San Mateo – Auto Body

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1132 Hillside Boulevard
Colma, CA 94014
(650) 273-5401

Serving the Bay Area including Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

Services include body & paint work, unibody laser straightening system for SUVs & trucks, paint baking system, computerized paint matching, 40% off on rent-a-car. Brands include PPG Auto Paints...
License 216273 | DCID6507562082
1021 North Amphlett Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 937-9731

Serving San Mateo and San Francisco Counties including Menlo Park, Daly City, Foster City, Redwood City, San Bruno and Hillsborough.

Services include auto body repair and frame work. Brands include Spies Hecker.
License 252399 | DCID6506852683
(650) 273-5406

Serving San Mateo County

Services include Auto Body Repair, Auto Repair & Maintenance, Electrical System Repair, Frame Straightening, Smog Checks, Transmission & Clutch Service. Brands include .
License 277497 | DCID6503400026
Map of these Diamond Certified companies
Cities: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, South San Francisco, Woodside
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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Body Shops Rated Highest in Quality?
Vehicle collision damage repair in a good body repair shop in San Mateo County.

An auto body mechanic repairs and repaints vehicles at a Diamond Certified auto shop in San Mateo County. You'll feel confident when choosing a quality auto body shop from the list above because each of these shops has been rated Highest in Quality and earned Diamond Certified. For more information on choosing and working with a collision shop in the San Mateo area, read the following articles. Photo: Serramonte Ford Body Shop (2011)

By DIAMOND CERTIFIED PROGRAM STAFF WRITERS
Topic: Finding High Quality Auto Body Shops in San Mateo County

DALY CITY — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an auto body shop that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified auto body repair shop. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated auto body collision center and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Get Back on the Road Fast Auto Body Repair Shops in San Mateo County

Car accidents happen without warning and can leave you stranded. So they're certainly stressful enough without having to worry about finding a good auto collision repair shop you can trust. But if you have been involved in an accident, you need just that—a good auto body shop that will make your truck, mini-van or car look like new again and quickly restore it to pre-accident condition.
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Car accidents happen without warning and can leave you stranded. So they're certainly stressful enough without having to worry about finding a good auto collision repair shop you can trust. But if you have been involved in an accident, you need just that—a good auto body shop that will make your truck, mini-van or car look like new again and quickly restore it to pre-accident condition.

There are many car collision shops to choose from on the Peninsula, including auto body shops in San Mateo County that serve the major cities of Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo, South San Francisco and San Bruno, as well as all the smaller towns and Silicon Valley.

For most people, choosing a good auto collision repair shop is a mystery. Once the work is done, the dents are gone and paint is new, it’s easy to see the results of your decision. But how do you find and choose among the auto body shops that will do the repairs correctly? How do you select one you can trust to straighten the frame, buff out the dings and scrapes and apply new auto paint—and all the body work in between?

The following articles will give you the confidence you need to make an educated decision.

Why Trust Diamond Certified Body Shops in San Mateo County Rated Highest In Quality?
Only auto body shops that have scored Highest in Quality in the most accurate and rigorous ratings process anywhere have earned the Diamond Certified award. In fact, most Bay Area companies can’t pass this test. So that you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, all research is conducted by live telephone interviews that survey only real customers. Thousands of local auto collision center customers have been interviewed, and only the auto body shops that scored at least 90 on a scale of 100 in customer satisfaction, as well as passed all the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified.

By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program cuts out all mediocre and poorly-performing companies. If you want quality, you’ll have confidence in choosing Diamond Certified companies. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

Research Your Rights and Responsibilities
Whether the auto collision was your fault or not, you have the right to choose which car body repair shop repairs your vehicle. Sure, most insurance companies have agreements known as direct repair programs, or DRPs, with collision repair facilities on the Peninsula. So while your insurance company may recommend repair shops, the final decision is always yours.

While this seems like a convenient alternative to researching and choosing a shop on your own, this is one area where information is key. Why? Insurance companies often enforce strict limits on the repairs done at DRP shops that cause them to cut corners, including in the quality of the replacement parts and the time the shop spends on the repairs. If you’re not careful, you can end up getting an inferior repair job.

Remember, it’s vital that you choose a qualified automotive body repair shop for collision repairs for your car, truck or mini-van. This avoids conflict and can preserve the value of your vehicle. Incorrect body damage repairs are often not reversible, devaluing your vehicle and compromising your safety. If you hire the wrong auto body repair center and another shop can repair the damage they’ve done, you’ll probably have to pay for additional body repairs out-of-pocket since car insurance companies often refuse to pay for the same repairs twice.

How to Research San Mateo County Auto Collision Centers
You’re probably in a hurry to have your collision damage repaired at one of the auto body shops that serve major cities like Daly City, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Redwood City, and San Mateo—and all the smaller towns in the Silicon Valley. However, you’ll get better results if you slow down and research a few local auto body shops to find the one that repairs your vehicle right the first time and best serves your needs.

While it’s usually best to choose a Diamond Certified company because of their Highest in Quality rating, it may not always be possible. If you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified company, you can improve your chances of finding a decent auto body shop by checking them out on the California Bureau of Auto Repair website. You'll find a list of auto body shops that are licensed and in good standing with the state. While the site doesn’t containing any customer satisfaction research, you will be able to see if complaints have been filed with the state or if the auto body shop’s license has been revoked.

