If you’re looking for an auto body shop in New Jersey make sure you give Peotters Tire & Auto a call as the New Jersey areas premier tire and brake shop. 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 in New Jersey to be aware of the different materials and techniques used for repairing them.
Auto body shops like Peotter’s Tire and Auto and collision repair services refer to manuals for instructions repairing bumpers. The different material types require various finish materials, removal and installation procedures.
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 in New Jersey 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.
Before you try to run out and find auto body shops near you, take a moment to read through this article and consider including some of my personal experience as a mechanic into your own personal deliberation about what constitutes the best auto body shops in business. When you break things down, there are really two types of garages in business: good ones and bad ones. The best place to start when trying to scope out a potential body shop is the owner. In bad auto body garages the owner usually instructs the employees to give the impression that your car is in worse shape then you think, or that something is broken and needs to be fixed right away. In a legitimate auto body garage, the owner is more concerned with forging a long standing relationship with you and getting your repeat business rather then just ripping you off and potentially never seeing you again.
The reason why most owners are concerned with ripping people off, especially in a body shop, is because the only two reasons cars ever go in there is for repairs on collision damage or for custom work; this means that the owners of the shop realistically do not see the owners of vehicles too often and do not see the value in repeat business, they would rather try to squeeze every dime out of your while you are there.
The best auto and body shop you can ever find is where the owner looks to develop long term relationships with their clients. While it is true they can potentially never see a newer customer again, these owners are smart and do the best work possible not only to help you out, but to impress you and have you refer your friends and family to him or her. These owners are less interesting in gouging your wallet and more interested in establishing a reputation in their local community for outstanding work and service. These types of people see the value in what it means to be a true professional and are more successful then their more selfish friends in the business.
The best way you figure out which owners are the good or bad guys is either by your own direct experience or the experience of others. You should not be afraid to talk to the auto body shop manager directly and begin to get a feeling for what he is about. After a short conversation and carefully studying his body movement and language, the first impression you get is often the right one.
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.
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.
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.
Who Really IS the Best Auto Body Shop in New Jersey ?
- Hey Youtubers, Donnie Smith here, and welcome to my videoseries on auto estimating.
This series, we're gonna talk about how to write estimates on cars, you know, cars that have been in a wreck or has got a dent.
How do you write an estimate? (screeching) (boom) So to kick this video off, I'm gonna start it with a quote.
It says "organization is what you do before you do something,so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.
" So in this first lesson we're just gonna talk about estimates, what are estimates, supplements, how they're generated,who needs estimators, and kinda setting up yourestimating environment.
As an estimator, it'simportant to fully understand what all the purposes an estimate serves.
And it's also important to properly set up your estimating environment to become efficient at generatingthorough auto estimates.
And this also includes the ASE A1 Position thevehicle for inspection.
So what are estimates? I mean estimates, they'recalled different things, like a damage report, damage estimate, auto estimate, but they arebasically the same thing.
A damage estimate however, is more than just a sheet of paperlisting the total cost of the repairs.
An estimate is a contractor a mutual agreement between two people.
As with real estate,the owner and the buyer, they must agree on a price,and they sign the document, the contract and it's a mutual agreement, and a auto estimate, youknow, it's the same way.
There needs to be an agreement between the repair shop and the customer and the customer shouldsign that agreement to authorize the repairs.
Now one thing that the estimator needs to explain to the customer, and this is somethingthat's really misunderstood, is the estimate, it is just an estimate.
It could change, it'snot the final invoice.
A lot of things could factor into this.
Maybe there was some hidden damage.
Well, of course, they wouldneed to contact the customer and let 'em know, but it isgonna change the estimate total.
Maybe there was a price increase on parts, maybe that changed.
There's a lot of things that may make the finalinvoice a different price than the estimate was,and you as an estimator need to explain this tothe customer up front so they understand.
Any additional charges, you're gonna need to write a supplement.
The customer needs to understand this, and a lot of times you're dealing with insurance companies as well, and of course, they arefamiliar with the process.
And not only do you need to have good communication skills with the customer, you're also gonna have to work with the insurance, in many cases.
Not every job is an insurance job, but a big percentage of 'em are, so you need to be able to communicate well with the insurance company.
Now every insurance company,that's gonna be different, the way they do it.
Do you pick up a phone, call 'em, are you a direct repair show for 'em, that is gonna vary a lot.
