Not too many people are equipped with an intimate knowledge of the Autobody Repair
business so we have designed a step by step description of what happens when you bring
your vehicle to Express Autobody. The purpose of this is to inform you, assuage any
fears of how your vehicle is treated and to show you that our business has nothing to
hide. Express Autobody takes our business statement seriously and we do everything we
can to provide our promise to you. “Quality you can trust, Satisfaction Guaranteed!”
Comprehensive Damage Report:
At Express Autobody we’d prefer not to give our customers estimates. Instead, we’d like
to perform a comprehensive damage report, a blueprint for the repair process, in other
words, a complete repair plan. To learn more about our comprehensive damage reports
or to schedule one for your vehicle, please click here. Although our preference is to give
you a comprehensive damage report, we will accept walk ins and create an estimate for
you. An estimate is an outer-look at your vehicles damage and an expectation of what
will need to be repaired, what it will take to repair it, how long it will take to repair it, and
how much it will cost. To the best of our abilities, we assess this damage to let you know
what you need to expect. Getting an estimate at Express Autobody is free of charge and
averages about 20 minutes to complete.
All of the information that your Customer Service Representative collects off your
vehicle is inputted into cutting edge software that allows us to get accurate calculations to
you faster. Once we know what to expect for your repair we can schedule you in to drop
off your vehicle for repairs.
Once we have scheduled your vehicle in for repair we order all of the parts your vehicle
will need. Having your parts ready when your car gets dropped off allows us to avoid
any unnecessary hold-backs that might happen because of delays with parts providers.
We keep good relationships with our parts providers to insure on-time deliveries so that
all we need is your vehicle to get started.
Dropping Off Vehicle:
Dropping off your vehicle is fast and easy. If you are paying for the repair out of your
own pocket, we ask for 1/2 of the cost of the repair upfront. You don’t have to worry
about this if insurance is paying for the repair. We ask for a couple of signatures for our
“Authorization to Repair” form, the keys, and then we take it from there. If your vehicle
has been brought in by a tow truck you can sign the form in person or fax it to us. If you
have reservations to rent a vehicle with Enterprise Rent-A-Car we will give them a call
when you arrive and they come quickly to pick you up and take you to their headquarters
located less than 1/4 of a mile away.
Express Autobody emphasizes high quality control over each repair and the first step in
doing so is our check-in process. The driver seat, floor mat, and steering wheel are
covered to prevent any mess getting into your vehicle that could result from wet weather
or dusty technicians. We then go through a check list that includes such things as how
much gas there is, what the radio stations pre-sets are, if all electrical components and
lights function properly, and if inspection and registration tags are up to date. All of this
attention is paid for the benefit of you.
We also take quite a lot of pictures of your vehicle during check-in. We do this for
insurance needs, for reference if there is any confusion about damage, for our Vehicle
Status Check, as well as for your Comprehensive Repair booklet given to you when you
pick up your automobile. Pictures are taken on a daily basis and uploaded to the internet
so you can access up to date statuses throughout the repair.
Although an estimate gives us a good idea of what we need to do, blue printing your
vehicle is our way of knowing exactly what your vehicle needs to get back to original
condition. During blue print, the damaged areas are disassembled from the vehicle so we
can note any and all damage throughout. We revise our estimate according to any
changes that we find and contact your insurance company so they know of any changes.
If we didn’t blue print each vehicle and additional damages are found during the repair,
we have to stop the repair and wait for the insurance company to approve of extra costs
of repairing more damage. This is another step we take to shorten the time you are
without your automobile.
Using a Spanesi “Touch” computerized measuring system we can accurately measure the
structure of your vehicle down to the millimeter. This advanced system tells us what the
measurements should be for every kind of vehicle. Measuring your vehicle tells us if
anything in the frame structure is offset and allows us to know where to fix it. If we
didn’t take this step the crash safety performance of your vehicle in the future could be
compromised. This is just one more way that we take care of our customers.
Parts come in many shapes and sizes, and in less organized body repair shops valuable
time gets lost searching for needed parts. We organize our parts on custom built carts
that can hold large pieces such as bumpers, many boxes that would hold things such as
headlamps, and we even accommodate small bags that would contain clips or light bulbs.
Our “Parts Carts” get wheeled to your vehicle when repairs begin and our technician has
everything on hand as it is needed.
Of our many specialized tools, we use two Kansas Jack Quick Anchor unibody and frame
alignment racks and one Chief Classic II frame rack. The frame machines pull and hold
the frame of your vehicle, allowing us to re-align any problems found during
We are equipped with two 175 amp MIG welders, one 250 amp MIG welder, one Lors
squeeze type resistance welder, one Lenco “panel spotter” resistance welder, two stud
welders, and an oxygen/acetylene torch set. This variety allows us to have the exact tools
necessary to weld damaged areas. We have trained our technicians in specialty welding
schools to insure the highest quality welds with the strongest holds.
With great precision, our technicians smooth down repair work to be completely
unnoticeable. Collectively we have over 100 years of body repair experience to insure a
flawless repair. Our goal with every vehicle we repair is to have it look as though it had
never been in a collision at all. This is the final stage in the metal shop that your vehicle
will be in.
Throughout the repair we continue to update the status of your vehicle. We take pictures
as it moves through all of the stages of repair and post them online so that you may
access this information from anywhere. This feature is called V-Check and you can learn
more about it here.
Once all damages have been repaired your car heads to the paint shop. Our paint shop is
equipped with a Standard brand oversize downdraft paint booth with a Bananza brand 1.3
million BTU hot air make up system and a Geoff’s curtained prep station with a side
exhaust. Although this equipment is state of the art, we are planned to upgrade our paint
to Waterborne before the end of 2009. This is cutting edge paint that makes an even
cleaner look than what has already been achieved and it creates a significantly smaller
amount of pollutants when used.
