Do You Know How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair?

Is there such a thing as cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS?

When you have an auto accident, no matter how it looks, it never feels “minor,” but in the collision repair business, there are two categories of damage: “major collision” and “minor collision.” The “major” category includes body damage that extends to the engine and/or frame of the vehicle, which can get very pricey—sometimes expensive enough to declare the vehicle totaled (too expensive to repair). Minor collision repair covers everything else, typically costing between $200 and $2,000—often at the low end of that spectrum. This article will help you identify the extent of damage to your vehicle and understand the differences between major and minor collision shops. If your vehicle falls into the “minor” category, this information will also help you identify a good, cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS and provide some advice on whether you should pay for the repair out of pocket or risk higher monthly premiums by filing a claim with your insurance company.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair

Understanding the Difference Between Major and Minor Collision Repair Shops

Most of the body shops out there perform major collision repair rather than specializing in the minor stuff. And because they repair body damage that involves structural and engine damage, they have to invest in more specialized tools and technicians than the minor repair shops do. For example, a frame-straightening machine can cost from $15,000 to nearly $100,000 for some types of frames, so this is a big investment for the shop. Add to that the wages for technicians qualified to use the equipment, and they have to charge more for all their work in order to cover the increased overhead costs.

A smaller number of body shops in Wichita perform only minor collision repair. If you have major damage, they’ll send you somewhere else, but if minor damage is all you have, these shops often charge significantly less than the major repair companies would for the same damage. This can open the door to paying for repairs out of pocket to avoid higher insurance premiums in the future. Bottom line: if all you need is minor collision repair, it pays to call a minor collision repair shop.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair

:What Should You Expect to Pay for Minor Collision Repair

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Every auto body repair job is somewhat unique, but you can often expect to costs to fall within certain ranges. Let’s look at a few:

  • Paint touch-ups/small areas on the vehicle – from $65 to $300
  • Fender repair – average $75
  • Mirror damage repair – average $100
  • Hood damage – average $150
  • Bumper damage $300 – $400
  • Single stage full paint job – $600 to $2,000
  • Multi stage full paint job – up to $5,000
Dings and Dents Don’t Have to Cost Much

Some of the most common types of damage are minor dings and dents. The simple solution is to find a body shop that isn’t “tooled up” with extravagant equipment and staffed with expensive labor. One repair technique, paintless dent removal (PDR), is a cheap option that can sometimes cost less than your insurance deductible (the amount you have to pay out of pocket on any claim). As an added benefit, PDR usually allows you to drive away the same day you take the vehicle in.

the most common types of damage are minor dings and dents

PDR technicians carefully coax dents back to their original shape, without affecting the paint. Bear in mind that PDR can only be used when there is no damage to the vehicle paint and there are no major surface creases. This technique requires very little time compared to others and can cost as little as $100.

Should You File an Insurance Claim?

It’s worth having a conversation with your insurance agent before you decide whether or not to file a claim for minor collision repair. The math is pretty simple, once you have three numbers in front of you. For example, if the cost of repairs is $300, and you have a $250 deductible, your insurance company will only pay $50 for the repair, and you’ll pay the rest out of pocket. If your monthly premium goes up by $10 a month as a result of the accident, you’re losing money after the first five months at a higher rate. If you have the cash in hand, it can make sense to pay for the minor stuff out of pocket.

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How to Find a Good Minor Collision Repair Shop

As with any significant outlay of money, it’s important to do your research before you commit to a shop. Start by looking online for companies that have been around for a while. Not that the new guys on the block are untrustworthy or unskilled, but running a business is tough, and not all new companies will still be around in a few months, should you run into a problem with their work.

After you’ve narrowed your list, look at Google reviews for the shops you’re considering. Keep in mind that even the best companies get bad reviews; it just takes one customer with possibly unreasonable expectations to lower a body shop’s star rating. In these cases, take a closer look to see how responsive the shop is to the negative review. If they’ve ignored it, this could be a sign that they are not entirely focused on customer service. On the other hand, if they reply to the complaint in a timely manner and make a concerted effort to rectify the problem, that’s a pretty glowing testimony of their commitment to keeping customers happy.

How to Find Good, Cheap Collision Repair. Is there such a thing as cheap collision repair in Wichita, KS?

Look at each company’s Facebook reviews—and their Facebook page in general. Not only will this provide a better sense of their overall quality, it can also give you a glimpse of the “personality” of the company, which can also be useful information.

As you shorten your list, we hope you’ll keep APR in mind. We’ve been in Wichita for 12 years, and that experience pays off in efficiency—and cost—when you need minor collision repair. We also keep a very clean shop, which matters when you’re dealing with the aesthetics of vehicle paint and bodywork, and it makes for a positive experience when you visit one of our Wichita body shop locations.

