Chris Medine

Recent Posts

How to Care for Your Car's Battery & Why it's Important

Posted by Chris Medine on Nov 16, 2018 12:52:00 PM

car battery maintenanceIf you’ve ever needed someone to “jump” your car, then you know the importance of a car battery. It provides electrical power to most elements on your vehicle – seat heaters, brake lights, starter motor, and more. The need for a new battery can place you in a costly and urgent situation. While all batteries will eventually die, there are a few things you can do increase its longevity.

Preserve the Life of Your Car Battery

When parking and turning off your car, do not leave any lights on or electronics plugged in, as that will drain your battery. As temperatures drop, run your car for at least 30 minutes every day to charge the battery. On the other hand, when spring arrives, it is smart to bring your battery in to be checked to see if any damage has resulted from the winter. Parking your car in cooler temperatures, even if that just means choosing a shadier spot, is better for the battery than warmer ones, especially during the peak of summer. Batteries are more susceptible to corrosion in the heat, therefore it is wise to have your battery checked before any long summer trips!

Maintaining Your Car Battery

Cleaning your battery regularly can also increase its lifespan. Whether you clean it yourself or hire the help of a professional, there are certain steps to take to ensure safety and success. Make sure to wear protective eyewear, take off all jewelry, and keep the area smoke-free. The first step is to clean and inspect the case by wiping it with paper towels and a mild detergent. Next, check the electrolyte level. If the level is low, distilled water can be added. When checking the terminals, if corrosion is present, combine equal amounts of baking soda and water to clear out the corrosion and then rinse with water.

Removal and installation of the battery can be a bit trickier. Remember to always remove the cable from the negative battery terminal first and then the positive and to install them the opposite way – with positive cable first and then negative. It is important to note that some vehicles lose most presets and program memory upon the removal of the battery. It is best to consult your owner’s manual beforehand.

Though keeping up with these do-it-yourself preventative actions helps to increase the life of your battery, it is still advisable to have an automotive service professional step in to test your vehicle’s battery at least once a year. If your starter motor starts to slow down when cranking the engine, your car’s headlights become dimmer, or the battery waning lamp is on, take it in for a check, as it most likely needs to be replaced soon.

At Medines Collision Center, we care about your safety and that of your vehicle.  This includes advising on any steps you can take to keep your vehicle road-worthy and prevent a potential accident.  However, in the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, we are here for that too.  Contact our office with any questions and to request a free repair estimate.

 10 reasons to choose medines

 

Post-Collision Repair Checklist: Tips from a Baton Rouge Body Shop

Posted by Chris Medine on Oct 29, 2018 1:32:00 PM

repair checklistNo matter which collision center you choose to handle your repair, it is always wise to inspect the finished work and thoroughly review the bill before leaving the body shop. At Medines Collision Center, we make every effort to ensure that your repair is exceptional. We want to ensure that your car looks, feels, and drives as you expect.  However, we also firmly believe that consumers should be fully prepared no matter which collision center they choose.  For that reason, we’ve compiled a helpful checklist of steps to take when receiving your newly repaired vehicle, whether from Medines or any other collision center.  Following these steps will help ensure that you not only understand your car’s repairs, but that they have also been done well.

Inspect your auto repair bill for accuracy and completion 

Always inspect the repair bill at the time of pick up. It should reflect all structural repairs made, frame and alignment spec sheets, and parts used in the repair process. Additionally, the bill should include an itemized list of parts and types of parts installed (used, aftermarket, rebuilt, or factory). 

Inspect Your Newly Repaired Vehicle 

Always inspect the physical condition of the vehicle. The key area of focus will obviously be the areas of the car that were repaired.  Make sure the doors, hood, and truck open and close smoothly, and compare the panels on either side of the vehicle.  Take note of how they fit against the body and if there are any sizeable gaps.

Inspect Auto Body Paint 

Always inspect the painted panels. Make sure the paint matches with the rest of the body and there are no obvious differences. Check for dust and imperfections by inspecting the paint at an angle. The paint should be smooth and perfect. A great suggestion is to park the vehicle in different lighting, such as sunlight, where visibility may be heightened.

