Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Body Shops Rated Highest in Quality?

A Mercedes-Benz with front bumper damage and body dents awaiting collision repairs at a Diamond Certified auto body shop. You'll feel confident choosing one of the auto body shops listed above because each has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned Diamond Certified. For more information how to choose a good car body shop in San Francisco, read the following articles. Photo: Phil's Auto Body (2011)

SAN FRANCISCO — 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.

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Jack Chew is vice president of Lombard Auto Body, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 347-6969 or by email.

Jack Chew: Auto Body Entrepreneur

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Jack Chew: Entrepreneurial Drive

By James Florence, Senior Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — Like any automotive professional, Jack Chew has always appreciated cars, but it was primarily his entrepreneurial drive that fueled his success in the field. “I first got involved in automotive work after visiting a car audio and alarm shop owned by my good friend’s brother,” he remembers. “As a young man, I liked cars—especially fast and high-end ones—but when I walked into that shop, what struck me most was the potential for profit. I offered to join my friend’s brother and help him expand his business, and the rest is history.”

After several years in the car audio and alarm business, Jack took an opportunity to jump into another, more complex side of the automotive field. “I had an installation manager who left my shop to get into auto body work, and he later told me how lucrative it was, with lots of high-end vehicles. Later, when my landlord tried to raise the rent at my shop, I decided it was time to make my move. The plan was to partner with my former manager, but he had so much debt that I ended up buying him out instead.”

Today, as vice president of Lombard Auto Body, Jack says his favorite part of his job is exceeding customers’ expectations. “It’s very satisfying to take a damaged car and return it to the customer in better condition than it was before the accident. I love to ‘wow’ customers with our ability to reverse damage and make their vehicles look new again.”

Born and raised in San Francisco, Jack resides in Foster City with his wife, Debbie, and their two children. Outside of work, he engages in a wide range of sports and fitness activities. “I bike, swim, lift weights, play basketball and practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” he details. “I also coach AAU basketball, which keeps me busy most evenings during the season.” In addition to these active pastimes, Jack likes spending quality time with his family, whether going out to eat or attending his kids’ sporting events and performances.

In regard to a professional philosophy, Jack espouses the value of the Golden Rule. “I want to make sure every customer is treated how I would want to be treated,” he affirms. “Obviously, the goal with any business is to get repeat customers, and the key to that is making sure your customers are happy. That’s why our goal is to return every car looking better than its pre-accident condition.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Jack says he’d take a cruise. “I don’t have any big retirement plans at this point, but I suppose if I were to retire tomorrow, I’d take my family on a cruise. I love cruises—every year, I take a Carnival cruise line to Ensenada. Early retirement seems like a great excuse to take another one!”

Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Golden State Warriors.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played basketball, baseball and volleyball; was involved in wrestling and martial arts; and ran cross-country.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: Any kind of ball.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: New D & A Café in San Francisco.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Sports memorabilia.

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Knowing Your Rights in a Car Insurance Claim


SAN FRANCISCO — Following a car accident, your insurance company will provide you with a list of “preferred” auto body shops for having the damage repaired. While this may be convenient, you might have a different repair shop in mind that… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Claimant Car Insurance Perk

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re a not-at-fault claimant in an auto insurance claim, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your position. Today we’re in… Read more



  • 3M

  • Axalta

  • Spies Hecker

  • PPG Paint

  • Sikkens

  • Pro Spot

  • Standox

  • PPG Envirobase


  • DuPont

Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet Impala
Toyota Tacoma
Volkswagen Jetta
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Acura MDX
BMW 3 Series
Chevrolet Camaro
Ford F-150
Honda CR-V
Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Sorento
Mazda MAZDA 3
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Nissan Altima
Ford Mustang
GMC Sierra
Honda Accord
Nissan Murano
Subaru Outback
Toyota Camry
Toyota Corolla
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Sienna
Honda Civic
Toyota Prius

door ding cover-ups
car crash repairs
car side panel repair
vehicle frame straightening
dent repair
auto frame repair
bumper replacement
vehicle trunk repair
truck grill replacement
car fender flare replacement
truck tonneau cover repairs
auto glass repair
car spoiler repair
paint chip repair
automotive painting
windshield repair
van fender-bender repairs
vehicle hood replacement
running board repairs
auto collision repair
bumper repair
car door repair
auto paint repair
hubcap replacement
custom auto body work
car headlight cover replacement
car wreck repairs
auto totaled repair
truck tailgate repair

