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Old 25th November 2006, 12:00   #1
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Default Accident repairs - local or dealer, repair or replace?

With relation to dealers charging huge amounts for accident or mechanical jobs, what is the opinion of you guys?

Dealer wants to replace everything, align any body member, replace body / bumper panels, etc. and the bill is usually not less than 25-50k, even for minor work. Local garages will heat up and repair the fibre bumper, bang out the dented panel, etc. and usually do the same job for 10-20% of the amount the dealer quoted.

Similarly for mechanical jobs, alternators / wiper motors / AC compressors can be repaired, local parts used and again the local garage can do the job at 20% of the cost of the dealer who will replace the components.

Cons of dealers:
1. Make money on parts / panels and exaggerate extent of work.
2. You are paying full taxes (labour get their PF, etc., Service tax, VAT, excise, etc.)

Cons of local garages:
1. Your car will be dirty as hell, with additional scratches, inside and outside.
2. Once a bumper / panel has been impacted, repairing it may not give it back its original strength and may not protect you as much as the first time.
3. Exploit labour / evade taxes.
4. Never get car back to original condition and often something else is damaged in the process of repair.
5. The repair job may get you stranded (alternator breaks down again) and/or you got to keep going back for more.

So where does one draw the line? Maybe we alongwith Team-BHP should make a list of critical and non-critical accident / repair items that we can get done at local garages without much compromise.
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Old 25th November 2006, 12:36   #2
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There are a ton of after-market body shops which do as good a job, if not better, than the authorised workshops. Problem is finding them....and the only way to verify their claims is seeing the job yourself.

It also depends on your make of car, and the extent of damage. I wouldnt mind giving my Vtec to an unauthorised but reputed bodyship. But no ways would I give a Merc or a Skoda to them.

Too many variables.......which leave the question best answered from situation to situation.
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Old 25th November 2006, 12:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeep108 View Post
With relation to dealers charging huge amounts for accident or mechanical jobs, what is the opinion of you guys?

Dealer wants to replace everything, align any body member, replace body / bumper panels, etc. and the bill is usually not less than 25-50k, even for minor work. Local garages will heat up and repair the fibre bumper, bang out the dented panel, etc. and usually do the same job for 10-20% of the amount the dealer quoted.

Similarly for mechanical jobs, alternators / wiper motors / AC compressors can be repaired, local parts used and again the local garage can do the job at 20% of the cost of the dealer who will replace the components.

Cons of dealers:
1. Make money on parts / panels and exaggerate extent of work.
2. You are paying full taxes (labour get their PF, etc., Service tax, VAT, excise, etc.)

Cons of local garages:
1. Your car will be dirty as hell, with additional scratches, inside and outside.
2. Once a bumper / panel has been impacted, repairing it may not give it back its original strength and may not protect you as much as the first time.
3. Exploit labour / evade taxes.
4. Never get car back to original condition and often something else is damaged in the process of repair.
5. The repair job may get you stranded (alternator breaks down again) and/or you got to keep going back for more.

So where does one draw the line? Maybe we alongwith Team-BHP should make a list of critical and non-critical accident / repair items that we can get done at local garages without much compromise.
One of my colleagues got his OHC bumper repaired by a local guy. He seemed happy. He came to know about this local repair shop through another colleague.

You have to put in a little time inquirng colleagues and friends about a reliable local guy. Some times going with a colleague or friend who knows the local shop well helps.
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Old 25th November 2006, 13:00   #4
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If a person is alien to the motoring world and also have comprehensive insurance, then it's best to stick with an A.S.S.

But if one's different from the above, then it's always better to give it to an expert mechanic/garage whom he is also comfortable with.

There're plenty of garages that are capable of beating any A.S.S, but problem is to find them and also keep a good relationship with them.
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Old 25th November 2006, 13:26   #5
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Yes, while finding good local garages who are consistent in their workmanship is a bit of a challenge, the point I was also trying to make is the cost vs benefit analysis of local vs A S S.

e.g. OHC silencer cost 20k from A S S (original lasted 4 years). I got it done in 8k from local fellow. But in 18 months I was getting muffler leak. Similarly I got AC compressor repaired at 5k instead of 24k replacement from A S S, but I had to go once to refill gas and cooling efficiency tended to deteriorate after 2-3 months each time of filling gas. Otherwise I felt both did great jobs, since there was no adverse effect in terms of performance / mileage.

Actually why not skoda/merc? Going local would result in max. savings in these cars, especially if a couple of mechanics from the A S S are involved. I do believe with high prices of skoda A S S, many people are actually getting their work done locally.

Merc...? well if you own one, you do not really care about maintenance costs do you? The OHC was my merc and I also very reluctantly gave it to a local garage, except when price differential was very high in a couple of cases above.

So yes, too many variables. But I think I would sum up that where critical issues are not involved, it may be ok to try out your trusted local garage, but otherwise (unless you have lots of time on your hands) better to give it to the A S S.

