What To Look For After Collision Repair?

After a collision, getting your vehicle repaired is essential for safety and aesthetics. However, more is needed to complete the repairs; ensuring that the repair work meets certain standards is equally important. This is where post-repair inspections come in.

In this article by AutoShield Collision, the leading auto body collision repair shop in Santa Clara, we will discuss what to look for after collision repair and how to ensure your car is safe and functional. Post-repair inspections are crucial as they help identify any potential issues that may have been overlooked during the repair process. They also give you peace of mind knowing that your car has been restored to its pre-accident condition.

Whether you’re dealing with a minor fender-bender or a major collision, knowing what to look for after the repairs is essential. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss key areas to check when inspecting your vehicle post-collision repair.

AutoShield Collision Repair

Key Takeaways

– Post-repair inspections are crucial for identifying potential issues.

– Alignment, symmetry, and proper panel fitment are critical for vehicle safety and performance.

– Functionality must be checked to ensure the car’s safety features and mechanical systems work correctly.

– Structural integrity is crucial for maintaining a safe driving experience, and regular inspections are necessary to identify potential problems early on.

Paint Quality

After collision repair, the quality of the paint job on a vehicle can be evaluated through objective measures such as color match, gloss consistency, and texture uniformity. A professional auto body and collision repair service should ensure the new paint matches the vehicle’s original color. A good way to check this is to inspect it under different lighting conditions, including natural and fluorescent light. If there is a noticeable difference between the color of the repaired area and the rest of the car, it indicates that the paint job was poor or incomplete.

Another aspect to consider when evaluating paint quality is gloss consistency. This refers to how evenly reflective the surface finish appears across all painted areas. Inconsistencies in glossiness can indicate insufficient preparation before painting or an uneven application of a clear coat. It’s essential to look for any pitting or orange peel effect on newly painted surfaces, which can happen when not enough coats are applied or if they are applied too quickly.

Texture uniformity is also key in evaluating paint quality after a collision repair. High-quality auto body collision repairs should result in smooth finishes with no visible signs of sanding marks or other imperfections. Any bumps or roughness on newly painted surfaces could indicate inadequate sanding during prep work or improper spraying techniques during application.

At AutoShield Collision, we understand the significance of evaluating paint quality after a collision repair. It is a crucial step in guaranteeing that your vehicle maintains its pristine appearance and retains its value over the long term. By meticulously examining color match, gloss consistency, and texture uniformity following repairs conducted by our professional auto body collision repair service, you can have complete confidence that your car has been restored to its original condition with a top-notch paint job that will endure for years.

Alignment and Symmetry

Alignment and symmetry are critical to ensuring a vehicle’s safety and performance post-collision. After an accident, it is essential to have your car inspected for alignment issues, as they can affect how your vehicle handles on the road. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear, decrease fuel efficiency, and reduce driving performance.

One of the most common signs of misalignment is when your car pulls to one side while driving. Various factors, such as worn suspension components or improper tire pressure, can cause this. However, it is often due to a misaligned chassis caused by the impact of a collision.

In addition, if you notice that your steering wheel is off-center when driving in a straight line or that there’s uneven wear on your tires, these could also indicate alignment problems.

To check for alignment issues after collision repair, mechanics will likely use specialized equipment such as laser-guided machines or computerized systems that measure angles and adjust them accordingly. They will examine various parts of your car, including the wheels, suspension system, axles, steering components, and frame, to ensure everything is aligned correctly. If any adjustments need to be made, they will be done according to manufacturer specifications.

Checking for alignment and symmetry after collision repair should be part of every driver’s post-accident routine. Properly aligned wheels improve vehicle handling, extend tire life, and increase fuel economy. Inspecting for misalignment early on and addressing any issues promptly with expert help from our certified technicians at AutoShield Collision using state-of-the-art equipment ensures that drivers get back behind the wheel confidently in their car’s safety performance on the road ahead.

Panel Fitment

Panel fitment is an important aspect of vehicle construction that ensures proper alignment and overall aesthetic appeal. When a collision occurs, the body panels may become damaged or misaligned, leading to gaps or unevenness between adjoining panels. Proper panel fitment ensures that all adjacent panels sit flush against each other without noticeable gaps or overlaps.

