Question:

I had a little fender bender and I brought my car in to get an estimate. I really don’t know anything about what it should cost and it seemed fair to me, do you really think I should take it somewhere for a second opinion? Clara

Answer:

Well Clara, if after a fender bender you’re still lucky enough to be able to drive it around then why wouldn’t you? Are you just trying to take the easy way out? Do you know the body shop you brought it to and trust them implicitly? If not then please take it elsewhere, you can’t believe the disparity in prices you will receive from different shops, especially when it comes to body work. Some will want to fix it and paint it and others will want to change out body pieces and then paint it. If the price to change out the part comes close to repairing it then by all means go for the new part (there are exceptions to that and you should find out if it’s an aftermarket i.e. cheaply made fender/hood etc. or OEM and much sturdier part). Also take the time,while you’re shopping around, to look at some other work they’ve done. Does the paint match the rest of the car? Are the repaired parts smooth? Do all the parts fit nicely back together? Your untrained eye can detect quite a bit. Sometimes people drive up in cars they’ve just had painted and we can’t believe the shoddy work that was done, don’t be one of those people. Doing a little legwork can save you quite a bit of money. This is a mantra that can be used in all aspects of your life. Of course you don’t have to be completely insane like me, sometimes I’ll spend 2 hours online trying to save $10 on something, just because I’m sure I can do it. But don’t throw your money away either, just because you don’t feel like doing the work.

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

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About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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