Explaining the vehicle collision repair process. Car mechanic in the car service repairing dents on the car body.
If this is the first time you have gotten involved in a vehicle accident, you might have feelings of bewilderment regarding the collision repair process. Even though many customers are only interested in the ultimate result and do not really concern themselves with the technicalities involved, we believe that it is essential for every customer to understand at least the basics of the collision repair process.
Apart from eliminating a certain amount of mystery surrounding this process, having knowledge about the collision repair job allows you to better understand the labor, time, and overall costs that go into the restoration of a damaged car.
Although the specifics can and usually will vary between repair shops, there are certain fundamental steps involved in pretty much every repair process – and in this blog, we will be discussing those steps.
Steps Involved in the Collision Repair Process
As you would have expected, the repair process will initiate with the vehicle inspection. This inspection is performed by estimators and will take place at the car body shop that will be used for the repairs. Once the paperwork concludes and the inspection results are available, the estimator will take pictures of your car. Next, all vital information shall be communicated to you as well as to your insurance company.
During the disassembling step, the insurance provider has the option for requesting a vehicle teardown. This request is made to ensure that every bit of damage has been correctly documented, as well as to see if the vehicle needs a repair. After you and your insurance company have authorized the car repair, your chosen body shop can go ahead and place orders for all necessary vehicle parts.
During the repairs, the car body shop will make use of a measuring system that will analyze the car and ensure that it is restored to its original, pre-accident condition. Naturally, this is an essential step, since it will make sure that there are no structural issues with the frame of your vehicle. If required, suspension repairs including wheel alignment shall also be performed. Every mechanical repair needs to be performed alongside the vehicle’s structural repairs.
4) Paint preparation:
This is an essential step in every vehicle refinishing process. The car body shop will be responsible for the preparation painting panels, before they prime and seal. This improves adhesion during the application of top colors and the supplementary clear coating.
In this section of the process, every final molding and detailed piece is restored to your vehicle. During reassembling, the personnel will also assess the various systems in your car. Upon reaching this stage, you can be assured that your car is pretty much repaired, and will soon be delivered to you.
6) Inspecting for quality control:
Once the parts have been completely reinstalled, your vehicle will be thoroughly washed and get its interior cleaned. The car surface will be cleaned, while the vehicle’s body paint will undergo polishing. Alongside physically inspecting the vehicle, the personnel at the body shop will also be test driving the car. The test drive is to ensure that the vehicle is free of any driving problems associated with the newly repaired parts.
After performing the quality control assessment, the collision repair process reaches its final stage. You will be requested to come to the vehicle body shop and collect your repaired vehicle. At this point, you will be receiving all the paperwork, along with a detailed explanation regarding the billing. Once this is done, you can drive home in your car that has been restored to precisely how it was before you met the unfortunate accident.
Things to Do When Choosing a Shop for Collision Repairs
Running into accidents is always traumatic, regardless of the intensity of the crash. However, once you have recovered from the mental trauma, you need to focus on getting your car repaired. If you have read this guide thus far, you are now aware of the essential steps that will be involved in the car repairing process. However, you also want to make sure that you find a repair shop that will effectively and efficiently perform all the above steps, and do a comprehensive and honest job – and if you do the things mentioned in this section while finding a collision repair shop, you will be just fine.
1) Consider the customers:
We strongly recommend seeking recommendations from people you know before deciding on a shop for your vehicle repairs. So, if you are aware of people who have tried out certain body shops, ask them about the service and their experience. Else, you can always seek assistance from the internet and look up what customers are saying about different shops.
2) Compare consolidators and independent shops:
The shops present at pretty much every corner are drastically different to the ones that have a mere few locations. While cost is an essential factor, you also need to consider other things. For instance, a consolidator has high overhead costs, and is usually committed to reaching their gross profit objectives. In other words, they might be concerned with only their profit figure, and might not give your vehicle the best-possible treatment. This allows them to get in the maximum possible number of cars, allowing them to cover their costs and make a healthy little profit on top. Naturally, you must consider and remember this while deciding.
With an independent shop, you will often find the owner present there. Since the owner is the primary decision-maker, they will be able to offer good deals, extra assistance, and a lot of other benefits that a shop worker in a consolidated shop might not have to offer.
3) Get multiple estimates:
There are plenty of situations in which you will be able to get a free repair estimate from a body shop. However, you must not base your decision on that single estimate, and put in the effort to get more. In addition, learn more about the body shops that you are considering, including the quality of the parts and their work. Instead of making a decision based solely on cost, integrate all of these factors and come to a more informed decision.
4) Discuss warranties:
Remember that not every repair shop offers a warranty for the work that they do. Hence, it is important for you to ensure that your chosen repair shop comes with a work warranty, before you initiate the repair process. If a shop offers lifetime warranty, you can be assured that it is confident in the work that it does.
We understand that getting your vehicle repaired after an accident can be immensely overwhelming. This is why we have prepared this guide that we hope will be able to alleviate some of stress and uncertainty pertaining to the collision repair process.