Santa Clara – Auto Body

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150 North Wolfe Road
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(408) 800-1693

Serving Santa Clara County

Services include 24-Hour Onsite Towing, Alignment & Suspension Repair, Auto Body Repair, Collision Repair, Detailing, Frame Straightening, Local Customer Pickup & Delivery. Brands include Chief EZ Liner, Downdraft, Dupont, Nova Verta, Pro...
License 237943 | DCID4087393600
2973 South King Rd
San Jose, CA 95122
1176 Auzerais Avenue
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 470-3923
(408) 658-0170

Serving Santa Clara County including Milpitas, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos and Gilroy.

Services include auto body repair and painting, collision repair, all makes and models, towing and rental cars, arranged complimentary local rides and work with all insurance companiesg. Brands include Ford, Chevrolet, GM, Toyota, Honda and VW...
License 214773 | DCID4082740300
1028 West Evelyn Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(408) 782-4949

Serving the Greater Bay Area

Services include All Makes & Models; Auto Body Repair; Paint, Finish & Restoration. Brands include PPG Waterborne Paint.
License 216609 | DCID4087378673
327 East Weddell Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 827-8989
(408) 372-7933

Serving Santa Clara and Southern Alameda Counties

Services include All Vehicle Makes & Models, Complete Collision & Paint Repair, Expert Three-Dimensional Body Measuring, Light Duty Trucks, Long Distance Towing Within California. Brands include .
License 108683 | DCID4087470500
280 Cimino Street
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 692-5955

Serving Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties

Services include complete auto repair, major collision repair, restorations, touch-ups and detailing. Brands include Sikkens Brand Paint.
License 233246 | DCID4082985000
70 Cristich Lane
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 372-6903

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include auto body repair and paint unibody frame specialist, towing services and green waterborne paint system. Brands include PPG paint.
License 218668 | DCID4085594155
Map of these Diamond Certified companies
Cities: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Saratoga, Sunnyvale
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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Body Shops Rated Highest in Quality?
Downdraft painting booth in a Sunnyvale auto painting facility.

A freshly painted car inside a state-of-the-art auto painting booth in a Diamond Certified body shop. You'll feel confident choosing an auto body shop listed above because each has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned Diamond Certified. For additional information on choosing and working with good body shops in Santa Clara County, read the following articles. Photo: Active Auto Body (2011).

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

SAN JOSE — 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
High Quality Auto Body Repair Shops Get You Back on the Road Fast
Reliable estimates for auto body collision repair in San Jose, CA.
A customer reviews his collision repair estimate with an auto body mechanic. Photo: Anchor Auto Body (2011)

Nobody expects to have a car accident. They're certainly stressful enough without having to worry about finding an auto collision repair shop you can trust. But whether your vehicle has just suffered a fender-bender or has been totaled, you need just that—a good Santa Clara County auto body repair shop that will make your truck, mini-van or car look like new again and restore it to pre-accident condition.
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Nobody expects to have a car accident. They're certainly stressful enough without having to worry about finding an auto collision repair shop you can trust. But whether your vehicle has just suffered a fender-bender or has been totaled, you need just that—a good Santa Clara County auto body repair shop that will make your truck, mini-van or car look like new again and restore it to pre-accident condition.

There are many local car collision shops to choose from, including auto body shops in the Santa Clara Valley that serve the major cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Milpitas, as well as all the smaller towns and throughout Silicon Valley. For most of us, choosing an auto collision repair shop is a mystery. It’s obvious when the scrapes and dents are gone and the auto paint is new, but how do you find an auto body shop that will do it right? One you can trust to straighten the frame, install a new windshield and repaint your car—and everything in between?

Information is the key. It will give you the confidence you need to make an informed decision. But where should you begin, in the sea of auto body repair shops in the South Bay?

Why You Can Trust Diamond Certified Auto Body Shops in Santa Clara County
Only the best auto body shops have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most rigorous and accurate ratings process anywhere. Most companies can’t pass this test. And you don’t have to worry about being fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed.

