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A calculator and an uncapped pen sit on a sheet full of numbers and calculations.
Your insurance company may recommend a body shop they work with and that meets their criteria. Know the perks and drawbacks of using a recommended shop.

When you are involved in a car wreck, you may not have the time to research where you want your car fixed. Your insurance company may make a recommendation for their preferred auto body shop. It may save some hassle to choose this shop, but you have the right to choose where you want your vehicle repaired.

Considerations

Firstly, look to see if your recommended shop is certified. This means that the technicians at that location have completed rigorous training by the manufacturer to repair that vehicle model. An insurance company may or may not recommend a body shop that offers certified repair.

You might also have your own preferences based on recommendations, your past experience, or a shop that specializes in a specific type of repair (some people prefer a shop that’s more eco-friendly or a shop that has techs certified on their make of vehicle).

Using your insurance recommendation

The majority of insurance companies have a list of auto body shops with which they have established relationships. These shops meet their criteria, which may include cheaper prices and fast repairs. Or, they might choose a shop for their quality repairs and certifications. This is why it’s best to look into shops before choosing.

For whatever shop you choose, be sure to ask questions. Do they use manufacturer parts or aftermarket parts? Does the shop have good reviews on Yelp and Google? Do they offer a lifetime warranty on their work?

Perks of a recommended body shop

Using a body shop recommended by your insurance company can have benefits. Ask if your insurance provider will guarantee the repairs for as long as you own it. If the repairs do not hold up at any time while you own the car, your insurance company will take care of this and you will not have to pay.

Using a recommended body shop can also save time. It may save you money as well, if your insurance will not fully cover another shop you prefer.

Fogle Collision Centers works with all insurance companies. We are considered a preferred collision center with most providers. Because we believe in providing you the highest quality repairs, we always use OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts to ensure they fit, will function properly, and your car maintains its value.

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.

a pair of hands cups a bit of soil with a sprout growing from it.
Eco-friendly paints aren’t just better for the environment, they’re better for your car.

Quality has always been a top consideration for collision repair shops when purchasing paint. But shops must also think about safety to the environment.

Choosing body shop locations that will provide the quality you expect and be friendly to the environment takes research. When you inquire with body shops you are considering, ask if they use water-based paints.

Using waterborne paint

Waterborne paints have benefits beyond being safer to the environment than lacquer-based paints used in the past. Waterborne paint has heavier viscosity and applies three coats of coverage in nearly half a mil thickness. This means less clear coat is needed to even out the surface.

Only paint technicians trained to use waterborne paint should perform the paint job to a vehicle for a quality result. Imperfections will appear easier and the paint is sensitive to humid conditions. Different blends are available in more humid climates. If a technician is not used to working with water-based paints, the paint can have a different hue when it dries.

The difference of waterborne paint

Some body shops still use solvent-based paints. This type of paint has higher levels of organic solvents, and when it dries it releases Volatile Organic Compounds into the air. VOCs are toxic to humans and the environment.

Water-based paints have improved over the years and are quickly replacing the use of solvent-based paint. Waterborne paints feature acrylic emulsions that offer a faster drying time, similar to solvent paints. It also has less odor and greater durability.

Our team at Fogle Collision Centers is trained to provide an exceptional quality paint job to your vehicle using waterborne paints. Give us a call today for a free estimate and we’ll give your car a fresh look that is safer to the environment.

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 dusty old mustang sits in a repair shop with tools in the foreground
Cars end up in a body shop for a variety of reasons. Here are the biggest causes of accidents.

The Greater Houston area is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and it’s no surprise that Harris County has the most vehicle collisions of any Texas county every year. In 2016, there were more than 112,000 car accidents, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). This keeps auto body repair in demand for Houston and surrounding cities such as Cypress, League City, and Katy.

With so many cars on the roads in this area, accidents will happen. The reasons for collisions may not come as a surprise.

Common causes of accidents

There are a number of causes of accidents. Weather can always be a contributing factor, but more prominent is speed and intoxicated driving. In Harris County in 2016, there were 1,573 speed-related crashes. DUI accidents were slightly higher the same year with 2,941 crashes in 2016.

Distracted driving was the second-most cause of accidents, with 14,804 wrecks in Harris County last year. It is the second highest factor for collisions in Texas’ urban areas. This can be texting while driving, talking on the phone, or any other type of distraction. Bexar County, or the San Antonio area, had the most distracted driving collisions with more than 26,000.

Across the state, speeding was the number one cause of car wrecks. These accidents also caused the most fatalities on Texas roads.

What to do after a collision

If you, your passengers, or anyone else involved in the accident has injuries, call 9-1-1 immediately. Law enforcement must be notified if there are injuries, deaths, or property damages. Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers.

Then, give Fogle Collision a call. We have convenient locations in Houston, Cypress, League City, and Katy. Our highly trained technicians will repair your car with the attention to detail you deserve and get you back in the road.

Visit us on Facebook for more car safety and repair tips.

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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