One common issue with panel fitment is ‘proud’ panels, where one panel sits higher than its adjoining panel. This can occur due to damage to the mounting points or hinges during a collision repair. Additionally, over-tightening bolts or screws during reassembly can also cause proud panels. In such cases, adjustments must be made to ensure proper alignment and symmetry between all adjacent panels.

Another concern with panel fitment is the overall quality of the paint job after repairs have been completed. Panel replacement often requires blending the new paint into the existing finish for seamless color matching and continuity in appearance. This can result in visible color differences between different vehicle sections if incorrectly done. Therefore, checking for surface texture and color consistency discrepancies across all repaired areas is essential.

Lastly, proper panel fitment also plays a crucial role in maintaining your car’s structural integrity and safety features after repair work has been done. Incorrectly fitted body parts can affect crumple zones and airbag deployment systems during an accident. It’s, therefore, necessary to always double-check if everything has been aligned correctly before driving off from your collision repair shop.

At AutoShield Collision, we emphasize ensuring proper panel fitments during collision repairs. This meticulous approach is crucial in preventing potential long-term damages, as it helps maintain your vehicle’s structural integrity while preserving its aesthetic appeal and value. By carefully inspecting panel fitments, we ensure that your car remains in optimal condition, providing peace of mind and a restored vehicle that meets safety and visual standards.


Functionality is crucial to consider during collision repairs as it ensures that the car’s safety features and mechanical systems are working correctly. It is essential to check all the components thoroughly, including lights, brakes, airbags, suspension, and steering systems. A professional mechanic should conduct these checks as they have the necessary tools and expertise to identify potential issues.

The car’s brakes are the first thing to check after a collision repair. The braking system is integral to any vehicle and must be in perfect working order for road safety. A mechanic will test each brake individually and adjust them if necessary. They will also ensure no leaks or damage to the brake lines.

The car’s suspension system is another essential component that needs checking after a collision repair. The suspension system helps absorb shock while driving on uneven terrain and provides stability when cornering or braking suddenly. Any damage to this system can significantly affect the car’s handling performance, making it dangerous for passengers and other road users.

Airbag functionality should be checked after a collision repair. Airbags are designed to protect occupants during an accident by deploying upon impact; however, if they fail to deploy due to a malfunction or damage from previous accidents, they will not serve their intended purpose. Therefore, testing airbag sensors and ensuring they work correctly is critical in ensuring passenger safety while on the road.

In conclusion, functionality is a critical aspect of collision repairs as it affects the safety of drivers and passengers while on the road. Professional mechanics should always perform thorough checks on all components, such as brakes, suspension systems, and airbags, before returning vehicles to the road for use by motorists. Failure to do so could lead to severe consequences, such as accidents caused by faulty parts, which may result in loss of life or serious injury in worst-case scenarios.

Structural Integrity

The safety of a vehicle after an accident greatly depends on its structural integrity, which involves the ability of the car’s body to withstand and absorb impact forces. After a collision repair, it is vital to check for any signs of damage or weakness that could compromise the vehicle’s structural integrity. This includes inspecting the frame, suspension, and other components that contribute to the car’s overall strength.

One way to assess structural integrity is through visual inspection. Scrutiny of exterior and interior parts can reveal any visible signs of damage, such as dents or cracks in metal panels or misaligned seams. Any distortion or deformation may indicate alignment issues and should be corrected immediately. At AutoShield Collision, we advise customers to let us know if they notice any anomalies in their vehicle’s structural integrity or functionality after a collision repair. 

Another method used to evaluate structural integrity is through computerized measuring systems. This technology enables technicians to measure precisely how much damage has been done to a car’s frame during an accident. By using these measurements, they can determine whether repairs have been completed correctly and if there are any areas where additional work may be necessary.

Ensuring proper structural integrity after collision repair is crucial for maintaining a safe driving experience. Regular inspections by trained professionals at AutoShield Collision can also help identify potential problems early on so that they can be addressed before they become major safety concerns. Drivers should always remain vigilant about checking their vehicles for signs of damage after an accident, especially regarding critical components like frames and suspensions, which play vital roles in protecting passengers during collisions.

