Why Are Auto Body Repairs So Expensive?

Why Are Auto Body Repairs So Expensive?

If you’ve been in an auto accident and have damage to your vehicle, you may be unpleasantly surprised at the cost of your auto body repair. This is especially true if you haven’t needed this type of repair in a few years. Due to the complicated nature of today’s vehicles, as well as increased specifications to ensure that the work is performed using certain standards and materials, an auto body repair may cost more than you might think.

The following are some common reasons why collision repairs can be expensive:

All late-model vehicles require a pre- and post-diagnostic scan.

A collision repair shop must conduct scans before and after your repair to ensure that all of your late model vehicle’s sensors are working properly. This requires expensive tools and equipment as well as ongoing training for technicians to determine what work is needed and safely perform the repair. When you consider the cost of equipment, tools, and ongoing training, a collision repair shop will have to invest a significant amount of money in what’s needed to perform your auto body repair.

Modern sensors may need to be recalibrated

Many of today’s vehicles have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that include high-tech sensors and cameras. These systems may need to be reset and recalibrated as part of a collision repair, which can be very labor intensive. Common ADAS sensors include the following:

  • blind spot monitors
  • parking assist
  • lane departure warning systems
  • adaptive cruise control systems

Most manufacturers now use 3-stage waterborne paint systems

Since most vehicle manufacturers now use 3-stage waterborne paint systems, auto body repair shops should use the same system. This means investing in new equipment as well as training for collision repair technicians.

The use of high-strength steels has increased significantly

High-strength steels may sometimes need to be replaced rather than repaired since heat can adversely affect their hardness and make them more vulnerable in a subsequent crash. In cases where repairs are possible, shops will need the right equipment (such as a spot welder) and training.

Fewer structural components are being sectioned in collision repair per manufacturers’ specs

Sectioning involves replacing only a damaged portion of the component rather than the entire component. This can cut down on collision repair costs, but in some cases and for some parts, manufacturers’ specifications recommend that this not be done. This could hinder the designed crumple zones.

Additional manufacturer specifications are required for corrosion protection and metal conditioning

Manufacturers have specifications when it comes to applying corrosion protection, including the use of seam sealers, adhesives, and foam fillers. They’re used in different stages of the repair process, and it’s important to follow these specifications so the repair will last.

Tools and training requirements have become more rigorous

Specific manufacturers have their own tool and training requirements, which have become more demanding as vehicles have become more complex. Auto body repair shops need to have the tools on hand to meet the requirements and also train collision repair technicians so they’re able to skillfully execute the repairs.

Insurance company estimates are frequently too low

Many insurance companies ask their customers to “snap and send” pictures of their damaged vehicles to the claims department. This may save time, but a desk representative won’t be able to accurately assess the damage. Even if a claims representative inspects your vehicle in person, all of the damage may not be visible. For example, in all but minor cosmetic damage, it’s very difficult to accurately assess the damage until the vehicle is disassembled since it can be hidden behind other parts and be impossible to see.

Shops should follow specific guidelines in order to offer a lifetime guarantee

Collision repairs need to be performed so they last, so in order to offer a lifetime guarantee, a collision repair shop needs to follow specific guidelines. These include OEM (original equipment manufacturer) guidelines for parts as well as paint manufacturers’ guidelines, which translate into added procedures and expenses.

Contact us today for your collision repair needs. Our shop has the equipment, training, and experience needed to ensure a quality repair that lasts.

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