Collision repair is constantly evolving as new cars are produced each year with new and improved safety features (also called ADAS technologies) and smart computer systems. Thats why each vehicle’s manufacturer has repair guidelines for body shops to follow to ensure the most accurate and safe repair. One wrong decision to not adhere to the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) repair procedures could potentially put you at greater risk to get into another accident or even make your vehicle less safe in the event of another accident.
Unfortunately, there is no law requiring a body shop to follow these standards which means some technicians will do their own process for a repair. This helps them save time and money by reducing the repair “cycle time.” Cycle time is simply how long your car is in the shop for the repair process until you have it back in your possession. On the flip side, some repair centers will quote you a longer cycle time which means a more expensive repair because it will require longer labor time. How can you tell the difference or know if a shop is only prolonging your car being repaired just to make more money?
These are valid questions to have, which is why we answer them below:
Additional Damage 101
When you take you car to a body shop for a repair estimate, you will never receive a total cost for the entire repair. This is why it’s called an estimate, because for a full repair cost, technicians would need to partially take apart your vehicle to see what is going on underneath the body to get the full scope. There is no way to be able to tell the full extent of the damages just by looking at the outside fenders and body of the car.
As soon as technicians disassemble your vehicle, they are able to get a more in-depth look at what repairs are required. Much the same as X-Rays and MRIs provide doctors with an accurate diagnosis, technicians taking your car apart allows them to see any additional damage from an accident. This is where the repair plan is modified, the estimate goes up, the insurance company is notified, and you hear those two words: additional damage. This is completely normal and happens in almost all cases of a vehicle in need of repair.
With that said, the following are some factors that could play a role when finding additional damages:
More than likely, the body shop will find additional damage inside your vehicle after partially taking it apart. They will then notify both you and your insurance company before starting any repairs. Most insurance companies will have an adjuster look over the vehicle as well to approve the estimate and body shops’ assessment. Involving more steps and more people to the process also means potential delays especially if your insurance company is reluctant to sign off on additional repairs. We always recommend getting a second opinion if you can especially if you factor in the fact that your deductible remains the same no matter the cost of the repair. Some times choosing the cheaper estimate is not always the best or safest option.
Additional Steps & Calibrations
There are many areas on your vehicle that tend to have an increased tendency to have supplements to the original estimate: Areas such as front and rear suspension, electrical, and rear body and floor. If any of those areas are damaged in the collision, your repair technician will definitely need to perform additional measures to complete the repair. Things like recalibrations and destructive weld testing are typical and may not be factored in the original estimate as far as labor time is concerned.
Unique Repair Plan
Every accident is unique. From the damage sustained to the car make and model, each collision is as unique as the person driving the car. Even if you and your cousin were both sideswiped on the right side of your car at 15 mph in a 2019 Ford, the damage will not be the same. The repair shop needs to outline a custom plan for every repair. Sometimes the repair will only take a few steps while others may take hundreds. The original estimate tends to only cover the generalized approach prior to taking the car apart.
Who In Palmdale Can I Trust?
Telesis Collision Center is customer-focused and know what it means to perform a safe repair. Safety is our priority and we are your partner through the entire process from start to finish. We will help you understand the repair process and what to expect because that is what you deserve. All of our technicians have received extensive training and are up-to-date on the latest OEM Repair procedures. We will work with you and your insurance company to ensure a stress-free repair.