Frequently Asked Questions
Do you use all factory parts?
It depends upon your agreement with your insurance company (your policy). Some insurance policies specify that we are to use only factory parts … others specify that we can only use aftermarket or used parts. We always follow your insurance company’s guidelines. Most all manufacturers will match the price of aftermarket parts for factory parts. Whatever parts we use, we guarantee all our work for as long as you own the vehicle. We will always do a top quality repair!
What are aftermarket parts?
The best way to answer that is to explain all the part types there are. Factory parts are called OEM for original equipment manufacturer.
Used parts are often called LKQ for like kind & quality. LKQ parts are factory parts that come from salvaged vehicles and resold.
LKQ parts usually save about 30% from the factory new list price. There is usually “clean up” labor involved to make a painted part look like a new one. A reconditioned part is usually a worn or damaged factory part that has been repaired or rebuilt. Rebuilt parts are usually mechanical in nature like alternators and steering gears. Reconditioned parts are usually plastic bumper covers or wheels. Aftermarket parts are parts not made by the OEM. Most people have heard of Sears Diehard batteries and Monroe shocks, which are aftermarket parts. But in the world of collision repair they can be sheet metal, lamps, and bumpers. These parts are usually made in Asia, and cost about half as much as OEM list.
They are not quite the same quality as an OEM part, and we have to watch them closely to make sure that we can still provide a quality repair when your policy requires their use. You will always be informed in advance if your insurance company requires the use of aftermarket parts. It is very common for us to order aftermarket parts as a part of the original order, but then to reject them if they do not meet our quality standards. We then can get permission to order new OEM parts, but only after we have tried to use the aftermarket parts. So it is often a process that we must go through.
The quality of aftermarket parts has increased significantly over the last 5 years, and they do not have near the problems as in the past. These parts also help to keep competitive price pressure on the OEM’s which in turn help to keep insurance premiums lower.
Do you clean the vehicle?
Yes. We clean every vehicle we work on. You can expect the vehicle to look great inside and out when you pick it up.
How long will my repair take?
That depends upon a number of factors such as the type and extent of the damage, the amount of unseen damage (not seen until outer parts are removed), the availability of the parts needed. Be assured that we will make every effort to repair your vehicle and get it back to you as quickly as possible, but our primary focus is to do a top quality repair.
Do you have free rentals or loaners?
Check your insurance policy … you may have rentals included as a part of your insurance coverage. Although we do not have free rentals or loaners, we may be able to provide a vehicle at a discounted rate through our partnership with Enterprise.
Do you work with my insurance company?
Yes… we work with all major insurance companies. If perhaps we do not have an existing partnership with your particular company, we still know the ropes … we can deal with the insurance company and coordinate getting the repair done as easily as possible. (Read more about insurance information)
Can you contact me via email?
Yes … just let us know your preferred method of contact … phone, cell, email, pager, fax … we will keep you informed as to the progress of your repairs.
Do I have to get my car fixed where my insurance company says?
No, it is your car and your choice who repairs it. There are laws on steering so by law NO. Your car, your choice!
What if my car is not drivable or it may be unsafe to drive?
Never drive a car that is unsafe or that you may feel is unsafe. One and most important, you don’t’ want to get hurt or hurt someone else. Second, you don’t want to cause more damage to your vehicle.
Example: The vehicle could run hot and ruin the engine.
What if my car was towed from the scene of the accident to another shop?
No problem, call us and we will pay all the charges from the other tow cost and send one of our trucks to pick up your car at no charge to you!
Where do I get a claim number?
Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.
Are you open Saturday?
Riverfront Collision Center is not open on Saturdays.
RFCC Downtown: M-F: 8:00-6:00
Will the parts be ordered before i drop off my vehicle for repair?
Absolutely, we generally order your vehicle's parts once the estimate is approved by your insurance company or whoever is paying the claim. Next we schedule your vehicle for drop-off a couple of days later unless your vehicle is found unsafe to drive, then we would help you arrange for a rental vehicle as soon as possible. This enables us to provide quicker turnaround time.
If my vehicle's frame is damaged is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company's determined value of your vehicle. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of the-art computer measuring system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications and if it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
Can you match the paint color?
Today's modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. We have made a major investment in the finest paint system available and constantly upgrade its technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle's paint matches. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.
Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?
Yes, we have a full mechanic department to fulfill any of your service needs; brakes, oil change, tires, etc. Just inform your advisor what other work you would like so that he or she can make the necessary arrangements.
How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
Your advisor can give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete the repairs to your vehicle. Be sure to check with your advisor for the specifics on your vehicle.
Can I get a ride home when i drop off my car?
Yes, we would be happy to provide this service to you. We want each customer's visit to be a positive experience and will work diligently towards that goal. We provide a pickup and delivery service.
How can I get a rental car?
If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements with rental cars available on site. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.
How will I know when my car is done?
We will be updating you throughout the repair process and you will be notified when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your advisor during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.
Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Yes. We guarantee all repairs with a Lifetime Warranty. (Ask for details)
Do I have to pay a deductible?
The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident when you make the claim, and by reviewing the accident report filed with the police department. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether you will be responsible to pay this when you pick up your vehicle.
Who do I pay my deductible to?
If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay us when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.
What forms of payment do you accept?
The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is to endorse your insurance claim check and submit it to the shop. Of course, cash and checks are always welcome. Credit cards may be used.
What are betterment charges?
Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use (i.e., tires, batteries, and suspension parts) are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process. These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles on your vehicle.
Can I wash my car?
Recommendations and precautions in the first 30 days
DO • Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. • Always use clean fresh water. • Wash your vehicle in the shade
DON'T • Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. • Do not "dry wipe" your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. • Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. • Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. • Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish.
Recommendations and precautions in the first 90 days
DON'T • Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.