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If you’re looking for collision repair in Huntington, West Virginia, East End Auto Body is qualified and ready to bring your vehicle back to how it should be. We’ll explain the process of collision repair step by step.

When looking at the collision repair process that an auto body shop performs, there is a lot of skill, labor, parts and other pieces working together to bring a perfect end result for the customer. For that reason, cost can go up at a quick rate. 

Though a lot of customers are worried about the damage on the outside of their vehicle, it’s just as important to think about the damage on the inside that could create problems further on.

Restoring and repairing both the interior and exterior of the vehicle is the key to repairing a vehicle to last. Let’s go over our collision repair process in Huntington, West Virginia.

Estimating Collision Repair

The collision repair process begins with an estimate of the repairs needed and the beginning of working with the client’s insurance company.

Using a modern computer system, the collision repair shop should be able to quickly assess and estimate the cost of repairs for the client. Then letting them go over the quote and ask the technician any questions they may have.

The technician will carefully explain exactly what repairs will be performed and give a good time frame of how long the process will take.

We’ll then take the next step and schedule the time for repair that’s convenient for the customer. Our collision repair team in Huntington, West Virginia will ensure everything is in working order and that the client is taken care of.

From working with the insurance, providing rental cars, ordering parts and answering any questions the client may have.  

Drop Off Vehicle

Before the client’s scheduled appointments, a member of the collision repair team at East End Auto Body will call to confirm the appointment for repair.

The client is then able to drop their vehicle off that morning of their scheduled appointment and the collision repair process can efficiently begin.

Disassemble 

During disassembly, there is a possibility that additional damage not seen before can be discovered. Which in turn, the collision team should create a supplemental estimate. 

Any changes of this sort should be quickly passed to our team and added to the client’s vehicle repair estimate in our computer system. As well as any additional parts needed being ordered right away. 

Our collision repair shop in Huntington, West Virginia works hard to ensure no outlying factor causes a delay in your vehicle repairs being completed on time.

Frame and Structural Work 

This next step of frame and structural work is needed to effectively repair the vehicles frame and any other structural issues.

Back in the day, vehicles were built with an independent frame and a separate body bolted to it. Where today, most new cars have a unibody construction. Meaning there’s several metal sheet parts welded together in order to make it one piece.

Whether it’s work on the vehicle frame, or a unibody design, our collision repair technicians will make sure the overall structure is put back to its original shape and dimensions.

Body and Plastic Work 

After the frame is properly repaired, our team will then work on replacing and repairing any damage. This requires expertise as it’s full of procedures that have to be followed exactly in order for it to be done correctly.

Most vehicle parts require extreme precision to make sure they’re installed carefully and properly. It may be necessary to replace parts of the unibody, or other structural parts of the vehicle.

As stated before, our technicians are experienced and able to follow these complex procedures. Using welding techniques to fix metal, seal joints and seams.

If there is damage to a part isn’t unfixable, it’ll be repaired rather than replaced. Using techniques such as sanding, or feathering of plastic is needed to correctly smooth the perfect finish.

If there’s even a small imperfection not repaired before the painting process is started, then it will easily stick out once new paint is applied over it during the refinishing of the vehicle.

Paint Preparation

The prep work involved for preparing the vehicle’s surfaces for painting is really crucial to a good final appearance of the vehicle. All surfaces should be smooth and clean. The process involves several rounds of sanding in order to allow the surface to reach desired smoothness.

Once again, the focus should be a smooth and clean surface. Any overspray, or paint that accidentally gets on wrong surfaces of the vehicle is not acceptable. To prevent this from happening, paper should be placed and taped over the vehicle so no air-borne particles of paint reach places it shouldn’t be applied to.

After this prep process is completed, the parts of the vehicle needed to be sprayed will be moved to the paint booth for the next step of the collision repair process.

The vehicle paint process includes applying:

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Clear Coat

Painting 

Using a paint mixing system, expert training and experience, our team will match the exact color of your vehicle. Along with the color, there are other agents like hardeners, or flex additives that can be added.

For example, flex additive is what allows a car bumper to compress or bend from a light impact and not crack. Depending on the situation, the basecoat may require anywhere from two to three coats of paint.

After the actual base color is applied, applying a clear coat is needed. The clear coat acts as a protective and perfecting layer. Varying by application, this refinishing step mahy need 2-3 separate coats.

After the final layer of clear coat, the painter should then set the paint booth for the right amount of time and temperature to finish the vehicle paint curing process.

Reassembly

The reassemble process is done to put all of the vehicle pieces back together, including things like:

  • Door handles
  • Moldings on fenders
  • Doors to the quarter panel
  • Headlamp/tail lamp installation
  • Hood ornaments/windshield washer nozzles

It will all depend on how severe the collision repair process was, this may or may not be a lot of work for the technicians to finish.

Systems Check

After reassembly, there may be mechanical systems or other repairs that need to be addressed at this time. 

Things like wheel alignment, A/C recharging, or other fluids will also be topped off at this time. Also depending on the type of repairs, the team may test drive the vehicle to ensure that all of its performance aspects are running properly.

Quality Checks 

At our collision repair shop in Huntington, West Virginia, we believe that repairing a vehicle properly means providing quality every step of the way. This is why we perform quality checks periodically during the whole repair process.

At the end of the repair process, we ensure that each vehicle is perfectly repaired, buffed, cleaned, washed and detailed before the customer receives it at pick up. 

Collision Repair at East End in Huntington West Virginia

Family owned, East End Body Shop is Huntington, West Virginia’s finest collision repair shop. 

We take the stressful situation of an accident and handle all the details, making your auto body repair experience seamless and easy as possible. Stop in for a free estimate and good ole Southern hospitality!