The Art of Paint Matching in Auto body Repair

After an accident, you want your car back in good-as-new condition. For an auto body shop, one of the most challenging aspects of that repair is paint matching.

The truth is that you should feel great about what your car looks like when you get it back from the shop. But perfect paint matching does more than make your car look good. It also adds to resale value and allows drivers to return leased vehicles to the dealership with no charge.

Poor paint matching is painfully obvious. A car that has one panel that is a different color from the rest of the vehicle stands out from the crowd—and not in a good way! The mismatched paint can actually make the vehicle look worse than the accident – not the outcome you wanted after paying for insurance and deductibles.

Why Is It So Hard To Match Paint?

There’s a reason that matching the color of your paint is so challenging. When your car was at the factory, the entire body was painted at the same time from the same batch of paint. Though that paint color has a code, there are thousands of variations and shades. Even basic colors such as black and red have dozens, if not hundreds of shades to choose from.

Making it even more difficult, your car’s paint is like skin. Although you don’t notice it until you see it from a new angle or perspective, paint ages a little bit each day. Over times, this adds up and the older your vehicle is, the harder it is to match the paint.

This is where the art comes in. Even if a new batch of paint is mixed to factory specifications, there may still be a noticeable difference. A good technician can change that shade just enough to match the paint as it is, not as it was.

The artistry doesn’t stop there. If, say, a door panel on an older car needs repair, a shop can use blending techniques like lightly overspraying new paint onto old paint to create an unnoticeable transition. In some cases, though, weathering and fading may make it necessary to paint the entire side of the car. Some insurance companies refuse to pay for this. You may have to make a case with your adjuster, or work with your repair shop to include this next step as part of making a quality repair.

What Can You Do To Make Your Car Look Good-As-New?

Of course, even the best shop can’t bring a car that has seen better days back into good-as-new condition without taking some extra steps. You may want to consider getting your car buffed, which will brighten the paint up. This will cost extra but may be worth the money if you want that new car feeling without that new car price.

Accidents are often, at best, unpleasant experiences. It can feel good to put it behind you with a properly repaired car from a professional, reputable shop. When you want to work with an auto body repair shop that stands behind their work, bring your vehicle to Cline Collision Center. We are ASE-certified, have OEM certification from Infiniti, Nissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/Acura, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia, and have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR. For top-quality workmanship and customer service, including help with navigating insurance challenges, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

Just Asking: Questions for Your Auto Body Repair Shop

Just Asking Questions For Your Auto Body Repair Shop

You just surfaced from the initial stages of an accident. First, the sudden realization of impact. Then, if there was another party involved, the exchange of information. Next, notifying your insurance company.

Now, it’s time to pick an auto repair facility to bring your vehicle to. Where do you go? How do you determine the quality of work and customer care you’ll receive?

Though we can’t promise how other shops run their business, you can get a sense of their commitment to best practices by asking some simple questions. We love it when clients take the time to research how seriously we take our mission to provide high-quality workmanship in a timely manner with 100% client satisfaction. Here are some questions you can ask:

How long will the auto body repair take? 

This is probably the #1 question we are asked. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer because there are so many variables, especially the extent of the damage. Though the industry average is much higher, we take 3-7 days for the average repair. This is because we have built-in efficiencies with highly-trained technicians and advisors, fast parts procurement, and up-to-date tools and equipment.   

What kind of warranty comes with their auto body repair work? 

You need to feel confident the repair will last. For us, this is pretty simple. We warranty all repairs for as long as our customer owns the vehicle – anything less just won’t cut it!

How do I get around while my car is in the shop? 

We have a partnership with Enterprise to give our customers a discounted rate on rental cars.

Do you carry fire and theft insurance so that my car is covered by insurance while it is in your shop? 

Though not likely at our shop, you need coverage in case your vehicle is damaged, destroyed, or stolen while being repaired. We carry this coverage so you can rest assured.

Will the paint match the rest of my car? 

There is only one acceptable answer to this question—Yes! Our approach for color matching is to blend adjacent panels to the one that we’re repairing or replacing. Cars have a paint code that tells us the exact color of the carmaker’s paint, but there is an art to this, as well as science. We also have to account for fading and variations at the time of manufacture. At Cline, you will be 100% satisfied with your repair!

