THE 8 STAGES OF THE AUTO BODY REPAIR PROCESS
For most car owners, the vision of collision repair produces an image of guys in coveralls hammering away at dented fenders, and painting over it. That may be a fairly accurate description of what body repair looked like years ago, but modern auto body repair is a bit more complex. Automotive design and government standards on safety and fuel economy have transformed auto body repair into a science compared to those days.
While many customers might be content just to see the end result, an understanding of the typical auto body repair process offers valuable insight. Once you know what goes into restoring a car to its original state after a collision, it helps to not only take some mystery out of the process, but also gives a greater understanding of the costs and time involved in restoring a car that’s been damaged back to its pre accident condition.
The following process will hopefully provide some insight to our process from Estimate to Completion.
STAGE 1: ESTIMATE
Collision repair begins with an inspection of the vehicle by an estimator at Fundy Collision Experts. The results of the inspection are documented, photos of the vehicle are taken, and the information is passed on to the insurance company and/or provided to our clients. Keep in mind; these estimates are solely based on visible damage. Often, additional damage is uncovered after disassembly. Not everything will be apparent to the estimator during the initial inspection.
STAGE 2: TEARDOWN AND PARTS ORDER
This is when the insurance provider can make a request for teardown or disassembly of the vehicle to insure all damage is documented accurately and determine if the vehicle is economic to repair. Only after the clients and insurer provide authorization to repair the vehicle, all parts can be ordered as required for the repair. Keep in mind only the vehicle owner can give the final authorization for repairs. If no teardown is needed and the vehicle is drivable repairs can be scheduled and once all the necessary parts for repair are received, work can begin on repairing the vehicle.
STAGE 3: STRUCTURE AND BODY REPAIR
At this stage the parts will have been received and the vehicle has been disassembled so the body shop can begin repairs to the vehicles structure. Suspension repairs and wheel alignment will now be done if needed. It’s important to complete all mechanical repairs in conjunction with structural repairs if possible. Once the car is structurally and mechanically sound the body work can now be completed, the vehicles body panels are prepared for paint.
QUALITY CONTROL CHECK POINT
STAGE 5: REFINISHING
Once the vehicle passes its quality control check point, the vehicle is carefully prepped to insure paintable surfaces provide proper adhesion and a smooth finish. Parts are sanded then primer is applied, now the color or base coat is applied, followed by a clear coat to protect the finish. (Fundy Collision Experts only uses the best paint technology supplied by Sikkens).
STAGE 6: REASSEMBLY
All repairs and painting have been completed the vehicle is now ready to be reassembled. Any electrical wiring, hoses, airbag system components or other components that were disconnected to facilitate repairs, are now restored to their original location. Trim and moldings are reinstalled. A test drive will be done at this point to insure windows doors, locks and electrical parts function correctly.
QUALITY CONTROL CHECK POINT
STAGE 7: DETAILING AND PRE-DELIVERY
Once everything has been reinstalled in the correct place the car undergoes its 2nd quality control check point. Once passed, the car now gets a wash and thorough interior cleaning. Again lights and safety components are checked before the journey from a car wreck nightmare to the showroom dream car comes full circle. In addition to a visual inspection, it’s important to also test drive to note any driving characteristics that may be associated with the repaired portions of the car. Once the car passes all tests it’s ready to be returned to the customer.
STAGE 8: FINAL INSPECTION
At this point, our professional appraisers will explain to our clients all the repair work that was done to their vehicle and go over the list of final expenses with our clients. It will include an itemized list of all repairs made and parts used to complete the work. Our clients will then do a post-repair inspection along with our professional appraiser before accepting the keys.