Auto Body Repair & Painting Processes
Free Initial Damage Inspection
- Upon notice of loss, one of Elhart Collision’s trained and certified estimators will examine your vehicle and prepare a preliminary damage assessment estimate. Your estimator will then walk you through the insurance and repair process and set repair expectations. Our office staff will then give you or your insurance company a complete written estimate.
Insurance Claims Management
- Once you have filed a claim, Elhart Collision will work directly with your insurance company through the latest estimating and communications systems to ensure that all parties have everything needed to authorize and schedule the repairs.
- Once approved -- Insurance limitations, deductibles, rental coverage and payment information will be confirmed and a scheduled drop off date is determined based on the shop availability and your needs.
- If you are paying out of pocket then an appointment would be scheduled at this time.
Repair Drop Off
- Upon vehicle drop off, payment policy will be reviewed, rental car assistance will be provided (if applicable), repair authorization is signed, preliminary timeframe is set and the vehicle is left at the shop for repairs to begin.
Repair Process Management
- During repair process management, parts are ordered and received along with being inspected for any damage or wrong parts.
- Prior to repairs starting your vehicle will be washed and physically inspected for prior and unrelated damage as well as documentation of miles, dash lights and personal vehicle settings (seat position, radio settings, etc.)
- Vehicle is then dispatched to body repair technician
- Prior to the technician starting repairs, the estimator, production manager and the technician will have a “kick off” meeting to discuss the expectations of the repair along with any customer concerns/requests
Initial Repair Process
- The repair process begins with an initial teardown and disassembly to check for all related damage.
- Any hidden damage that could not be seen during the initial estimate and prior to teardown is then documented and supplemented or added to the estimate.
- The revised estimate is then completed and electronically uploaded to the insurance provider for review.
- Once approved, the estimate of record is finalized and any additional parts are ordered
- Once finalized, your Elhart Collision Estimator will go over any additional findings and determine a preliminary completion date
Structural Body and Metal Repair
- Structural repairs are completed (if applicable) using a state of the art vehicle measuring system
- Body and sheet metal repairs are completed to OEM specifications to ensure proper fit of all replacement parts
- Upon completion of structural and metal repairs, production management goes through a strict quality inspection prior to the paint preparation process
Paint Prep & Refinishing Process
- All corrosion protection materials are re-applied
- Vehicle is primed & sanded while making sure the rest of the vehicle is masked off
- Our certified and highly trained painters then mixes all the factory basecoat formulas and tints electronically to ensure a 100% factory color match
- Basecoats, tints and sealers are then applied on the vehicle to factory specifications in an environmentally controlled down draft paint booth
- Once all coatings have been applied the vehicles coatings are then baked and cured
- Vehicle is then wet sanded, buffed and polished (if needed) to match the original factory finish
- Technician reassembles the vehicle paying extreme attention to proper fitment and finish of all components
- Once the vehicle is reassembled, any additional mechanical repairs are performed such as alignments, glass work, tire balances, etc.
- When all repairs have been completed per the estimate of record, production management will do a thorough final quality inspection and road test (if necessary) before the vehicle moves on to the next stage
- A final and accurate completion date is given to the customer
Quality Control/Clean up/Completion
- After production management signs off on repairs the vehicle goes to our clean up department where the exterior and interior of the vehicle is cleaned
- At this time your Estimator will perform the final quality inspection ensuring that all repair expectations have been met
- Customer is notified that repairs are complete
Customer Pick Up
- Office staff will review repairs with you to ensure your satisfaction
- Paint care and washing instructions will be explained
- Elhart Collision will provide you the final record of repairs performed along with a written lifetime warranty for the paint and workmanship
- Any insurance deductibles or outstanding balances owed will be collected