Any auto body shops in San Mateo County included in the larger cities of San Bruno, South San Francisco, Redwood City and Daly City with certified auto collision repair technicians on staff tend to have more training. They may also have more up-to-date knowledge of the newest methods of car body repair. To meet the growing demand for ecologically-friendly body services in the Bay Area, some are even green auto body shops. These shops have completed courses and earned certifications for environmentally responsible collision repair and auto painting services. If these credentials are important to you, ask the auto body shops for a list of industry recognition and qualifications.

Many auto body shops will offer to handle insurance paperwork for you. This can be a valuable timesaver, so ask the auto body shops you’re interviewing if they have experience working with insurance companies.

Auto Body Parts and Auto Body Insurance Requirements
Another factor to consider when researching paint and body repair shops is the quality of replacement parts each shop uses. Just as it’s your right to choose which body repair shop to hire for collision repairs, you’re usually entitled to choose the parts that are used. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are manufactured to fix your car exactly and may last longer than aftermarket parts. Refurbished and salvaged parts often come with no warranties since their safety and lifespan cannot be guaranteed.

If you did not cause the accident, immediately tell the auto body shops that you want OEM parts installed. If the accident was your fault, ask the vehicle collision centers about your specific case. There may be wording in your insurance agreement mandating use of aftermarket parts, refurbished (repaired) auto parts or salvage parts. However, it may be worth paying the difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts to get better quality auto body parts installed.

If you live in Silicon Valley or in the cities of San Carlos, Belmont, Millbrae, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Atherton, Portola Valley, Brisbane or Colma, your insurance company may want you to bring your wrecked car, minivan or truck into a local auto body collision shop for auto body repair estimates. Luckily, because of their ability to tow wrecked or totaled vehicles in to their facilities, car body shops in larger cities may be able to provide auto body repairs instead of leaving you stranded. For example, auto body repair shops in the Daly City and Redwood City can also serve smaller cities such as Woodside, Broadmoor Village, El Granada, Pescadero, Emerald Hills, La Honda, Loma Mar, Montara, Sharp Park, Moss Beach and Princeton-by-the-Sea.

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Know What You Want
Determine Your Needs Before Calling on San Mateo County Auto Body Shops

Before you call or visit any local auto body shops, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in body repairs and services from the shops. Some vehicle owners have found they’re more successful when they write down their goals and make a list of questions and expectations to cover during their interviews with local body shops. To determine what you want and need from your shop, ask yourself:...

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Before you call or visit any local auto body shops, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in body repairs and services from the shops. Some vehicle owners have found they’re more successful when they write down their goals and make a list of questions and expectations to cover during their interviews with local body shops. To determine what you want and need from your shop, ask yourself:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • What is my overall goal in getting my vehicle (car, truck or minivan) repaired? (This can include major collision damage repair for totaled vehicles, fender-bender repair or new auto paint to cover minor scratches and door dings.)
  • What is my budget?
  • Will my auto insurance cover any or all of the body work?
  • What characteristics do I want in a San Mateo County auto body shop? (This can include good communication skills, quick turn-around time, warranty coverage for car body repairs, follow-up services, and long-term results in the appearance and safety of your vehicle.)
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What to Ask on the Phone
Get to Know Your Local Auto Body Shops

You’ll want to talk directly with the shop owner or service manager before you drop off your vehicle or have it towed to an auto body shop. The questions you ask and the responses the auto body mechanics give will help you choose your auto collision repair facility. You may want to write down the body shop’s answers and take note of any factors that may influence your decision. Use the following questions as a guide when talking to auto repair shop representatives on the phone and in person:
 

Questions to ask Auto Body Shop Owners on the Phone:...

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You’ll want to talk directly with the shop owner or service manager before you drop off your vehicle or have it towed to an auto body shop. The questions you ask and the responses the auto body mechanics give will help you choose your auto collision repair facility. You may want to write down the body shop’s answers and take note of any factors that may influence your decision. Use the following questions as a guide when talking to auto repair shop representatives on the phone and in person:
 

Questions to ask Auto Body Shop Owners on the Phone:

  • Has your company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • Does your auto body repair shop work on my make and model?
  • Do you specialize in the kind of auto body repair work my vehicle needs (i.e. fender repair, paint matching, I-Frame work, car door dent repair, vehicle hood replacement)?
  • Will you give me a written estimate?
  • How do you price auto body repairs and auto painting services (i.e. hourly charges or a flat fee?)
  • Are your technicians certified for vehicle collision repairs?
  • I live in ___ (Daly City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Pacifica, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Silicon Valley, etc.). Does your auto body shop have courtesy cars or rental vehicles available while my car is in your auto body shop?
  • Will you cooperate with my car insurance company? If so, can the insurance appraiser come to your collision repair shop to write the claim?
  • Will you use new, used, refurbished or salvaged auto body parts to repair my car’s damage? Do I have a say in what parts you use?
  • What brands of auto paints do you recommend?
  • Why do you use those car paint brands?
  • Can you provide auto upholstery repair or install new upholstery in my car?
  • Will you do auto glass installation and put in new windshields and car windows?
  • Are your mechanics covered by workers' compensation and liability insurance?
  • What kind of warranty do you offer on auto body repairs and new auto paint?
  • How long has your auto body shop been in San Mateo County?
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What to Ask in Person
What to Ask When You Bring in Your Car for Body Repairs
Auto bumper refinishing and replacement in Daly City, CA.
An auto body mechanic repairs a damaged car bumper in San Mateo County. Photo: Serramonte Ford Body Shop (2011)

Once you bring your vehicle into a local repair shop, spend a few minutes confirming the information you discussed during your phone interview. Then ask a few final questions before leaving your vehicle for body repairs.

