Resource Center

Consumer Rights

The links listed below will provide you with additional resources to help you better manage your collision repair experience.
Website from Diminished Value expert Charlie Barone. Serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
This is an online insurance marketplace, which contains an extensive "Learning Center" with articles, tips, FAQ's and much more.

Taking The Hill
This site is ASA's legislative website, whereas you can search for any legislation going on in your state that affects the automotive industry. This website also will give you the email addresses for your political representatives. It will provide you a forum to contact your insurance commissioners as well to file complaints or to enlist ASA's assistance in resolution or tracking of complaints.

Insurance Consumer Advocate Network
Official website for the Insurance Consumer Advocacy Network (I-Can), an organization dedicated to informing consumers of their rights and options in vehicle repair and service.
This is a website that you can log into to search for consumer complaints filed against specific insurance carriers state by state and the results of the resolution of the complaint.

Ripoff Report
This is a worldwide consumer reporting website and publication, by consumers for consumers, to file and document complaints about companies or individuals.
Contains OEM position statements and basic information on aftermarket parts, claims handling, insurer steering practices and other matters consumers should consider during the repair process.
Contains consumer-based articles related to the automotive repair industry, written by attorney and consumer advocate Erica Eversman.

Better Business Bureau
This is a great site to view credible and reliable businesses.

Online Reviews
To post a review of your recent experience choose one of the following sites and follow the instructions below. Click the logo of the site you wish to visit.

If you are a registered user of Yelp, log in; otherwise, you will need to sign up for an account. Access to both types of login are located at the upper right hand corner of the home page.

  1. In the search field at the top, type in and find the body shop. In the "Near" field, type in the address, neighborhood, city, state or zip code.
  2. Select the appropriate body shop.
  3. On the shop’s page, click on "Write a Review”.
  4. Roll over the number of stars you want to have this business rated as.
  5. Write your review in the "Your Review" text box.
  6. When complete, click on "Post Review”.

If this is your first review on Yahoo! Local, click on "New User?" located at the upper left hand corner of the home page to register. If you have an account, click "Sign In".

  1. In the "Find Business & Services" field, type in the name of the body shop. In the adjacent field, type in the address, city & state or zip code.
  2. Click "Search Local".
  3. On the next page, click on your body shop from the listing provided, then click the shop's name on the right-hand side.
  4. Once your body shop page appears, click on "Write a review".
  5. Choose the number of stars you would like to give as a rating.
  6. Write the review. Type the "verification code".
  7. Click "Post Review".

If you don't already have a YP ID (Yellow Pages ID), you'll need to register for one by clicking on "Register" at the top, right hand corner of the home page.

  1. After you are signed in, type in the name of the body shop in the "Business Name or Category" field along with the city & state in the adjoining field.
  2. Click "Find".
  3. Click on the name of your body shop from the choices given.
  4. On the home page for the facility, click on "Write a Review" located at the upper, left hand corner.
  5. Chose a "display name" that will "sign" the review once completed.
  6. Decide the number of stars you feel the business deserves.
  7. Write your review in the text box and then click "All Done".

A Google account is required in order to write a review: therefore, you need to click on "Create" (located at the upper right hand corner of the home page) if this is your first time using the site. You can click on "Sign In" if you have already have an ID.

  1. Once registered, search for the body shop within Google maps.
  2. After the list of businesses appears, click on the name of the body shop you are rating and then scroll down and click "Write a Review".
  3. Choose a star rating and type your review in the "Describe your experience" box below.
  4. When finished, click "Post".


New users of this site are required to register in order to post a review. To do so, click "Register" in the upper right hand corner of the home page. Previous users, click on "Sign In".

  1. Once complete, enter the name of the body shop in the "I'm looking for..." search field. Type in the city and state in the following field.
  2. Click Enter or the search icon.
  3. A page with a list of business will become available. Click on your particular body shop's name.
  4. On the home page for that facility, click on "Write a Review".
  5. Write your review in the text box and then click "Submit".

