FAQ

Below you will find our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you don’t find the answer you are looking for please contact us below.

New to your town or city? Looking for a good repair shop?

Answer: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, offers the following tips on choosing a repair facility.

  • Look for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed.
  • Ask friends and associates for their recommendations.
  • Consult local consumer organization about the reputation of the shop; inquire about the number, nature, and resolution of complaints.
  • Do not choose a shop based only on a convenient location.
  • You probably won’t find hospital-clean conditions, but look for a tidy, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
  • Ask if the shop usually handles your vehicle make and model or type of repair. Some facilities specialize.
  • Look for signs of technician competence. The customer area should display trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and ASE certifications-a nationally recognized standard of technician competence.
  • Look too for community service awards, plaques for civic involvement, customer service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups.
  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The manager, service writer, or technician should be willing to answer your questions.
  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, guarantees, methods of payment, etc. should be posted.
  • Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers as references. Call them.
  • Start with a minor job. Reward good service with repeat business and more complex work.

After taking care of personal injuries, the next thing to take care of is the injuries to your vehicle. Take an active role in the collision repair process! You want to know how much damage was done, how much repairs are going to cost, how long you’ll be without your vehicle, and most importantly – if your vehicle will look and drive the same after it has been repaired.Your vehicle may be the second largest investment you make in your lifetime. Asking the right questions and taking a tour of a collision repair facility can help you to decide if your investment is in the best hands. If you feel comfortable after your visit with the collision repair business, chances are you will be satisfied with their service and repair as well.

Next to the Gold Class Professionals designation, the most important things to look for in a collision repair business are:

  • Modern equipment
  • Evidence of proper collision repair training
  • Cleanliness
  • Warranty program
  • Platinum Individual™ technicians
  • ASE certified technicians

Gold Class Professionals

Platinum Individuals

ASE Certified

Modern equipment and evidence of collision repair training show that a business is up-to-date with technology and can repair your vehicle properly. The facility will need a three-dimensional measuring system to measure the height, width, and length of your vehicle structure. Because this structure supports all steering and suspension parts, these points of your vehicle must be properly repaired to factory measurements and specifications. In most cases, the tolerance is as strict as three millimeters – the thickness of three dimes. Some vehicles today require a tolerance no greater than one millimeter.

Cleanliness and atmosphere can say a lot about the business and technicians’ attitudes. The business should be wiling to give you a tour to show you their facility and equipment.

Most professional facilities also offer a warranty on their repairs. This is to protect you if something does not work properly after the repair is complete.

What to do after a collision?

The First Steps To Take

Call the police to the scene of the collision. If you’re injured, it’s important that you get treatment immediately. Even if there doesn’t appear to be any damage to your vehicle, a police report will verify that you and the other parties were involved in a collision. This will help your claim in case hidden damage is discovered later.

It is wise to keep an easily accessible collision reference sheet in your vehicle at all times, such as in your glove compartment.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the collision – check your policy, as some policies require notice within 24 hours. Your insurance company is there to help you deal with the other parties involved in the collision. You may use the online Gold Class Business Directory or talk to your insurance agent or claims adjuster to locate a Gold Class Professionals collision repair business in your area that can inspect your vehicle for damage

After I file the claim with my insurance company what do I do next?

The insurance company will need to write an estimate on your vehicle. They can view your vehicle at your home/office or you can drop your vehicle off with us and we can assist them in writing an estimate. Once the insurance company has agreed to cover the damages we can set you up into a rental car if applicable or if your vehicle is not drivable we can set you up with a tow.

Can you help me understandind the collision repair process?

If your vehicle has been damaged in a collision, you probably heard this common misconception: your vehicle will never be the same. Chances are, it wasn’t your insurance company representative or an employee of a collision repair business who said this. That’s because every day collision repair industry professionals return collision-damaged vehicles to their previous condition – both structurally and cosmetically.

So what does it take to repair your vehicle properly after an accident?

Because of today’s complex vehicles and high-quality paint finishes, technicians need to be properly trained in the entire repair process to ensure complete and safe repairs.

The repair process begins when a detailed estimate is prepared, indicating all of the repairs needed. In some cases, this requires removing damaged body panels or other parts – this results in the most accurate initial estimate possible. The parts listed on the estimate are then ordered. The collision repair business and your insurance company should explain whether the replacement parts are new parts ordered from the manufacturer of your vehicle, used parts ordered through an automotive recycler or new parts manufactured by a company other than the manufacturer of your vehicle. Your collision repair business and insurer can explain the pros and cons of using each of these types of parts.