Additionally, it is wise to check non-painted areas for any spots that may have been "over-painted.” Check the windows, body side moldings, rims, chromed panels, and any other areas that should not have been painted. If the paint job was done properly, these items would have been masked or removed before painting.

Inspect the Vehicle’s Electrical Parts 

Always check the electrical parts of a newly repaired vehicle. It is a good idea to ensure that the taillights, side markers, turn signals, and other electrical components are working properly. Sometimes, as items are removed and replaced in the repair process, wiring can be disconnected or severed. If it worked before you brought it in, then you want to make sure it still is, especially if a panel has been removed. If a battery has been removed in the repair process, your radio may be turned off and you may need a security code to get it working again. Try and spot any electrical hassles before leaving the collision center.

If you find a problem after you’ve taken your car home, be sure to get it back to the shop immediately. The longer you wait, the less likely that body shop will take your concern seriously.  

When it comes to collision repair in Baton Rouge, there are many different options. At Medines Collision Center, we frequently inspect the work of other shops on behalf of customers and sometimes repair the mistakes made by others.  Our only concern is that your repairs were done safely and properly. If you have concerns regarding the workmanship on your vehicle, please call or stop by for a full inspection. 


Medines wreck check

 

Topics: Collision Repair

Choosing a Collision Center: 4 Factors to Consider

Posted by Chris Medine on Oct 25, 2018 1:13:00 PM

what you should know about collision repair

Being in an accident is a frightening and traumatic experience.  While your vehicle may have sustained serious damage, there is far more involved that simply repairing your car.  There are insurance claims, police reports, and often doctor visits and medical bills.  All of these things require your time and attention to ensure that you are able to reach a positive outcome for yourself or your loved ones. 


During this time, one of the most important decisions you will make comes while choosing a collision center.  It’s an important decision and one that can have long-lasting implications, but during a time of such confusion, it can be difficult to know if you’ve chosen wisely.  Can I trust them?  Will they do a good job?  How long will it take?  These are all legitimate questions and ones that will likely run through your mind.  Hopefully, this is not a decision that you will have to make often, but when and if you do, there are some points to consider which can mean the difference between a quality repair and even more headache:


You Have the Right to Choose Your Collision Center

The choice of which auto body repair facility to use is too often dictated by the insurance provider.  Drivers don’t normally question the intentions or recommendations of their insurance company and will send their vehicle to whoever is recommended.  Yet, this often results in a less than quality repair.  Insurance companies have relationships with collision centers as part of their direct repair program (DRP) throughout the nation.  They send these shops repair work, and in turn, the shop helps them cut costs, often through the use of subpar parts.  It will typically be in the best interest of the driver to choose a shop with no DRP affiliation.  By doing so, they ensure that the collision center is responsible only to them and not to their insurance provider.


Auto Body Shops Will Provide Their Own Warranty

As a tactic to persuade drivers to choose a DRP facility, the insurance company may lead you to believe that they will not warranty your repair if done elsewhere.  The truth is that it is the collision center, not the insurance company, who will provide the warranty.  Look for a center that offers a lifetime written warranty and guarantees your satisfaction with their work.


Using Aftermarket vs. OEM Parts for Auto Body Repair

Whether your repair is done with aftermarket or original manufacturer (OEM) parts can have a huge impact on quality.  OEM parts are those that were originally made for your particular vehicle.  These parts will typically be higher quality and offer the ability to provide a seamless repair.  Because these parts are patented and not able to be exactly duplicated, aftermarket parts may be comparable, but will never be exactly the same.  The less than perfect fit and thinner metal used to manufacture these often equals a repair that is less safe.  For your protection on the road, always ensure that your vehicle is repaired using only OEM parts when available.

Auto Body Shop Reputation Matters

Collision centers who have built a strong reputation within your community have likely done so by adhering to the standards listed above.  They will pride themselves on putting the client first, using the highest quality materials, and backing up their work.  If you have consistently heard the name of a particular auto body repair facility as the best, it is likely a safe bet that you will be in good hands.


At Medines Collision Center in Baton Rouge, we strive to provide our clients with the highest levels of customer service and auto body repair.  Here you will find a friendly and accommodating staff, lifetime guarantees of our work, and the best possible parts available to fix your vehicle.  Most importantly, we answer only to you, our customer.  As a shop that does not participate in DRPs, our priority will never be anyone other than our clients.


