Automotive Tips

What You Should Know About Auto Unibody Repair

Your car can compare to a house. It has a frame that holds the other parts together. However, the subframe of your vehicle can be damaged by even collisions that occur at a moderate speed. Thus, any collision can leave the subframe of your car with serious damage. 

But, a serious accident will cause a significant issue with the structural integrity of your vehicle. And this can leave the internal features of the car compromised. If the subframe of a vehicle is not repaired, it can cause long-term issues. These can even impair the drivability of your car. 

Subframe versus Unibody

Older cars come with subframes. On the other hand, newer models come with unibodies. A subframe structure is modular. That means it is removable during the repair. But, a subframe is a less common feature in modern vehicles. 

Newer vehicles are more dependent on unibodies. That’s because this became the industry standard since the beginning of 2000. Unibody design is a single component that makes the frame of a car. Since it is unitary, a unibody provides more rigidity. It, therefore, holds a car together better than several sub-components. Both the unibody and subframe are repairable. However, specialized skills and tools are required for their repair. 


Unibody repairs are involving processes, whether they are necessitated by major or minor damage. That’s because of the unique specifications of the car manufacturer. It’s important to ensure that the performance engineering and original safety standards of a car are maintained. 

Therefore, if your vehicle needs unibody repair, make sure that it is done by competent professionals. Skilled and experienced technicians with certification from your vehicle’s manufacturer will do a better job. They should also have special hydraulic tools that may be required to straighten the bent or twisted frames. Nevertheless, unibody repair can restore the look and performance of a vehicle when done properly.

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Auto Body Repair- OEM Parts versus Aftermarket Parts

Auto Body Repair- OEM Parts versus Aftermarket Parts

When it comes to auto body repair, many people are torn between OEM parts versus aftermarket parts. New parts are called the Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM parts. Used parts, on the other hand, are called aftermarket parts. Nevertheless, both OEM parts and aftermarket parts serve the same purpose. Both are feasible options when it comes to vehicle repair. As such, the choice of the parts to use in your vehicle repairs is up to you. Here are some of the things to know when choosing between OEM parts and aftermarket parts. 

OEM Parts 

OEM parts come from the manufacturer of your vehicle. That means third parties are not involved in their manufacture. As such, they are customized and specifically made for your vehicle model. They fit in your vehicle properly because of their special manufacturing and exclusivity. However, OEM parts cost a lot more than aftermarket parts. 

Aftermarket Parts 

Aftermarket parts are not from the manufacturer of your vehicle. Another company manufactures these parts. Essentially, aftermarket parts are made by a third party. And, their production is usually in high quantity. Nevertheless, they are made to fit different vehicles’ specifications. 

There are not specific aftermarket parts that are produced and customized for different models and makes of trucks and cars. But, aftermarket parts are considered similar to OEM parts when it comes to quality and type. Nevertheless, they are different. What’s more, aftermarket parts are cheaper than OEM parts. As such, they might not be a perfect fit for your vehicle. 

Both OEM parts and aftermarket parts are common in the current market. Auto body repair shops use both types of spare parts. However, your auto body shop should explain situations where OEM parts and aftermarket parts could be the best option depending on the repairs being done. 

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How Does an Auto Body Shop Determine Whether a Vehicle Should Be Totaled?

How Does an Auto Body Shop Determine Whether a Vehicle Should Be Totaled?

A totaled car is a huge loss that no one ever wants to face. It is one of the main concerns of most car owners that have been involved in accidents. Nevertheless, you should know how auto body shops determine whether a car is totaled or not. Here’s how most auto body shops go about it. 

When a Car is Declared Totaled 

Auto body shops will consider a car totaled if the cost estimates for repair are higher or less than 70% of the car’s actual cash value. For instance, if a car is worth $10,000 and the estimate for its repair is $7,000, the insurer will likely consider it a total loss even if the repair costs are less than replacement costs. 

Even if the repair cost estimates are less than the actual value of the car, it would be unrealistic to fix it if the extent of damage exceeds the 70% threshold. However, auto body shops also consider the age of the car to determine whether it should be totaled. 

  • 1 – 3 Years-old Cars 

The probability of declaring the cars totaled depends on the extent of the damage. The repair costs usually average at about $3,000. Compared to their actual values of about $25,000, only a handful of cars are totalled. 

  • 3 – 5 Years Old Cars 

For such cars, mileage and the extent of the damage play a huge role in determining whether they should be totaled. Cars that sustained damage before the incident have high mileage and extensive wear and tear will have a lower actual cash value. As a result expensive luxury cars, SUVs and trucks are likely to be repaired while the lower priced ones often end up totaled. 

  • Cars 6 Years and Older 

With average actual cash value of less than $6,000 and average repair estimates of $2,000, cars 6 years and older will most likely be totaled. 

  • Total Loss Threshold 

The total loss threshold (TLF) is whereby the car insurance company must legally declare a vehicle a total loss then, seek a salvage title. When using the formula, your insurer will consider the repair costs and the scrap value of the car. They may opt for repairs if the figure is less than the actual cash value of the vehicle. The car will be totaled if the number is similar to or higher than the actual cash value before the damage. 

Contrary to what some may think, a totaled car is good news because safety always comes first. 


