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 Maplewood. 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 Maplewood.
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.
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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 Maplewood 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 Maplewood 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 Maplewood 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.
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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.
What makes auto body shops so difficult to heat during the cold season? To shop owners, the answer is obvious. Auto body shops are characteristically dusty, breezy, high heat-loss environments. To make the indoor air more breathable and safe for workers, fresh air must be introduced through use of exhaust fans and/or raising overhead doors to help dissipate and eliminate contaminants. The problem is, as contaminants are pulled out, so is the heated air. Seemingly a "no win" scenario right?
So what's the most effective and efficient way to heat body shops?
Answer: Infrared radiant tube heaters.
To help answer that question, let's review what "infrared" is and how it works.
Infrared (IR) is electromagnetic wave energy that travels at the speed of light until it strikes an object. Upon striking an object, the IR energy converts to heat and is either reflected or absorbed. Dark and opaque objects (i.e. asphalt, concrete, etc.) readily absorb radiant IR heat energy, whereas highly reflective objects such as chrome and polished aluminum are poor absorbers and tend to reflect that energy away.
The most familiar IR emitter (heater) is our own sun. The sun radiates its IR energy through our atmosphere to the earth's surface, uninhibited by wind. As the earth's surface absorbs that energy, our air becomes warm.
During our North American winters the sun's rays are less dense due to the angle of the sun in the sky and our air temperatures are much cooler. But by summer solstice the sun's rays are at their peak angle and absorption is at its highest, resulting in warmer air temperatures.
Why use infrared tube heaters for your body shop?
1) Ceiling suspended infrared tube heaters mimic the warmth of the sun by warming up tools, machinery, floors and people directly, thereby warming the air indirectly.
2) Unlike forced air heaters, infrared tube heaters do not blow air throughout the space. That's a big plus in body shops where dust in painting areas is a problem.
3) Quicker heat recovery. As infrared energy absorbs into floors, tools, vehicles, etc., heat is recovered much more quickly when overhead doors are opened and closed again or when exhaust fans are cycled on and off periodically. That's because surfaces in the direct path of the infrared rays become a "heat sink". In other words, stored heat in objects re-radiates to warm the surrounding air.
4) Energy efficiency - an infrared tube heating system can save as much as 50% or more in fuel savings compared to conventional forced air. This is especially true in body shops where air exchanges are very high.
5) Infrared heaters can increase production. A carefully designed infrared tube heating system can be used to decrease drying times and enhance paint job quality. Placing vehicles in the path of infrared radiation warms cold metal surfaces. Paint applied to warm metal surfaces is less likely to run or drip than when applied to cold surfaces. And because infrared heaters don't move air around, there is less opportunity for dust particles to mix with newly applied paint.
We should note that gas infrared tube heaters are NOT to be used inside paint booths or paint mixing rooms. Tube heater emitters can reach 900 to 1100 Degrees F, well above the flash point of solvent-based primers and sprays. Spraying should be contained in a designated paint room with a filter bank and exhaust system to carry away potentially explosive fumes. Once spraying is done and the booth is ventilated with fresh air, vehicles and components can then be moved out of the spray booth to an isolated drying area where the infrared heaters are located.
Are some infrared tube heaters better than others for heating body shops?
That's where you need to do a bit of homework. A thorough review of the various infrared tube heater manufacturers can turn up some surprising differences between brands and product offerings. In your search, ask about burner design (are controls isolated from the air stream? They should be.), emitter tubing (heat-treated aluminized or cheaper hot-rolled steel?), reflector efficiency (50% efficient or 100%), and warranty (10 years is better than 5 years).
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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 Maplewood Should Help You With What Car Needs Exactly?
- 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.