Diamond Certified Company Report

Phil’s Auto Body

Diamond Certified Company Report

Phil’s Auto Body

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 250 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Aaron L.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

1 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They helped me save some money, and I got very good service. It's what you would expect from a smaller shop that focuses more on the customer.

I like the personal attention, being able to talk to the owner, and his knowledge level. I felt like they did a really thorough inspection quickly, and I didn't have to wait very long.

Alvin R.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

2 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're friendly, witty, and they do top quality work.

I liked the end result.

Antonio B.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

3 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're dependable, and I would recommend them. It's a good body shop.

I liked how fast they get your car ready for you. It was very well done.

Read All 250 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Phil Chadd, Owner

Phil’s Auto Body is a Santa Cruz-based collision repair and refinishing shop that services all makes and models and specializes in Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and BMW. The company also handles frame straightening and recently added a Chief Titan 360 frame machine that can accommodate full-size trucks and SUVs. Its frame machines are equipped with Genesis laser measuring systems (which provide accurate repairs to factory specifications), and it uses Glasurit premium paints in its refinishing process.

Owner Phil Chadd’s introduction to auto repair dates back to 1973, when he started working in a body shop to pay for a motorcycle. Phil managed shops in Santa Cruz for Mercedes-Benz and Toyota before establishing Phil’s Auto Body in 1993. He says he enjoys making a positive impact on the lives of his clients by alleviating the stress often associated with auto body work.

Phil’s Auto Body works with all insurance carriers as an independent resource instead of contracting with specific carriers. Phil says this allows the company to work directly for its customers, who feel comfortable knowing work is being done with their best interests in mind. The shop features an in-house, certified mechanic; offers a limited lifetime warranty for as long as customers own their vehicles; and can arrange for towing or rental car service.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Phil’s Auto Body

Locations

Santa Cruz County
Capitola
Santa Cruz
Watsonville
Scotts Valley
Brookdale
Felton
La Selva Beach
Rio del Mar

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Auto Body Repair and Refinishing
Frame Straightening
Chief Titan 360 for Full-Size SUVs and Trucks

BRANDS Supported
  • Chief Automotive Technologies

  • Glasurit

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Phil’s Auto Body

Company Profile

Phil’s Auto Body is a Santa Cruz-based collision repair and refinishing shop that services all makes and models and specializes in Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and BMW. The company also handles frame straightening and recently added a Chief Titan 360 frame machine that can accommodate full-size trucks and SUVs. Its frame machines are equipped with Genesis laser measuring systems (which provide accurate repairs to factory specifications), and it uses Glasurit premium paints in its refinishing process.

Owner Phil Chadd’s introduction to auto repair dates back to 1973, when he started working in a body shop to pay for a motorcycle. Phil managed shops in Santa Cruz for Mercedes-Benz and Toyota before establishing Phil’s Auto Body in 1993. He says he enjoys making a positive impact on the lives of his clients by alleviating the stress often associated with auto body work.

Phil’s Auto Body works with all insurance carriers as an independent resource instead of contracting with specific carriers. Phil says this allows the company to work directly for its customers, who feel comfortable knowing work is being done with their best interests in mind. The shop features an in-house, certified mechanic; offers a limited lifetime warranty for as long as customers own their vehicles; and can arrange for towing or rental car service.

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Company Philosophy

"As collision repair professionals, we have a duty to our customers to act in their best interests. We provide quality repairs that they can trust, and we work hard to make the often-stressful auto body repair process as trouble-free as possible."

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Comparative Summary

With almost four decades in the business, Phil Chadd, owner of Phil’s Auto Body in Santa Cruz, says he’s learned to take some of the angst out of auto body repair. ” “People tend to be stressed after an accident, so we try to lighten up the situation. We make them feel comfortable, walk them around, and show them the process of how we’re going to repair their car.”

Phil believes that level of comfort and openness has been crucial to his success. He says customers gain confidence that their cars will be restored to original factory conditions before work even begins. “Most of the cars we repair are less than five years old, so customers don’t want them looking like they’ve been to the body shop. We fully guarantee our work and follow up after it’s complete to ensure they’re satisfied. If any problems arise, we can deal with them.”

Phil’s dedication to customer service is built around a core of quality workmanship. Each of the company’s primary auto body technicians has been in the business for more than 25 years, and its painter has more than a decade of experience.