If your vehicle was hit hard in the collision, the repair facility should use a measuring system that checks specific points of your vehicle structure against dimensions provided by the vehicle or equipment manufacturer. The repair facility will also need to measure your vehicle several times during the repair process to make sure it is within the recommended tolerances. In most cases, this tolerance is a strict as three millimeters – the thickness of three dimes. Some vehicles today require a tolerance no greater than one millimeter.

Whenever appropriate, original parts are repaired, but severely damaged parts need to be replaced. A properly trained technician can repair sheet metal and plastic so that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find any indication of damage. In some cases, parts not included on the estimate may need to be ordered during the repair process if unforeseen damage is found.

After repairs are complete, the vehicle is ready to be painted. The areas to be painted are first prepared; repaired areas are finely sanded, primer and corrosion protection products are applied and areas that won’t be painted are “masked off” and protected. The painter then uses a paint mixing system to mix the paint that will match your vehicle’s finish. A paint code on your vehicle provides the starting point, but generally requires a trained eye to match the paint exactly to your vehicle. The paint is sprayed inside a spray booth designed to keep dust and other contaminants off the new finish.

Once the painting is complete, the vehicle is reassembled with all trim pieces, decals and stripes. If any new glass is needed, it is usually installed at this point. The wheel alignment will also be checked if the collision damage was severe, or if the vehicle spun or if a tire or wheel was damaged in the collision. This helps to catch any potential problems with the steering and suspension parts.

Finally, your vehicle is taken to the detailing area for a thorough interior and exterior cleaning. Any minor imperfections in the new paint surface will be removed by polishing and buffing. A final check is made to ensure all work meets the repair facility’s standards and the final paperwork is prepared for the vehicle owner and involved insurer.

Throughout this process, the repair business will be in contact with the insurance company handling the claim. The insurer may want to review the estimate and inspect the vehicle before or during the repair process. In some cases, the repair facility may need to obtain insurer and vehicle owner approval before completing additional necessary repairs not included on the initial estimate.

Locating a collision repair business that will follow the above procedures is important for any vehicle owner. Insurers and collision repair business owners alike say the key is looking for evidence of properly trained technicians. Technicians can learn how to properly repair a collision-damaged vehicle one of two ways – through training or by making mistakes.

Do you want a collision repair technician “learning” on your vehicle?

One sign of a properly trained technician is the I-CAR“ Gold Class Professionals“ designation. This designation signifies the business has completed a significant amount of I-CAR training. I-CAR, an international not-for-profit organization, provides the industry’s most comprehensive collision repair training, covering virtually every aspect of the repair process, including analyzing the damage, structural repair processes, corrosion protection, steel and aluminum welding, matching your vehicle’s paint finish, and checking safety features such as airbag deployment, seatbelts and anti-lock braking systems. I-CAR trained insurance and collision repair professionals share a common understanding of required repair methods, allowing them to work together to properly repair your vehicle. This leads to the most consistent, efficient and high-quality repairs.

I need help choosing A good repair facility

After taking care of personal injuries, the next thing to take care of is the injuries to your vehicle. Take an active role in the collision repair process! You want to know how much damage was done, how much repairs are going to cost, how long you’ll be without your vehicle, and most importantly – if your vehicle will look and drive the same after it has been repaired.

Your vehicle may be the second largest investment you make in your lifetime. Asking the right questions and taking a tour of a collision repair facility can help you to decide if your investment is in the best hands. If you feel comfortable after your visit with the collision repair business, chances are you will be satisfied with their service and repair as well.

Next to the Gold Class Professionals designation, the most important things to look for in a collision repair business are:

How do I inspect my car after repair?

Before you take your newly repaired vehicle home, look it over carefully and take it for a test drive. Check all the electronic accessories, and pay attention to details such as making sure the doors, hood, and deck lid open and close smoothly. In a variety of lighting situations, examine freshly painted areas for a good color match. During the test drive, listen for any unusual noises and test the handling. The collision repair facility should provide you with a complete breakdown of the repairs completed and what, if any, parts were replaced.

If you’re not satisfied, report it to the repair facility immediately. If you feel they’re not cooperating fully, report your dissatisfaction to your insurance company.

It’s important that your vehicle is inspected and repaired by a Gold Class Professionals business because they have been properly trained on how to repair your vehicle so it looks and drives as well as it did before the collision. More importantly, proper repairs make your vehicle safe for you and your family to drive.

Use the Gold Class Professionals business directory to locate a Gold Class Professionals business location near you.

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