I lost $1,800 after repairing a car at my auto shop – damage to the side should’ve been a warning of trouble to come

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AN autobody shop owner is out $1,800 after repairing a vehicle with extensive damage to its body panels.

The owner said a driver made off with the cash after a check was sent by a car insurance company.

A mechanic with 40 years of experience said he lost out on $1,800

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A mechanic with 40 years of experience said he lost out on $1,800Credit: Youtube /CBSChicago
The expert said a Dodge's side damage should have been ample warning

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The expert said a Dodge’s side damage should have been ample warningCredit: Youtube /CBSChicago

“It’s not a lot of money,” Kent Hill, the owner of Hill’s Auto Shop, told Chicago-based CBS affiliate WBBM-TV.

“It’s the principle. I’m going to be honest. It’s just the principle of it all.”

Hill said a Dodge Charger owner brought his car to the shop with a series of bullet holes littered through the door panels.

Bullets traveled through the sedan’s cabin.

Read More on Car Mechanics

The damage left holes on both sides of the car and broke some mechanical elements inside the panels.

“The guy got carjacked,” Hill said.

“And getting away, I guess they shot his car up.”

Hill said he received a payment for part of the claim from Allstate. However, he didn’t recieve an additional $1,800 associated with the original maintenance estimate. It was sent to the car’s owner.

The mechanic completed the rest of the work on the vehicle and handed it back to the owner, entrusting the driver would return with the cash.

The customer said he hadn’t received the $1,800 check from the insurance agency in the mail.

Drivers always forget to tell insurers about these key points

“I assumed under normal protocol that it would be a two-party check,” Hill said.

Insurance companies typically issue two-party checks with the owner’s and the mechanic shop’s names included.

This two-party arrangement is designed to guarantee that drivers compensate for their services and that mechanics refrain from cashing the check before completing the vehicle repairs.

Following alleged incidents where mechanics purportedly declined to repair vehicles after cashing single-party checks, numerous drivers filed complaints with their auto insurance providers.

Allstate didn’t immediately respond to The U.S. Sun’s request for comment. WBBM-TV also said they didn’t receive a response.

Expert advice on prepping your car for summer

Dustin Piggot, the Service Manager at a Subaru Dealership with years of technincal experience, told The U.S. Sun in an exclusive interview which items drivers should have checked before temperatures rise:

  1. Have a multi-point inspection performed. A paid inspection will prompt a technician to check vital systems like braking, power steering, and front and rear suspension for any leaks or malfunctions. They will also test the condition of the battery and check vital fluid levels and conditions.
  2. Cooling system. Before things heat up, drivers must have their cooling system inspected for proper coolant levels and condition, have radiator hoses evaluated, and have the radiator checked.
  3. Have your A/C system checked. If freon is low and needs charging or parts need to be replaced, it’s essential to address the issue before temperatures rise.
  4. Make sure your tires are appropriate for warmer weather. If you live in a climate that necessitates a dedicated winter tire, swap them with all-season or summer tires if possible to extend the life of the winter tire. Winter tires are softer and will wear out much quicker in warmer weather.
  5. Look at tread depth. Tires with low tread depth will make it more difficult to stop your car if you need to avoid an accident.
  6. Give your car some TLC. Before it gets too hot, Piggott says it’s important to give your car a good cleaning to wash away winter grime and dirt and treat your paint to a nice coat of wax to protect it from harsh UV rays and high heat. Many dealerships like his offer detailing and washing services.

Read more here.

But Hill said the company sent a check to the Charger owner without the shop’s name because the damage was less than $3,500.

The repairman, who has worked in the industry for 40 years, said he had never heard of the company’s policy.

Still, Hill said he should have seen the bullet holes as a warning.

“This is the way I see it. They shot at his car, so you would think he would be the most humblest guy on Earth,” he told the station.

“This is new.”

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