near the front right tire
Know whether a vehicle has flood damage before you buy.

Hurricane Harvey left behind a widespread path of damage in the Greater Houston area. Thousands of Houstonians lost everything they owned, including their cars. When it comes time to replace those vehicles, car owners need to do their homework to make sure their next automobile isn’t one that has flood damage. It’s important to check that the car wasn’t flooded and repaired just enough to pass inspection so it can be sold.

If this happens to a vehicle, there is no guarantee the quick repairs were made correctly. Most newer vehicles are entirely computerized. If a car was immersed in water for a period of time, the damage may be far more extensive than what is immediately noticeable.

Know the history of the vehicle

The car’s history may possibly tell you if the car was flooded. Vehicles that are totaled after a flood are issued flood or salvage titles. If the car was repaired to pass inspection and sell, it may have a rebuilt title. But the title may not give you the complete details you need to be confident of a used car purchase.

It is a good idea to have a used car inspected by a certified auto technician to determine the complete extent of vehicle damage.

Get a pre-owned car inspected

Unlike most damage, flood damage is not always visible. Mechanical components and the electrical system should be looked at by a highly skilled technician. Just because parts turn on or appear to operate, they may actually have damage. The undercarriage and engine need to be inspected as well to guarantee that it is properly working.

Fogle Collision are the experts you can trust to make sure you are getting a reliable vehicle.

A driver behind the wheel holds the steering wheel in one hand and a smartphone in the other.
Distractions like texting take our eyes and minds off the road.

Distractions are everywhere. They demand our attention throughout the day, including when we drive. Texting

while driving has become such an issue that starting September 1, 2017 in Texas, it will be illegal to text and drive.

Campaigns are also in place by several organizations nationwide and major cell phone providers to send a constant reminder that using a phone while driving leads to injuries and fatalities. Every week, Houston body shops repair cars involved in distracted driving accidents.

Distractions, distractions, and more distractions

There is a long list of what can distract a driver, but there are only three types of distraction that interfere with concentration – cognitive, visual, and manual. An example of a manual distraction would be a driver removing hands from the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions take the driver’s focus away and visual takes the driver’s eyes off of the road.

Other actions that keep someone from focusing solely on driving include changing the radio station, looking at a map, talking on the phone or to others in the car, and eating. A recent survey showed that more than 60 percent say they have watched a driver apply makeup while driving, more than 50 percent witnessed someone reading, and more than 20 percent have seen a driver take a selfie while behind the wheel.

Although these tasks were not high scoring in the survey, people also witnessed drivers putting in contacts, flossing teeth, and actually putting on a costume.

Real risks

A few seconds of a distraction behind the wheel can be deadly. Nationwide, there were 3,477 people who died in accidents in 2015 that were caused by a distracted driver.

Don’t get distracted

Most distractions are preventable. It starts with the driver making a conscious effort to focus only on driving. As a driver gets into the car, that is when any seat or mirror adjustments should be made, plus setting the radio and GPS.

If you find yourself taking your eyes off of the road to look at your phone, put it somewhere in the vehicle that you can’t reach while driving. Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will only check your phone once you get to your destination.

At Fogle Collision Centers, we hope everyone drives safely. If you are involved in a collision due to distracted driving, we can take care of your auto body repairs. Our technicians will perform high quality repairs to your vehicle so you can get back on the road.

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a close-up of the front right tire of a dark car parked in a garage
Tire quality can greatly affect the safety of your vehicle.

Car owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles’ tire quality. Insufficient tread or air pressure leads to more than just a flat tire. In 2017, tire-related crashes resulted in 738 fatalities nationwide. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped in the past decade, they can still happen and cause serious damage.

Every car owner should take a few routine steps to check and maintain the quality of the tires on a vehicle.

Maintain proper air pressure

Experts recommend checking your air pressure once a month, and every time before you take a road trip. Most vehicles have a tire pressure sensor, but it is best to manually check.

You can find your recommended air pressure on the tire, the inside of the door frame, or in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to tire damage, and over-inflated tires can lead to a blowout.

Measure tread

Good tire tread is necessary for traction and to maintain the durability of a tire. When tires look smooth, they need to be replaced.

A simple way to measure the tread is to insert a quarter with George Washington’s head facing down into the tire. If the top of his head shows, the tire is worn and should be replaced.

Having tires rotated regularly helps them wear more evenly and not as quickly.

Good alignment and balance

Maintaining proper alignment and balance on a vehicle can prevent a tire from wearing excessively. If your car doesn’t track in a straight line when your hands are off the wheel, you might need an alignment. Signs you may need your tires balanced include steering wheel or floorboard vibrations.

At Fogle Collision Center, we recommend everyone to maintain their tire quality to prevent a blowout. If you do get in a collision, contact our expert team to vehicle repaired and get you back on the road.

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Man in white jumpsuit and respirator mask stands in a paint booth with various car panels.
It’s hard to know whether you’re getting a quality repair, but we have a few pointers for narrowing it down.

When you get in an accident, it can be overwhelming to find a quality collision repair shop that you can trust. Getting the best value for what you pay is important, but there are other considerations that make a quality repair.