Test Drive

A critical step in ensuring a vehicle’s roadworthiness post-repair is to conduct a thorough test drive. This process involves taking the car out for a spin on different types of roads while paying attention to how it handles, brakes, and responds to acceleration. The purpose of this test is to identify any issues that may have arisen during the repair process that could affect the safety and performance of the vehicle.

During the test drive, checking for any unusual sounds or vibrations from the car is essential. Such noises can indicate problems with the suspension system, steering mechanism, or engine components. Additionally, drivers should note how well the brakes respond when applied and whether they feel spongy or unresponsive. A lack of responsiveness could indicate air in brake lines or other issues that require further inspection.

After collision repair, another critical aspect of a test drive is checking for proper wheel alignment. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear and affect handling and stability on the road. Drivers should also pay attention to any changes in fuel efficiency, as this could indicate problems with engine tuning or emissions control systems.

At AutoShield Collision, we recognize that conducting a comprehensive test drive following collision repair helps ensure that vehicles are safe and reliable on the road. It allows drivers to identify any potential issues before they become major problems that could compromise their driving experience or safety. By paying attention to key elements such as braking response, wheel alignment, strange noises/vibrations while driving at different speeds over different terrain types (including highways), and fuel efficiency rates after repairs are completed– motorists can be confident about their cars’ readiness for everyday use without worrying about common mechanical mishaps!


Maintaining a high level of cleanliness in a vehicle is not only aesthetically pleasing but also plays an essential role in preventing the buildup of harmful contaminants that can affect air quality and lead to health problems.

After collision repair, inspecting the vehicle’s thorough cleanliness is crucial. Collision repair often involves sanding, painting, and other activities that generate dust and debris. If these particles are not adequately cleaned up, they can accumulate inside the car’s cabin and cause health issues.

One way to check for cleanliness after collision repair is by examining the car’s interior surfaces. Look for any visible dust or debris on seats, carpets, dashboards, and other areas. Additionally, check for any signs of paint overspray or residue from sanding on these surfaces. These particles can be challenging to remove once they settle into fabrics or plastics.

Another area to inspect for cleanliness is the engine compartment. During collision repair, mechanics may need to remove parts from under the hood to access damaged areas. This process can leave behind dirt and grime that could damage engine components over time if left uncleaned. Check for any visible dirt or oil stains around engine parts such as hoses, belts, and filters.

Lastly, examine the car’s exterior for any leftover debris from collision repair work, such as tape residue or paint overspray on windows or body panels. These particles detract from the car’s appearance and indicate poor attention to detail during repairs. A thorough cleaning should eliminate all traces of these materials.

Maintaining a clean vehicle after collision repair is critical for both aesthetic and health concerns related to the air quality inside the cabin. Inspecting interior surfaces, engine compartments, and exterior areas will help remove all harmful contaminants before driving your newly repaired vehicle off the lot.

Documentation and Warranty

Ensuring proper documentation and warranty coverage is essential for protecting your investment and providing peace of mind. At AutoShield Collision, we understand the importance of transparent and comprehensive documentation to ensure your satisfaction and confidence in our services. Here’s what you can expect from us:

  1. Detailed Documentation: After a collision repair, we will provide you with all the necessary documents to prove the work done on your vehicle. This includes a comprehensive estimate, a detailed invoice, and receipts for parts or services rendered. Our estimate will outline all the repairs needed, including labor costs and the specific parts required for each task.
  2. Written Warranty: At AutoShield Collision, we stand behind the quality of our work. As a result, we provide a written warranty that covers both labor and the parts used during the repair process. Our warranty specifies the duration of coverage and the types of issues it covers.
  3. Clear Terms and Conditions: We believe in transparency and ensure our warranty’s terms and conditions are communicated to you. It’s essential to read and understand these terms thoroughly. While our warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, we want you to know that certain limitations or exclusions may apply. For instance, normal wear-and-tear items like brakes or tires may not be covered.
  4. Post-Repair Support: AutoShield Collision is committed to your satisfaction even after the repair. Before you leave our premises, we will inform you about any follow-up procedures available at our shop. This way, you will know exactly whom to contact in case any issues arise later on, whether due to faulty parts or workmanship errors during installation.