Paint is mixed in our specialty mixing booth. A computer system tells our painters what
mixture of colors are needed to match the exact color on your vehicle. This computer has
the paint codes for all the colors under the automobile rainbow. After paint is measured
and mixed we spray onto a test panel and compare it with the color on your vehicle in
different lightings to secure that the colors match correctly. Our painters have a keenly
trained eye for color and won’t let anything short of an exact color match be used on your
A lot of preparation work is performed before your vehicle finds it’s way into the paint
booth. During preparation, our paint technicians check the quality of our body work and
if anything falls short of our standards it is sent back to the metal shop. Once body
repairs pass our quality control check, we sand the pieces that will be painted to remove
any clear coat or original paint and get each piece down to bare bones. It is very easy for
debris to find its way into a nice, new, wet coat of paint. To prevent any flaws in our
paint jobs we clean everything before it goes into our paint booth. We paint every piece
of your vehicle, such as a fender or bumper, separate from your vehicle. We have
specialized frames that your parts hang from so we can paint every angle of every piece.
Overspray is paint that gets onto areas of the vehicle not intended to be painted on. We
avoid this problem by covering any part of the vehicle that isn’t due to be painted. We
call this process “cutting-in.” There are two different methods for covering your vehicle.
One way is with paper and tape; this way is used when only a small area is being painted.
The other way is with a material we call slime that puts a layer of “skin” on top of your
vehicle that can be peeled off after being painted. This is used when large parts of your
vehicle are getting painted.
Just like paint on a wall, the paint on your vehicle needs a coat of primer underneath it to
give it a hold that will last many, many years.
Once your vehicle has had all of the preparation work necessary, it is lined up to wait for
its turn in the paint booth. Inspections are made while your vehicle waits in line to make
sure it is truly ready for paint. This is another quality control measure we take to prevent
time lost due to re-painting. We want to get it done right the first time so that we can get
it back to you faster.
Your vehicle is painted in our paint booth by our highly trained and certified head-
painter. The number of layers of paint depends on the vehicle, for example Mercedes
Benz paint codes call for two coats of color and one coat of clear paint on top. Once all
the layers specified are applied, your vehicle “bakes” in the booth to dry and seal the
paint. Temperatures reach about ___˚ during the baking process. Once the paint is dried
and cooled your vehicle is done with the paint stage.
All of the painted pieces and your vehicle are brought back over to the metal shop to be
assembled. Every painted piece is inspected before being put back on to your vehicle.
And again, if any of the paint work falls short of our standards it is sent back to paint to
get re-done. These quality control checks are performed to help save time in the repair
and insure your satisfaction in all aspects of our work.
Our mechanical shop is fully equipped to perform any collision related mechanical
damage that my arise. We have two air conditions recycling and recharging systems, a
Freon detector, floor jacks, jack stands, scan tools, a radiator pressure tester, coil spring
compressors, and a huge assortment of hand tools to use for any mechanical work
We have a two post lift for accessing the underbody of your vehicle. Such times that we
would use this would be for changing oil or frame and structure repairs.
There are a few things that we can’t do to your vehicle, and when that happens we sublet
the work. We drive your vehicle to specialty shops and drop it off, and then we pick it up
whenever it is ready. Examples of sublet work would include tire changes, truck bed
lining, and alignments that we aren’t able to do ourselves.
After all the repairs your vehicle needed have been performed we detail it. We scrub and
wash the exterior of your vehicle to give it a like-new sparkle.
We also detail the interior of your vehicle. We clean the inside of the windows, pick up
any trash, and vacuum the inside of your vehicle. This is yet another step we take to
make sure you are a satisfied customer.
Before you get your vehicle back we take a very close look at all of the angles of your
vehicle and we won’t let you take it home until it has satisfied our high standards. We
check to make sure the repair is of the up most quality, that the car has been detailed well,
and we also check the fluids in your vehicle such as oil, gas, and even windshield washer
fluid. This quality control check is done twice by two different people to insure nothing is
We create a booklet for you that we call our “Comprehensive Damage Report” and we
give it to you when you pick up your vehicle. Its contents include a final bill that details
everything done to your vehicle. It also has the Express Autobody Repair Guarantee
which is valid for the lifetime that you own your vehicle. We guarantee our body and
paint work, and if any of the repairs are sub-par we will fix it free of charge. There is
also a PPG Paint Guarantee that guarantees the quality of the paint used on your vehicle.
This guarantee is good at any certified PPG automobile repair facility from here to
Canada. Your Comprehensive Damage Report also consists of photos of the previous
damage so you can compare the old with the new. We also print out our parts invoices
and include them in the booklet so that you know that we use reputable parts dealers and
don’t cut any corners. And last, but not least, we give you our business cards with your
repair order number on the back. If you give those cards to a friend who gets their
vehicle repaired with us, we thank you for referring business to us by sending you some
platinum Cinemark movie passes in the mail.
It’s finally time for you to get your vehicle back! When you arrive your customer service
representative will take you out to your vehicle and get it’s final inspection; from you.
Then we come in and finish up the paper work, which only calls for a few signatures. For
payment, we accept checks, cash, and credit card (Sorry, but we do not accept American
Express). If you rented a car with Enterprise Rent-A-Car we are happy to let you leave it
on our lot and they will come by to pick it up. Then all you need are your keys and you
can be on your way.
We thank you for taking this tour through our shop and learning about what we do to
repair your vehicle fast and to the highest quality possible. If you are interested in getting
your vehicle repaired with us you can schedule a damage report or give us a call at