The Importance of Factory Certification

Factory certification can only be earned by a shop through years of hard work and on-the-job training. We cannot stress enough the importance of using a repair shop with factory certification. A good shop knows how important it is to be factory certified and they will display their certification around the workplace. Do not be shy about asking for a factory certified shop and make sure all staff member are fully trained as well.

The importance of a factory certified collision shop is clear when you consider the following points:

1. The Complexity Of Late Model Cars: Not all cars are the same and late model cars can be complicated to work on. A well-trained, certified mechanic will know the difference between car brands and the models within that brand. All major car manufacturers will train shop repair staff so they know how each car is put together, know where to look for problems and how to make it right again. This information is vital when working on a car but also when providing a price and time estimate for you. Cars are complex machines and the repair staff needs to be fully trained to do the best job on each model.

2. Ongoing Certification: Just because a mechanic trained a few years ago does not make them qualified to work on your car today. Cars are continuously changing and certification needs to be an ongoing process so employees know how to handle changes in manufacturing and design. Look for evidence that staff training is up to date and check the date on any factory certification. Car makers offer ongoing certification and your shop should be taking all the training made available.

3. Efficient Evaluation: When the staff in a repair shop is fully certified with up-to-date certifications, they can provide a more accurate evaluation. When the staff knows your model of car inside and out, they will know what to expect when it’s disassembled. As a result, the repair staff should be able to give you a very accurate cost estimate and a timeframe for your repair job. As every model is different, the continuous certification process will keep repair staff familiar with all changes in design so there shouldn’t be any hidden surprises when they begin the work. Time and money can be lost on poor estimates and well trained staff will not allow this to happen.

4. Access to Manufacturer Recommendations: A fully-certified repair shop will have access to all the benefits of being associated with a major manufacturer. They will be able to consult directly with the factory when problems arise and will even get advice before beginning a job. Many of the factory’s resources will be available online and are just a click away to certified staff. This access cannot be overestimated: it is like having another expert at the end of the line for immediate help with any problem.
Factory certification will also give the shop faster lead time when ordering OEM parts and preference when stocks are low.

Factory certification is vital. Without it, your car will not get the quality repair job you expect. Look for, and insist on, factory certification when picking a shop to repair your collision damage.

What Your Car Should Be Like When You Get It Back

A popular question we get at the shop is: what will my car be like when I get it back? At Danlar, this is a very important question and one we always give a very clear answer to when asked. If we cannot live up to customer expectations, then we are in the wrong line of work. Our years of experience mean we know how a job will go and we will tell you exactly how we see it.

At Danlar, we work to get your car back to pre-collision performance, but you can use the following as a guide to what to expect after your car is repaired:

1. Paint job:  You want your repair to match the existing paint job on your car and that is only natural. As a factory certified repair shop, we deal directly with the manufacturer to get an exact match for your paint color. On late models this is not a problem, especially models that have not had too much exposure to the New Mexico climate. On older models and models that have faded in the harsh sunlight, a perfect match is not always possible. In cases where the paint is still under warranty we can do a total repaint of the car. If this is not possible, we will get as close a match as we can to the existing color. We will include you in the process so you know what to expect.

2. Driving: Your car will drive just as it did pre-accident. As a factory certified shop we deal directly with the factory and get only OEM parts for your car. If this is not possible, as can happen with older models, we will call you before deciding on the best parts to use. If we discover during disassembly that more work is needed to get the car driving again, we will give you an estimate of time and cost before proceeding. With older cars there may be hidden damage that was there pre-accident. This too can affect how a car drives after a repair but we will inform you of any problems and give you our best advice.

3. Will the Car Be Better?: This is not an outcome we can guarantee and a promise we would never give to a customer. While the repair job will be done to the highest standards by skilled mechanics using OEM parts, our goal is to return the car to pre-accident condition. If there is extra work you wish to be done, we can discuss it in the shop. If a car is badly damaged and there is a concern about quality, we will share our concerns with you before we proceed. We want you back on the road as quickly as possible and the car exactly as it was pre-accident. Experience tells us that this leads to a happy customer.

4. Will it look the same?: We use OEM parts in our repair jobs so everything in the car will be the same as before your accident. Our technicians are highly trained and very experienced and know exactly what they are doing. Our expectations should match yours every step of the way and the finished job will be up to your standards. If it is not possible to return the car to you in a pre-accident condition, we will tell you before we begin the repair job. If, during the repair job, we find that the damage is greater than we thought, we will inform you immediately before moving to the next step.

Your car should be the same after the repair job as it was before the collision. We use all of our experience and training to do the best job possible for you. Our customers should drive away from the shop in a car as they expect it to be. Our job is to fix your car the right way the first time around and that is what you should expect.

Questions Our Customers Ask Us

Customers ask questions. It is what we at Danlar expect and welcome. We also believe our customers have the right to remain informed about the repair process. With 30 years of experience in the business, we have probably come across most, if not all, questions possible and will be able to supply satisfactory answers to every one of your questions. If you have a question, do not be afraid to ask. After all, you are the customer and our number one priority.