If you have been involved in an accident and would like an estimate of repair, contact our office by clicking here or calling us directly at (225) 357-7983.  To learn more about your rights following an accident, click the image below, and download our free and informative guide.

10 reasons to choose medines

Topics: Collision Repair

Your Go-To Glossary for Auto Body Repair Terminology

Posted by Chris Medine on Sep 28, 2018 11:18:00 AM

auto body glossaryEvery industry is guilty of it.  We have our own jargon that becomes so familiar to us that we can sometimes take for granted that it is completely foreign to others.  This may not always be problematic, but when your industry is something like collision repair, and your customers are victims who are trying to sort through an already difficult insurance process, the last thing you want to do is add to their confusion or frustration.  For that reason, we have decided to compile a small glossary of terms which are often used throughout the world of auto body repair and provide some insight on what exactly those terms mean.

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

Actual cash value is the amount a vehicle is worth as determined by the insurer’s own proprietary software. 

Aftermarket Parts

Parts that are mass produced by third party manufacturers for use on a variety of vehicle makes and models.  Most aftermarket parts are produced in Taiwan or other areas of China.  All Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are patented and CANNOT be replicated exactly.  Aftermarket parts may look the same but will have one of the following:  thinner metal, plastic tabs in the wrong places, lesser quality materials, bolt holes out of alignment, incorrect size or several other inaccuracies.   As the cheapest option, insurance companies frequently attempt to use these parts.

DRP (Direct Repair Program)

Direct Repair Program (DRP) Shops are shops that are under contract with the insurance companies and MUST abide by the requirements of the insurance company.  In exchange for insurance companies sending their DRP shops work, the shops will repair the vehicles by the rules of their contract – not by the manufacturer requirements or recommendations.  Medines chooses NOT to be under contract with any insurance companies.  Medines feels that we cannot look out for our customer’s best interest and stay within the confines of a DRP contract.

Exclusion

Aspects of a repair that are not covered by insurance or warranty.

LKQ (Like, Kind and Quality)

Parts that are not original to the vehicle but are similar in quality and composition (aftermarket parts).

OEM Parts

Original manufacturer parts that were produced by the maker of the vehicle for use on that particular model.

Pre-loss Condition

The condition a vehicle was in immediately prior to an accident. 

Reconditioned / Recycled Parts

Parts that are original to the make and model of the vehicle but that have been used previously.  They must be considered “insurance quality” but they are junk yard parts.  They are usually less expensive but generally are not in perfect condition.  Insurance companies put used, recycled or reconditioned parts on their estimates to save money.  Medines will reject any recycled sheet metal parts or bumpers that are not in pristine condition.  Medines Collision Center will NOT install used or recycled suspension or mechanical parts on our customer’s vehicles.

R&I (Remove and Install)

Parts (often trim pieces) that will be removed from the vehicle while repairs or painting are completed and reinstalled after.

R&R (Remove and Replace)

Damaged parts that are removed from the vehicle and replaced with OEM, reconditioned or aftermarket parts.

RO (Repair Order)

Documentation of all the collision center’s work including parts used, repairs performed, and hours of labor.

Total Loss

According to Louisiana law, a total loss is a vehicle which has sustained damages that are equal to or greater than 75% of its market value as defined by the most recent National Automobile Dealers Association Handbook.  The exception to this rule is any vehicle damaged by hail for which the cost of repairs is significantly impacted by broken glass, exterior paint, and dents to the auto body.  These automobiles will be salvaged and issued a new title indicating the hail damage.

While this list is certainly not comprehensive, it does give an overview of some of the most commonly used auto body repair phrases and terminology.  At Medines, we believe it is our responsibility to keep our clients informed.  This means we always strive to be clear in our communication and transparent throughout the repair and insurance claims process.  If you have recently been involved in an accident, call us to schedule a free estimate.

contact medines

What to Do if You Are Involved in an Out-of-State Auto Accident

Posted by Chris Medine on Sep 21, 2018 10:57:00 AM

out-of-state car accidentAuto accidents present a number of challenges and a large amount of stress no matter where they occur.  However, when you find yourself involved in a collision in an unfamiliar area, far away from home, these issues can easily be exacerbated.  What are the laws and procedures in this state?  Where will your car be towed?  Can you even find a rental nearby?  These questions and more swirl inside your head as you try to navigate a totally unfamiliar situation.  Fortunately, handing out-of-state car accidents doesn’t have to be so complicated.  In fact, the steps you take after these wrecks are much the same that you would at home.  Here is what you need to know to be prepared.

