Getting Your Car Back to New After an Accident
After an accident, it can be frustrating for anyone to see the damage to their beautiful vehicle. It can also be an intimidating and confusing experience when trying to figure out what steps to take next. Fortunately, the process of getting a car back to its like-new condition is not that difficult.
After the accident is over, the reports have been filed with the police, and information has been exchanged with the other driver. The first step to getting a vehicle repaired is to contact the insurance company to get the claims process started. Next, it is time for an estimate.
Before the insurance company will approve any claim, they will need an estimate for the cost of repairs. Many insurance companies no longer do the estimate process themselves and rely on repair shops to handle the process. Alan Byer Collision can assist with this process.
Vehicle owners can simply take their damaged vehicle to the collision center to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected. The team of mechanics will identify any and all damage to the vehicle that was caused by the accident. They will also generate an estimate of the cost for these repairs.
The team will then provide the vehicle owner with this information so that they can provide it to the insurance company. Many collision centers can even submit this information directly to the insurance company to speed up the process.
If needed, the team can even assist in providing photos of all damage to the insurance company’s claims website. This will help ease the burden on the vehicle owner and ensure the right photos are sent for the claims process.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Dealing with the insurance company during this process can be a challenge at times. Often, they require a lot of information that may be confusing for some individuals. Fortunately, many collision centers can deal directly with the insurance company to ensure the repairs are approved.
Some insurance companies may even want the vehicle owner to get only the minimum repairs. Unfortunately, this can often leave a vehicle looking and driving less than its pre-accident condition. The right collision team can work with the insurance company and the vehicle owner to find solutions to these problems and return the car to its previous state.
If during the repair process other damages are found, the collision center will contact the insurance company to ensure these costs are covered. Many of these facilities can even assist with finding a rental vehicle or help find a solution for any deductibles needed for the repairs. This helps to ensure a stress-free process.
The first step to having a vehicle restored after an accident is to address any mechanical issues with the vehicle. This also includes any damages that may interfere with the safe and proper running and driving of the vehicle.
Even minor accidents can have serious effects on the functionality of the car. Many of these issues are not always easily identifiable. Fortunately, a trained mechanic understands what to look for and can take steps to correct the issue.
One of the most common types of accidents is the rear-end collision. Even low speed hits to the rear of the vehicle can pose issues to the electrical system. It can knock wires loose and potentially cause problems with the lights on the rear of the vehicle.
A small impact could even damage the seal to the trunk of a vehicle. This could allow water to leak in and cause damage. It could even make it difficult to open or even properly close the trunk. This could even pose a risk of the trunk popping open while driving.
More serious rear-end collisions can cause serious hidden damage to the entire vehicle. The exhaust system could be damaged or even pushed forward. This could pose issues with the exhaust properly escaping the vehicle. This could potentially cause issues with the running of the vehicle or even allow exhaust fumes into the vehicle.
Any accident has the potential to cause serious problems for the vehicle. Punctured radiators, damaged engines, or more commonly, issues with the alignment of the vehicle can all come from an accident. If not properly repaired, it can pose serious issues and potential safety risks.
Fortunately, many collision centers are trained and experienced in these types of damages. They can easily identify them and offer repairs for the problems. If these hidden damages are not found until after work has begun, they will contact the driver and the insurance company to update the total cost of the repairs.
Frame or Unibody Repairs
Most newer vehicles have a unibody. Older vehicles and some larger trucks or SUVs have frames. These are the systems that provide the structure for the vehicle. A unibody consists of many sections that are put together to create a single shell that can absorb impact.
Unibody frames have crumple zones. These allow the area to crumple inward to decrease the force from the impact to protect those in the vehicle. Although these features provide great benefits and safety for the occupants, they can be difficult to repair.
When the frame or unibody has been damaged, it can pose serious issues with the drivability of the vehicle. It is important that a skilled technician provide the repairs to this part of the vehicle. This is because repairing these areas of the car require special tools and precise specifications to get the vehicle back to its pre-accident condition.
In some cases, the frame or unibody may need to be reshaped or straightened with a specialized device. In other cases, some frame components may need to be removed and replaced. The right technician will utilize computer software to get the frame back to its proper specifications to minimize any impact on the vehicle’s ability to drive.
Once the unibody or frame is repaired, the vehicle will need to be aligned. Proper alignment of the vehicle is necessary for the vehicle to drive straight, ride comfortably, and turn correctly on the road. A trained technician will ensure the vehicle is aligned to the proper specifications to provide a safe and comfortable ride once the work is complete.
Once the mechanical and frame issues are managed, the next step is to repair any serious damage to the body of the vehicle. In some cases, new parts may be needed to replace the body parts that have been damaged. The collision center will find the best parts that match the vehicle to ensure a perfect match.
In some cases, sheet metal may be needed to replace various parts of the body. Trained staff will cut and place the sheet metal in a manner that will help to restore the vehicle to its like-new condition. The trained technicians will weld and securely fasten the materials in place to ensure a seamless look to the vehicle.
If any windows have been damaged in the accident, the autobody team will provide repairs. Many technicians are skilled in repairing small cracks and chips. When needed, replacement windows will be ordered to match the vehicle. The team will professionally install the windows to ensure they are leak-free. They will also ensure that the door windows will open and close properly when complete.
Dent and Scratch Repair
In most accidents, and sometimes other events, there are small dents or scratches that need to be repaired to get the vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. This often entails the technician smoothing out the metal in the area and then repainting where necessary.
For some dents that have not damaged the paint, specially trained technicians can offer paintless dent repair. In many cases, when a dent is hammered out, it causes cracks and damage to the paint and requires repainting. With paintless dent repair, special techniques are used to gently remove the dent without damaging the paint.
In most cases, the technician will work from behind the dent. The technician will use specialized tools to lightly hammer or rub out the dent while using only the right amount of pressure needed to get the metal smooth again.
In cases where the technician cannot get behind the dent, the panel may be removed to allow access. In areas where this is not possible, another technique is used. This is done by using a specialty adhesive to gently pull the dent out and then worked into the original shape.
When needed, the collision center can also repaint the vehicle. After replacement body parts are installed or where ever the paint was damaged, the paint will be applied to provide the vehicle with the clean finish customers expect.
Once the vehicle is primed and washed, it will be provided with individualized care to ensure a smooth and clean paint application. Computerized matching will ensure the exact color the vehicle was given by the manufacturer.
The vehicle will be spray-painted with its perfect match color in an area that is free of dust and debris. This will ensure the paint goes on smooth and clean. The paint will then be baked on to ensure a perfect finish.
An accident can be a difficult and traumatic event for anyone. However, with the right collision team, the process of getting back to normal can be easy. When all the work is done, the vehicle will look as good as it did before the accident.