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.

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!    

How long does it take for an insurance company to fix your car?

What you should know about the repair process and dealing with insurance companies:

After a vehicle accident, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of: I have insurance, so how long will it take for them to fix my car? Here’s the thing, your insurance company has nothing to do with the actual repair of your vehicle. They do, however, have an employee known as an insurance adjuster come out to your chosen body shop to evaluate your vehicle, and approve repairs. This process typically takes 4-5 days.

Your insurance company will suggest you use a specific auto body shop. They might even come across with the attitude of you must have your vehicle repaired by the body shop of their choice. Here’s the thing, by law, it is YOUR choice who you pick to fix your vehicle. Insurance companies recommend certain body shops because it is beneficial to the insurance company. They have contracts in place that have negotiated lower parts and labor rates. Claims representatives have monthly goals in place that they should meet. Generally, these companies would like to see at least 40 percent of their auto claims go to their direct body shops. This is why if your decision is not one of their recommendations, they might try to sway you differently. Statements you might hear include “that shop isn’t in our preferred network” or “we can’t warranty the work performed at that shop” or “the charges at that shop are higher” or even “claims take longer to settle at that shop”. When you call your insurance company, know your right as a consumer is to choose the shop that works for you.

What to look for in an auto body shop:

1.     Choose a shop that is certified to repair your vehicle

Cline Collision Center is OEM certified by Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, MOPAR, SRT, Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Nissan, Honda, and Acura. Choosing a shop that is certified by your vehicle’s manufacturer means they certify that this shop are experts at what they do.

2.     Check out their Google and Yelp reviews

Most people only review when they have an extremely positive or extremely negative experience. However, it’ll still give you a general idea of what customers think about the body shop that is of interest to you.

3.     Professional and courteous staff

You being taken care of is just as important as your vehicle being taken care of. Choose a friendly shop, like Cline Collision Center.

4.     Will write a free written estimate

A written auto repair estimate is a contract between you and the repair shop that describes what will be done and how much it will cost. Getting this information in writing can help prevent problems down the road.

5.     Will detail your vehicle

It’s not the most important but every auto body shop should detail the vehicles they repair in order to deliver that new car look and feel. You’re spending big money, and the last thing you want to receive is a dirty vehicle. 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!    

Adhesive Bonding: The Game Changer 

Adhesive bonding for vehicles has been around since the 1960s. When done properly it is a very efficient way of bonding the vehicle. Some people are worried about the end result when choosing adhesive bonding, however, as long as the certified technician follows the exact vehicle manufacturer guidelines, there won’t be an issue. If a technician opted to guess the manufacturer guidelines, as you might have guessed this can turn into a disaster. Adhesive-only repairs should be done only when there is a written procedure from the vehicle manufacturer for that year, make and model.

The advantages to using adhesives during manufacturing include:

· Adding strength to a vehicle

· Reducing weight

· Reducing noise, vibration and harshness

· Adding to corrosion protection, extending the vehicle’s end of life

Adhesive bonding can be applied to many types of repairs. You can bond dissimilar metals or any other materials. There’s no worry of metals being sensitive to heat, as they can function in extreme temperatures. All of these advantages make adhesives a great addition to our shop. Training is crucial to the success of any body work but especially with adhesive bonding. This is why we send our technicians to ongoing education courses so that they can continue to perfect their craft. Adhesive-only bonding is used by all manufacturers on almost every vehicle. The windshield, for example, is adhesively bonded to the vehicle.

Rivet Bonding is another form of bonding that was brought to life by the new F-150’s. Body shops did not really use rivet bonding before the new F-150’s came out because they were not sure of its reliability, or really, how to do it. Once Ford brought out these aluminum trucks, body shops were forced to learn in order to fix these trucks. We all learned that the process is straightforward!

Rivets alone are susceptible to failing as the bonding of the two materials may allow for movement over time from repeated stress. Rivets and welds also break loose. The combination of rivets and adhesive corrects the weakness of either system being used alone, which gives manufacturers a no-heat bond that would damage many steels or other metals. This combination also makes it easy for us to restore vehicles to factory specifications, keeping up with the vehicle’s required engineering specs.

As with rivets, adhesives can be used with welding panels together also. Squeeze-type resistance spot welding can weld through many adhesives to form a strong, long-lasting bond. We use machines capable of weld bonding and have pulse energy in order to make a correct spot weld.

At Cline Collision Center, we are trained and licensed to perform whichever type of bonding is best suited for your vehicle make and model. Give us a call today to schedule your vehicle at 707.591.9909 for a free estimate!

How to Avoid Corrosion

People often worry that their vehicle will rust out after the auto body repair. Anytime one of our technicians needs to cut into the body of the vehicle, it is now different than when it left the factory. However, a quality trained and licensed technician, like ours at Cline Collision Center can put it back exactly the way it left the factory. Without proper schooling and training, we do not recommend taking on your own body repair. When repairing body damage to your vehicle it is crucial to not miss a step, in order to ensure a clean metal surface. Corrosion is not always visible, unless it causes the paint to blister or raise. Here are some helpful tips we use to avoid corrosion:

1.     Don’t forget to put on gloves and follow instructions for metal treatments and primers during the paint refinishing stages. Did you know that the oil from your bare hands touching the metal can interfere with the primer quality?

2.     Drill all necessary holes before you begin the refinishing process. Remember to clean each hole of flakes to make sure there is no metal residue hanging around during the refinishing process. That would cause galvanic corrosion to occur.

3.     Clean welds thoroughly and apply corrosion protection or primers according to the paint makers recommendations.

4.     It is critical that there is no water in the air supply when spraying, so be sure to check your filters often for moisture.

5.     Make sure there is no moisture surrounding the vehicle before refinishing. We know it sounds basic but read the instructions for every step in the process to ensure a corrosion free outcome!

Each vehicle manufacturer sends out what is called a TSB, which stands for “technical service bulletin”. This booklet explains to the technician how to make each repair, in great detail. TSB’s explain to a technician every single step required in order to replicate the factory construction process. Cline Collision Center follows each of the booklets to a “T” to ensure you’re getting factory specified repair completed.

Cline Collision Center is a 5-star auto body facility located in Santa Rosa, CA. We offer auto body collision repair, auto body refinishing, frame straightening, bumper repair, car painting, dent removal, dent repair, and are excited to offer a free detail with every repair. When you choose Cline Collison Center it will be like bringing home a brand-new car again. See you soon!

References: 

https://rts.i-car.com/collision-rpair-news/back-to-basics-corrosion.html