Initial Steps After an Out-of-State Wreck

Whether you are near home or across the country, the immediate steps you should take after an accident are the same.  If possible, move your car to a safe area.  Then, check yourself and all parties involved in the collision for injuries. After this, you should call the local police and emergency response if necessary. While waiting on the police, you should take photos of the damage for record and try to find any witnesses who can help in writing a police report.  Also, while waiting for the police to arrive, communicate with the other vehicle driver to make sure they are not injured as well.  Exchange driver’s license and insurance cards with the other driver, and take photos of their documents for your records.

Calling the Insurance Company When You Are Traveling Out of State

Once safety precautions have been taken and the police called, call your insurance provider. Most policies provide coverage in all U.S. states and some even in other U.S. territories as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. Regardless of where the accident takes place, your insurance company uses a network of tow trucks, adjusters, mechanics, and rental services, and while you are certainly not obligated to use any of these, such contacts may prove helpful in an unfamiliar state.

From here, you will be able to have the car towed and have an adjuster from your insurance provider assess the damage. If you need to get back on the road, you can have your insurance company help you to obtain a rental while these details are worked out and continue on with your vacation.

If the car is declared a total loss, you will begin a process of negotiation with your insurance provider to determine the vehicle’s value and your settlement amount.  Remember that you do not have to accept the first offer! However, if the car is not declared as a total loss, there are some potential options you may have. You can have the car repaired in the state the accident took place in and make arrangements to have the car shipped to you or to return to pick it up once repairs are made. The other option would be transporting the wrecked vehicle by means of a towing company, renting a towing vehicle, or driving the wrecked vehicle (assuming it is safe and street legal) back to your home state for repair.

How is an Out-of-State Car Accident Handled in Court?

Let’s say that the insurance company does not provide you with a reimbursement that covers the cost of the accident in full, whether it be costs of injuries, additional damage, towing, rental, or car replacement. Do you take legal action in your home state or the state where the accident occurred?

Though it may be inconvenient, any litigation or court proceedings will be handled in the state which the accident occurred. Each state has different laws when it comes to assigning fault and handling lawsuits involving car accidents. Each state also has different statutes of limitation, meaning the time you have to take action following the accident. If you believe that you may need to file a lawsuit in order to receive full compensation, you should contact an accident attorney who is knowledgeable of the state laws and licensed to practice there.

Near or far, Medines Collision is here to service the people of South Louisiana when it comes to collision repair. Explore our website for more information on what to do if you are involved in an accident, as well as safe driving tips or more. If you have been involved in an accident, contact us today for a free estimate.

Medines Free Estimate

Topics: Driving Safety Tips, Auto Accident

Extending the Life of Your Car After Collision Repair

Posted by Chris Medine on Aug 31, 2018 3:51:00 PM

caring for car after body workWeeks can pass before your car is ready to be picked up from the body shop after an accident. The good news is that the first time back behind the wheel can seem like driving your car for the first time all over again. Once you have received it from the collision repair shop and see it clean and sparkling, you may begin to think about how you can keep your car for as long as possible. Fortunately, extending the life of your car is simple in most cases, but it requires you to stay on top of a few things. Follow these simple habits to keep your car running better for longer!

Keep an Eye on Vehicle Fluids

Keeping the fluids that run through your car clean is very important. Motor oil is one of the essential elements in engine life. Your oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or every three months. This will help fight the formation of oil deposits and sludge and keep the moving metal parts in your engine from wearing out too quickly.

Transmission fluid is another important one to keep in mind. Most manufacturers suggest that it be changed every 70,000 miles. This process is a bit more labor intensive, so the fluid may cost a pretty penny.  However, failure to keep up with fluid changes could cause the transmission to fail or become damaged over time. Transmission repair is one of the costliest repairs on any vehicle, so taking diligent care of your transmission is very important.

