How Long will my Car be in the Body Shop?

A common question at time of estimate or even vehicle drop off is, “how long will my car be in the auto body shop?” No one wants their vehicle in the shop for weeks, including the auto body shop!

Vehicles repaired at Airpark Collision Center

To calculate repair time a few things must be considered:

It’s just minor damage- Most customers that drive in for an estimate believe their vehicle has minor damage. But is it really minor damage?

  • To assess whether it’s really minor damage, take a look at all the damage. Most people just see the main dent or scratch. 
  • What about the surrounding panels? Does the scratch or dent cover more than one panel? If so, that is additional body labor, refinishing time and material. 
  • Did the impact cause damage to any surrounding trim pieces? Or wheel? Are emblems damaged?


Just touch it up- Touching up usually does not look very good and if there is a dent or scratch the surface will still be uneven. It is important to have reasonable expectations when touch up paint is applied.

  • A quality Scottsdale collision repair facility will not put their name on this type of repair because it will not only look unattractive but the paint will not hold up very long. There is a reason why refinishing includes the entire panel along with proper prep work, a baked on finish and clear coat.
  • If you are ok with touch up, some Scottsdale collision repair shops may be willing to complete this operation or another option is to purchase touch up paint from your local car dealer and use the DIY method.


I don’t need diagnostic scanning or calibrations- The manufacturer may require a diagnostic scan and/or calibrations. Ignoring required procedures is simply unsafe for you and your passengers. 

  • Impact at even low mph will cause a sensor to shake. If a sensor is shaken even an 1/8 of an inch it could transfer to 1+ feet out on the street; possibly causing you to hit another object in the near future.
  • During collision repair, wiring is often disconnected, thus triggering the need for calibrations. For example, an auto body technician often must disconnect a headlight or tail light in order to remove a bumper. 

Airpark Collision Technicians at work

What is involved in a minor repair?

  • Diagnostic scan- this is the first thing a quality and compliant Scottsdale collision repair facility will complete. A diagnostic scan is important because it provides information that may not be visible, ie: damaged electronics and safety features such as airbags.
  • Disassembly- most parts are painted off of the vehicle. It’s the right way to refinish certain panels. Keep in mind, disconnecting wires and other electronics will add time to the disassembly and reassembly process.
  • Body work completed.
  • Refinishing- is a multi-step process and should include proper prep, a baked on finish along with a clear coat. Keep in mind there are now 3 and even 4 stage paints on some vehicles. For example, if your vehicle has white pearl paint you can expect extra labor time and material.
  • Reassembly- the technician is actually rebuilding part of your vehicle by hand. He is welding, aligning panels, making adjustments, reconnecting wires, etc.
  • Sublet operations-alignment, window tint, clear guards, etc.
  • Post diagnostic scan-this process is to ensure that all electrical components are working as intended.
  • Car wash/interior clean
  • Quality control-visual inspection, test drive and review of post diagnostic scan.


Each repair is unique depending on parts availability, labor operations, and mechanical work required. Keep in mind the auto body shop may not be able to accept another vehicle repair until one is completed. Even though a Scottsdale collision repair facility is motivated to return the customer’s vehicle as soon as possible, they also are responsible for a quality and safe auto body repair.


My deductible is $1,000, I may not make a claim if the repair is under that amount.

If you drive a newer vehicle, most repairs (even minor ones are over $1,000. Consider these few things:

  • Cost of parts has increased.
  • Required additional labor operations, ie: diagnostic scanning, calibrations.
  • Manufacturer repair procedures, list every step and operation required to repair vehicle back to pre-collision status. It is simply irresponsible to skip procedures in order to reduce cost.
  • Cost is proportionate with the labor time required to perform mandatory operations.


Car Repair Finish LineToday’s professional Scottsdale collision repair facilities are much different than ones of yesterday. It takes a team of people working on each vehicle- not one guy. Our customers work with their estimator and our customer service representative but behind the scenes, the collision repair technician, refinish technician, calibration technician, auto technician, parts department and car washer are all working to move your vehicle to the finish line.

All staff members at Airpark Collision Center meet every morning to discuss each vehicle in process. As collision repair becomes more involved there is a need for each team member to have their own set of specialty skills.

Airpark Collision Center Team

Airpark Collision Center, follows proper repair procedures. Our first priority is a safe and correct auto body repair. Our lifetime workmanship warranty is evidence that we are committed to repairing the right way not the cheap way. Just as there are various choices in hair salons and hamburger restaurants the same is true for Scottsdale collision repair. Please stop in for an estimate or click here for a quick estimate.