Q. Can frame
damage be properly repaired?
A. The answer is
yes, if the frame has not been permanently weakened by a tear or kink.
Also, some areas of the crush zone are off limits to repair. Serious
damage may require a frame component section or replacement. Today’s
light cars are designed with a uni-body frame, meaning most of the
vehicle core is part of the frame structure. It is very common and safe
for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame.
Q. What Is
paint is a high solids product where water is the carrier of the color
instead of solvents. Waterborne paint is cleaner and generates 25% less
pollution emissions than that of solvent paint. Most vehicle
manufacturers have or are moving to waterborne paint systems. We use it
because it is a better, safer product that helps impact the environment
less and insures that we will be able to better match factory colors
into the future. It costs a little more and requires strict process
compliance and that is why most of our competitors take the easy road
and spray solvent, regardless of the long term impacts it causes.
Q. How do you
determine how long it takes to repair a vehicle?
A. Repair time is
typically a function of labor hours on the job. Some makes and models or
parts might not be available locally and a shop will add in days to
acquire those parts, but 4 labor hours per day on the estimates, not
including weekends or holidays, is a good guide. Some insurance
companies and shops will differ. Please ask your Estimator or Service
Representative to explain how your shop sets its
Q. If I have a
leased car, is it necessary to get it fixed at the dealership I
purchased it from?
A. You do not have
to, but if there are any problems when you go to trade in or lease
return your car, if the dealership body shop repaired it, it should be
covered by their warranty and not some independent shop that might not
have a warranty.
choosing a body shop to repair my vehicle what should I look for?
A. Number one is
the quality of the collision repair that the shop does, most shops
nowadays have a website that usually has testimonials from customers
and/or before and after pictures of vehicles they repaired.
Also be sure to
look for certification at the shop (I-car, ASE certification or any
frame machine certification). The longer a technician has been doing
body repairs also contributes to the knowledge and experience they have
with auto body repairs.
I also look for a
clean and presentable facility (if the office looks like a mess, than
usually the shop itself will be in a worse condition) office staff
should be friendly and greet you with a smile.
Q. What happens
if I pick my car up from a body shop and find a problem later on?
A. Most body shops
have some sort of a guarantee or warranty for the repairs they perform.
If the problem that occurs is related to the accident and not a
workmanship problem with the body shop, then you can go back to the
insurance company up to two years after the time of the accident for
anything else that happens.
Make sure before
you take your car to a body shop you research the shop and see what
their warranty is and exactly what it covers and for how long. Auto Tech
Services offers a lifetime warranty as long as you own your car. Check
out our warranty page for more information.
Q. What are
OEM, Aftermarket, and Recycled Parts?
A. OEM - (Original
Equipment Manufactured) by your vehicle’s factory supplier.
Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party
supplier. Mainly manufactured overseas and imported into the US.
Recycled Part - An
original factory part taken off of a vehicle that has been retired from
Q. I have been
receiving multiple phone calls after my accident from body shops,
lawyers and chiropractors all trying to get me to use them. What should
A. In this
industry those companies are known as “ambulance chasers” and usually
they don’t have your best interest in mind. Not sure on what the lawyers
and doctors try to get you to do, but I have personally talked to
customers who received the same calls about taking their vehicle to a
body shop who promises to save a deductible or cut you a check back when
the car is done.
About nine out of
ten people told me that once their car was finished they did not get
what they were promised or the repairs looked like a twelve year old was
working on their car. Beware of the old saying “If it seems too good to
be true, it probably is!”