Helpful Tips

DRP – Getting you Back on the Road!

Auto Body Xperts is a DRP (Direct Repair Program) for over 20 different insurance companies. So what does that mean? That means that they trust us and our work to allow us to do the estimate for them.

At our Hudsonville location, a tow company rents and operates out of part of our building. So vehicles they tow in wait in our lot. This towing company brought in a vehicle that was in an accident on Friday. They owner of the vehicle contacted their insurance company and had to wait for the insurance company to come and do an estimate on the vehicle. It took one week until an adjuster for the insurance company was able to look at the vehicle.

As we all know, being without a vehicle is a major inconvenience. That is why it is important to take your vehicle to a Body Shop that is a DRP for your insurance company. In the story above, if that customer would have said they wanted Auto Body Xperts to look over their vehicle, they could have received an estimate the day of the accident from us rather than having to wait a week.

So if you are in an accident, let your insurance company know that you are taking your vehicle to Auto Body Xperts!

Going the Extra Mile – The Vehicle Repair Process

A very common thing we hear from customers is, “I went to Body Shop A and Body Shop B for an estimate on my vehicle and the estimated cost of repair was very different!” Which is true, some body shops do very dramatically in price. Which is something we want to warn people on, it is important to remember that when it comes to body work, cost does directly relate to the quality of work.

Auto Body Xperts is a big believer that customers can receive high quality work for a reasonable cost. That is why Auto Body Xperts is a DRP (Direct Repair Program) for over 20 different insurance companies. So what does that mean? That means that those insurance companies trust us and our work, they know we will take good care of their customers so they allow us to do the estimate on the vehicle. Normally the insurance company will send a adjuster to come look at the vehicle in addition to the body shop looking it over. With the DRP, they trust us to look it over for them. We record the damage and send our estimate along with pictures of the damage to them so they don’t have to come look at the vehicle, which then saves time for the customer and then their vehicle can be repaired sooner.

We take pride in the extra steps we take to help our customers. We understand that although some of these steps may seem minor but in the end, they really do help provide the highest quality work for our customers. So here is a walk through of our vehicle repair process to give you a quick view of what is being done on your vehicle when it is in our care.

 

The Vehicle Repair Process:

1. Estimate: Before the repair process can start, the vehicle will need to be brought in to receive an estimate. This is an important step because it allows us to provide estimate of cost to repair the vehicle. 

2. Schedule: After the customer receives the free estimate, they can schedule the vehicle to come in for the repair!

3. Order parts: Once the vehicle is scheduled for repair, our estimators and production manager work together to make sure all parts that are needed for the repair are here when the vehicle is dropped of to be repaired so they customer isn’t waiting on parts, causing them to have to wait longer for their vehicle to be repaired

4. Drop off vehicle: At the scheduled vehicle drop off, customers can then pick up their free rental car!

5. Washing the Vehicle:

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Once the customer drops off the vehicle, it is washed before our estimators look over the vehicle. This is an important extra step we do. By hand washing the vehicle, it allows us to see the full extent of the damage before the vehicle is repaired. 

 

 

 

6. Mark and Record Vehicle Details:

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At this time, our estimates go over the vehicle completely. They will record the vehicle’s details (such as how many miles it has, confirming the VIN number, etc) and mark the damage on the car. A paint marker is used to mark the damage on the car being repaired. At the time, the whole vehicle is inspected for unrelated damages (such as dents, scratches, etc), then the customer is contacted with an estimate for the unrelated damage to see if they would like that repaired as well while the vehicle is in the shop.

 

 

7. Pulling Parts:

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While the estimator is looking over the vehicle, our Production Manager pulls the parts for the repair from our part room and brings them over to the Body Tech who will be working on the vehicle.

 

 

 

8. Repair Process:

Then the repair process starts where the Body Techs and Painters work on the vehicle.

IMG_20171219_164612462A) Body Work: During this step, our body techs repair what they can on the vehicle and replace any parts that are beyond the point of being repaired.

