Will my vehicle be the same after the repair? Reputable body shops have the equipment and training to restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition within industry standards that are set by the local market. Experts can always find indications of a repair. This doesn’t mean it was not repaired properly, only that due to not having the same equipment that the manufacturer’s have, shops cannot exactly duplicate the manufacturer’s work. Your vehicle will still be cosmetically and structurally equal to its pre-accident condition.
What type of replacement parts will you install on my vehicle? The estimate will indicate the types of parts to be installed on your vehicle. Replacement parts fall into 3 major categories: New original equipment manufacturer (referred to as OEM); New non-original equipment parts (referred to as Economy, or Aftermarket, or Offshore, or Imitation, etc.); and Recycled parts (referred to as Used, or LKQ – [Like, Kind, and Quality] or Salvage).
Most insurers have specific policies regarding the use of aftermarket parts. These policies are often contingent upon the year, mileage, condition, warranty, and state regulations. If non-original parts are specified for your repair, you may pay the repairer the difference for new parts.
Most insurance policies support the use of recycled parts after the vehicle is 1 or 2 years old. They must also be in equal or better condition. Recycled parts are not generally available. All you need to know is that if any recycled parts, regardless of their source, are not up to specifications, Accident Pros will not use them. In the end, the vehicle must be in the same condition it was before the accident occurred. Any other result is unacceptable.
We all want a cost-effective repair. The insurance company would prefer to repair the car for less money rather than more money. The repair shop and the vehicle owner don’t want to waste the insurance company’s money because it will drive up premiums. If a high-quality repair can be done for less money, everyone is better off.
Why didn’t my airbag deploy? Early airbag equipped vehicles had sensors in the front of the vehicle. They would deploy the airbag(s) when a sudden deceleration occurred. Over the years we have observed bags that deployed unnecessarily in minor fender benders (much to the shock and dismay of the driver), and some that didn’t deploy as they should have done. These newer systems are much more intelligent. For example, a passenger side airbag will not deploy if no one is sitting there. So if the airbag(s) didn’t deploy, it’s because the technology involved determined that they were not needed. If you were not injured, it would be unnecessary to deploy the airbag(s).
Will my paint match? Yes! Most of today’s vehicles come from the factory with a Base Coat Clear Coat finish. The Base Coat is the color and the Clear Coat is a high gloss protective coating applied over the color. When your car is repaired, the paint (Base Coat) is matched to the existing color of your car. It is then applied to the affected areas of the repair. After applying the Base Coat, the color is checked one more time for match, then the Clear Coat is applied. Most colors require an additional procedure to achieve an exact match called a blend. In a blend, the paint (Base Coat) used on the repair is shaded onto the adjacent panel(s). This “blends” the new color into the existing. Once the paint (Base Coat) is applied and the designated panels are blended, Clear Coat is applied over the newly repaired surfaces as well as the entire surface(s) of the blended panel(s). By Clear Coating the entire panel being blended, you prevent a “Blend Line” from developing later in the car’s life (a blend line occurs when the original paint starts to fade and the new paint doesn’t, causing a visible color change from the new to the old.)
Proper paint-matching requires a high level of skill and sometimes a great deal of patience. Be sure you select a repair facility, likeAccident Pros, that will take the time and has the expertise to produce the most perfect match possible.
While your at it, can you fix the dent on the other side too? Yes. but only if you pay for it! This question is one heard often by body shop owners and managers. The truth is that shops cannot legitimately and legally include non-acident-related damages in the price of the repair. By asking this question, people are essentially asking the repair shop facility to participate in defrauding the insurance company.
Shouldn’t I go back to the dealer? That’s where I bought the car. Your dealer may not be your best choice for collision repair. Many of the highest-quality facilities in the area aren’t affiliated with dealers. Your dealer generally has no unique edge in terms of technology, techniques, or parts availability when it comes to repairing your vehicle after a collision. This is not to say that all dealers are bad, by any means, but some tend to emphasize numbers above quality. You can sometimes feel lost in the shuffle. Quality control and personal attention can sometimes be difficult for the big dealer shop, as 30 or 40 repairs are juggled simultaneously.
Rather than automatically returning to your dealer for collision repairs, we encourage you to be a careful shopper when selecting a repair facility. Ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives about the experiences they have had with collision repair, and select the shop you think will provide the highest quality result.
Will my insurance company provide me with a rental car while my car is being repaired? If you are a claimant, the other party’s insurance company will be responsible for providing you a rental car during the time of repairs, if you need one.
