The Role of Auto Body Shops in Vehicle Safety and Crash Repairs
One of the first things to do after a car crash is to have your vehicle inspected by a collision repair expert, even if everything seems alright. Some types of car damage after a collision can go unnoticed for weeks, even months. A professional can diagnose car problems (no matter how subtle their signs are) after a crash and address them to restore the vehicle to its original state.
If you are looking for a Body Shop in Santa Rosa then reach out to the experts at Silveira Autobody. Our experienced team is on hand to evaluate the condition of your car after an accident and to get you back on the road in no time.
Understanding the Extent of Damage
An amateur is not equipped to understand the true extent of collision damage. They have limited knowledge about different types of cars and car systems and often fail to notice the hidden signs of car damage. Reputable auto body shops employ seasoned technicians who have the skills and know-how to carry out thorough vehicle inspections that reveal both visible and hidden damage.
Using specialized tools and diagnostic equipment, collision repair specialists assess the extent of damage. Once professionals gain an in-depth understanding of damages, they prepare a detailed repair estimate. Comprehensive evaluation ensures that no damage goes unnoticed. Collision repair experts use the information collected during car inspections to carry out effective and efficient repairs.
Types of Collision Damage
The damage caused by a collision primarily depends on the speed of the vehicles involved in the collision and their design and can be categorized into three types: cosmetic damage, hidden damage, and structural damage.
Cosmetic damage is usually easy to identify and repair. As the name suggests, hidden damage is more challenging to spot. Hidden damage from a collision can lead to electrical problems, leaky connections, and misaligned moving components. If left unaddressed, these problems can affect vehicle safety and performance.
Detecting structural damage requires special training. This type of damage affects vehicle frames. It can be difficult to repair or realign a damaged frame, and repairs alone may not fully address the damage. In many cases, a repaired frame may become more vulnerable to damage than it was before the damage occurred. With their trained eyes, collision repair specialists can catch signs of different types of car damage. They perform thorough inspections to identify these problems early on. Experts use both computerized diagnostics and manual inspection to identify the areas where seals have loosened and find out if fluids are leaking.
To learn more about collision repairs, check out our article on The Most Common Car Repairs After a Collision.
Restoring Structural Integrity of Cars Damaged in Collisions
An auto collision can affect the structural integrity of your car. Body shops in Santa Rosa use state-of-the-art technology and advanced methods to repair or replace damaged structural components. Using time-tested alignment procedures, they restore the vehicle’s original structural strength, so it can absorb mechanical energy generated during any crashes in the future.
Examples of Structural Damage
Some common examples of structural damage include underbody damage (common types include tearing of the metal, splitting of seam wells, and damaged floor pan) and damage to rocker panels and cant rails.
Ensuring Integrated Safety Systems are Working Properly
Modern vehicles come equipped with advanced safety systems. An auto collision can cause damage to car safety systems. After a collision, an auto body repair shop can calibrate your car’s safety features to ensure they’re working properly. The team will inspect sensors, airbags, and seat belt tensioners to make sure they’re intact and will perform as intended if an accident occurs in the future.
Restoring Beauty and Functionality
A collision can leave unsightly dents on your car. Ugly dents and scratches on your car can affect its aesthetic appeal and functionality. A collision repair expert can repair damaged parts, and dented panels and fix paintwork damage to restore the vehicle to its pre-accident condition. Meticulous repairs fix both visible and underlying damage that can affect the aesthetics of your car.
The Collision Repair Process
The steps to collision repair may vary depending on the extent of the damage. That said, most collision repair experts follow these general steps to restore damaged cars.
Inspect and Estimate
Once you reach your chosen body shop in Santa Rosa with your vehicle, an in-house estimator inspects your car and discusses the necessary repairs with you. After you complete the paperwork, the estimator takes photographs of the vehicle. All the information collected during the process is forwarded to you and your insurer.
Some insurance companies instruct collision repair shops to disassemble damaged vehicles to see if there is any hidden damage. Disassembling a vehicle involves removing its damaged sections from the body for a thorough examination of the underlying components. If the repair shop discovers hidden damage, they update the car owner and insurance company and share the revised cost of repairs with both parties.
Once the collision repair specialist acquires a detailed understanding of the type of damage sustained by your vehicle, they carry out cosmetic and structural repairs. During the repair process, the auto body shop uses an electronic measuring system designed to help ensure the vehicle is restored according to its factory specifications.
Refinishing and Reassembly
As the collision repair expert repairs or replaces your vehicle’s framework and mechanical parts, damage could occur to your paintwork. The professional will start the refinishing process by sanding and applying primer to your vehicle. They will then repaint your vehicle and apply a sealant coat. After your car has been painted, technicians will reassemble it and carry out necessary inspections to ensure all systems are working properly.
Your provider’s team then cleans your car’s interior and exterior. Once all repairs have been performed, you can inspect your vehicle to check if everything is to your satisfaction.