Insider Pages

If this is your first time to Insider Pages, click "Login or Sign Up" located in the menu at the upper right hand corner of the home page in order to register.

  1. After you have signed in, enter the name of the body shop in the "I'm looking for..." field and enter the city and state in the field to the right.
  2. Click "Go!".
  3. Once you find your specific body shop in the choices given, click on its name.
  4. On your facilities home page, click on "Write a Review".
  5. First determine the number of stars this business should be rated.
  6. Write your review in the "Review" text box.
  7. Decide a title for your review and enter that in the "Title" field.
  8. Click "Submit".


When writing a review on SuperPages, please sign in by clicking the "Sign In" located at the upper right hand corner of the home page. You will then be given a choice to either sign in as a "Returning User" or as a "New User". New users are given the instructions for the criteria necessary to register.

  1. After signing in, enter the name of the body shop in the "Find local businesses" field and click the search icon.
  2. Find your shop in the list furnished, click it's name and then scroll down and click on "Write a Review".
  3. Hover over and select the number of stars you would like the business to receive.
  4. Write your review in the text box under "Review".
  5. Click "Submit Review".

Garage Fly

To post a review with Garage Fly you are required to either Create a Profile or Sign in with your login information. First, though, you need to search for the shop.

  1. Search for the shop by entering the city or zip code in the "type a city name or zip code..." and the shop name in the "type a shop name..." boxes.
  2. Find the shop you attended and click "review it".
  3. Create a Profile or Sign in.
  4. Select your "Approximate Date of Pick-up", Invoice # (if known), Auto Year, Auto Make, and Auto Model.
  5. Write "Your Review".
  6. Rate your experience.
  7. Click "Submit".

Books & Resources
Below are useful resources that you may find helpful.

Louie Sharp's Car Cents: The Essential Owner's Guide To Saving Thousands On The Cost Of Owning Wheels
Louie Sharp is wired to help people. He's been serving others non-stop since the 1970's when he served us all in the United States Marine Corps. Even after his release, Louie continued in the Marine Reserves for another sixteen years where he was a jet engine mechanic on both "E" and "N" model Huey helicopters...

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NHTSA was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 to carry out safety programs previously administered by the National Highway Safety Bureau. Specifically, the agency directs the highway safety and consumer programs established by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Highway Safety Act of 1966, the 1972 Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, and succeeding amendments to these laws. Dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety, NHTSA works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial. The agency strives to exceed the expectations of its customers through its core values of Integrity, Service, and Leadership.

Glossary of Terms
Aftermarket Parts

Automotive replacement parts that were not made by the original equipment manufacturer.


The process of drying fully during exposure to air at normal temperatures.
Alternate Term(s): Drying

Basecoat (BC) / Clear

A paint system in which the color effect is given by a highly pigmented basecoat. Gloss and durability are given by a subsequent basecoat.


A heavy metal platform used to restore a vehicle's structural geometry to factory specifications. This is done by securing a portion of the vehicle to the platform, then pulling appropriate areas of the vehicle into place using special clamps, chains and hydraulic winches.
Alternate Term(s): Frame Rack, Frame Machine


Term used to describe an item replaced due to an accident that has some wear. The practice is often applied to tires and batteries that are several years old. If a battery has used up 3/4 of its life, the Insurance company will pro-rate the item's cost and in this case will pay 1/4 of the cost to replace the battery and will ask the insured or claimant to pay the remaining 3/4. The premise being that the Insurance Company is only obligated to return the vehicle to its pre-accident condition.

Chip Guard

A chip resistant, protective coating normally applied to lower panels to avoid sharp stones etc. chipping the paint finish.


The removal of paint from a substrate by means of impact of sharp stones etc.

Clear or basecoat

The basecoat imparts gloss and protection to a basecoat basecoat system. It is essentially a pigment-free paint.


A single layer of paint on a surface.


The action of using an abrasive polishing material either by hand or by machine.
Alternate Term(s): Polishing


Degradation of the metal substrate by oxidation. That is the formation of an oxide layer on the metal surface. This process requires that the metal surface be exposed to oxygen, and is favoured in the presence of water. In the case of iron and steel, corrosion is often referred to as rusting.


