Cal Auto Body Industry Info

(650) 273-5401
1132 Hillside Boulevard
Colma, CA 94014
Nana Sarkisian is owner of Cal Auto Body.
Make sure your auto body shop uses the best materials available on the market.

When it comes to environmentally-friendly business practices, most auto body shops are on equal footing—the industry is heavily regulated and all licensed facilities must meet the same standards. For example, all paints must be water-based to prevent harmful chemicals from leaching into the water supply, and all painting must be done in a contained facility to prevent chemicals from going into the air. However, even though all auto paints are environmentally-friendly, they’re not all the same in terms of quality. “The best auto body shops use PPG paints,” explains Nana Sarkisian, owner of Cal Auto Body in Colma. “They’re widely recognized as the best in the industry, so be wary of a shop that doesn’t use them.”

California law stipulates that insurance companies aren’t required to cover original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts for any car that’s older than two years, which means your insurance company can instruct the shop to substitute second-hand, reconditioned or aftermarket parts. If you want to use OEM parts on an older car, you’ll often be responsible for the price difference, so make sure you understand the specifics of your situation before proceeding.

A reputable auto body shop should also be able to clearly explain the extent of your damages and what needs to be done to fix them, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you perceive the answers to be simple or obvious. “Few non-industry people truly understand the intricacies of the auto body repair process, so don’t think you’ll be at a disadvantage relative to other customers,” says Ms. Sarkisian. “Likewise, women shouldn’t be afraid to ask a male technician a question about the process. If a shop has reputable, trained technicians, they won’t think less of you for asking basic questions.”