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Auto Body Damage - To Repair or Replace

Auto Body Damge

Collisions can cause numerous issues starting with the most obvious, the auto body. Auto body damage is not only an eyesore for the vehicle owner but also causes a decrease in the automobile's resell value. Depending on the severity of the damage from a collision, a vehicle may need repairs, or the damage could result in complete replacement of parts. There are various vehicle parts that are susceptible to the most auto body damage, including the auto body paint, frame or unibody, bumper, and auto glass. These components typically take on the most impact depending on where both vehicles meet. Here is a breakdown of the parts that may need a simple repair or complete replacement for the vehicle to return to pre-accident condition.

Repair or Replace:

A vehicle's body is often compromised for dips, dings, and dents after an accident, but an auto body repair specialist can fix it. Occasionally, a vehicle's body damage may be so far gone that professionals may recommend replacing the entire part with a new one, or the option of paintless dent repair may be an option as well. The paint-less dent repair process consists of the following steps:

  1. Assessment: The technician will inspect the dent and determine if it is suitable for paintless dent repair (PDR). If the paint is damaged or the dent is too severe, traditional auto body repair methods may be necessary.
  2. Access: The technician will gain access to the back of the dent by removing panels or using specialized tools designed for PDR.
  3. Repair: The technician will use specialized tools to massage the dent from the inside out, slowly working the metal back into its original shape. This process requires precision and skill to ensure that the dent is completely removed without causing damage to the surrounding area.
  4. Finishing: Once the dent has been removed, the technician will buff and polish the area to restore the vehicle's original finish.

In addition to PDR, the frame of a vehicle may also be compromised following an accident. If this is the case, auto body repair specialists can provide your vehicle with a frame straightening service to retain the vehicle's original functionality. Frame straightening service corrects the damage done to the vehicle's frame or unibody after a collision, to which the process includes the following procedures:

  1. Inspection: The technician will inspect the vehicle's frame or unibody structure and assess the extent of the damage. They may use measuring equipment to determine the severity of the damage and identify any areas that require attention.
  2. Disassembly: The technician will disassemble the vehicle, removing any damaged components or parts that are in the way of the frame or unibody structure.
  3. Pulling: The technician will use specialized equipment, such as a hydraulic ram or chains, to gently pull the frame or unibody structure back into its original shape. They will carefully monitor the process to ensure that the frame is not over-pulled or damaged further.
  4. Straightening: The technician will use a combination of heating and cooling techniques to straighten any bent or warped areas of the frame or unibody structure. They may use a torch to heat the affected area, followed by cooling methods such as compressed air or water to help return the metal to its original shape.
  5. Reassembly: Once the frame or unibody structure has been straightened, the technician will reassemble the vehicle, replacing any damaged components or parts that were removed during the disassembly process.

These two services, paintless dent repair and frame straightening are some of the many repairs that may be needed after a collision occurs, but there may also be the necessity to replace parts like the bumper or auto glass completely.

Auto Body Part Replacement: What Does it Entail?

After a collision, the bumper, whether the front or rear, is often susceptible to detaching from the vehicle completely or partially detaching from the body of the vehicle. This type of damage usually results in a complete replacement of parts to return a vehicle back to its original state. It is obvious that after a collision, the glass within the vehicle often shatters due to impact. If this is the case, the auto glass must be completely replaced with top-of-the-line auto glass replacement from an expert team of auto body technicians. When the bumper is inspected by a professional, they make the determination of if the bumper needs replacement or repair. If replacement is necessary, technicians will disassemble the bumper and its parts, such as any brackets, screws, or clips that may have kept everything together. Then, the parts are removed, and the technician will prepare the vehicle for installation after the bumper parts are ordered and returned to the shop. After the part is installed, the auto body shop will conduct a test to ensure the bumper fits the vehicle, is properly placed, and possesses all safety features, including the airbags. A professional auto body team will ensure the vehicle is in pristine condition before calling the vehicle owner to tell them it's ready.

Auto Glass Replacement:

Obviously, glass shatters when hit with enough impact, and that is exactly what typically happens during a collision. The auto glass must be completely replaced to return the vehicle's glass to its original condition. The auto glass replacement service includes assessing the damage, removing the glass, preparing the vehicle for a replacement by measuring the frame of the window, installing the new glass, and cleaning up any remaining glass debris. Technicians will use a special set of tools to properly install the auto glass on either window and run tests to ensure the adhesive works properly and the glass is set in place permanently before the driver leaves the shop. Visit a trustworthy auto body repair shop for either of the listed services to ensure that repairs and replacements are done accurately.