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.

 

 

Using the Right Equipment is a Must for Auto Body Repair

When you’re selecting the auto body shop where your car will be repaired, there’s nothing more important than making sure your technicians have both the right equipment and the right training. Too often, auto repair shops skip over certain equipment and use less functional versions, resulting in subpar work that can end up causing more harm than good.

If you’re curious about how a shop does things, you can always visit to ask questions and have them explain their process. You’re going to want to choose a shop where the staff is certified and hopefully uses OEM parts when possible so that you know you’re getting quality parts that meet the standards your car did when you first drove it off the lot. Once you have a good idea of how they run their shop, try speaking to a few customers if they’re willing, or checking reviews online to see what people have to say about the quality of the work. Remember, for your safety and peace of mind, it’s better to look for quality over low cost.

As far as equipment goes, it’s really important that they have the appropriate tools for the job and that they know how to use them. There are a lot of businesses that use the wrong equipment, and it results in shoddy work at best and dangerous situations at worst. For example, many shops don’t invest in proper aluminum repair equipment. Aluminum is a popular metal to use in the construction of most cars, but you’ll find that several companies will use panel bonding instead of rivets, which is a mistake that can result in bad consequences in the event of an accident.

Instead of panel bonding, the proper tool to use is a rivet gun. We use one made by ProSpot that is approved by Ford for use on their vehicles. It allows us to both remove and install rivets. Without this tool, you flat-out can’t install self-piercing rivets. There’s no other way to do it. It’s a pretty sizeable investment, so some auto body shops will skip it altogether and use alternate methods, which results in suboptimal work.

It takes extra investments in both money and time to make sure the shop has a tool like this, but in our opinion, it’s absolutely necessary to get the job done right. Beyond spending the money on the tool itself, everyone who uses it should be properly trained, or else it’s just as bad as not having the tool at all. Take a peek onto the floor of an auto body shop if you can and note what sort of tools are being used. Do you see a rivet gun anywhere? If you’re not sure, ask.

We are always happy to talk you through our methods and discuss our recommendations for your repairs. If you have any questions at all, please ask. We encourage all our clients to know exactly what’s going on with their cars!

Insurance “Preferred” Shops vs Independent Auto Body Repair

You’ve had an accident and you’re in need of some auto body repair. Lots of us have been there, and we know the stress that comes along with figuring out all the details of insurance claims and “preferred” body shops. We want to make this as easy as possible on you because you’ve already been through enough, so we’re writing up a quick primer to help you understand what’s in your best interests.

First things first: what is a “preferred” body shop? These are shops that work through an insurance company’s DRP, or Direct Repair Program. It’s a relationship with an auto repair shop that allows the insurance company to have a great deal of say in how a car is repaired, down to approving specific parts and labor. It takes a lot of guesswork out of the hands of the insured, since the insurance company simply hands over a list of their “preferred” shops and lets you choose, but it comes at a cost. That cost is that the auto shop is beholden to the insurance company, not you, the customer. The insurance company gets to call the shots and decide what they’re willing to allow, which may not be what’s best for you or your car.

Why do auto body shops enter a relationship like this? Because it’s guaranteed income, usually. The insurance company provides them business in exchange for more control over the outcome. You can certainly have perfectly adequate work done at one of these “preferred” shops, but ultimately it’s better for you to go with an auto body shop that’s working for you, not your insurance company.

Here’s why: any auto body shop that works with you directly is going to be focused on making you happy, not making a corporation happy. Insurance companies are interested in keeping their costs down, and if that means making sure your car is repaired with cheaper parts and a lower labor rate, then that’s what they’re going to do. Generally, insurance companies don’t require “preferred” shops to use OEM parts, which means a lot of discount aftermarket parts are used instead. As with most things in life, you’re always going to want to go with quality over the cheapest possible solution.

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to try to put you off from using a “non-preferred” shop, which is hardly surprising. If they have less control, that means more paperwork and cost on their end, but ultimately that’s what they’re there for. You pay insurance premiums so that you can receive quality care if something goes wrong. An insurance company cannot stop you from having your car repaired at the auto body shop of your choice, but they will probably try to convince you to go to one of “their” shops by making claims that outside-network shops “charge more” or “take longer.”

The true long and short of it is that if you’re insured, then your insurer must allow you to repair your car wherever you like, and once you hit your out-of-pocket premium, their coverage should kick in. We’ll do everything in our power to help you through any stall tactics so we can get your car repaired and back to you as soon as possible. We’re happy to help you with the paperwork to get your claim settled!

Is the Expense Worth It?

With popular models of Infiniti like the QX50 (formerly known as the EX) costing just under $35,000, it is possible to get the feature-rich joy of driving a luxury car at a less expensive price tag. One of the reasons consumers consistently choose Infiniti is the sleek, modern look of their vehicles and the trendy features offered. While you may enjoy the cheaper price as opposed to other luxury cars like BMW and Audi, it’s important not to choose the least expensive repairs.

You’ve already invested a lot of money into your car. You don’t want to waste unnecessary funds on a part that doesn’t matter. We totally understand. But auto body repair is not a place to skimp. There’s a reason Infiniti OEM repairs are so important. The quality you receive from a Infiniti certified collision repair shop is unparalleled. Aftermarket, or alternative, parts are inferior. They may be made by second-rate suppliers, salvaged from totaled cars, rebuilt from other vehicles after an accident, or come from a different source. You don’t know where these parts come from, who made them, or what condition they are in. There’s no guarantee that these parts won’t deteriorate over time. In fact, depending on the part, they may seriously impact your car’s crash worthiness.

By trusting an Infiniti OEM body shop, you receive high quality parts that will return your vehicle to factory condition. Not only does a certified OEM shop make sure the parts used on your collision repairs are new and original equipment manufacturer parts, specifically made to fit your car, they also are required to follow Infiniti approved procedures on all repairs.

Cline Collision Center is certified in Infiniti collision repair, meaning our work, equipment, and parts used have be acknowledged by Infiniti as being the highest quality.  Although Infiniti OEM parts may be more expensive than cheap knockoffs, you can rely on them. Inferior aftermarket parts are not necessarily made to fit your vehicle, and may deteriorate or rust over time, impacting the appearance and structural integrity of your car. Instead, trust an Infiniti OEM shop with experience, the highest certifications, and a dedication to our work. We stand behind all our repairs. Come to Cline, where “choosing us is no accident”.