5 Questions you must ask when seeking a professional collision repair facility.
- Is the warranty offered a Lifetime National Warranty and is it registered with an independent third party consumer satisfaction measurement service?
- Does the shop use an independent third party to survey every repair customer and display feedback from recent customer's repair experiences?
- Can the shop provide you with a detailed list of satisfied and unsatisfied customers?
- Does the shop display any certificates of affiliations with industry organizations such as Automotive Service Association (ASA), I-CAR, Collision Industry Conference (CIC) or the Automotive Customer Relations Bureau (ACRB)?
- Are the shop's technicians trained, experienced and equipped to properly handle a repair for your type of vehicle?
The Truth About Wax
Even the finest automotive finishes do not stand a chance against the numerous damaging elements that exist today. Acid rain, salts, silt abrasion, catalytic converter residue (hydrochloric and sulfuric acids), road tar, bug acid, bird droppings, fading from ultraviolet exposure, and the harsh affects of an automatic car wash will all take their toll on your automobile's finish and exterior trim.
In order to combat these elements, it is necessary to create a barrier of protection that will not only endure the damaging effects, but will also enhance the beauty of your vehicle. This barrier is wax.
Wax will not last forever. It's purpose is to absorb the damage and give it's own life to protect the finish of your vehicle. It is for these reasons that you should wax at least twice a year.
Remember that you cannot see wax dissipate. When you start to notice a difference in the way your finish looks, you are seeing "new" damage to the paint. There is also no such thing as a wax, polish, or a paint shield that will provide effective protection for more than 6 months.
The effectiveness of a coat of wax is determined directly by the condition of the surface it is applied to. If wax is applied to a dull, oxidized, faded or "gritty" surface the results will be nothing more than wasted time and effort.
OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts
It's a Matter of Safety
Imitation Parts = Unknown Collision Performance
Your vehicle was designed to meet all Federal Safety Standards. This design incorporates collision performance requirements that are important to your safety. Imitation parts may not be tested or certified by their makers, sellers or the insurance companies who want you to use them. Imitation parts cannot guarantee your vehicle will meet the specifications of the original manufacturer or the testing standards of the U.S. Government. Insist on original factory sheet metal.
It's a Matter of Quality
You paid for quality when you bought your vehicle. Tell your insurance adjuster you want to keep it that way!
Your insurance company may tell you that the imitation parts they want to use to repair your vehicle are of "like kind and quality". Ask for a copy of the standards used to make these parts. Industry tests have revealed serious fit, finish, function and corrosion protection problems with imitation parts. Protect your investment.
It's a Matter of Choice
The choice is yours! Be certain your car is as good after it has been repaired as it was before your accident. Using imitation parts may void your new vehicle warranty for that part. Many states have passed laws which regulate the use of imitation collision parts. Some states give you the right of consent. Ask your body shop or car dealer about the laws in your state. If your insurance policy requires the use of imitation parts, but you would rather have original manufactured parts, then you have the choice to pay the difference.
Paintless Dent Removal
How large of a dent can be repaired with PDR?
The most important aspect of paintless dent removal is not the diameter but the depth. Often, very large, shallow dents can be removed.
What dings & dents can't be repaired?
Most dings and dents can be made to look "better". However, there are some problem repairs. Here is a list of some problem areas:
- Deep Dents - On very deep dings and dents, the metal is often pushed too deep for a complete repair.
- Dents Near the Edge of Panels - Dents found near the edge of body panels, or right on a seam, make access impossible.
- Dings and Dents with Deep Creases - Usually, only a skilled dent repair technician can repair creased dents, depending on the severity of the crease. In many cases a 100% repair is not possible.
What % of dings & dents are repairable?
Percentages of possible repairs will depend on the dent technician's level of skill and experience. But generally speaking, 80–90% of the minor dings and dents found on a vehicle are repairable.
What about dings & dents under the braces?
Most of the dents found under braces can be accessed and removed. First, the adhesive between the brace and the metal must be cut loose. To do this, a thin putty knife is slid between the adhesive and the metal. Once the adhesive is removed, a thin hand tool can be used to repair the dent.
Will PDR damage the vehicle's existing painted surface?
No! With the advancement in acrylic urethane paints used today, the paint is much more durable and elastic, and therefore able to "unbend" back into its original shape without harm.
Vehicle Valuation Assistance:
Do any of us really know what our vehicles are worth? The vehicle's fair market value can depend on the time of year, supply and demand, condition of the vehicle, mileage, plus many other variables. The value may even change depending on who you talk to.
So who, or what, do you trust? We have put together some resources to help assist you in determining the value of your vehicle.
National Auto Dealers Association offers a guide online. Simply choose the consumer section and fill in the requested information regarding your vehicle and it will provide a value range depending upon your vehicle's condition. Most cars are considered average and sell at average retail.
Kelly Blue Book offers a similar guide where you choose the appropriate used or new car section and then find the value range based on the make and model of your vehicle.
Call your lending institution and they will give you the loan value of your vehicle.
There are several factors to keep in mind when searching to determine value, such as the vehicle's condition and any aftermarket accessories that may have been installed. Receipts for these items or photographs displaying them on the vehicle may be required to secure the value you feel is appropriate. The insurance company's obligation is to return the vehicle to it's same shape and form. They may claim that a 100% replacement value is not warranted and therefore include a "betterment" deduction. You may want to consult an expert to assist in negotiating any betterment related items.
Depending on the age of the vehicle or extent of the damage, you may be allowed to keep your vehicle. Consult your policy or state law for specific details.
Know Your Rights
Third Party Claims
A third party claim is where the other person's insurance is involved as opposed to your own. Please understand that your claim is actually against the at fault party or person and not their insurance company. As such, the insurance company cannot dictate anything - not the repair shop, not the repair methodology, not how much is paid - NOTHING. This is because there is no contract in force.
The other person's insurance becomes involved because of the liability portion of their Contract of Insurance. Generally, this part of the "policy" will say something like "The company will pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured becomes obligated to pay as damages arising from: a) bodily injury; b) injury or destruction of property; which are payable under the terms of this policy." In layman's terms, insurance protects the person who purchased the contract. The insurance company is obligated to pay the damages up to the limits of the coverage. If someone causes damage to your property due to negligence, they are personally responsible to the injured party. If they have an insurance contract that covers this loss, the insurer must protect them financially and pay for the damages.
In the case of an automobile collision, it may seem as if the claimant is at the mercy of the insurance company. This is not the case. A person cannot be bound by a contract they were not a party to. The only reason the insurance company is involved in the claim is to pay the damages owed by the insured to the claimant. There is no contract in effect between the claimant and the insurance company. The claimant doesn't have to settle for aftermarket parts, may be entitled to a rental vehicle immediately upon suffering the loss, and can choose any shop and repair methods they desire to have the repairs made (within reason). The insurance company cannot dictate anything to a claimant. They have no authority, the sole purpose of the insurance company in a third party claim is to pay the bill.
However, some insurance representatives will often tell a claimant something different. They would have the vehicle owner believe that the insurance company's decisions are binding. This is not true. The at-fault party owes the claimant. The at-fault party's Contract of Insurance provides protection to the at-fault party. The third party claimant has complete control over the repair process, not the negligent party's insurance company. You have every legal right to bring your car to the collision repair facility you trust.
Nevada State Insurance Laws
Please click on the link below to view Nevada's most current insurance laws.
Nevada Insurance Laws
Please click on the link below to view Nevada's most current insurance laws.
Nevada Insurance Laws