Other fluids like your brake fluid and coolant should be topped off and checked regularly as well. Many oil change services will inspect your levels and alert you if they are lower than they should be.

Perform Auto Repairs Immediately

This may seem like a no brainer, but you should never drive your car if you notice something is not normal. You can easily cause a domino effect of damages to your car if you ignore a necessary repair. This means that misfires, strange noises, loose belts, overheating, leaks, and other issues should never be ignored. It is best to get these types of problems inspected and repaired immediately in order to avoid a situation where your car is damaged further.

Clean Your Car Regularly

Not only does this make your car appear to be in better shape, but removing dirt and grime is good for the body of your car as well. Pollutants and salt in the air as well as other factors like rain and humidity can damage metals or paint on your car. A simple soap and rinse is plenty!

Keep Up with Car Maintenance

Brake pads, tires, wipers, sparkplugs and filters are all pieces of your car that will not last forever. Look and listen for signs of wear on these parts. Keeping up with simple maintenance techniques can save you thousands of dollars down the road and failure to keep up could potentially cause an accident.

Staying on top of maintenance and giving your car a little TLC is the best way to ensure that it remains in the best running condition possible. If you have any questions on how to keep your car in prime running condition, call Medines Collision today!

Medines Free Estimate

Topics: Collision Repair

5 Ways to Stay Safe During a Car Accident

Posted by Chris Medine on Aug 27, 2018 3:41:00 PM

Safety during an auto accidentWe often discuss what to do after a car accident when it comes to dealing with insurance, collision repair, rental services and many other agents. While the financial and material aspects that follow an accident are something to be prepared for, keeping yourself safe from physical harm during the wreck itself is more important than anything.

Here are a few rules, tips, and tricks to keep yourself as safe as possible in the event of a car wreck.

Safety features on your vehicle are there to protect you. Use them!

Your car likely has tons of safety features installed by the manufacturer that are designed to keep you safe in the event of a crash. You should never allow the number of passengers in your car to exceed the number of seatbelts, and each passenger should wear one at all times. Failure to buckle up is not only against Louisiana law, it puts you at risk of being ejected from the vehicle in the event of a crash.

Other safety features in most vehicles include airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic skid protection, and stability control. These features should be checked regularly to ensure working condition.

Secure objects within the vehicle. 

Many people involved in car accidents can become injured by the objects inside of their car. When the vehicle experiences the abrupt changes in force that come with collision with another object, the items in your car may remain in motion and become projectiles. Most objects are better off placed in the trunk of the car, rather than the back seat for this very reason.

Know how to brace for impact during an auto accident.

If getting into an accident becomes inevitable while you are driving, it is important to know how to prepare for impact. All vehicles will respond best to smooth braking and steering, so stomping the brakes and cutting a sharp turn on the wheel is never your best bet, even though it is the first instinct of most drivers.

Try to stay calm and avoid tensing up. Tightened musculature is easier to injure when introduced to outside force and can result in broken bones. If possible, avoid hitting stationery objects such as buildings or trees. Colliding with something strong and immovable will cause you and your vehicle to absorb most of force created from the impact. Side impacts should be avoided as well, due to the structural weakness of the side panels of your car and proximity to the driver or passengers.

Avoid secondary collisions.

If you have been involved in an accident, you should immediately move out of lanes of traffic if possible. Shut the car off and remain inside.  Do not smoke, as gas or fumes may have leaked, and an open flame could cause a fire or explosion. Stay inside of the vehicle, administer first aid if necessary and call the police.

The best way to stay safe from car accidents is safe driving.

Safe driving is your best defense against car accidents. Avoid distractions like eating or cellphone usage while driving a car. Be mindful of traffic laws, signs, and speed limits, as these are all implemented to keep the roadways safe and accident free.  Always be mindful of weather and road conditions, and never drive drunk or inebriated.  Your motor skills and reaction time will be impaired, and you are putting yourself at serious risk of causing a collision if you choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of a controlled substance.

While Medines Collision is here to keep you safe from the insurance company and to get you back on the road after an accident, we believe that protecting yourself from physical harm is most important. If you have any questions about your vehicle’s safety features or how to use them, Medines is happy to help. Contact us today or visit our website for information about road safety and car accidents.

 contact medines

 

Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Delay, Deny, Defend: An Insurance Tactic You Need to Be Aware Of

Posted by Chris Medine on Jun 19, 2018 12:36:00 PM

delay deny defendCar insurance premiums are an investment. We pay them for the security that, following an accident, we will be taken care of by our insurer, and we will be put back on the road in a timely and fair manner.

