Many people are confused about the repairs that can be handled by both auto body repair and hail damage repair shops. Let us elaborate on some of the common car repairs for which you can take your prized possession to an auto body shop or auto hail repair shop.
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR)
Vehicles can end up with dents from hail storms, door dings, and even due to flying rocks and grocery carts. Often, these dents are quite noticeable but if left untreated, these eye sores can prove to be quite costly later. Auto body shops with dent repair services can make sure that this is not something you have to face. They take care of such dents by paintless dent removal, also known as PDR, meaning the factory paint is intact with no need of new paint work. Yes, even if your vehicle has hail damage all over, it can be repaired via paintless dent repair. In fact, PDR is the number one recommended repair method from both hail repair technicians and insurance companies.
No fillers or sanding is required in PDR. Various tools are used by a trained professional for pushing the dents on panels back into their original form. During the repair process, dent repair technicians use specially designed fluorescent light boards to create shadows in the dent, which aid the technicians in navigating the damaged areas and manipulating the dent so it is level. The main objective to PDR is to make sure that the factory paint job is not harmed in any way during the process. If the panel has prior body work performed, this may complicate this objective. Successful paintless dent repair jobs yield customers in saving quite a bit of money via this quick repair method and your car gets its original beauty back.
Auto Body and Collision Repair Services
Car accidents are not uncommon. It is unfortunate to say that some people tend to be careless drivers, which is why such repair jobs are frequent in local repair shops. You must get your vehicle repaired from a reliable auto body shop, one that would make sure that your vehicle looks as good as new, repaired with quality materials and replacement parts, and pre-repair and post-repair diagnostic scans and completion.
A collision repair technician is trained to analyze, assess, and fix damaged vehicles. Their work can include repairing, replacing, and refinishing outer body and mechanical parts. These professionals may also be trained in fixing internal automotive structures and industry standard repair. An auto collision repair shop can repair damages from everyday vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Damage may be minor, such as replacing a broken mirror or major, such as replacing an entire door panel.
Repair technicians use many tools for their work. To remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels, they use pneumatic tools, metal-cutting guns, and plasma cutters. For major structural repairs, such as aligning the body, they often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.
Although repair technicians sometimes prime and paint repaired parts, automotive painters and refinish technicians generally perform these tasks. Auto body and related repairers, or collision repair technicians, straighten metal panels, remove major dents, and replace parts that cannot be fixed. Although they repair all types of vehicles, most work primarily on cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and small trucks.
Paint Refinish Services
If your vehicle has been in some sort of accident, you will likely need to get a new paint job on the damaged areas. This would not only protect the exterior of your vehicle from corrosion but would also improve its looks. Paint jobs are a routine part of services offered by auto body shops. They are highly experienced and trained to paint vehicles and mitigate any areas inflicted with rust, scratches, or similar other damage.
A trained refinish technician makes sure that the surface of the car is thoroughly cleaned and sanded. They also use corrosion-resistant primer on the surface following by fine sanding on the cured primer to ensure a smooth and prepped area.
Professional paint spray guns are specifically designed to apply automotive paint. Typically, there are spray guns that are only used to apply base color layers and another gun is dedicated for clear layer applications. Professional auto body and paint shops utilize state-of-the-art spray booths with heater capabilities. Heated paint booths play a major role to finalize and cure newly painted surfaces.
These are the steps that trained refinish technicians use:
- Surface is sanded down to the bare metal and cleaned
- Corrosion-resistant primer is applied and allowed to cure
- Cured primer is sanded down, and the surface carefully cleaned
- Several layers of paint are applied with a sprayer and allowed to dry
- Clearcoat is then applied that gives the finish a high-gloss appearance
- The exterior is then buffed and polished
Blackout Trim / Chrome Delete
Blackout chrome trim and emblems satin, matte or glossy black color. Well-versed auto body shops offer blackout or chrome delete packages that encompass options of either painted or vinyl wrapped parts. Additionally, some owners of vehicles other than black also prefer to blackout their hood and/or roof tops for a custom, aggressive and sleek look.
Painting or vinyl wrapping your trim is all about creating a subtle difference from the traditional factory finish, often with a highly visual result. No matter what color your paint is, covering your vehicle’s chrome trim will serve to enhance and put all the focus back on the body lines and depth of color. For vehicles with black paint, it is the fast way to a fully blacked out look, also known as “murdered out”.
So what does the term “murdered out” mean? A murdered out car or truck is one that is all black or “blacked out” as far as the exterior paint, windows tint (usually 20% or less), wheels, logo/emblems and sometimes other components of the vehicle such as the chrome accents and taillights.
Vinyl Vehicle Wraps
Some auto body shop offers not only traditional paint refinishing but also vinyl wrap services. A vehicle vinyl wrap is an aftermarket practice of completely or partially covering a vehicle’s original paint with a vinyl wrap of a different color, and sometimes the same color with a differing finish like a gloss, matte or clear protective layer.
The film offers a protective barrier against rocks and other debris that the front of the vehicle is subjected to on a regular basis. It keeps the paint underneath from taking the brunt of the impact and keeps the car looking newer, longer. A vinyl wrap takes the same concept and applies it to the entire vehicle.
