Repairing your car after an accident is different than performing routine maintenance. It usually entails bodywork, and your insurance company is involved in the process. You may have some unanswered questions, which we’ll strive to address here.
What do I do if my car isn’t drivable?
Moderate to severe accidents may render your vehicle undrivable. If you’re in Chicago, we recommend calling Belmont Kolmar at (773) 725-8800, and they will tow your car directly to B&L Automotive Repairs.
How soon can the repair begin?
First, bring your car to us between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM for an estimate, no appointment necessary. The process takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, we’ll schedule an appointment for your vehicle repair.
Before we can get started, we need you to sign an authorization form and give us the claim number your insurance company issued when you reported the accident. We also collect a 10 to 20 percent deposit on any parts that must be ordered.
What if I need a ride?
While your car is being repaired, you can get around with a rental car. We work with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which you can contact at (773) 478-3310. Also, be sure to call your insurance provider and ask if your policy includes a free rental car.
What if my car is totaled?
When the cost to repair your vehicle is more than the car is worth, it’s considered totaled. In this case, you have three options. You can:
- Accept payment from your insurance company for the value of the car (minus the deductible) and hand the vehicle over to them.
- Accept payment for the value of the car and pay for the rest of the repair out of pocket.
- Accept a lower payment and keep the wrecked car either to fix up as a hobby or to sell as scrap.
Will new paint match the rest of my car?
Yes. Our auto paint technicians use computerized paint matching technology. The first option is to look up the paint color using the VIN. If you have a custom paint job, technicians can use a spectrophotometer to measure the wavelength of light reflected off the car.
With this information in the computer, sophisticated software calculates the exact pigment formula needed to reproduce the color. To ensure accuracy, the technician sprays a sample onto a card. After making any final adjustments, the technician paints the replacement part of your car for an exact duplicate of the existing color.
Do I need to take any precautions with the new paint finish?
Once your vehicle is repaired and ready for pickup, you can drive it immediately. Feel free to wash it by hand any time, but avoid commercial car washes for the next few weeks. Also, avoid waxing the vehicle for three months to allow the paint to set completely.