Arizona collision centers’ auto body repair process can be complicated if you’re not familiar with it. You’re probably thinking of a team of heavily clad, skilled technicians working hand in hand to revert your vehicle’s former glory. If that’s the case, you’re not far off. But here is the thing. There’s much more to the auto body repair process than what typical people know.
It pays to know and understand the auto body repair process, especially when involved in a car accident. It will help you set achievable targets for auto body repair and determine the possible costs and timeline of the collision repair process.
Thousands of collision accidents happen in Arizona’s prime cities and towns every year. Of course, we hope for the best. But if that happens to you, read on to know what to expect.
When the Accident Happens
It’s imperative to assess the damage to your vehicle right after the accident has happened. For documentation and case filing, shoot photos of the actual scene and setting if thinking of doing such. If the accident occurred outside of the Arizona jurisdiction, consider calling or messaging the local authority. Each town or city commonly has a collision report that one can use.
When reporting to the police and your insurance company, provide an objective or fair statement of what happened. Note that most cities and towns in Arizona have a distracted driving law in place. Be honest, and if you were on the phone while driving, inform the authorities. Doing so will prevent any unnecessary complications that can only drain both parties’ time and efforts.
Make sure to get the contact information of the other driver involved in the accident. Inquire how you can reach them for necessary transactions such as repair and ask about their insurance policy. When it comes to covering the collision repair cost, this aspect is essential. Consider asking Arizona authorities if the other party does not have an insurance policy, especially that the state mandates all drivers to have auto insurance.
Estimating the Repair Expenses
To receive an accurate quote, you’ll need to bring your car to a reliable auto body repair shop in any of the towns and cities of Arizona. Instead of the keyword “auto body shop near me,” use the keyword “Collision1 auto body repair shop location” when searching. Though you can have a consultation over the phone or send pictures using the same device, bringing the car into the shop will give you a more accurate and detailed quote.
Typically, an Arizona collision center has one or more collision specialists to assess the level of damage through a visual inspection. They can also determine which parts need to be replaced and evaluate the extent of internal damage. Note that the initial estimate will commonly consider only the apparent damage. Technicians will indeed find additional damage when they start dabbling on the vehicle’s exterior leading to extra expenses.
The majority of auto body service centers in Arizona create estimates using computer software and submit these to your insurance company. For comparison with quotes from other repair centers, the company will provide you a copy.
Here is a quick tip to remember when selecting which quote to proceed with. The most expensive option is usually the best option. In other words, don’t always go for the cheap stuff. Select a repair center with the most detailed quote and one you can trust for your damaged vehicle.
Moreover, always consider the depreciated value of your car when it comes to insurance claims. The payment is smaller if the vehicle gets older. After all, it is a given that years of use gradually cause some parts of the car to wear and tear, and insurance companies are aware of that. That shows that you are almost always better positioned to repair your car instead of getting rid of it.
Lastly, local policies in Arizona mandates that the liability will be determined by fault if you’re dealing with the other driver. Like in Washington, Arizona ensures that the one at fault is accountable for the damage, signifying its nature as a comparative negligence state.
Teardown and Blueprinting
To give Arizona collision center technicians a clear picture of your vehicle’s condition, they will create a detailed blueprint. This is to ensure that the said technicians are guided systematically when repairing your car. For further assessment, the car parts will be torn down. They will see the more severe damage that was not seen during the visual inspection of the auto body service center. To adjust the estimate if necessary, a reputable repair auto body center will communicate with you. No worries. This is a standard procedure in the industry, and it’s a common practice.
Before catering to your insurance claim, some insurance companies will recommend a disassembly. In that way, there will be no need for future adjustments and that all damages are well recorded or documented. That is also a strategy for the insurance company to ensure that you’re not exaggerating the claim.
Remember that the car repair will only start if you have decided. In short, it’s your call. So it’s suggested that before the repair begins, prepare all the necessary materials if your car is in a drivable condition. However, ensure that everything is settled with your insurance company before giving the green light to your Arizona collision center.
Frame and Metal Repair
You can’t imagine the extent to which a collision accident can warp the frame of your vehicle. One of the initial things an Arizona collision center technician will work on is the vehicle’s framework once the collision repair begins. To achieve accurate shaping, the technician uses a laser frame diagnostic system. So that the car will be repaired back to its pre-accident form, they will also use frame machines. Depending on the extent of the car’s damage, the said procedure can take days or weeks to complete.
Following the framework is metalwork. When needed, the metal parts of your car will need to be replaced at this stage. To ensure that the mechanical repairs and the auto body align with factory guidelines, the technician will use an electronic measuring system to analyze every car part. This procedure is critical so that the frame has structural integrity and the chassis is a straight fit for driving. The safety and maneuverability of the car are also at stake at this point, given the need for suspension repairs and wheel alignment.
To avoid emergency adjustments, ensure that the mechanical repairs and frame adjustments are made harmoniously. For that to happen, choose a collision center with experienced auto body service centers.
Reassembly and Refinishing
The car gets ready for painting once the frame and mechanical repairs are completed. Before priming and sanding, consider taping the surfaces. A base coat that is the same as the original is then applied to be followed by a clear coat. Bringing back the shine the car had before the collision will then undergo the glossy finishing step. That is after the curing phase.
Once the painting process is completed, the reassembly phase is undertaken. Every part and piece of the vehicle is assembled to its original setup. If removed, the airbag components, wirings, hoses, and other pieces will be put back in place. Since the technician ensures that every component is back in its original place, the process can be painstaking. After all, a misplaced part or a missing screw can jeopardize the driving safety of the car. That is another reason you should not always go for the cheapest quote in an Arizona auto body shop. There’s a saying that goes, “Quality never comes cheap.”
After the assembly, the technician does an initial inspection. To ensure that everything has been set up correctly, an Arizona collision center usually holds a test drive within its vicinity. They will assess if there are wires that need to be adjusted or if the doors are installed correctly.
Detailing and Cleaning
The collision center staff will wash your vehicle and its interior after the dirty work to remove any metal particles and debris. They will also scrub all other surfaces for a spotless finish and re-polish the paint for a better shine. When needed, a further assessment will be done for all the light components. This is also the phase wherein the collision center will search for minor glitches as these can turn bigger when unchecked. To achieve showroom quality, every tiny component will be assessed and fixed if necessary.
After all the work is done, another technician may also be assigned to test drive and conduct visual inspections. Once everything has been completed and polished, the head technician and the production manager will approve. Ensure that all the procedures should pass Arizona standards and codes, which vary depending on the town or city.
So those are some of the important things to know when planning to avail of the services of an Arizona collision center. Make sure to pay attention to the guidelines and tips provided in the article. Again, don’t only look at the rate but the quality of the service being rendered by the center. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an even crankier result.