When shopping for a collision repair shop, be sure to look for a shop that takes pride in its appearance. They say don’t judge a book by its cover but a messy shop may be an indication of a lack of pride, and a lack of pride is likely to reflect in their workmanship. Most professional auto body shops will keep their office and shop clean and orderly. Carefully inspect the office first then ask to see the shop. Most shops will give you a tour if you request it but be cautious with ones that hide their shop behind policies. If the shop is messy and disorganized, you may want to keep shopping.

Be sure to look for their various licenses, permits, and certifications. All Alaska shops are required to have a state & local business license, a tax permit, an EPA certificate, and a hazardous materials permit. The better shops will be certified by I-CAR (the training standard of the industry) as a Gold Class shop. For even more professionalism, look to see if they are certified ASE mechanicss, and members of the Better Business Bureau or their local chambers of commerce.

When touring a shop, be sure to ask about their equipment. Do they have a frame rack with a computerized measuring system? A car accident can bend your frame, and a bent frame can be dangerous. Believe it or not, some body shops don’t have proper frame equipment; it not required by law. Also be sure that if they have a frame rack, that it has a computerized measuring system that can print you out a copy of the before and after results. Don’t take any chances.

Do they have a downdraft paint booth? All body shops are required by federal laws to paint in booths that filter the harmful vapors produced by paints. However, most body shops use an overhead draft system which forces the paint, as well as dust and contaminates from the floor, to vent over the vehicle. This creates unnecessary extra steps for cleaning and drastically takes away from the overall quality of the paint job. A downdraft spray booth pulls all the air from the top and forces it down to the floor, leaving your vehicle dust free afterwards.

Also, make sure that their paint booth has baking capacity. It literally takes weeks for new paint to fully cure, but to ensure the quality of the paint, the outer shell should be a hard as possible before reintroducing into the shop. If not dust and contaminates will get stuck in the new paint. Most professional shops have paint booths with baking capacities and the best shops have smart baking cycle systems. Be sure to ask or contact us at www.chazautobody.com for more information.

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