American Ratings Corporation interviews thousands of local auto collision center customers in live telephone calls as part of the Diamond Certified process. Only auto body shops that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction (90+ on a scale of 100) and pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, mediocre and poorly performing companies are cut out. If you want quality, you’ll have confidence choosing Diamond Certified companies. And your auto collision repairs are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

Know Your Rights When Selecting a Local Auto Body Shop
Whether the car accident was your fault or not, you have the right to choose which auto body repair shop repairs your auto crash damages. Sure, your insurance company may recommend repair shops. But the final decision is always yours.

Most insurance companies have agreements with collision repair facilities. They often give clients a list of these shops, known as direct repair programs (DRP), to choose from. While this may seem like a handy alternative to researching and choosing a shop on your own, this is one time where information is key. Why? Insurance companies often enforce strict limits on DRP shop repairs that cause the shops to cut corners, including in the quality of the replacement auto body parts and the amount of time the shop spends on the repairs. And that means 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. Even if another shop can repair the damage the wrong body shop has done, you’ll probably have to pay for additional body repairs out-of-pocket since car insurance companies rarely pay for the same repairs twice.

Additional Research on Auto Collision Centers in Santa Clara County
You’re probably in a hurry to have your collision damage repaired at one of the car body shops in Santa Clara County that serve major cities like San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and all the smaller towns in and around Silicon Valley. However, it’s in your best interest to slow down and research some local auto body shops to find the one that will best serve your needs and repair your vehicle right the first time.

It’s usually best to choose a Diamond Certified company because of their Highest in Quality rating. But that 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 looking up their shop on the California Bureau of Auto Repair website. You'll find a list of auto body shops that are licensed with the state. While this license verification website doesn’t containing any customer satisfaction research, you will be able to see if the auto body shop’s license has been revoked and review any complaints that have been filed with the state.

Auto body repair shops in the larger cities including San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale with certified auto collision repair technicians on staff tend to have more training and up-to-date knowledge of the newer car body repair methods. There are even green auto body shops in Santa Clara County. These collision repair garages have earned certifications and completed courses on environmentally responsible collision repair and vehicle painting services. If these qualifications are important to you, make sure to ask the auto body shops for a list of industry recognition and credentials.

Filing insurance claims after an auto accident can be a hassle. That’s why many auto body shops offer to handle the paperwork for you. They have experience dealing with insurance companies and know the legal do’s and don’ts for writing insurance claims. Having your shop complete the paperwork can be a valuable timesaver, so ask the auto body shops you’re interviewing if this is a service they offer.

Replacement Auto Body Parts and Insurance Requirements at Auto Body Shops
Another factor to consider when researching car body repair and paint shops is the quality of replacement body parts and auto paints each shop uses. Just as it’s your right to choose which collision repair shop to go to for your auto body repairs, you’re usually entitled to request the quality parts that are used. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto body parts are manufactured to repair your car exactly and, since they’re often the highest quality parts, may last longer than aftermarket parts. Refurbished and salvaged auto body parts rarely come with warranties since they have been previously used, so their safety and lifespan cannot be guaranteed.

If you did not cause the accident, immediately tell the car body shops that you want OEM body parts. In cases where the collision was your fault, your insurance agreement may require the use of aftermarket parts, refurbished (repaired) auto parts or salvage auto body parts. However, you may find that it’s worth it to pay the cost difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts in order to get better quality auto body parts for your repairs.

If you live in Silicon Valley or in the smaller cities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Alviso, Blossom Valley, San Martin or Monte Sereno, your insurance company may want you to bring your wrecked car, truck or minivan into a local auto body collision shop for an auto body repair estimate. Luckily, most car body shops in larger cities can tow in wrecked and totaled vehicles, so they can provide auto body repairs for clients living in any part of Santa Clara County. For example, auto body repair shops in the San Jose area can also serve the smaller cities of Coyote, East Palo Alto, Permanente, Holy City, Los Altos Hills, New Almaden and Redwood Estates.

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Know What You Want
Determine What You Want from Santa Clara County Body Shops

Before you call local body shops, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in body repairs. Some vehicle owners have found that it helps to write down goals and keep a list of questions and expectations. This way, they can present the same clear case to all the car body repair shops they interview....

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Before you call local body shops, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in body repairs. Some vehicle owners have found that it helps to write down goals and keep a list of questions and expectations. This way, they can present the same clear case to all the car body repair shops they interview.

