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Looking for a little advice today. Got into a minor accident last week (going through an intersection, guy turning left from the opposite direction didn't yield and hit me, causing driver's side damage) and insurance did the inspection/estimate today, and now I am torn on where to take it for repairs. Insurance has shops with lifetime guarantee on the repairs, but do you think I'd be better off taking it to a Dodge dealer? Seems likely they'd be more knowledgeable, and I'd like to get the work done right the first time and not have to take it back in a month because my door has caved in. This is my first accident as a driver, and I haven't been around cars long enough to really know anything about repairs at this point (never had a family car growing up, just got this car last October) so any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Taking your car to a dealership is great, IF they have a body shop. Here in my area only one of five dealerships have a body shop. Everyone else fields things out to the lowest bidder. I work for a dealership that has a body shop and we do at least 90% of our own work. Also I know a particular auto body is superb and I would use them over any dealership locally. Also don't be affraid to find a dealership that isn't Mopar. We have a Chevy dealership that fixed my PT cruiser and did a great job.

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I got rear ended, woman on a cell phone, fortunately only doing about 10 mph. I brought my Challenger to the Dodge dealer where I had ordered the car, the dealer has a body shop and the guys there did a perfect job on the repair, no body repair nightmares that some guys on this board have encountered at a non-dealer shop unfortunately. Unless you know a non-dealer shop that does excellent work and comes highly recommended and is more convenient for you to use, I'd go with the dealer.
 

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There are good and bad body shops owned by dealerships. Do your research before taking it anywhere. I'd rather deal with a good body shop than a bad dealership any day. They can all buy parts from Chrysler.
 

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There is zero guarantee dealer body shop is better....Personally I think its more than likely the dealer body shop is not as good as a good independent body shop. Cars dealers today farm out body work more and more because of the higher costs of maintaining and staffing body shops and all the environmental issues/technical issues.



Find a good body shop you can trust but don't go with oh its a dealer shop so it must be good....That might make you end up more sad than not...... good luck!!
 

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I used to be the supervisor for a large Ford dealer body shop. A body man is a body man is a body man. Same with painters. He doesn't care what brand he is working on. Parts are parts. That business is extremely transient. A guy working at Dodge today could be working for Chevy or an independent tomorrow. You should research reviews and try to look for someone who specializes in high end cars or classics. Wherever you choose, tell the estimator at the shop you insist on their best body man and best painter they have. Quality can vary GREATLY in the same shop depending on who is doing it. You'd be surprised what some guys will do to a car to save a few minutes but get paid for it. Be prepared for him to tell you it will be done in a week, for example. It won't so be prepared. They always overbook and the method of how they pay techs encourages someone to start a job but not be too worried about finishing it. Afterwards go over it with a fine tooth comb. You do not have to accept it if it's not right. Also check to make sure they will use OEM parts not foreign or LKQ (used).
 

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If this sounds negative, it's because it's from experienceS, unfortunately.

Yes, I tried dealership body shops thinking the exact same thing. End result wasn't all that great. I consider it B- work. Yes, it all depends on who (the actual guy) that works on the car.

I also tried what the insurance company suggested. One time the work was 99.5% perfect. The second time (another car), same shop, the work was 80% satisfaction. I'm sure that guy they hired left after several years.

I also try to pick my own shop and not let the insurance tell me where to go. Yes, they will low ball the estimate. Then what? I rather go with a contract shop the insurance company sent me. So if there are additional cost, they are paying for it. My last claim, the repair and estimate were $4K off.

Ok, note, I don't want you guys to think I get into so many accidents. It's just that I'm old, and the experiences are from 35 years of driving. Some may have better luck with insurance companies. I have not had too much, other than that one where I was truly happy with the work.

Also, maybe because I'm a car guy. And I see it. Perhaps others will not notice or complain.
 

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And watch out for some dealerships they say they have a shop but they have a contract with another body shop they take it to but its thru them and do your home work because some dealer ships can mess you over beware GOOD LUCK
 

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Pick a shop with a great reputation, don't let their insurance dictate anything.
A coworker got into an accident with a 1 year old car (an Accura something) a couple of years ago. Not an inexpensive car. Anyway, she let the insurance adjuster recommend a local body shop. Long story short, her insurance company ended up paying the body shop a ton of money to fix a car that should have been considered "totaled". They also used off shore parts that didn't fit correctly and she ended up going back and forth with them for close to 7 months. Why did the insurance company not total it?......, simple, the insurance agent was married to the body shop owner's sister. If the car was deemed "totaled" the shop would miss out on all those labor $$$$.. Moral of the story..., do your due diligence. Ask around, research, etc.... Good Luck. :|
 

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Ask for referrals from friends and coworkers and dont be afraid to go the shop and see it is it clean or a mess is it disorganized with parts scattered around. After all it's your car and you have the right to know b4 dropping off your baby.
 

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My friend went to Mercedes and asked who they send their cars to, what a beautiful job they did on his car. They replaced a rear quarter panel and body and paint work are absolutely stellar.
 

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I went to a well reputed body shop, heard good things word of mouth, very good online reviews. Did not end up being a great experience.

Pretty sure they tried to rip me off. I had received an estimate from both them and my insurance for front end damage from hitting something in the road, Parts replaced: Bumper cover, bumper part underneath, splitter and licence plate bracket.

I pick it up and the existing splitter was still on it, all cleaned up with the dent sorta pushed out and they "claimed" the dealer sent them another part instead and they installed it by mistake. They were trying to pocket the 80 bucks.

Had them put it on. The paint match on the bumper was not great, but I can't honestly say it was any worse than it was from the factory.

Two weeks later the bumper cover starts warping. The aftermarket bumper cover was garbage. Took weeks to get an adjuster to see it to authorize an OEM cover.

Cover comes and they paint it without the car there. I am thinking its going to match even worse but once I left the car and picked it up it matched almost exactly, much better than stock.

Had to deal with months of problems, leaving the car multiple times, calling an adjuster ducking me daily and a shop that basically tried to commit fraud, but in the end it came out great.

Moral of the story, don't accept anything less then your full satisfaction, no matter what it takes. It will be worth it once your baby is back to normal.
 

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I took a car in for a paint job,the original color was red, I wanted midnight blue metallic. We discussed what all needed to be done. So I sanded everything smooth, removed all the chrome and dropped off the car. I picked it up a week later. Looked pretty good....till 3 months later driving down the road a spot about 8 inch circle of paint fell off. They hadn't put any primer. They just painted over the paint. What a mess getting them to do what needed to be done. This was a reputable auto body too.

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