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Ways Your Mechanic Could Be Ripping You Off

Ways Your Mechanic Could Be Ripping You Off

Most mechanics and experts at auto body shops are hardworking and decent folks. But, some mechanics have a reputation for taking liberties when diagnosing and fixing vehicle problems. They take advantage of the fact that most vehicle owners don’t know much about their vehicles. This enables them to lie to their clients and even inflate their bills. But, if careful, you can know when a mechanic decides to rip you off. Here are ways your mechanic could be ripping you off. 

You Should Replace Brake Rotors 

Many vehicle owners have been asked to replace the brake rotors of their vehicles when replacing their brake pads. But, this is not a must. If this is the first time you’re replacing brake pads, you might not need to replace the rotors. Therefore, check the rotors by rubbing them with your finger. If you don’t notice deep ridges on the rotors, there’s no need to replace them. Scrapping off the metal with a lathe is enough. 

You Need to Change Spark Plugs 

In the past, people changed spark plugs every year. That’s because old vehicle engines were not burning fuel efficiently. Therefore, carbon build-up damaged the spark plugs very quickly. However, this is not the case with modern vehicles. So, if you’ve not driven your car more than 100,000 miles when your mechanic asks you to change spark plugs, they could be ripping you off. Most likely, your car has another problem that the mechanic can’t diagnose. Therefore, seek a second opinion.

Scare Tactics 

If you’re mechanic says they can’t drive a vehicle in such condition, they are trying to scare you to invest in their services. A mechanic can even tell you that driving your car in its condition is against the traffic laws. If you meet such a mechanic, watch out. Go to another auto body shop or seek the opinion of another mechanic.

Just like you would do with your health, you should seek a second opinion if a mechanic tells you something you’re suspicious about. Visit a reputable auto body repair shop to get a genuine, professional diagnosis of the problem of your vehicle. 

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Ways to Protect Your Vehicle’s Paint Job

Ways to Protect Your Vehicle’s Paint Job

As a car owner, you want to keep up with its effective and efficient maintenance. There are many services that you can use to extend the life of your car. However, there are simple steps that you can take to protect your vehicle’s paint job. The paint job of your vehicle is the most important aspect when it comes to its aesthetics. Here are some of the ways to project the paint job of your vehicle.

Wax Regularly

Waxing is an important aspect of car cleaning that most people overlook. But, whether you clean your vehicle or take it to a car wash, make sure that it is waxed regularly. Waxing provides a physical barrier that protects the paint job from external environment and harsh weather. Waxing your vehicle after every 3 months will prevent sun damage. Nevertheless, waxing should be done professionally for the desired results to be achieved.

Remove Bird Droppings Immediately

Bird droppings are irritating to every car owner. They can ruin the day especially if your vehicle was recently waxed. Nevertheless, bird droppings should be removed immediately. That’s because removing them when fresh is easier. Generally, bird droppings can damage the vehicle’s paint job with ease even if the finish has clear-coat paint. Perhaps, the best way to protect your vehicle’s paint job from bird dropping is using specially made wipes for removing them. These remove droppings more effectively and they do not scratch the paint. If you don’t have these wipes, use club soda and a fresh, clean cloth to remove the droppings.

Deal with Tree Sap as Soon as Possible

If tree sap is not removed immediately, it can also damage the paint job of your vehicle. Essentially, tree sap can bake into auto paint thereby leaving behind ugly stains. The damage can get worse when the vehicle is exposed to hot weather. Therefore, remove tree sap from your auto paint job as soon as possible. This will prevent it from hardening and become difficult to remove. There are professional products that can be used to remove it. Alternatively, use soap and hot water.

If you have an issue with your vehicle’s paint job, let trained and experienced professionals at a reputable auto collision center fix the damage for you.

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Auto Body Repair after an Accident – What You Should Know

When an accident occurs, a question that many drivers and vehicle owners asks is, “will the auto body shop make my car look brand new?” Well, the answer to this question depends on several factors.

It’s important to note that auto body repair is an art. Just like in other professions, auto body repair has different skill levels. Professional auto body shops adhere to high quality service standards. However, you are the one to choose the auto body shop to repair your car after an accident. And, your auto body shop choice will have a significant impact on the outcome of the repair job.

Extent of the Damage

This is a major factor that will determine whether the auto body shop will make your car look brand new. An accident can leave your car with a minor scratch that will be easy to fix. However, the repair work may involve major parts’ replacement, mechanical components’ replacement and frame straightening.

Generally, most damage that occurs after an accident can be repaired. There are also insurance companies that consider up to 70% of damage repairable. Beyond this percentage, your vehicle might be totaled.

Other Factors

When picking the car at the auto body repair shop, the major things that you look at include body panels’ alignment, paint quality, and whether the trunk, doors, and hood are functioning properly. You also look inside the hood and truck for paint stains on rubber moldings.

But, to deliver excellent results when it comes to paintwork, the auto body shop that you choose must excel in paint matching. It must use computerized color matching systems. Additionally, the auto body shop must have technicians with the necessary skills for repairing panels when dented and replacing them when necessary.

In a nutshell, it’s possible for an auto body shop to restore the like-new look of your car after an accident. However, this depends on several factors including the skills or competency level of technicians at an auto body shop.


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March 2024
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