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:
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:
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:
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.
A) 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.
B) 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.
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!