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Category: Auto body repair

what auto body repair steps are important
The more you know about collision repair, the more you can get out of your visit to the body shop. Shops should make several steps throughout the process of fixing your car.

Before you take your car to a collision center, ask about these steps and how they put them into action.

1. Checking the vehicle for damage

Every body shop should scan a vehicle for performance issues and to verify any damage to operational parts. This helps the technician find any damage not immediately visible. This should be done both before and after repairs to make sure all issues have been resolved.

2. Following procedure for auto body repair steps

After the team inspects the car, they must refer to the manufacturer’s repair recommendation procedures. This sets a higher standard for repairs.

As an example, if the manufacturer recommends using certain parts or tools, but the shop does not have access to those and uses a substitute, this may compromise the safety of the vehicle.

3. Quality check

All collision centers use an internal checklist to set their standards of safety and performance. If you take your car to a place that has been recommended because of the quality of work performed, this is a good indicator that the shop has a detailed checklist and knows what to inspect for quality.

4. Final scan

Once the technicians do their own inspections, a post-scan should be performed on the vehicle to ensure that anything operational that was broken is working again and to also make sure the repairs did not cause anything to malfunction.

5. Clean the car

A close-up of a soapy hand and sponge washing the hood of a grey car.
A good body shop will wash your car after they’re done working on it.

When you pick up your vehicle, it should be clean. A clean vehicle is more than a customer service perk. This gives the customer the ability to have a good look at the repairs. If you needed car paint, take a look at your car in the daylight for any flaws in the paint job.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin auto body shop, we have believed in providing the highest quality for more than 60 years. Contact us for a free estimate and to learn more about our high-quality collision repair.

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Photo shows the inside of a GM factory, with black cars lined up and their hoods open.
Your car will be just like it came off the factory line after getting collision repairs with a GM certified shop.

After a car wreck, you want your vehicle back to its factory condition. The best way to guarantee this is to find a collision repair shop that offers certified collision repair. Find out if the body shop has technicians who are certified by the manufacturer of your car.

If you own a GM vehicle, finding a body shop in Austin that has technicians certified by GM will soon be easier as the result of a new program the manufacturer is launching. This new program places tougher criteria on collision centers to ensure high quality repairs.

How to find a GM certified collision repair shop

The extensive collision certification program GM is launching will hold body shops to higher standards. The manufacturer also says it will make finding the best body shops easier.

GM will use a shop’s performance criteria to create a list of the best collision centers. GM uses its OnStar platform to refer the best performing shops in an area directly to car owners. Owners of a GM car will know the recommended shops met the criteria.

The criteria for certification

GM raises the bar with its new program. The manufacturer is adding more detail to make the program more extensive than standard manufacturer certifications. Each item will have a score and GM will use metrics to determine which body shops are the best for referrals.

Included in the new program are checks, such as pre-repair and post-repair scans, to ensure any damage is fixed after the repairs are made. There are also benchmarks for performing re-calibrations and specific methods to use for making a weld.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, an Austin body shop, we have performed collision repair on thousands of vehicles in Central Texas. Our technicians routinely certify with manufacturers, including GM, to stay current on the latest procedures. And we make sure all of our Austin collision center locations have the right equipment to fix your car back to its factory condition.

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An angry-looking man talks on his cell phone, with his wrecked car visible in the background.
Everyone who has experienced a wreck has questions about their car repair process. We’re here to help.

After a car wreck, most drivers have questions. The process can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time experiencing a wreck with car damage.

You are not alone with body shop questions. The more you know about collision repair, the easier and more efficient your experience will be.

How do I find a reliable body shop?

Most people go to an auto body shop based on recommendations, which can be very helpful. Your insurance agent may also recommend a body shop. Take these recommendations into consideration along with your own research.

Should I use my insurance’s recommendation?

Insurance companies have a list of direct repair shops (DRP). The insurance companies regularly monitor these body shops to make sure they still meet their set criteria. If you choose to have your car repaired by the recommended DRP, the shop can begin the repairs without waiting for the insurance adjuster. This makes your car repair process more efficient.

Is the shop certified?

Close up of a man writing on a clipboard in a garage, with a car with an open hood in the background.
If your auto body shop is certified, it is more likely to have more qualified technicians working on your vehicle.

Before taking your car to a body shop, find out if the shop offers certified collision repair. This means manufacturers train the technicians to repair that specific model of vehicle.

If your car is new, find out how often technicians train. This gives you an idea of their experience on the newest vehicles.

How much will repairs cost?

The biggest question you may have is how much the repairs will cost. Most shops will not provide an estimate over the phone. Technicians need to see damage for a general idea of the repairs needed.

However, at Ellis & Salazar Collision, an Austin body shop, a Smartphone Estimating Tool is available to find out a quick approximate cost of repairs. Drivers snap a photo, send some information, and get an estimate.

This estimate is not a final cost and the amount can change once a technician thoroughly looks at the car for any damage that isn’t immediately visible. It can, however, give you an idea of your cost.

Ellis & Salazar has been providing body shop repair in Central Texas for more than 60 years. We are ready for any questions you may have about the repairs and process. Use our estimating tool for a free estimate or give us a call to schedule your repair.

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technology at austin collision center

When you have an accident, you might worry your car will never be the same. To get repairs that work right and long-term, it’s important to find an Austin collision center with technicians trained in the latest technology to repair your vehicle.

Collision repair on new vehicles goes beyond fixing dents in the car’s body. A majority of a newer car’s operating functions are computerized, and technicians need to have current training to have the skills required to make the repairs. Some body shops in Austin can make the repairs, but some may not be able to fully repair the newest models.

The right repair equipment

It takes new equipment to provide collision repair on the latest vehicles. Find out if you can visit a body shop before taking your car there. If you see technology that looks older, that shop may not have the ability to make the repairs properly.