  • 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 (major collision damage, fender-bender repair or new auto paint to cover scratches and auto body dings) in getting my car, truck or minivan repaired?
  • What is my budget for the vehicle body repairs?
  • Will my auto insurance cover any or all of the body work?
  • What characteristics do I want in a car body shop? This can include communication skills, quick turn-around time for car body repairs, warranty coverage, follow-up service and long-term results in the appearance and drivability of your vehicle.
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What to Ask on the Phone
Get to Know Local Auto Body Shops in Santa Clara County

Before you drop off your vehicle or have it towed in for repairs, you’ll want to talk directly with the shop owner or service manager. The questions you ask and the responses you get will help you make the best choice in an auto collision repair facility. You may want to write down the body shop representative’s answers and take note of any factors that may influence your decision.

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

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Before you drop off your vehicle or have it towed in for repairs, you’ll want to talk directly with the shop owner or service manager. The questions you ask and the responses you get will help you make the best choice in an auto collision repair facility. You may want to write down the body shop representative’s answers and take note of any factors that may influence your decision.

Questions to ask Auto Body Shop Owners on the Phone:

  • Has your company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • Does your vehicle body repair shop work on my make and model?
  • Do you specialize in the type of auto body repair work my vehicle needs (i.e. fender repair, paint matching, I-Frame work)?
  • 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?)
  • What certifications do your technicians hold for vehicle collision repair?
  • I live in ___ (San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Gilroy, Santa Clara, Milpitas, 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 or used parts to repair my car’s damage?
  • What auto paints brands do you recommend (BASF Waterborne, PPG, DuPont auto paints, Dupli-Color, Valspar, Sherwin-Williams)? Why do you use those car paint brands?
  • Will you perform auto glass installation or put in new windshields?
  • 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 shop been in business?
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What to Ask in Person
What to Ask When You Bring in Your Car for Body Repairs
An auto body mechanic in San Mateo, CA restores a seriously damaged vehicle.
Major collision repair at a top rated body restoration shop in San Mateo County. Photo: Serramonte Ford Body Shop (2011)

Use your list of questions you asked on the phone and your list of your personal requirements for a body shop to interview the shop owner or service writer in person before you leave your vehicle for repairs. Confirm the details you covered on the phone and ask a few final questions before signing an estimate and turning over your car, truck or van.

Here are a few questions that will get you started:...

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Use your list of questions you asked on the phone and your list of your personal requirements for a body shop to interview the shop owner or service writer in person before you leave your vehicle for repairs. Confirm the details you covered on the phone and ask a few final questions before signing an estimate and turning over your car, truck or van.

Here are a few questions that will get you started:

  • How long will the car collision repairs take?
  • Do you coordinate with other auto body shops in the Santa Clara Valley if you can’t complete all of the collision repairs yourself? Does that affect any warranties?
  • What contact information do you have for me and what do you need in order to reach me with updates about my car’s body repairs?
  • What can I do to make this process faster and easier?
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What to Ask References
Learn from Other Auto Body Shop Customers

All Diamond Certified auto body collision shops have undergone a ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a shop, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified companies. You can read Diamond Certified reports on all certified companies, including verbatim survey responses. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is performed by live telephone interviews of a large, random sample of real customers.
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All Diamond Certified auto body collision shops have undergone a ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a shop, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified companies. You can read Diamond Certified reports on all certified companies, including verbatim survey responses. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is performed by live telephone interviews of a large, random 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, auto body shops in Santa Clara County 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 references, specifically ask for 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)_?
  • What type of car body repairs or auto paint services did they do for you?
  • Were you pleased with the turn-around time?
  • If you live in a smaller town such as Stanford, San Martin, Coyote, Holy City, Monte Vista or in 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 Santa Clara County auto body shop?
  • Do you feel the price was fair for the auto 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?
  • Would you go back to this body shop again if your car, truck or van were in a crash?
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Review Your Options
Locate and Hire 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 the repair process will go and the value of your vehicle after the repairs. And since vehicles are often our second largest expense after our homes, it’s not a decision to take lightly.
Review the notes you’ve taken from your interviews with auto body shops and collision repair customers to determine if one stands out. Pay special attention to these questions:...