But whatever procedure you do use, your shop, the insurance company, whatever relationship you have, it's gonna be your responsibility to make sure that the insurance company and the customer, that you communicate with them and they allknow what is going on.
Now the insurance companymay be paying for everything, everything except the deductible in some of these jobs, but keep in mind, the owner of the car,that is your customer.
That's the one that's gonna bring it back to you if they have problems, have another accidentor anything like that, so keep in mind that you'reworking for the customer, the car owner.
It's your responsibilityas the repair shop, to repair that car back to its pre-accidental condition.
So once everybody agreesto the supplements, the additional charges,the insurance company and the customer, now you can include these additional chargesinto the final invoice.
So there's different methodsfor writing estimates.
For a long time, Iremember whenever I started writing estimates, it was all by hand, using Mitchell manuals is what we used.
I'm sure there was other books as well, estimating guides, but we'd have to look up the car, then we'd have to look up the part, and we'd manually write all that in, write the price in, the labor for it, andthat took a lot of time.
Nowadays, they have computer estimates.
It's a lot faster, youput all the information into the computer, and it'smore of a point and click.
But even though they haveall the computers today, I still think it's important, if you're interested in estimating, I still think it's very important to learn to write one by hand.
Now the reason I say this is, you wanna understand the process cause a lot of the computer systems, they will deduct for overlap, for example.
They'll just automatically put that in.
Well you don't have to worry about it because it puts it in, but if you never understandthe process and why, you don't wanna look dumb to the customer.
Maybe the customer says "Well, what's this deduct for overlap?" You don't wanna just tell 'em.
"Ah, don't worry about it, the computer puts that in there.
I don't know what it is.
" You can honestly sitthere and explain to 'em, because you know the procedure and why it deducted for overlap.
And I think the better understanding of the procedures you have, the better estimator you're gonna be, the less un-includeditems you're gonna miss, and I think it's gonna make you a much better estimator, to understand the full process.
Now there is a sequence to estimating.
Most guides, like the Mitchell, the guides they have.
We use use CCC now, thecomputer system, CCC 1.
There is a sequence thatmost of these follow.
Now I don't know every system out there, but all the ones thatI use have a sequence, and it starts with the front bumper cover and ends with the rear bumper cover, so it starts from front to back.
So when you're writing an estimate, of course, you wanna startwith the front panels and move backwards, so youcan have the same sequence, so when you go to the computer, or if you're using an estimating guide, you can just follow that sequence, make it much easier forya, not flipping' around.
So follow that sequencefrom front to rear.
Now there's also anothersequence that it follows, and that's from outside to inside.
So for example, the front bumper cover, of course the bumpercover's on the outside, that's gonna be first.
Well, what's underneath that bumper cover? Well there's a impact absorber.
There's a reinforcement bar.
And it just kinda goes from outside to in for each part group.
So who needs estimators? Well, basically every repair shop.
Every body shop, dealershipthat repairs cars, they're gonna need an estimator and they need someone thatcan write the estimates, they can go talk to the customers, they can look at the car, and be able to writethe estimates for them, and also insurance companies, they also need a, theymay call 'em appraisers or estimators, they need people that will go and look at these cars and write the damage report for 'em.
Now smaller shops, you know, body shops, it may be the owner, itmight be the manager, the foreman that writes these estimates, but a lot of your larger shops, they have people just for estimating and some shops have multiple estimators.
And again, the title for this, it varies.
There is tons of them, customer advisor, a lot of dealerships and body shops call 'em different things, but it's basically someone that visits with the customer, you'reusually the first contact, that sees the customer, and you go and look at the car, andyou basically communicate with them for the entire process, from the time you write the estimate to take the keys and givethe keys back to 'em.
So it is very, veryimportant for this position if you're considering this as a career, it's very important to havevery good communication skills.
Now let's talk about settingup the work environment.
As with any workenvironment, it's important to be set up properly.
If you wanna be able to write estimates, generate estimates,thoroughly and efficiently, you need to be set up properly.
Now I remember when I usedto write a lot of estimates, I just wrote 'em out in the parking lot, and I'm sure there's still a lot of shops that do that, but if you have a stall set up for estimating, it's really gonna simplify the process and it's really gonna minimize the amount of supplements that you have.
And I think whenever inspecting a car, good lighting is very important and even if you have good lighting, or you're out in the parking lot, you know sunlight, that's good lighting, but there always are gonna be areas in these cars, maybe you gotta look up under the dash, or maybe you need to crawl up under the carand look at something, you really need aflashlight, a good flashlight to look at these things.