As you search, keep a few steps in mind that will help you find a quality auto body shop.

1. Location

Convenience may be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to find a reputable collision repair shop. For a lot of people, that means finding a shop nearby. However, shops in an area where the property is more expensive may charge more for labor to cover the overhead costs.

Price is going to be reflected in the location, but that doesn’t mean the shop is better because they charge more.

2. Ask about certifications

Certifications verify that a shop has the equipment needed for, and the technicians are trained by, your car’s manufacturer. Find out if the shop is certified by the maker of your car.

Other certifications, such as iCAR, show that their technicians constantly train in general industry standards and technology. While general certifications like these are vital, certifications through the manufacturer further make sure your repairs will be done correctly the first time.

3. Ask for recommendations

Talk to people you know to find out where they take their cars for collision repair.

Online reviews and the Better Business Bureau can help you determine if the shop is reliable. If there are several good recommendations from sources you trust, it’s likely that repair shop performs quality work.

4. Ask about warranty

A reliable collision repair shop stands behind the quality work it does to a vehicle. Ask if the shop has a warranty on their paint and body repairs. Find out specifically how long the warranty lasts and what the warranty covers.

Warranties further ensure that if the work is not done right, they will fix it without additional costs. It also shows confidence in their shop’s work.

5. Get an estimate

When inquiring about estimates, find out if the repair shop offers free estimates and ask if they use the insurance company’s estimate or their own. Use a repair shop that provides their own estimate based on the technician’s interpretation of repairs, versus doing the repairs based on the insurance company’s estimate of what work needs to be done.

This indicates that the shop is not catering to an insurance company to get more future business. Instead, they’re using their expertise to provide an accurate estimate.

If your car needs auto body or paint services, contact the Houston collision repair shop that you can trust. At Bill Fogle Collision Center, we provide free estimates and a warranty for any repairs needed to your car. For more information, follow us on Facebook.

A grey electric charger is plugged into a black car.
Electric vehicles have some amazing benefits. Collision repair may not be one of them.

To most, it may seem as that car collision repairs are universal, but not all cars are created equal. That is why many auto technicians go through regular training and earn certifications. They need to be knowledgeable about the latest industry standards on various vehicles makes. Different types of vehicles, including electric and hybrid, come with their own set of repair obstacles.

Electric vehicles, and hybrids, have tremendous benefits including fuel efficiency. But with that cost savings comes a trade-off to potentially higher costs in other areas, including collision repair.

Additional cost of EV repair

One of the few drawbacks to owning an electric vehicle (EV) is that collision repair could potentially cost more.

Firstly, the expensive battery packs can be damaged in an accident, potentially costing you upwards of $1,000. Most battery packs have a long life, but can easily be damaged in a crash.

Also, because some parts to hybrid vehicles are harder to find, it may increase the repair cost. The complex hybrid drive components also cost more to manufacture and assemble.

If the battery packs were not damaged in the accident but panels near the packs were damaged, the battery has to be removed for safety which leads to some additional labor.

Auto technicians go through specialized training to repair an EV. Their technology and functionality is different than traditional vehicles. There is also an increased risk of electrocution because of the high voltage in hybrids that technicians must know how to avoid. Additional training and safety can be expensive for auto repair shops, which could be reflected in your bill.

Solution for hybrid repair

If you’re looking for a body shop for your electronic vehicle, it is important to ask if the techs have been trained on them. Since EV and hybrid technology is constantly changing, it’s important to find a repair shop that regularly undergoes training to work on these vehicles.

Fogle Collision undergoes yearly I-CAR training to keep our techs up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends. Call us for a free estimate on your EV or hybrid vehicle.

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Small round dents stand out on the roof of a dark blue car.
Hail damage is among one of the common causes of small dents.

As a car owner, you have a decision to make about repairs if you have a dent in your vehicle that isn’t major damage. The smaller dents may be the result of hail, a minor accident, or anything else that struck your vehicle. More significant damage requires a visit to an auto body shop.

With smaller dents, you could choose not to make the repairs, especially if the repairs could cost more than the value of your vehicle. However, the fix may be easier than you think.

What is paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a process of removing dents from a vehicle without altering the finish on the vehicle.

Often, these dents are fixed by gently working out the dent from the back side of the panel. Some can be fixed pulling or suctioning the outside of the dent to pop it back out. This method is often for small dents, like hail damage.

This doesn’t work as well for fixing dents that have a crease or have damaged paint. The dent may be able to be popped out, but you’ll still need paint work to make it look like new. These, or bigger damage, are better fixed by traditional body repair.

Finding the right repair

As with any auto body work, the best process to finding the right place for repairs is shopping around. With damage from a major collision, the repairs must be made at an auto body shop. If the damage consists of smaller dents, you may have more options. Some repair shops that don’t specialize in body work will offer PDR.

If you have a regular body shop, ask if they provide PDR and what the price difference would be for that service versus collision repair.

Listen to the recommendations from auto technicians. If more than one suggests collision repair over PDR, it may be because the damage is greater than it appears. For example, a dent in a door may not look significant but could have unseen damage to mechanisms inside. This would require collision repair to fix the internal problem.

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