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

  • Does one of the local body shops stand out from the rest in their ability to satisfy your requirements for scheduling, car body repairs and part choices?
  • Is the shop you’ve found willing to provide the best outcome for you while working with your insurance company?
  • Does the staff at the auto body shop communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Is the auto body shop as committed to getting your car back to pre-accident condition as you are?
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How to Work With
How to Get Honest Collision Repair Estimates in Santa Clara County

Once you've found the shop that meets all your requirements, there are a few things you can do to get accurate estimates.

Talk with the service writer about the necessary repairs. The end result you and your shop should both want is for your car to look and function like it did before the accident. The service writer or shop owner should show and tell you the steps and materials it will take to get your car back on the road safely. While your insurance company may have some say in the cost and extent of the repairs, you should never have to compromise on safety.
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Once you've found the shop that meets all your requirements, there are a few things you can do to get accurate estimates.

Talk with the service writer about the necessary repairs. The end result you and your shop should both want is for your car to look and function like it did before the accident. The service writer or shop owner should show and tell you the steps and materials it will take to get your car back on the road safely. While your insurance company may have some say in the cost and extent of the repairs, you should never have to compromise on safety.

When you, your collision repair facility and your car insurance company agree on the needed repairs, the shop should provide you with a written estimate outlining the necessary repairs before the work begins. 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 warrantee coverage at this time, as some auto body shops in Santa Clara only guarantee certain auto body parts or auto paint brands.

Your agreement with the shop is final when you sign the estimate or auto body 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 a phone number where they can reach you at all times. Return their calls promptly to help keep your repairs on schedule.

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Be a Good Customer
Ways YOU Can Be a Good Auto Body Shop Customer

Good auto body shops will make thorough and complete repairs on your car. 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 client when your van, minivan, truck or car is in the shop for collision repairs:...

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Good auto body shops will make thorough and complete repairs on your car. 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 client when your van, minivan, truck or car is in the shop for collision repairs:

  • Be clear and upfront with the auto body repair shop representative. Let them know what outcome you’re expecting from the vehicle collision repairs and any specific service expectations.
  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
  • Before you leave your van, truck or car at an auto body shop, restate your expectations and goals. Reiterate your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with auto repair shops occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Be sure to give your service writer a phone number where you can be reached at all times. Your vehicle body repairs will move along more smoothly if your service writer can call you for updates or authorizations for additional body repair work.
  • When your shop contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the repairs on schedule.
  • Pay for the car body repairs promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Auto body repair shops appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems more easily resolved.

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Check the Work
Compare the Body Work Against the Written Invoice
Front end work on a vehicle damaged in a collision.
An auto body mechanic repairs the front end of a car with major collision damage. Photo: Anchor Auto Body (2011)

When the work is completed, all body shops are legally required to give you a written invoice that details all the work they’ve completed. This invoice must include:...

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When the work is completed, all body shops are legally required to give you a written invoice that details all the work they’ve completed. This invoice must include:

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

Once you have the written invoice, take a few minutes to compare it to the work that was done. Ask your body repair specialist to show you the repairs and check each one against the invoice. The service manager should talk you through the list of repairs and give you any special instructions that will help you maintain the collision repairs or new auto body paint. If you have questions about the work that was done, ask before you pay for the body repairs or leave the shop.

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Written Warranties
Ask the Auto Collision Repair Shop for Written Warranties

Before you leave the auto body shop, confirm any warranties. Not all auto body repair shops in back up their work 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. Not all auto body repair shops in back up their work 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.
  • The terms and limitations of the warranties. This includes details about whether the shop will replace or repair faulty auto body parts or give you a refund if there is a warranty claim. Any exclusions must be in writing and accompany the original warranty.
  • What your responsibility is if you need to redeem your warranty for vehicle body repairs (such as whether you have to pay labor costs, allow the installation of refurbished or used parts or pay a prorated amount for the time between the repair and the warranty claim).
  • Whether the auto body repair warranty covers the new owner if you sell your vehicle.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Body Repair Service Requests

The familiar requests for auto body repair listed below are available within the following Santa Clara County cities. Read the paragraphs below for the definition of each type of car body repair.

Auto Body Repair...

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The familiar requests for auto body repair listed below are available within the following Santa Clara County cities. Read the paragraphs below for the definition of each type 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 Santa Clara County offer bumper repair and replacement, auto painting and scratch and dent repair for vehicles involved in collisions and auto crashes.