However, many people find themselves in sticky situations following a car accident. The stress of what follows can be staggering. You are likely dealing with body shops, collision centers, and rental companies.  You may even be shopping for a new car or possibly doctors and specialists for any injuries you may have sustained during the collision.

Although your insurance company is supposed to be there, a common tactic that these companies use is called “delay, deny, defend,” and it’s about as comforting as it sounds. It’s important to understand this tactic so that, in the event of an accident, you can be equipped to conduct yourself in a manner that will ensure t you will be returned to your pre-loss condition with the settlement and claims you deserve.

What is Delay, Deny, Defend?

Very quickly during the claims resolution process, you will likely notice your insurer’s tactic to delay paying out claims, even though they may be justified. This aggravating ploy is used in hopes that you will become impatient and frustrated and thereby willing to accept less when your settlement is offered.

While the insurance company is taking their sweet time, they are also seeking out any legal loopholes that can allow them to deny your claims. Although these claims are likely completely justified, your insurance company may attempt to deter you from seeking out the compensation to which you are entitled.

When your settlement is issued, and it is far less than what you need, deserve, or were expecting, you will then be forced to pay out-of-pocket or seek out legal counsel in order to defend your claims in court. Court costs are expensive and may end up hurting you in the end. There is no guarantee that you will win your case which could leave you still behind on the settlement but also having to pay legal fees and the lawyer hired for your case.

Why would an insurance company Delay, Deny, and Defend?

There is a simple answer to this question: money. The less an insurance company spends on claims, the more profit they gain. Insurance companies are a business at the end of the day, and the higher the profit, the more that they can spend on things like advertising, new facilities, perks and bonuses. Suddenly, the company you’ve been paying to protect your assets seems less like a good neighbor and more like a big bully.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself Against the Delay, Deny, Defend Tactic?

Awareness of this tactic is your best defense.  Know that the claims process can be arduous and time-consuming and that the initial settlement offer will rarely be the best you can get.  Most importantly, understand that no matter what, you are in control. Your insurance company, despite any attempts to intimidate or persuade you, is legally required to meet all justified claims and restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition.

While we at Medines cannot be there for every step, we can at least be a breath of fresh air following the chaos of a car accident. We can’t guarantee your insurance company will treat you fairly, but what we can guarantee is quality repairs, complete transparency, and knowledgeable aid in the confusing world of insurance claims and consumer rights.

contact medines

Topics: Insurance

Post-Repair Inspection of Your Vehicle: What to Look for

Posted by Chris Medine on Jun 14, 2018 12:13:33 PM

Mechanic showing the car wheel to a client in a garageThe time after a car accident can be stressful. Between dealing with insurance companies, possible injuries, rental agencies, and many more small factors, getting your car back from the collision center can be a huge sigh of relief and feel like the end of this hectic chapter.

Although a good repair shop would ensure that your vehicle is in like-new condition, it is still important that you perform an inspection before driving off. This will protect you and your vehicle from any potential damages and loss caused by a shop that has cut corners or that is passing off poorly performed repairs.

What You Should Look for In Your Post-Repair Inspection?

One of the most important steps you can take is to be open and clear with the body shop about which repairs are to be made. Knowing what work should be done beforehand, better equips you to ensure it has been completed to your standards after the fact.  That being said, there are still a few specific areas to which you should pay close attention when looking over your newly repaired vehicle.

First, you should conduct a basic visual examination of your car. Check to make sure that paint matches in both texture and color to the rest of your car, and ensure that your car is clean. It is standard practice that the shop will wash, vacuum and clean the interior of your vehicle upon returning it to you.

The next thing you should look at is to see that the airbags were replaced and that the alignment is placed evenly. Most cars have a light that indicates if your airbag is in properly and ready to deploy in the event of impact. Alignment is another common issue. Drive your car around the lot, or take it for a short test drive around the collision shop. If your car is pulling in a way that it was not before, the shop may not have properly realigned your tires, which will cause uneven wear.

