What about Interior Damage?
Recently I went to the San Diego auto show and talked with several auto manufacturer representatives. I discovered that many vehicles had minimal body style changes. Numerous vehicles were updated with different tail lamps or door handles but not a lot of major changes to the exterior auto body. I did learn that the 2017 vehicles were upgraded in regards to advanced computer and safety equipment.
When customers shop for a vehicle the salesman tends to point out new safety features, as well as all the bells and whistles. This is great – until the vehicle is involved in a collision and needs auto body repair. Long gone are the days where customers can bring their vehicle to any auto body shop.
IS YOUR VEHICLE STEEL, ALUMINUM OR BOTH?
Vehicles today are made with multiple materials. Some vehicles are made of aluminum because it holds up well in an accident yet is light weight. Some autos are made of high strength steel and some combine both materials. Repair procedures are different for each material. For example, the type of weld, location of welds and welding materials vary. Bringing your vehicle to the wrong collision repair shop is putting you and your vehicle at risk. After all, what happens when you trade in your car or what if you are in another collision?
Airpark Collision Center has consistently repaired auto body damage on luxury vehicles since 2006. I mention this because luxury vehicles are always the first to utilize new materials and equipment. Not only are we well experienced, but continue training each year to stay current on the latest repair methods.
DO CERTIFICATIONS REALLY MATTER?
When customers are looking to choose an auto body shop, we suggest looking for I-Car Gold certification. Believe it or not, no auto body repair certification is required in Arizona. I-Car Certification is optional, but ensures consumers the collision repair shop is trained each year. I-Car is the gold standard of auto body repair. No manufacturer will certify an auto body shop if they are not I-Car Gold Class. Airpark Collision Center has maintained our I-Car Gold certification since opening in 2006. Savvy consumers realize the deductible will be the same at any collision repair facility. It only makes sense to choose the auto body shop that is I-Car Gold Class certified.
IS IT ONLY EXTERIOR DAMAGE?
Earlier I mentioned that today’s vehicles are more advanced. The customer only sees the exterior damage, but trust me there is often more to repairing the vehicle. Two other categories of repair are worth mentioning. Mechanical and electrical. Mechanical work may include alignment, suspension and replacing components that have been crushed during impact. Our technicians usually locate this damage once the exterior panels are removed or sometimes during a test drive. Depending on the mechanical damage, we may send the vehicle to an auto service facility specializing in a specific repair.
Electrical repairs involve the vehicle’s computer. Did you know that more recent vehicle models have at least one computer? This computer (or computers) monitors engine emissions, and adjusts the engine to keep emissions low. The computer is linked to sensors that monitor oxygen, air pressure, air temperature, engine temperature, throttle position, and more. Many people think the outside temperature display on the car’s dashboard is just for convenience, but really it is being used to monitor the vehicle.
OH YES, YOU PROBABLY HAVE SEVERAL COMPUTERS IN YOUR CAR!
When I said there could be more than one computer in your car, consider this, do you have: anti-lock brakes, air bags, keyless entry or security system, or an advanced climate control system? If so, each of these options probably has it’s own computer. In addition, features like motorized seats, radio, and cruise control will also have their own computer.
If the vehicle’s computer was affected during impact, it might need to go to the dealer for service. Airpark Collision Center has excellent relationships with Scottsdale dealers, who are equipped with the best equipment and skilled technicians. Working with these dealers on a regular basis allows our customers the confidence that the repair will be done right the first time.
Hopefully, after reading this blog readers will realize there is much more to repairing collision damage. Today’s vehicles are advanced and your future safety depends on choosing the right auto body repair facility. If your vehicle was in a simple fender bender, you will probably have your car repaired quickly. If your vehicle has extensive damage or was towed in, all of the above items will probably need repair. Remember it is our goal and the goal of others we work with to return the vehicle to the customer as soon as possible without compromising quality of the collision repair.