What is a Post-Repair Inspection? 

When is a Post-Repair Inspection Recommended?

Inspecting the repairs done on a vehicle after an accident is a vital inspection that helps ensure proper guidelines and procedures were followed. This assures you as the owner that both safety and value of the vehicle is maintained. 

What is a Post-Repair Inspection?

A post-repair inspection is simply an assessment or an evaluation that is performed by a qualified and certified third-party. He or she will look at the quality of the repairs, to make sure that each repair was performed to the highest standard, after the car accident. This third-party inspector will also check the repairs against the manufacturer guidelines. He or she will ensure that all guidelines and protocols were followed – and all repairs were performed as intended. The car must be restored to pre-accident safety measures and standards. 

What Is Involved in A Post-Repair Inspection? 

    • First, it’s always important to have a copy of the vehicle’s insurance company estimate, as well as the auto repair estimate from the auto body shop. During the post-repair inspection, both will be compared ensuring that the repairs were completed. 
    • The specialist will conduct a panel-by-panel evaluation, ensuring that the auto body parts are correctly aligned and fitted. 
    • The auto specialist will test the refinish work by taking a paint thickness meter, and checking if the paint job was performed correctly. The paint finish should be even and balanced. 
    • The auto body tech will also remove the panels as well as the vehicle’s interior trim and carpets. This is done to see if there is any repair work that may be hidden from plain view. Here is where the welding work will be scrutinized, along with the vehicle’s rust protection and overall alignment.
    • Should there be any issues, we will notify you with details and instructions on how to go about contacting the appropriate parties to fix the issues. It may involve reopening your insurance claim. 

What About Post-Repair Inspections & Diminished Value Claims? 

We encourage car owners to receive a post-repair inspection so they can have a complete and thorough appraisal of the Diminished Value they are due. If there is any financial compensation owed for any loss in the resale of the vehicle, this evaluation should be completed to asses these claims. Apart from a Diminished Value Claim, there is still benefit in a post-repair inspection to ensure the safety of driving your car. 

Post-Repair Inspection and Shops That “Cut Corners” 

The auto repair industry is no different from any other industry with pressures to produce, hit numbers, and reach financial goals. This pressure comes from insurance companies, vehicle owners, sometimes even from the body shop owners themselves. These pressures result in fast repairs or “churned out jobs,” often the product of cutting corners. The corners cut are usually in quality of parts or haphazard protocols in order to produce high volumes of repaired cars. A post-repair inspection will closely examine the work done so that unsafe vehicles are not put back on the road. As you drive, you want to know that both yours and the other cars on the road are safe for you and your passengers.

When Should You Get a Post-Repair Inspection? 

Instances in which a post-repair inspection is recommended:

  1. If you notice signs of your vehicle operating improperly, or if your vehicle looks different from when you dropped it off for repairs. (FYI, you should always give your vehicle a good 360 look before dropping off. Document it with photos if you can.)
  2. If you have any reason or notion to question the quality of the repair work or parts used to fix  your car. Trust your instinct. 
  3. If the auto body shop is unwilling to disassemble the vehicle so that they can correctly and properly assess the accident damage. 
  4. If an appraisal is needed to file a Diminished Value Claim and have the correct amount evaluated. 

What Should I Look For After my Car has Been Repaired After an Accident? 

It’s always good practice to get into the habit of inspecting your car from all sides frequently. More often than not, we only get inside our car on one side so we only ever see it from that side. Especially after an accident, you want to take the time to look for any issues, blemishes, or irregularities. Believe it or not, but YOU are the expert when it comes to YOUR car! Be the first line of inspection. Here are a few basic things to look out for when you pick up your car from the shop:

  • Is your vehicle clean inside and out? The level of detailing will vary from shop to shop, but the condition should be returned in the same if not better. 
  • Examine the paint. Does it match the original color? Is there noticeable overspray? 
  • Look at your vehicle up close, and then step back at a distance. Does anything look off? Unbalanced? 
  • Take a test drive. Is it pulling to one side? Does the handling feel steady or shaky? Do you hear any unusual noises?
  • If there is any aspect of your repair you are not satisfied with, you are absolutely in your rights to discuss it with your repair shop. Document everything with photos! If you have pictures of your car before the repairs, this will allow you concrete means of comparing your post repair vehicle and ensure satisfaction.  

The Next Level Post-Repair Checklist

For those interested in a more in-depth self inspection, here’s an ultimate list of things to look for after your car has been in the shop:

  • Look along body panel seams. Check to see if the openings are balanced and consistent. 
  • Check the distance from fender to tire. Compare it to the opposite side and check for consistency.
  • Make sure your tail lights work and your headlights are aimed. Pull up to a wall at dusk and make sure the beams are level. Keep in mind, the passenger side beam will shoot straight out from the car while the driver side will be angled inward. 
  • Do all the doors, hood, and trunk/tailgate open and close smoothly?
  • Are all your sensors and electronic accessories working properly?
  • Are there any warning lights on your dash that weren’t on prior to dropping off at the shop?

Call Northern Westchester Collision for Your Next Post-Repair Inspection!

Here at Northern Westchester Collision we have been in business for over 35 years, giving us experience with all kinds of vehicle collision repair. We are certified by most major manufacturers, and are trained and educated by their guidelines and protocols. We know how stressful an accident can be, which is why we do our best to make sure we repair your vehicle to its pre-accident condition. As a family owned business, we care about the safety of our customers like they are part of the family. Give us a call today so we can help you get safely back on the road!

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