Paint Protection Film / Clear Bra
Automotive Protective Films go by many different names: Clear Bra, Clear Mask, Invisible Shield, Clear Wrap, Rock Chip Protection, Car Scratch Protective Film, etc. The most common terms for car protective films are simply Paint Protection Film and Clear Bra. Car Paint Protection Film is the most comprehensive form of defense you can establish between your car and all that can damage your car’s appearance. Because of Paint Protection Film’s high impact resistance, its application will protect your paint from chips and scratches caused by rocks and road debris. The urethane film is resistant to corrosion and acidic contaminants, meaning that it creates a line of defense from chemical stains and etching caused by bird droppings, bug splatter, or mineral deposits and acid rain. It does not oxidize with exposure to the sun and will guard your paint from fading caused by UV rays. The top layer of a quality film is made up of elastomeric polymers that return to their natural shape after being stretched or disfigured, giving the film a “self-healing” property. That means when light scratches are inflicted in the film, it absorbs the damage and returns to the texture and properties it had before the incident.
All that to say, applying a quality Clear Bra is something you can do today to help maintain the look and quality of your car’s paint for years to come.
Windows & Windshield Repairs and Replacement
The glass of your vehicle can get damaged in various ways. Perhaps it becomes damaged following an accident or develops chips and cracks. Some rock chip damages are repairable if they are addressed early. Otherwise if the rock chip develops into large cracks then the glass is compromised and needs to be replaced. Upon replacing glass, it is a necessity to weatherproof newly installed windows and windshields with chemical treatments. A reliable auto body shop usually has a glass repair technician as part of their team.
Frame Straightening and Computer Measuring
According to studies, nearly half of vehicles end up with frame damage following an accident. If the frame of your vehicle is weak or bent, it can put you and your family at risk in case of an accident. Furthermore, poorly repaired frame damage can result wearing out your steering components and tires. Therefore, it is crucial for the betterment of your safety and your vehicle that you get your frame inspected following any minor or major accident.
If your car has been in an accident, the technician would first take a close look at the frame to detect any signs of damage, and if such damage is detected, a frame alignment machine has to be used to address the repairs. A hydraulic force with torque is then required for the frame to be straightened as per need. Professional auto body repair shops use computer and laser measuring systems to verify and ensure proper alignment.
Wheel Alignment and Suspension Repair
Alignment problems can be caused by hitting a pothole or a curb, but they can also be caused by worn or damaged suspension parts, such as ball joints, springs, and tie rods. Worn springs on an older car, for example, will lower the ride height and adversely affect wheel alignment. For that reason, the suspension system should be inspected before deciding if a wheel alignment will solve your problem.
A vehicle that has been in an accident — especially if the impact was in the front — or had an unintended off-road excursion would also be a good candidate for an alignment inspection. Most car-based vehicles require a four-wheel alignment, but on others only the front wheels are adjustable.
Vandalism is another reason why you may need to have your car repaired at an auto body repair facility. Vandalism could come in the form of dents, keyed car paint, graffiti, broken glass, scratched paint on bumpers and panels, or damage to your side mirrors.
Air Condition System Servicing
Whether your vehicle was involved in an accident that caused damages to your air conditioning (A/C) system or it simply needs to be maintained, most body shops can handle this service request. Trained and experienced auto body repair technicians can inspect your car’s A/C system, all of the air conditioner lines, condenser, evaporator and compressor for leaks and wear.
Like most components, some parts may become worn out over time. A broken gasket, torn seal, cracked hose or other component may cause a refrigerant leak in the system. Additionally, some refrigerant does naturally escape over time, but it escapes in such tiny amounts it would take a very long time to cause the vehicle to blow warm air.
Unlike a home air conditioner or a refrigerator, a car’s air conditioning system is not encapsulated in one unit. The parts in your vehicle’s A/C system are scattered throughout the vehicle to make it work properly. This means some parts are exposed to road salt and brine used during the winter months which can ultimately lead to the corrosion of those parts. If a rubber hose, seal or other component breaks down for any reason, it allows moisture to enter the system. The moisture mixes with the refrigerant and forms an acid which breaks down other components and causes tiny pin hole leaks.
Some undercar damage can be caused by stones, rocks, potholes, or other road hazards. Furthermore, if the vehicle has suffered impact from an accident, some components may have been damaged. It is best to have the vehicle inspected after any accident or if you experienced any rough riding conditions to make sure no damage has been done to any vehicle system or part. Discovering and mitigating issues early always saves money and prevents headaches later.
Unfortunately, there is no malfunction indicator lamp or “Check Engine” light for the air conditioning system, so it is best to have your A/C checked at least every few years and immediately if you suspect a problem.
HOW CAN I FIND GOOD AUTO BODY SHOPS NEAR ME?
Finding a good auto body shop that offers all these repair services can be challenging, especially when you are new to an area. There is more to auto body shops that aesthetics. The safety of your car depends on the state of its components. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you get your vehicle repaired from a reliable place, one that would not only take care of the aesthetics but will also have trained technicians on board to provide perfect results.
VIVID Auto Body Shop is one place that would not let you down. We provide all the services listed above and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Feel free to call us any time at (972)737-3288
You can also use our Online Estimator Tool to quickly and easily upload pictures of your vehicle damage. Our team of highly trained Damage Analysis Experts will review your request and get right back to you.
Thank you very much for stopping by and visiting us today!