Tire Repair in Livingston

It happens to all of us at one point in time. We get into an automobile collision and need the best auto body shop in Livingston. Hopefully, it is not too bad and we are not seriously injured. But usually the car does not fare as well and comes away with significant damage.

What is the next step after your collision and you need an auto body shop?

Likely, after informing the insurance company you take your vehicle to one of their “approved” vendors.

Here is what happens next. You tell the insurance company what company you choose. By this time they have already taken phones of the car and know how extensive the damage is. If you need an expert to take a look, make sure you go to a repair shop in Livingston. 

They have a computer system that gives them a printed estimate stating what the replacement parts and labor will be based upon a set hourly rate.

This statement is given to the body shop. It comes with a break down of what the labor and parts “should” be and the company has to usually be able to totally fix the car for that price.

How to Spot a Scam Auto Body Shop

Keep in mind that what is printed out represents the best case scenario and doesn’t allow for items on the car that was missed or problems that come up.

Now here are some things to watch out for. a local auto body shop in Livingston is operating under very, very thin margins and the incentive to “cut corners” is huge. Getting an extra $300 off a job can really add up over the course of the month when you are talking about doing at least 3-5 vehicles every week.

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Replacement Parts in Auto Body Shops

Make sure the parts being used on your car are OEM parts. These are replacement auto body parts in Livingston are sent directly from the car manufacturers and are designed with the same specs as the vehicle came with.

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Aftermarket parts can be significantly cheaper yet are not the same quality and make not hold up the same in the event of another accident.

No Realignment? Talk to Your Auto Repair Team!

The frame is usually somewhat bent when a car goes through an accident of any kind. It needs to be properly realigned. You need a serious all hands on deck auto body shop to take care of you here.

Unfortunately, because the money made off one car can be very little the propensity to skip this step is very high. Later down the road this will cause your car to not drive straight but at a tilt and your tires will wear prematurely. So if you need to brush up on some tire repair, ask your mechanic straight away.

Using Bondo (Fillers) Instead of Replacing the Part

Filling any damage in with bondo is not bad in itself. If you know what the auto body shop in Livingston is doing, they tell you, and this is what you are paying for then it is fine.

The problem comes in when you think you are getting a vehicle back that is 99.9% the same as before it was wrecked and it is not. Filling a damaged part in with filler rather than replacing the expensive part is a common tactic and you want to make sure it is not done on your vehicle.

Wheel Alignment

All damaged parts should be replaced unless you are paying a lower price for the car to just be fixed (in the case you want the cheapest price and do not care about having a car exactly the same as before). Again, you should really speak to your best auto body shop nearest you!

Keep in mind that most auto body repair shops are honest and are surviving in a tough industry.

- Hey this is Donnie Smith.

This lesson, we're gonnatalk about dent repair.

Now before we just jumpon this car and start repairing this dent, it'simportant for any repair job to wash it good withsoap and water to remove all the contaminants,the waxes and greases.

We've already done that,we used a power washer to clean the car and now we're using a wax and grease remover.

And this is just toassure that all the waxes and greases, silicones,things like Armor Alls that may have been sprayedaround the vehicle are removed, 'cause this will eliminatemany of the paint problems that arise during a repair process.

This will also save onsandpaper cause it won't be loading the sandpaperwith these contaminants.

Now we have the repair areaclean and we can begin repairs.

But before we do, we wanna take a look at the damage and seewhat's wrong with it, see where the indirectdamage is and direct damage, and determine what repairmethods we're gonna use to repair this damage.

Now when thinking aboutdamage, it's a good idea to think about water.

Because you know if somethinghits water it goes down, and when it goes down italso pushes a wave up.

So you've got the low areaand you've got the high area.

Think of damage the sameway, because any time there's a dent there's gonna be a low and there's gonna be a high.

So whenever you look at thisdamage, you can see that the center part of the dent isof course the direct damage, but then if you look up here on the top, you can see the crown, oreyebrow some people call it.

And you can see that that is pushed up.

That whole top of the fenderis actually pushed up.