Here are a few questions to get you started:...

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Once you bring your vehicle into a local repair shop, spend a few minutes confirming the information you discussed during your phone interview. Then ask a few final questions before leaving your vehicle for body repairs.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • How long will the car collision repairs take?
  • What is your policy if the estimate is under or over the actual cost?
  • Do you coordinate with other auto body shops if you can’t complete all of the collision repairs yourself? Does that affect any warranties?
  • What contact information do you have for me? What else do you need in order to reach me with updates about my car’s body repairs?
  • What can I do to make this repair process faster and easier?
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What to Ask References
Learn from Past Auto Body Shop Customers

All collision shops that are Diamond Certified have undergone a ratings process that most others can’t pass. If you want quality body auto repairs, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified auto body shops. You can read Diamond Certified reports and see verbatim survey responses on all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. All Diamond Certified research is performed by live telephone interviews randomly selected from a large sample of real customers.
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All collision shops that are Diamond Certified have undergone a ratings process that most others can’t pass. If you want quality body auto repairs, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified auto body shops. You can read Diamond Certified reports and see verbatim survey responses on all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. All Diamond Certified research is performed by live telephone interviews randomly selected from a large sample of real customers.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified vehicle collision shop within reach, you'll need to conduct some research of your own. If you do, the auto body shops you contact should be willing to give you a list of recent customers you can call. Keep in mind, though, that references provided by the car body repair shops are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references are “cherry-picked,” not randomly selected from all customers, so shops are likely just giving you a few satisfied customers to call.

If your do call on references, request a list of their 10 most recent customers (to help avoid them giving you only customers they know were satisfied) and call those references. Ask general questions about their experience with the shop’s personnel as well as specific questions about the car body repairs. Sample questions you may want to ask are:

  • Were you satisfied with the performance of _(collision shop name)_ auto body shop?
  • Would you go back to this company again if your car, truck or van were in a crash?
  • What type of car body repairs or auto paint repairs did they do for you?
  • Were you pleased with the turn-around time?
  • If you live in a smaller town such as Colma, Emerald Hills, Loma Mar, Moss Beach, Montara or Palomar Park or in less populated areas of Silicon Valley, was your auto body shop willing to tow your car or truck to their collision repair garage?
  • Did they work with you to get the auto body repairs done exactly as you wanted them?
  • Were you happy with the communication from this car body shop?
  • Do you feel the price was fair for the vehicle collision repairs?
  • Did the auto body shop help you deal with your insurance company?
  • Did they provide a loaner car or shuttle service while your car was being repaired?
  • What did you like best about this car body shop?
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Review Your Options
Choose Qualified Auto Body Repair Shops
The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

By now you’re probably aware that your choice of an auto body repair shop determines how smoothly the repair process will go and the value of your vehicle after the repairs are completed. It’s obviously not a decision to take lightly, especially since vehicles are often our second largest expense after our homes.
Review the notes you’ve taken during your interviews with auto body shops and other collision repair customers to determine if one shop stands out. Pay special attention to the following items:...

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By now you’re probably aware that your choice of an auto body repair shop determines how smoothly the repair process will go and the value of your vehicle after the repairs are completed. It’s obviously not a decision to take lightly, especially since vehicles are often our second largest expense after our homes.
Review the notes you’ve taken during your interviews with auto body shops and other collision repair customers to determine if one shop stands out. Pay special attention to the following items:

  • Can an auto body shop satisfy your requirements for scheduling, body repairs and part preferences?
  • Is the shop willing to work with your insurance company while providing the best value and outcome for your car, truck or mini van?
  • Does the service writer at the auto body shop communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Do you feel positively about your interactions with the shop so far?
  • Is the auto body shop as devoted to getting your car back to pre-accident condition as you are?
  • If you answered yes, you can confidently move forward in setting up an appointment with the auto body shop and start the repair process right away.
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How to Work With
How to Get Collision Repair Estimates You Can Trust

If you've found the car body shop that meets your needs, that's great news! Here are a few things you can do to get accurate estimates and the quality service you expect.

Meet with the service writer and discuss the necessary repairs. Remember that the goal of every good auto body shop is to fully repair collision damage. Your car should look and function like it did before the accident....

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If you've found the car body shop that meets your needs, that's great news! Here are a few things you can do to get accurate estimates and the quality service you expect.

Meet with the service writer and discuss the necessary repairs. Remember that the goal of every good auto body shop is to fully repair collision damage. Your car should look and function like it did before the accident.
Now that you, your San Mateo County collision repair garage and your car insurance company agree on the needed repairs, the facility should provide you with a written estimate detailing all necessary and recommended repairs before starting the work. By law, this estimate must include the total estimated cost for all needed car parts and labor, an itemized list of required parts, and whether the parts used are new or used. Confirm any warranties at this time, as some body shops only guarantee certain auto body parts or grades of auto body paints.

