What are the Most Common Repairs that Auto Body Shops Do?
Updated: Feb 28
If you’re like most drivers, at some point you’ll have to take your vehicle to a local collision repair shop after an auto accident. Most shops, like those featured in the nationwide Carwise referral network, offer a full menu of auto body repair and restoration services, from paintless dent removal to professional detailing. And, although most services are provided to repair damage resulting from a recent collision, that’s not always the case. In general, these are the most common types of repairs that body shops perform.
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) Stray grocery carts, hail and rocks can all leave noticeable dents in body panels and doors. Left untreated, even minor dents can cause more expensive paint damage later. To ensure that doesn’t happen, body shops use a process called “paintless dent removal” (PDR). PDR requires no fillers or sanding, as a trained technician uses a variety of special tools to gently and slowly push dents back into place without harming the factory paint job. Overall, PDR is a very cost-effective and long-lasting way to get your ride looking great again.
Auto Body Painting New paint might be necessary after an accident, to protect an older car’s exterior from the elements, or simply to improve aesthetics. Body shops routinely do paint jobs on vehicles with bodies that are damaged by scratches, rock chips, rust, paint swirling or other damage. When doing so, these are the steps that trained technicians use:
Surface is sanded down to the bare metal and cleaned
Corrosion-resistant primer is applied and allowed to cure
Cured primer is sanded down and the surface carefully cleaned
Several layers of paint are applied with a sprayer and allowed to dry for up to 7 days
Clearcoat is then applied that gives the finish a high-gloss appearance
The exterior is then buffed and polished
Window Repairs and Replacements Auto glass damage comes in many forms, including chips, cracks and breaks. Sometimes the damage can be repaired, and other times a total windshield or window replacement is necessary. If your vehicle is being repaired a local body shop due to an accident, they may have a full-time glass repair technician on their payroll. Those that don’t partner with glass repair shops in the area that can send out a technician to perform the necessary window repairs or replacement before the vehicle is picked up.
Frame Testing & Straightening Roughly fifty percent of all vehicles sustain frame damage after an accident, including minor fender benders. A frame that’s unknowingly weakened or bent can place a vehicle’s occupants unnecessarily at risk during a subsequent accident. And, a vehicle with a bent frame will also track unevenly down the road, handle poorly and probably cause your tires and steering components to wear out prematurely. To help ensure that your frame is safe after an accident, these are the steps body shop technicians take:
The frame is first visually inspected for signs of damage.
If any damage is present, the vehicle is then placed on a frame alignment machine.
The machine then straightens the frame using hydraulic force and torque until it’s back to its original factory specifications.
Once the frame is straightened, your vehicle will track normally and be safer to drive.