Phase I – Estimation, Approval & Parts Ordering
- Estimate Preparation – Our Estimator will inspect your vehicle and begin to document the damage caused by the collision in the form of an estimate. In some cases you may already have a preliminary estimate of this damage prepared by your insurance company. In any event this step must be accomplished prior to beginning the repair process.
- Repair Authorized by Owner – The repair authorization allows us to repair your vehicle…it must be signed before any work can begin. At this time it is not unusual for our Estimator to request another signature in advance to cover any additional damage that may be found once the repair is underway.
- Insurance approval – The insurance company that is involved must also approve the repair estimate before we can begin work.
- Parts ordered electronically – Upon receiving approvals from you and the insurance company, we will begin the process of locating and ordering the parts necessary to repair your vehicle.
- Parts received – Once all of the parts are received and accounted for, we can schedule your vehicle for repair.
- Completion date given – At this time we will provide you with an Estimated Completion Date. It is important to understand that certain types of damage become apparent only after your vehicle has been disassembled. Therefore, your vehicle’s completion date may need to be revised.
Phase II – Scheduling & Disassembly
- Vehicle scheduled for repairs – We can now contact you to schedule a convenient time for your vehicle to be repaired. In some cases your vehicle may already be at our Repair Center, in which case it will be available for immediate repair.
- Vehicle disassembled & re-inspected – As your vehicle’s outer panels are removed and the physical structure of the vehicle is revealed, often additional or “hidden damage” is discovered. This additional damage is difficult to diagnose at the time of the original estimate as it cannot be seen or predicted until we perform this thorough inspection. Please note that any additional damage may alter your vehicle’s completion date.
- Supplement damage report (if required) – This report is written to cover any additional or “hidden” damage that may be discovered once your vehicle’s outer panels are removed and the physical structure of your vehicle is revealed. This is referred to as Supplement Damage in insurance terms.
- Supplement approved – The insurance company must authorize this additional damage before we can continue the repair.
- Additional parts ordered, if necessary – Should we find additional damage, we will need to repeat steps 2, 3 & 4. For this reason, our Estimator may have asked you to sign an authorization document in advance to cover these additional repairs. Please note that this additional damage may alter your vehicle’s completion date.
- Customer updated – With your permission we will contact you and update you on the progress of your vehicle’s repair at this point. Should anything have affected the completion date we originally gave you, we will let you know now and tell you why.
Phase III – Unibody & Structural Repair
- Vehicle set on unibody repair equipment (if needed) – Your vehicle was manufactured in compliance with tight structural standards. Exact location and fit of integral parts are critical to the operation and appearance of your vehicle. In this process we measure your vehicle against published factory specifications and return your vehicle to within the manufacturer’s prescribed tolerances to ensure proper operation, location and fit of body and structural parts.
- Structural and body repairs – Our Repair Technicians will now undertake structural and body repairs.
- New panels installed and checked for proper fit – All collision-related repairs require some degree of cosmetic repair and often require replacement of factory panels. We will check for proper fit here and ensure your vehicle’s parts look, fit and align the way they should.
- Corrosion protection reapplied to repaired areas – Most of today’s vehicles incorporate some form of corrosion protection applied by the original manufacturer. We will reapply this protection to ensure that your vehicle conforms to the original manufacturer’s standards.
- All metal work done and initial tests done – It is at this point in the repair that we begin to check systems for proper functioning and perform quality control of the repair work. An example of a systems check would be the resetting of your safety systems, involving your passive restraint or air bag system.
- Customer updated – Once again with your permission we will be contacting you to update you on the progress of your vehicle’s repair. Should anything have effected the completion date we originally gave you, we will let you know now and tell you why.
Phase IV – Painting Preparation, Refinishing & Reassembly
- Vehicle prepped, primed and blocked – Our technicians will begin the refinish process by applying a primer. A surface filler is sprayed on to ensure a quality, uniform and smooth surface. Block sanding is the method of further preparing the surface of your vehicle for paint.
- Vehicle is masked, taped and placed in paint booth – To ensure that the highest quality standards are met, we carefully mask your vehicle to protect it from overspray during the refinish process. Only the area that needs to be refinished is left uncovered. We then place your vehicle in a controlled atmosphere called a paint booth, where paint material is applied.
- Vehicle is chemically cleaned and tacked – This process removes all outside contaminates that may have been deposited on your vehicle during the repair process. Tacking the vehicle then removes any dust particles that may remain.
- Vehicle undergoes multistage refinishing process – Most of today’s vehicles are coated with what is known as a basecoat/clearcoat refinish system. Sometimes a single-stage system is used. In any event, all systems involve several application steps to ensure a quality finish We will only use refinish products that meet or exceed the original manufacturer’s specifications and are backed by lifetime paint performance guarantee.
- Reassembly, wheel alignment air conditioning, detailing, final inspection, and test drive – Once your vehicle has gone through the refinish process we then re-attach the outer parts such as mirrors, moldings, and other hardware. Should your repair require a wheel alignment or services such as air conditioning repair, we will perform them at this time. Your car will undergo a thorough cleaning, test drive and quality inspection prior to being returned to you.
- Confirmed delivery date given to customer – We will contact you and make arrangements to get you back in your vehicle at your earliest and most convenient time.