He and his team are known for working with insurance companies to cover the use of original factory parts instead of less expensive aftermarket replacements. “We take great pride in reproducing the original factory appearance of a car,” he says. “That means a lot of disassembly work, which is something some body shops don’t do–especially for paint work. We don’t just mask and blow on the paint; we take off all the trim and paint it properly. If a car isn’t right, it won’t leave our shop.”

When the bodywork and painting is done, Phil’s Auto Body details cars inside and out. “Most of the time, cars that leave our shop look better than they did before the accident,” says Mr. Chadd. “We try to make it appear that cars were never here in the first place.”

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Industry Info

When looking for a collision repair shop, consider proper equipment, certifications and guarantees as the three most important factors. For example, restoring a bent frame to its original factory condition requires sophisticated equipment, and a shop that’s not properly equipped simply can’t bring a car back within the tolerances set by the manufacturer.

“Make sure the shop is using a product like the Genesis2 by Chief Automotive Systems,” says Phil Chadd, owner of Phil’s Auto Body in Santa Cruz. “It’s a computerized laser measuring system that lets technicians get within 3/1000s of an inch of the manufacturer’s specification—and for some cars to within 1/1000s of an inch. You can see exactly where the frame was before and after the repair.” Quality body shops will have similar equipment. Without laser measurement, it’s a near certainty that your car will be structurally misaligned following any collision repair.

Certifications and proper training are also essential. Ensure the technicians doing the body work are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and I-Car Gold certified. These certifications ensure the workers are knowledgeable about the industry’s latest technologies and procedures. Also check to confirm the painters are properly trained and certified by the manufacturer of the painting system.

Phil also recommends looking at the shop’s guarantee. Make sure the company will follow up and be present if problems develop down the road.

To keep your car looking like new after a collision repair, Phil advises waxing it after the paint has cured. If you don’t do it yourself, have a detailer handle it. Also, you should hand wax your car or have it detailed twice a year. Washing the car is slightly abrasive, and repeated washings will strip off the wax. A semiannual coat of wax will protect the paint and finish for years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is your warranty?

A: On bodywork, our warranty is good for as long as you own your car. For paint, the warranty is five years, which is longer than the original manufacturer of the vehicle guarantees. But if there’s a problem with how we painted it, we’ll fix it, even if it’s been more than five years.

Q: How soon can I wash and wax my car after it’s been painted?

A: We wash the vehicle before it leaves the shop. Then you should only hand wash for six to eight weeks with a mild car soap—no machines—and don’t wax or seal it. The paint isn’t fully cured until two months and is still outgassing. You don’t want to run a machine over it or seal it up until the curing process has finished.

Q: Does weather affect the painting of a vehicle?

A: It would if it were open to the elements, but we have an environmentally controlled location for our painting, so weather isn’t an issue.

Q: Are you on contract with any insurance companies?

A: We work with all insurance companies, but we’re not under contract with any of them. We work for our customers, not insurance companies. We’ll bill your insurance company for the repairs, but we don’t take direction from them on how to fix your car.

Q: Will the paint match my original paint job? Will the new paint last as long?

A: Yes. We use a computer painting system that varies the original factory formula to exactly match your car. Then we conduct a balance check against the original paint job to ensure it matches before we complete the painting. The new paints hold up as well, if not better than, the original paint.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Phil’s Auto Body

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Phil Chadd

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Phil Chadd is a 41-year veteran of the automotive industry and owner of Phil’s Auto Body, a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (831) 462-1593 or by email.

Phil Chadd: Win-Win

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CRUZ — When he returned from his tour of duty in Vietnam, Phil Chadd was in the market for a new vehicle and in search of a renewed sense of direction. He never thought, however, that by finding the first, the second would shortly follow. “My friend’s father owned a local body shop, and he had a motorcycle for sale that I was interested in buying,” he remembers. “I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, but I did have some experience working on cars, so I offered to work for him to pay for the bike. It ended up being a true win-win situation—not only did I get a motorcycle, I also found a career!”

