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How to Choose an Auto Body Repair Shop

Do you have a crumpled bumper, a dinged door, or a moonroof that’s been eclipsed? Now that the damage has been done, are you wondering where to take your vehicle?

For those suddenly in need of autobody repair, it can be challenging to know who to trust with your vehicle. Your insurer may be pushing you toward their shop, but you are right to wonder where their loyalty is—with the insurance company or with you?

One great way to choose an autobody shop you can trust is to look for the Gold Class logo. Without this designation, you can’t be sure if anyone in the shop is properly trained to give your vehicle repairs that are safe and will last. With this classification, you know that every technician in the shop is engaged in up-to-date training and is using the right tools and equipment.

Here is why this is important:

When your car is an accident, there is visible damage and then there is damage that goes unseen. When this concealed damage is not repaired correctly, the integrity of crumple zones and airbag timing is compromised. This means that you risk serious injury in a later collision. Gold Class shops will find the hidden damage, perform a complete damage analysis of front, rear, and side impacts, diagnose the damage to restraint and electrical systems, perform structural repairs, restore steering and suspension performance, and determine what can be repaired and what must be replaced.

Do you want to leave this up to anyone? Or, worse, to someone with who is not working in your best interest?

Vehicles are now high-tech machines and they are evolving to become more complicated each year. Many of these innovations are designed and built for safety with lightweight parts to increase efficiency. At Cline Collision Center, we keep up with this steady stream of change and will bring your vehicle back to pre-collision condition. We offer a full slate of autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 for Gold Class repairs and gold-standard customer service! 

Go for the Gold!

Most of us root for underdogs from time to time. But even though silver and bronze medalists are amazing athletes, we mostly remember those that win the gold. Why is that?

Being the best inspires us. It is something that, only if we work very hard and always perform at the highest level, we can achieve. That’s why we are so proud of being designated as Gold Class certified.

It is a testament to our commitment to quality and safety.

Over time, cars have become more and more complicated. The average vehicle today has thousands of features and technologies, tens of thousands of parts, and a mix of advanced lightweight materials.

Get A Team Of Highly Skilled Experts

To safely repair your car or truck, you need a team of highly-trained specialists. And because vehicle design changes faster with each passing year, this training is never-ending. When you see the Gold Class logo, you know that we have the up-to-date in-house knowledge to complete reliable repairs. If a collision repair facility has a lapse in its training, even for a year, it loses its Gold Class designation.

Repair shops that are Gold Class only earn this by training every technician at the facility. Because of this, you can trust that anyone who touches your vehicle understands all of the new technologies and repair procedures. Gold Class certified shops also train experts in each of the four key collision repair roles: Estimator, Non-Structural Technician, Steel Structural Technician, and Refinish Technician. With all of the areas covered, you can feel confident that your repairs will be performed at the highest level of quality and safety to get you back on the road with confidence.

Cline Collision Center continues to stand at the top of the podium and earn Gold Class certification each year. We are also FCA US Certified, which guarantees we use OEM replacement parts that fit and function properly. We are also certified by Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, Hyundai, Infinity/Nissan, Kia and Honda for services including auto detailingdent removal, and exact-match painting. Call us at (707) 591-9909 or contact us online if you want to go for the gold!

Why Use an Independent Auto Body Shop?

Had an accident? In need of auto body repair? We know how stressful it is to navigate the stress of insurance claims. Especially when insurers float “preferred” body shops to you.

Why do insurers hand out this status and what does it mean to you? Shops that are preferred by insurers often have mixed loyalties. They need to keep you happy, but their monetary alliance is to insurers who tell shops to make repairs within narrow cost windows for parts and labor.

This is good for insurers. They are better able to control the repair costs incurred by motorists. This is also good for shops that are preferred. They get more business sent their way. Can you guess who it isn’t good for?

Customers are the only ones shortchanged in this setup. Shops are going to be much more motivated to keep a giant corporation satisfied than they are in giving you the quality repairs you need. Most insurers don’t require preferred shops to use OEM parts. In the name of efficiency, your car will get repaired with aftermarket parts that may not fit or function as well as the originals.

In fact, many insurers will try to sway you from going to non-preferred shops. Unfortunately, they have it backward. You pay a solid chunk of money each month so that the insurance company will restore your vehicle after an accident. Rather than try to control cost at your expense, they should ensure that body shops give you top-quality repairs. 

