How Auto Body Shops and Mechanics Differ:
What is an Auto Body Shop?
Whenever your vehicle sustains body damage, an auto repair shop is where you need to take it. Body shop technicians have been trained and equipped to repair the body of a vehicle, so it is safe to use and looks aesthetically pleasing. They are highly thorough, since even minor damage can affect all over the vehicle’s body, and ensure a holistic approach by following numerous steps of inspection. They will oversee everything from part replacement to repainting. By the time they are done working on your vehicle, it should look like it how it appeared before it sustained damage.
What Does a Mechanic Do?
In short, a mechanic is an auto expert who repairs the mechanical systems of your vehicle. After a collision, this is where people most often go to receive repairs. If the vehicle has suffered no grievous body damage, this is the first place you will want to bring it. Much like auto body technicians, mechanics are trained and have the necessary tools to fix the internal components of your vehicle so it will function again. The vehicle’s machinery doesn’t need to be severely damaged to bring it to a mechanic. If your engine light is on, and you don’t know why, a mechanic can tell you why.
Auto Body Repair vs. Mechanic – Which Should I Use?
The general rule to abide by is if the damage is to the mechanical system of the vehicle, you will want to take it to a mechanic. If the damage is to the body of the vehicle, then you need an auto collision repair shop. One other factor to consider, though, is painting. Some mechanics are able to replace body panels, but they can’t necessarily paint them to look like the rest of the vehicle. Even if the installed panel matches the rest of the vehicle, its color will fade at a different rate than the other parts, so paint will still be required on the vehicle. If you want that, you will need to go to an auto body shop.
At the end of the day, both of these shops are suited for different tasks. Neither one is inherently better than the other, but it is good to know what you need before you use either of these services. If the mechanical system is damaged, you can’t go wrong with a mechanic. If the body is damaged, you will want an auto body technician.