What Pre Accident Condition..?
The Insurance/auto body industry uses the phrase “pre-accident condition” to describe the way a vehicle should leave an auto body facility following repairs. In other words, the vehicle should look, ride and perform the same way it did before the damage took place.
Todays Car Construction and Accidents…?
Automobile designs today reflect not only style, looks and design, but vast improvements in passenger safety as well. Although most people become concerned with the extent of the damage to their vehicle, in reality much of the damage is done by design. Buckling and crumpling of certain parts on a vehicle show the energy being absorbed by the car instead of the people absorbing the impact.
In older designs made with a large, stiff frame, although the vehicle itself may not have shown much damage because the people inside the vehicle absorbed the energy from the collision. Picture yourself jumping from a chair with your knees bent to absorb the shock, now image jumping with your knees locked in position.
Like our knees and muscles absorbing the shock of impact while landing, modern vehicles have ways in which the vehicle absorbs the impact and sends this energy around the car and away from the people inside. Additional safety comes from anti-lock brakes, airbags, seat belts and other means, but the actual structure of the car plays a major role in saving lives and preventing far more serious injuries.
So how do we make sure the repair is done properly..?
Our repair work consists of all or some of the following:
- Structural work
- Body/Plastic work
- Paint Preparation
- Check Systems
- Final Inspection and prep
At All Car Collision the estimate begins with a description of the accident. This will help our representative understand the extend of hidden damage and what needs to be uncovered. We’ll also help with any support you will need in working with your insurance company. We’ll prepar e a comprehensive estimate that will include a list a necessary repaires including the parts and labor required to fix your car properly. We’ll print your report on the spot and review the report with you, careful to explain exactly how we will repair your vehicle. At this point our estimator will also be able to let you know how long the repair will take.
Feel free to ask questions regarding the estimate, repair and the overall process, we’re happy to help.
Before you drop off your vehicle we will have already done a reasonable amount of prep work. Regarding your vehicle and the necessary parts that will be needed for the job.
You can drop off the car the morning of the repair or the night before we’re generally in the office until 7pm however its best to call and make arrangements for evening drop-off’s. Before you leave us, we will review the delivery date and any special requests you might have.
The first part of your repair includes dismantling the damaged area of the vehicle to clean the workspace and finalize our understanding of the repair. We’ll review the initial estimate, double checks parts and records any additional repairs necessary – it is not uncommon to discover additional damages in this phase – many parts that may have been damaged during an accident cannot be accessed or visible during the initial estimate or inspection.
We will always keep you informed about hidden damage. For insurance claims, additional damage is customary and a supplement is created. These changes are quickly communicated through are processes and any additional parts are ordered immediately – we work very hard to make sure nothing causes a delay to your delivery date.
Years ago, all cars were built with an independent frame with a separate body that was bolted on to the frame. Today, most cars are made of “unibody” construction. All Car Collision will repair any frame problems to a safe level of structural integrity.
Body/ Plastic Work
All Car Collision technicians are talented artisans when it comes to body/plastic re-construction. We understand the need for replacement parts and repair and follow standard procedures to provide a quality product that will reflect your vehicles original condition.
Paint is applied with a spray gun (HVLP, or high volume – low pressure), and the application of paint is probably the easiest part of the job. Preparing the surfaces for refinishing is critical to the outcome. We keep the surfaces clean, using the proper grease and solvent removers throughout the process especially after sanding. Appropriate areas are primed and taped to avoid overspray. When all of the prep is complete the vehicle is moved to a paint booth for final phase.
Assembly refers to putting the pieces back together – door handle back in the door; moldings back onto the fender, door or quarter panel; headlamp or tail lamp reinstalled; hood ornament or windshield washer nozzles back in the hood… And so on. In some instances, parts of a vehicle are painted off the car and need to be reinstalled.
After assembly, if there are any mechanical or system oriented repairs that have still not been completed, they get attended to. For example, this is when a wheel alignment, A/C recharging or fluids that need to be topped off would be completed.
Quality Check Points
At Collex we believe a properly repaired vehicle has everything to do with quality throughout the entire process. Because of this, we have inter-departmental quality check points: a vehicle will not proceed to the next phase of repair before the technician and production manager perform a standardized review.