Some of questions we hear most often from customers at Danlar include:

1. When will my car be ready?
This is such a popular question and for my money probably the most asked question in the shop. Your car is so essential for day-to-day living. The insurance company may have provided a rental but that is not the same as driving your own car. The short answer is: the repair time depends on the damage done. For what we call short repairs you may have the car back within one to two days. The mid-range repairs may take up to seven days, depending on the extent of damage. Longer repair jobs may take between one and two weeks before the car is back on the road. Insurance companies incentivize us to do the work quickly but we also maintain a high standard of work on all repair jobs. Our staff is fully trained to ensure an efficient repair and we will communicate with you every step of the way so there will not be any hidden delays.

2. How will my car’s paint job look?
We aim to have your car looking exactly as it did pre-accident, in some cases even better. We only use factory-matched paints so the finished work matches the rest of the car. Unfortunately, in older cars, especially cars exposed to the harsh New Mexico climate, the color may have faded and so we cannot match the new paint exactly. If the paint manufacturer has a warranty on the original work, we can completely repaint the car under their terms. If this is not feasible, we will try to match the paint as closely as possible to the present color. This is usually not a problem with a new car and paint matching should be perfect.

3. What is the repair process?
If you are an insurance referral we will get an electronic assignment from the company. We will then contact you and arrange a time for you to come into the shop. During your appointment, we will estimate the damage and the cost of work before we go over what needs to be done. If you agree to go ahead with the repair, we will give you a timetable that outlines the time involved and when you should expect to have your car back on the road. We use our experience and factory certificated training to get a very accurate estimate of time, costs and parts involved. We also deal directly with the insurance company so you don’t have to. When you are not an insurance referral the process is exactly the same except we deal directly with you on all elements of the repair.

4. Will my car drive the same?
Because we are returning the car to its pre-accident condition, the answer to this question has to be yes. In cases where there is doubt we will inform you immediately. Again, our experience and training give our technicians a very good idea of the outcome before we begin so there won’t be any surprises.

5. Do you keep the customer informed?
Our experience tells us that a happy customer is the best customer. At Danlar, we strongly believe in keeping the customer informed at every stage of the process. We agree on a communication process before you leave the shop. Do you prefer text, call or email? We then tell you how often we will contact you along the way. Our standard is every day on a small job and every two days on a bigger job. A big consideration for us is to tell you immediately of any unexpected damage, though our experienced staff usually knows before even beginning what to expect on a job. We describe to the customer what is going to happen from the start and any potential extras in terms of cost and time are explained clearly.

There are always many questions. An accident is a big cause of stress for you and we understand how worried you may be. Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions and make us aware of any worries you may have when trusting Danlar Collision Repair with your repairs.

Ins And Outs of Collision Repair

You need to pick the right repair shop to work on your car. The collision may have been out of your control but picking the repair shop is not; it’s your decision so make sure you pick the best one for you. Why make the situation worse by picking a shop that does a bad job and takes weeks to get your car back to you? To help you make the best decision, however, you need to know the ins and outs of collision repair.

The key points you need to consider are:

1. Quality: This is very important to realize from the start. Call a shop and have a look around. Does everything look as expected? Does the staff seem friendly and helpful? Is the shop tidy? Does it look as if the staff are hard at work? Is the shop busy? If you have doubts about the answers to any of these questions, you should reconsider using that shop. If you find the staff unfriendly, remember that you will be dealing with them while your car is being repaired.

 2. Factory Trained and Certified Specialists: You need the right people working on your car. Factory certification is only earned by a shop over time. The shop has to prove to the manufacturers that they can do the job according to strict factory specifications. They should be happy to show you their certificates. If they are not displayed on the wall, ask to see them. Ask if the technicians working on your repair are fully trained as not all staff in every shop are. Make sure their training is up to date. The insurance company paying for your repair work will want only certified staff on the job and so should you.

3. Experience: This is a key factor in any repair job. Employees at a high quality shop will have seen, and experienced, it all. They will know what to expect when they look at your car and their experience will show when working on your repair job. Experienced staff will see problems before they arise and be able to give you an accurate estimate of costs and the time involved. You can only benefit from another’s experience, and the more they have, the better for you.

4. Communication: This is key to your peace of mind while the car is in the shop. Ask how long the job will take and how often they will keep you informed. Will it be every day or every couple of days? A shop that communicates well will tell you of any problems that arise, such as unexpected work and any changes in timeframe. They will also tell you in advance of any changes in cost. If a shop cannot guarantee regular communication, then you should consider taking the job elsewhere.

5. OEM Parts: A very important part of every repair job. If a shop has factory certification it is very likely that they will use only original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, parts. It is a good idea to ask and make sure you are getting the best parts for your car. Ordering OEM parts may take longer and be more expensive than non-OEM parts, so be sure that all of this is included in your repair estimate. Make sure, too, that the shop will use OEM parts on any further problems that are found and that they will communicate this to you.

6. Timeframe:  Experience will tell a shop how long a repair job should take to complete. Ask when you can expect your car back on the road. The timeframe will give you a good idea of what to expect and a high quality shop should keep you informed every step of the way. A good shop will know, even before disassembly, what to expect on every job.

7. References: Ask for them. A repair shop is only as good as its work. If the shop does not supply references, walk away. Ask your friends or work colleagues who they have used. Ask them if they have heard good stories about the shop you plan to use. A good shop will always be proud of their work and will readily supply you with references. They will also show you before and after photos to prove the quality of their work.

There are many considerations when picking a repair shop. If you are happy with these points in the Ins and Outs of Collision Repair, then you have found a good shop for your car.