How soon can I wash my car after an auto body repair? 

Every auto body shop should return your car to you immaculately clean. But, you should be wary of a shop that tells you to hold off on washing it any time soon. We bake cure every vehicle that we refinish at 150 degrees, making it immediately ready for everyday use, including getting out the microfiber towels and giving it a good scrub.

Do you put everything in writing? 

Reputable shops provide an itemized written estimate for auto body repairs and, upon completion of repairs, a detailed invoice. The estimate and invoice must also identify all parts as new, used, aftermarket, reconditioned, or rebuilt. There should never be surprise charges for towing or storage services. We provide you with a detailed estimate before repairs and a detailed final bill once we complete repairs, including the written lifetime warranty.

Can I view repair updates online? 

Yes! We gladly supply our clients with ongoing information on demand at Check My Repair Status.

What is the payment policy? 

Reputable auto body repair shops post their payment policies. We accept credit and or cash from clients, as well as checks from insurance companies.

Conclusions

Of course, the recommendation of a trusted acquaintance or reviews can also help you make your decision. By any metric, we are sure you will find that we measure up. We bring a commitment to integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship to our relationship with you. You are, after all, our friends and neighbors!

How Can You Tell If It’s the Right Auto Body Shop?

You have lots of automotive body shops to choose from. How can you sort out the good from the bad? Then, how do you choose between the good and the best?

How Can You Tell If Its The Right Auto Body SHop

Most people can’t tell a wire welder from a squeeze-type resistance spot welder, making it impossible for most folks to look at a shop to see if it is well equipped. But you should look to see if the shop is relatively clean and organized. Just because autobody work is messy and dirty doesn’t mean the work area shouldn’t look professional.

Are their plaques, certificates, or affiliations on the wall or website? Are they members of trade organizations and training programs? Here are some to look for:

OEM Certification 

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certification means that a body shop has been acknowledged to only use factory-approved parts. It also means that the facility has the correct equipment to install those parts, and uses only factory-approved procedures. OEM-certified shops offer high-quality repairs that have been approved by automakers, giving you the professionalism you need and the price break and convenience you want. Cline Collision Center is proud to say we’ve hard to get these designations, which include certifications from InfinitiNissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia

I-CAR Training

The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) is a non-profit training organization focused on improving collision repair. They make the necessary knowledge and skills to complete repairs accessible to anyone in the industry willing to work hard enough. We are proud to have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR, proof that we have achieved the highest level of training possible.

ASE Certified: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tests and certifies automotive repair professionals to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service. This takes the guesswork out of automotive repair. You don’t have to “hope” you’re going to a reputable shop. Instead, it lets you know you are going to a shop staffed with professionals committed to understanding your vehicle and keeping up with always-changing technology.    

Certifications and honors are all well and good, but you need results. That’s why, when you have autobody damage, you should come to the pros at Cline Collision Center. We  provide top-quality workmanship and customer service, including help with navigating insurance challenges. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

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. 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.

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.

Do Auto Body Shops Wash Your Car?

Yes, we do! Washing your vehicle before we paint it is a critical step in ensuring your new paint job comes out fantastic. We cannot effectively apply paint over a dirty vehicle. Even if paint is not involved, we still wash your vehicle to bring back that new car look when you get your vehicle back. In fact, many auto body shops detail your vehicle before you pick it up. Cline Collision Center takes it a step further and details the complete interior and exterior of your vehicle, for free!

Here’s some advice when it comes to washing your vehicle after it has had paint work completed:

1)     Don’t go for a wash immediately

If you’re like me, you can’t stand a dirty vehicle. Going through the car wash is such a convenience, but do not make this mistake for at least 3 months after your vehicle has been painted. In the first 30 days after your vehicle has been painted, take your car home and simply wash it down with cold water and a microfiber mitt in the shade. Be as careful as possible to avoid potential scratches. After 30 days you may apply soap. After 3 months you may go through the automatic car wash. If possible, opt for only touchless washes, and of course if possible, always hand wash yourself or take it to your favorite detailer that hand washes.

2)     Say no to joy rides (for now)

Say no to the drag race track, or joy rides blasting your favorite tunes. Only drive this vehicle when necessary for the first two months. If you have a second vehicle, let this vehicle be your garage queen for the next two months. This allows your paint to fully cure before being subjected to harsh weather conditions. Trust us, your patience will be so worth it!