By following these steps and choosing AutoShield Collision for your collision repairs, you can have peace of mind and financial security. We prioritize your satisfaction and strive to provide excellent service, ensuring that your investment in your vehicle is protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait before washing my car after collision repair?

At AutoShield Collision, the San Jose auto body collision repair shop, we share the same recommendations for caring for your vehicle after a collision repair. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Wait for Proper Curing: It is generally advised to wait 24-48 hours before washing your car after a collision repair. This allows the paint and adhesives used in the repair process to fully cure and harden, ensuring a smooth and durable finish. However, please consult with your repair technician for specific recommendations based on the materials used in your repair, as curing times may vary.
  2. Gentle Cleaning Approach: When washing your car after a collision repair, it is crucial to use gentle cleaning methods. Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaning tools, or automated car washes that could potentially damage the newly repaired areas of your vehicle. Instead, opt for a soft sponge or microfiber cloth and a mild car wash soap to maintain the integrity of the repaired surfaces.
  3. Regular Maintenance and Inspections: To keep your car in top condition following collision repairs, it’s essential to follow a regular maintenance schedule. This includes routine inspections of the repaired areas and general maintenance tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks. Staying proactive with maintenance will help identify any issues early on and ensure the long-term performance of your vehicle.

By following these recommendations and staying attentive to your car’s maintenance needs, you can help preserve the quality and longevity of the collision repairs performed by AutoShield Collision. Our goal is to provide you with a vehicle that looks great and functions optimally for years to come.

Can I request specific parts or materials to be used during the repair process?

At AutoShield Collision, your trusted auto body collision repair shop in Santa Clara, we understand that customers may prefer the parts and materials used in the repair process. We strive to accommodate these requests while prioritizing your vehicle’s quality, safety, and warranty considerations. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Specific Requests: Requesting particular parts or materials for your vehicle’s repair is possible. We encourage open communication with our customers to understand their preferences and requirements. Our experienced technicians can provide guidance and discuss the options available to meet your needs.
  2. Shop Guidelines and Requirements: While we aim to fulfill specific requests, it is essential to note that AutoShield Collision may have specific guidelines or requirements regarding parts and materials. These guidelines are in place to ensure the highest quality repairs and maintain your vehicle’s safety and performance standards.
  3. OEM Parts and Warranty: We primarily use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, which are designed and produced by your vehicle’s manufacturer. OEM parts are known for their quality, compatibility, and warranty coverage. It is essential to consider that using non-OEM parts may impact your vehicle’s warranty and could compromise its safety and performance.
  4. Discussing Preferences: Before proceeding with the repairs, we encourage you to discuss any specific requests with our team. We will work closely with you to understand your preferences and provide the best solutions that align with our quality standards and your expectations.

By maintaining open communication and collaborating with our customers, AutoShield Collision strives to deliver repairs that meet your preferences and uphold the highest standards of quality, safety, and warranty coverage for your vehicle.

How long does Collision Repair take?

AutoShield Collision, the licensed and BBB-certified auto body collision repair shop, offers varying timelines for different types of collision repairs:

  1. Windshield Replacement: Typically takes at least one day or more to complete.
  2. Minor Autobody Work: Generally completed within one to two days.
  3. Bumper Repair/Replacement: Typically completed within a single day.
  4. Internal Element Replacement: This type of repair may require a longer duration, usually one to two weeks.
  5. Extensive Internal Damage to Multiple Parts: Repairing substantial internal damage that affects multiple components can take over a month to complete.

Please note that these timeframes are approximate and can vary based on the specific circumstances of each repair case. AutoShield Collision aims to provide efficient and timely services to restore your vehicle to its pre-collision condition.

What type of insurance coverage is needed for collision repair?

