Just about everyone on the road is bound to experience a minor accident at some point. While we should always be thankful that a small accident wasn’t worse, we also need to be aware of how even a mild fender-bender can have lasting negative effects on a car if we’re not careful.
Be prepared for an accident before it happens. Keep these four points from AOL Autos in mind the next time you need to take your car in for minor repairs after an accident. Thinking ahead could save you a lot of money:
- Choose the mechanic you want. Your insurance company might push you toward an auto-body shop it prefers, but you always have the ability to select the one of your choice. It’s better to be safe and make your own decision, since some repair shops make efforts to keep costs low to keep insurance companies happy—and that could mean less-than-quality repairs. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or check out reviews online to find a reputable shop.
- Ask about replacement parts. Some shops use aftermarket parts in their repairs. These are imitations of more reliable parts that often wear out faster and cause problems in the future. Make sure the shop you choose uses new or used parts in your repairs.
- Do a color check. It can be hard to match paint, especially if your car is a unique or hard-to-find color. When you pick up your car, ask which panels were newly painted and which were originals. Take a few steps back from the car to make sure the new paint job matches the original one.
- Look for lights. Small accidents or even the repair process can trigger warning lights on your dashboard. When you pick up the car, glance at the dash before you drive away. If any of your lights are on, ask to have the car looked at again. Illuminated lights could mean that the computer needs to be reprogrammed or that electrical parts need to be replaced.
Small accidents are a risk we take as drivers and car owners, but they don’t have to cost more than necessary when you head to the repair shop with the knowledge you need. Consider jotting these points down on a piece of paper and keeping it in the glove box, near your insurance information. You’ll be reminded to do your due diligence the next time your car needs repairs.