What is the process of having your car repaired after a collision?
In this post, we go through the basic steps of the collision repair process to get your car fixed.
Immediately after an accident, your first step is to check on the safety of everyone involved. After checking on the people in the cars, call the police to file an accident report. The accident report will be important for documenting the collision and determining fault for the insurance claim.
Once you have the accident report and the vehicles have been removed from the accident scene, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. Your insurance agent will help you figure out what action to take next and may suggest where to tow your car if it needs it.
Your insurance carrier may prefer that you use a center within their network. Just because they may suggest a preferred auto body shop, that doesn’t mean they get to make the decision where to take your car for repairs. Your insurance coverage allows you to take your vehicle to body shop of your choice.
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Once you have taken your car to an auto body repair shop, an inspection will be performed by a technician to determine the full extent of the damage. Parts may need to be removed to check for hidden damage behind them.
Your mechanic will document all damages and create a written estimate for the cost of the parts and labor. You will receive a copy of the estimate and a copy will need to be sent to your insurance company by either you or the shop. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the estimate and how long repairs may take.
If the accident caused enough damage to the vehicle and you have an older model car, this is the point in the process where your insurance company may determine that it is not cost effective to repair the vehicle. Car insurance companies label a vehicle a “total loss” when the cost to repair the vehicle to its pre-damaged state exceeds the cost of the vehicle’s worth or actual cash value.
You will need to receive approval from your auto insurance company before you can authorize the body shop to begin repairs. Let your mechanic know as soon as you have approval because they may need to order parts to complete all repairs.
You can ask the body shop if they will order aftermarket or OEM parts. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM are usually more expensive, but they’re often the preferred choice given the quality and warranty. Once the parts have arrived, the technician will complete the repairs.
The auto body shop should begin repairs as soon as they can. You should have received an estimate for how long this process will take.
It’s important to complete all mechanical repairs in conjunction with structural repairs if possible. First, they will get your car is structurally and mechanically sound. Then the bodywork can be worked on. Once bodywork is completed, all exterior parts will be straightened and prepared for paint.
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The final fix for your car will be the painting. An experienced technician will precisely match the shade of new paint to the existing paint on the car. The vehicle is prepped to ensure the surface is perfectly smooth and adhesive. Parts are sanded, the primer is applied, the base coat is applied, and a clear coat is added to protect the finish. After curing, the painted surfaces will be polished to a glossy finish.
Related Post: How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?
Detailing and Pre-Delivery
After repairs are completed, your car gets a wash and interior cleaning. The body paint is polished and surfaces cleaned and buffed. Your lights and safety components are checked and a quick test drive is done. At this point, if everything has gone well, it should be ready for delivery back to you.
At this point, you should be able to return to the auto body shop and pick up your car. Your mechanic will give you a list of all repairs and expenses. Be sure to check your vehicle and make sure it is running normally.
Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?
Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repair, airbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.
Call Today: (815) 485-8411
What is paintless dent repair?
Paintless dent repair is a method of removing minor dents from the body of a car or truck to return it to its original condition without major work or expense of repainting.
It is not available on all types of dents to an auto, only minor creases, dents, and dings where the paint is not chipped or scratched.
Some people have the ability to do this work at home themselves if they have the right tools. It’s recommended for most people that you instead have an auto body repair shop do the work for you instead. They can do it quickly, affordably, and make sure the job is done right.
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Paintless dent removal steps
Assess the dent – Examine the dent to see if it is possible to remove with paintless dent removal (PDR). How big is the dent? Can you get to it?
Gain entry to the damage – To remove most dents, you will need to be able to gain access to the back side of the dent. This may require removing exterior or interior panels in order to get a path to it.
Get the best view of the dent – Trained mechanics use special lights to get a good look at the dent. The light will reveal the full damage on the inside of the panel and show what needs to be pushed out.
Apply slow pressure to work out the dent – Once you have accessed the dent and have a good view, then you can use specialized tools to slowly “massage” the exterior back to its original position.
Benefits of paintless dent repair
When dents are removed using PDR, the original factory finish is preserved and there is no need for grinding the paint off, using Bondo, primers, or sealers. This makes it simpler than conventional body repair work and environment-friendly because no chemicals or toxic materials are used.
Because your original factory paint is preserved, you can avoid problems with color matching any new paint.
Modern vehicle factory paints are more flexible than paint on older vehicles and will not be damaged by paintless dent removal when done by an experienced technician. Dents will not come back at a later date because the metal was properly restored to pre-accident condition.
The main benefit of all these is that paintless dent repair is more affordable than collision repair. No parts, no paint, no primers or sealers and less time all mean that you get a more affordable repair bill at the end.
Need professional paintless dent removal?
Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.
Call Today: (815) 485-8411
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