How Long will my Car be in the Auto Body Shop?

Most folks getting an estimate or dropping off their car for collision repair will ask how long their vehicle will be in the shop. This is a reasonable question and at one time (not so long ago) could be answered accurately. However, like many industries, things have also changed in collision repair and most is attributed to advanced electronics and computers onboard newer vehicles.

I remember reading an article about 10 years ago, stating that auto body shops will be repairing less vehicles each year but the cost and the length of time for each repair would increase. The write up went on to explain, that vehicles equipped with safety features such as lane departure warnings, automatic braking, etc would be less likely to experience a collision; but in the event of impact, other items besides actual body damage would have to be addressed. Listed below are some of the factors that contribute to vehicle repair time. 


The Diagnostic Pre-Scan

Diagnostic Pre-Scan Equipment

In the last 5 years, pre and post diagnostic scanning has really become recommended if not mandatory for most car/truck brands. When a vehicle is brought in for an estimate, the estimator assesses visual damage only. Once the vehicle is dropped off the vehicle is pre-scanned for error codes (this is a complete picture of the electrical system and very different from dash board light indicators). The diagnostic pre-scan, informs the Scottsdale collision repair shop what is not operating properly in the vehicle’s electrical and safety system. 


Disassembly and Identifying Hidden Damage

Disassembly and Identifying Hidden Damage

After the pre-scan the vehicle is disassembled by the collision repair technician, at this time the estimator or repair planner will go over any additional damage underneath. Photos are taken and sent to the insurance company to document additional parts or labor needed to return the vehicle to pre-accident condition. This may cause a delay as the collision repair facility waits for insurance approval before ordering additional parts or continuing with additional labor.



Unfortunately vehicle parts are sometimes a factor in getting your car back quickly. At Airpark Collision Center, our parts department inspects each part for quality and the collision repair technician inspects it for fit. If the part doesn’t pass inspection it will require reordering. 


Special Edition or Heavily Accessorized/Lifted vehicles:

Vehicles that are a special edition or heavily accessorized usually take longer to repair. Parts are usually not readily available and subletting to specialty custom shops can be slow going.


Repair Procedures

Airpark Collision Technicians - Repair ProceduresFollowing repair procedures is something else fairly new in the collision repair industry. While there has always been an industry standard of “how to repair,” the use of specific repair methods have been introduced. Vehicle manufacturers and the collision repair industry are focused on a safe repair and that means repairing or replacing in a way that protects passengers if a future collision should occur. Following repair procedures, means no shortcuts and quality minded Scottsdale auto body shops adhere to this policy. Repair procedures often indicate whether a part can be repaired or replaced or even where the repair is acceptable. For example, some bumpers cannot be repaired in certain areas because of sensor location. Following these procedures takes time but it is the right way to repair today’s advanced vehicles. 


Sublet Vendors

Operations such as glass, window tinting, calibrations, extensive mechanical work or alignments may be sublet out to trusted vendors and not completed in house. If your vehicle is in need of one of these services it will be in addition to time spent repairing the vehicle’s auto body damage.


Post Diagnostic Scanning

Once the collision repair and any sublets are completed the vehicle will be post diagnostic scanned. This is the final determination to ensure all components are operating properly. If something does not check out, it must be addressed.


Insurance Payment confirmation

Before releasing a vehicle most Scottsdale collision repair shops will need payment confirmation from the insurance company. A quality repair includes employing master technicians and utilizing premium materials. Customers purchase insurance with the understanding that these costs will be covered in the event of a claim.


In Conclusion

Airpark Collision Center - Scottsdale, AZ Facility

Keep in mind, the collision repair facility is motivated to repair your car correctly and as quickly as possible. Repairing a vehicle properly includes the cooperation from many others such as part and sublet vendors and of course the insurance company. It is important to consider that auto body repair is no longer about “pounding out dents.” A reputable Scottsdale collision repair facility is concerned with a complete repair, not just aesthetics. This means all mechanical and electrical/computerized components are operating properly in addition to the vehicle looking great!

Airpark Collision Center opened in 2006 with a focus on quality repairs and friendly customer service. Throughout the last 17 years we have continued to evolve along with the auto body industry prioritizing safe and correct auto body repairs. Please call to schedule a free estimate or click here!

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