When Will My Car Be Ready?
A quality repair job involves many steps. And though our estimators are among the industries finest, certain types of damage become apparent only after the vehicle has been disassembled. In some cases, we may need to revise your vehicle’s completion date. But rest assured: We know how important your vehicle is to you. Auto Works Collision Center pledges to keep you informed all along the way, and we promise to return your vehicle as quickly as possible.
1. Prepare Estimate
Our Estimator will inspect your vehicle and begin to document the damage caused by the collision in the form of an estimate. In some cases you may already have a preliminary estimate of this damage prepared by your insurance company. In any event, this step must be accomplished prior to beginning the repair process.
2. Owner Signs Repair Authorization
Before any work can begin, you must first sign a repair authorization allowing us to repair your vehicle. At this time it is not unusual for our estimator to request another signature in advance to cover any additional damage that may be found once the repair is underway.
3. Insurance Approval
The insurance company that is involved must also approve the repair estimate before we can begin work.
4. Parts Ordered
Upon receiving approvals from you and the insurance company, we will begin the process of locating and ordering the parts necessary to repair your vehicle.
5. Parts Received
Once all of the parts are received and accounted for, we can schedule your vehicle for repair.
6. Completion Date Given
At this time we will provide you with an estimated completion date. It is important to understand that certain types of damage become apparent only after your vehicle has been disassembled. Therefore, your vehicle’s completion date may need to be revised.
7. Vehicle Scheduled for Repairs
We can now contact you to schedule a convenient time for your vehicle to be repaired. In some cases your vehicle may already be at our repair center, in which case it will be available for immediate repair.
8. Vehicle Disassembled and Re-Inspected
As your vehicle’s outer panels are removed and the physical structure of the vehicle is revealed, often additional or “hidden” damage is discovered. This additional damage is difficult to diagnose at the time of the original estimate as it cannot be seen or predicted until we perform this thorough inspection. Please note that any additional damage may alter your vehicle’s completion date.
9. Supplemental Damage Report Written, if Necessary
This report is written to cover any additional or “hidden” damage that may be discovered once your vehicle’s outer panels are removed and the physical structure of your vehicle is revealed. This is referred to as Supplement Damage in insurance terms.
10. Supplemental Approved
The insurance company must authorize this additional damage before we can continue the repair.
11. Additional Parts Ordered, if Necessary
Should we find additional damage, we will need to repeat steps 2, 3, 4. For this reason, our estimator may have asked you to sign an authorization document in advance to cover these additional repairs. Please note that this additional damage may alter your vehicle’s completion date.
12. Customer Update
With your permission we will contact you and update you on the progress of your vehicle’s repair at this point. Should anything have affected the completion date we originally gave you, we will let you know now and explain why.
13. Vehicle Set on Unibody Repair Equipment (if Needed)
Your vehicle was manufactured in compliance with tight structural standards. Exact location and fit of integral parts are critical to the operation and appearance of your vehicle. In this process we measure your vehicle against published factory specifications and return your vehicle to within the manufacturer’s prescribed tolerances to ensure proper operation, location and fit of body and structural parts.
14. Structural and Body Parts
Our Repair Technicians will now undertake structural and body repairs.
15. New Panels Installed and Checked for Proper Fit
All collision-related repairs require some degree of cosmetic repair and often require replacement of factory panels. We will check for proper fit here and ensure your vehicle’s parts look, fit, and align the way they should.
16. Corrosion Protection Reapplied to Repaired Areas
Most of today’s vehicles incorporated some form of corrosion protection applied by the original manufacturer. We will reapply this protection to ensure that your vehicle conforms to the original manufacturer’s standards.
17. All Metal Work Done and Initial Tests Done
It is at this point in the repair that we begin to check systems for proper functioning and perform quality control of the repair work. An example of a systems check would be the resetting of your safety systems, involving your passive restraint or air bag system.
18. Customer Update
Once again with your permission we will be contacting you to update you on the progress of your vehicle’s repair. Should anything have effected the completion date we originally gave you, we will let you know now and explain why.
19. Vehicle Prepped, Primed and Blocked
Our technicians will begin the refinish process by applying a primer. A surface filler is sprayed on to ensure a quality, uniform and smooth surface. Block sanding is the method of further preparing the surface of your vehicle for paint.
20. Vehicle Is Masked, Taped and Placed in Paint Booth
To ensure that the highest quality standards are met, we carefully mask your vehicle to protect it from overspray during the refinish process. Only the area that needs to be refinished is left uncovered. We then place your vehicle in a controlled atmosphere called a paint booth, where paint material is applied.
21. Vehicle Is Chemically Cleaned and Tacked
This process removes all outside contaminates that may have been deposited on your vehicle during the repair process. Tacking the vehicle then removes any dust particles that may remain.
22. Vehicle Undergoes Multi-Step Refinishing Process
Most of today’s vehicles are coated with what is known as a basecoat/clearcoat refinish system. Sometimes a single-stage system is used. In any event, all systems involve several application steps to ensure a quality finish. We will only use refinish products that meet or exceed the original manufacture’s specifications and are backed by a lifetime paint performance guarantee.
23. Reassembly, Wheel Alignment, Air Conditioning, Detailing, Final Inspection, and Test Drive
Once your vehicle has gone through the refinish process we then reattach the outer parts such as mirrors, moldings, and other hardware. Should your repair require a wheel alignment or service such as air conditioning repair, we will perform them at this time. Your car will undergo a thorough cleaning, test drive and quality inspection prior to being returned to you.
24. Confirmed Delivery Date Given
We will contact you and make arrangements to get you back in your vehicle at your earliest and most convenient time.
Please contact us! We’d be happy to answer any further questions you may have.