We remain independent and prefer to work for you! We use the right parts installed the right way with the right tools and equipment! Why would you trust your vehicle to cut-rate shops your insurer prefers? Who is looking out for your safety? The pros at Cline Collision Center will bring your vehicle back to pre-collision condition, bring it into. We offer a full slate of autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 for fully guaranteed repairs for your damaged car or truck.

OEM Certification Requires Culture Shift for Body Shops

There’s a giant gap between body shops willing to invest in the training, tools, and equipment to perform proper repairs and those that aren’t, according to a recent article in Body Shop Business. Experts note that there are a relative handful of really good autobody shops in the county. After those elite shops, there is a steep decline.  

For those that aren’t there yet, getting up to date and staying there is an uphill climb.

First, there is the cost. Training requires technicians to take time away from the repairs that make money for shops. Acquiring proper tools and state-of-the-art equipment isn’t cheap either. It requires a culture shift away from short-term profits to long term thinking.

Management has to completely change their thinking. They need to switch from relentlessly maximizing productive hours and bottom-line numbers to building a new blueprint for estimating and parts procurement that includes new training and equipment.   

Why does this culture shift need to happen now?

Technology is changing so quickly that shops not investing now will only fall further behind. Owners who don’t put money into training, tools, and equipment is guaranteeing poor quality for their customers.

This isn’t just about money. It is also about mindset. For those that have been in business 20 years, they may resist these changes. “I know what I’m doing,” they say. But this opposition will leave them unprepared as the auto industry hurtles forward.

Experts suggest that everyone in the shop needs to be willing to learn. Approaching the business as a perpetual student is the only way to give customers and their cars the safe reliable service they need. As the rate of technological change increases, so does the need for education and equipment that moves shops into the future.

Cline Collision Center continues to invest so that it is an elite autobody shop now, as well as in the future. We are FCA US Certified. This guarantees that we use OEM parts in repairs, ensuring fit and function you can depend on. It also tells you our technicians are trained to restore your vehicle to pre-collision condition. We are also certified by Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, Hyundai, Infinity/Nissan, Kia and Honda for services including auto detailingdent removal, and exact-match painting. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today!

Aftermarket or OEM?

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are built by the maker of your vehicle. They fit and work perfectly because they are the same parts that were specifically engineered for your car. Aftermarket parts are made to replace damaged parts, usually at a lesser cost. They might be good quality parts. They might not.

Here is what you might want to consider before choosing:

OEM Parts

Because OEM parts are made by the automakers who designed and built your vehicle, they are generally more expensive than aftermarket parts. On the other hand, they are guaranteed to exactly match the parts they replace. This doesn’t mean that OEM parts are always superior to aftermarket parts—it just means that they aren’t the same. OEM parts can sometimes make repairs take longer—it may take shops more time to get parts from original equipment manufacturers than aftermarket suppliers.

Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts are regulated by federal and state administrators. Still, some aftermarket manufacturers are better than others. The difficulty is in knowing which ones. Insurance companies often push for shops to use non-OEM parts because they can cost as much as 50 % less. Many shops use aftermarket parts and you have to trust if they are doing so because it is a better value, or they want to increase their bottom line.

Which is better for you? How do you decide?

The choice is yours, of course. You can research aftermarket parts and make an educated evaluation of your situation. Also, a very restrictive budget may make aftermarket parts your only choice. On the contrary, if you want to maintain the value of your vehicle and you want to guarantee the fit and quality of the repair, OEM parts are your best choice.It is also important to go to a body shop you can trust for advice and repairs you can rely on.  Cline Collision Center provides professional auto detailingdent removal, and exact-match painting. If you want your car restored to its pre-collision condition, contact us online or call us today at 707-591-9909. 

The Right Parts Installed the Right Way

Like anything else, choosing an autobody shop that you trust can feel like a leap of faith. Will they have the training, tools, parts suppliers, and equipment to return your car to pre-collision condition?

When your car is in an accident, you need to have confidence that the repair is done correctly. Going to an Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) certified body shop ensures that well-trained technicians are using parts that meet OEM standards.