Your agreement with the shop is final when you sign the estimate or work order. Never sign a blank or incomplete estimate. The collision shop must get your approval before making any changes to the work orders and estimates, so be sure to give the auto body technicians the phone number where they can reach you at all times. Return their calls promptly to keep your repairs on schedule and ensure that you get your vehicle back in on time.

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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Auto Body Shop Customer at San Mateo County Garages?
Custom auto body modifications and new auto paint in Livermore, CA.
A modified and restored Econoline van customized by a Diamond Certified body shop. Photo: Livermore Collision Center (2011)

It's the auto body shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete repair job on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's repair too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when you take your van, minivan, truck or car into an auto body shop....

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It's the auto body shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete repair job on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's repair too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when you take your van, minivan, truck or car into an auto body shop.

  • Be clear and straightforward with the auto body repair shop representatives. Let them know what the problem is, the outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
  • Before you leave your car, truck or van at the vehicle body shop, restate your expectations and reiterate your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with auto repair shops occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear with the auto body repair technicians, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your service writer if you should call to check on your vehicle body repairs or if he will call you with regular updates.
  • Be sure to give your service writer a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your truck or car is in the shop for body repairs. The process will move more smoothly if the shop can reach you with any updates or car body repair work authorizations. When your shop contacts you, return their calls promptly to help keep the car body repairs on schedule.
  • Pay for the repairs promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Auto body repairs are often stressful and that can cause friction. So shops appreciate clients who are straightforward, honest and easy to deal with. Your behavior sets a respectful tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and problems may be more easily resolved if you start your working relationship off with the right attitude.

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Check the Work
Contrast the Body Repairs and Auto Body Painting with the Invoice

When the work is completed, all body shops are required by law to give you a written invoice that details all the autobody work done. This invoice must include:...

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When the work is completed, all body shops are required by law to give you a written invoice that details all the autobody work done. This invoice must include:

  • The name and physical address of the collision repair shop and their registration number.
  • A list of all auto body work performed.
  • An itemized list of all replaced parts. This list must state whether the parts were new, used, salvaged, reconditioned, or rebuilt.
  • The total auto collision repair cost, including the amount due for labor.
  • Any applicable hazardous waste disposal fees and the body shop’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) number.

It’s smart to compare the written invoice to the work that was actually done. Ask your body repair specialist to show you the repairs, and check them against the invoice. Your shop should be willing to talk you through the process and give you any special instructions for maintaining the collision repairs and new auto body paint. If you have questions about what was completed or how the work was done, this is the time to ask.

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Written Warranties
Ask Your San Mateo County Auto Collision Repair Shop for Warranties

Before you leave the auto body shop, confirm any warranties that you’ve agreed upon. Not all auto body repair shops in back up their collision repairs with warranties. But if the shop you’ve chosen does guarantee their work, they should give you a written warranty, including:...

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Before you leave the auto body shop, confirm any warranties that you’ve agreed upon. Not all auto body repair shops in back up their collision repairs with warranties. But if the shop you’ve chosen does guarantee their work, they should give you a written warranty, including:

  • The shop’s name and physical address.
  • What is covered by their warranties. This includes whether the parts and/or labor are guaranteed, and whether the shop will replace or repair the parts or give you a refund if there is a warranty claim. Exclusions must be in writing.
  • Your responsibility if you need to redeem your warranty for vehicle body repairs (if you have to pay for labor, agree to let the shop install used parts or pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms of and limitations on the car body repair warranty.
  • If auto body repair warranties will transfer to the new owner if you sell your vehicle.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Requests Made to San Mateo Body Shops
Vehicle repainting at a top rated auto collision center in Daly City, CA.
Professional paint matching and auto painting services in San Mateo County. Photo: Photo: Serramonte Ford Body Shop (2011)

Below is a list of the more common requests made of auto body repair shops within the following San Mateo County cities. Read the corresponding paragraphs below for the definition of each of car body repair.

Auto Body Repair
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Below is a list of the more common requests made of auto body repair shops within the following San Mateo County cities. Read the corresponding paragraphs below for the definition of each of car body repair.

Auto Body Repair

Auto body repair refers to any repairs to the exterior of vehicles, including dent repair, scratch repair, auto crash repair and fender bender repair. Car body damage can result from vehicle collisions, car accidents and acts of vandalism. Auto body repair shops throughout San Mateo County offer bumper repair and replacement, auto painting and scratch and dent repair for vehicles involved in collisions and auto crashes.

Auto Collision Repairs

Auto collision repairs are auto body restorations that fix vehicles damaged in collisions and auto crashes. Usually, auto collision repairs include frame straightening, auto body work and automotive painting to cover dents, scratches, dings and crumpled auto body exteriors.

Vehicle Dent Repair

Whether from a fender-bender or a careless passerby, car dents can be a nuisance. Auto body repair shops can pull dents to make your car, truck, van or minivan look like new. Automobile dent repair may require vehicle repainting depending on the severity of the damage.


Automotive Painting

Auto body shops provide automotive painting for collision damage repairs and to restore the exteriors of vehicles including cars, trucks, vans and minivans. A new coat of paint can change the look of your vehicle by allowing you to repaint your vehicle a new color or cover damaged areas that have obvious dents, scratches, chips and auto paint dings. New auto paint also helps maintain the body of your car by keeping out rust. Some auto body paint topcoats even filter the sun’s rays to keep the color of your new auto paint from fading.