The removal from the substrate of contaminants which would otherwise give rise to surface defects and performance failures. E.g. poor adhesion.


Final cleaning both inside and outside of vehicle, application of pinstripes, removal of over spray from under hood, trunk lids etc. as well as polishing

Direct Gloss (DG)

A topcoat paint which contains pigment and resin, and gives the required gloss level without the need of the application of a basecoat. A DG Paint film has good weathering and durability characteristics.


Acronym for Direct Repair Program. These programs often involve a contractual agreement between an Autobody Repair Center and an Insurance Company. For the most part, the agreements set the rules of repair and standardized procedures such as warranties, billing practices and record keeping.


The process of change of a coating from the liquid to the solid state by evaporation of solvent, chemical reaction of the binding medium, or a combination of these processes. When drying takes place during exposure to air at normal temperatures, it is called 'air-drying'; if it can be accelerated by the application of a moderate degree of heat it is called 'Force-drying' (or Low-bake), as distinct from High-bake.
Alternate Term(s): Binder, Air-drying, Force-drying, Stoving, Low-bake, High-bake

Edge-To-Edge Repair

A term denoting a complete panel repair as opposed to a touch-up or spot repair.
Alternate Term(s): Spot repair


A topcoat paint which forms a film by chemical cross-linking of its component molecules during the cure.


Acronym for Front End Alignment. Generally appears as a line item on a repair estimate or repair order. It will sometimes be accompanied by 4-W or 4-Wheel alignment. This simply means that the vehicle needs to have all wheels aligned.


The degree to which a painted surface possesses the property of reflecting light in a mirror-like manner.

Hazardous Waste

Any unusable by-product derived from the repair and/or painting process that cannot be disposed of through normal waste disposal streams. These products can be potentially harmful to the environment and require special handling as well as professional disposal. Federal, State and Local laws apply and may differ in their scope.


Acronym for Like Kind and Quality. Refers to a used part salvaged from another vehicle. It is inspected by the seller and re-inspected by the shop upon receipt and accepted if it is deemed appropriate.


Temporary covering of areas not to be painted.


A term used for finishes incorporating fine metallic particles, usually aluminum, in the paint.


A naturally occurring mineral, based on silica, which after treatment, is used as an effect pigment in coatings. Their special property is that light falling on a mica particle, depending on the angle of illumination, reflects the light with a change in color. Because of this they are sometimes referred to as pearls.
Alternate Term(s): Pearl

Motor Manufacturer's Primer

An undercoat system applied by the manufacturer to the metal surface of a commercial vehicle or to new automobile panel parts to give protection during transit, storage, etc. and which, depending on its type, age and condition, may be able to support the finishing system. It may consist of more than just a simple primer coat.
Alternate Term(s): OE Primer


See "Mica".
Alternate Term(s): Mica


The coloring matter in paint. A pigment is different from a dye in that a pigment is insoluble in the media in which it is used.


The process of washing, degreasing and lightly abrading a panel prior to applying paint.
Alternate Term(s): Prep Work

Pretreatment (Metal)

The chemical treatment of unpainted metal surfaces before painting, for enhanced adhesion and corrosion resistance.


The first layer of a coating system. Applied to an unpainted surface. Its role is to protect the substrate and to prepare it for the application of a surfacer or topcoat. It must therefore have above all, excellent adhesion to the substrate and to the coating which will follow.


An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.

Surfacer Primer / Filler

A pigmented composition which acts as a primer and at the same time has filling properties such that it may be sanded to provide a smooth surface for the color coat that is to follow.


A plastic material with a high mineral filler content - used for filling deep holes or wide gaps.


Acronym for Remove and Install. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle to be saved and reinstalled after the repair has been completed.


Acronym for Remove and Replace. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle that cannot be acceptably repaired. It is replaced with a new part.

Repair Authorization

The point at which a Consumer authorizes the repair to their vehicle (and in some cases contingent upon the Insurance Company settlement process).

