How to Find a Collision Repair Expert
by Pat Goss
Getting a car repaired after it’s been involved in an accident it can be kind of a chore because you want the car done properly and you want it to be safe. And here to give us some tips is Mr. Tom McGee, he’s president and CEO of I-CAR; Tom welcome to the show.
TOM McGEE: Thanks Pat.
GOSS: Tell us a little bit about I-CAR.
McGEE: I-CAR is the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, and we provide training and curriculum to career and technical schools and colleges, the insurance appraisers and estimators and collision repair businesses.
GOSS: Okay, so you’re going to train the appraisers as well as the people who fix the cars.
McGEE: Absolutely. Understanding what’s wrong with the car, how to repair it and what that vehicle can have done to it is an important aspect of getting the estimate right so we know what parts to order and what’s going to be done to that car before we start the repair.
GOSS: Your program is very comprehensive as I understand.
McGEE: Our car technology today requires it. We have different metals, different plastics all different aspects of the car. We’ve got different construction methods. All requires different training programs.
GOSS: And you cover the different systems on the car as well.
McGEE: Absolutely. When a car is involved in a collision, we’ve got steering systems, suspension systems, electrical, mechanical, as well as the structural and paint corrosion protection.
GOSS: Ok, now we have two cars. The blue one’s lightly hit. The black one, well it’s hit a bit harder. Give us a couple of pointers here on both cars.
McGEE: When you look at the blue car, it may not even appear to be damaged. But this area here on the structure, we’ve got three millimeter tolerance on today’s cars. The black Lexus here you can see we’ve got different air bags coming out of the side as well as in the front. Structure on the bottom is affecting the floor. It all needs to be back in proper alignment so if it’s involved in another collision it’s going to react properly, the air bags will deploy the same time they did originally.
GOSS: Both cars would need a trained technician to make them safe again.
McGEE: Yes, absolutely.
GOSS: Okay, how does this apply to the end user?
McGEE: When you get your car back, you need the assurance that the car was done properly. It may look right on the outside, improper welding. You’re air bag may not deploy if it’s involved in another collision.
GOSS: Okay, welding is part of the curriculum and different types of welding too.
McGEE: We have different welding qualification tests as well to measure the technician’s ability to weld on both steel and aluminum.
GOSS: What does the consumer look for?
McGEE: I would look for the I-CAR Gold-Class Professionals designation on a collision repair business. It may be different certificates of training on a wall that they may hang as well as an outdoor sign that we provide to them.
GOSS: All right, if somebody wants to get more information, where can they do that?
McGEE: I would go to I-CAR’s web site (http://www.I-CAR.com/) and we have a directory there you can search different businesses in your local area.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.