After undergoing an initial apprenticeship, Phil spent the next two decades working for various independent shops and dealers before opening his own body shop in 1993. Today, as owner of Phil’s Auto Body, he says he enjoys the autonomy that comes with being his own boss, as well as his daily interactions with customers. “One of the things about working for dealerships is they’re open 364 days a year, whereas working for yourself offers a measure of freedom when it comes to scheduling. In addition to making my own hours, I also enjoy meeting new people and hearing the bizarre stories of how their cars ended up here.”

A 40-year resident of Santa Cruz (where he lives with his wife, Karen), Phil says he appreciates the region’s temperate weather and coastal orientation. “With an average temperature of 65 to 75 degrees, you can’t beat the weather here. Also, as a former marine biology major, I appreciate the beauty of our coast and the fact that it’s a national marine sanctuary.”

Outside of work, Phil enjoys spending time with his family (he’s a father of two and grandfather of four), playing golf, fishing in the Monterey Bay and riding his Harley Davidson. He and his wife are also avid NASCAR fans, and they can typically be found at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on race day. “We’ve been going there to watch races since it first opened 15 years ago,” he says. “We actually have our own motorhome spot right inside Turn 2!”

In his life and career, Phil espouses the importance of living in the moment. “Enjoy the day, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring you,” he asserts. “I’ve found that a lot of people have regrets because they held back and didn’t live enough in the moment. I don’t go that route—I keep it going.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Phil says he’d head out on an extended road trip. “I’d fire up the motorhome and chase the NASCAR boys around a bit. As racing fans, I think that would be a fun way for me and my wife to see some more of the country.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you have a favorite band?
A: The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd—all the bands I listened to growing up in the ’60s.

Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1947 Chevrolet Business Coupe.

Q: If you could drive any car, what would you choose?
A: Besides the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air I used to have, probably the new Corvette ZR1.

Q: Ever had a conversation with a famous person?
A: Dick Smothers of the Smothers Brothers brought his car in when I was managing a Mercedes-Benz body shop.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Here at the shop, I usually listen to KPIG, a local station that plays an eclectic mix of blues, country and rock.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Matchbox cars, as well as hats, t-shirts and other memorabilia from the NASCAR races I attend.

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Expert articles
  • How to Protect Your Vehicle’s Paint Job

    SANTA CRUZ — To protect your vehicle’s paint from rust and other forms of corrosion, it’s best to take a preventative approach to cleaning and maintenance. If you’re aware of common sources of corrosion and know how to handle them, you’ll be able to keep your vehicle looking its best.

    Rock chips
    As the number one cause of rust in vehicle paint, rock chips should be dealt with as soon as possible after being detected. Since they’re often easy to miss, it’s a good idea to examine your vehicle’s exterior for rock chips every week or so.

    Fortunately, rock chip repair is a fairly easy process. After cleaning the area with soap and water, rub a dab of polishing compound over the chip. Next, clean the area with isopropyl alcohol. Carefully apply the correct type of paint to individual chips (your vehicle’s paint code is likely on the door jamb, and touch-up paint can be purchased at an auto supply store). After allowing a couple days for the paint to cure, re-polish the area to smooth out the edges of the repair.

    Aerial contamination
    Another major source of paint damage is aerial contamination from birds, bees and trees. Bird droppings are extremely corrosive and can quickly eat through paint, so it’s important to clean it off as soon as you see it. The same goes for insect remains and tree sap. Kerosene is good for cleaning areas that have been affected by aerial contamination—it’s inexpensive and readily available, and it’ll remove contaminants without harming the paint.

    In addition to cleaning off contaminants, it’s a good idea to re-wax the affected areas for added protection. Waxing your entire vehicle at least twice a year will go a long way toward protecting its paint job and saving money on maintenance.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Caring For Your Car’s Appearance

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SANTA CRUZ — Host, Sarah Rutan: In order to get the most out of your vehicle’s paint job, its important to know how to care for and maintain its shine. Today we’re in Santa Cruz with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Phil Chadd of Phil’s Auto Body to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Phil Chadd: Rock chips – number one starter for rust on your paint job. Needs to be addressed immediately, if possible. Good idea is to every week or two, go around your car and check it. And when you find these chips, simple cure for the issue to come would be to polish the local area with a little compound, clean up the debris, clean it with some isopropyl alcohol after that, and then dab a little paint in it. Available from your dealership or from the wife’s cosmetics. Get a little nail polish and put on it.

