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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nana Sarkisian is owner of Cal Auto Body, a Diamond Certified company since 2011. She can be reached at (650) 273-5401 or by email.

Nana Sarkisian

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Nana Sarkisian: A Drive to Succeed

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

COLMA – If you were talking to Cal Auto Body owner Nana Sarkisian, you might be surprised to learn there was a point in her adult life when she wasn’t even legally able to drive a car. Recently married and a new mother, Nana’s first few years living in the United States after leaving her home country of Armenia were, as she describes, a trying time. “For a while I felt like I was going one step forward and two steps backward in my life. As a stay-at-home mom who didn’t speak much English or even have a driver’s license, I felt fairly isolated.” This situation was especially challenging for someone as independent as Nana, who by age 21 had earned her master’s degree in industrial engineering, a field in which she worked for four years prior to coming to America. Fortunately, her circumstances gradually improved. “Eventually, my mom came over to help with things, which gave me a little more freedom to get myself educated in English, get a driver’s license and basically feel human again.”

Nana’s then-husband had spent several years working in the auto repair industry in various capacities until they both decided it was time to shift things into high gear. “In 2001, we bought an existing auto shop and changed the name to Cal Auto Body,” she remembers. Eager to jump back into the work world, Nana took an active role in running the shop. “I was in charge of the customer service, administration and accounting, while my husband handled the estimating and parts ordering.” However, as time went by, Nana became increasingly immersed in the more hands-on aspects of the shop’s business. “I ended up doing a lot more on the repair side, writing estimates and that sort of thing.”

In fact, Nana’s work at Cal Auto Body wasn’t her first exposure to the world of auto repair. “When I was a young girl, my dad used to spend all day in the garage and wouldn’t come out from underneath his car,” she remembers. “I would bring him lunch and he’d hand me a part to clean or have me help him with something. I’d start asking him questions about what he was doing, until he eventually got tired of all the questioning and kicked me out!”

In 2008, Nana took the helm as sole owner and operator of Cal Auto Body. Since that time, she has employed her accumulated experience and professional acumen to improve the business, taking advantage of promotional outlets like social media and consumer-friendly organizations. “Over the last five years, not only have we been able to increase our business, we’ve been able to maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,” she says. The shop’s Diamond Certified status further indicates its dedication to customer satisfaction.

Outside of work, Nana engages in a variety of hobbies and pastimes. “I do a lot of oil painting,” she says. “I’m always amazed at the things that come out of my head when I’m painting—very abstract stuff.” Nana also says that whenever it’s sunny, she’s likely to be at the beach. “I think in my previous life I was a fish,” she laughs. “The sand, the water, the shells, the smell of the seaweed—I love anything that’s connected to the sea. Even food…seafood is my favorite!” In addition, Nana likes to keep up with her daughter, Maria, a chemistry student at Skyline College in San Bruno. “She’s eventually hoping to transfer to UC Berkeley or UC Davis and study molecular toxicology. She’s a real smart cookie and I’m very proud of her.”

Looking back, Nana says the expression “givers gain” has proven to be true throughout her life and career. “You give, you receive; you don’t give, you don’t receive. It’s actually very interesting how this happens in auto body work. We always take care of customers and try to give them more than they expect. In return, they give us compliments and refer their friends to us. So, I think this philosophy of giving has really been a big part of our success.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first car?
A: A ’94 Lincoln Continental. My family expected me to crash whatever car I had, so they gave me one that nobody cared about!

Q: If you could drive any car, what would it be?
A: A 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Barracuda Sushi in San Francisco.

Q: Are you a dog or cat person?
A: I’m totally a dog person, but guess what? We have a cat!

Q: Do you have any nicknames?
A: Nana is my nickname. My real name is Gayané. Everybody calls me Nana because it’s just easier to pronounce.

Q: If you were doing karaoke, what song would you sing?
A: I’d sing two songs, both by The Beatles: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Yesterday.”

Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, which actress would you choose to play you?
A: Sandra Bullock.

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What to do in the Event of an Auto Collision


COLMA — A car accident can be a jolting experience, even if it’s just a minor collision, which is why drivers sometimes forget what to do next. Besides confirming the safety of all passengers involved, there are a couple crucial steps… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Action Plan After An Accident

Complete Video Transcription:

COLMA — Host, Sarah Rutan: In an accident, its important to stay calm and have a plan of action. So, today we’re in Colma with Diamond… Read more

Tommy Ngai is owner of Exclusive Auto Care and Auto Body, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 273-5409 or by email.

