Auto Body Technician Training 101: The Differences Between Major and Minor Collision Damage
When it comes to auto body repair, cost is king. The price of a repair will be a crucial factor on the car owner’s mind, and this can make the difference between paying out, or scrapping the vehicle entirely and moving on.
Cars with minor damage could be quickly fixed and made roadworthy again without too much trouble. For more extensive damage, repair costs could climb a little higher, or be completely unfeasible. Here are some of the differences between badly damaged and “just a scratch” issues that auto body professionals are more than a little familiar with.
Can It Be Driven Safely Without These Repairs? Auto Body Schools Say It’s the Crucial Question
In the world of auto body repair, there are a lot of compromises that can be lived with. A car can be driven with scratched paint. An SUV can be used with a dented bumper. However, once the safe operation of the vehicle comes into question, and a repair must be carried out, the likelihood is that damage has entered into major repair territory.
Professionals who have graduated from auto body schools will note any damage that results in deployed airbags, broken windows or lights, the inability of doors to close, or pieces left dangling precariously off the vehicle. Should these boxes be ticked, it’s a virtual certainty that substantial time and funds will need to be spent. Once an auto body repair professional has confirmed an instance of the above, and especially if they see more than one sign of extensive damage, it’s fair to say the repair has probably crossed the boundary from minor to major.
Grads of Auto Body Technician Training Know the Tools Needed Are Important
Typically, pros with auto body technician training will be able to recognize the use of certain tools as dividers between major and minor repairs. Needing the use of a specialized body jig to inspect a vehicle is common practice with badly damaged cars. Usually this tool is only used because the level of damage is far from localized, and a more general assessment is needed.
The other giveaway is if there’s as need for heavy hydraulic equipment for realignment, indicating that the body of the vehicle may even be compromised. Once an auto body technician recognizes the need for these tools, repairs will likely be extensive.
The Crucial Role of Insurance in Auto Body Repair
If an accident occurs that needs the input of an auto body professional, many owners will turn to their insurance policy before making a final decision on what to do. However, many policies will have a deductible in place, which stipulates a certain dollar threshold that owners are responsible for paying before their insurance coverage kicks in. Deductibles for supposed ‘minor damage’ can vary substantially depending on the policy, with drivers paying anything from $100 for a repair to thousands of dollars.
Auto body technicians should be aware of the varying positions that customers are placed in depending on their policy, the conditions of which will usually determine a green or red light for going ahead with repairs—no matter how superficial those repairs may be.
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