It happens to most of us who drive – the inevitable collision! You may have been hit by another car, or perhaps something failed that led to you being the one crashing into another vehicle. The stress associated with a collision can be strong, but that associated with getting the car repaired and satisfying your insurance company can be greater!
This is why you need a reputable and experienced body and paint shop to ensure the repairs are performed to the highest order. What should you expect when you take your car to a body shop for repairs? We’ve outlined all the steps for you, so let’s start at the beginning and work through the procedure.
Getting a Quote for the Repairs
Before we go on, you will get a good idea of what a body and paint shop can do by checking out Stil Swangn Auto Paint & Collision, which has a great reputation. They can perform everything from the basic panel and bump repairs to full classic car and bike restorations and are regarded as a passionate outfit that provides first-class results.
So, the first step you need to take is getting a quote for the repairs from the body shop. We recommend you get more than one, perhaps starting with the above company and two others. This quote will need to be provided to the insurance company, who will decide if the car is economical to repair.
Agreement with Insurance Company
Once you have an agreement from the insurance party that the job can go ahead, you are ready to hand the car over to the body shop for the process to begin. They will start by stripping away the damaged parts so they can get a proper look at what needs to be done.
Strip the Car and Examine
There will need to be a decision between replacing the damaged parts or repairing and restoring them. The former decision will be made for modern cars where parts are still available. For older cars and those no longer in production, the only choice may be to renovate the existing damaged parts as new ones will be impossible to come by.
The technician will examine the car and see if the structure has been damaged, and if it has, will move on to the next step in the procedure.
Check and Realign the Chassis and Frame
An auto engineer will perform a full examination of the chassis and frame, these being integral to the car and its safety. If the chassis or frame have been damaged, they will need to be realigned to the measurements it left the factory with. This will be performed by an advanced and highly accurate measuring device that will allow the frame to be correctly aligned. Without this procedure, the new parts will not fit when fixed to the car.
Prep the Car and Parts for Painting
Body panels and other trim parts will need to be prepared for the painting process. This involves an undercoat of primer being put onto the part. The primer allows for the topcoat to adhere to the parts correctly, resulting in a more accurate and impressive finish. Some parts may be painted prior to fitting, others afterward.
Match the Paint Color
Painting a car is a skill that needs experience and knowledge. This is particularly so when you need a specific color match. A reputable paint shop will be able to match any color, even those that are on older or discontinued models and cherished classic cars. Matching needs to be perfect as even the slightest difference will be noticed as it lines up alongside the original paint. Great care is taken to ensure that all goes correctly with this stage and that the paint to be applied will dry to match the rest of the car precisely.
Replace Damaged Parts with New
Now it is time to replace and fit the new or renovated parts that have been prepped or painted. The aim is to return the car to the state it was in before the accident – or in fact, even better – and that can be done only by expert repair technicians and auto restorers. This is a skill learned over many years, and if you have a cherished vehicle, you will want to find a repair shop that has knowledge in that make or model, so they have a head start in sourcing parts and doing the job correctly.
An experienced auto body repair technician will use the right techniques and methods to achieve an effect as if the car had left the factory, returning the once damaged vehicle to good as new condition. Once all parts and panels have been replaced and the paintwork completed, any trim parts that need re-attaching are dealt with, and the car is ready for a final inspection.
Perform a Quality Examination
An examination of the work that has been carried out will be performed by the repair technician, and the insurance company may need to send an independent examiner to assure that the work is to their satisfaction. Once signed off – and then examined by the customer – the car is complete and should look and drive like new. That’s the repair process in brief, and we believe we’ve covered all aspects of a collision repair procedure.
Hand the Car Back to a Happy Customer
The final stage is for the body shop to hand the car back to the customer, who should be 100% satisfied with the work and how it has been finished. If you had had a classic car restored, it would be to the level of accuracy and excellence that was agreed by you with the body shop before the job went ahead. For a modern car involved in a collision, the car will be returned to its state prior to the accident.
If you’re looking for a repair and paint shop, we recommend you start with the one mentioned and get quotes from two more locals in your area.