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 ?
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.
What to Look for in an Auto Body Shop
It happens to all of us at one point in time. We get into an automobile collision. 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? 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. 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. 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. Local body shops are 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.
Make sure the parts being used on your car are OEM parts. These are replacement auto body parts are sent directly from the car manufacturers and are designed with the same specs as the vehicle came with. 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.
The frame is usually somewhat bent when a car goes through an accident of any kind. It needs to be properly realigned. 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.
Using Bondo (Fillers) Instead of Replacing the Part
Filling any damage in with bondo is not bad in itself. If you know what they are 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. 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).
Keep in mind that most auto body repair shops are honest and are surviving in a tough industry. 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. Nevertheless, corners should not be cut at your expense and being watchful is just a smart way to go.
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