Auto Paint Repair

Automotive painting facilities offer paint matching, auto paint chip and scratch repair, vehicle paint touch-ups and spot painting. Auto paint repair is best used to cover minor auto paint scratches, chips and flaking. Major auto body damage from an auto wreck or car accident is best repaired by hiring a shop to do automotive paint restoration to larger areas of your truck, van or car rather than simple auto paint repairs.

Mobile Auto Body Repair

Mobile auto body and paint repair companies bring the auto body shop to you. These body shops are at times more convenient than traditional auto collision centers. Mobile auto body repair shops provide minor auto body repairs, dent removal and auto paint repair services at your home or place of work. Some mobile body repair shops offer same-day service for your car, minivan, truck or van and will cooperate with your insurance company.

Bumper Repairs / Bumper Replacement

A common request for auto body repair shops is bumper repair to fix bumper dents, fender-benders, and bumper tears and scrapes. Bumper repair is generally minor and often includes dent removal and bumper repainting. Bumper replacement includes the removal and replacement of entire auto bumpers that have been too badly damaged in a car crash for bumper repairs.

Custom Auto Body Work

Customization is available for new vehicles (usually with custom body kits) and vintage or classic vehicles (also known as auto body restoration). Custom auto body work may take the form of chop jobs (modifying the original frame or body of your car, truck or van) or customized auto paint that takes your vehicle beyond stock auto paint colors.

Auto Frame Repair and Vehicle Frame Straightening

Much more serious than the average dent, scratch or sideswipe, vehicle frames bent in collisions and car accidents require straightening in order to drive correctly. Bent vehicle frames that are not straightened can cause uneven wear on the car or truck and make it more vulnerable in an accident. Only licensed auto body repair shops have the equipment and expertise to straighten vehicle frames after a collision or car accident.

Auto Upholstery Repair

Auto upholstery repairs can be a cost-effective and simple way to improve the comfort and appearance of cars, trucks and minivans. Car upholstery repair can even enhance the trade-in and resale value of a vehicle. Body shops that offer auto upholstery repairs in San Mateo County are usually knowledgeable about which batting and materials will best improve the comfort and appearance of your vehicle’s interior.

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If Things Go Wrong
San Mateo County Auto Body Repair Shop Customers Have Rights

If questions and conflicts occur with your mechanic—whether you’ve encountered substandard work or communication problems—it’s important you know what to do if you ever have a disagreement with your local collision repair shop.
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If questions and conflicts occur with your mechanic—whether you’ve encountered substandard work or communication problems—it’s important you know what to do if you ever have a disagreement with your local collision repair shop.
 

  • When talking with the service manager or auto body shop owner, remember these tips:
  • Remain calm and polite with the car body shop employees and representatives.
  • Know your rights as a collision repair customer. California’s Automotive Repair Act gives you the right to written estimates for all auto body repairs and auto body painting services. You’re also entitled to detailed invoices, and the right to request your replaced auto body parts be returned to you.
  • Explain the problem you’re experiencing (i.e. with the quality of the work or lapses in customer service). State and request specific outcome that’s fair for you and the body shop.
  • If possible, explain to the auto body shop representative that you’re willing to compromise and negotiate a mutually-beneficial agreement.
  • Photograph any car body work you're concerned about. Also keep a written record of your complaints, complete with dates and times the issues occurred, your requests and the shop’s responses. You’ll want a record of your claims if you can't reach a satisfactory outcome by dealing directly with the auto body repair shop.

The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee
All Diamond Certified collision repair shops are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If your auto body shop is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve an issue by talking with the owner of the auto body shop, contact the mediation department at 800-738-1138 or email info@diamondcertified.org.

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Glossary of Terms
Popular Car Body Repair Terms
Car body painting and vintage vehicle restoration in Daly City.
A sports car undergoing complete auto body restoration in San Mateo County. Photo: Serramonte Ford Body Shop (2011)

Below are terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your auto's repair from beginning to end.

aftermarket parts...

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Below are terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your auto's repair from beginning to end.

aftermarket parts
Auto body parts not made by the original manufacturer are referred to as aftermarket parts. These autobody parts are made to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto body parts. Some aftermarket auto body parts have been redesigned to increase the performance of your car, truck, van or minivan. Some auto parts stores, like NAPA Auto Parts, sell wholesale auto body parts. These aftermarket auto body parts include car antennas, new vehicle bumpers, car mirrors, new car doors, auto fenders and fender flares, automotive grills, new car and truck hoods, hubcaps, replacement and new running boards, truck tailgates and truck tonneau covers.

Also known as: aftermarket parts, aftermarket auto body parts, functionally-equivalent auto parts, off-brand auto parts, off-make auto parts, performance aftermarket parts, aftermarket body parts, aftermarket autobody parts

auto body repair shop
An automotive repair shop that specializes in repairing the body, or outside, of vehicles. Auto body repair shops restore vehicles damaged in automobile accidents and those that have sustained damage to their exteriors due to vandalism, weather and corrosion.

Also known as: autobody repair shop, auto collision repair shop, auto body paint repair shops, collision auto repair shops, auto body repair services, automotive body repair facilities, collision centers, autobody shops

basecoat / clear auto paint
Automotive paint process in which the basecoat is highly colored and shows through the durable and glossy clear coat. Popular manufacturers of automotive basecoat and clear auto paint include 3-M Automotive, Diamont Auto Paint, Duramix, EZ Mix Cups, GCI Alkyd Enamels and Matrix Auto Paint.

