by Pat Goss
Cars are involved in accidents, but how those cars are repaired determines whether or not they will be safe and reliable, and here to explain that to us is Tom McGee, President and C.E.O. of I-CAR. Tom, welcome to Goss’ Garage.
TOM MCGEE, PRESIDENT & CEO, I-CAR: Hi Pat.
GOSS: We also have Steve from I-CAR to demonstrate some welding for us because welding is one of the most critical parts of repairing a car.
MCGEE: Absolutely, when a vehicle is involved in a collision and the structural members are damaged, welding is involved in just about every repair.
GOSS: What are some of the things that the individual car owner should know about the qualifications of a welder?
MCGEE: With the qualification test that we offer, we actually measure the ability of a technician to weld on a vehicle. In this set-up here we’re first showing steel, then secondly we’re doing aluminum welding, so depending on the material that’s the qualification that person needs.
GOSS: You actually test these technicians, right?
MCGEE: Yes we do.
GOSS: And you have mobile vans, test vans, and so on?
MCGEE: We’ve got eight mobile trucks that go across the US and Canada as well as many schools that we’ve established a relationship with to do the test for us.
GOSS: Okay, Steve could you give us a little demonstration there, now he’s going to start with steel right?
MCGEE: He’s starting with steel and he’s doing press joint with a backing weld in a vertical position, so it’s a common joint that’s going up and down on a car.
GOSS: So this would be something we would see if there was some damage to…?
MCGEE: A rocker panel or a quarter panel.
MCGEE: Or the side of a frame rail.
GOSS: Now modern cars have lots of different metals in them, not the least of which is a lot of them have aluminum. So you have to be qualified in aluminum as well.
MCGEE: Many of the new cars today with the aluminum structures actually require the technician to have this qualification in order to be able to work on the car.
GOSS: All right, Steve, can you give us a little demonstration on the aluminum? Now with all of this aluminum, that’s really tricky to do.
MCGEE: Compared to steel you need different equipment, different temperatures, different speeds and it doesn’t show you when it’s too hot and about to just melt.
GOSS: I see. For car owners, what should they look for at the body shop?
MCGEE: They should look for the I-CAR gold class professional’s designation (seen above) as well as the proof that the technician has qualification in welding.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
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