Having your car sidelined by an accident can be a stressful affair, so it’s important to hire a body shop that can provide a quick return to the road, but it’s equally important that the quality of the work isn’t compromised for rapid service. Ideally, your post-accident car should come back looking like its pre-accident self–what Nelson Coelho, Jr., owner of Coelho’s Body Repair and Auto Sales, Inc., calls “the art of invisible repair.”
“Our goal is to restore cars to their pre-crash conditions; to make it look like there was never a problem in the first place,” he explains. “We’re very meticulous.” This steadfast commitment to excellent, seamless repair directly relates to Coelho’s Body Repair’s focus on customer relationships–a family-type approach made easier by the presence of Mr. Coelho’s actual family, who are involved with day-to-day operations.
“We’re a small, family shop,” he says. “Most of my customers are referrals–some have been coming to us for 30 years–and we like to give them personal attention, so it really feels like a family.” Thinking of his customers as kin makes it impossible for Mr. Coelho to accept substandard work, and since his shop is small and independent, he can afford to pay close, personal attention to each job.
“If you’re in a ‘cattle herd’ shop–a really big shop where they’re doing 10 jobs a day and pushing you out as soon as possible–it’s possible you’re going to receive substandard work,” he says. “Here, we have a lower car count, so we can really focus on individual cases. And even though I’m the owner, I also write the estimates, do the paperwork and check every aspect of a car’s repair.”
Coelho’s Body Repair specializes in collision repair with an emphasis on paint matching, which can be an overlooked aspect of auto bodywork. Good paint jobs go unnoticed, but bad ones can draw unwanted attention and compromise otherwise decent repair work. “Our aim is to do showroom-quality paint jobs,” says Mr. Coelho. “A lot of times, we have to try and match the texture of the original car, which isn’t easy. If you paint a door that’s flatter than it was pre-collision, it has less texture and gives off an almost perfect reflection, which doesn’t look natural. During repairs, we have to leave some type of factory texture to match the original, which can be more of a challenge than people realize.”
Ultimately, Coelho’s Body Repair exists to serve its customers above all others, including insurance companies. “If a shop has a contract with an insurance company, at some point, I feel like they’re not working for the customer anymore,” says Mr. Coelho.
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