 

 

 

IMG_20171220_095604471B) Painting: After the vehicle is worked on, the painters will paint the vehicle and any parts that go on the vehicle. As you can see in the pictures, the front bumper had to be replaced on the vehicle, so that was painted as well as the vehicle so the colors are a perfect match for the vehicle. Painting is great step that shows the extra steps Auto Body Xperts takes when repairing vehicles. Many body shops will blend the paint in rather than repainting the whole panel. Although that may save a tiny bit of money on labor and paint, over time, that short cut will show on the vehicle. As you can also see from the picture, the door handle has been removed. This is another way some body shops cut corners to save time, they will leave the handle on and tape it off. Because of the location of the handle, it is hard to get good paint job with it still on there so Auto Body Xperts removes the handle before painting so we can provide the highest quality work for our customers.

C) Reassemble: After everything is painted, it is brought back to the Body Tech who will reassemble the vehicle.

9. Detailed: After the vehicle is done being repaired, the outside and inside of the vehicle is detailed for the customer. We understand that being without your vehicle is a inconvenience, that is why we provide free loaner cars while your vehicle is being repaired and clean the entire vehicle before it is returned. After it is cleaned, our Production Manager looks over the vehicle to make sure the vehicle meets our expectations to provide the highest quality of work.

10. Delivery:

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Then the vehicle is done! Throughout all of the different steps, the customer is kept in the loop on the progress of the vehicle through phone calls, text alerts, or email notification (whichever one the customer prefers). Once the vehicle is repaired, customers are set up in the reward program with us. Many customers right away have earned enough points for free hand car washes and a vehicle detail!

 

 

We hope this provides some incite into the vehicle repair process at Auto Body Xperts. If you ever have any questions about the work being done, the process, etc, please ask!

You’ve been in an accident, now what?

Here are the steps of what to do if you have been in an accident and the vehicle isn’t drivable.

1. Call the police so they can make a police report. It is not needed for the repair side of the process but many insurance companies would like to see a police report from the accident.

2. When at the accident, tell the police officer and tow truck driver that you would like your vehicle brought to Auto Body Xperts.

3. Call your insurance company and let them know you have been in an accident and that your vehicle is going to be brought to Auto Body Xperts.

4. Call Auto Body Xperts and let us know that your vehicle is on the way. At this time we will record your information so once the vehicle gets here, we can look over the vehicle and send you an estimate.

Here are the steps of what to do if you have been in an accident and is still drivable.

1. Call the police so they can make a police report. It is not needed for the repair side of the process but many insurance companies would like to see a police report from the accident.

2. Call your insurance company and let them know you have been in an accident.

3. Stop in any Auto Body Xperts location to receive a free estimate.

If the vehicle isn’t totaled:

5. After you receive your estimate and decide to continue with the repair process, you will need to stop in and sign forms at some point before the vehicle is scheduled to start the Repair Process.

6. Then the Repair Process starts at the scheduled time and you can pick up your free loaner at this time.

After the Repair Process is finished, you will be able to pick up your vehicle.

If unfortunately, the vehicle is totaled:

From this point on, you will work with your insurance company and they will walk you through the different options you have to move forward.

 

If the vehicle isn’t totaled:

4. If you decide to continue to have your vehicle repaired, then you will schedule your vehicle to start the Repair Process.

5. Once Repair Process starts at the scheduled time and you can pick up your free loaner at this time.

6. After the Repair Process is finished, you will be able to pick up your vehicle.

If unfortunately, the vehicle is totaled:

From this point on, you will work with your insurance company and they will walk you through the different options you have to move forward.

 

 

Throughout the whole process, Auto Body Xperts will be there to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Fall is here! Time for hayrides, apple picking, sweatshirts, football games, pumpkin spice everything, and… deer. To be safe this fall, here are some Xperts tips!

