The Best Auto Body Shops in Grand Rapids MI Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire
Auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol are those collision repair services that have exceeded the minimum Michigan regulatory standard. They are the ones proven by our independent research to have passed the Top Ten requirements for value and honesty, carry liability insurance as protection for you the customer, and for whom our staff has called previous customer to verify high satisfaction with them for auto body repair in Grand Rapids MI, including dent removal, auto painting, frame straightening, and more.
Updated July 30, 2019
The Best Auto Body Shops in Grand Rapids MI Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire
The state of Michigan requries that auto body repair shops in Grand Rapids MI register with the Michigan Bureau of Regulatory Services, and that they have only one mechanic certified in each category of repair they provide.
But the state registration for collision repair services is no guarantee that any particular auto body shop in Grand Rapids MI is doing business ethically, delivering value, satisfying customers, or that the specific auto body technician working on your car is competent.
This makes it all the more significant that all auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status, including survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, verified state registration, good complaint record, verified liability insurance, best business practices, only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more.
The state of Michigan Motor Vehicle Service & Repair Act
♦ The auto body shop must give the customer a written estimate, itemizing as much as possible the price of labor and parts necessary for a specific job prior to doing any work.
♦ The cost of a diagnosis, whether or not the customer authorizes auto body repairs to be done, shall be contained in the written estimate before the diagnosis is undertaken.
♦ Costs for parts of labor that exceed the estimate by $10 or 10%, whichever is greater, cannot be done without express permission of the customer to incur the additional cost.
♦ If the customer declines to give permission for additional costs beyond the original estimate, he is liable for all reasonable costs to return the vehicle to the condition it was in when it entered the auto body shop. These costs must be itemized in writing and given to the customer.
♦ If a customer initiates a request for the auto body shop to perform service without a written cost estimate first, they can do by signing a waiver.
♦ The auto body shop must be informed in writing of his right to get or see replaced parts, as follows: YOU ARE ENTITLED BY LAW TO THE RETURN OF ALL PARTS REPLACED, EXCEPT THOSE WHICH ARE TOO HEAVY OR LARGE, AND THOSE REQUIRED TO BE SENT BACK TO THE MANUFACTURER OR DISTRIBUTOR BECAUSE OF WARRANTY WORK OR AN EXCHANGE AGREEMENT. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO INSPECT THE PARTS WHICH CANNOT BE RETURNED TO YOU.
♦ The auto body shop must give each customer a written statement upon return of the repaired vehicle that enumerates the auto body repairs that were needed, the auto body repairs requested by the customer, those authorized by the customer, the shop's estimate of costs, the actual finished costs, the services performed including a detailed identification of all parts replaced and specifying if new, used, rebuilt or reconditioned parts, a certfication that all auto body repairs were completed properly or a detailed explanation of why they were not to be signed by the auto body shop owner or his designated representative. The name of the auto body technicians who performed the diagnosis and the auto body repair services shall appear on the statement.
If you've been in an accident and need information about good auto body repair shops in Grand Rapids MI, or if it's time for a new coat of automotive paint, the following information will help you find the best auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI for your needs and that provide the best value.
Check with Your Auto Insurance Company Before You Have Auto Body Repair Work Done
Some might want to assess the damage before auto body repair is done. Some will have their adjuster inspect your car at the auto body repair shop, while some might ask you to bring your damaged car to a claim center.
Remember: your insurance company might recommend a specific collision repair center, but they cannot require you to have your auto body work done at specific auto body repair shops. You have the right to choose which auto body shop you go to and the insurance company must pay for it.
Some of the best auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI will save you time and money by negotiating with your auto insurance company on your behalf, including for auto body repair done to a higher standard than the insurance company would otherwise ask for.
Make Sure Collision Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI Are the Best Qualified to Repair Your Type of Car
Some auto body repair shops specialize in different makes and models or have expertise in certain types of auto body repair. If you own a less common make or model of car, it might take special equipment to repair the auto body damage. Body shops that are certified by a car manufacturer have special training and the right equipment to fix those cars. Example of manufacturer certifications for auto body shops include BMW, Mercedes, Infiti, Nissan, and others.
