Collision Repair

Choosing the right auto body shop can feel like a stressful task. It goes without saying that you want shops with experienced technicians and proper equipment. But how do you know if a collision repair shop has them?

 

All you have to do is find out if the auto body shop has the required qualifications because they guarantee its capability to perform the best repair on your car.

 

If you see that a collision repair shop holds I-CAR and ASE certifications, then you can count on your vehicle getting properly repaired. It means that not only does the auto body shop have the required equipment to restore your car, but it has also officially trained technicians to use it. You’d be surprised how many facilities lack the necessary resources to efficiently and correctly perform a repair.

 

Another strong indicator of a qualified auto body shop is sponsorship by the car manufacturers themselves. Companies like BMW, MINI, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Porsche, Chevrolet, Toyota, and many others, will sponsor and certify a collision repair facility to fix its vehicle models, on the condition that it has already earned a strong reputation for quality, efficiency, and excellent customer service.

 

Only a repair facility with I-CAR and ASE certifications will also receive sponsorship from a manufacturer. If you’re having your car repaired at a facility with these qualifications, you know you’re in good hands.

Manufacturer Training

While the ASE and I-Car certifications equip technicians with top of the line skills for repairing vehicles, to go the full nine yards and operate on specific models, they also need manufacturer training. It’s one thing to have mastered repair processes, it’s quite another to know how to fix a particular make. Every car model has its own unique protocol for excellent repair, and manufacturers require technicians to learn how they’re done.

 

But here’s the catch: if a shop isn’t sponsored by a car manufacturer, its technicians won’t get the specific training needed for particular vehicle models. To get sponsorship from a manufacturer, a repair facility needs to already have earned a solid reputation. Carmakers will only select shops that have the capacity to properly fix their cars. The I-CAR Gold Class and ASE certifications are tell-tale signs not only for the customer but for a manufacturer looking to offer sponsorship.

 

Manufacturers won’t provide the tools and training to repair their vehicle models if they don’t think an auto body shop will be able to apply them to their clients’ vehicles. There are thousands of auto body shops out there offering to fix particular cars, but a manufacturer will only sponsor one or two of them to get the certification to fix them.

Proper Tools and Repair Procedures

When a manufacturer sponsors a shop to fix one of their particular models, they will specify the types of tools to be used, and these tools are super expensive.

 

For example, BMW requires specific spot welders costing over thirty grand, for different vehicle models. That’s because by using equipment tailored to fix a certain car, you ensure that the vehicle will be restored according to the carmaker’s standards—and not the standards of the shop or the insurance carrier.

 

Most shops won’t invest that kind of money into one piece of equipment unless they know they’ll get access to the training on how to use it, and more importantly, they know they’ll get a lot of work from the manufacturer.

 

Technicians at sponsored shops must undergo training at the manufacturer’s facilities, which can entail traveling out of state for two weeks. Repairmen might learn about performing aluminum welds to do structural repairs, replacing frame rails on hi-tech vehicles, and the list can go on and on.

 

Once trained, a technician will have to carry out a repair in front of a monitor. If they prove their ability to restore the car to the carmakers’ criteria, the technician gets a certification vouching for their expertise in that particular model.

 

To sum up, a shop with sponsorship from a manufacturer guarantees the most highly skilled technicians. If a technician can prove their ability to properly repair a vehicle to its maker, then he or she will be able to prove that ability to you.

Access to Technical Repair Manuals

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how few repair facilities actually go out of their way to purchase repair manuals for every car model out there. They’re the perfect technical aid for a technician carrying out specific repairs on specific vehicles.

 

The manuals tell you what tools and materials are needed, and they give you precise measurements shown to the millimeter. Without such meticulous details on how repairs should be performed on particular vehicles, technicians can cause permanent damage.

 

Here’s a small list of the kinds of things a technical manual for a car model will dictate to a technician:

 

  • The specifics on how to replace a structural part.

  • The required torque pressure of fastening bolts on panel replacement repairs such as bumper covers, doors, hoods, trunks, etc.

  • The unique characteristics of the panel needing repair.

  • The protocol for proper alignment and gap tolerance.

 

Few shops take the time to invest in these manuals and make sure their technicians understand them. The manuals are constantly getting updated, so if a shop doesn’t have the latest manuals, you run the risk of a second-rate repair. That’s only going to cost you more money in the long run.

The Future of Collision Repair

Few shops take the time to invest in these manuals and make sure their technicians understand them. The manuals are constantly getting updated, so if a shop doesn’t have the latest manuals, you run the risk of a second-rate repair. That’s only going to cost you more money in the long run.

 

The Future of Collision Repair

New car models with increasingly sophisticated, cutting-edge technologies are coming out all the time. It’s no longer enough to get industry certifications and then learn from everything else from experience. Training must now be ongoing to keep up the pace with the evolution of how cars are manufactured.

 

Here at Collision Center Northwest, the continued manufacture & industry training that we explained above is a requirement for ALL its staff. We promise to complete the repairs to your vehicle as specified by your manufacturer – using new OEM parts and using the OEM repair manual. This way you can rest assured that you and your family are safe in your vehicle after we repair it.