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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Importance of Straightening the Auto Frame

Some vehicle owners take auto frame straightening for granted. They don’t think that this practice is important for the health and safety of their vehicles. Basically, you may be involved in an accident that looks minor. However, it may leave your vehicle with a compromised frame. In fact, you may have not noticed this until now. So, why should you be concerned about auto frame straightening?

Experts recommend that you have a damaged auto frame straightened as soon as possible due to the following reasons:

Auto Frame is Like Your Body’s Skeleton

Your body is held together by the skeleton. It’s the skeleton that supports your body while giving it structure. This is also the case for the frame of a vehicle. After an accident that compromises the frame of a vehicle, the body of your vehicle is left without structure or strength.

Naturally, when a person has a skeleton issue, they seek treatment. You should do the same for the frame of your vehicle. When you notice damage on the frame of your vehicle, take it to an auto body shop for straightening immediately. If you don’t have the frame straightened, the potential long-term problems of your vehicle will increase. Thus, if the frame is not straightened, it might shorten your vehicle’s life.

Maintaining Safety Standards in Readiness for another Accident

You obviously don’t intend to cause or be involved in another accident with your vehicle. However, accidents occur when least expected. As such, it’s good to be prepared for an accident. There is a reason why the frame of your car is designed in a special way. Therefore, if it is weakened, bent, or compromised in anyway, your vehicle is not safe. Essentially, it will not provide adequate protection in the event of an accident. That’s why you should have it straightened as soon as possible.

Basically, you should not drive a vehicle that has a compromised, bent, or broken frame. Drive to a reputable auto body shop to have your auto frame straightened as soon as you notice the damage.

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How Professionals Match Colors to Ensure Perfect Paint Job

Getting color right after auto repair is among the major challenges that are associated with auto bodywork. In fact, this is one of the most complex tasks that experts at auto body shops do. However, the best auto body shops have experts that have mastered this task over the years. These know how to paint a vehicle after repair to give it a like new appearance. According to a blogger friend of mine over at Glass Dawg Auto Glass Repair , says that these professionals use computerized systems to match paint colors. This enables them to create paint formula that is similar to the original factory paint color of vehicles.

Color Matching

Using hands to create the right color for a vehicle is almost impossible. That’s because the right pigment amount is required to come up with the original color of a vehicle. What’s more, there are other factors that come into play. These include the level of fading due to sun, paint guns difference, the angle of holding the paint gun when spraying the original paint and much more.

Additionally, resin is included in the formula to ensure adhesion on the vehicle’s surface and solvent to minimize paint viscosity and make transfer of the paint to the paint gun and containers easier.

Paint Blending

After obtaining the right color for the vehicle’s paint and spraying the vehicle, the technicians blend this paint. This implies that if a vehicle needs painting of the front bender, the technicians spray a little amount over the bumper, door, and hood to blend the paint with the vehicle’s factory paint. Technicians have used this technique for decades because it is almost impossible to come up with the color that is on the vehicle that is being painted. Essentially, the original paint fades after some time due to elements and the sun.

To ensure that your vehicle gets a perfect paint job, drive to an auto body shop that has experienced professionals with the technology for matching auto paint colors. This will give your vehicle a better look because the professionals will use a computerized color-matching system to determine the right color for your vehicle.


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How You Could Be Ruining the Paint of Your Car

How You Could Be Ruining the Paint of Your Car

All vehicles have a weather-resistant paint coat. This coat looks impervious to rain, water, snow, sun, sleet and other damaging elements. However, the paint on your car is not meant to last forever. If you don’t take proper care of it or protect it from the elements, it will eventually be ruined. Here are some of the ways you could actually be ruining the paint of your car.


Perhaps, you notice bugs splattered on the front bumper, windshield, and the hood all the time. These could be doing more than mar your vehicle’s appearance. Bugs corpses have acid that can easily eat away the paint on your car. It’s therefore important that you ensure that your car is cleaned using water and soap to remove bugs before they stain or damage the paint of your car.


After Halloween, make sure that you take your car for washing immediately. Eggs have acid in the yolk and the white. This acid can eat away the protective, clear coat of the paint job of your car. Additionally, there will be a nasty stain on the surface of your car if the eggs are baked into it by the sun. This may cause damage to the base coat. The paint job can also sustain scratches from the eggshells.

Tree Sap

Tree sap tends to react with the surfaces of vehicles leaving rough spots on their paint. It also stains the surface. A simple wash can’t remove tree sap. Special rubbing compound or polish is required to remove the sap.


Some foods have acids that will eat away the paint of your vehicle or corrode it. Fortunately, food stains can be cleaned off with ease. What’s more, they take time to damage the vehicle.

Bird Droppings

When bird droppings are hardened by the sun, they can stain the paint job of a car. The droppings can leave the car with a mess that won’t be easy to remove. Thus, bird droppings can leave your car with a gross mark that won’t be easy to remove with water and soap. As such, clean off bird droppings the moment you notice them.


Road asphalt can leave your car with tar that won’t be easy to remove from the car. What’s more, tar can take a layer of paint or two with it when you try to remove it improperly. Therefore, if you notice tar on your vehicle, take it to an auto body shop for removal to protect the paint.

These are some of the things that might be ruining the paint of your car. If your vehicle has any of these issues, take it to a reputable auto body shop to have the issues fixed by experts. Don’t wait longer because some of them will cause more harm if you take long to have them fixed. If you need additional info, check out this blog I found that give some additional excellent tips, just click here.

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September 2023
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