What To Do When An Auto Body Shop Makes A Mistake On Your Car Repair?

What to do if a collision repair shop messes up on your auto repair?

Not all mistakes are bad, some teach us lessons, that is how we learn.  So what do you do when something goes wrong on your car after a body or paint repair?

6 Tips To Get Your Car Repaired After A Mess Up

1 Keep Your Cool.  When you are calm and collected you are in control and can think clearly.  The problem might not even be related to the recent auto body or paint repairs.  It might even be a simple careless mistake.

2 Remember Nobody is Perfect.  We are all human, people make mistakes, I make mistakes, you make mistakes, we all do.  Even the best in the body shop business make mistakes.

3 Take it Back.  You will want to return to the auto body shop immediately even if it’s for something small.  Give them a call, make an appointment, text, or email.  Let them know what is wrong, take pictures or video of the situation.  This is a good idea because it also serves as documentation, a paper trail just in case you need to go to court down the line.

4 Stick to Facts.  When you arrive at the body shop to speak to the manager or owner, only mention the facts not your opinion.  Let them know all the details but don’t jump to conclusions.  Keep an open mind and try to be objective when discussing the issue.

5 Test Drive.  If necessary, go test drive your car with the manager or owner to have them see what’s wrong.  Maybe they can figure out the problem then and there.

6 Listen.  After you tell your side of the story, now it’s the manager or owner’s turn to talk.  Be courteous and respectful so a solution can be reached in good terms.

After all the above, there are two possible things the manager or owner might tell you:

“I’m sorry.  The problem is directly related to the repair we made.  We will fix it at no charge.”


“I found the problem but it is not related to the repairs our shop made…  would you like an estimate.”

Depending on what the shop manager or owner tells you, here are a few of your options:

Let the Body Shop Make Things Right.  Any shop can make a mistake but not all will admit it and fix it.  Remember, mistakes happens, sometimes people are in a hurry or forget a step, it’s ok.  The fact that you could drive your car to the shop is a sign that the problem was not a huge one, just an oversight.

Let Another Shop Make Things Right.  If the shop does give you a reasonable, in plain English, explanation of the problem, ask them to give you a detailed estimate (if they can do the repairs).  You can choose to have them do the repairs or if you feel more comfortable get a few more estimates and second opinions.  Finally, you decide which shop will fix the problem.

Let a Lawyer Make Things Right.  With all the information gathered if you still, wholeheartedly believe and can even prove the shop is responsible for the problem, the additional repairs and expenses, take steps to get it resolved through the court system.  Talk to your lawyer for guidance, if this is your case.

I hope this helps you navigate situations when your car is not correctly repaired at a collision repair shop.

Should I add something else? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If there is something you want me to write about let me know, I will do my best to write about it. If you ever need any professional collision repair and you live in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area call or text me 818.793.7728.

-Jaider, West Coast Body and Paint owner.

“This shop has fixed not only my car multiple times, but my family members cars as well and each time it is done perfectly! Jaider is incredibly honest and takes pride in his work. I would, and do, recommend this shop to everyone I know!”

-Jenna E., Valley Village, CA, 12/1/2015

Thank you for taking the time to read this page.  

As of January 2022 we have some good news and some bad news…  

The BAD NEWS is we have moved out of our location and are in search of a new home for the West Coast Body and Paint shop.  

The GOOD NEWS is that we have a West Coast Body and Paint mobile paint repair service unit that will come to you!  The mobile paint unit provides auto services for minor body and  paint repairs.

Our estimates are free.  Once we receive your images we will provide you with an initial estimate.   The estimate is a ballpark figure, and after we assess your vehicle’s damage in person, we will review the estimate with you.  If you agree to the final estimate, we will begin repairing your car.  Fill out the form below or contact us through WhatsApp to request an estimate.


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