Frequently Asked Question

At Classic Auto Body we want to make automotive servicing as simple, and hassle free as possible. Below are some frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t listed below, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service team.

Do I need an estimate from Classic Auto Body if I already have an insurance estimate?

Classic Auto Body will not need to write another estimate for you, but we will want to review your insurance estimate alongside the vehicle prior to scheduling the vehicle for repairs. This will allow us to gather any information we may need to pre-order the exterior parts necessary to repair your vehicle.

Do I have to get more then one estimates on my car?

No, Virginia Law allows the consumer to choose any shop to repair their vehicle. Your insurance company is required to work with the shop of your choice and, in good faith, arrive at an agreed price to repair your car.

My insurance company directs me to a shop that I don’t want to use. Can I decide who is going to repair my car?

Legally, you have the right to choose what shop you want to fix your car. Your Insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular repair facility.

Should I turn the loss into my insurance company or pay for it out of pocket?

That is really a question only you can answer based on a number of personal and financial factors. An initial drive-in estimate is typically written as a “visual only estimate”. A majority of the time, the price to repair a car goes up (sometimes increasing dramatically) once it is disassembled and closely inspected. This is due to many very expensive components are situated inside the exterior parts of vehicles and cannot be seen visually unless a vehicle has been taken apart, which is not feasible for a drive-in estimate. Your insurance company has the expertise and is trained to deal with additional damage and part price increases, much better than most consumers. If you have any question about handling the claim yourself or turning it into your insurance company, you should probably let the experts handle it for you, but again that is your choice.Rule of thumb is if the cost of repair is less than your deductible amount no insurance claim necessary.

What are OEM, Aftermarket, Recycled, and Recondition Parts?

OEM – (Original Equipment Manufactured) New part by your vehicle’s factory supplier.

AFTERMARKET – Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party supplier. Mainly manufactured overseas and imported into the US.

RECYCLED – An original factory Used part that taken off of from another vehicle at a junk yard.

RECONDITION – like new but refurbished by rebuild part company.

What is a "Visible Only" or "Preliminary" Estimate?

A visible or preliminary estimate is written only for what damage the appraiser can see without disassembling the vehicle. No hidden damage is assumed. Normally drive-in estimates (both shop and insurance company) are written as visible only because we do not want to potentially disable a vehicle while drive estimating. Once a vehicle is in the repair shop, we disassemble all damaged parts off the car and inspect for all hidden damage. This is a normal industry practice.

What is a Supplement?

A supplement is typically an estimate for hidden or additional damage, not discovered during the initial visible estimate. Supplements and hidden damage are a normal occurrence because today’s vehicles are designed to crush from the “outside-in” in order to protect the occupants. If a shop finds additional damage, it writes a supplement and notifies the insurance company or customer for approval to continue with repairs.

Can frame damage be properly repaired?

The answer is yes if the frame has not been permanently weakened by a tear or kink. Also, some areas of the crush zone are off limits to repair. Serious damage may require a frame component section or replacement. Today’s light cars are designed with a uni-body frame, meaning most of the vehicle core is part of the frame structure. It is very common and safe for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame.

I have a new car; do I need to take it to a dealership for maintenance in order to keep my warranty valid?

No! Forget all about that old myth. As long as you follow the specifications given by the manufacturer (which can be found in your handy owner’s manual), your warranty is valid. At Classic Auto Body, we always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. We’ll make sure your warranty remains valid and your car remains happy – for many miles to come!

What do I have to do to keep my car or truck’s warranty in effect?

Make sure your vehicle is serviced at the intervals specified in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet and keep clear records of your vehicle’s maintenance. Be sure to include the date, parts installed, vehicle identification number, and mileage recorded on the invoice. Keep your receipts in a safe place. If you have a service log in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet, we highly recommend that you use it.

My car is a leased vehicle. Am I responsible for maintenance?

Even if you lease a vehicle, you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs required to keep the vehicle in good working order as outlined in the owner’s manual.

What parts should be replaced and at what intervals should these services be performed?

Check your owner’s manual. It will give you all of the information you need regarding specific parts and service intervals. Make sure to read it thoroughly and note any exceptions or severe service notations. Warranties are there to protect the consumer, but you must follow the requirements.

Does brake fluid really need to be changed?

The average driver uses their brakes 75,000 times per year and takes for granted that they’ll work every time. Today’s brake systems are hydraulic and use brake fluid which is hydrophobic, meaning it can absorb moisture from the air. Once the hydraulic system has moisture in it, corrosion takes place and brake components fail. Brake fluid should be flushed periodically to keep corrosion under control. This procedure is not expensive and is included in many preventative maintenance schedules. Brake fluid should be handled with care. It will melt plastics and remove paint.

How often should antifreeze be replaced?

Antifreeze should be replaced every two years due to oxidation and deterioration of important additives. These additives lubricate the water pump and protect metal parts from rust and oxidation. They also help keep coolant hoses soft and flexible. Today we can recycle and clean old antifreeze, replacing the additives. Antifreeze is very toxic and not environmentally friendly so recycling makes good sense. The engine’s thermostat should also be replaced every 2 years to keep the engine operating temperatures in the proper range.

How often am I updated of the repair status of my vehicle?

Classic Auto Body will update you on your repair status as much as you can handle. Just tell us when or where and it will happen. During the beginning stage of the repairs, you will be asked how often you would like to receive updates.

How do you determine how long it takes to repair a vehicle?

Repair time is typically a function of labor hours on the job. Some makes and models or specific parts might not be available locally and a shop will add in days to acquire those parts, but 4 labor hours per day on the estimates, not including weekends or holidays, is a good guide. Some insurance companies and shops will differ. Please ask your Estimator or Service Representative to explain how your shop sets its repair time.