The auto body repair process is confusing if you aren’t familiar with it. Not only will it help you gain insight into the costs and timeframes of the collision repair process, but it will also assist you in setting realistic expectations for the auto body repair.
It begins with the accident.
It’s important to assess the damage to your car right after the accident. Take photographs of the actual scene for documentation and case filing. If you are hurt badly, you need to call an ambulance and the police immediately. Give an unbiased statement of the accident to your insurance company and the police.
It is crucial to exchange contact information with the other driver involved in the crash. Ask them about their insurance policy and how to reach them for repairs.
Estimating Repair Costs
In order to receive an accurate quote, you’ll need to take your car to a reputable auto body repair shop, like Fairway Collision Center in Vadnais Heights. A more thorough and accurate quote is obtained when you bring the car into the shop, rather than sending in pictures or having a consultation over the phone.
Fairway Collision Center will have one or more collision technicians examine your car visually to assess the level of damage and determine if parts need to be replaced. Keep in mind that the first estimate usually includes only visible damage. Your car may have even more damage hidden underneath the exterior when technicians start getting under the vehicle, which will result in additional repair costs.
Your insurance company will receive an estimate from the collision repair center. You will receive a copy so that you can compare it with quotes from other repair centers.
In selecting a quote, always choose the company that provides the most thorough quote and whom you feel most comfortable trusting.
The insurance company will consider the depreciated value of your vehicle when determining insurance claims. The older it gets, the smaller the payment will be. The insurer assumes that with age, some parts of your car are more prone to wear and tear. Therefore, repairing the vehicle is always preferable to scrapping it.
Blueprint and Teardown
To give the technicians a clear picture of your car’s condition, they will create a blueprint. This blueprint will guide them towards repairing your vehicle in a systematic process. The parts will be disassembled for further examination. More damage can emerge that the auto body service center may have missed on their visual inspection. Repair auto body shops will contact you and your insurance company right away to adjust the estimate if necessary. This occurs regularly and is part of the way the industry works.
Some insurance companies will require disassembly before they will handle your claim. The damage is documented in this way so there is no need for adjustments in the future. It is also your insurer’s way of making sure you are not defrauding them.
Remember, you have the last say in when vehicle repairs will begin. Once the parts are ready, you can start the repair if your vehicle is still drivable. Check with your insurance company that everything is sorted out before giving the go-ahead to your auto body repair shop.
Frame and Metal Repair
A car accident can cause a car frame to warp so much you can hardly imagine. An auto mechanic will first focus on the car’s frame during collision repair. Frame machines and laser frame diagnostic systems will be used here to shape your vehicle back to its pre-accident form.
Next comes metalwork. Your vehicle will undergo an inspection to determine which metal parts need replacing. Each part will be tested using an electronic measuring system. This ensures that all repairs are done according to factory standards. These repairs are crucial because they ensure the chassis is straight and the frame is structurally sound, which in turn determines the maneuverability and safety of your vehicle on the road.
Experienced auto body service centers are able to do frame and mechanical repairs together in synergy to avoid having to adjust cars in an emergency.
Assembly and refinishing
The automobile will undergo mechanical and frame repairs, and all surfaces will be taped and primed before painting. Once that is done, the vehicle will be painted with a base coat that’s the same as the original, then with a clear coat. Then the vehicle will undergo a high-gloss finishing step to make it look the way it did before the collision.
When the painting is done, every piece and part will be restored to its original location. The wiring, airbag components, hoses, and other effects will be put back in place if they were removed. Getting every part of the car back in its proper place is painful and can jeopardize your safety if you miss just one screw. After reassembly, an initial inspection will be performed. The auto body repair shop may conduct a test drive within its facility to verify that everything is functioning properly. They will check to make sure the doors are installed properly and adjust any wires.
Clean-up and Detailing
After your car is cleaned internally and externally, the interior will be cleaned to remove any metal dust and debris. All surfaces will be polished once again for a better shine, and all light components will undergo further testing as needed.
Every tiny detail will be checked and fine-tuned to achieve showroom quality at the auto body repair center.
There will be visual inspections and possibly another test drive after all the work is completed. Once everything is completed, the production supervisor and the head technician should give approval of the collision repair process.
Final Inspection and Delivery
You will then be contacted by your local auto collision repair center to discuss in person the collision repair process. All parts and repairs should be listed separately in the car repair service contract. The technician should also give you the final computation of the bill with a complete breakdown of the items.
The auto body repair center will have a representative present who will address your concerns regarding the exterior and interior of the car. Do not take the keys until you are satisfied with the collision repair. Don’t hesitate to voice any concerns you may have along the way.
Also, the technician should advise you on the next steps including check-ups and car care. If they provide a warranty, they will explain it.
This is a complex process that needs to be conducted properly to give your car its original shape. Your vehicle is in good hands at Fairway Collision Center.