VIEWS: 52 PAGES: 6 POSTED ON: 5/19/2012
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. Information Input: 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. Pre-Order Parts: 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. Check in: 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. Taking Pictures: 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. Blue Print: 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. Measuring: 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 Organized: 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. Frame: 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 measurement. Welding: 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. Smoothing: 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. Updates: 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. Paint Shop: 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. Mixing Booth: 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 vehicle. Paint Prep: 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. Cut In: 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. Priming: 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. Paint Line: 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. Paint: 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. Reassembly: 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. Mechanic: 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 needed. Lift: 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. Sublet: 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. Exterior Detail: 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. Interior Detail: 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. Quality Check: 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 missed. Repair Booklet: 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. Vehicle Delivery: 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 (512)930-5900.
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