If you’ve ever been in a car accident or had your vehicle damaged, you may be wondering whether you should visit an auto body shop or an auto repair shop. Knowing the difference between the two and what kinds of services they each provide can help you choose the best option for your needs. Let’s take a quick look at how these shops differ and what you can expect from each.

What are Auto Body Shops?

Auto body shops specialize in repairing and restoring auto bodies that have been damaged. Their services focus on the exterior of vehicles and ensuring it looks and functions as it did before an accident or major damage.

When searching “auto body repair near me,” auto body shops are what will typically appear in search results. These shops handle repairs like:

  • Collision repairs from accidents
  • Paint jobs
  • Windshield/glass replacement
  • Dent repairs -Hail damage repairs
  • Custom paint or bodywork

If the appearance or outer shell of your car has been compromised in some way, an auto body shop has the equipment and expertise to fix it. Most also handle insurance claims, so they can work directly with providers once an estimate is approved. Their goal is to get the outside of your car looking great again.

What are Auto Repair Shops?

In contrast to bodywork, auto repair shops handle mechanical repairs, maintenance, and diagnostics. They focus on the internal workings beneath the hood. Services you can expect at general auto repair shops include:

  • Oil changes
  • Scheduled maintenance (fluid checks, tune-ups, etc.)
  • Engine & transmission work
  • A/C & heating
  • Electrical system repairs
  • Computer diagnostics
  • General component replacement (alternators, batteries, etc.)

Rather than visual damage, these shops address functional and preventative vehicle needs. When engines aren’t running properly or you need routine maintenance, auto repair technicians have the skills and technology to get your car back on the road. Many provide inspection services too.

How To Choose Between the Two

So when should you utilize an auto body shop vs an auto repair shop? It mostly comes down to the type of work needed:

Auto body shops for external/visual repairs from damage, and auto repair shops for mechanical or routine maintenance fixes

There can sometimes be overlap too. For example, certain collisions may compromise internal parts as well as body panels. In these cases, some auto body specialists coordinate with mechanical shops on any supplementary needs. Or vice versa, repair technicians may notice additional cosmetic damage that warrants looking into Auto Body Shop options next.

The best approach is to assess the primary need first. Then the choice between searching for an “Auto Body Repair Near Me” vs “Car Repair Near Me” becomes clearer based on what types of repairs take priority.

If your car runs well but has dents, paint scratches, etc, start your search within Auto Body category results. For maintenance issues, engine trouble codes, A/C repairs, and the like begin looking into Auto Repair listings in your area. This way, you connect directly with the specialists most equipped to tackle the specific problems at hand.

Has your vehicle been damaged by an accident or other event? Liberty Auto Body in Bellingham, MA specializes in making your car look as good as new! Give us a call at 508-883-4872 to get started.