So if you tried justto pull out on the low, or push down on the highthat's not gonna work.

You've got to roll themetal, you've gotta push down on that high while you'repushing out on the low.

Now, when you go todetermining what repair method you're gonna use, you mayhave some different types of tools, you may havesome high dollar tools, a stud welder gun, otherdent repair systems.

Where really what you wanna think of is what is the easiest method? If it's a hammer and dolly,you have access to both sides, then use a hammer and dolly.

Just because you've got thehighest piece of equipment does not mean you haveto use it every time.

Now on this particularrepair, if you drop the liner, you are able to get to the back side.

So if you can get to the back side, this would definitely be acandidate for hammer and dolly.

Feeling back there to see ifthere's room to get a dolly, which I determined that there is.

Another thing to remember isthat whenever you're repairing a dent to reverse what happened.

You wanna work from the outside in.

First in, last out.

So whatever happened first in an accident, that's the last thing you wanna repair.

Also remember whenworking with thin metal, it's thin, and you may be able to move some of this with yourhand some of the times.

Doesn't work every time, butI'm gonna reach back there and keeping that in mind that I'm gonna push down on that high,out on the low area, use my hands to rough this out.

Now this ain't gonna be perfect, it's just to rough out the damage, to get the majority of the damage out.

I can see that there arestill some highs and lows, I can feel 'em.

I know it's hard to see on the video, and even if you're doingthis yourself it may be hard to see this sometimes, butI've got a trick that'll help you locate the lows.

If you get a block withsome 80 grit on it, you can cross sand the damaged area, and what this'll do is that the highs will immediately go to metal, of course, 'cause they're high,but the lows, you'll see it doesn't sand it at all, andthis will identify the lows.

Now you can see the twolow areas very easy.

Now using the dolly, I'mgoing to reach behind this panel with the dollyand I'm gonna push out on those low areas.

Also, while I'm pushing outI'm gonna have to remember where those high areas areso I can tap in on those.

Remember, we always wannawork in multiple directions.

Whatever tool you're using, just remember to push out on the lowsand in on the highs.

Also, when using adolly, there's different dollies, different shapes.

You want the shape of thedolly to fit the contour of the part you're working on.

If this dolly was completelyflat it wouldn't work well with this repair.

Okay, now I am working on getting my dolly located on the back of themetal where I want it to go.

It may take a little bitof time to get it exactly where you want it, but I wantit right on those low areas, so that I can raise the low areas out.

Also while I'm raising lowareas out, while I'm pushing on them with the dolly, I wannatap down on the high areas.

This will allow the lowareas to come out while the high areas are tapped in.

This is called the Hammeroff Dolly technique, because I'm not actuallyhammering on the dolly.

The dolly is pushing out on the low, the hammer's pushing in on the highs.

There is also a Hammer on Dolly, and that's where youare hitting the dolly.

Any time you hammer on dollythat stretches the metal.

You wanna save that for your final stages, until you get the metalcloser to where you want it.

Then you can do some hammer on dolly for your final straightening.

So I'm gonna do a little bitmore metal straightening, and then I'm gonna use the block sander with some 80 grit on it tocontinue blocking that out to identify my highs and lows and see how the progress is coming.

Now whenever you're blocksanding with 80 grit to identify highs andlows, it's always important to cross sand.

By sanding in just onedirection, you're not gonna find all the highs and lows.

And this goes for if you're doing this to identify highs and lows,or block sanding body filler.

Cross sanding always levels much better.

Now we're using this sander,and this basically takes the place of what we usedto use with thicker metals, which is a body file.

However a body file will actually shave the top layer of the metalwhich would help level it.

We don't wanna do thatwith thinner metals.

We wanna use methods thatdoes not remove any metal.

So any method that you canuse that does not remove metal is always gonna be a better choice with these thinner metals.

Now I'm feeling out thedamage with my hand, just seeing what all highsand lows that I feel.

A little tip for feeling damage, because you'll have to do that often, is to use the flat of your hand.

