In the auto body repair industry, no two repairs are alike. Although damage may be similar, each job has unique factors. The first step is to get an estimate which becomes our repair plan. Off that estimate our technicians know what work will be done on your vehicle, parts are ordered and the process can begin.
In this example we will be repairing a 2016 Chevy Equinox. It sustained damage to the driver’s side rear door, quarter panel and bumper.
In most cases, parts are ordered prior to your appointment so that when the vehicle gets here, the work can be started immediately. We first meticulously disassemble the vehicle to try to find all potential damage. This allows us to move through the repair process without having to stop to wait for additional parts or labor approval. Due to the type of damage on this car we needed to do a body pull on the quarter. The car is driven up onto our frame rack, secured down and a series of tools are connected to the tower on the frame rack. The tower then pulls the body of the vehicle out. This allowed the metal to return to its original position prior to the accident. Once the pull is finished, all of the areas surrounding the damage are in the correct location and new parts will fit correctly.
The next step in this process is to remove the outer quarter panel. This part was damaged beyond repair so it will need to be replaced. We removed the outer quarter panel in the factory approved locations.
Next the new quarter will be cut and fit. This process is very time consuming as the panel will be placed on and removed several times to ensure a factory quality fit and finish. Once the panel is fit correctly, the tech will need to weld it to the vehicle. Many precautions are taken during welding including a helmet designed to protect our technician’s eyes from welder’s flash. The interior of the vehicle must also be protected. Fire blankets are hung to protect the interior from burns. There are many different kinds of welds done on each vehicle. We always follow factory protocol on the type and number of welds because this ensures that if a vehicle is in another accident it will respond correctly providing the most protection for those inside. In this area of the vehicle our tech is plug welding.
Once the welding is complete there are plugs left over from the weld that stick out from the vehicle. These need to be ground down to prep the vehicle for paint.
Next, the body work is completed. The vehicle will then be masked for primer. The primer will be applied and then allowed to cure. The primer must harden before it can be sanded and sent over to paint.
After the vehicle has been primed and sanded, it is ready for paint. The paint department will sand and scuff all the panels that need to be painted to make sure that the paint will adhere to the vehicle. It then gets masked again for the paint process.
On this vehicle, there are two coats of sealer, three coats of base or color, one drop or control coat to ensure that the metallics in the paint lay properly and another two coats of clear to finish the process.
Once the vehicle is sprayed and the paint cures, the car will be buffed. This removes any imperfections from the paint and leaves the vehicle with a factory finish.
After the vehicle is buffed, we begin the reassembly process. Since the vehicle was meticulously disassembled, reassembly becomes a quick process. Everything was organized with labels so the tech can easily reassemble with confidence.
Before returning this vehicle back to our customer, we detailed the car inside and out. This vehicle was at our shop for about 2 weeks. We want to make sure that when our customer picks up their vehicle it looks new!
After the vehicle is complete, we always look forward to delivering the vehicle back to its owner. We love going over the repair and ensuring they understand the repairs completed on their vehicle.
Accidents happen! At Precision Collision Auto Body, our goal is to make the repair process as quick and easy as possible. Whether it is working with your insurance company or you are paying out of pocket for repairs, we will work with you to offer a great customer experience and a quality repair. If you have been in an accident, give us a call at (320)685-5310 and we will help you get back on the road.