Get Estimates in Writing From Collision Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI
If you compare estimates among auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI, make sure estimates cover the same auto body repair. Keep in mind that cost isn't the only factor to consider. If an estimate from one auto body repair center seems cheap, their body repairs might be lower quality or the estimate might not cover all of the needed auto body work which they will sping on you later. Or they might be using cheap aftermarket knock-off parts that don't last as long or perform as well as the ones made by your car's manufacturer.
Are the Auto Body Repair Technicians Certified?
Look for auto collision centers in Grand Rapids MI that have I-CAR or ASE Certified Technicians. These auto body specialists have special training and have passed certification tests. Some auto body repair technicians are also certified PPG auto paint or DuPont auto paint specialists.
Ask The Auto Body Shops What Parts They Will Use
Does the auto body shop use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) replacement parts? OEM parts are those made by the same manufacturer who made the part the car came with. Discount auto parts and salvage replacement parts might be cheaper, but they probably won't perform as well or last as long as OEM parts and will cost you more in the long run. Make sure the exact kind and maker of the part the auto body repair shops use are listed on the written estimate.
Auto Body Painting in Grand Rapids MI
If you need a professional car paint job, it is a good idea to call ahead to the top auto collision repair shops in Grand Rapids MI as researched by the Prime Buyer's Report to be sure they have the specific car paint colors or auto restoration services you need.
Good auto body repair shops in Grand Rapids MI can also provide car paint services such as touch up paint and car scratch repainting. Good auto body painting shops in Grand Rapids know the good car paint tips and the best car paint colors to use to make your vehicle look new again. Find out the manufacturer of the paint they intend to use for your auto body painting. Some are much better than others. The best automotive paint shops use quality car paint brands known for durabilty and warranty repairs of auto painting.
Auto Collision Centers in Grand Rapids MI Do More Than Dent Repairs
Some auto body shops that repair late-model cars, trucks, SUVs, new hybrids and vans can also restore classic cars or re-body vintage cars. Services can include pulling dents and repairing or replacing body parts. Car scratch repairs and car paint services are performed by sanding, applying primer, and expert paint matching the factory coat.
Good auto body shops can usually work on unibody vehicles and ladder-frame vehicles, but there are exceptions. Repairing vehicles specially constructed with aluminum requires additional I-CAR certification. Some auto body shops offer extras like shuttle services, complimentary towing, insurance repairs, and courtesy cars.
Get Warranties and Guarantees From Auto Body Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI
Good auto body repair shops in Grand Rapids will guarantee parts and labor. Make sure you get any guarantees and warranties in writing so both you and the auto body shop have the same understanding.
Will the Auto Body Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI Provide Courtesy Cars?
Some good auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI can arrange for you rental cars or courtesy cars. Find out ahead of time if you can count on a courtesy car or if it's up to you to rent a vehicle. Your insurance may cover the cost of rental cars.
Discuss Any Problems
If you feel unsatisfied with the auto body repair service, give the body shop a chance to make it right. Communication is important, so talk with the auto body shop owner or manager about any problems you might have experienced. Management at good auto body shops will listen to your concerns and work to fix the problem. They should be concerned about making you happy and keeping your business. Honest auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI will take responsibility for the quality of their auto body repair work.
Some Auto Body Shops in Grand Rapids MI Provide More Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these auto body repair shops in Grand Rapids MI: .
Other auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI that might still be in business include: .
Questions To Ask Auto Body Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI
Step 1: Describe Auto Body Damage and Desired Results to Auto Body Repair Shops in Grand Rapids MI
Explain what type of car accident you were involved in, providing as many details as possible. Also understand what you want the results to be. Do you want your car or truck body restored to "as new" condition, or upgraded with premium or performance parts? Does your car need a new coat of automotive paint, or will car scratch auto paint or touch up paint be enough? Be consistent in the way you present the information so all auto body shops in Grand Rapids MI will have an opportunity to bid the same job.
