Major Car Collision Damage: To Repair or Replace?

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Car accidents are a major hassle, Along with your injuries, you are forced to deal with the damaged vehicle. The overwhelming process may include negotiating with insurance companies, repairing or replacing certain parts, and potentially dealing with the vehicle being declared a total loss. It may be stressful, but a reputable auto body shop will help you sort through the information.

Remember a respectable auto body shop, is working to repair your vehicle the right way, according to industry standards and procedures. When a damaged vehicle is assessed, a few things are taken into consideration:

  • Structural Damage
  • Repair or Replace
  • Value of the Vehicle

Structural Damage: First of all just because structural damage may be found this doesn’t mean the auto body damage cannot be repaired.  For example, a badly dented door, could qualify as structural damage. This simply means if the intrusion beam in the door was compromised then the whole door should be replaced. A less damaged door would simply qualify for a new door skin, or maybe just a repair and refinish procedure.

Other structural damage can include the frame or unibody. Airpark Collision Center is equipped with a professional frame machine and a computerized measuring system. The right equipment allows the frame or unibody to return with in millimeters of manufacturer specifications. In addition, certified technicians are trained according to the latest industry procedures.

Repair or Replace: If the damage is not structural, repair or replace is usually based on cost. For example, if you have a vehicle with bumper damage, the repair costs may be the same or more than replacing the bumper. At this point you or the insurance company might choose to simply replace the bumper because it is more cost effective than repairing the original one. However, on luxury vehicles such as a Mercedes-Benz, the repair cost may be significantly less than a replacement part. If you are paying out of pocket, Airpark Collision Center will give you the choice. If you are making an insurance claim, the adjuster will most likely make the determination according to the referenced policy.

Value of Vehicle: If your car experienced major collision damage, or the airbags were deployed, your vehicle may be declared a total loss. Collision repair shops do not make the call whether the vehicle is considered a total loss. The auto body repair estimate is written by the shop or an insurance adjuster. The insurance company will compare repair costs against the vehicle’s value and then make a determination. Some customers, with total loss vehicles, choose to accept a check from the insurance company and repair the vehicle on their own. Beware, if your car is titled as a total you may have difficulty getting auto insurance!

Whenever your vehicle is damaged it is best to research a quality, certified collision repair facility. If your insurance company recommends one of their “preferred facilities”, do your own homework. Airpark Collision Center is committed to safe quality repairs and excellent customer service. Please call us with any questions or stop in for an estimate!

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