Rubbing Compound

An abrasive paste that smooths and polishes paint films.
Alternate Term(s): Polishing compound


An abrasive process used to level a coated surface prior to the application of a further coat.
Alternate Term(s): Flatting


An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.

Solid Color

A coating which contains colored pigments only, i.e., does not contain pigments such as aluminum and micas.


A liquid, usually volatile, which is used to reduce viscosity. This is essential in both manufacturing and application processes. Solvents evaporate during application and drying of paint and therefore do not become a part of the dried film. In conventional coatings the solvents are organic compounds (Alcohols, Esters and Ketones) whilst in waterborne systems there is a mix of organic solvents with water.


The uncoated/unpainted surface.


Additional repairs needed to complete the repair that were not identified on the original estimate

Tack Rag

Cotton fabric, such as cheesecloth, lightly impregnated with a resin, used to remove dust from a surface after rubbing down and prior to further painting. Tack rags should be stored in an airtight container to conserve their tackiness.

Tape Marking

The imprint caused by applying masking tape on to a newly-applied paint film before it has time to harden.


A blend of volatile organic solvents added to the paint to reduce it to the correct viscosity for application.

Three Coat Color

A topcoat color which consists of 3 parts, a basecoat, a midcoat and a clearcoat.
Alternate Term(s): Tri-coat

Tint and Blend

The process of mixing toners to match the existing paint finish, then blending or overlapping the color into the adjacent panel to avoid color match problems.


Any colored pigment or paint mixture used to make small adjustments in color, or to the mix the color in the first place from a mixing scheme.
Alternate Term(s): Base color


The final layers of a coating system whose role is primarily decorative. However the topcoat often imparts protection to ultra violet light present in sunlight.


A localized repair usually confined to the smallest area possible (for example, repairs due to stone chips damage).


A paint or lacquer supplied in two parts which must be mixed together in the correct proportions before use. The mixture will then remain usable for a limited period only.

U.V. Absorbers

Chemicals added to paint to absorb Ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight.

Ultra Violet Light

That portion of the spectrum which is largely responsible for the degradation of paint films. Invisible to the eye, causes sunburn.


A first coat; primer, sealer or surfacer.


The structural support found in most late model vehicles.


Acronym for Vehicle Identification Number. This is a unique number that identifies your vehicle. Although its primary purpose is to identify your vehicle, it often contains important information concerning the equipment and options that were installed on your vehicle at the factory. This information allows the Repair Center to order the correct parts for your vehicle. Any professional estimate or Repair Order will have this number on it.

Basic Auto Policies: Test Your Knowledge
Test your car insurance knowledge with these 10 questions.

1. What does auto liability insurance pay for?

Answer: Property damage to others if I cause a crash.

2. What does collision coverage pay for?

Answer: Damage to my car if I crash it.

3. What does comprehensive coverage pay for?


  • Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree
  • Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer
  • Damage to my car from a flood
  • Theft of my car

4. What does Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage pay for?

Answer: Injuries to passengers in my own car.

5. What does uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pay for?


  • Bodily injury to you and your passengers if your car is hit by someone without insurance
  • Bodily injury to you and your passengers if your car is hit by a hit-and-run driver

6. If your car is totaled, what does gap insurance pay for?

Answer: The difference between the "actual cash value" of the vehicle and the amount owed on a car loan.

7. What factors can car insurance companies typically use when setting rates for full coverage?


  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your address
  • The length of your daily commute
  • Your occupation
  • Your credit history
  • Your past accidents
  • Tickets you have received
  • The model of your car
  • The year of your car

8. If a friend told you she has liability limits of 25/50/40, what does that mean?

Answer: $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, $40,000 for property damage.

9. If a friend borrows your car and crashes it, whose insurance pays?

Answer: Your own insurance.

10. What are typical discounts auto insurance companies will offer if you qualify?


  • Low mileage
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft devices
  • "Good student" discount for a grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • "Mature driver" (over 55) defensive driving course

    Hillerbrand, M. (2013, March 13). Basic Auto Policies: Test Your Knowledge. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from