How Long Does it Take For a Mechanic to Fix a Car
There are a number of factors at play whenever your car develops mechanical problems, or when it gets involved in an accident. One of which is the model, the availability of spares, the type of garage, and the pre-existing queue.
So how long does it take a body shop to fix your car? Well, that will depend on the above factors. Whether you’re dealing with an emergency, carrying out a routine checkup, or looking to resolve a mechanical issue – it goes without saying that you would like the job done as fast as possible.
However, all the above issues take different timelines to fix and an auto body shop taking too long to fix a car can bring about a number of unnecessary complications to your daily schedule. But then again how well do you know your garage, does it have the manpower, and do they use original spare parts to fix cars?
Determining your Vehicles Repair Time
A car’s repair time (also known as the cycle time) refers to how long it will take to get your vehicle up and running. Diagnosis may give you a timeframe but you should always work with the fact that the mechanic might find a new issue during repair that hadn’t spotted earlier on.
Original Equipment (O E) vs. Salvage Parts
Using original equipment more often than not brings about long term results on areas that need replacing. This is because original spare parts will rarely develop issues immediately after being installed and will also fit perfectly upon the first try, as they have been designed for the particular model. Salvage parts, on the other hand, might take longer before the perfect fit is found for the particular issue.
In most cases, the relevant spare part may no longer be in production, to which end the mechanic will have to look for salvaged parts for the pending repair. In such instances, finding that specific item may take longer, and inadvertently affect the predetermined cycle time.
Insurance company processes
If you plan on having your insurance pay for the repair services, then the agency will have to sign off on the estimate delivered. In some cases, the body shop might be authorized to calculate and deliver an implementable value for the services – making it a straightforward process. Other policies, however, could insist on having the agency’s own evaluator look at the whole repair package before settling on any potential value.
In situations where the latter is applied, the overall procedure might be affected because of the two parties involved. Finding a body repair shop that collaborates with your insurance providers is, therefore, one of the best ways to avoid bureaucratic obstacles when dealing with finances. This way, there will be no need for two evaluations before settling on an estimation.
However, there are some minor repairs that you can do on your own and there are those that are too extensive to warrant the involvement of an insurance company. Therefore, depending on how they will respond, it will greatly affect the time that your car will take to get fixed.
Foreign/Specialty vs. Mass-produced Vehicles
The type of vehicle involved is another aspect that should be considered when estimating how long it will take to fix your car. Rare models such as the foreign and specialty cars may take longer than regular makes, because of the parts required. Finding a spare part for a vintage Ferrari, for example, may not be as easy as getting one for your everyday Toyota.
The Extent of Damage Involved
The severity of the problem is a factor that will play a significant role in the length of time involved. If you require a full-on body kit service, for example, then that might take between three days to a week to complete. However, if you simply need a dent straightened – then the expected timeline would drop to under a day.
Remember, it’s never wise to continually pressure your mechanic into speeding up the repair process, as this could lead to the development of unnecessary and unforeseen issues, and the mechanic will probably do a shoddy job.
So you are not the only driver on the road, neither are you the first one to develop car problems, there are other people who developed complications way before you and have queued in the garage. So, complaining about the delay of services will not solve any problem but rather look illogical.
However, in most cases a good repair shop will inform you earlier on of such a fact, to allow you decide whether you have the time or will look for another repair shop with a shorter queue.
For example, if you’re visiting a popular body repair shop in your neighborhood, chances are that they already have a full plate as regards workload, which then means that you will have to look for other alternatives because your car repair might take longer before it gets back on the road.
Average Timelines for Common Problems
As mentioned earlier, different issues will require different timelines to resolve. Some types of work will need an extended period to accomplish, while others can be done in a day or two depending on the availability of replaceable parts and labor. Besides gaining some general knowledge on these different timelines can help you understand if the period suggested is a valid request or an exaggeration of the situation.
Some common problems and their timelines include:
|Vehicle Problem||Average Timeline|
|Extensive damage to significant/large/multiple parts||+ One month|
|Internal replacements and repairs||One to two weeks|
|Minor auto body repairs||One to two days (depending on the damage)|
|Bumper replacements||One day or less|
|Bodypaint||Three weeks to a month|
Asking your body shop to surpass these average timelines by a big margin is an unfair and impossible expectation to place on them. It’s crucial to know how long to wait before becoming impatient with the delivery of a particular service. You should note that professionals never rush into their tasks as such actions can undermine the overall quality of their work. Shortcuts in this sector usually come with additional expenses in the long run.
Some auto body shops also offer membership programs that can affect the period of a particular service. Members of the top tier program, for example, are allowed access to immediate services when dealing with issues such as minor auto body repairs
This can be a great solution for those who may not be too patient with the delivery of such services. However, such privileges are usually more costly than the average solutions provided.
In conclusion, enrolling in a membership program will impact the delivery of services and will most definitely turn out to be fast and timely. Take time to review the different garages, how they respond to emergencies like when you are stuck on the road alone and in a far place or the type of spare parts that they use and if they do offer quality services.
What to look for when retrieving your repaired vehicle
Once your vehicle is ready for pick up, there are some things that you have to check before you drive out of the garage. The first most important thing is to pick up the car in broad daylight so that you can do a thorough inspection.
Ensure that the doors, trunk, and hood open without any problem, check on the paint color match on the repaired part and the adjacent areas. Check on the tires, if they are of the same brand and model that you use because in case they get destroyed, then the replacement has to match what was initially there.
Last but not least, test-drive your car and ensure that everything runs smoothly, which includes electrical devices such as the power seats, door locks, and windows.
Frequently Asked Questions (faqs)
Can I sue a mechanic for taking too long to get my car fixed?
First of all, if you want to sue your mechanic then you will have to go to a District Court; this is with regard to the amount of money you sued the garage for. You will then have to find another mechanic to give you a different opinion on how much the job is going to cost and the proper timeframe to get your car back on the road. You will then sue the mechanic for the cost of finishing the car and this is not inclusive of the money that you are yet to pay him.
What can I do if a mechanic rips me off?
Mechanics will take advantage of you if they think you are naïve when it comes to car issues, some will do a shoddy job and the car will not take long before, it starts giving you problems. Some will tell you that they have replaced some parts when they haven’t; if this happens then you need to be bold, polite and confident when approaching them for answers.
If they refuse to collaborate, just get the police, and make a fraud report at the police station then have the unreplaced parts verified by an ASE mechanic or a dealer.
What should I do if I can’t pay the mechanic?
Ever heard of a Mechanics Lien, well this is a legal document, commonly used by auto mechanics to collect debts owed for vehicle repairs. By making this move, you will not be able to sell the car until you have cleared the debt. The mechanic's lien would be best if you had car issues and maybe it is your moneymaker, without it you are out of business, but if it is for leisure then you can wait till you get money.