If you are the insured party in the accident, you will need to check with your insurance company to see if you have car rental on your policy. If it’s not covered by your insurance and we will be working on your car for over 3 days WE will provide you with a rental.
Who pays the repair bills? You must arrange for the payment. Your insurance policy will state that the insurance company will pay you less any deductibles or depreciation.
Must I notify the insurance company prior to having the repairs done? Yes. Insurance policies state that you must notify the insurance company or your agent, file a report with them, and let them know where the damaged vehicle can be viewed.
Who is responsible for the repair work done? The auto body shop. That is what makes it important to select a facility that has properly trained technicians and is equipped to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
Who should I contact if there is a problem with the repair? First, the manager of the shop. Responsible shop owners and managers stand behind their services and will work with you to solve the problem. If your problem is not resolved contact the claims manager at your insurance company. You may want to consider contacting your local Better Business Bureau, or the consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office.
Why is pre-accident condition important?Your vehicle may very well be your first or second biggest investment…even if you are leasing. The costs of your vehicle and maintaining its value makes pre-accident condition a very important consideration in the repair process. We employ very highly skilled and trained technicians. We follow industry standards to restore your vehicle back to the condition it was before the accident(pre-accident condition).
We also understand how important it is to maintain the value of your vehicle. Whether you have financed or leased your vehicle there will probably be a time when you will trade or turn it back in. If the repairs were completed below standard, you will likely lose money. In fact it may cost you money in the case of a lease.
Do I need more than one estimate? The repair facility which writes the lowest estimate is not necessarily the best place to have your car repaired. It is not normally necessary to obtain more than one estimate on your vehicle unless your insurance policy states otherwise. Normally for your convenience it may be best to select our facility to assist you with your insurance claim. Our reputation and working relationship with the insurance industry can lessen the hassles and uncertainties involved with your claim. We work with insurance claims on a daily basis and lets face it…you have more important things to worry about.
Will I be forced to use the repair shop with the lowest bid? The repair facility which writes the lowest estimate is not necessarily the best place to have your car repaired. In fact, obtaining repairs form the lowest bidder is usually not in the best interest of the customer. When one considers the safety issues involved in collision repair, as well as the considerable investment one has in his or her vehicle, the value of quality repairs becomes clear. A modern, well equipped collision repair center represents an enormous investment in equipment, training and people. As is often the case with goods and services, one gets what one pays for. Remember, the choice is entirely up to you!
Do I have to take my car to the repair facility the insurance company suggests? Generally no – unless your insurance policy states otherwise. It is your vehicle and your responsibility to choose the repair facility you feel most confident will repair your vehicle properly using the most current repair technology. No one but you as the owner can authorize repairs on your vehicle. You are ultimately responsible for all payments as well.
The process of “steering work” is also normally disapproved by most insurance companies. Chose your repair facility wisely, and if you have any questions, contact us to answer any other related questions.
Your estimate is higher than the one the insurance company wrote.
Your estimate is higher than the one the insurance company wrote. Will I have to pay the difference if I want to bring my car to you to repair? No, not normally. The insurance company is obligated to return your vehicle to its pre-accident condition, and they are willing to pay for a correct repair. The way modern vehicles are constructed, it’s often difficult to see all the damage on their first inspection. Insurance company adjusters typically include only visible damage in their estimates. Suspected, even strongly suspected, damage is normally omitted.
When your vehicle is disassembled for repair, additional damage is frequently discovered. A quality repair shop needs to point out this additional damage to the insurance company and make arrangements for the company to pay for the additional repairs required.
Why are estimates so different in price? Whether your estimates are from repair facilities or insurance companies it is very difficult to compare them unless the damages are very minor. There are many reasons why they may at times seem very far apart. Normally they are simply not estimating all the same items and operations. This it not to say that either or any of the estimates are wrong, but one shop may feel a hidden item is likely to be damaged, based on past experience, and write it on the estimate. Another shop may only write what is visible at the present time before the vehicle is dismantled. What really should be important to you is that when the vehicle is completed, it is safe and properly repaired…and did you know…the final bills will most often be very similar.
Once an insurance company issues a check, am I responsible for any additional charges? Any estimate is just that – an estimate. An appraiser can only report that damage which is visible. When additional damage becomes evident as the repair progresses, a claim can be reopened and a supplemental payment issued. In fact, most large collision repairs require at least one supplement to the original estimate.