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  1. Buckle Up: Make sure to wear your seat belt.
  2. Remember there is always more than one: Typically, if you see one deer, there are more to follow so proceed with caution.
  3. Take caution on two-lane roads: Deer are most prevalent on the side of a two-lane road.
  4. Heed deer crossing signs: When you see a deer crossing sign, remember it is placed at that location for a reason and it means deer are prevalent in that particular area.
  5. Avoid swerving: Statistics show that when most drivers swerve to avoid hitting deer, they hit another object instead, such as a tree or another vehicle.
  6. Hitting a deer: Unfortunately and in some cases, hitting a deer can be unavoidable. Ideally, what you want to do is prevent the deer from landing on the hood of the vehicle and slamming into your windshield. Should the animal make contact with the windshield, there is a good chance it will smash right through causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle resulting in serious injury and in some cases, death to the driver and passengers. When hitting a deer seems unavoidable, try to think fast and be aware of the situation. Experts advise braking until the very last second of impact, then releasing the brakes. This should propel the deer away from your vehicle instead of on to the hood or windshield.

Helpful tips:

  • Turn the vehicle’s hazard lights on when you see deer so other motorists are aware that there are deer ahead.
  • If you notice any deer, especially if they are close to the road, slow down as much as possible and proceed with expert caution.
  • Sounding your horn can startle the animal and cause it to dart into the road or straight into traffic.
  • All vehicle-deer collisions must be reported to the police as soon as possible.
  • In the event that the deer is alive but injured, avoid all contact and move away, keeping a good distance from the animal and wait until police arrive.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for the silhouettes on the shoulders of the roads. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
  • Use high beam headlights if there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams will allow the driver to better see the eyes of the deer.
  • Blink your high beams at the deer. Deer seem to be in a trance when they see your headlights. By blinking your headlights at them, it alerts them to the danger heading towards them.
  • If you know you are going to collide with a deer, do not brace yourself. By doing this, it will increase your chances of breaking bones and being seriously injured. If you are going to collide, relax your body while still maintaining control of the vehicle.
  • Most deer sightings and accidents happening in the morning and at dusk. Be extra alert at that time.

 

Most importantly, stay alert, always wear your seat belt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for the conditions.

If unfortunately you are in an accident, come to Auto Body Xperts… Relax, we are the Xperts!

 

For more facts and helpful tips, see the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Show your Mother Earth and yourself some love, by being conscious of the paint and other common items you use.

Did you know? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies paint as one of its top five most hazardous substances.

Effects On The Environment:
When VOC’s react with oxygen, they can form ‘bad’ ozone in the presence of sunlight. This is a contributory factor to the greenhouse effect and a cause of global warming. One study by C.E.P.E. attributes paints and varnishes to causing as much as five percent of all VOC emissions. – M Howard, J Miemczyk

A Long List of Health Concerns:
Solvent based automotive paints contain not just problematic VOCs, but also other air pollutants that decrease air quality and may pose a risk to painters and workers. Skin and eye irritation are only the beginning of the health problems that painters and workers could face when using solvent based automotive paints.Other health risks include central nervous system effects. The organic compounds found in VOCs can also damage internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Alarmingly, organic compounds found in solvent based automotive paint have been linked to cancer and reproductive health issues. By contrast, waterborne paints have lower levels of organic solvents are thus much less toxic. http://ellisandsalazar.com/auto-painting/why-is-waterborne-car-paint-better-for-the-environment/

The solution:
Eco-friendly paint for cars is waterborne, which means water is the main ingredient in the paint instead of the dangerous solvents. These paints emit up to 80 per cent less of the VOCs than traditional car paint. They have 70 per cent water, 20 per cent pigment, pearlescent and metallic particles and 10 per cent organic solvents. http://gearheads.org/eco-friendly-paint-for-cars-best-options/
Auto body Xperts uses waterborne paint, to insure we aren’t harming the environment or the health of our staff and neighbors. https://autobodyxperts.com/auto-body-paint-shop/earth month reusable grocery bag

To help you remember to be kind to your Mother Earth we are offering free reusable grocery bags at any of our locations. Stop in during business hours for your bag during the week of April 20,2017 until April 27, 2017.