Collision estimates

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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

When obtaining an estimate for collision repair, always get a second, or perhaps even a third opinion. Be sure to get the repair estimate in writing. Ask the repair shop technician how long the job will take, and find out if a dent or ding can be repaired sufficiently without replacing the entire body part. Make sure the shop is capable of matching your car's paint color. Determine whether or not they install used parts. Sometimes a used part, such as a fender, will work just as well as a new one, and cost less--and some of the savings will be passed on to you. Other items, such as electrical parts damaged in a collision, will require new replacements. Be sure the technician specifies which parts are new, and which are not, on the work order. And remember never to sign a work order until you're sure the body shop has answered all of your questions to your satisfaction.

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