When it comes to collision repair, understanding insurance coverage is crucial. At AutoShield Collision, your local auto body collision repair shop, we recommend considering the following types of insurance coverage:

  1. Liability Insurance: Liability insurance is typically mandatory in most states. It covers damages or injuries caused by the policyholder to another person or their property. However, it does not cover damages to the policyholder’s vehicle. This type of coverage is vital for protecting others in an accident.
  2. Collision Coverage: Collision coverage pays for damages to the policyholder’s vehicle in case of a collision with another car or object. It helps cover repairing or replacing your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. Collision coverage is particularly important for protecting your vehicle in an accident.
  3. Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision events, including theft, fire, vandalism, natural disasters, and more. It helps cover repairing or replacing your vehicle in these situations. Comprehensive coverage is valuable for safeguarding your vehicle from various potential risks.

By understanding your insurance coverage and selecting the appropriate types of coverage for your needs, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected in the event of a collision and subsequent repair.

At AutoShield Collision, auto insurance claims assistance is our specialty. We take care of the entire insurance claims process on your behalf, eliminating any hassle for you. From the initial stages to the final resolution, we handle it all. We can work with all insurance carriers, ensuring a seamless experience for our customers.

How often should I inspect my car for potential issues after collision repair?

At AutoShield Collision, we emphasize the importance of regular inspections after collision repairs to maintain the safety and performance of your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Timing of Inspections: The frequency of post-repair inspections may vary based on several factors, including the severity of the collision, the extent of repairs, and the overall condition of the vehicle. Generally, it is recommended to have a post-repair inspection conducted within a few weeks or months after the repair work has been completed. This initial inspection allows for early detection of any potential issues that may have arisen during the repair process.
  2. Subsequent Inspections: The need for subsequent inspections depends on the recommendations of the qualified technician or any signs of problems that may arise with the vehicle. It’s essential to remain attentive to unusual sounds, vibrations, handling issues, or warning lights, as they may indicate underlying problems requiring inspection and maintenance.
  3. The focus of Inspections: Post-repair inspections should focus on critical systems affecting safety and performance. This includes checking the alignment, suspension, steering, braking, and other vital components. Additionally, it’s essential to assess the overall condition of the repairs and ensure that all repaired areas are functioning correctly.

Regular inspections and promptly addressing any issues can ensure your vehicle remains safe and reliable and performs optimally after collision repairs. Our qualified technicians at AutoShield Collision are available to perform thorough inspections and provide any necessary maintenance to keep your vehicle in top condition.


In conclusion, conducting a thorough inspection before accepting delivery of your vehicle after a collision repair is essential. AutoShield Collision agrees with the importance of checking the following factors:

  1. Paint Quality: Ensure the paintwork matches the rest of the vehicle, with no visible color differences, overspray, or imperfections.
  2. Alignment and Symmetry: Check that all panels and components are aligned correctly and symmetrically, with consistent gaps and flush surfaces.
  3. Panel Fitment Functionality: Ensure all doors, hood, trunk, and other parts open, close, and latch properly.
  4. Structural Integrity: Verify that the structural integrity of your vehicle has been restored with no visible signs of damage or misalignment.
  5. Cleanliness: The vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out, removing any dust, debris, or remnants of the repair process.
  6. Documentation: Ensure you have received all necessary documentation, including estimates, invoices, receipts, and warranty information.
  7. Warranty Information: Understand the terms and coverage of the warranty provided by the collision repair center, including its duration and what types of issues it covers.

By conducting a comprehensive inspection and addressing any concerns before accepting your vehicle, you can have peace of mind knowing that the collision repair has been performed to a high standard. 

At AutoShield Collision, we are a comprehensive auto body and collision repair facility that delivers exceptional service. Our team of skilled technicians is committed to using top-notch materials and state-of-the-art equipment for every vehicle repair we undertake. You can trust us to restore your vehicle to its original factory-built standards, ensuring safety and a flawless appearance. AutoShield Collision is committed to delivering quality repairs, and we encourage customers to thoroughly inspect their vehicles to ensure their satisfaction and safety. Our specialties include the following:

  • Auto body paint & collision repair
  • All Insurance Carriers Accepted
  • Tow and Rental Car Arrangements
  • Complimentary 21-Point inspection
  • Discount & Rebates Available
  • Customer Referral Reward Program
  • Lifetime Warranty

Contact us to learn more about our collision repair services.


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