Tommy Ngai

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Tommy Ngai: Exclusive Expertise 

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

REDWOOD CITY — Few automotive professionals can boast equal expertise in mechanical and body work, but that’s precisely Tommy Ngai’s claim to fame. It all began with an early introduction to the field. “I’ve been working on cars since I was 12 or 13 years old,” he recounts. “Growing up on a farm, my first encounters with auto repair work consisted of fixing tractors. My brother-in-law owned a gas station that had a little repair shop, and I went to work for him as soon as I was old enough.”

During subsequent years, Tommy worked at Honda and Subaru dealerships before opening his own repair shop in 2012. “I had a dream to make an all-in-one auto repair and body facility,” he says. “Eventually, I moved from my 1,800-square-foot shop to an almost 18,000-square-foot shop, which gave me plenty of room to handle both mechanical and body repair work.”

Today, as owner of Exclusive Auto Care and Auto Body, Tommy says his favorite part of his job is serving his customers. “An important part of owning an auto shop is building clientele. When I was working at the dealerships, I had customers who would ask for me specifically when they brought in their cars. Some of those customers followed me when I left to start my own shop, and I’ve since added more. It feels good to have loyal clients who trust me to take care of their vehicles.”

A resident of Daly City, Tommy likes to stay active when he isn’t working. “I don’t think I ever relax—I’m a 24/7 kind of person,” he affirms. “My business takes up most of my time, but when I’m not working, I enjoy cooking and entertaining at my home. I also like going to restaurants in the city and watching basketball, football, and baseball.”

In regard to a career philosophy, Tommy espouses the importance of customer satisfaction. “Return customers are the lifeblood of any automotive business, so it’s really important to me that everyone leaves here satisfied. I always do my best to advise my customers, steer them in the right direction and make them feel that they got their money’s worth. I don’t want anyone leaving my shop unhappy—besides being bad for business, it just doesn’t feel good. I want to sleep well at night knowing my clients are happy with the service and value I provided.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Tommy says he’d take a vacation. “I haven’t traveled much in recent years due to being busy with work, so I’d probably make up for lost time and do some traveling. I’ve always wanted to go to Germany for Oktoberfest—that’s on my bucket list, so I’d probably do that first thing.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: Niku Steakhouse in San Francisco.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: The Golden State Warriors, the Oakland A’s and the Oakland Raiders.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: Both. I always say sleep is a waste of time.

Q: What was your first car?

A: A 1984 Ford EXP Turbo. Most people haven’t heard of it. It was like a Ford Escort but a two-seater.

Q: What’s your dream car?

A: Any model of Ferrari.

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The Importance of a Pre-Purchase Auto Body Inspection


REDWOOD CITY — You probably know that before buying a used vehicle, you should take it to a professional mechanic to have it checked out. However, an additional step you might not be aware of is having your potential purchase… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Why Get a Pre-Purchase Auto Body Inspection?

Complete Video Transcription:

REDWOOD CITY — Tommy Ngai: It's very important before you buy a used vehicle to have an autobody shop inspect the vehicle also, because sometimes the… Read more




  • 3M

  • Axalta

  • Spies Hecker

  • PPG Paint

  • Sikkens

  • Pro Spot

  • Standox

  • PPG Envirobase


  • DuPont

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

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

Broadmoor Village
Daly City
El Granada
Emerald Hills
Emerald Lake Hills
Foster City
Half Moon Bay
La Honda
Loma Mar
Menlo Oaks
Menlo Park
Moss Beach
North Fair Oaks
Palomar Park
Portola Valley
Princeton by the Sea
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Gregorio
San Mateo
Sharp Park
Sky Londa
South San Francisco (South City)
West Menlo Park


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 Your Needs Before Calling on San Mateo County Auto Body Shops

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

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

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

Here are a few questions to get you started:

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

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

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

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

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

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Auto Body Shop Customer at San Mateo County Garages?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The shop’s name and physical address.
  • What is covered by their warranties. This includes whether the parts and/or labor are guaranteed, and whether the shop will replace or repair the parts or give you a refund if there is a warranty claim. Exclusions must be in writing.
  • Your responsibility if you need to redeem your warranty for vehicle body repairs (if you have to pay for labor, agree to let the shop install used parts or pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms of and limitations on the car body repair warranty.
  • If auto body repair warranties will transfer to the new owner if you sell your vehicle.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Requests Made to San Mateo Body Shops

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

Auto Body Repair

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

Auto Collision Repairs

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

Vehicle Dent Repair

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

Automotive Painting

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

Auto Paint Repair

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

Mobile Auto Body Repair

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

Bumper Repairs / Bumper Replacement

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

Custom Auto Body Work

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

Auto Frame Repair and Vehicle Frame Straightening

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

Auto Upholstery Repair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Frequently Asked Questions
Collision Repair FAQ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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