Auto Body Repair Techniques

Vehicle and Collision Repair Services Are Tricky. Who Do I Use?

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Source: Flickr


Getting your vehicle repaired after it has been involved in an accident or it just isn’t operating correctly is important.
In many instances the vehicle can’t be driven until the necessary repairs have been completed. Yet many people are wary about this type of service because you don’t really know the quality of the work that you are getting. If you need to get your vehicle repaired it is important to do some checking before you take your vehicle to anyone.

If the vehicle is drivable you should attempt to get at least three written estimates. Body shops and repair shops will do this for you free of charge. They will give you an itemized list of the necessary repairs and the cost of them. Make sure you ask about the length of time it will take for them to complete the work as well. Once you get home carefully review all of the estimates. You should see the same items on there in the category of materials and likely some price differences for the labor.

If you notice that one of the estimates for vehicle repairs is much more than the others you may want to ask them why. It could be that they offer better quality products and your car will look nicer or run better when they are done then if you let one of the other businesses do the work. However, it is also possible that they are attempting to scam you and the estimate contains pricing for work that really doesn’t have to be done.

Find out how long a particular shop has been in business. Longevity generally means they have a good reputation for doing quality work. Ask about the experience of their employees so you can get a good idea of what their level of expertise is. You can check online with the Better Business Bureau as well to find out if the repair service has any complaints filed against them.

Most quality vehicle repair service centers will stand behind the quality of their work. You want to choose a shop that has a policy in place that they will guarantee the work for a specific amount of time. This way if you aren’t happy with it or the repairs don’t hold up you won’t have to pay for them again. Even if the cost of the initial repairs were covered by an insurance company you don’t want to have to deal with poor quality work on your vehicle.

Ask your friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations as well. Chances are some of them have had to use a vehicle repair or collision service at some point. They can tell you who they went to and the quality of the work. Ask them if they would go back to that business in the future for such needs as well.

You really can’t avoid having to go to a vehicle repair or collision shop if the need arises. However, you can do your part to ensure you are getting quality service at an affordable price. Most of us rely on your vehicles too much to simply trust the work to just anyone.

Phoenix Insurance – How To Get The Best Phoenix Insurance Rates

The Greater Phoenix area has a fast growing population. The favorable climate and Arizona economy has families moving into the Greater Phoenix in record numbers. With all the new residents moving into Phoenix, or Arizona for that matter, many customers moving want to know: How can Phoenix residents keep their insurance costs under control and get the best insurance rates in Phoenix? Here’s some professional advice:

For your car insurance in Phoenix: The State of Arizona requires mandatory car insurance for driving on Arizona roadways. Arizona requires all drivers to carry compulsory liability limits of at least $15,000 per person bodily injury, $30,000 total for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage liability.

This is the minimum to drive legally in all of Arizona, including Phoenix. This coverage only serves to protect drivers you may hit in the event of an accident–these mandatory coverages do nothing to repair your car, regardless of fault.

Additional coverages can be purchased from your insurance company to repair your vehicle in the event of an accident–regardless of fault.

Comprehensive coverage pays for losses to your vehicle in the event of fire, theft, vandalism and anything else that is NOT part of an accident.

Collision coverage pays for losses to your vehicle in the event of an accident. Collision coverage does not pay for repairs resulting from vandalism, Comprehensive coverage pays for that.

Purchasing an insurance policy with both the mandatory liability limits required by Arizona law and Comprehensive and Collision coverage is customarily known as “full coverage” insurance.

Be prepared that Comprehensive and Collision coverages both carry a deductible clause that the insured must pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays for the complete repairs.

Factors that affect your auto insurance rate may include: Replacement cost of the vehicle, driving record, city, county or even zip code that the vehicle is customarily garaged (parked overnight) in and finally the driver’s age.

Your Modern Auto Body Repair Shop

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Source: Flickr


Most of us never would want to see the inside of an auto body repair shop.
At the most we can often smell the solvents being emitted by automotive body vehicle repair shop as we drive by and wonder how those people can make it through a work day never being precise and accurate in both matching the color of car panels and repairing auto, truck and S.U.V bodies after vehicle collisions.

It is only by accident – car accidents that most of us end up inside the premises of our local, dealer or a chain auto body shop.

Most shops now bear little relation to the establishments you may remember as a child – dark and dusty surrounded by both piles of used and new car parts as well as a mean guard dog in the yard. There may be a few of those still around but they are a dying breed. Repairing cars now, especially with the electronics in today’s vehicles, requires both skill, education and training, sophisticated tools and an ultra clean, modern shop.

Modern body shops now seem to be uniformly clean, well laid out and well lit. As well many body shops are laid out in several distinct separate staging areas. Vehicles are estimated in one area, body work done in another, electronic repairs in yet another area, painted in a very separate area, and finally detailed and presented to the customer in a display area.

If the vehicle has major damage, then it is moved to a disassembly area and onto a frame machine. Unibody construction is utilized by most autos today. Unibody is a an automotive and mechanical body term which describes how sheet metal is stamped, formed and welded together to form the structural portion of the car or truck body.
The purpose of the “frame machine” is not to straighten the car frame now – rather it is to straighten the unibody construction of the vehicle.

Measuring the vehicle body for correct unibody alignment is more than critical. As little as one millimeter error is all that is allowed by most car, truck and S.U.V. manufacturers. Laser measuring systems are used by many body shops along with the frame machine to ensure that everything is straightened accurately to the decimal point.

With the unibody of the vehicle straight, the car, truck or S.U.V. moves to the metal work area where new sheet metal is mounted and damages area straightened. This work is still done by skilled technicians and tradesmen using hammers and dollies, but even the work done by body shop technicians has been changed by modern technologies. Overhead vacuum lines are connected to the grinders and sanders to pull dust and dirt away from this part of the shop. Modern body shops can remain very clean and dust free- indeed modern electronics , and even the most modern hi tech electronics of hybrid vehicles demand this.

With the entire metal straight, it’s on to the paint preparation area, commonly referred to as “paint prep”. Quality shops will use dust extraction systems to remove the dust when sanding and spraying the paint primers. Infrared lighting systems may be used to cure primer paint quickly and properly. These infrared lights can shorten the cure time from 24 hours remarkably to as little as 20 minutes. All of these procedures both help you to get a higher quality assured job and get you back on the road in a minimal time span.

Painting the final colors and clear coats is done in a paint booth. There are many types and brands of paint booths, however it is generally accepted the best are the “downdraft” units where fresh filtered air enters the top of the booth and any underspray is pulled downward and out through grates in the floor. The downdraft procedure of paint booths can produce the best and most consistent of paint finishes. In addition a well trained operator can make a great difference in final paint and appearance quality and consistency. A dust free paint booth of any design is better than a dirty and dusty paint booth of the highest end. Before spending your money or committing yourself to the job or repairs it is always best to ask to examine several examples of the shops work on several vehicles. In addition ask to see finished examples of several different body types – cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Look for smooth finishes with minimal dust specs and colors that match from panel to panel. These are the signs of a quality paint job done by a skilled and professional painter.

It goes without saying that a professional paint shop will be proud of their faculties- the layout, equipment, training of their staff – and most of all their people.

Such a shop should have no trouble, barring practical logistics, of allowing you a tour of their facilities. Indeed after all of their careful efforts they should be most proud to give you a tour and point out their strong points and capabilities as well as examples of their finished product.

After all it’s your vehicle that is being repaired – whether it is your new S.U.V, car, truck, van or bus.

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