Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Art of Auto-Body Repair

Auto body repair is an art form. Restoring a vehicle to perfect working order after it has been in a collision, requires an expert mechanic with years of experience, as well as a slew of specialized tools.

Even minor exterior repairs, such as dent removal and paint refinishing, requires expert craftsmanship in order to color-match the vehicle's paint and perfectly smooth out all exterior damage.

With that being said, there are a number of extensive restoration skills that set a professional auto-body garage apart from an inept repair shop.

Damage Appraisal

Collision repair specialists have extensive experience in appraising the damage that occurs from an automobile accident. This is especially important when it comes to severe accidents, as much of the damage incurred can be hidden beneath the vehicle's exterior.

Simply restoring the vehicle's exterior is only half the battle: damage to the chassis, suspension, and other mechanical components must also be properly diagnosed in order to ensure that the vehicle is safe and reliable once it is back on the road.

Trained mechanics at an expert auto-body repair shop have the skills and experience to extensively diagnose any underlying damage caused by an accident.

By reviewing the circumstances of an accident and utilizing advanced diagnostic tools, collision repair specialists are able to diagnose and repair all of the damage incurred from the accident.

Seemingly minor undiagnosed problems, such as small stress fractures and bends in the chassis, can cause unsafe vehicle handling characteristics which can lead to expensive future repairs and/or additional accidents when the vehicle is in operation.

It is therefore imperative that all damage is properly diagnosed and repaired before the vehicle is released from the shop in order to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.

Frame and Chassis Realignment

A vehicle's chassis is essentially its skeleton, on which the engine, suspension, and all other mechanical components are mounted. A perfectly aligned chassis is therefore necessary to ensure that the vehicle is safe and reliable, especially when driving at high speeds.

Even a slight misalignment can cause jerky steering behavior or unpredictable handling characteristics which can result in a future accident.

When performing collision repair services, an auto-body repair shop will strip all components from the vehicle chassis in order to check for damage.

By using advanced tools such as laser alignment systems, mechanics can determine if any portions of the frame were bent during the accident. Bent portions of the chassis are then straightened out and realigned to ensure the vehicle handles safely when it is reassembled.

If sections of the chassis are damaged beyond repair, mechanics can cut out the damaged portions and weld in new frame sections to maintain the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Exterior Panel Alignment

A vehicle's exterior consists of numerous separate panels. For example, the front build of a vehicle generally includes a polycarbonate bumper, a metal hood, and metal fenders over each wheel.

When one or more sections are damaged and require replacement, the panels must be carefully aligned to maintain the smooth, uniform appearance of the vehicle's exterior. A misaligned hood, bumper, or fender, creates unsightly gaps that ruin the aesthetic appearance of the vehicle.

Collision repair specialists have extensive expertise when it comes to refitting and properly aligning exterior panels. Through the use of specialized tools such as tram gauges, slip jacks, and precision gap wedges, new exterior panels can be properly installed onto the vehicle while maintaining a flush, symmetrical appearance.

Dent Removal and Paint Color-Matching

Minor accidents don't always necessitate the replacement of exterior panels. Cosmetic mechanics will sometimes use specialized tools such as dent pullers and slide hammers to restore a flush surface on exterior panels.

However, more severe dents and scrapes may require that the panel be repaired and repainted. Generally the area is sanded down as smoothly as possible, and a type of body-filler such as Bondo is applied to the affected area. The area is then sanded down once again in order to achieve a perfectly smooth surface which can then be painted.

One of the most difficult aspects of restoring a damaged vehicle's exterior is color-matching the paint on new components. If the paint on new exterior components, is even slightly off-color, the overall aesthetic of the vehicle is thrown off.

Paint specialists can't rely entirely on the original manufacturer's color code, as body panels are likely to fade slightly in color over time.

Instead, specialists will slightly alter the paint color so that it matches the entire vehicle. Applying the paint while maintaining a like-new smooth surface is also an extremely difficult task: even a slight misapplication can lead to bubbles or an orange-peel consistency that makes the replaced components appear cheap and nonuniform.

Majestic Collision Repair is Guelph's auto body experts. If you've been in an accident, they'll lead you step-by-step through the entire process. They transact instantly with your insurance provider, and also provide you with valet shuttle service and rental car support. As a fantastic finishing touch, they also supply a free car detailing. If you've been in an accident, or just need some cosmetic work done, find out more information at
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