Ask an Expert: Trust and car repairs

by  John and Theresa Kightlinger

How do I know whom to trust when it comes to car repairs?

The definition of trust is the reliance on the integrity, strength and ability of a person or a thing. It’s a confident expectation of something.

It is a simple word with big meaning in our world today. Trust is eroding in society right now, in relationships, in business, in politics. The lack of trust in the world causes people to act in fear, which is evident all around us during this past pandemic year.

People do business with us because they like us, because they know us, because they trust us. Most customers haven’t the faintest idea of how to repair a car, but they believe and trust that we do have the skills and abilities. And they trust that we will do it right.

Quite frankly, I am one of those people with computers and technology. I often say to my
IT vendor, “I don’t understand how it works—and that’s OK; but I trust that you will do it right and lead me in the right direction.” It’s a relationship of trust.

If you are wondering what shop to pick, ask the shop these questions:

  1. Who pays you for the repair?
    If they say you, continue on. If they say your insurance company, that is strike one on them, but continue on.
  2. Do you use all OEM original parts?
    If they say yes, then continue on. If they say the insurer decides or we use whatever the insurer pays for, that is strike two, but continue on.
  3. Do you do all the safety inspections required after a collision, such as measuring the steering column and removing interior parts to view the air bag mountings?
    If they say yes and give an explanation, they may be the right shop. If they say only if the insurer pays for it, say thanks, but I am going to another shop.

John and Theresa Kightlinger own My Body Shop at 401 N. Clinton St., Stockbridge. The couple have lived in the area and raised their children here over the past 20 years. John has been in the auto body business since 1985, and Theresa began work at General Motors after high school. Between the two, they have been working on cars for more than 75 years. 

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