How Auto Technicians Repair Fire-Damaged Cars
May 13, 2016
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And when it involves a vehicle that’s been damaged by fire and smoke, the role of a skilled auto body technician becomes critical.
Car fires can occur for a variety of reasons. They might be the product of a design flaw that was overlooked during manufacture, they might occur if fuel systems leak, they might even be the product of a serious car accident. Whatever the reason, the damage caused by car fires can often be extensive. In many cases, these cars might be too damaged to repair. But if damage is isn’t too serious, then auto body technicians can help make them road ready again. Parts might need to be replaced, interiors will need to be properly cleaned, and auto technicians working on repairs will need to follow safety procedures to ensure that they stay safe. With each of these considerations kept in mind, there’s no reason why a car with some fire damage can’t hit the roads again.
What are some of the steps that auto technicians take when repairing a fire-damaged car? Here are some fire-damage repairing tips for you to keep in mind once you begin your career as an auto body technician.
Auto Body Technicians Begin by Ensuring Legal Procedures are Carefully Followed
Students taking auto body repair courses know that fire damage is serious business. In some cases, a car fire might be involved in an open investigation. Manufacturers might want to investigate a potentially harmful defect, or local officials might even consider the car as evidence in an ongoing investigation if it was damaged by arson or is involved in a case of insurance fraud.
That’s why one of the first steps to repairing a fire-damaged car is to ensure you’re aware of any legal concerns that might affect whether or not the car can be repaired. Some auto body technicians will even take pictures of the car before, after, and during the repair to ensure the damage has been carefully documented.
Auto Technicians Follow Proper Safety Procedures When Working on Fire-Damaged Cars
As you complete your studies to become an auto body technician, you’ll learn that carefully following safety procedures is important—especially when repairing fire-damaged cars. That’s why before you start on any repairs during your future career you must make sure that you have the proper safety equipment. Before repairing a fire-damaged car, ensure that you have goggles to protect your eyes, a mask to protect your lungs, and gloves to protect your hands from harmful abrasives.
Cleaning Away Smoke and Chemicals Helps Make Fire-Damaged Cars Road Ready
Before any repairs can be done, auto technicians know it’s important to begin by thoroughly cleaning the interior of the vehicle. Many fire extinguishers use dry chemicals to extinguish fires, and those chemicals can sometimes be corrosive. These chemicals can often and cause damage to parts, or irritate skin that comes into contact with them. To help remove them, carefully vacuum and wash all carpets, seats, and upholstery. Exteriors might also need to be carefully washed as well to ensure that corrosive fire extinguishing chemicals don’t cause further damage.
Fire-damaged cars also often have smoke damage as well. When you become an auto body technician, you might need to treat these cars with odour removers to ensure that no smoky smell lingers in the interior.
Auto Technicians Often Clean or Replace Air Filters in Fire-Damaged Cars
In many fire-damaged cars, air filters will need to be cleaned or even replaced. Start by removing the filter and carefully shaking out any debris, then either vacuum the filter or wash it with soap and water to remove fine particles. Also make sure to clean the canister with a damp cloth before putting back the cleaned air filter. If the air filter is too dirty or damaged, simply replace it with a new filter.
Ready start your career as an auto body technician?
Visit ATC, or speak with one of our friendly advisors to start your training!
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