We Know The Importance Of Your Vehicle

Your car is a critical component of your daily existence. Transporting yourself and loved ones safely is the top priority. You also don’t want to spend much time hassling with getting your vehicle fixed. That’s why it’s so crucial for car repairs to be done right the first time. An OEM certified shop provides expensive training sessions for its technicians with dealers or manufacturers. These shops also only use OEM certified parts. This ensures that your repaired vehicle will have parts that are of the same quality as your original vehicle.

Certification isn’t cheap. Shops that invest in better training and parts believe that safety and quality are more important than short-term profits gained by cutting corners. These certifications also need to be constantly renewed. That means a shop can’t get complacent—it requires a commitment to stay up with the latest developments in the industry. The right parts installed the right way with the right tools! Why would you trust your vehicle with cut-rate shops that don’t care about your safety? When you want your car or truck restored to its original condition, bring it into the pros at Cline Collision Center. Dent removalhigh-end paintingauto detailing—we do it all! If you want 100% satisfaction guaranteed repair for your damaged vehicle, contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today.

Your Auto Body Advocate

The Cline Collision Center process for repairing your vehicle.

Getting into an accident or damaging your car is one of the most inconvenient and stressful situations. It’s likely you won’t know what to do when it comes to dealing with your car insurance company and the auto body repair process.

That is where Cline Collision Center comes in. Our mission is to be our customer’s advocate. We know your situation is stressful and we understand the lingo and terminology your insurance company might be asking you. This is why we established a process for auto body repairs that removes the stress and delivers an exceptional finished vehicle for our customers.

The Cline Collision Center Vehicle Repair Process:

  1. File Claim with Insurance Company: Before Cline Collision Center can get started, you must file a claim and provide a statement with your insurance company.
  2. Call Cline Collision Center: Once you have your claim number you can provide it to us and we’ll get started.
  3. Estimates, Approvals and Loaner Car: Our Manager, Joe, will be the one who takes your claim number and begins working with your insurance company on an estimate for repairs. This will be the time that we also coordinate a loaner car to have during the duration of the repair.
  4. Prep for Repairs: Upon estimate approval, your car will be disassembled and repairs will be scheduled. OEM parts will be ordered, paint colors determined and repairs can begin.
  5. Structure Repairs: Our highly trained team will begin repairing your vehicle and bring it back to new.
  6. Body Work: Exterior panels and finishing will be replaced.
  7. Paint Shop: After the body work is completed, your vehicle enters our paint shop. We utilize only the best brands (Spies Hecker, Dupont and Axalta among others).
  8. Assembly: Our team will put all of the repaired panels back on the vehicle. Inspections are made to ensure every component is perfect.
  9. Detail: Upon sign off of repair, we then detail the car to make sure it looks pristine.

Communication is Key

We communicate with our customers through every step of the auto body repair process. We know how inconvenient it is for you and we want to make sure you feel at ease and informed. With Cline Collision Center being a Santa Rosa Gold Class Repair Shop by i-Car, and committed to only using OEM parts, you can rest assured your car is in good hands.

Get the best parts-and the best service at Cline Collision Center.

Schedule an appointment.

7 Things Auto-Body Shops Won’t Tell You

If you get into an accident, there are several things that are useful to know before you head to the body shop.

#1. A Fender Bender Can be Expensive to Repair

If you’ve gotten into a literal fender bender and it’s deemed that you’re the one at fault, you may be surprised at the cost of replacing a fender – even after the $500 deductible. The average fender replacement can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,600 after the costs of installation and painting. On vehicles with carbon fiber fenders, that cost can be as much as $5,000 to replace.

#2. Approved Shops are Often Obliged to Work on Behalf of Insurance Companies

Auto insurers contract with auto body shops to repair vehicles for a pre-negotiated rate; sometimes this includes practices like require low hourly labor rates, or making the shop pick up the cost of the rental car. Insurers often give customers so many discounts that it makes it impossible for shops to make much of a profit, causing some companies to feel tempted to cut corners.

#3. Not all Replacement Parts are Equal

OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are designed to match your make and model of vehicle exactly. Insurers generally prefer shops use generic, lower quality, or salvaged parts because they’re less expensive. If you’re at fault for an accident, you may be bound by your insurance policy to use these lower quality parts, however, if someone else is at fault be sure to tell your auto body shop to use OEM parts.