Because if you can't see inthose dark areas too good, it's really gonna be hardto determine what's wrong, and probably this is gonnalead to a supplement, once you tear it down, and that's something you wanna eliminate The less supplements, the better, which we'll talk about that more later.
And many times, the estimator's gonna need to inspect underneath the car.
Now if you have a stall set up, and you have a lift and everything, that works really good.
But not all shop estimatingstalls have that, but you do need to have a, nearby, in your stall, you need to have to have a jackand some jack stands, that if you do need to lift it up, that you can crawl under there to look at some suspension parts or something that may be damaged.
And it's also important to be well organized in your work area.
Be organized, clean, andprovide a easy workflow, to move cars in and out.
It'd take up a lot of time if you have to shuffle cars around, you pull a car in, you're in the middle of estimating it, you have to back it outto let another car out.
If possible, you don'twanna be in that situation, so have your stall setup to where you can pull a car in there and leave it, and it does not disturb the rest of the workflow with the rest of the shop.
And also stay organized.
You need to have the tools that you need.
You don't wanna haveto go through the shop, borrowing tools fromdifferent body techs in there.
Have the tools that you need.
You're gonna just need some basic tools, if you might have to do alittle bit of tear-down, but have your own tools set up in there, have your jack stands, your jack, for the things thatyou're gonna need to do.
Cause it's not gonnalook very professional if you're trying to write an estimate and you're running through the shop or going to grab a technician to come and jack the car up and all that.
So just be sure that you havethe things that you need, and make sure in your estimating area that everything has aplace, and that's it's in place when you're not using it.
So what tools do youneed in your work area? Well this is really gonna vary, depending on your shopand the shop's procedures and how they do write their estimates, it's gonna vary, but I'm gonna give you some common tools that most of you will have to use.
The estimator's gonna haveto take photos of the damage, photos to help others seewhat the estimate sees.
They need to tell a story.
Photos are documents to prove the extent of the damage to the customers and to the insurance company.
You need to take photosof the overall damage, just a big picture of what happened, but you also need to take photos of the individual parts that are damaged.
Now I've used iPhones, cell phones, they work good, but youknow Larry Montanez, he's a consultant, and he says you really need a better camera, a high-quality camera,one that can zoom in, especially like on someof your individual parts where you need a really good picture, he thinks probably youneed a higher-end camera.
And especially a lot of the repair shops working directly withthe insurance company, just from the photos, soit probably is a good idea to have a high-qualitycamera to take these photos.
And I remember whenever Iwas an insurance adjuster, we used to use a 35-millimeter cameras, and we'd take these pictures, and we would have to go get 'em developed, and that was pretty expensive.
I mean today, it is so simple.
You just take a picture,plug it into the computer, and there it is, and you can send it to the insurance company, the customer, or whoever.
And another good thingabout having a camera.
Most cameras, most cell phones, sometimes you may need to take a video.
I mean a video may tell the story better than just a still picture.
So most cell phones andcameras have the capability to take a quick video clipof what you're talking about, maybe you can point at something or talk about what you'retrying to point out, and sometimes that mightbe the easiest thing to do.
And of course, like I mentioned earlier, you need good lighting, and part of that, you're gonna need a flashlight because some of those places, I don't care how good the lighting is, you're gonna need a flashlight to see some of those dark areas.
Now you're gonna need some hand tools.
You're probably not gonna need a full, roll-around box like alot of your techs have, but just some basic tools, screwdrivers, wrenches,sockets, trim tools, just some of those basic things.
Maybe you need to take a bumper cover off or a door panel, just enough tools to get that off, justsome basic hand tools.
And you're just gonnaneed a paint mil gauge, and this just basically measures the paint to let you know are yougonna have to strip, partial strip, or you can youjust final sand and paint, because that's gonna determinethe cost of the estimate.
And it's also a good ideato have a body filler gauge or magnet to determine the area that you're gonna be working on, has it got prior damage or body filler, that may eliminates some problems that you could run into.
And you're gonna needsome measuring equipment, a tape measure and tram gauge, for sure, and there might be caseswhere you really need to put it on the frame machine, and get a computerized reading of the extent of the damage.
And you're gonna need a scan tool.
A lot of times with yourelectrical components, you don't know until you scan it, so you'll need a scan tool so that you can read the codes.