Why is auto detailing so important?

The Importance of Auto Detailing

All vehicles are slowly punished by the elements, whether it’s from the weather or from pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye but can nevertheless damage the exterior. Normal vehicle use also deteriorates the interior. Maybe it’s unwanted odors that have made their way into the upholstery. Or dust, spills and stains that have become gradually embedded in the carpets and hard surfaces. And don’t they always seem to happen in the most inconvenient places, like under the seat or in those tough-to-reach nooks and crannies? Auto detailing is a way to renovate your vehicle’s appearance and protect it from future damage.

Why is auto detailing so important? An APR Work Blog

Why Do I Need Vehicle Detailing?

A common misconception among car owners is that if a vehicle has “clear coat” protection, then it’s safe from the elements for life. The truth is, this is not a permanent solution. Even paint and “clear coat” require regular, protective maintenance. The vehicle’s interior also takes a beating, with stains, chemicals and dust burrowing into vinyl and upholstery over time. Professional detailing includes a deep cleaning of all surfaces, followed by the application of products that beautify and protect paint, tires, vinyl and upholstery.

Essentially, auto detailing is a gamut of services designed to refurbish and protect your automotive investment. This will not only help maintain your car’s lifespan but also sustain its value. This is why regular auto detailing is so important.

Essentially, auto detailing is a gamut of services designed to refurbish and protect your automotive investment.

However, detailing isn’t just about maintaining value over time. It’s about rekindling the sense of pride you felt when the vehicle was new. Let’s take a look at what professional detailers do, beginning with the interior.

Interior Vehicle Detailing Services

Interior auto detailing is a meticulous, step-by-step, deep cleaning and reconditioning of upholstery, vinyl, vents and other hard-to-reach areas. The clean-up process routinely includes steam cleaning of carpets, mats and upholstery; hard surface cleaning with professional products; and may include ozone treatments (very effective for ingrained odors you thought you would never get rid of). Chemical shields are applied to carpets and upholstery (whether it’s fabric, vinyl or leather) that make future spills easy to wipe up before they seep in and become stains.

Interior auto detailing not only maintains a car’s value; it also improves driver comfort.

Hard surfaces in the vehicle are cleaned, reconditioned and coated with products that protects against future staining and ultraviolet radiation (UV is what causes those ugly cracks and splits you see in the dashboards of older vehicles). Specific techniques vary from car to car, depending on your needs and the vehicle’s age and condition.

Interior detailing not only maintains a car’s value; it also improves driver comfort. Over time, vehicles collect stains that are hard to clean and smells for which you can’t even find the source. That doesn’t make for a pleasant driving experience. But professional technicians have the tools and know-how to bring your interior as close as possible to new condition.

Exterior Detailing

The most obvious benefit to exterior detailing is that it protects your vehicle’s “paint health.” Professional detailers do much more than wash and wax. For example, they use clay bars to lift corrosive micro-pollutants from the grain of the paint. If these chemicals are not removed before waxing, they will continue to degrade the paint over time. But when professional detailing processes are followed up with comprehensive waxing, the life of the paint job is measurably extended.

Professional detailers use clay bars to lift corrosive micro-pollutants from the grain of the paint.

Dirt, mud and salt deposits build up under the chassis and in wheel wells, and eat through both paint and metal over time. Professional detailing removes these corrosive deposits.

Tires take a beating, not only from the road, but from UV radiation and chemicals in the atmosphere. Auto detailers thoroughly clean the tires, then apply a chemical shield that prolongs the life of the rubber. This “tire dressing” is available in both gloss and matte finishes, depending on your taste.

Headlight restoration can also be part of the detailing process, if needed. This is as much a safety issue as a cosmetic one because, as headlight lenses break down over time from heat, abrasion and UV, they become foggy and discolored, making it more difficult see—and be seen—at night. Headlight restoration makes them look and function like new again.

Vehicles age and lose their luster over time. There’s nothing you can do to prevent it, but you can help significantly slow it down and prolong the life—and value—of your vehicle with periodic detailing.

Vehicles age and lose their luster over time. Help it significantly slow down and prolong the life—and value—of your vehicle with periodic detailing.

Benefits of Auto Detailing

The most immediate benefit of detailing is that it keeps your vehicle looking great, inside and out. It also maintains the value of your car or truck, so it’s also a good investment. If you love your car, and you love driving, periodic detailing should be a part of your regular maintenance.

For more information about auto detailing, contact APR today at (316) 262-8888.