Step 2: Use This Information for a Q & A For Auto Body Repair in Grand Rapids MI
You can learn a lot by the questions you are asked before handing over the keys. Some auto body repair shops may want to hurry you in and out, but technicians at good auto body shops in Grand Rapids should have several basic questions, both about your accident and your vehicle.
Are the auto body technician's questions detailed? Is he asking the right questions? Does it seem as though the auto body shop just want to get you in and out? Questions from auto body technicians can signify whether the they have a genuine concern for your well being and an appreciation for your business. Select the most appropriate questions from the list below to enhance what you've already learned about each auto collision repair service in Grand Rapids. Take notes, not just on the answers to questions, but also how you feel about the employees and the auto body repair shops.
• How long have the auto body repair shops been in business in Grand Rapids?
• How many auto body / collision repairs have the collision centers completed?
• Will they give you names and numbers of previous customers you can call as references? (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had customers called by our research staff verifying high customer satisfaction so you don't have to.)
• Do the auto body repair shops specialize in the type of auto body work you've described? If so, ask the auto body mechanics for some examples of similar auto body repairs they've completed.
• Will the auto body repair shop show you proof of garagekeeper's liability insurance to insure your car against damage while it's in their posession (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• Will the collision centers provide written contracts for the collision repair work? For auto paint repair?
• Will the auto body repair centers provide written estimates for the auto body repair work and auto body repair paint work?
• How do the collision centers price auto body repair work? Do they charge by the hour or have a flat fee for auto body repairs?
• How do the collision centers in Kent County MI price auto painting services? Do they charge by the hour or have a flat fee for auto repainting?
• What certifications do the auto body repair technicians hold?
• How long will it take the collision repair mechanics to repair your car's body damage?
• Can the auto body repair centers provide a courtesy car while your car is in the auto body repair shop or during the car paint repair?
• Are the collision centers authorized to repair your vehicle as far as your car insurance is concerned?
• Do the auto body repair shops require an independent appraiser before starting a collision repair job?
• Do the collision repair technicians use new or used parts when repairing a damaged car?
• Are the new parts OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts?
• Do the auto collision repair technicians use custom car paint or high-quality car paints by PPG paints and DuPont paints for their car painting services?
• How do the auto body shops in Grand Rapids fix unibody or frame damage?
• What kind of warranty do the collision centers offer on collision repairs and car paint work and what do the warranties cover?
• What are the auto body repair centers' satisfaction policies regarding auto body repair work and auto body painting?
Once you've chosen the best auto body shop in Grand Rapids MI for your situation, make sure they are registered with the Michigan Department of State since that is required by law. (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had their state registration verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
Glossary for Auto Body Repair in Grand Rapids MI
Common Auto Body Repair & Auto Body Painting Terms
Acrylic Enamel Car Paint - An early type of automotive paint. Enamel auto paints are not a popular modern auto paint choice, but acrylic enamel car paint is known as the better type of enamel car paint. Acrylic enamel auto paint can dull and lose it's shine but cannot be polished like acrylic lacquer paint for cars.
Alignment - Properly lining up the components of a car's body, often in reference to wheel alignment.
Alignment Shims - Metal or plastic spacers used in the alignment process. On rear-wheel drive vehicles, auto body shops can add or remove shims from stacks of shims on the front control arms. On front-wheel drive vehicles, partial shims or full contact shims can be positioned behind the rear axle spindle. Camber shims are sometimes used on 4x4 axle vehicles. Shims may be adjustable or can be indexed in various ways to provide minute alignment corrections by auto collision repair centers.
Custom Car Paint / Custom Auto Paint - Custom car paint includes nontraditional and new car paint colors such as candy paint jobs (auto paint repairs that are shiny and brightly colored), pearlized auto paints, fantasy paint jobs (car paint scenes) and car paint flames.
Enamel Auto Paint - A clear or colored varnish, treated oil, or other coating used in auto body painting that dries to a hard, gloss or semigloss finish. Enamel car paints dry to a hard, shiny finish.
