3 Techniques You'll Need to Know for Becoming an Auto Body Technician
Auto body technicians deal with many types of damage to vehicles, from twisted or dented frames and doors to grills or floorboard insulation in need of replacement. If you’re looking towards a career in auto body repair, you’ll need to know some common techniques to help customers deal with their cars’ issues.
Whether you’re accurately matching colours or massaging dents out of metal, there’s never a dull moment in the day of an auto body technician. These tricks will help you solve problems and save drivers from the results of their unfortunate fender benders. Read on for 3 useful techniques you’ll need in your career after school!
1. Colour Matching Is an Important Technique in Auto Body Technician Careers
When cars are scratched or chipped and the protective coating of paint is broken, rust can form. Rust is the enemy of a car frame, as it not only lowers the value of the vehicle, but can present a safety threat. When car parts rust, they become brittle and can snap off or break. This could mean that parts fly off while in motion, which is a hazard for both the driver and other motorists. Rust can also reduce a car’s integrity in a crash.
When repainting a vehicle, colour is important. You’ll find that becoming an auto body technician requires matching shades just as well as Martha Stewart can. To do this, technicians sometimes use a photo spectrometer when they have access to one, which is a device that analyses the original colour, using measurements of light. A computerized algorithm perfectly matches the true colour. However, manufacturer’s codes also come in handy when matching paint.
2. Becoming an Auto Body Technician Means Dealing with Dent Repair
Dents and dings in the body of a car are a very common event for drivers. They are upsetting and unsightly, not to mention they can compromise the durability and structure of the vehicle. As an auto body technician, you will have the skills to fix these damages, often without repainting, thanks to paintless dent repair. This technique can be used on minor dents and involves pushing, rubbing and massaging the dented area back into place. This is commonly used when dents are small or on corners.
Other dents require techniques using a bit more equipment, like filling the damaged area with body filler. In many cases, damaged surfaces need to be ground and sanded, then repainted. Once again, when repainting after fixing a dent, colour-matching is key for a showroom look.
3. Learn How to Aim Headlights for Your Future Automotive Career
Just as wheels need alignment from time to time, headlights can occasionally get bumped or jostled out of place. When headlights are pointing in the wrong direction, they can obstruct the vision of other drivers on the road or prevent owners from seeing hazards in front of their cars. Auto body shops can align headlights using focusing machines or physical measurements to ensure everything is in place.
The knowledge that comes from training in auto body technician careers benefits you and your customers, as you’ll learn how to aim headlights in your courses. Sometimes, an imbalance in the body is the cause of off-centre headlights, or you may notice that the hood is misaligned in some way. The ability to aim headlights is a valuable one and will help you become the best auto body technician you can be.
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