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.
Wheel Alignment and Tire Pressure
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.
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.
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.
Watch A Full Body Shop Repair In 90 Seconds
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.
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.
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?
(upbeat music) - Hey, this is Donnie Smith.
Have you ever overground metal, making it too weak and too thin? Well it's not that hard to do with these thinner metals.
What about when working with body filler? Have you ever gotten it in cracks, gaps, other placesthat you don't want it? Takes quite a bit of time to get that out of there and clean it up.
So if you'd like to learn some tricks, how to prevent over-thinning your metal when working with thin metal, and how to keep fromgetting all the body filler in the places you don'twant it in the first place, then you're in luck, because that's what we'regonna show you in this video.
Alright, let's just goahead and get started.
What we're gonna do to eliminate grinding a lot of the metal off,is to use a DA Sander, and we can use 36 grit, or 80.
I'm using 80 here.
That usually works well.
May take just a little bit longer to remove the paint coatings, but you're not gonna chancegrinding too much metal off.
This does not take the amountof metal that grinding does.
Now with thinner metals,I would recommend this.
Now if you're working on older vehicles, grinding may be a little quicker, and that may still work fine.
Okay, now for the tip of how to eliminate getting body filler in places you don't want it, and that's simply to mask it off.
On the edge, I don't want the body filler wrapping around the edgewhere I have to clean it up, so I'm gonna mask that off.
Any gaps, for instance here, there's a, where the molding goes, I don't want body filler to wrap in there where I'm gonna have to sand it out, so I'm gonna use the bodylines that's on the car, and use that as a dividing line to make nice, sharp lines at, so that the body fillerdoes not get in these areas.
(upbeat music) Okay, now I'm mixing thebody filler up in the tube.
I'm gonna let the air out of the cap, so that it'll mix well.
And once I remove some of the air, I'll put the cap back on, and now I'm just gonnamix it inside the tube, because this hardener reallydoes separate a lot in there.
If you don't do this, you'll have liquid-ysubstance that comes out, and you don't want that, so be sure that you mixit up well in the tube before you use it.
Now I've already got somebody filler out here, and I used a paint stick toput some on this mixing board.
And I'm gonna get this hardener, I'm gonna apply a stripfrom edge of the body filler to the other, and that usually is a pretty good mixing ratio.
And notice I'm using a spreader to mix it.
I'm not using a paint stick to stir it, because that could put air bubbles in it.
If you get air bubblesin your body filler, that's gonna create pinholes, whenever you go to sanding body filler.
So it's always best towork the air bubbles out.
Just spread it out on your filler until it's nice and uniform.
You don't want there tobe any hardener streaks.
You wanna mix it until it's one color.
(upbeat music) Okay, now I have the filler mixed good.
It's nice, uniform, one color.
We don't have any hardener streaks in it, so we know that it's mixed well.
I'm gonna apply the body filler.
Now to do this, I'm gonnaapply a tight coat first, and what that is, iswhere I take a thin coat of body filler, and push really hard down on the spreader, so thatI push it into the metal.
That helps it adhere better to the metal, so that you don't have any problems with adhesion at a later point.
Now once I get the tight coat on, I come back with a fill coat, and that's where I'm gonnaput a little bit less pressure on the spreader, which allows it to fill the damaged area in.
(upbeat music) Okay I have the fill coat applied.
Now here's a tip for you to eliminate a lot of the sanding, and that is to work on your edges, because if you have real hard edges, it's gonna take more sanding.
So what I'm doing here, is I'm using the spreader, and on the edges I'm kind of feathering that body filler out, so that edge is a real thin layer, and you don't have that big, hard edge to try to sand out.
Okay, now let this setup for just a little bit, and you don't want to do it immediately after you apply the body filler.
You wanna let the filler set, but you don't want it to be dry either.
But as it's kind of in its green state, go ahead and pull the tape off.
This will leave you nice clean edges.
And also before it fully cures, you can block sand lightly, you don't wanna sand too hard, just to help level someof the highs and lows.
Okay, now I allow it to dry, and started block sanding it.
Now I'm starting out with 36 grit, because that's gonna levelthe filler really fast, but notice that I'mstaying within the filler.
My block is not slidingout onto the paint, because I don't want those deep scratches getting onto the paint surface.
I'm just wanting to level the filler.
(upbeat music) Also notice that I'm sandingin different directions.
I'm not just going at oneangle the entire time.
So I change it up.
And what sanding indifferent directions does, is it's gonna help youget a more level surface.
So always sand in different directions.
(upbeat music) (sanding) (upbeat music) Once you have it level, switch to 80 grit.
That's what I'm doing here.
First, I'm gonna apply some guide coat, and this just to helpidentify highs and lows, and you'll know whenever you get rid of the 36 grit scratches.
Makes it easier to see this way.
Now also notice I am sandingout on the paint a little bit.
I'm not going too far, but you do wanna sand out further than you did with your 36 grit.
You wanna make sure all 36 grit scratches are removed during this step.
(upbeat music) Okay I finished blocking, and I'm feeling for high areas.
And usually if you seemetal spot areas like this, that's gonna indicate that it is high.
And that happens sometimes, and if it does, what you need to do is get your pick hammer, and lightly tap down on those metal areas.
And what this is gonna do, is it's gonna lower that metal.
(upbeat music) And here's another tip for you.
If you're having problemsfilling the bodywork, and determining highs and lows with your hand, with your bare hand, use something like this, a wipe all, or a towel or somethingto put between the panel and your hand.
And this may help you be able to feel the highs andthe lows much better.
Now I'm gonna use the tape, because I'm gonna be applying some putty, so I'm gonna do the same thingI did with the body filler, the edges, and that indention where the body side molding goes.
I'm gonna tape all that off, to keep all the filler out of that.
Now when using putty, it lays out a littlethinner than body filler, so I usually just go halfway, rather than from one edgeof the filler to the other.
So I'm gonna do about halfthe amount of hardener.
(upbeat music) But everything else is basically the same.
Mix it until it's one uniform color.
Don't want any streaks in there.
And the good thing aboutputty is it's thinner, and it's easier to get a nice skim coat, but you do wanna do the tight coat, followed by a fill coat.
And another thing about a putty, is you can go over the entire repair area, from paint edge to paint edge, and that helps any imperfections you had in your sanding flaws, or sanding scratches,or anything like that, it's gonna fill in.
(upbeat music) And after allowing it tosetup for a few minutes, now I'm gonna peel the tape.
(upbeat music) Now when sanding finish putty, I'm not gonna start out with 36 grit.
I'm gonna start out withthe 80 to level it out.
And also I wanna let it fully dry.
I really don't wanna try to sand putty in its green state, so I'llallow it to dry all the way.
Then I'm gonna get 80 on a block, and I'm gonna sand it.
And I'm gonna cross sand it.
Make sure it's good and level.
(upbeat music) Once I have it leveled with 80, I'm gonna use the guide coat, and then I'm gonna comeback with 150 to 180.
I'm using 150 here I believe, but anywhere between 180and 150 will work fine for smoothing out your 80 grit scratches.
And this guide coat, it will help you identify any lows that you may have if there are any, or let you know whenever you got all the 80 grit scratches sanded out.
(upbeat music) And one last thing you wanna do, before you send it offto start priming it, you wanna make sure it fits.
Make sure everything aligns.
Make sure that your body work is right.
So you're gonna have toput it up to the car, and make sure everything works.
(upbeat music) Always, thanks for watching this video.
Be sure and share it with your friends.
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Thanks again for watching.
Have a safe and productive week, and we'll see you in the next video.