Damage to Your Leased Vehicle? Make Sure You Get OEM Parts

So, you just got in a fender bender in your leased vehicle. What do you do now? Is it different than if it’s a vehicle you own?

First off, make sure you are in as safe a location as possible and call 911 and report it to the police. Do this even it’s a minor incident, no matter whose fault it is. Police reports will help you establish facts and resolve disputes. Insurance companies want police reports and it will make the process smoother if you have official descriptions of the accident.

Next, call your insurance company. Hopefully, you have appropriate insurance so you’re not out of luck even if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. Your insurer can get involved in the process even if it wasn’t your fault.

Damage To Your Leased Vehicle | Get OEM Parts

Third, call the lease finance company, especially if the vehicle is totaled. It’s their vehicle, after all. They’ll want to know what’s up and expect a call from an insurance company. Most leasing agreements carry GAP insurance, meaning insurance pays the leasing company the difference between the “totaled” amount and market value. The money doesn’t go to you but ensures you won’t owe extra.

The last step is probably the most important. Take your vehicle to a repair facility that will return your vehicle in like-new condition. Make sure they use OEM parts, not cheap aftermarket replacements or junkyard parts. You will be charged for repairs that don’t meet OEM standards to restore your vehicle to acceptable condition.      

At Cline Collision Center, we will put your vehicle back into pre-collision shape. As a Gold Class certified shop, you can feel confident knowing that we only use OEM parts and hold ourselves to incredibly high standards. Our ASE certification lets you know we stay up with all of the latest developments, offering a full slate of state-of-the-art autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 if your car is in an accident, leased or not. You’ll be happy you took all the right steps!

Auto Body Repair

When Bald Isn’t Beautiful

Auto Body Repair | Aging Tires

Going bald is not something most people hope for, but it’s a fact of life for many. Nearly two-thirds of men will experience significant hair loss by the time they’re 50 years old. It is also something that doesn’t have to get in the way of a healthy, happy life.

Unfortunately, the same is not true of bald tires.

Driving on worn down tires is downright dangerous. More than one-quarter of all auto crashes involve at least one car with tires that have treads of less than 1/16 of an inch.

Why Not Tread Lightly?

Your tires are engineered with specifically designed grooves or channels that grasp the surface of the road. They give you the traction you need to get a grip in rain, snow, ice, or mud. Slippery roads are manageable only because these channels force water and slick material away from the surface that contacts the road. Tread also makes sure steering remains stable so that you can avoid trouble in an emergency.

It takes a lot of friction to keep your car connected to the road. This friction causes heat. Tires with low or no tread cause heat buildup that can lead to a blowout. With enough tread, your tires stay cooler by allowing air to flow between the grooves. Further, when you have worn tires, water gets between your tire and the road leading to hydroplaning. Modern tread patterns are great at channeling water away from the tire surface. This can’t happen when there isn’t enough of a channel!

Hey Mister, Got a Quarter?

Regular inspections are a great idea. If you insert a penny into the tread and see the top of Lincoln’s head, you have less than one-sixteenth of an inch and should get new tires now. For those who want to error on the side of increased safety—try the same test, but with a quarter. You have 1/8 of an inch left If you can see the top of Washington’s head. This means you are within the manufacturer’s specs, but there might be some compromise on stopping distance and handling in difficult circumstances.  You should also look for sidewall cracks, bulges or blisters that can develop over time. All of these are serious and require immediate attention! At Cline Collision Center, we know it’s difficult enough to safely navigate your vehicle without making it harder on yourself. We don’t want you to get in an accident because your tires were going bald and needed to be replaced. However, we understand that accidents happen – and we are here for you when they do. Just call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for a full-slate of auto body repair services in Santa Rosa,  including auto detailingdent removal, and exact-match painting

Why is There a Dent in Accident?

Let’s face it, getting in an accident is no fun at all. But there are worse outcomes. That’s why we want to walk you through preparation and roadside safety for when you’re in a collision.

Preparation is important in all aspects of life; this includes accidents. Make sure you have your insurance information and a card with current relevant medical information about you and your family. You also need pen and paper, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, emergency distress indicators (road flares, warning triangles, or cones), water bottles, and a blanket. Lastly, do some research. Look for an autobody shop that is known for putting a premium on safety and quality—the Gold Class logo is an excellent sign that a shop has the right training, tools, equipment to get you safely back on the road again.

What To Do In An Accident

Car Dent From Accident

When an accident occurs, check for injuries. Do not move anyone who might have a serious neck or spine injury and call 911 if you’re unsure. If you can’t move your vehicle, and it is not safe to exit the vehicle, stay inside and with your seatbelt on.

Next, if it is possible, move your vehicle as far from traffic as possible. Turn on your hazard lights and set out any emergency distress indicators you have available.  

Contact the local police or highway patrol and follow their instructions about whether you have to stay at the scene. Exchange information with the other driver including their driver’s license number, license plate number, and the year, make, model, and color of their car. If there are any witnesses, get their information.

Use your phone to take photos of the accident at the scene if it is safe, and then to call up your insurance company.

Aside from your safety, the most critical step is next. Contact the Gold Class certified autobody shop— such as Cline Collision Center—you researched. We know how to find hidden damage that other shops may overlook. Like all Gold Class shops, we stay current with the latest repair procedures and technologies. There are numerous choices to make when repairing a vehicle. Because of our Gold Class certification, you can trust that we have your back when it comes to deciding which parts to repair and which to replace. With today’s high-tech, lightweight vehicles, you need to know that the integrity of all of your safety features, such as crumple zones and airbag timing, are correctly repaired.

Call Cline Collision Center at 707-591-9909 or contact us online for a free estimate to take the dent out of your accident!

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!

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.

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!