After you have picked a shop to have the auto body work on your vehicle and you have dropped off your car, you probably may wonder what really goes on behind the scenes as to how the repairs will be done. Keep in mind this is not a detailed do-it-yourself guide to auto body work but only an overview of the process.
Small Damage Repair
The first thing that a technician will do when looking at your vehicle is to determine the severity of the damage, read through the work order or estimate on the vehicle. These are usually provided by the shop foreman, or he simply tells the technician what has to be done on the vehicle. Most technicians will experience one of these or anything in between daily.
We will assume the shop you chose is a small independently owned repair shop with a body technician and a painter. the body man will remove the plastic inner fender liner to access the dent. He will then remove the surrounding attached items from the fender starting with the bumper, side marker lamp and side moulding. Now, depending on how busy and how efficient the technician is, after removing the fender liner he will have already massaged out the dent, prepared and applied plastic body filler to the damaged area and will be removing the attached items while his body filler cures.
Once he has shaped and sanded the body filler and it is ready for the paint department, his work is done until the parts are ready for the reassembly phase, right after the paint has been finished. If the body tech is not extremely careful when putting the parts back on the car, the paint can be scratched very easily. If everything is completed properly, hopefully the body shop will have another satisfied customer driving down the road.
Heavy Collision Repair
First the car will be given to the collision technician to disassemble the damaged area of the car so a thorough repair can be done. If in the way? the doors and all of the damaged interior panels, including the deployed side impact air bags are removed from the car. Once the replacement parts have arrived the auto body work can begin.
The first step is to get the car on the uni-body repair frame machine. At this time the technician can do the necessary body pulls to get the structure of the car back to where it is supposed to be. They will use a measuring system to make sure the control points of the vehicle are in the correct factory locations before removing the side uni-body structure.
The technician will then refit the replacement panels, resistance spot weld them to the uni-body when properly fitted and complete any finish body work at this time. After the technician has completed all of his work it will then go to the paint department for refinish. The uni-body and bolted on parts will be painted separately.
Once the car is reassembled, if called for, it will have a four wheel alignment completed, road tested and have all the vehicle safety systems checked. If everything has gone well, this vehicle once inside the shop was completed from start to finish in less than two weeks and another happy customer on his way out.
Auto Body Damage Repair - The First Step
My car has auto body damage. What to do now?
Contact your insurance company immediately and initiate a claim. You may be informed by the adjuster as to where to take your car or truck, or you may decide to take the vehicle to your preferred auto body shop? Let the claim adjuster know where the vehicle will be at in order to have the damage assessed by the insurance appraiser.
If you are in the GTA - Toronto area? it is best to contact us first for guidance and advice. This will save you a lot of time and grief in the long run. Call us at 647 806-0107.