Auto Body Shop vs. Auto Repair Shop: What's The Difference?

Many drivers are unsure whether to bring their car to an Auto Body Shop or an Auto Repair Shop when some problem occurs. Others don’t see the difference between the two types of car service at all.

However, an Auto Body Shop and an Auto Repair Shop are not the same things. Knowing the difference between the two will help you make an informed decision about where to bring your car next time and may save you a great deal of energy, time, and money in the future.

Why are there two types of shops at all?

Cars very complicated mechanisms. Especially the modern cars that often contain advanced technologies, complicated computers, and original design solutions that may need specific training, skills, and knowledge to deal with.

And while for most drivers, all cars may seem more or less the same, mechanics distinguish between various systems, modifications, and types of mechanisms. Each of them may have its peculiarities, issues, and advantages.

In other words, one cannot be equally competent in all sorts of vehicles that you see on roads today, all their systems and mechanisms. 

That is why today, you may have to decide whether to bring your vehicle to an auto body shop or an auto repair shop after getting into an accident, damaging the car by mistake, or having some issue with your vehicle.

Roughly, an auto body shop deals with a car’s body – frame, doors, windows, bumpers, etc., the structural parts that are not involved in the mechanic processes in the vehicle. They are also often called Collision Centres as that is probably the place you will have to bring your car after scratching it or getting a number or any other car damaged as a result of an accident. 

An auto repair shop will, vice versa, “look” inside your car and fix the engine and other components involved directly in the driving process – the parts that tend to wear off naturally with time and need adjustment or replacement.

The 3 things to consider when choosing between an auto body shop and an auto repair shop

If you are still not sure who to address when you have an issue with your car, here are the 3 factors that will help you make a decision and get the right mechanic for your case:

  • The damage – The easiest way to decide who to address is to determine the damage or locate the issue with your vehicle. Suppose you have trouble with your driving experience. In that case, something vibrates, gets overheated, pounds, or even smells funny while you are driving, most probably we are talking about a mechanic problem, and you should go to an auto repair shop. If you need to deal with a scratch, rust, or stains on the body, replace the windshield, or adjust a creaking door, you should probably go to an auto body shop;
  • The reason – why do you need a mechanic at all? In case it is time to check the engine, do any routine maintenance procedures, change filters or rotate tires, go to an auto repair shop. If your car got damaged in an accident, you need to fix, replace or adjust some part of the vehicle’s body or you decided to refresh the paint job, an auto body shop will take care of everything in the best manner;
  • The expert – if you need someone who will help you work out the best maintenance routine, make sure that the brakes work perfectly, or the oil is changed on time, address a car repair shop. If you are looking for a perfect paint job, need to place a damaged windshield, or look for advice on how to make your car look good as new, make sure to find a good auto body shop in your area.

OHS Body Shop has branches all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson, and a team of mechanics who will gladly help you restore the vehicle after a collision and maintain a perfect paint job and protect it from further cosmetic damage.

Visit OHS Body Shop next time you need to fix or adjust any element of your car’s body and make sure that your vehicle is a head-turner on the road.