Barbary Coast
Bayview District
Bernal Heights
the Castro
Cole Valley
Cow Hollow
Diamond Heights
Duboce Triangle
Eureka Valley
Financial District
Fisherman’s Wharf
Fort Mason
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park
the Haight
Hayes Valley
Hunters Point
Inner Richmond
Inner Sunset
Jackson Square
Laurel Heights
Marina District
Mission District
Nob Hill
Noe Valley
North Beach
Outer Richmond
Outer Sunset
Pacific Heights
Potrero Flats
Potrero Hill
Rincon Hill
Russian Hill
San Francisco
Sea Cliff
South of Market Street (SOMA)
Sunset District
Telegraph Hill
the Tenderloin
the Presidio
Treasure Island
Twin Peaks
Union Square
West Portal
Western Addition


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)

Know What You Want
Determine What You Want from San Francisco Auto Body Shops

Before you make any phone calls to body shops in San Francisco, it’s important to have a clear idea of what repairs you need. Some vehicle owners have found that it helps to write down their goals and keep a list of questions so that they can present a clear case to the car body repair shops they interview. 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 car, truck or minivan repaired (major collision damage, fender-bender repair or new auto paint to cover scratches and auto body dings)?
  • Will my auto insurance cover any or all of the body work?
  • What is my budget for the vehicle body repairs?
  • What characteristics do I want in a body shop? (This can include communication skills, quick turn-around time for vehicle body repairs, warranty coverage, follow-up service and long-term results in the appearance and performance of your car, truck or mini-van.)
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What To Ask In Person
What to Ask When You Bring in Your Car for Body Repairs
  • How long will the repairs take?
  • Do you coordinate with other San Francisco auto body shops if you can’t complete all of the collision repairs yourself? Does that impact your 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?
  • Do you want me to call for updates, or will you call me?
  • What can I do to make the collision repair process faster and easier?
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  • What To Ask References
    Ask Questions of Past Auto Body Shop Customers

    All Diamond Certified auto body collision shops have undergone a ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. You can read these 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 want quality from a body auto repair shop in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    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 San Francisco should be willing to give you a list of recent customers. Although you should know 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 like they are with the Diamond Certified process, so shops are likely just giving you the names of a few satisfied customers to call.

    If your do call references given to you by a local body shop, specifically ask for their 10 most recent customers (to help avoid them giving you only customers they know were satisfied). Ask general questions about the references’ experiences with the shop’s personnel as well as specific questions about the car body repairs they had done. Sample questions are:

    • Were you satisfied with the performance of _(company name)_ auto body shop?
    • 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 less populated districts such as Jackson Square, Potrero Hill or Sea Cliff, or if your accident happened on the highway, was the auto body shop willing to tow your vehicle to their collision repair garage?
    • Were you happy with the communication from this San Francisco auto body shop?
    • Did the auto body shop help you deal with your insurance company?
    • Did they work with you to get the auto body repairs done exactly as you wanted them?
    • Do you feel the price was fair for the auto collision repairs?
    • Did they provide a loaner car or shuttle service while your car was being repaired?
    • Would you go back to this company again?
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  • Review Your Options
    Select Well-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 a car body repair shop determines how smoothly the repair process will go. Your decision also impacts the value and quality of your vehicle long after the repairs are completed. Since vehicles are usually our second largest purchase 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 the following items:

    • Can a body shop in San Francisco satisfy your requirements for scheduling, body repairs and auto body part preferences?
    • Is the shop willing to work with your insurance company while still providing the best outcome and value for you?
    • Does the service writer at the auto body shop communicate clearly and effectively about what needs to be repaired and why?
    • Is the auto body shop devoted to getting your car back to pre-accident condition?
    • If your answers to these questions are positive, you can confidently move forward in setting up an appointment with your auto body shop.
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  • How To Work With
    How to Get Accident Repair Estimates You Can Trust

    It’s great news that you’ve found the San Francisco auto body shop that meets your needs. Now, here are a few things you can do to get the accurate estimates and quality service you deserve.