Paint Care Tips
Proper care of your car’s exterior finish is the one of the single most important lessons to learn about ownership, regardless of the cars age. Your car’s paint job is one of the most obvious features and expensive to replace and repair. We can say with absolute certainty that taking the time to learn which products to use and when to use them, will add years to the life and luster of your car’s paint.
Time Required: A Good Part of Your Day
- Always start by properly washing your car using the proper tools. Get a cotton or paint-safe microfiber washing mitt, a 5 gallon bucket and good cleaning products specifically designed for automotive use – Mothers, Meguiars or Stonerwould be our suggestions. These companies offer products that are pH balanced, non-detergent formulas that won’t strip off wax, and combine them with lubrication to prevent scratching and conditioners to maintain the shine protection. They are usually gentle on all painted finishes as well as rubber, vinyl, and plastic components.
- Never skip drying! Drying your vehicle after washing is necessary to prevent water spots – those pesky mineral deposits that etch the outline of a drop of water into your vehicle’s paint. Auto detailing professionals advise using 100% cotton detailing cloths or sheepskin chamois to dry your car – polyester and microfiber can scratch your paint surface. If you want to get more high-tech, many car care product lines have “paint safe” drying towels that are super absorbent and claim to be lint and scratch free. Two products that we like are the P21S Super Absorbing Drying Towel and the Sonus Der Wunder Drying Towel.
- If a good wash wasn’t enough to get off all the road grime, bug residue, pollution or tree sap, the next step would be to use an Auto Detailing Clay Bar because it “pulls” contamination off the surface without abrasion or scratching. Detailing clay usually comes in a kit with a lubricating spray to protect your paint. You just spray the area to be cleaned, and then glide the clay along the surface of your paint – it will grab anything that protrudes from the surface. Detailing clay is not designed to remove paint scratches or swirl marks. Heavy tar or insect deposits may need to be removed using a specialty solvent.
- But the paint still looks dull! At this point, you have one problem with three solutions. The problem is old oxidized paint and the solution is either car polish, cleaner or rubbing compound. All three remove unwanted dull paint, but in varying degrees of aggressiveness. Polish removes the least amount of paint for a given application, while rubbing compounds remove the most and cleaners are somewhere in the middle. We recommend starting with an application of polish first before moving on to a cleaner. Rubbing compound is a very aggressive abrasive and you should talk to a professional before giving that a try.
- Can I wax my car now? Waxing is the most important thing you can do to protect your car’s paint and an absolute “must” if you have just used a polish or cleaner. We suggest a carnauba wax or a paint sealant. Carnauba car wax produces a deep, healthy shine that you can’t attain with a sealant, but only has the longevity of eight to twelve weeks. Paint sealants give you longer lasting protection and will not melt, wash off or wear away for about six months. If you have the time and money, use a paint sealant like Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealantand then wax with a product like P21S Concours Carnauba Car Wax.
- Always start your project with the car out of direct sunlight. Make sure the paint is cool to the touch before applying any cleaning product or wax.
- Spray your car with ample amounts of water before washing. Use the water to spray off dirt and other contaminates that will scratch your car if you immediately start using a sponge and water first.
- Be sure to wash and rinse in sections so the car wash soap doesn’t dry before being washed off.
- Read the manufacturer’s directions on all car care products prior to use.
You paid how much for that F-350? And you’re thinking of rubbing a 10-cent coat of wax on it? Isn’t it odd that some of us don’t place much importance on cosmetic maintenance…until the paint begins to peel or the leather starts to rot?
About 10 years ago, there was a myth going around that if you applied a certain brand name dressing on your tires, after time, the rubber would crack. Well, it turned out to be not exactly 100 percent truthful—certain silicones used back then could clog the microscopic pores and not allow the rubber to breathe, but most of the blame was put on ultraviolet rays and the ozone.
Things have changed a lot in a decade, and we’re learning more about the chemicals used in the production of car care products. There’s a move to environmentally friendly products, and most of the major brands are adopting some kind of green platform. What this means to you is, by and large, the car-care-product industry is looking out for the enthusiast.
The manufacturers of car care products do exhaustive research to deliver products that give us that shine, or put the new car smell back in your rig. Brand names like Meguiar’s, Mothers, and Turtle Wax have been around for decades and they’ll be here tomorrow, because these are the folks who, as Barry Meguiar often says, are “car crazy” too. They know how much we love our rides, and it behooves them to educate us so we can make good decisions that can extend the life of our vehicles. You might or might not agree with everything they say, but it’s worth considering before you reach for the cheap can of wax and decide it really doesn’t matter after all.
