Vancouver Ford Body Shop Frequently Asked Questions

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Question: I was just in an accident, what do I do now?

Answer: First, make sure everyone is okay, and then collect contact, vehicle, and insurance information from everyone involved. Make sure to get the names and contact information of any witnesses. If your vehicle is no longer drivable, give our body shop a call so we can tow it to our shop for you.  Remember it is your choice who fixes your vehicle. Contact the insurance company who is at fault and begin your claim. This will begin the repair process, with our team on your side to ensure your vehicle is repaired correctly

Question: What is a deductible?

Answer: When you file a claim with your insurance company for property of loss, the payment made by the insurance company is subject to a deductible. When you purchase your insurance policy, you agree to pay the first specified amount of any damage. The insurance company adjusts its rates accordingly, charging less for those who agree to pay a larger first share or deductible.

Question:  What are OEM Parts and why should I use them?

Answer: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, which means these are the parts that were on your vehicle when you purchased it. These parts and only these parts will function and look exactly like they were intended to by the manufacturer. Some other types of parts are aftermarket, remanufactured, and used parts, (which are also called LKQ parts). Some of these parts are okay to use in body repairs, others are certainly not okay. For late model vehicles that have been damaged, the only "perfect" part is an OEM part, the rest are all just imitations.

Question:  Will the paint color match my car after the repairs?

Answer:  On newer vehicles the paint color should match very well after repairs. The two occasions where this might not be possible is on older vehicles where the factory paint has faded, and on plastic bumper covers. Auto body shops cannot match faded paint on older vehicles, which is why it is important to maintain your vehicles finish by waxing it and detailing it often.  For bumper covers, matching the color can be very difficult to almost impossible. According to PPG refinishing, the substrate being painted on can be a big factor. For example, the evaporation rate for solvent varies over metal or plastic. A longer rate gives a flake pigment additional time to "float" and can darken the face of the color.  Light also reflects differently on curved vs flat surfaces, causing the appearance of a color shift when none is present. Most often you will see these differences on your brand new car, but after repairs the bumpers will more closely match the rest of the car.

Question: Do I get a rental vehicle while mine is being repaired?

Answer: Most often a rental vehicle will be provided by the insurance company responsible for the repairs. Where some customers get in trouble is when their own insurance policy does not cover rental cars. This is most often a simple mistake on either their part or their agents part. Rental coverage is very inexpensive, we recommend you talk to your insurance provider to be sure you have the coverage. For those who do get caught without coverage, we offer discounted rental cars through various companies to minimize the out of pocket costs.

Question: Will my vehicle be a total loss?

Answer: A total loss is declared by the insurance company when the cost of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle. The process for each insurance company is slightly different and more complicated than that simple answer, but it does boil down to cost. For example, if your vehicle has a replacement value of $10,000, the insurance company will not pay $12,000 to repair it for you. In fact they will not even pay $9,000 to fix it, because they understand that the 1st estimate given for repairs is likely not complete. Most large repairs will incur additional costs during the repairs from hidden damage unable to be seen originally.  Insurance companies take this into account, along with the associated costs of the claim, (like the rental car) and will start to think about totaling your vehicle around 70% to 80% of the replacement value.  

Question: How long will my repair take?

Answer: The simple answer is, longer than you might expect.  The repair process for vehicles works in stages, and each stage must be completed before moving on. For example, if your vehicle?s bumper needs to be repaired and painted, this might seem like a simple repair, but the time the vehicle is in the repair shop might be 2 or 3 days. This is because first the bumper must be removed from the vehicle, and completely disassembled. Then the repairs need to be made, depending on the severity of damage, this process could be finished in one day, or it might take a day and a half. Once the repairs are made the repaired area needs primer applied to it.  This primer needs to be completely dry before any additional work can be performed. Again, depending on the severity, this could take a few hours, or overnight. Once the primer is dry, the bumper will be block sanded smooth, clean and prepared for refinishing in the paint booth, and painted.  After it is painted the bumper may still be too fresh to install back on your vehicle.  This may necessitate waiting again over night for the technician to be able to install the bumper without damaging it.   On larger, more complicated repairs that include frame repairs, the time in the shop can easily go from days to weeks.  This is why it is so important to make sure you are covered for the rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.

Question: My vehicle is made from Aluminum, are repairs to it more difficult?

Answer: Yes. Aluminum requires completely different tools, training, equipment and materials to repair when compared to standard steel vehicles. The process of the repair is different as well, if you take your aluminum vehicle to a shop not trained and equipped to repair it, it is likely that they will damage your vehicle further while trying to repair it.  This is because aluminum and steel react different when pulled, hammered, and heated, all of which are required to repair body damage.  Aluminum tears more easily than steel, so the process to remove the dent in an aluminum hood, is slower and requires special tools to complete. If you own an aluminum vehicle your best choice is to return to a dealer for that vehicle for repairs, as they are most likely to be equipped to repair it correctly.

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