3)     Did we mention, garage queen?

If you have garage space at home, leave your vehicle in the garage when you’re not using it. Tree sap, bird droppings, and acid rain are dangerous to your new clear coat. Even drastic changes in the temperature can affect the paint.

4)     We love waxing! Just not yet.

60 days after painting is the ideal time to wax your car again. Though no rush. We recommend you have a professional wax your vehicle once or twice per year with real carnauba wax to keep that shine year-round, and more importantly to protect the paint.

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!

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Cline Collision’s top five tips for choosing the right auto body shop are simple: research, location, diligence, comparison, and instinct. We know that sounds vague, so we’ll explain in more detail below.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

1) Research

After a collision, it’s tempting to just go with the first auto body shop that your insurance provider recommends. However, it’s important to keep in mind that despite the spin they give, an insurance provider can’t stop you from going to a shop of your own choosing. Do some research before making a decision. Read reviews, listen to word of mouth, and ask people you trust who they’d recommend.

 

2) Location

Go local! It’s very likely that there’s a qualified independent collision repair center close to you. Run an online search and see what comes up. Look for auto body shops that are OEM Certified for your make of vehicle and that have good customer satisfaction ratings. Very often, these shops go the extra mile to maintain their certification and can return your vehicle to you as good as new.

 

3) Diligence

Never be afraid to ask questions. Your collision repair technicians are there to provide you with the answers, and good technicians won’t shut down when you press them for information. It’s also wise to find a repair shop that can handle your insurance paperwork for you, pre-approving costs with your provider before making a repair. A service center with OEM Certification is a good choice for quality work from trained staff.

 

4) Comparison

Wanting to find reasonable prices and good service isn’t being picky, it’s being a smart shopper. Make a list of a few auto body shops you’re interested in and call around. Get multiple estimates, and if you have time, visit the shop to see how they work. Once you find one that does the quality of work you expect and has prices you can accept, you can make an informed decision.

 

5) Instinct

When in doubt, always listen to your gut. If you ever sense someone’s not being straight with you, listen to that voice in your head and refer to step number three. Getting a good vibe from the team working on your car is important.

 

These are our top five tips for finding the right auto body shop for you, but don’t hesitate to consider other factors, as well. Low prices may be important, but consider the quality of the work. Insurance providers may pressure you to go with one of their “preferred” shops, but make sure you choose someone you’re comfortable with. Have questions? No problem. Cline Collision is here to help!

Are cars made out of aluminum?

Cline Collision Center has been advertising to car owners in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Cotati, and beyond that we are specially equipped to work on aluminum vehicles. The first question you may have is, are cars made out of aluminum? This isn’t a silly are cars made out of aluminumquestion. Car frames can be made out of several different materials including: carbon fiber, plastic, steel, and aluminum. The ideal qualities in car frames are light and strong. Less weight means more fuel efficiency while strength promotes better safety ratings. Carbon fiber is very light and very strong, but unfortunately extremely expensive, so it’s primarily used for racing and sports cars. Plastic is becoming more frequently used and is very light, but it is not seen as the safest material. Steel has long been the traditional material for car frames. Steel is cheaper than aluminum and strong. However, the car industry is shifting to aluminum, which is strong, lighter than steel, and does not rust.

 

Aluminum is more expensive than steel, and has typically been used for high-end vehicles like the Acura NSX, BMW i8, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Jaguar XJ, Tesla Model S 60, and other luxury cars. In 2015, Ford began making the Ford F-150 with a primarily aluminum body. As the best-selling car in the United States, this signified a significant shift in automotive trends.

 

Aluminum Frames Require Specialized Repairs

With the growing number of cars manufactured with aluminum frames, there is a need for facilities that can repair these vehicles. Why can’t you take your aluminum frame vehicle to any auto body shop? Because aluminum and steel can be extremely corrosive to each other. A shop must be properly equipped with separate equipment, tools, and space to work on your vehicle. Otherwise, even the steel shavings from other cars can affect your vehicle. Fortunately, there’s a professional auto body shop nearby that has trained technicians specifically and has the necessary facilities for aluminum repairs. Contact Cline Collision Center today to schedule an appointment.