And you're gonna need estimating guides or a computerized system, so that you can get the parts prices, the labor times and all that, probably just about everybody has moved to computerized systems.
I know CCC 1, Mitchell,and there's others too, but you're gonna need something like that or there might still bea few shops out there that do use the estimating guide, smaller shops that don'tdo a lot of volume, they may use the estimating guides, but you're gonna need something that you can look up the car, get the price of the parts, and the labor time for those parts.
And you're gonna need some office supplies to write customers' names down, and notes that you'regonna take during the day, there's gonna be a lot of them.
You need pencils and pens and notepads, things like that.
You're also gonna need a place for your computer, of course, and you're gonna need a phone.
You are gonna be on the phone a lot.
You're gonna be calling theinsurance companies, customers, updating them on theprogress of their car, so you need to have an area that you can concentrate in and have a phone availablewhen you need it.
And you're gonna need an area to consult with customers.
Now this may be the areawhere you write the estimates and all that or maybe a separate area.
It's just going to depend on your shop and how they're set upand how they do that, but you're gonna need an area to consult with the customers, talk to them, and explainthe process to 'em, and explain the estimate to 'em, and hopefully sell the job to 'em.
And I know there are someshops that even have an area for the insurance adjusters, they have their own areato generate estimates and to consult with customers.
As always, I appreciate youfor watching these videos.
I hope you enjoyed the lesson about auto estimating.
I hope that you learned some from that.
And if you did, if you liked the video, be sure and give me athumbs up, give me a like, subscribe to us if youhaven't subscribed to it.
Share this with your friends and if you have any questions or comments, just be sure and go down below this video in the comments section, and there you can leavea question or a comment.
And remember, if something's worth doing, do your best and have a blast doing it.
Thanks for watching.
Take care, and we'll see you in the next video.
Caster, Camber, Tow-In - Wheel Alignment
A car is a very complex piece of machinery. Each individual part is vigorously tested before it ever goes into production models and, like a chain, relies upon every other part in order for the vehicle to function. One poorly built aspect can cause serious malfunctions leading to costly repairs, or worse, an accident.
Even something as simple as the glues used to hold a tire tread to the rest of the tire is an integral part of a car or truck. Just ask Firestone. That exact issue resulted in a costly recall of thousands of tires, legal recourse, as well as over 500 injuries and 148 deaths. All of which could have been prevented with only a little bit of testing. Be wary of new designs rushed into mass production.
Often a seemingly superficial part to a vehicle actually provides a significant amount of safety. Everyone knows a windshield protects the driver and passenger from wind and debris. Most also know that they are also designed with a thin film that prevents them shattering upon impact. What most people don't know is that the windshield provides over half of the structural support for the car during an impact. The windshield combined with the frame of the car makes it structurally safer than a car without one. Cracks in a windshield can greatly reduce their protective power, as well as obstruct the driver's view which is even more dangerous.
Replacing or repairing cracks and chips in a windshield should be done by trained professional at a certified and insured auto glass or body shop. Avoid independent installers and people who operate only out of their truck. The adhesive used dries in about an hour, so if any body shops quote you a turn around time less than that, they are either lying or don't know what they are doing.
Also, it is a good idea to know a little bit about the glass windshields they will be installing. There are three aftermarket windshields that exceed OEM and DOT specs, they are P.P.G., L.O.F. and Plinkington.
Other suitable windshields are made by the car factory. Ford's factory glass is called Carlite, and Chrysler's is Safeguard. Expect to pay more money for factory glass. A good auto glass installer will sand all the rust around the windshield after it is removed, and then prime and paint it before installing the new windshield. It is best to go with body shops that have been around for at least five years as they are more likely to be around to guarantee warranties and make repairs in the future. Many shops will also work with your insurance carrier to get you the best price on a windshield, sometimes completely paid for by the insurance company.
Body repair is another story and can become very expensive. Newer cars with plastic and fiberglass bodies are almost impossible to repair, the body panels are often much easier to just replace, and that can be accomplished by almost anyone with a wrench and screw driver. Repairing dents and rust on metal bodies can be time consuming as well as expensive. It also requires a matching paint job which is similarly expensive. If the dented or rusted panels can be removed it makes it much easier. Dents can be pounded back into shape. In addition to this, it is often just easier to work on and paint a detached piece. Some work can be done by the average Joe, but extensive body work should be done at an established body shop.
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