    Meet with the service writer and discuss the necessary repairs. Remember that the goal of every reliable body shop is to repair collision damage so your car looks and functions as well as it did before your accident.

    When you, your collision repair facility and your car insurance company agree on the required repairs, the shop should provide you with a written estimate before the work begins. By law, collision repair estimates must include the total estimated cost for all necessary car parts and labor, an itemized list of required auto body parts, and whether the auto body parts used are new, refurbished or used. Confirm any warrantees at this time as some vehicle body shops only guarantee certain parts or auto body paints.

    When you sign the estimate or work order your agreement with the shop is final. Never sign a blank or incomplete estimate. The collision shop must get your approval before making any changes to work orders or estimates, so be sure to give the auto body technicians a phone number where they can reach you at all times. Return 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?

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

    • Be clear and upfront with the auto body repair shop representative. Let them know what the problem is, what outcome you’re expecting from the vehicle collision repairs 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 an auto body shop, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the auto body repair technicians 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.
    • Ask your service writer if you should call to check on the progress of your vehicle body repairs or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service writer a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your car or truck is in for vehicle body repairs. Your repairs will move along more smoothly if your service writer can reach you for any necessary updates or authorizations for car body repair work.
    • When your shop contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the repairs on schedule.
    • Pay for the car body repairs promptly.

    What do you gain from being a good customer? Auto body repair shops appreciate patrons who are frank, truthful and easy to work with. Your behavior sets the tone from your end and creates a situation conducive to a good relationship. Things may go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check Body Repairs and Auto Body Painting Against the Written Invoice

When the work is completed, all body shops are required by California law to give you a written invoice that details all the 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.

Savvy consumers will compare written invoices to the work that was actually done. Ask your body repair specialist to show you the repairs, and check each one 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 the San Francisco Auto Collision Shop for Warranties in Writing

Before you leave the autobody 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.
  • What is covered by the their warranties, including 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 installing used parts or pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms of and limitations on the car body repair warranty.
  • If auto body repair warranty coverage is transferrable if you sell your vehicle.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Body Shop Requests

The most common requests for auto body repairs are listed below. Each is available within the following San Francisco cities. Read the corresponding paragraphs for the definition of each car body repair.

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.

Auto Body Repair

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

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. Click here to find automotive paintless dent repair shops in San Francisco.

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.

Automotive Painting

Auto body shops provide automotive painting as collision repair and to restore vehicles including cars, trucks, vans and minivans. New 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 scratches, chips and auto paint dings.

Mobile Auto Body Repair

Mobile auto body and paint repair companies in San Francisco 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 Repair and 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.

Vehicle Frame Repair / Auto Frame Straightening

Far more serious than the average bumper dent, car door scratch or vehicle sideswipe, auto 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 San Francisco auto body repair shops have the equipment and expertise to straighten vehicle frames after a collision or car accident.

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 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 materials that affect the comfort and appearance of your vehicle’s interior.

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Glossary Of Terms
Auto Collision Repair Glossary

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

aftermarket auto body parts
Auto body 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 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 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

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 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.

Also known as: DG, direct gloss topcoat, direct clear coat

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

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.

finish coat
Finish coats are the last coats of auto paint layered onto vans, trucks and cars during auto body repairs.

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 (LKQ)
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

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.

OEM auto body parts
Original 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

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

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

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

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
FAQ About Auto Body Refinishing & Collision Repair

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: My insurance company gave me a list of auto body repair shops in San Francisco. 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 Francisco 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: Do I have any say in what parts are used to repair my vehicle after an accident?
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 Francisco 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 my auto body repair shop 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: What if my auto body shop performs the collision repairs incorrectly?
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 willing and able to undo the shoddy auto body repairs, all costs will most likely come out of your pocket.

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