After A Collision Will My Car Ever Be The Same?
After a collision (especially a major one) it is not uncommon for vehicle owners to question whether or not their vehicle will ever be the same. Like restaurants or any other business, there are various levels of quality in the collision repair industry. When your vehicle experiences collision damage the first step is to find a reputable auto body repair facility with a good reputation. Working with experienced and quality-minded individuals will greatly increase the odds of your vehicle returning to it’s pre-collision condition.
Finding the right collision repair center
- Do your homework and check reviews on several platforms (Google, Yelp, Car Wise, and even third-party survey companies)
- Are they certified? The most important and nationally recognized collision repair certification is I-Car Gold Class. A collision repair facility usually cannot earn any other certification without I-Car Gold. The I-Car certification is an annual recertification in which technicians must take classes to keep up with proper repair procedures on today’s vehicles.
- Look for a warranty: A reputable Scottsdale collision repair facility will offer a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship related to the repair for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Parts and refinish products are subject to the manufacturer’s warranty.
- How long has the collision facility been in business and do they have a good track record? Some collision repair facilities opened decades ago, but have they advanced with training and modern computerized equipment to repair recent model vehicles?
- What is the collision damage repair facility known for? Quality or speed? For example, compare the expectations at a national burger chain to a gourmet hamburger restaurant.
Will my car be the same?
- A quality auto body facility will do a comprehensive repair, meaning they will address all collision damage including the body of the car as well as the mechanical and electrical. Keep in mind, cars are extremely different today than they were 15 years ago. Collision repair technicians are not just “pounding out dents” consider all the onboard computers, sensors, and wiring that were shaken upon impact.
What are the important collision repair steps I should look for?
- Pre-diagnostic scanning-this information provides the technician and estimator a complete picture of non-functioning items like onboard computers, sensors, wiring, and safety features.
- Full disassembly of impacted area- exterior panels are removed and parts underneath are examined for additional damage.
- A repair plan is written (this is much more detailed than an estimate).
- Repair planner researches and provides technician with industry or manufacturer repair procedures based on year, make and model of vehicle.
- Vehicle is post-diagnostic scanned. This ensures all components are working properly after the collision repair.
- Calibrations may be necessary.
- Quality control check and a test drive.
A reputable Scottsdale collision repair facility is concerned with the whole repair, including aesthetics, mechanical, and the electrical/computer system of the vehicle. Following the proper steps takes time and involves cost. Fast and cheap collision repair facilities usually yield a very different result and often cause the vehicle owner more stress in the long run.
Airpark Collision Center prefers OEM (Original equipment manufacturer). These are the same parts that were on your vehicle when it was brand new. Unfortunately, a lot of insurance companies will not pay for OEM parts and choose to use aftermarket or salvage. This is a whole other topic, click here to read our blog: https://www.collisioncenternorthscottsdale.com/blog/oem-salvage-or-aftermarket-parts/
Even if the insurance company chooses non-OEM parts this is another instance where choosing a quality-minded Scottsdale collision repair shop matters! While we can’t force an insurance company to pay for OEM parts, there are some things we can try to manage.
- Salvage means the part is OEM but is used/recycled. This is not a bad option if the Scottsdale auto body shop inspects it for quality. Many times a recycled part is in mint condition and if it is not up to par then a good collision repair facility will reject it.
- Aftermarket means another company other than the manufacturer (or approved by manufacturer) made the part. Aftermarket parts are not all bad, but again inspection at the collision shop is key. If it does not fit correctly, we can go back to the insurance company with photos and prove why an OEM part is needed. Of course, this is time-consuming, but due to policy verbiage, the insurance company can dictate which kind of parts are going to be covered by insurance. Sometimes, customers have discussions with their insurance adjuster if parts usage is a major concern.
Is it OK to buy a vehicle that was in an accident?
Please consider the following factors:
- What is the extent of the damage?
- Is it a salvage title? Often it is hard to insure a vehicle with a salvage title.
- What collision repair facility made the repairs?
- Can you find a collision damage inspector for an assessment?
Can a total loss be repaired?
A total loss does not always mean the car is unrepairable. There are a few reasons that may cause a declaration of total loss.
- The cost of repair exceeds the car’s value
- Replacement parts are unavailable or are on eternal backorder
- The damage is too severe for collision repair
After quality collision repair your vehicle may look and drive great, but a cause for concern may be a Car Fax report. While Airpark Collision Center does not report to Car Fax, other companies may, and possibly the police/city or even the tow company. Questions about diminished value should be directed to an attorney or insurance company. Generally, the collision repair facility has nothing to do with diminished value beyond providing the vehicle owner with a detailed invoice of the auto body repair including parts and labor.
Airpark Collision Center opened in 2006 with a focus on quality auto body repairs and honest friendly service. We have already seen many changes in vehicle construction and the collision repair industry. Each year we continue training and adding the latest tools and equipment to our north Scottsdale facility. Please stop in or click here for a free estimate.