Auto Collision Repair
This type of auto body repair restores vehicles after 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 dents result from a fender-bender or a minor collision, car dents on doors and side panels can be ugly and a source of embarrassment. Auto body repair shops can easily pull dents and make your car, truck, van or minivan look as good as new. Automobile dent repair may require vehicle repainting depending on the severity of the damage.

Automotive Painting Services

Many auto body shops provide automotive painting to cover collision damage repairs and restore the appearance of cars, trucks, vans and minivans. You can change the way your vehicle looks by repainting it a fresh new color or spot painting areas that have visible dents, scratches, chips and car paint dings.

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.

Bumper Repair / 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 usually includes dent removal and repainting. Bumper replacement includes removing and replacing an entire bumper that’s been too badly damaged in a car crash for bumper repairs.

Mobile Auto Body Repairs

Mobile auto body companies bring the body shop to you. These mobile shops are at times more convenient than traditional auto collision centers. Mobile auto body repair shops provide minor body repairs, dent removal and mobile 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.

Custom Auto Body Work

Auto body customization is available for new vehicles (usually through the installation of custom body kits) and vintage vehicles and classic cars (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. Many auto body repair shops in the Santa Clara Valley offer custom auto body services that go beyond the average collision repairs.

Auto Upholstery Repair

Auto upholstery repairs are a popular way to improve the comfort and appearance of cars, trucks and minivans, and enhance their trade-in and resale value. Car body repair shops that offer auto upholstery repairs are knowledgeable about different materials that change the comfort and appearance of your vehicle’s interior.

Vehicle Frame Straightening & Auto Frame Repair

Vehicle frames bent in collisions and car accidents require straightening because they’re much more serious than the average dent, scratch or sideswipe. Cars with bent, damaged or twisted frames shouldn’t be driven because bent vehicle frames can cause uneven wear on your car or truck and make it vulnerable in an accident. Many licensed auto body repair shops have the equipment and expertise to straighten vehicle frames after a collision or car accident.

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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee
Auto body repair shop waiting room.
The waiting room of an auto collision repair shop in Sunnyvale, CA. Photo: Active Auto Body (2011)

Diamond Certified collision repair shops in Santa Clara County and throughout the Bay Area are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If you can’t resolve an issue by talking with the owner and the auto body shop is Diamond Certified, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Customers Have Rights at Santa Clara County Auto Body Shops ...

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Diamond Certified collision repair shops in Santa Clara County and throughout the Bay Area are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If you can’t resolve an issue by talking with the owner and the auto body shop is Diamond Certified, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Customers Have Rights at Santa Clara County Auto Body Shops
Whether you’re disagreement is with substandard work or poor communication, it’s important you know what to do if you ever have a conflict with your local collision repair shop. When talking with the service manager or auto body shop owner, remember these tips:

  • Know your rights. California’s Automotive Repair Act entitles collision repair customers in Santa Clara County to written estimates for all body repairs and auto painting, detailed invoices before payment is due, and the return of used auto parts if requested by the consumer.
  • Explain the problem you’re having with the auto body repair shop, and request a specific outcome that’s satisfactory to you and the body shop.
  • Remain calm and courteous.
  • Explain that you’re willing to find the middle ground in order to negotiate a mutually-beneficial agreement.
  • Write down your complaints and photograph the work you're concerned about. You’ll want proof of your claims if you can't reach a satisfactory outcome by dealing directly with the auto body repair shop.
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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Auto Collision and Body Repair Terms

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

aftermarket car body parts
Auto body repair parts not made by the original manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are made to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) auto body parts. Some aftermarket auto body parts have been redesigned to increase the performance of your car, truck, van or minivan.
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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 car body parts
Auto body repair parts not made by the original manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are made to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) auto body parts. Some aftermarket auto body parts have been redesigned to increase the performance of your car, truck, van or minivan.

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
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.

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, clearcoat chipping, auto body 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

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 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

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.

gloss
Gloss is the term used to describe how shiny or reflective vehicle paint is. Matte, semi-gloss and glossy are the common levels of reflectivity found in auto body gloss paints.

