How Long Does a Collision Repair Take?

Trust Mizzoni's Auto Body for Professional Car Repair and Protection

If you or someone you love has recently been in a wreck, you are likely dealing with a lot of stress. It’s perfectly natural in moments like these to feel a mix of emotions— from the initial shock and concern for all involved’s well-being to the practical worries about restoring your cherished vehicle to its pre-accident condition. Amid the whirlwind of post-accident logistics, a common and pressing question often emerges: “How long does a collision repair take?”

At Mizzoni’s, we understand that your vehicle plays a crucial role in your daily life, serving not just as a means of transportation but as a companion on the road to life’s various destinations – be it work, school, or adventures. The thought of being without it, even temporarily, can add an extra layer of stress to an already challenging situation. With this in mind, our goal today is to provide a reassuring guide, shedding light on the collision repair process. We hope to offer clarity on what to expect in terms of timelines, helping you navigate this period with a bit more ease and understanding.

Take a deep breath, and let’s gently explore the path towards getting your vehicle back on the road.

Talk to Your Insurance First

Once you’ve taken a deep breath and made sure that all immediate health concerns are addressed, you’ll want to notify your insurance company about the incident. This doesn’t just help with your peace of mind; it’s also a practical step to ensure your claim is on track. Prepare to share what happened with kindness to yourself; accidents happen to the best of us. Your insurer will need the basics: where, when, what happened, and the condition of your car.

Your insurance will ask for photos of the damage. Some insurance companies make you use their favorite auto body shops, while others will pay who you choose as long as they meet certain standards. You’ll have to work that out with your agent.

Deciding on an Auto Repair Shop

Your insurance company will likely suggest a collision center to perform the auto repairs as they usually have partnerships with local shops. However, depending on your state’s laws, you are allowed to choose your own auto body shop to carry out the auto body work. Let your insurance provider know if you have a repair facility in mind during your conversation so that they can better assist you.

Chatting it Through

You should keep an active line of communication with your insurance adjuster and agent. This ensures the process runs smoothly and you can reduce the time you are carless. Make sure you have a solid nod of approval before you let the mechanic start on repairs; sometimes things come up in the paperwork that could leave you in a lurch. If you choose to retain a lawyer, they can handle everything past the initial claim for you to help smooth the process, although that’s usually only needed when there is a personal injury or extensive property damage.

What to Expect with Collision Repair

Most collision repairs are going to be a five-step process. First, the mechanic will look over the damage and come up with an estimate. Remember, an estimate is their best guess! Some additional damage can be hidden under other issues and not come up until after work has started. This means the cost can go up— if you’re really lucky, it can go down because something looks worse surface-level. The mechanic will send the quote to your insurance, who will consult with their underwriters. They may go back and forth with your mechanic a few times to negotiate; that’s completely normal! This can take a few days, though, as many factors play into getting an accurate estimate for repairs.

Once an agreement has been reached, the shop needs to order any parts and paint. This timeline isn’t really up to them, but to their supplier. It can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days; hard-to-find parts can take weeks. Once everything comes in, the technicians can start work on your car. An average time is a day to a month, but a lot of things can extend the time: hard-to-find parts, machining issues with a part that came in, the extent of the damage, the need for specialized equipment, how many cars the shop has to work on, etc.

Getting an Accurate Estimate

No two car collisions are the same. While an estimate can be made for visible damage, often there is more than meets the eye under damaged body panels. This can increase the estimate and extend the time it takes for repairs. Your insurance company must be kept up to date with any new estimates that may arise from hidden damage. Don’t worry if your initial estimate is too low – your car will be handled in a timely manner and everything will be handled.

Estimated Times for Certain Collision Repairs

The timeline for collision repairs can vary greatly depending on the type and severity of the damage. For minor collision repairs, such as cosmetic issues like paintless dent repair or bumper repair/replacement, the process typically only takes between 1 to 3 days. More in-depth procedures like fender repair or replacement and door repair or replacement could take from 1 to 4 days. Glass replacement is generally quick too, taking about 1-2 days.

Repairs to the suspension system last between 2-3 days on average. For major defects that require frame straightening, the repair could extend anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. Minor paint repair work generally takes from 2-4 days, while major paint repair could take 1-2 weeks. Similarly, the airbag replacement could last between 2-5 days. More complex tasks like engine repair or replacement are more labor-intensive, potentially taking from 1 to 4 weeks. Lastly, thorough vehicle restoration for seriously damaged vehicles might prolong to 4-8 weeks or even longer.

Please keep in mind these are average auto body repair times; the actual duration could vary. Each vehicle’s repair timeline will depend on distinct factors, such as the extent of the damage, the availability of parts, supply chain issues, and the repair shop’s workload. Therefore, it’s important not to take these repair times as guarantees, but rather as general guidelines.

Choosing The Right Auto Body Shop

Mizzoni’s Auto Body strives to provide the best when it comes to auto body repair services. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will be happy to assist you with any questions to alleviate your repair process concerns.

Find a Reputable Auto Body Repair Shop in Your Area

Remember how we advised you to try and get more than one repair estimate? You’ll want to do your homework before you approach any shops to make sure they will take good care of your car. Here are a few things you should look for:


Certifications indicate that the technicians have received specific training to repair your vehicle properly. For example, look for an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification or training provided by the manufacturer. These certifications give the mechanics current knowledge and skills.


A repair shop with decades of experience will likely know the ins and outs of different repairs better and be able to solve more complicated issues. Sometimes problems can be diagnosed more quickly and accurately by experienced, highly skilled technicians.


Look at the shop’s reputation. Online reviews, Yelp and Google reviews, and the Better Business Bureau as well as recommendations from friends or relatives can indicate the shop’s service and customer satisfaction.

Warranty on repairs

A reputable shop will guarantee their work and provide a warranty on repairs. This demonstrates confidence in their service and willingness to resolve any post-repair issues. Ideally, you’d benefit most from a lifetime warranty on repairs.


A reputable shop will give a clear, detailed estimate of the work involved. This transparency saves you from surprise costs and allows you to make the best decision.

Customer Service

Good customer service shows the business values its customers and is prepared to listen and respond to your questions promptly and professionally. By watching how they interact with you along with other customers you can get an idea of their customer service.


A neatly organized and clean shop often reflects the quality of work you can expect. It shows the shop is proud of its workplace and professional in approach to its services.

Technological Advancement

Only the most advanced repair shops keep up with technology and use the most up-to-date tools and equipment to diagnose and repair vehicles accurately. This is particularly true concerning newer cars, luxury cars, and modern vehicles with more developed electronics and systems.

Insurance and Licenses

Ensure the shop has all the relevant business licenses and insurance in case something goes wrong during the repair process. This covers both you and them legally and financially.


Some repair shops specialize in certain repairs or work only on certain makes and models of vehicles. If your vehicle needs specialized care, considering a shop with specific expertise might offer better results.

Having these in mind, you can decide which repair shop is most likely to provide great service and a satisfying maintenance experience.

Mizzoni's Auto Body Location

178 US 46 East, Lodi, NJ 07644   |   |   Hours: Monday – Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday 8am – 12pm
P: 973.777.7115   |   F: 973.777.6929