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Finding a Quality Auto Body Repair Shop

When you require an auto body repair, make sure you ask the correct questions so that you understand how the repair will be carried out. Here are a few common issue spots to keep an eye out for:

Paint Work:

New Panels – When changing a body panel, such as a hood, fender, or any other part, some businesses try to save money by bypassing the primer/sealer. A thin black primer known as an e-coat is applied to new parts. Many shops may skip the primer and paint directly over the e-coat for reasons I’m not sure of. It will add roughly 20 minutes to the painting time but is absolutely required. Skipping this stage will result in severe stone chipping; you’ve probably seen a year-old paint job coated in stone chips, revealing the black e-coat underneath. This is due to someone failing to prime the part. In the case of aftermarket parts, they frequently apply a low quality primer that must be wiped off with paint thinner before beginning the process, or you may get the same stone-chipping problem.

New Plastic Bumpers

This is the most commonly unsuccessful technique in the industry; many painters are unaware of or unwilling to take the extra steps required for properly prepping plastic bumper coverings.

Primed Plastic:

Aftermarket covers are the worst for this, however some OEM covers can also be problematic. There are tests that should be performed to ensure a good adhering paint job on new plastic. Many painters believe that any bumper that is primed may be sanded and painted…this is not the case. If the shop uses waterborne, they don’t have to worry as much; a fast adhesion test on the primer with a piece of 2 inch tape is all that is required. Sand and paint if no priming appears.If the shop uses a solvent method, however, they must apply paint thinner to a rag and test the primer with it. If any primer comes off, wipe off the entire bumper until the primer is gone. It is not a pleasant process, but it is necessary, and many people are unwilling to go through it.

Rough Plastics:

This is my preferred method of receiving a bumper. Raw plastic relies heavily on chemical adhesion and must be thoroughly cleaned. As a favoured preparation process, most paint manufacturers advocate sanding paste (abrasive cleaning) on a scotchpad (together with plastic cleansers, soap/water). I’m astounded at how many people believe it’s acceptable to simply scratch a bumper with a dry scotchpad and paint. After it has been adequately treated, an adhesion promoter/plastic primer must be applied before top coating.

In any situation, improper execution of the technique will result in chipping and/or paint peeling from the bumper.

Remove Trim

When painting anything, it is always advisable to remove as much trim as possible. (For example, door knobs, belt mouldings, mirrors, and so on.) It prevents overspray on your trim while also allowing for more extensive sanding, cleaning, and paint access. When the trim is just taped up, the probability of paint flaking from the taped edge increases. Some establishments will tape up the trim to save money. If that’s what you want to do, go ahead and do it… just keep in mind what you’re paying for.

Color Matching / Blending

Blending cannot be an optional step with the way automobiles are currently painted from the factory. It is required! There are numerous reasons why stores cannot guarantee a perfect match to the next panel; here are a few:

Manufacturers employ different paint lines from plant to plant, and even a little difference in flake size or equipment might cause the color to alter. The main reason for blending is that with metallic paints, you may spray a color at a low pressure and it will come out dark, and spray it at a high pressure and it will come out light. Temperature and humidity, for example, can modify the color of the paint. I’m sure that sounds a little far-fetched. The paint strikes the panel, and if it dries quickly, the Metallica’s are closer to the top of the paint layer, reflecting more light and making the panel brighter. When wet, it has the reverse effect.

Make sure your shop blends now that you have a better understanding of blending. It is accomplished by introducing a small amount of color into the next panel before entirely clear coating it. They will sometimes claim that it is feasible to butt match a panel and bypass the mix. Sometimes it looks OK, sometimes it doesn’t. However, when you have your automobile under a different light source, say at night under some halogens at a club meeting, the failure to mix can become extremely apparent.

The majority of this refers to body panels. (For example, fender to door, door to quarter, etc.) When it comes to bumpers, the rules are a little different. Bumpers rarely match from the manufacturer because the plastic is frequently coloured at a separate plant, sometimes in a different nation. Even if they wanted to, the bumpers couldn’t be painted to match the rest of the vehicle due to the high temperature at which it is baked from the manufacturer. With this in mind, many shops would paint a bumper without blending in order to achieve a near match and will not blend the fenders because they did not match previously. If that’s okay with you, excellent; otherwise, have them add colour to the fenders.

According to paint makers and OEM, the rule is to always mix. Black is probably the only colour that you could skip a mix and no one would notice. Some hues are better than others, and bumpers vary depending on the level of comfort desired.

Handle Shaving / Patchwork…

Simply said, they should always be welded. Some individuals try glueing in patches with structural adhesive, which usually results in a ghosting line around the patch. (This is usually most evident when it becomes heated.)

Repairs of Collisions

Keep an eye out for persons who are not repairing structural or concealed damage. I’ve received vehicles where the frame rails/rad support had been rebuilt (welded in) but not even painted! They immediately corroded!

I’ve seen a vehicle that had been fixed with a bent frame rail. The shop merely replaced the bumper cover and corrected the gaps to give the appearance that the rail had been repaired. Another thing to keep an eye out for is that if you pay a shop to replace a panel, make sure they do so. Some lower-tier shops will tell you they are replacing the part, when they are only repairing it. They simply fill it with bondo, which might drastically damage the repair’s quality.

Referrals for Tow Trucks

This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I see get burned by them. This is what happens: you have a minor accident on the highway, and a tow truck appears out of nowhere. He’ll most likely offer to bring your vehicle back to his recommended shop, and the unwary will accept. Now comes the fun part: the tow truck driver most likely has an arrangement in place with the shop to collect a share of the repair. Some have said as much as 30%! So, on a $5000 job, $1500 must go to the tow truck driver. The shop must recover that money because it was not budgeted for your repair. They will frequently find inventive ways to compensate at your expense. ALWAYS choose your own store!

DRP (Insurance Direct Repair)

When you call your insurance company after an accident, they will frequently try to convince you to visit one of their approved shops. They are primarily saving money for themselves. If your vehicle is written off, their preferred shops will give complimentary storage. If it is repairable, the shop will sometimes do it at a lower fee (nowhere near 30%). Most DRP shops have been preferred throughout the years because they have proved great workmanship and customer satisfaction. This, however, is not always the case…. Do your research!

Finally, keep the following in mind:

There are many good shops out there, but there are also many poor ones. Many people believe that dealer-operated body shops are their greatest option; be sure you are not one of them! As with independents, there are good and terrible ones.

A high price does not ensure a good job, and a cheap price does not always indicate a bad job. During quiet times, quality shops may frequently take on work at lesser costs to keep their personnel busy. This is rare, but you can occasionally score a fairly good discount. In all honesty, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. I’d look for a lifetime warranty on paint from most reputable shops.

Maybe, some of you found this article  very important and useful, and hopefully you will be able to ask the correct questions while looking for a best and trusted Edmonton Truck Repair Shop for your vehicle repair.

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