Also known as: basecoat clearcoat painting, base coat clear coat automotive paint, 2 part clear coat, urethane base coat

bumper repair
Auto bumpers are among the most important safety features of your vehicle. Bumpers are located on the front and back of all cars, trucks and mini vans, and they are designed to absorb the shock of a collision or car accident. Some bumpers are designed with crumple zones that flex and bend during a collision to provide better car accident protection. Bumper repair and replacement are common because of the frequency of major and minor car accidents that cause damage to the front and rear bumpers.

Chip Guard
ChipGuard is a chip resistant, protective coating applied to cars, trucks, minivans and vans to avoid paint chipping. Chip Guard is normally applied to the lower panels at the front of vehicles and near the tires. This clear car paint protector keeps automotive defends against stones, bugs and road debris that can damage your automotive finish. 3M Automotive Chip Guard, SEM Chip Guard and StonGard are three of the most popular types of ChipGuard available.

Also known as: auto paint protector, auto paint protector guard, bumper guard, auto paint protector, automotive paint protection film

chipping
Auto paint is said to chip when stones and other debris cause the colored paint finish to break off in small pieces. Auto body paint shops can buff out and refill chipped areas with matching paint to make the damage invisible.

Also known as: auto paint chips, auto paint chipping

clear coat
Clear coat is the top layer of auto paint applied to add shine and protect the colored basecoat. A clear coat does not have pigment added to it, so the color of the auto paint basecoat shows through. PROFIX automotive paints, DuPont auto paint, PPG, ICI, BASF vehicle paints and Sherwin-Williams car paints are the more popular clear coat auto paint suppliers.

Also known as: clear coat paint, clear coat spray, car clear coat, auto clear coat, automotive clear coat, urethane clear coat, acrylic clear coat, epoxy clear coat, clear coat painting, enamel clear coat, base coat clear coat paint, lacquer clear coat, acrylic urethane clear coat

coat
Single layers of auto paint are referred to as a coat of paint.

Also known as: paint coat, paint layer, layers of auto paint

corrosion
Corrosion happens to the bodies of metal vehicles when the metal is exposed to oxygen and water. Some corrosion appears as rust and causes visible degradation of metal surfaces. Auto paint helps curb corrosion and offers protection against water and oxygen.

Also known as: auto body rust, auto body deterioration, weathering, oxidation, car corrosion

dent repair
Auto body shops offer dent repair for trucks, vans, cars and minivans. Auto dent repair is a method of removing car dents by pushing or hammering them out from the underside of the vehicle. Vehicle dent repair is effective for large and small dents, and may or may not require the application of fresh auto paint depending on the severity of the dent and the condition of the paint surrounding it.

Also known as: paintless dent repair, auto dent repair, car dent repair, dent auto repair, mobile dent repair, bumper dent repair, automotive dent repair, door dent repair, hail dent repair, scratch and dent repair

direct gloss
Auto paint topcoats that contain pigment and gloss are referred to as direct gloss. Direct gloss auto paint doesn’t require an application of clearcoat, and it protects vehicle bodies from weathering and corrosion.

direct repair program
DRP insurance programs are usually an agreement between auto body shops and auto insurance companies. These DRP repair shops agree to repair collision damage using a standardized set of rules and procedures including repair techniques, parts and materials used, warranty coverage and billing practices in exchange for the insurance company directing customers to their cooperating direct repair program body shops.

Also known as: DRP, direct repair programs

drying
New auto paint must undergo drying, where it hardens and becomes a protective coating on the vehicle. Air drying takes place when paint is applied and exposed to air at normal temperatures. Force drying and low-bake are the terms for the process of drying auto paint at low and medium temperatures. High-bake auto paint drying occurs when the air is heated to accelerate drying.

edge-to-edge repair
Edge-to-edge repair is a complete autobody repair for trucks, cars, minivans and vans. This type of auto body repair requires the removal and replacement or restoration of an entire vehicle panel. This is the opposite of car body touch-up or spot repairs, which are possible for damaged auto body panels and auto paint when only a small area is damaged, chipping or removed.

enamel auto paint
A clear or colored topcoat automobile paint that has a shiny finish is called enamel vehicle paint. Enamel auto paints are available in gloss or semi-gloss finishes. Popular brands of enamel auto paint include those by PPG, DuPont, Maxx 2K and DupliColor.

Also known as: urethane enamel paint, auto body paint, auto paints, touch-up paint, lacquer auto paint, acrylic enamel auto paint

fender repair
Van, truck and car fenders are the auto body panels located on the sides of the vehicle in front of the doors. Vehicle fenders serve aesthetic and practical functions. Fender-benders are a common, yet minor auto accident that damages the fenders of vehicles as a result of a collision. Some modern cars and trucks are designed with fenders that are easily replaced because fender benders are so common.

like kind and quality
Salvaged auto body parts removed from one vehicle and installed on another are often denoted as LKQ on estimates and invoices for auto body repairs. These car body parts rarely come with warranties and are often much less expensive than new autobody parts. LKQ auto parts may be the best option for owners of rare or specialty vehicles that have a hard time finding new auto body parts for their van, car or truck.

