What Collision Estimators Should Know About Rear Spoiler Replacements
March 9, 2018
A recent study has shown that rear-end collisions remain the most common type of accident that Canadian vehicles are involved with, with 25.17 per cent of reported accidents consisting of a collision of this type. Damage to the rear end of a vehicle will often mean that estimators will have to make an estimate of the time and money required to fix broken elements. This includes taking into account rear-end spoilers, which are often in the line of fire when it comes to these collisions.
Here’s what aspiring professionals need to know about this particular auto body element.
The Role of Spoilers, and Why They Are Regularly Replaced
Since its first real roll-out on the Lotus 49 racer in 1967, the function of a rear spoiler is to “spoil” the effects of drag generated by air moving around the body of the vehicle. By sculpting the flow of air into a more aerodynamic shape, a smoother drive can be achieved, along with reduced fuel consumption. Additionally, the rear position of the spoiler causes more downward force—known as “downforce”—to be exerted on the rear wheels, helping to improve tire adherence for cars with rear-wheel drive, and allowing for overall better grip.
This is why it’s common to see rear spoilers installed on racing vehicles, supercars, and sports cars, all of which require speed and adherence as a priority. Recent decades have seen spoilers regularly installed on more common coupes, compacts, and hatchbacks for both style and improved driving performance. Regardless of the car in question, replacing a damaged or destroyed rear spoiler will restore these performance and efficiency aspects to a car, as well as restore the vehicle’s more complete and pleasing overall appearance.
Collision Estimators Know Spoilers Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Rear spoilers can themselves come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. When an auto body estimator considers the cost of installing a replacement, they could be dealing with the likes of a lip spoiler—a low-profile spoiler typically located at the lip of a trunk—or the more prominent pedestal spoiler, which sits on top of the trunk.
Additionally, retractable spoilers and many kinds of more expensive lighted spoilers now exist, which can include responsive brake lights incorporated into the actual body of the rear spoiler to increase overall visibility. Materials involved in spoiler fabrication can vary just as much, ranging from ABS plastic and fibreglass to more premium materials like carbon fibre and silicon—all of which can have a big impact on associated costs.
An Auto Body Estimator Will Always Have Labour Costs in Mind
An effective collision estimator will ensure that their final decision regarding damage and repair costs will factor in the time needed by a professional to carry out the replacement. Many kinds of rear spoilers can involve some assembly before being applied to the vehicle, and the likes of pedestal spoilers will need to be placed with accuracy on the vehicle’s surface before any drilling is carried out.
Automotive professionals will also need to carefully remove and replace any interior trunk fabric to accommodate the installation process—a delicate process, especially if premium material is involved. Additional work may also be needed in the case of lighted spoilers. With this body element now common on many premium brands, estimators will need to factor in the delivery times and pricing of proprietary parts in order to effectively assess what’s involved in each rear spoiler replacement.
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