Is My Body Shop Certified For My Particular Brand of Car?
For the first time, shops with the right tools, equipment, training and facilities have the ability to distinguish themselves from those that do not have what it takes. The requirement for specific manufacturer training, knowledge and repair repetition will be imperative with the technology that is utilized in the building of the cars and trucks of today and the future. At this time only about 15% of the Gilbert collision repair companies across the US have the proper equipment and training to make some of these repairs!
It is imperative that you read and understand this article before you make a decision on who will be making the repairs to your vehicle.
A few years ago it didn’t matter where you took your car to have Chandler collision repairs done as long as you knew the shop was professional, had a good reputation and were known for their quality of repairs. Today, you need to be sure you find a shop that is trained to fix your car the way the manufacturer designed the vehicle to be built. Repetition is also a key factor to a quality repair! Like any dealership technician, anyone that works on the same vehicle day after day knows the complexities and technological designs of that specific vehicle better than someone that your insurer may recommend to repair your car.
Some Of The Tools In A Certified Repair Shop
The construction methods that the manufacturers use have changed dramatically, and the materials they are using have made a huge impact in the Arizona collision repair industry. In the coming years the cost of equipment, training and the educational requirements will force numerous shops out of business.
Car manufacturers are under tremendous pressure from our government to make cars stronger, safer and lighter vehicles for better fuel economy. This has pushed them to integrate metals such as ultra-high strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber.
Audi, Jaguar, BMW, Honda and a few others are using aluminum components in their cars right already. Ford, Toyota and GM will start utilizing aluminum body parts and structural components in vehicles that will be sold as early as the fourth quarter of 2014.
These new materials and construction designs require precise and specific repair procedures. Many even need specific tooling that numerous local shops will not have.
The investment in equipment and training is staggering for body shops today! To do a proper repair on these vehicles, you can no longer just pull and hammer a car back into shape. The fact is, in some cases you can’t even reproduce welds that would be acceptable to the manufacturer.
Here is the real problem most people don’t know; you actually can weld this stuff back together, it just won’t be correct, and could even be dangerous!
Repairing an aluminum body after a collision requires the use of a “clean room” free of any contaminants from repairs on steel cars, or with tools used to repair steel cars. These metals do not mix well together and cause corrosion. Most body shops don’t even have a clean room in their facility to perform these types of repair.
Because of these changes, auto manufacturers are pushing for body shops to become factory certified as a matter of public safety as well as ensuring that the best repair procedures are being performed on your vehicle.
Why Consider a manufacturer certified auto body shop for your collision repair?
Most manufacturer certification programs are thorough:
The programs come in a range of complexity from a simple Pay a fee and buy our parts, to certified more stringent programs such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Honda where equipment and onsite training are required.
In some cases, the manufacturer certification is done with specific model training classes and the completion of I-CAR Gold can qualify a shop that has completed the required coursework.
OEM Training is Expensive
If a shop is dedicated enough to get their technician’s factory certified, you can bet that this is a shop which does not cut corners.
Specialized tools are often required to become a certified auto body repair facility as well as being necessary to fix your car. Therefore, the shop and their employees must pass certain criteria. Some of this tooling can cost a shop over $250,000 or more. Numerous manufacturers require special jigging in order to replace parts such as frame rails, where spec tolerance has to be exact.
Manufacturer training often requires on-site visits from the Manufacturer or a third party.
Manufacturer certification usually requires annual re-certification.