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Auto Body Shop Summit, NJ – What Can they do for You?

If you experienced some frame damage to your car, you’ll need some repair and Peotter’s Tire & Auto is just the place to get it taken care of.

What are the three questions should ask a body shop before they consider dropping their car off for repairs?

Well what’s important is that the repair shop actually be qualified to fix that particular vehicle.

Today modern cars require specialized training and equipment to be able to perform repairs to the manufacturer’s standards.

Automotive Air Conditioning Repair

For instance, this Mini Cooper and other BMWs require what’s called rivet bonding.

So, glue joints and rivets.

They’re actually repaired like aircraft today.

This is important because this maintains the structural integrity the manufacturer designed for a repair situation.

Today's vehicles are made with many different types of fuel-saving materials like lightweight alloys and plastics. It is important for an auto body shop to be aware of the different materials and techniques used for repairing them.

Auto body shops and collision repair services refer to manuals for instructions repairing bumpers. The different material types require various finish materials, removal and installation procedures.

Bumper Repairs

When a plastic bumper is cracked or has a small hole it can be repaired to look as good as new. Replacing the bumper is wasteful and it creates unnecessary debris for our landfills. A good, eco-friendly auto body shop will only recommend replacing the bumper if the damage is severe enough that repair time would be considered unreasonable and quality of results would be unsatisfactory.

The cost of repairing small abrasions, cracks and holes in plastic bumpers is often much cheaper than replacing the part. Of course, many collision repair technicians would rather replace the part and charge a fee for their labor plus mark-up on the price of the part because they lack in cosmetic repair skills and it is easier to warranty the work.

Working with Plastics

The first step to repairing plastic bumpers is to identify the material in order to choose the method of repair. Auto body shops use ISO codes on the parts to identify the various families of plastics. They cross-reference the codes with charts from the suppliers or by accessing reference materials on the internet.

It is important that the collision repair technician determine the type of plastic they are working with so they know the proper welding procedure to use to avoid damage to the part.

Some plastics can be welded with an airless welder or hot-air welder; others require a hot glue type of procedure. Tests must be performed and welding procedures have to be done correctly to avoid adhesion failure. Some bumpers will melt with a slight color change and they will remain tacky in the area where they have melted.

Adhesive Repairs

The bumper repair technician must identify the type of plastic they are working with in order to be successful with adhesive repairs. Failure to properly identify the plastic results in adhesion-related problems.

Flexibility

Some repair materials are based on flexible and rigid plastics. Using the wrong material can cause cracking when the part is flexed or it may not provide the correct strength for the repair area.

Cleaning and Prep

Proper cleaning and prep is critical for proper adhesion and finish. Whether the technician is repairing or replacing the bumper, the part will need to be cleaned. The bumper being repaired is likely to be dirty from the road; the new replacement part can have contamination on it from the manufacturing process.

Auto body repair professionals should use a low-VOC surface cleaner or a special plastics parts cleaner to help prevent solvents from going too deep into the plastic. If solvents are too harsh, they go deep into the plastic and cause adhesion problems after repairs are done.

This is an overview of the process of working with plastics. Time is money in the auto body industry; therefore, many collision repair technicians choose to replace rather than repair plastic bumpers and other parts.

Technology allows us to repair many items that are often replaced. As resources become scarce and landfills become over-full, we really should consider repairing rather than replacing when possible.

Like this fixture frame bench here that utilizes actual jigs to support the vehicle across its entire platform and place factory components precisely where the manufacturer has designated.

These systems are different than generic systems that simply are reverse engineered and don’t have jig and holding capacity.

Shops that aren’t trained and equipped to properly perform a repair utilizing generic equipment or generic procedures can’t restore the vehicle to the manufacturer’s standards and that doesn’t necessarily maintain the safety rating designed for the vehicle.

You potentially jeopardize the collision energy management system.

The vehicle might not perform the same in a future collision and you could possibly be more injured than you would if the car doesn’t perform as the manufacturer intended.

The second question a consumer should ask is “Where does the body shop’s loyalty lie?”

Is it an independent repair center that relies on satisfied customers to drive business through their door and therefore fixes vehicles correctly? Or is the body shop on the insurance company’s “preferred network?”

Those body shops rely on the insurance referrals and when those body shops utilize cheap, imitation, and savage parts utilize the quickest possible repair times and keep costs as low as possible that generates the next referral.

But that’s a recipe for shortcuts.

The third question, Paul, is “Can the repair shop make this process convenient for me?”

Most consumers today want convenience and ease.

Repair shops that are high-quality repair shops are going to put their customers’ interests first & do everything they can to have a satisfied customer.

That includes scheduling a rental car, scheduling a tow engaging in conversations with the insurance company and making sure the vehicle is fixed right for the consumer.

Car Dent

If you’re ever involved in an accident in a leased car, there are a few very specific things that you need to do. The first step is to call 911, even if it’s a relatively minor accident, you still need to report it to the police. That’s because insurance companies need the police report to resolve disputes about who’s at fault.

The second step is to notify your insurance company. Regardless of who’s fault it is, your insurance company will help you file your claim against the other driver. And if the other driver wasn’t insured or underinsured, your insurance company will pay for the damage, as long as your policy covers such things.

The third step is to notify your lease finance company, especially if the car was declared totaled. Since they definitely would want to know if one of their cars got destroyed and will need to talk to the insurance company.

If the vehicle can be repaired

If your car wasn’t declared totaled and can be repaired, it’s very crucial to have the work done by a professional body shop which has been approved by your insurance company. It’s also helpful if the shop is authorized and recognized as a repair shop for your particular make of the vehicle. Talk to your dealer about finding an authorized shop.

When repairing your vehicle, it needs to be done in a way that restores it to a like-new condition and uses only OEM parts. If you use substandard parts or repair shops, you run the risk of being charged at the end of your lease for any re-repair costs that will be needed to bring your vehicle to an acceptable condition.

If the vehicle is totaled

If the necessary repair costs exceed 70% of the vehicle’s value, that it will be considered a total loss. In this case, the insurance company will pay the market value of the car to your lease finance company.

If you get lucky and your lease buyout balance exceeds the payout from the insurance company, the lease company may possibly refund the difference to you. But this rarely happens with leases.

Majority of the time, the payout from the insurance company is less than the lease balance, which leaves a deficiency that you will be responsible to cover. The good news is that most lease contracts require GAP insurance, which would cover that deficiency.

So where does this leave you?

If your leased vehicle can be repaired and you have the repairs done then proceed with your lease as normal and return the car once the lease ends. There’s one note of caution, however. Whenever a vehicle is involved in an accident, the trade and resale value gets reduced. Sometimes the insurance company may give you or the lease company a “diminished value” payment.

If your leased vehicle is totaled, then your basically left without a car, the same as if you returned your car at the end of a lease. If your car was over the mileage limit when the accident happened then you will still be charged for the extra miles as you normally would at the end of your lease. Might not seem fair to you but the lease company see’s it otherwise.

If you’ll need a replacement car

If the leased car gets totaled and you need another vehicle, you will need to start over with a new car lease or simply buy another car.

Summary

So, if you ever get into an accident in your leased car, first call 911, then your insurance company, and your lease company last. What happens next will largely depend on the severity of the accident, repair costs, and your insurance coverage policy. And it’s possible that you might end up owning more money to the lease company.

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