Also known as: salvaged auto parts, used auto parts, refurbished auto parts, rebuilt auto parts, LKQ auto parts, car salvage, auto salvage parts

masking
Temporarily covering areas of vehicles that are not to be painted with plastic or tape. Masking should be done carefully to avoid overspray and uneven edges. However, most auto body repair shops agree that masking is not a proper substitute for removing parts of the vehicle such as car mirrors and auto door handles that can create gaps in the paint application that cheapen and weaken a new auto paint job.

Also known as: auto taping, pre-paint taping, pre-paint masking, masking for painting, mask-out paint, auto paint mask, car paint mask, car paint masking

OEM auto body parts
Auto parts made by vehicle manufacturers including Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Honda and BMW. While they may cost more than aftermarket auto parts, OEM parts usually fit better, last longer and are covered by more extensive warranties.

Also known as: Original Equipment Manufacturer parts, stock vehicle parts, stock parts

primer
The first layer of an auto paint application is called primer. Auto primer is applied to an unpainted surface to protect the body of the vehicle and help the layers of vehicle paint adhere to the surface.

Also known as: base coat, auto paint primer

remove & install
Auto body parts that are not damaged can be removed and installed back on the vehicle after the other collision repairs are completed. This is usually referred to on estimates and invoices as Remove & Install or R&I.

remove & reface
Auto body parts that are damaged beyond repair are itemized as Remove & Reface, or R&R. These car, truck, minivan and van parts are replaced with new body parts.

salvage auto body parts
Auto parts taken from recycled vehicles are called salvage auto parts. These are often inexpensive auto repair parts, but they usually don’t come with warranties because they haven’t been repaired or altered so their reliability can’t be guaranteed. Salvage auto parts for trucks, cars and minivans are often a last resort for vehicle owners looking for hard-to-find parts for rare or older vehicles. Commonly salvaged auto body parts include car and truck bumpers, vehicle doors, car body panels and car mirrors.

Also known as: salvage auto parts, salvage car parts, salvaged parts, used auto parts, replacement parts, used car parts

sanding
Surface coatings on vehicles are often sanded using an abrasive process to provide better adhesion to topcoats of auto paint.

Also known as: grit sanding, wet sanding, disc sanding, belt sanding, car sanding, paint sanding, automotive sanding, finish sanding, refinishing

sealer
The undercoat of auto body paint, which improves the adhesion of the topcoat and seals existing painted surfaces to prevent damage and corrosion.

Also known as: auto sealant, auto paint sealant, auto paint sealer, auto sealants, acrylic sealer, spray sealant, sealcoating

spot repair
Spot repair is possible for damaged auto body panels and auto paint when only a small area is damaged, chipping or removed. Minivan, car and truck spot repair is generally much less expensive than edge-to-edge auto body repair, which requires the removal and replacement or restoration of an entire vehicle panel.

Also known as: auto paint ding repair, scratch repair, auto paint chip repair

topcoat
The final layers of auto body paint. Topcoat often includes UV light absorbers that protect the auto body paint underneath from fading.

Also known as: clear coat, lacquer clear coat, acrylic topcoat auto paint

touch-up
A localized auto body paint repair that only covers a small area. Touch up paint jobs usually hide nicks, dings, chips and scratches that occur on car hoods, vehicle doors, bumpers and fenders.

Also known as: scratch repair, scratch removal, auto touch up paint

used auto body parts
Auto parts that have been used and rebuilt, refurbished or reinstalled in another vehicle. Some of the most common used auto body parts installed on trucks, cars and mini vans include used car doors, vehicle hoods, auto bumpers, used trunk lids and vehicle hubcaps.

Also known as: refurbished auto parts, rebuilt auto parts, used car parts

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Frequently Asked Questions
Collision Repair FAQ

Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Auto Body Repair Shop?...

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Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Auto Body Repair Shop?
A: At a time when you most need assurance of a job well done, Diamond Certified helps you choose an auto body repair shop with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only auto collision repair shops rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified auto body shop for your vehicle repair.

Q: My insurance company gave me a list of auto body shops they recommend. Do I have to use their shops or do I have a choice of where to get my car’s body repaired?
A: While your insurance company can suggest San Mateo County auto body shops, you have the final decision on where you want to take your vehicle for collision repairs. Your obligation is simply to take your car, truck, van or minivan to the body repair center you prefer and contact your insurance company to let them know where your vehicle is.

Q: Can I choose the quality of parts used to repair my vehicle after a collision?
A: Auto body shops have a variety of different quality materials and parts they can use to repair vehicles damaged in collisions. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are the most expensive body parts for the shop to use, so many automatically install used parts, refurbished parts or even salvaged parts to cut down costs. But you do have a choice. If you caused the accident, wording in your insurance coverage may require the body shop to install used, remanufactured or salvage auto body parts in your vehicle. However, you may have the option to pay the difference for OEM parts instead. Talk to your car body shop’s service writer and your insurance company about your specific situation. If the accident was not your fault, you can tell your chosen vehicle collision center what quality parts to install. Ask for OEM auto body parts that will restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition in terms of safety and value.

Q: My insurance company wants me to bring my car to their claims center for an appraisal. Do I have to do this?
A: Insurance companies can ask you to bring your vehicle in to their claims center before taking it to an auto body repair garage, but it is not a requirement. You may take it to them for an appraisal if you wish, but you are under no obligation and may leave your car, truck or minivan at your preferred auto body repair center and request that your insurance company inspect it at the shop.