To learn more about other myths regarding car care products, we contacted the folks at Turtle Wax and asked them to respond to 10 very typical questions about car care products. In a matter of days, we had some answers.
New Vehicles Do Not Need To Be Waxed Or Polished.
False. Today’s auto paint finishes are designed to resist fading, cracking, and peeling. The clear topcoat can be easily dulled and marred by abrasive soils and environmental pollution. Regular car care is needed to maintain a car’s aesthetic beauty. Car wax will clean, shine, and protect automotive finishes and act as a protective barrier from everyday wear and tear. Waxing or polishing on a regular basis will help prolong the beauty of a vehicle.
Waxing Once A Year Is Enough To Take Care Of A Car’s Exterior.
False. Car care requirements depend on environmental conditions, including the amount of sunlight, rain, snow, road conditions, soil exposure, pollution, and salt exposure. Another factor is whether a car is garage-kept or constantly outdoors. Usually, car wax beading is a great indication of when a car needs to be re-waxed. If the beads are smaller than a quarter in a rainstorm or after washing, the wax barrier is still active. If water starts to form elongated beads or water forms a thin sheet on the horizontal panels, it is time to re-wax.
Myth #3 Waxing Too Much Will Remove Paint.
False. Wax and polishes do contain liquid cleaning ingredients as well as fine polishing agents to remove surface contaminants. These cleaning ingredients do remove some very fine scratches, and wax polymers fill in deeper imperfections. Car wax interaction with the paint is only at the paint surface where weak and damaged paint can be corrected. Waxing and polishing a paint finish in good condition does not result in measurable clearcoat paint removal. Therefore, a paint finish can be waxed numerous times and as often as necessary.
The Longer The Duration Of A Wax Job, The Better The Shine And Protection.
True. Generally, an auto enthusiast who takes time and care to thoroughly clean, shine, and protect exterior surfaces will cover exterior surfaces uniformly. The quality of the final vehicle appearance is generally proportional to the time and care in detailing the vehicle. It is also important to note that protective and shine qualities of different wax products vary. It is best to use well-known high-quality wax products rather than unknown bargain brands.
Spray Waxes Don’t Adequately Shine Or Protect As Well As Liquid And Paste.
Generally, true. A spray wax may have all the shine qualities and protective qualities of a liquid or paste wax. However, a spray wax lacks the cleaning ability of a traditionally applied wax. Good, effective cleaning is necessary for better wax or polymer bonding.
Bug And Tar Removers Should Be Used First Before Washing The Car.
False. First, it is always best to wash the vehicle to remove loose soils and surface contaminants. Use a bug and tar remover to remove stubborn stains that are not removed with washing. There are exceptions to this rule. When tar is very fresh and sticky, use the remover first, and only where necessary. This will prevent damaging a wash sponge or wash mitt.
The Longer Wheel Cleaner Remains On A Wheel, The Better It Will Clean.
False. There is a danger in allowing a wheel cleaner to remain too long on a wheel. If the wheel cleaning product starts to dry, it can re-deposit soils, making wheel cleaning more tedious. Always spray a wheel cleaner onto a dry, cool wheel. Clean one wheel at a time. Scrub and rinse within one minute for best results.
Tire Dressing Products Used Too Often Can Cause Tire Sidewalls To Develop Cracks.
False. Tire care products contain silicone polymers to seal shine, protect the tire sidewall, and protect the rubber from oxidation due to UV radiation exposure and ozone attack. Ozone is a form of oxygen that compromises air quality in hot summer conditions. In the ground-level atmosphere, ozone can damage rubber and cause it to crack. The silicone polymers in a tire shine prevent this type of damage.
Using A Protectant Too Frequently On The Interior Can Cause Leather And Interior Plastics To Crack By Drying The Material Out.
False. Plastic and leather materials are soft and pliable due to chemical ingredients used to process or manufacture the interior material. Over time and exposure to hot conditions, these interior materials lose these key softening ingredients. Plastic shrinks, becomes brittle, and cracks. Leather becomes stiff and develops heavy age lines and becomes dull and faded. Interior leather conditioners and vinyl and rubber protectants help prevent plasticizer loss to those ingredients that inhibit the aging process.
Dishwashing Detergent Is Safe To Use As A Car Wash.
True, but not recommended. Any dishwashing detergent is meant to remove contaminants from the surface. That includes stripping the polymers of the paint surface. It is recommended that you use a safe car wash detergent that is diluted with water in order to avoid rubbing paint off your car.