Often I see fingertipsused, but that is not gonna catch the highs and lows,you're gonna miss 'em.

So always use the flatof your hand to be able to feel the damage.

Another trick that sometechnicians use is to use a rag, they claim that they can feel it better, it kinda eliminatesthe different textures.

You put a rag over yourhand and go over the damage and see if you can feelthe highs and lows better.

Try both ways, whichever works best is the method for you to use.

Now I feel a little bit ofhigh, so here I identified a high, so I'm just gonna tap that down with the pick side of the hammer.

I'm just basicallylowering that high area.

Now I'm going to re-blockit, re-sand it with this 80 grit to make sure thatit did remove the high area.

I feel of it, and I feelthat that feels good.

It's not perfect, butwith these thin metals, if you try to get 'em just perfect, try to metal finish 'emlike they did older metals, you're gonna weaken and thin the metal.

You wanna get it within 1/4 of an inch.

Anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 is what most body fillersuppliers recommend.

However, you don't wannaexceed 1/4 of an inch, that's maximum after sanded.

You don't wanna exceed that amount.

This dent is well underthat, it's probably within 1/8 of an inch.

I'm noticing there's stilla little bit of a crease down here so I need to work that out.

I'm gonna get a hammer and dolly in there, I'm gonna raise in on the low area and I'm gonna tap this crease area in so that we can roll this metal back to where it's supposed to be.

As I'm pushing out with the dolly, I'm tapping in on that high area.

Now I'm being real careful herenot to hit the bumper cover.

It'd've been a better idea if I went ahead and dropped the bumper cover.

I'll probably be blending into that.

Another trick you can do is put a couple layers of masking tape.

I should've did that, Ishould've put masking tape or went ahead and dropped the bumper.

Because the last thingyou wanna do is sand into an adjacent panel,especially if it's not one that you're blending and cause damage that you have to repair.

I'm still having problemswith the low area right here, so I'm working on that.

Now the problem with this area, it's a little harder to get to'cause there's a brace there.

I'm following the same techniques, I'm gonna push out on that low area and I'm tapping around the high areas.

When I hammer on dollyyou can hear that ping, it makes a different sound.

You can hammer on dolly someto help remove that damage, but again remember thatthat stretches the metal and try to reduce theamount that you do that.

Little bit of a high, I knocked that down.

Okay, I'm gonna use my block with 80 grit to sand the damaged area some more to see if I got thedamage worked out enough to apply the body filler.

And I sand it and I feelof it, and there's still too much of a low there.

So I'm going to need to goback in there one more time and use the dolly and hammer.

I'm going to use the pickbecause there's a high here.

I'm pushing out on thatlow and I'm going to hammer on dolly a little bit,and sand it one more time to see if that has it.

And that's what it takes, itjust takes doing a little bit, feeling of it, checking your progress until you have thedamage where you want it.

We got the metal straightenedwithin 1/4 of an inch, really within 1/8, but 1/4 after sanded is the maximum amount of filler that most body filler manufacturers recommend.

No more than 1/4 of an inch.

That's the maximum amount.

I know 3M, Evercoat, they all have that on their technical data sheets.

So anything more than 1/4 of an inch you really need tostraighten it more than that.

You need to get it straighter.

Again, with these thinnermetals you don't wanna try to work it and work it,because you're gonna work-harden the metal.

It'll become work-hardened, thin, brittle, it may even crack on you.

It's almost impossible toget these thinner metals to do the metal finishingtechniques like they used to do where they'd work the metaland file it down and get it just perfect, prime it.

Now there is one exceptionto that, and that's PDR.

Paintless Dent Repair.

That's a total different set of techniques than we went over in this video.

This video is straightening metal like a body shop would perform.

Again, remember dependingon the extent of damage, like a fender, that wouldreally go into consideration, do we wanna repair that or replace it? Now on 1/4 panel, thosepanels usually cost more.

And also, it's a weld onpanel, so it's gonna take a lot of labor to replace it.

So you can have a lotmore damage in 1/4 panel than you would a fender,and still repair it.