Last edited by sandeep108 : 25th November 2006 at 13:27.
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Old 25th November 2006, 14:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
If a person is alien to the motoring world and also have comprehensive insurance, then it's best to stick with an A.S.S.

But if one's different from the above, then it's always better to give it to an expert mechanic/garage whom he is also comfortable with.

There're plenty of garages that are capable of beating any A.S.S, but problem is to find them and also keep a good relationship with them.
i agree with speed that if a person who knows nothing , it is better to approach a A.S.S as they have infrastructure to handle the major problems and it decreases ur headache.

but if you are willing to sheel out some money beforehand and are sure about the workshop that you woudnt be cheated then you can get the work done by local w/s too. normally to find such w/s you could contact your friends who get their cars done at such local w/s as they could give a better and first hand feedback.
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Old 25th November 2006, 14:20   #7
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Consider following questions:

Claiming on insurance ? Authorised dealer
Light knock ? Go to a good local
Hard knock requiring re-alignment, frame correction ? Authorised dealer but agree on scope of work if you are paying
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Old 11th January 2007, 22:09   #8
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I reside in mumbai...and my zen got knocked from back by a rickshaw....bumper and back door got jacked....my garage man said insurance claim will make it send to their own shop and job wont be good....he said i will do the job...my question? is when we claim insurance where will the things be fixxed???

Text edited and corrected. Please follow the board rules. Take time to type and check your spellings.

About your question, use search function. Thanks.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 11th January 2007 at 23:16.
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Old 12th January 2007, 00:42   #9
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I have had experiences with both. i have stuck to my local service chappie for the simple reason that he is smart & will analyse things instead of asking me to leave the car & collect it after 3 days. he is also a sort of a friend now. i trust him totally & he has never disappointed. Even when insurance is involved, the *** guys are very eager to do it, but i still give it to my trusted mechanic & he gets the best possible deal from the insurance guys without over quoting.
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Old 12th January 2007, 14:52   #10
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My experience with Hyundai and Maruti products is that Authorized Service Stations itself does the work at fair price (though on the higher side) in comparison to the local vendors. But when it comes to Lancer, Toyota & Honda, local vendors charge only half of what has been charged by the A.S.S.

We learnt the lesson in hardway for Lancer with service from ACT India. Happy with service from local vendor before that was sold off.

ps: company owned cars
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Old 12th January 2007, 14:59   #11
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*** for Maruti's and Hyundai's or even TATA's are fairly on par with local vendors if Job quality is kept as a constant.There are local vendors who do it for half the cost but their quality is also lower by a large extent.

For Honda's or Lancers or even fiats, its better to visit the ***.Finding a good local mecanic would be a difficult task, but the costs will surely be lower with them.

If its a claimable repair, then its best done at ***.It relieves great amount of hassels and they are professionals as well.
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Old 12th January 2007, 15:00   #12
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My experience is that stick to the authorised centre till the car is in warranty period so that if anything goes wrong they can't pass the buck. After the warranty expires I shift to a good independent garage since the service charges are cheaper & the same genuine parts are available at 30-40% off the dealer prices.

Of course the thing here to note is that the garage should be qualified & trustworthy. Infact, the garage that looks after my car has the best body shop in all of Delhi & I prefer going there instead of going to Honda who don't do a job as good as them & overcharge too.
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Old 12th January 2007, 15:25   #13
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I go to a local garage here at Pune. The guys there seem to be OK, and the garage advertises itself as a Hyundai service centre (see quite a few old Santros and Accents there). The manager seems to be a decent guy and so far I haven't had any serious problems with them. Reasonably happy with their work. Some certificates issued by Hyundai are also displayed there, but they aren't an authorized service centre. I couldn't say for sure whether they always use genuine spares, although they do claim that. I get wheel alignment, balancing and tyre rotation at a separate tyre shop; the local garage does not do a good job.

The only reason I don't go to the authorized dealers is that they are quite far off (Sanjay Hyundai is like 25-30 kms away on the Pune-Mumbai road and Kothari Hyundai is quite far too). So I would have to depend on shady characters to drive my car there and back for the service job -- I do not have the time myself, and am uncomfortable about letting some unknown guy take the car and back. Whereas the local garage is right next door, walkiing distance.
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Old 12th January 2007, 15:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
My experience is that stick to the authorised centre till the car is in warranty period so that if anything goes wrong they can't pass the buck. After the warranty expires I shift to a good independent garage since the service charges are cheaper & the same genuine parts are available at 30-40% off the dealer prices.

Of course the thing here to note is that the garage should be qualified & trustworthy. Infact, the garage that looks after my car has the best body shop in all of Delhi & I prefer going there instead of going to Honda who don't do a job as good as them & overcharge too.
------------------------

Hi Ishan !!

I am also a Delhite.

Please let me know about this body shop.

Thanks !!
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