Also known as: high gloss paint, semi gloss paint, gloss painting, enamel gloss paint, acrylic gloss paint, water-based gloss paint

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

metallic auto paints
Metallic auto paint is standard colored vehicle paint that has fine metallic particles mixed in to add shine and sparkle. DuPont car paints, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, Trinity 1945, 3M, Krylon and SEM Paints are some popular makers of metallic vehicle paints.

Original Equipment Manufacturer 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, car paint primer, auto body primer, auto body paint primer coat

primer-sealer
Primer-sealer is the auto paint undercoat applied to seal underlying layers of paint and adhere the topcoat to the base.

primer-filler
Auto body damage to minivans, trucks, cars and vans is often disguised by primer-filler. It’s a colored material that evenly fills scrapes and gashes and acts as a primer to attract and hold the topcoats of paint to the vehicle body. Primer-filler is most often used on bumpers, car doors and vehicle body panels that have been damaged in car accidents and fender-benders.

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

three coat auto body paint
This type of auto paint repair includes a basecoat, a colored middle coat and a clear topcoat.

Also known as: 3-coat auto body paint, 3-coat paint, three-coat body paint

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, ding repair, car door 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
Auto Body FAQ

The following are frequently asked questions about auto body repair and related issues.

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

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The following are frequently asked questions about auto body repair and related issues.

Q: Why 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: Do I have to choose from the shops my insurance provider directs me to, or do I have a choice of where to get my car’s body repaired?
A: While your insurance company can suggest Santa Clara 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 decide which collision repair parts are used to repair my vehicle?
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 Santa Clara 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 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: Can another body repair shop in Santa Clara County fix 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 Santa Clara 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
Car Body Repair Consumer Agencies

The following industry associations and consumer agencies have additional information about local body repair shops and automotive body repairs in and around Santa Clara County....

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The following industry associations and consumer agencies have additional information about local body repair shops and automotive body repairs in and around Santa Clara County.

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
Santa Clara County Auto Body Repair Information
Popular Vehicle Makes & ModelsTypes of Auto Body Repairs Available in Santa Clara County Cities ServedZip Codes Served
Ford Mustangcustom auto body workAlviso
Blossom Valley
Campbell
Coyote
Cupertino
East Palo Alto
Gilroy
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Permanente
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara
Saratoga
Stanford
Sunnyvale
94022
94023
94024
94035
94039
94040
94041
94042
94043
94085
94086
94087
94088
94089
94301
94302
94303
94304
94305
94306
94309
95002
95008
95009
95011
95013
95014
95015
95020
95021
95026
95030
95031
95032
95035
95036
95037
95038
95042
95044
95046
95050
95051
95052
95054
95055
95056
95070
95071
95101
95103
95106
95108
95109
95110
95111
95112
95113
95115
95116
95117
95118
95119
95120
95121
95122
95123
95124
95125
95126
95127
95128
95129
95130
95131
95132
95133
95134
95135
95136
95138
95139
95140
95141
95148
95150
95151
95152
95153
95154
95155
95156
95157
95158
95159
95160
95161
95164
95170
95172
95173
GMC Sierrapaint chip repair
Honda Accordrunning board repairs
Honda Civicauto paint repair
Honda CR-Vcar dent repairs
Ford F-150bumper repair
Ford Fiestacar door repair
Ford Focustrunk repair / replacement
Toyota Priusvehicle hood replacement
Toyota RAV4auto painting
Toyota Siennabumper replacement
Toyota Tacomafender repairs
Volkswagen Jettatruck grill replacement
Honda Odysseyheadlight cover replacement
Hyundai Elantrawindshield repair
Hyundai Sonatacar wreck repairs
Kia Sorentototaled auto repair
Acura MDXcar fender flare replacement
BMW 3 Seriestruck tailgate repairs
Chevrolet Camaroauto glass repair
Chevrolet Equinoxhubcap replacement
Chevrolet Impaladoor ding cover-ups
Toyota Camrycar crash repair
Toyota Corollaautomotive side panel repair
Mazda MAZDA 3vehicle frame straightening
Mercedes-Benz E-Classtruck tonneau cover repairs / replacement
Nissan Altimaauto collision repair
Nissan Muranovehicle frame repair
Subaru Outbackcar spoiler repair