    Another issue would be aerial contamination. I like to say birds, bees, and trees. Birds; we know the sea gulls love the anchovies, and it’s pretty dramatic effect on your paint once it lands there. Get that off as soon as you notice it; otherwise, it will eat through the paint. And then re-wax that area for protection.

    The trees, pine sap is particularly corrosive and will eat right through your paint. So, kerosene is a product that readily available, inexpensive, and it will remove it without harming the paint. Actually is good for it; it moisturizes the paint. It’s also good for getting road tar off. Or if you happen to hit that bucket of paint on the road that somebody dropped off, use that to get that off with. Again, the sooner the better.

    And then again, re-wax the areas for protection. Waxing recommended twice a year. Try the spring and then fall. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way. Save you money.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top-rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Phil’s Auto Body WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Phil’s Auto Body SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Phil’s Auto Body
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 250 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Phil’s Auto Body : Average 9.6 out of 10 based on 250 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Aaron L.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

1 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They helped me save some money, and I got very good service. It's what you would expect from a smaller shop that focuses more on the customer.

I like the personal attention, being able to talk to the owner, and his knowledge level. I felt like they did a really thorough inspection quickly, and I didn't have to wait very long.

Alvin R.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

2 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're friendly, witty, and they do top quality work.

I liked the end result.

Antonio B.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

3 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're dependable, and I would recommend them. It's a good body shop.

I liked how fast they get your car ready for you. It was very well done.

Jackson S.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

4 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It was fine. I was happy. They were nice.

They seem like nice people.

Bill D.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

5 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's really friendly, he works with you, and he gets the job done in a good time. Their attention to detail is excellent.

I like that he'll basically fix anything that I wreck.

Bill B.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

6 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do good work at a reasonable price.

I like the results of the work.

Brian P.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

7 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do really good work.

I liked Phil's expertise. He was really upfront, and the price was good.

Carol G.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

8 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were cost-conscious, and they did good work.

They were very straightforward, they did a good job, and they gave me options about what kinds of parts I wanted to use.

Jayden O.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

9 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Beyond his humorous nature, the quality of the work and how they dealt with the situation was amazing. The accident was so close to Christmas, and he dealt with everything very rapidly. It was absolutely impeccable.

He took care of everything and dealt with my insurance properly. The turnaround was amazing, and he went above and beyond.

Christine E.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

10 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'd recommend them. They always do a very thorough job. They're competent and very reasonable in price.

It's very convenient to use them, because they're 10 minutes from me, and they're knowledgeable in what they do.

Claude S.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

11 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They provide excellent service. If you need a fast fix, you should go there.

I like the quality of the service, and the price is very reasonable. They're very good.

Cory B.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

12 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're super friendly, and they have a good price. They have everything that you want.

They got the job done well.

Dale T.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

13 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have personable service, and they do quality work.

I like their personal attention to the issues with the car and Phil's personal involvement. He maintains the quality standards, and I've always enjoyed working with Phil. He's a knowledgeable guy, and I trust him.

Dennis F.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

14 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The staff and Phil both know their product very well and what needs to be done in order to complete the job.

I like the service that I received and the people I dealt with. It was very good.

Dianne E.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

15 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You deal directly with the owner and that makes the experience that much more trusting. I feel like he wants his customers to be satisfied, and he provides a service that does that.

I like the customer service and how trusting the experience is.

Ed A.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

16 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're a very personable, conscientious company.

I like the personal interest directed from the owner. They did everything that they promised they would do, and they actually charged me less than what they originally quoted. I'm very happy with the service.

Emily M.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

17 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's good quality service, and Phil knows what he's doing. He's very well-known in town, and I would highly recommend him.

I like the communication and the knowledge.

Ernest B.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

18 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very professional, helpful, and they answered my questions. They charged me exactly what they estimated, and I was satisfied with the experience.

I like the professional way that they run their business. They were good.

Jerry F.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

19 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would absolutely recommend them.

The price was right, they cooperated with me, and they listened to me. They did exactly what I expected them to do, and it wasn't an easy job. They did a great job. I was very happy with them.

Jerry J.

VERIFIED Phil’s Auto Body CUSTOMER

20 of 250

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have excellent workmanship.

I like that they have excellent workmanship.

Read All 250 Survey Responses at Ratings View