Can I Take My Car to a Regular Mechanic After an Accident?

If you are in a car accident, one of the main concerns you might have is getting your car back on the road as quickly as possible. If your car is not “totaled” after the collision, you will likely begin searching for an appropriate professional to examine the damage and repair your car to make it safe again. One of the main questions drivers have in this instance is, ‘Can I take my car to a regular mechanic after an accident?’ 

The answer, quite simply, is that while a mechanic will do a reasonable job of examining and fixing your car, it is safer to consult an auto body repair technician. In this article you will learn the difference between a mechanic and an auto body repair technician and why the latter professional is more qualified to repair your car to safe standards.

The Difference

While it might appear on the surface that these two professionals do exactly the same job, when you look more deeply at the situation, you will realize that this is not the case. Here are three main differences between an auto body repair technician and a mechanic. 

Surface Level vs. Comprehensive Repair

A mechanic can identify body damage such as dents, busted lights, and other clear signs. This is what’s called ‘surface level’ repair. On the other hand, an auto body repair technician will examine issues caused by the collision using advanced technology to get to the root of the problem. This is called ‘comprehensive repair’. 


A mechanic will focus entirely on providing you with a vehicle which is practical, safe, and checks all the boxes. However, an auto body repair technician can also finish the car for you after a collision. This includes completing tasks like respraying your car’s scuffed paintwork. 

Different locations

 A mechanic will likely work at a garage or body shop which is not necessarily considered specialist. An auto body repair technician will work from specialist auto body shops, which have more resources for in-depth repair.

Types of Repairs

Here are some examples of the types of repairs an auto body repair technician or a mechanic usually handle.

Mechanics can perform tasks such as:

  • Maintenance such as fluid levels, battery and general engine part servicing.
  • Fixing and/or maintaining brakes and other hardware such as clutch, steering wheel, gear box, and wheels. 
  • Ordering, removing and replacing damaged or broken parts. 

Auto body shops perform tasks such as:

  • Using software to diagnose problems within the engine.
  • Using hardware such as dent removal tools, metal cutters, and other specialist equipment to remove, repair and replace damaged car parts.
  • Diagnosing internal issues caused by time or collisions and repairing them.
  • Finishing aesthetic touches such as paintwork.
  • Frame straightening, body panel replacements, and other large-scale operations.

An auto body repair technician can perform large-scale and more minutely technical tasks on a car that has been damaged in a crash. 

Post-Collision Damage

After a collision, your car will of course be noticeably damaged. Even minor collisions can cause scrapes, dents, shattered glass and other hardware issues. But more importantly, after a collision, some of the most serious damage can be, to the untrained eye, totally invisible. 

This could be engine damage, suspension issues or something else entirely. These can make your car dangerous to drive without immediate repair. A mechanic who does not specialize in post-collision repair may not be able to identify these issues.

An auto body shop technician from companies such as the Salt Lake collision repair company Valley Collision can internally diagnose issues which are not visible at first glance. They will then make a repair plan which is fully priced and give you an honest time frame for repairs. 

If you are looking for a repair company that specializes in body repair and frame straightening, speak to experts at Valley Collision for more information. The facilities, technology and expertise available will guarantee that you are driving away with a safe, fully repaired vehicle. 

Following an Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be frightening; the thought of driving in an unsafe or badly repaired car is unthinkable. Make the smart choice by taking your car to an auto body repair technician after a collision.