Every year, more than 150,000 car accidents take place in Canada. And while many of these accidents are little more than fender-benders that don’t require extensive repairs later, there are many Canadians who are forced to take their vehicles in for collision repair on an annual basis.
In some cases, collision repair can take just hours. In others, you might have to part with your vehicle for days or even weeks on end to ensure all repairs are made properly.
But regardless of how long it takes to fix your car, truck, or SUV, just about all vehicles will go through the same repair process.
Take a look at what you can expect to happen when you drop your vehicle off to have it repaired following an accident.
Step 1: You Will Receive an Initial Estimate
Before any collision repair can actually take place, an auto body shop will take your car, inspect it, and then provide you and your insurance company with an estimate as far as how much it will cost to repair it.
The shop will also take photos of the damage that was done and document all repairs that will need to be made before you get your vehicle back.
This step is taken to see if it makes financial sense to repair your vehicle in the first place. If the repairs that need to be done to your vehicle are too costly, your insurance company might decide against paying for repairs and consider your car totalled instead.
The initial estimate is also not always indicative of how much it will cost to fix your vehicle. During the next step, your auto body shop will take a closer look at your car to see if there will be additional costs.
Step 2: Your Vehicle Will Be Taken Apart to Check for Additional Damage
If your insurance company gives the auto body shop the go-ahead to repair your car, they will then move on to this step. It will involve taking the various parts of your vehicle apart and checking the inner workings of it to see if any additional damage is found.
Often times, auto body shops can’t see all of the damage done to a vehicle simply by looking at it from the outside. By taking your vehicle apart, they will be able to paint a complete picture of just how much collision repair will need to be done.
Step 3: Parts Will Be Ordered to Repair Your Vehicle
Once your vehicle is apart and all of the damage done during an accident has been found, your auto body shop can start ordering parts to replace the ones that sustained damage during your accident.
Some of these parts might be right in their shop, while others will need to be shipped to them from a warehouse.
It’s important for high-quality parts to be used during collision repair, and your insurance company will often insist that shops use the best parts possible to prevent further problems with your vehicle. You should also inquire about the parts that are being used since substandard parts could put your safety and the safety of your entire family in jeopardy.
At this point, auto body shops will simply need to hang tight and wait for all parts to arrive before collision repair can take place.
Step 4: Your Vehicle’s Structure and Body Will Be Repaired
After all of the necessary parts have arrived, your auto body shop will begin the process of repairing your vehicle. Depending on the amount of damage that was done, this could take anywhere from an hour to a week or more.
The auto body shop will typically start by working on the body of your vehicle to ensure it’s structurally sound. They will then move outwards and tackle the body of the vehicle next.
They utilize special machinery to make sure all of the parts that are replaced meet the factory specifications of your manufacturer so that your vehicle will be like new when it’s returned to you.
Step 5: Your Vehicle’s Exterior Will Be Refinished
The paint on your vehicle will, in all likelihood, need to be refinished following an accident. Any damaged areas will be sanded down to prepare the exterior surface of your vehicle for painting. A base paint will then be applied to the exterior before a clear coat is put over it to protect your vehicle’s finish.
At the end of this step, your auto body shop will also polish the surface of your vehicle and bring it to a shine. The goal is to make it look like it was never involved in an accident at all.
Step 6: Your Vehicle Will Be Completely Reassembled
After the paint has completely dried on your vehicle, your auto body shop will begin to wrap up the repair process by reassembling all of the sections of your car.
While your vehicle will technically be fixed at this point, it’s important for shops to take their time when reassembling a vehicle. One wrong move could cause headaches for you in the future.
An auto body shop will usually take your vehicle out for a test drive once it has been reassembled. It’s important to check to see that everything from your lights to your windows to your locks work when your vehicle is turned back on.
Step 7: Your Vehicle Will Be Detailed and Inspected One Final Time
At the end of it all, auto body shops will detail the inside of your vehicle to bring it all the way back to life. They will also inspect it one final time on their own before showing you the vehicle and providing you with an itemized list of all the repairs that were made.
As long as everything checks out and looks OK, you should be in the clear to take your vehicle home with you right away as collision repair is now complete.
Get Collision Repair Done Now
Contact us to have collision repair done on your vehicle today.
You can also check out our blog for tips on doing collision repair after an accident.