Yes - But. You knew there was the inevitable " But" and there are many reasons why.

First of all, auto body work is an art and there is a range of skill levels as in any other profession. Most auto body professionals adhere to a very high standard but is up to you, the owner to decide where to have auto collision repairs done and that can make a big difference.

A major factor is the extent of the damage and that can range from a small scratch to almost rebuilding half the car. That could include replacing major parts, frame straightening and replacing mechanical components. Generally speaking, most accident damage is repairable and some insurance companies will allow up to 70 percent damage to be considered repairable. Over that, and it is considered a total loss and you will have to purchase a new car.

What are the  Key Factors In a Successful Repair?

When you pick up your car the key things to look for are the paint quality, the alignment of the body panels and if doors, trunk, and hood all open and close properly. Next, look inside the trunk and hood and doors to see if there are paint stains on the rubber moldings. Next look down the sides of the car to see that the panels look straight or if the paint has a " Rippled" appearance.

In order to achieve these results the auto body shop has to have excellent paint matching skills and most have computer guided color matching systems. This can become tricky with older cars as paint can age so the color may be different from the factory spec, but even so a good shop should be able to match the color.

The shop also has to have the skills to repair panels that are dented or replace them with panels that are as good as the originals. Like many things, there are companies that manufacture replacement parts that at first may look like " Factory " parts, but may not have factory or " OEM" quality.

So Back To Your First Question

Yes. Your car can be repaired to as good as new condition but you need to ask a few questions when you go shopping for  a body shop.

- Ask if the shop provides a warranty on repairs, and for how long.

- Ask how long you have to determine if there is any hidden or mechanical damage.


Some things to look for are a clean, well maintained shop. This is a good indicator of the way a shop is run and also the pride the owner and workers take in their shop. This is a good indicator of  the quality of the repair work you can expect. When you ask questions, does the manager seem interested in your concerns, or  just in moving you along?  It's your car and you want to work with someone who cares as much about it as you do. Remember, the body shop will have your car for a week or two but you will have it for years.

The internet is a great way to research auto body repair shops,  and one excellent example is Suburban Auto Body located in Little Canada MN. This family owned business has served the Twin Cities Area for over thirty years. Their website provides an estimating tool and they will gladly answer any questions you may have over the phone or by visiting any of their three locations.

They can be reached at: or by calling 651-633-8900.