The first of the three goals we strive for for your vehicle, restoring the original appearance.
Second, is to restore the performance and safety of the vehicle to the original state or better.
Our third goal is to provide your vehicle with lasting repairs with high quality replacement parts and paint.
Step By Step Auto Body Repair Process
The Collision Repair Process
What goes into the auto body repair process can be a significant amount of both skilled labor and parts, and, because of that, a fair amount of cost. Today’s automobile designs reflect not only style and looks, but exceptional improvements in passenger safety as well. Although many people become concerned with the extent of the damage to their vehicle, what is important to understand is that much of the damage is done by design: the buckling and crumpling of certain parts on a vehicle show the energy being absorbed by the car instead of the people absorbing the impact. Restoring those protections to factory standards or better is the key to creating a repair that lasts.
The Estimate. The repair process starts with the estimate and coordination with your insurance company. We use a computerized estimating system that allows us to generate an estimate quickly, accurately and legibly. We’ll review the report with you and carefully explain how the vehicle will be repaired. We will be able to let you know how long the repair will take.
Schedule. The next step would be to schedule your repair at a time convenient for you! Our Customer Service Reps handle administrative issues such as calling the insurance company to make sure everything is in order; making a rental car reservation if applicable, ordering parts and answering any questions you might have.
Vehicle Drop-Off. One of our Customer Service Reps will call you before your scheduled appointment to confirm the repair. You can drop off the car the morning of the repair or use our night drop procedure.
Disassembly. If additional damage is found during disassembly, a supplemental estimate is created. These changes are quickly communicated through are processes and computer systems and any additional parts are ordered immediately – we work very hard to make sure nothing causes a delay to your delivery date.
Frame & Structural Work comes from work required to properly repair the frame or structural components of your car. Years ago, all cars were built with an independent frame with a separate body that was bolted on to the frame. Today, most cars are made of “unibody” construction. Unibody refers to the many sheet metal parts that are welded together to form a single unit. Whether working on a frame vehicle or unibody design, our technicians will ensure that the structural components are brought back to their proper dimensions and shape. We use Vegamax frame straightening and laser measuring equipment for this process.
Body & Plastic Work. Following frame repair, our technicians replace and/or repair the damage. Here is where a technician’s work is both an art and a discipline. There are procedures that need to be followed to replace parts properly. Parts require careful handling to insure proper installation. Sometimes sections of the uni-body or structural parts need to be replaced. Again, our experienced technicians will follow disciplined procedures. As applicable, they will apply corrosion protection, use welders to join metal together, seal joints and seal seams.
If damage to a vehicle is not sufficient to warrant the replacement of the part, the part will instead be repaired. Sanding and feathering of plastic is critical to the smoothness and final finish. A minor imperfection that could go unnoticed before the vehicle is painted can easily stick out like a sore thumb when that part of the vehicle is refinished.
Paint Preparation or “Prep” Work involves preparing the surfaces for refinishing and it is absolutely critical for final appearance of the vehicle. “Clean and smooth, smooth and clean” is a paint department’s mantra. This requires several iterations of sanding. Several iterations of sanding will get the surface to the desired smoothness.
Again, the focus is clean and smooth. Overspray, or paint that has made its way to other parts of the car, is unacceptable. To make sure this doesn’t happen, paper is taped and applied to the vehicle to prevent the tiny air-borne particles of paint from going anywhere other than on the surface it is intended for.
Once the prep work is complete, the vehicle or parts to be sprayed are brought into one of our paint booths for the next phase of repair: the application of primer, paint and clear coat.
Painting. We use a computerized paint mixing system, training and experience to get our exacting color matches. We have a database of color formulations that is made to match. Along with color, other agents such as hardeners or flex additives are added. For example, flex additive is what allows a car bumper to compress or bend from a light impact and not crack. Depending on the situation, the basecoat may require anywhere from two to three coats of paint.
After the actual color has been applied, a layer of clear coat is necessary. The clear coat is a protective and beautifying layer. Depending on the application, this phase of refinishing may require two to three coats. After applying the final layer of clear, our painter will set the booth for the proper time and temperature and “bake” the finish onto the car and speed the curing process.
Assembly refers to putting the pieces back together – door handle back in the door; moldings back onto the fender, door or quarter panel; headlamp or tail lamp reinstalled; hood ornament or windshield washer nozzles back in the hood… And so on. Depending on the severity of the repair, this can still be a substantial amount of work.
Systems Check. After assembly, if there are any mechanical or system oriented repairs that must be completed, they get attended to. This is when any wheel alignment, A/C recharging or brake fluids would be topped off. Depending on the repair, the technician may take the vehicle for a test drive to evaluate certain aspects of the car’s performance.
Quality Checks. We believe that a properly repaired vehicle has everything to do with quality during the entire process. Because of this, we have quality check points at various phase of the repair.
Cleaning & Final Preparation. Every car we repair is buffed, cleaned and washed before customer pick up.
Typical Repair Process
Repair work typically consists of the following:
I highly recommend this business. This is the third time that my car at the time has been involved in an accident (other drivers at fault). In each instance, the entire procedure was professional and quick. The front office staff, especially Linda, facilitated my insurance claims and rental car arrangements. Requested (unrelated to the accident…