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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.

What is an OEM Authorization Certificate?

If you’re searching the net for auto body shops, you may have noticed that some of them say they’re OEM certified. There used to be two types of shops you could go to for repairs: auto dealerships and independent body shops. The main difference was that dealerships were typically pricier, but they offered higher quality repairs than body shops. There’s now a third choice: OEM certified or authorized body shops.

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer; when a shop receives an OEM Authorization Certificate, it means that the auto body shop has been recognized by manufacturers as working within their repair parameters. This means the shop uses only factory-approved parts, follows factory-directed procedures for repairs, and has the proper equipment to complete the repairs within factory specifications.  It also means that all the technicians are fully trained in all aspects of OEM procedures.

Why does being OEM certified make a difference for your repairs? Our technicians are experts on each of the manufacturers, makes and models that we’re OEM certified to work on. They understand the different materials used by each manufacturer, the best tool for the job, and the best procedure to use to make a high-quality repair. For example, the Ford F-150 has an aluminum frame; aluminum requires different equipment to make repairs than a vehicle that uses a steel frame. Since we’re OEM certified by Ford, we have the proper equipment to perform an ideal repair, returning your vehicle back to factory standards. 

At Cline Collision Center, we’re OEM certified to work on a Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, and Honda. This means each of these manufacturers has fully recognized that we meet or exceed all OEM repair standards set forth by them. Our technicians are highly trained on OEM procedures and are certified through the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (II-CAR), considered the gold standard of auto body certifications. 

If you have any questions about OEM authorization certification and how it may relate to repairs your vehicle needs, feel free to give us a call. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Does my windshield need to be replaced or repaired?

Ouch! A rock just hit your windshield, leaving a chip right in front of your face. Let’s hope it doesn’t spread. You’re probably wondering, does my windshield need to be replaced or repaired? Windshield repair or replacement depends on the size, location and severity of the damage. Most windshield repair shops can repair quarter-sized rock chips and cracks up to three inches long. There can be exceptions, so don’t assume the worst just yet if your rock chip is slightly bigger.

A windshield repair involves injecting a premier resin right into the chip or crack to fill the crack, so it does not progress. This injection also makes the chip or crack less noticeable as well. Make sure your vehicle is checked out by a certified repair and/or replacement facility. We find nowadays those that are not certified, often do not have the trained eye to steer you in the right direction. For example: you’ve seen those glass repair pop ups in parking lots from time to time, right? They only do windshield repair, not replacement. They’ll likely “repair” your windshield because they do not want to lose your business by recommending what you actually need. Which is a replacement. Make sure any repair or replacement facility is certified. We recommend doing your windshield repair or replacement as soon as possible. The longer you let your windshield sit (even if you’re not actually driving the car around town), the more likely you are to need a replacement.

Windshield repairs are much less expensive than replacements. There are unfortunate circumstances where you do everything right yet still need replacement. However, your auto insurance company may pay for either entirely. Many policies cover windshield damage 100% without even meeting the deductible. Broken or damaged windshields are the most common reason for pursuing an automotive insurance claim in the U.S. Many auto claims start with a baseball hitting the windshield, or destructive hail. Just remember, the most important thing to do after your vehicle’s windshield has been struck by a rock is to take it in to your local auto glass expert. Or, give them a call and ask if you can email them photos, so you’re not out driving around and making the damage worse.

Cline Collision Center is an auto body repair facility located in Santa Rosa, CA. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give us a call at 707-591-9909 to learn more about what we have to offer you and your vehicle, today. Or, stop by for a free estimate!   

Is it better to repair or total a car?

This question all depends on your specific situation. For this post let’s assume your vehicle is borderline total loss. We’ll run through some scenarios to help you decide, below.

1. I am upside down on my car loan

In this case it makes more sense to repair your vehicle. Nobody wants to pay for something they no longer own. The downfall here is when you try to sell the vehicle after it is paid off you will not be able to sell it with a clean title. However, you might make up for it with how great the vehicle looks after it has been transformed by a professional body shop.

2. I just spent thousands at the automotive repair shop

Since you just put a lot of money into it mechanically, depending on the wreck it may still be a mechanically sound car. If you were rear ended this car would need some mechanical help, but not nearly as severe as if the whole front was smashed in. This is one you want to keep driving to get your money’s worth since you likely won’t make up for it selling it with a salvaged title. Plus, if you were to sell this one, you might end up with a used vehicle with thousands of dollars of problems. You should keep the one you know is running well in this scenario.

3. I love my car

This is a reason you should keep your vehicle. Repairing your vehicle is cheaper than taking out a loan or paying monthly payments on a brand-new vehicle. It is often in the best interest of the insurance company to total a car, so you will need to look out for your own best interests.

4. I do not love my car

This goes back to would you rather pay to fix it, or have monthly payments for a new car? Another option is to take the buyout of your old vehicle and put it towards another used vehicle. You might be thinking, well my buyout will be minimal. Always keep your receipts from repair shops. You can give this information to the adjuster and they will take it into consideration when determining the settlement you get for your total loss. If you do purchase a used vehicle, make sure you take it in to a trusted repair shop for a pre-purchase buyers’ inspection. The last thing you want after getting in an accident is to purchase a vehicle with thousands of dollars in problems. Cline Collision Center is a 5-star auto body repair facility located in Santa Rosa, CA. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give us a call at 707-591-9909 to learn more about what we have to offer you and your vehicle, today. Or, stop by for a free estimate!