Maintaining the latest technology to repair new vehicles is a costly expense for any body shop, so many go years between getting new equipment.

Certified repair

As you talk to someone about their technology at a collision center, ask about the training for technicians and if they are certified. Inquire about specific certifications by your vehicle manufacturer. Manufacturers train technicians to repair their vehicle to their specifications. Also, if your vehicle is hybrid, ask if anyone has received training specifically for hybrid vehicles.

A few years ago, manufacturers introduced more than 140 redesigned cars to the market. This means techs must learn about new features on the vehicles and how to make the repairs.

Training should be frequent and recent. A tech may not be well trained to work on your new vehicle if they were last trained a few years ago.

The team of technicians at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, completes ongoing training from manufacturers and other sources so the repairs to your car are exactly as the manufacturer requires. We also routinely invest in the latest technology. Our team can repair your vehicle no matter how old or how new. Give us a call for a free estimate.

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After a car accident, a driver must decide whether or not to repair his or her car. To determine repair costs, and find out if your car is totaled, you’ll need to find an Austin collision repair shop.

Insurance company declared my vehicle totaled – Now what?

An Austin body shop will inspect the damage and provide a repair estimate to the insurance company. If the insurer determines the repair cost is more than the current value of the vehicle, the insurer declares the car totaled and will not pay for the repair.

At this point in the process, it helps to understand your insurance policy. Know what to expect in terms of your coverage for a car that is not repairable. This helps you understand what kind of payment they should provide. If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment, do some research before contacting your agent. Take a look at prices online for your year, make, and model of vehicle. Talk with used car dealers for their estimate, and also let your insurance agent know of any custom or additional features on your vehicle that may add to its value.

Repairing a totaled car

If the vehicle that was wrecked was a daily commuter, repairing the car may not be important. However, some cars hold a sentimental value for owners, whether they are classics, a handed down vehicle from a loved one, or a first car.

When a car owner wants to repair a totaled vehicle, let the insurance company know soon after the car is totaled. The insurer will take out the car’s salvage value from the total it was going to pay for the current value. A salvage title will be necessary to drive the vehicle again. The repair costs will be your responsibility and not your insurance company’s.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, we provide collision repair Austin, our team of technicians understand what it takes to repair vehicles with extensive damage and to make the car safe to drive again.

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Woman in polka-dot dress leans in close to a blue vehicle and smiles as she runs her hand along the outside.
Getting certified auto body repair not only better ensures safety, but also better maintains your car’s value.

After a car accident, you need to find a body shop you can trust to make quality repairs. One way to know if collision centers are qualified is to find out if they offer certified collision repair.

Learning About certified collision repair

When body shops provide certified collision repair, it means their technicians are trained by the manufacturers. An auto body shop commits to quality repair through certification. It costs a shop to train employees and purchase the right equipment to do the job precisely.

As vehicles change it is necessary for shops to learn new changes from the manufacturer. Research several shops to find out if those body shops offer certified collision repair and how frequently their technicians have trained on your car make.

The difference in certified

With better training and equipment, there are better odds that the work performed on your car will be higher quality. A body shop with certified collision repair wants your satisfaction and recommendation to others.

Today’s vehicles are more detailed than ever. There’s more than just repairing the body: The function and safety of a car relies heavily on technology. Each of these details are different from manufacturer to manufacturer, and repairing something incorrectly can affect how the car operates.

For example, if the automatic emergency braking system needs repair after an accident, the repairs must meet manufacturer specifications so your car is safe to drive. Repairing this incorrectly could be dangerous.

Owners of luxury vehicles should also have certified repair performed on your car to maintain its value. A certified body shop typically uses manufacturer parts. There is a better guarantee these parts will fit and function better than an aftermarket part. Additionally, for luxury vehicles it will make a difference in the value if there are manufacturer parts.

Different manufacturers, different certifications

Tech wearing overalls and a grey sweatshirt holds out car keys to the camera.
Manufacturers often set high standards for their certified techs, making sure you get the best quality care for your vehicle.

Every vehicle is different and that is why each manufacturer’s certification requirements differ.

GM requires certified technicians to perform a pre-scan and post-scan to find damage and check that the repairs are correct. This requires special equipment to find trouble codes and diagnose problems in the vehicle’s safety and powertrain systems. Along with the scanning requirements, GM allows technicians to only perform repairs for which they have been trained and certified.

GM is not the only manufacturer to enforce specific regulations for its certifications. Honda ProFirst also has the scanning mandate and it has specific requirements for repairing aluminum vehicles. Audi routinely audits collision centers with technicians it certifies and found some body shops are not reviewing instructions before repairs. Auto makers want to guarantee that their certifications have purpose and value to customers.

Certified repairs for aluminum cars

New cars use aluminum to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Repairing aluminum is not the same as repairing steel and requires different training and equipment. Manufacturers can certify technicians to repair their aluminum vehicles.

Manufacturers regulate any collision center with aluminum certified technicians. Honda certified auto body shops are required to have separate spaces for repairing aluminum and steel.

Before having your car repaired at a body shop, ask if technicians are certified to repair your brand of vehicle. Shops may list being Ford Aluminum Certified, but it takes an extra training course to also be certified to make aluminum repair on a Lincoln Navigator.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision, an Austin body shop, we have been repairing cars in the Austin area for 65 years. Along with locations in Austin, we now have locations in Hutto, Buda, and San Marcos.

We believe in continuous training to become highly skilled in the latest techniques for repair. Our team holds 14 OEM certifications from various manufacturers including Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Land Rover, Honda, GM, and more. Our technicians are also trained by the manufacturers for aluminum certification. Give us a call with questions and to schedule a free estimate to see how we make collision repair hassle-free.

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