Cruising down the open road in your car can make you feel carefree and adventurous. However, accidents happen, and even minor fender benders can leave your vehicle looking unsightly. When your car’s body gets dinged up, don’t despair. The art of auto body repair can get your car looking good as new.
Assessing the Damage
The first step in the auto body repair process is assessing the damage. Take a close look at each dent, scratch, and paint chip on your car. Note the location and severity of each area of damage. This gives the auto body technician a clear picture of what needs to be fixed.
Use your phone to take close-up photos of the damage from multiple angles. This provides helpful visuals for the repair shop. In addition, make note of any mechanical issues caused by the accident, like trouble steering or problems with lights. This full scope helps the shop understand all required repairs.
Straightening Out Dents
One of the most common auto body repairs is dent removal. There are several techniques body shops use to straighten out dings and dents. For minor dings, paintless dent repair is an option. This involves carefully massaging the metal back into shape from behind the dent using specialized tools. It’s an affordable method that preserves the original factory paint.
For deeper dents, more intensive work is required. Body technicians will use body filler, or “bondo”, to fill in holes and smooth out imperfections. The bondo hardens and can be sanded down to a flush finish. For large dents, a stud welder may be used to pull out the dent from the inside by welding a small stud to the dent and connecting it to a slide hammer. Heat can also help coax the metal back into shape.
Matching Your Paint
Once body work is complete, the repaired area will need a fresh coat of paint to match the rest of the car. Matching your car’s original paint is an art. To identify the precise color name and code, the shop will use a colorimeter tool. This scans a sample of your existing paint to pull up the specifications.
The painter will mix up a batch of paint to perfectly match the hue, tint, and texture of your car’s paint. Blending techniques are used to transition the new paint into the existing coat seamlessly. A clearcoat finish is added for protection and sheen. With meticulous paint matching, you’ll never know the difference.
Replacing Damaged Parts
For collisions that damage body panels, fenders, bumpers, or lights, replacement parts may be needed. Quality auto body shops source OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket parts that meet OEM specifications for fit and function. Parts are carefully test fit before installation and alignment is checked to ensure proper gaps and symmetry.
Replacing damaged parts with new OEM or OEM-grade parts is the best way to guarantee safety and restore your car’s original appearance. The technicians at reputable auto body shops like auto body shops St George are experts at part replacement and alignment.
Along with cosmetic repairs, the auto body shop will check for any mechanical or electrical issues caused by the accident. For example, they’ll test all lights to make sure turn signals, brake lights, and headlights are functioning properly. If needed, wiring harnesses can be repaired or replaced.
The wheel alignment will also be inspected. After an impact, wheels can get knocked out of alignment causing uneven tire wear. Adjustments to the suspension and steering components are made to bring everything back into proper alignment. Addressing these items ensures your car drives straight and true after repairs are complete.
Quality Control Inspection
The final step in collision repair is a thorough quality control inspection. All repaired areas are closely evaluated to confirm a smooth finish with no gaps, uneven surfaces, or overspray. Paint color, texture, and blend quality are checked. All lights, electronics, and mechanical parts are tested. A test drive confirms proper steering and wheel alignment.
Only when every detail meets the shop’s high quality standards is your repair work complete. This meticulous inspection process ensures you’ll be absolutely satisfied when you hit the road again.
With some expert dent removal, paint matching, part replacement, and alignment work, your car can look and drive like it’s fresh off the showroom floor. The talented technicians at professional auto body shops have an artistic eye for detail and take pride in their work. Trust them to make your car look flawlessly restored.