You should also check for new welds in an area that you never noticed before. In the past, some shops have participated in a practice called clipping. This is when an entire portion of another, similar model of car is used to replace the damaged portion of another. This is not as common now, but it is very dangerous. It can cause structural flaws in your car that make it very dangerous to drive.

Torque can be another problem when repairs are made. Make sure that any bolts or screws that were replaced are not stripped and were torqued to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Bolts applied too loosely can cause parts to come off too easily, while too tightly could cause the bolts to be stripped if they need to come out again.

Lastly, check to see that original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts were used for replacements wherever possible. Medines only uses OEM parts when available; however, some shops will try to pass aftermarket or used parts on your repair to cut costs. Unless you have specified that you would like to use aftermarket parts for your repairs, ask to see the parts invoice and make sure that only OEM parts were used in replacements.

Using Wreck Check to Diagnose Repair Problems

While following the above steps is important, it can be difficult for anyone who is not a professional auto body repair technician to determine whether or not their repairs have been done properly.  Fortunately, there is another valuable tool at your disposal in the form of a Wreck Check Car Scan.  These scans use 3D dimensioning equipment to help technicians review all aspects of your vehicle and its repair, ensuring that it was restored to the manufacturer’s specifications.  In Baton Rouge, Medines is the one and only certified Wreck Check Car Scan Center, helping drivers get back on the road with the peace of mind that their vehicle is structurally sound.

For quality repairs or even assessments of repairs performed by others, you can always count on Medines Collision Center to deliver both excellence and honesty. Click below to request a free estimate, or call us today. 

Medines wreck check

Topics: Wreck Check, Collision Repair

The Three Categories of Auto Parts: OEM, Aftermarket, and Recycled

Posted by Chris Medine on May 4, 2018 11:54:45 AM

Mechanic lying and working under car at the repair garageAmong the many confusing elements to consider during the insurance claim and collision repair process for your vehicle is which parts will be used.  Your insurance company may recommend one type and your body shop another.  So, what’s the difference, and how are you to know which is really the best for your car?  In total, there are three categories of parts that can be used to repair a vehicle.  We’ll define them here in order from most desirable to least.

What are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts?

Just as the name would suggest, OEM parts are those produced by the manufacturer of your particular vehicle.  When it comes to auto part replacements, OEM parts are the gold standard.  They are specifically designed for your vehicle, so they will fit seamlessly and, in turn, offer the highest level of safety and cosmetic appearance.  However, insurance companies rarely use these parts for repair estimates despite the benefits to the consumer, as they are a higher cost option.  If you have been in an accident and would like to use OEM parts for the repair, check your policy.  You may already be paying for an OEM rider policy that guarantees these parts will be used whenever available.

What are Recycled or Reconditioned Parts?

Recycled or reconditioned parts are also parts that may be original to your vehicle’s particular make and model.  The catch is that they have been previously used.  Still, these parts undergo some rigorous steps to ensure their quality and safety.  Before being offered for sale, they are cleaned, serviced, and tested to ensure quality and integrity.  When OEM parts are not an option, recycled and reconditioned parts are the next best bet and are available for a lower cost.

What are Aftermarket Parts?

Aftermarket parts fall at the bottom of the list.  They may be the cheapest available option, but there is a reason for this.  These parts are mass produced by third parties to fit a variety of vehicles, not just one make and model.  This means that, even though they may come close, aftermarket parts will never fit your car the way an OEM or reconditioned part would.  They may not necessarily be poorly produced, but even slight differences in fit can have an impact on both the way these parts look on the vehicle, as well as the level of protection they are able to provide.  These parts should be considered a final option when a better alternatives are not available or affordable.

At Medines Collision Center, we understand the importance that well-fitting, quality parts make in a repair.  That’s why we will always do our best to ensure that your vehicle is fitted with OEM parts whenever possible and recycled or reconditioned parts when OEM is unavailable.  The quality of your vehicle’s repair is a direct reflection on our business, and even if it means helping you get the parts you deserve covered by your insurance provider, we will do everything in our power to give you and your car the very best.  Contact our shop today to learn more about our repair process or to schedule your free estimate.

Medines Free Estimate

Topics: Collision Repair, Auto Parts