About Me

Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Hi, my name is Angela, and as the wife of a mechanic, I was constantly tripping over car parts and complaining about the rows of project cars lining our garden. However, after a few years, I quit complaining and actually found joy in the art of auto repair. Inspired by that classic book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I decided to start working on cars with my husband. This blog is the culmination of everything I have learned and more. I hope you enjoy reading it and that my tips and ideas guide you toward a healthier car and a happier, safer driving experience.


Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Questions To Ask A Panel Beater

by Keith Simpson

Do you intend to hire a panel beater? It could be that your car has crashed recently or needs a fresh coat of paint. Below are some questions to ask your panel beater. 

What Repairs Does The Vehicle Need? 

A panel beater conducts a thorough assessment to determine the repairs that your vehicle needs. A simple visual inspection allows the panel beater to establish the condition of the damaged panels. Typically, there are two approaches to panel repair: refurbishment or replacement. The former suits panels with minor dents or scratches. The panel beater could suggest replacements if the panels cannot be aligned to their original condition. After this, the panel beater examines the vehicle's interior to establish whether the interior panels suffered damage during the crash. If the car had a front collision, the professional examines the cooling system, engine and transmission for damages. Moreover, the vehicle's frame could have bent due to the impact. 

The panel beater then prepares a repair report. Ideally, the document details the recommended repairs and viable alternatives if you are on a budget. For instance, the mechanic could recommend replacing the boot if your vehicle suffered rear damage. However, they could attempt to repair it to its original condition. The risks associated with this option are that minor gaps could cause water and dust leakage. This information helps you make a conscious decision about how you want your vehicle repaired. 

What Are Your Conditions?

Ask the panel beater about the repair conditions. For instance, 

  • How long will the repairs take? What happens if the mechanic does not hold up their end of the bargain? A penalty could help the mechanic ensure timely repairs.
  • Does the panel beater offer guarantees on the repairs? For instance, it is not unusual for vehicles to develop pimples on the body after a paint job. If this happens, the panel beater should offer free repairs.
  • Are you eligible for complimentary services such as a courtesy car? If you do, does the mechanic impose a charge?
  • What quality of paints and parts will the mechanic use? Expect to pay more if you want the mechanic to use top-of-the-range painting products. Nevertheless, they give your vehicle the much-desired glossy appeal.  

What Are Your Prices? 

The panel beater must send a quote before they commence repair work. Ideally, they should break down this quote to ensure you comprehend the repair costs. Do not shy away from asking for discounts. Moreover, you could consider using used parts to reduce the repair costs.