Many times in body shops and dealerships, if there's even a couple ofhours of damage on fenders, they just go ahead and replace them, which is R and R, Remove and Replace.

Anyway, I hope you learnedsomething this lesson.

Thanks for watching, we'llsee you in the next lesson.

Auto body (Collision Repair and Refinishing)

The insurance companies nickel and dime them at every turn and they are made to give them at time ridiculous discounts to get any business. That’s why having an auto body shop in your corner can’t be stressed enough.

Nevertheless, all an auto body shop should be on is your side and corners should not be cut at your expense and being watchful is just a smart way to go.

Your Auto Body Shop In Livingston Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?

Auto Places Near Me

Ever since mankind realized they could harness the power of horses and use this as a means of transportation there have been accidents.  Today we associate horsepower with motor engines and where once we had just a single, pair or team of horses providing the energy to move the vehicle, we now have the power of many hundreds of horses under the bonnet of the modern motor vehicle.  With this increase in power comes an inevitable increase in accidents and accidents invariably include dents.

One of the biggest issues facing someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident is the question of where and how to get their vehicle repaired.

Collision services are a collective body of services that assist motor vehicle owners in getting their vehicles back on the road after a collision.  It includes the after crash repairs offered by auto repair services such as repairs to the body of the vehicle ie dent and frame repairs and paint work.  Some auto repair shops work directly with insurance companies thereby reducing the need for the car owner to have to make too many decisions during what is often a very stressful time.

As with all these types of services, finding a quality, reputable company with qualified and experienced technicians to do the work is of paramount importance.  Dodgy work done by dodgy repair shops will not only end up costing you far more down the track when you inevitably have to get their repair work repaired, it may also be potentially dangerous.

Top Tips For Finding A Good Collision Service

Right at the top of the list is ‘ask a friend’.  Word of mouth and personal referrals have long been acknowledged as one of the most valuable, if not THE most valuable, forms of marketing in existence and there’s good reason for that.  It’s the one more people trust more than any other form of marketing.  So if you know someone who has been involved in a car accident and is happy with the repairs that were done on their vehicle and the customer service they received, ask them where they had the work done.  You can also ask local businesses in the auto trade if they have any particular recommendations or know of any reasons why you should maybe avoid certain repair shops.

Tip number 2 is to take matters into your own hands and conduct some one on one research.  Approach your local auto repairers and talk to them about the service they can offer and the guarantees they provide on their work.  Ask if they have photos of some of the work they’ve done that is similar to what you require and, most importantly, whether they have unsolicited customer feedback you can view.

And tip number 3 is that Google is often your best friend when it comes to research like this.  Look up local repair shops online, check their websites for photos and videos of their work and their customer feedback.  See if they have customer reviews on some of the big review sites like Yelp or, if they have social media pages ie Facebook, Google + etc, whether customers have left feedback there.

What You Need To Consider When Searching For An Auto Repairer

Not all makes of vehicles are created equal and not all auto repair shops can repair all makes of vehicles.  Therefore ruling out any who don’t deal with your make will narrow your search.

Which ones provide a warranty on their work, and how long is the warranty.  A warranty not only provides you with peace of mind, it’s also a good way of telling whether or not a repair shop has faith in their workmanship.  As a general rule, the longer the warranty period the more faith the repairer likely has in their work.  If you can find one that offers a lifetime warranty so much the better.

How are you going to get your vehicle to the repair shop if it’s too badly damaged to get there under its own steam?  If this is the case, you may want to find one that either has a towing service or can arrange for a towing service to get the vehicle to them.  Unless you have motor insurance or a motor club membership that includes towing.

How long can you function without a vehicle?  If you don’t have alternative transport and you rely heavily on your vehicle then you’ll need to find out how long each repairer estimates it will take them to fix it.  However, don’t sacrifice quality of workmanship for speed because chances are you’ll end up spending more time without a vehicle down the track when you have to take it back to have those hastily done repairs repaired.

And last but not least, getting back to word of mouth and doing business by personal recommendation.  Make a point of checking feedback provided by previous customers.

 

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