Not all body shops are the same and in every city you will find the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you just have a few scratches you can use our scratch repair kit to fix them, but often you won’t have any choice but to go to a body shop to get work done to your car.
Here are a few things that you should know if you are in the market to get your scratches repaired or get your car fixed.
Watch Out for Unauthorized Body Shop Repairs
Some body shops may try to start work on your car without your permission. This is more common if you have major repairs that are needed instead of just a few scratches. The Attorney General of North Carolina filed a lawsuit in 2018 alleging that some body shops would call vehicle owners on the phone and make assertions in order to convince them to bring their car in to them to get repaired. Included in the allegations was the performance of unauthorized repairs.
Once a car is torn down it is hard for an owner to simply take it back from the dealer and you need to be careful to make sure this tactic isn’t used against you.
Hidden Power of Attorney
Something else that you can learn from the NC Attorney General’s lawsuit is that some body shops may sneak in some extra forms, including those that will give them power of attorney. This will allow them to act as your agent and deal with your insurance company, cashing their checks and acting on your behalf without needing your permission anymore.
Non-Genuine Replacement Parts
Maybe you need to bring your car into a body shop for more than just scratch repair and touch-up paint. If you need car repairs after an accident you need to be on the lookout for aftermarket non-genuine parts. One of the big ways that body shops can save on money is by not using genuine parts from your vehicle's manufacturer.
A lawsuit from the Attorney General in Louisiana was brought in 2015, not because of the body shops trying to scam their customers but because it was alleged that some insurance companies have played a role in pushing customers towards non-genuine replacement parts. These types of parts can save on money but are not always as safe.
Watch Out for Temporary Scratch Cover-Up Products
These types of products are sometimes used by used car dealers. They don’t repair the scratches on a car. The scratches simply get covered up and the solutions wash away quickly. Sometimes a thick coat of wax can fill in the scratches so that light does not reflect the same off of them, but this only helps to temporarily hide scratches
Parking Lot Scratch Repair and Dent Repair Scammers
City police across the US have reported scam artists that are approaching people in parking lots and offering to fix the scratches on their car. They don’t fix the scratches. They merely cover them up, and in many cases they actually ruin the cars while doing this because they need to cover up their scam with something while they get away with your money.
The owner of the car below was told that when she washes off her car, the scratches will be gone. Instead, the paint on her car was ruined.
In Phoenix, people have reported that the same scam has happened, but instead the scammers offer to repair the dents on their car. They apply a substance and tell the customer that it “needs to set” overnight. Meanwhile, the car’s paint is ruined because the stuff that they apply does not wash off and does not fix any of your dents.
Got scratches? Check out our car scratch repair kits here.