Body damage to your car or truck is not always bad enough to stop you from driving the vehicle, but it can make the car look old and beat up. Restoring the body to near new condition is often not difficult for a well-equipment body shop or collision center and could raise the vehicle's value significantly.
Assessing The Damage
Before you can have any body repair completed on your vehicle, you need to take it to a collision repair center or body shop and have a technician inspect it. Once the inspection is complete, the tech will list what damage exists on the vehicle and suggest the repairs necessary to restore the body to its original condition.
The estimate for the work should list each item, the repair method used, and the cost to repair each of them. Itemized estimates are the best way to ensure that nothing is missed along the way and that all the work agreed on is completed when you pick the vehicle up from the shop.
Minor dents and dings in your vehicle's body can often be pulled out and reshaped to look great. If there are creases that are part of the dent, or the dent occurs along a body contour, the tech at the body shop may have to use some filler to reshape the panel or replace the sheet metal with new material.
If the panel needs patching, the tech will need to strip the paint off around the area to weld a new piece in place and blend the patch into the existing metal. Once the patch is in place, it is ground and blended into the existing panel, so you will not be able to see the repair once it is painted.
If there are a lot of areas that need this kind of repair, the work can take some time. Each area needs to be completed in the same way, and the tech at the body shop may have other vehicles to work on at the same time. If you need the car back in a specific time frame, it is vital to discuss that before the work starts.
After all the body repair is complete, the vehicle can be repainted. If the vehicle needs a complete repaint, you could change the color if you want to, but if you do, be sure to pick something that will match the interior of the car. Keeping the factory paint color will typically add the most value if you are making repairs to increase the vehicle's value. Still, you could choose a factory color option if you prefer.
Call a body shop to make an appointment.