#4. The Due Date May Be Exaggerated

Mechanics often take on more work than they can handle but may blame it on things like parts being delayed. Before you choose a shop to do your body work, it’s always a good idea to check their online reviews to make sure that they deliver what they say they will.

#5. A Rental Car Can be Expensive

Renting a car is convenient if you’re going to be without your vehicle for an extended period of time, however, the costs can add up quickly. Renting a car for three weeks could cost $1,000 or more. Even if you have rental car insurance, your daily reimbursement may be limited to the cost of a compact car. Make sure your rental car insurance is comparable to the size of car you’re having repaired.

#6. Choose a Shop That Specializes in Your Type of Vehicle

Many European cars have precision parts and use types of metal that require specialized equipment to repair it. You should always take your car to a shop that’s certified by the manufacturer to work on your specific vehicle. Going to a manufacturer certified shop ensures the shop will understand your vehicle and have the right tools and parts to properly repair it back to manufacturer’s specifications. These shops do generally charge higher rates, so insurers won’t necessarily recommend them – but they should still be willing to pick up the tab.

#7. The Insurer’s Warranty Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Much

Insurers will sometimes exaggerate warranties on parts, for example, saying that they’ll be good for the life of the vehicle. This can be a tactic to urge consumers to go to a shop within their network. In reality, the body shop’s guarantee is the one that you should trust. Most shops guarantee their work, and most manufacturers guarantee their parts – those are the warranties that truly matter.

What Does MOPAR Stand For?

At Cline Auto Collision, we’re a MOPAR auto body shop, but what does that actually mean?

What is MOPAR?

MOPAR was named by combining the words “motor” and “parts.” MOPAR is the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FAC) Global Service and Parts division that’s responsible for manufacturing and distributing authentic replacement parts, components and accessories for Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. Despite being a department within the Fiat Chrysler organization, many car owners refer to all vehicles produced by them as MOPAR.

What is a MOPAR Shop?

As a MOPAR auto body shop, this means we only use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for all FAC repairs. The label of MOPAR is the same as saying that we’re FAC certified and means FAC has acknowledged that we meet their strict standards for repairing all makes and models manufactured by them. We make sure not only to use OEM parts but also to follow factory approved procedures and recommended equipment for every FAC repair job.

Why Use MOPAR Parts?

It’s crucial to use MOPAR parts for your FAC vehicles because every part is engineered specifically for your car. While aftermarket or generic parts can cut costs significantly, they may be of poor quality, fit irregularly, or may even potentially alter the appearance or structural integrity of your vehicle. Using MOPAR parts will ensure you receive high-quality repairs that restore your vehicle to factory standards while keeping your vehicle safe and reliable. If you’re in need of repairs for your FAC vehicle, contact Cline Collision Center! We’re proud to be a MOPAR auto body shop offering superior repairs that will make your vehicle look and feel like new.

Do Insurance Companies Have to Use OEM Parts?

Insurance companies are a business, and like many businesses, they’re interested in maximizing profitability. This means that when insurers contract with auto body shops, there may be a tendency for them to urge auto shops to use generic parts in an effort to cut costs – particularly if you were the one at fault for the accident. In some instances, insurers may even offer auto repair shops kickbacks for using non-OEM parts. Don’t assume that your insurance coverage automatically covers OEM parts; most likely it doesn’t.

Can I still Use OEM Parts if They’re Not Covered?

If OEM parts are a deal-breaker for you, it’s recommended you find an insurer that covers them, however, even if yours does cover them, they may not be an automatic option on a standard policy. You’ll most likely need to request the coverage or even pay an additional fee. Then there’s the issue of older vehicles or discontinued models; there simply may no longer be OEM parts available. In this case, a body shop only has options to use aftermarket or used parts, regardless of the coverage you have.

If OEM parts aren’t covered by your insurance, you don’t necessarily have to go with aftermarket parts; you have the option of paying the difference between the cost of OEM and aftermarket. Your insurance will cover the price of aftermarket parts, and you can tell us that you want OEM parts for your repair instead. You’ll be fully responsible for covering the difference in cost, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the parts used in the repair are specific to your individual make and model. The cost difference can sometimes be significant, so be sure to budget accordingly for the work that you’re having done.

If you have any questions about the insurance process, requesting OEM parts, or about OEM parts in general, give us a call today! We’re always happy to address any questions you may have.