Auto Body Repairs
by Pat Goss
This damage looks very substantial, but believe it or not, this car may not be totaled. Because of the value of automobiles today, it takes a lot of damage to total them. That means that cars that are hit like this many times are back on the road in a few weeks. That also means that you have to be very careful where you take the car to get it repaired.
Now, we’ve come to Mudgett’s Auto Body in Finksburg, Maryland to show you some of the things that you should be looking for when you have to have bodywork performed on your vehicle.
Now one of the first things that you want to be concerned with is the general appearance of the shop. Is it neat and clean and so on, and do they have a professional write-up area, you know, do you have someplace to come in and talk to somebody who knows what’s going on to write it up? Next, you want to ask for a tour of the shop. And again, you’re looking for clean and orderly. A cluttered shop often means that you’re going to wind up with less than high-quality repairs.
Now, during the tour, some of the things that you want to look for: You want to look for proper welding equipment. There are new types of welders now, called resistance welders, that will actually duplicate the original factory spot-welds.
But above and beyond that, then you’re looking for things like frame machines, and the frame machines have to have what are called dedicated measuring systems. A dedicated measuring system means that it uses either pointers that are fixed on measuring grids and use charts to set them up, or lasers that aim laser beams at various parts of the car to make sure that it is absolutely straight once the car has been repaired.
Now, above and beyond that, what do you look for next? Well, look for some of the procedures. You look to make sure that the areas that are damaged and that are going to be repainted, that number one they remove all of the trim, that they don’t tape over the trim, because that can lead to tape marks and poor paint quality over the long haul.
Also, make sure that they blend the color of the paint. You know, they don’t just paint a panel, they blend it into the adjacent panel, so that you don’t see the paintwork. This is absolutely the best way to do it. Also, ask them if there are any dust spots or anything in the paint, do they wet sand and buff the finish after the job is done, so that you don’t see any flaws in the paint. If you do all of that, you’re probably going to get a very good body repair.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.