Q: Can my chosen auto body shop help me negotiate with my insurance company?
A: Most car body shops in San Mateo County are happy to help you navigate confusing insurance claims paperwork. In fact, many will work directly with the insurance company to process your claims, limiting and even avoiding any work on your part. If this is important to you, ask the body shops you’re considering if they offer that service before you drop your vehicle off.

Q: What is an auto body repair deductible?
A: The deductible for auto body repair is a specified amount of money that you are obligated to pay before your insurance company will pay on your collision repair insurance claim. The deductible amount is determined by the terms of the policy that you and your agent decided on when you arranged to insure your car, van, minivan or truck.

Q: Can auto body repair shops save me from having to pay all or part of my deductible?
A: Honest auto body shops in San Mateo County will never offer to do this. That’s because all insurance holders have a contractual obligation to pay their deductible before the insurance company pays the rest of the bill on every claim. This cuts down on insurance fraud. Some auto body repair shops do offer to bury the deductible or hide it in the cost of the repairs. However, car body repair shops that do this are committing insurance fraud, which is against the law. And customers who ask their auto body repair shop to hide the deductible or go along with this can also be held liable for insurance fraud. Even if your insurance company doesn’t catch you, asking your mechanic to bury the deductible in the cost of your auto body repairs is a mistake. Often times, auto body collision shops who agree to bury the deductible, will take shortcuts in your vehicle collision repairs, meaning your car or truck will lose value and may not be as safe in an accident. It also stands to reason that a collision center that cheats insurance companies may be willing to cheat customers as well.

Q: If my auto body shop performs the collision repairs incorrectly, can I get another auto body repair shop in San Mateo County to fix the bad vehicle repairs?
A: You should be very careful about who you hire to repair your auto body damage. That’s because once body collision repairs are done, they’re often very hard or impossible to reverse. That means that a body shop that does a poor repair job can actually end up causing your vehicle to be unsafe. It’s also important to note that insurance won’t pay for the same repairs twice, so even if you can find a repair shop in San Mateo County willing and able to undo the shoddy auto body repairs, all costs will most likely come out of your pocket.

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Consumer Agencies
Industry Associations for Auto Repair Shops

The following industry associations and consumer agencies have additional information about local body repair shops....

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The following industry associations and consumer agencies have additional information about local body repair shops.

American Automobile Association (AAA) (www.aaa.com)
Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) (www.carcrash.org)
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) (www.aftermarket.org)
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (www.autoserviceproviders.com)
Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA) (www.autobpa.com)
Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA) (www.autocomposites.org)
Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) (www.aiag.org)
Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) (www.a-r-a.org)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (www.asashop.org)
Automotive Service Council (ASC) (www.ascca.org)
Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (www.asecert.org)
California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (www.autorepair.ca.gov)
California Autobody Association (CAA) (www.calautobody.com)
Independent Automotive Damage Appraisers (IADA ) (www.iada.org)
Independent Auto Body Association (IABA) (www.webspawner.com/users/complaints)
Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) (www.i-car.com)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) (www.mema.org)
National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) (www.natef.org)
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) (www.sae.org)
Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) (www.scrs.com)
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) (www.sema.org)

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Industry Information
San Mateo County Auto Body Repair Information
Popular Vehicle Makes & ModelsTypes of Auto Body Repairs Available in San Mateo County Cities Served Zip Codes Served
Mercedes-Benz E-Classcar fender-bender repairsAtherton
Belmont
Brisbane
Broadmoor Village
Burlingame
Colma
Daly City
Devonshire
El Granada
Emerald Hills
Emerald Lake Hills
Foster City
Half Moon Bay
Highlands
Hillsborough
La Honda
Loma Mar
Menlo Oaks
Menlo Park
Millbrae
Montara
Moss Beach
North Fair Oaks
Pacifica
Palomar Park
Pescadero
Portola Valley
Princeton by the Sea
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Gregorio
San Mateo
Sharp Park
Sky Londa
South San Francisco (South City)
West Menlo Park
Woodside
94002
94005
94010
94011
94014
94015
94016
94017
94018
94019
94020
94021
94025
94026
94027
94028
94030
94037
94038
94044
94060
94061
94062
94063
94064
94065
94066
94070
94074
94080
94083
94096
94098
94128
94401
94402
94403
94404
Nissan Altimaspoiler repair
Nissan Muranocustom auto body work
Subaru Outbacktruck tonneau cover repairs
Chevrolet Camaroauto totaled repair
Toyota Priusauto frame repair
Chevrolet Impalawindshield repair
Ford F-150vehicle trunk repair
Ford Mustangpaint chip repair
GMC Sierraautomotive painting
Honda Accordautomotive side panel repair
Toyota Siennaauto frame straightening
Toyota Tacomafender flare replacement
Honda Odysseyauto collision repair
Hyundai Elantrabumper repair
Kia Sorentotruck tailgate repairs
Volkswagen Jettaauto glass repair
Mazda MAZDA 3vehicle hood replacement
Toyota Camrytruck running board repairs
Toyota Corollabumper replacement
Honda Civictruck grill replacement
Honda CR-Vcar door repair
Ford Fiestaauto paint repair
Acura MDXhubcap replacement
BMW 3 Seriesdoor ding cover-ups
Toyota RAV4car crash repairs
Hyundai Sonatavehicle dent repair
Chevrolet Equinoxheadlight cover replacements
Ford Focuscar wreck repairs