Retrieving Your Repaired Vehicle

Once repairs are completed, your vehicle will be ready for retrieval from the body shop. Here are a few tips, including things to look for, upon taking delivery of your collision-repaired vehicle.

  • Take delivery of the vehicle during the day and inspect it in the daylight.
  • Look for consistent gaps between body panels. For example, the distance between the rear edge of the front fender and the leading edge of the front door, should be the same on both sides of the vehicle.
  • Make sure all doors, hood, and trunk open satisfactorily.
  • Make sure the repaired area is smooth, not rippled. Make sure the body contours match exactly, side to side and back to front.
  • See how the paint color matches in the repaired area compared to adjacent body panels. Look at the repair from various angles to assure a consistent color match.
  • Ensure that the paint not only matches in color, but is also smooth and shiny without imperfections or distortion.
  • Ensure that there is no “overspray” in areas that should not be colored such as windows, lamps, and chrome or black trim.
  • Make sure there is no masking tape left on the vehicle and that any seat covers or floor mat covers have been removed.
  • If a tire was destroyed in the accident, ensure that the replacement tire is of a size, brand and model that match the others on the vehicle. Mis-matched tires can compromise vehicle handling characteristics and safety.
  • If a wheel or wheel cover was destroyed in the accident, ensure that the replacement unit matches the others on the vehicle.
  • Ensure that the interior is clean, all broken glass has been removed, and the cabin and exterior is dust-free.
  • In the event that the battery was damaged and replaced or simply disconnected for safety purposes to effect repairs, the radio, and possibly other electrical components, will likely need to be reset.
  • Test-drive the vehicle, just as you would a new car. Make sure it drives to your satisfaction. Make sure everything works on the car including all electrical devises such as power seats, windows, and door locks.

If, upon retrieving your vehicle, it is not repaired to your complete satisfaction, do not leave the body shop premises. Immediately inform the shop owner or manager.

If you are still unsure about the safety of your vehicle, or that the repairs were properly made, you can contact a Post Repair Inspector or Independent Vehicle Examiner for an independent examination of your post-repaired vehicle.