What Is the Auto Body Repair Process?: What Is the Auto Body Repair Process? PowerPoint Presentation: Auto body repair is an industry where highly skilled workers are able to restore a vehicle to its original glory after it has been damaged. Sometimes, it may seem like the damaged car or truck would be better off in the scrap heap, yet when all is said and done it comes out looking like new. Of course, auto body repair isn’t magic despite what the end results may indicate. Auto body specialists require a great deal of training and practice to make your car look like new after an accident. In the majority of cases, auto body repair follows a definitive process. Filing the Claim: Filing the Claim Before any auto bodywork takes place you must report the accident and file a claim with your insurance company. If the insurance provider feels the car is fixable, you will get a claim number and you can contact an auto body shop. Different insurance companies will have different procedures they follow, but you should be able to use whichever auto body shop you like. If you have a specific one you wish to work with, give them a call or go find one to perform your repairs. Choosing a Shop: Choosing a Shop If you don’t already have a shop in mind, you can go with whomever your insurance company suggests. However, if you want to go find one on your own, you should take a few important factors into consideration. PowerPoint Presentation: Word of Mouth – Ask your friends, family members or co-workers if they have any recommendations. It’s often difficult to get an accurate read from marketing materials alone. People who have used the service will definitely tell the truth. Shopping Around – Even if you’re in a rush to get these repairs started, it makes sense to get a few different estimates before choosing just one. Sometimes, repair shop estimates can vary quite a bit. Ask Questions – Since labor charges are often a big part of the final cost, ask how much they charge per hour. Also ask if they provide a warranty, if the shop has theft and fire protection and if they bill the insurance company directly, or if you have to pay for it first. Disassembly: Disassembly After you have chosen an estimate and auto body shop you feel comfortable with, and your insurance provider has ok’d the repairs, the shop will disassemble the vehicle. During the disassembly process, it’s common for an auto body shop to find inner damage that was hidden from the initial inspection. In many cases, the insurance company will have to get involved once again and more parts will be ordered. Once the extent of the damage is finalized and any necessary re-inspection is complete, the replacement parts are ordered. Depending on the availability of parts, the repair process may begin relatively quickly or it might take some time. If even one part is delayed for whatever reason, the whole job is delayed. Repair: Repair After all of the parts have arrived and the repair is scheduled, the real magic begins. Modern auto body repair shops use sophisticated equipment to closely analyze your vehicle’s frame to ensure it is brought back to the exact same specifications. It is crucial for the balance and performance of the vehicle that everything is exactly as it should be. Frames bend and twist when they are subject to violent impact, but luckily modern technology can bring them back, Once the frame is restored and balanced, any exterior panels and other metal finishing pieces are installed on the vehicle. After this portion is completed, the shape and structure of the car or truck will be right back to where it was originally. Paint: Paint The car will never look complete without a new paint job, but before that happens, the new panels must be prepped for paint. The panels must be primed and then sealed properly so they accept the paint and the paint adheres to the surface the way it should. After the new parts have been prepared, the final coats of paint are applied. Once the paint has dried and the car looks restored, it’s time to add the finishing details to make the job complete. Any moldings or fine detail pieces are added back, and then all of the different systems are checked out to make sure they work effectively. Delivery: Delivery Before the vehicle can be given back to its owner, it must be tested out on the road to ensure it drives like it is supposed to. The whole point of auto body repair is to restore a vehicle to its pre-accident condition. And doing that involves much more than just making it look great. Once the body shop feels confident that the vehicle has been properly restored, they will call the owner to come in and pick it up or deliver it to the owner and the job is complete.