Finish Coat - A finish coat of car paint is the last coat of auto paint layered on during auto restoration.
Frame Alignment - A process that correctly aligns a vehicle frame, especially important for auto collision repair. Frame alignment keeps tires from wearing unevenly and helps your car drive straighter.
Lacquer Enamel Auto Paint - The finishing coat, or top coat, of car paint. Lacquer enamel layers of auto paint sit on top of the undercoats and provide a shiny appearance to the auto body paint.
Mist Coat - A light coating of automotive paint or car paint that is sprayed lightly over the auto body. A mist coat can be applied in several layers during auto body painting for an even, custom car paint job.
Paintless Dent Repair / Paintless Dent Removal in Grand Rapids - Paintless dent repair services use less invasive techniques for minor dent repair and dent removal that allows for the dent repair without the need to repaint the area, perhaps at a cost savings. Some paintless dent repair shops in Grand Rapids are not full service auto body shop or collision repair centers. They may be approporiate only for minor dent repair and ding repairs.
Spoiler - An aerodynamic device to deflect airflow over vehicles. Spoilers are also installed below the front bumper to reduces drag by deflecting air away from the vehicle. Auto body shops can mount spoilers on the rear deck to provide downward force.
Undercoats / Undercoating - A rust repair and rust protection method used by auto body shops that involves spraying a coat of petroleum-based undercoat on the undercarriage of a vehicle. This is especially important in areas with wet driving conditions, winter driving conditions where salt may be used on the roads or on vehicles in geographical locations close to the ocean where sea salt may corrode the car's undercarriage.
Wet Sanding - Sanding the layers of auto paint using wet sanding paper so that the underlying layers of auto paint are smoother and adhere to the new automobile paint / touch up auto paint.
Resources About Auto Body Shops in Grand Rapids MI
Licensing & Industry Associations Regarding Auto Body Repair in Grand Rapids MI
AAA American Automobile Association www.aaa.com
AAAM Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine www.carcrash.org
AAIA Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association www.aftermarket.org
AASP Alliance of Automotive Service Providers www.autoserviceproviders.com
ABPA Auto Body Parts Association www.autobpa.com
ABSAM Auto Body Shop Association of Michigan
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group www.aiag.org
ARA Automotive Recyclers Association www.a-r-a.org
ASA Automotive Service Association www.asashop.org
Automotive Service Association of Michigan ASAM www.asamichigan.info
ASC Automotive Service Council www.ascca.org
BBB Better Business Bureau www.bbb.com
IADA Independent Automotive Damage Appraisers www.iada.org
I-CAR Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair www.i-car.com
MEMA Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association www.mema.org
Michigan Department of State www.michigan.gov/sos
NATEF National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation www.natef.org
NMABSA Northern Michigan Auto Body Shop Association www.fenderbender.com
ASE National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence www.asecert.org
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers www.sae.org
SCRS Society of Collision Repair Specialists www.scrs.com
SEMA Specialty Equipment Market Association www.sema.org
NAPDRT National Alliance of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians www.napdrt.org
WMBA West Michigan Body Shop Association www.wmba.online
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The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Auto Body Repair in Grand Rapids MI within the following zip codes:
49504, 49510, 49341, 49519, 49503, 49548, 49509, 49331, 49518, 49502, 49546, 49508, 49330, 49516, 49501, 49544, 49507, 49326, 49515, 49468, 49534, 49506, 49514, 49418, 49525, 49505, 49512, 49345, 49523, 49318, 48418, 49316, 49315, 49306, 49302, 49321, 49301, 49319 and 48436
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Collision Repair in Grand Rapids MI within the following cities:
Caledonia, Cedar Springs, Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kent City, Kentwood, Northview, Rockford, Walker, Wyoming, Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Bowne, Byron, Cannon, Cascade, Courtland, Gaines, Grattan, Lowell, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Solon, Sparta, Spencer, Tyrone, Vergennes and Cutlerville