Being in a car accident can be very stressful and overwhelming. To keep the stress down, it’s best to understand the facts around collision repair. Here are 7 facts to help demystify collision repair, from how your car is assessed to where you can take your car to get it fixed.
Collision Damage is More Than Skin Deep
When your car hits an obstacle, that impact goes through the entire vehicle, bending or breaking body panels, frame components, wheels, interior pieces, and drivetrain parts. You may not see all the damage because the bumper may cover a great deal of the damage. It is important to have the car checked to see if it is safe to drive while waiting for repairs. When looking at your estimate you many see items listed such as “wheel alignment” which are likely repairs because even a minor fender bender can affect the position of the suspension.
Repair Estimates Can Vary from Shop to Shop
As you start the repair process, first be aware that you are not required to get multiple estimates. If you decide to obtain more than one estimate for your collision repair, you may see a difference in prices.
- Materials Used: Shops may use different tools or materials even different hardware and software in their computer systems. All of these can add up to vary estimates.
- Replacement Parts: Prices vary depending on which replacements parts are quoted. There are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, non-OEM parts, or recycled parts.
- Shop’s Experience: More experienced shop will do their best to identify all repairs and therefore may have identified more repairs on the initial estimate. Note, for all estimates, some repairs won’t be evident until work has begun.
Since you may not be looking at an apples-to-apples comparison, always ask estimators about the differences between estimates.
“Totaling” a Car Depends on More than the Severity of the Damage
If the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value, a car is considered a “total loss” by the insurance company. An almost new car has to be practically irreparable to meet the criteria. In contrast, an old luxury car can meet this threshold quickly due to a combination of high parts prices and low resale value. State guidelines determine “total loss”, not the repair facility.
Metal Body Parts Don’t Have a “Memory”
You may have watched as-seen-on-TV devices and Internet videos that claim that with a special tool or some household items, a body panel can simply be popped back into place. In reality, when a body panel is bent, it stays that way, whether that bend was from a press at the factory or from an impact. To remove a dent from a panel, body technicians have to use a range of tools and techniques to gently bend and reshape the metal back to the shape it should be.
With a Quality Repair, a Wrecked Vehicle Can Be as Good as New
Manufacturers work directly with body shops and through associations like I-CAR to ensure technicians can bring vehicles back to their original specifications. When these repairs are done correctly, the vehicle has the same function, structural integrity, and appearance as a vehicle that has not been involved in a collision.
You Can Choose Your Body Shop
Your insurance provider may suggest a shop to take your vehicle to, but they can’t make you go there. When you have work done, it’s in your best interest to find a shop with the knowledge and tools to do the repair right, not the one that will save the insurance company the most money. Not using an insurance company’s preferred repair center doesn’t change any repair warranty because the collision center generally provides the warranty. Also, if you choose not to have your car dealer repair your vehicle, it will not void the new car warranty.
Repair Time has Many Factors
If your car was involved in a small fender bender in a parking lot or sustained major damage from a high-speed collision, the time to repair your vehicle will vary. Even cosmetic repairs can take time because an expert body shop will put in the effort to match the paint used for repair work with the color of your car.
Many things that play into the repair time:
- Time for the insurance provider to process and approve your claim.
- Extent of damage done to your vehicle.
- Type and year of your car – if you own an older car, sports car, or another type of specialty vehicle, timing to receive the replacement parts can be a factor.
- Number of cars waiting to be repaired.
- Replacement parts need to be painted and blended with adjacent panels.
Repair work for minor collisions can take on average one to two weeks to complete, but smaller jobs like scratch removal may be completed sooner. At Glaser’s Collision Centers, we work hard to streamline our processes to cut down on the number of delays. This is an ongoing process, and we continue to improve our processes in order to fix cars faster.
If you are looking for quality work when you have collision repair needs, call Glaser’s Collision Centers. We are family of craftsmen who take care of our customer’s collision repair needs, backing our work with a lifetime warranty. Our technicians are I-CAR Gold Class Certified. That means our staff has the experience and the latest training to fix your car right the first time. Estimates are free and we will get your car assessed and work approved by the insurance company so you can be back on the road as soon as possible.