Do I Have A Say In How My Car Is Repaired?

There is nothing better than jumping into the 2004 Nissan Xterra you’ve had since high school graduation, and heading out to the beach, right? But, bummer, dude, you just got into a fender bender. Now the ocean is a distant dream and your trusted friend needs some love. Where do you go to make sure your car gets fixed right? Did you know that not all replacement parts are created equal? That some parts are of higher quality than others?

Not all people know that the type of parts that collision repair shops use makes a significant difference in the quality of repairs you get. If you want to make sure your Nissan will soon be looking good and get you back out to the surf, then catch this wave and read on.

What is OEM? Why Are These Parts Better?

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are made by the car’s original manufacturer. It is what was installed by the factory when your car rolled off the line. An aftermarket part is made by another company and designed to look and function like the original. Some companies focus on building exceptional quality aftermarket parts that they can sometimes be even better than the original. Unfortunately, for many other parts makers (and the shops that buy them), price is much more important than quality. These cheap knockoffs might not fit your car and definitely won’t last as long or be as safe.

How do I know if I’m getting OEM parts?

Do I Have A Say In How My Car Is Repaired

One way is to purchase an OEM endorsement, a clause in your insurance policy that guarantees the repair shop uses OEM parts. You pay extra for an OEM endorsement, but without this, insurance companies will try to steer you toward shops that use aftermarket parts. This works out well for insurers because these repairs cost them less. It’s not as good for you. Parts not made by the manufacturer may not look quite right. Worse, though, aftermarket parts can also fail and cause your vehicle to become unsafe.

Are there other ways to guarantee I am getting OEM repairs?

You can take your beloved Xterra or any other car or truck to Cline Collision Center. We are ASE-certified, with OEM certifications from NissanInfiniti, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia. We have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR, a designation that lets you know that everyone who touches your car is highly trained understands new vehicle technologies and repairs. We will also help you navigate insurance. If integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship are important to you, too, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!  

Understanding the Basics of Car Painting

The latest colors shining brightly—there’s no doubt that paint sells cars. Even though it is a big reason why you might like or dislike a car, very few clients know how cars are painted and how that affects collision repair.

Hopefully, the damage to your car is covered by insurance and isn’t costing you anything beyond the deductible and the time invested. Most people just want their car back in pre-collision condition, and don’t really care how that process plays out. Still,  having as much knowledge as possible is always helpful in understanding what your repair specialist is doing. The following are some paint basics—we won’t call it a primer because, as you will soon see, that might get confusing!

Eco-friendly Paint is Better Paint

In the last century, manufacturers used lacquer paint on vehicles. Painted on and then treated with a hardener to make it stick, this process was not environmentally friendly. Up to 85% of lacquer paint evaporated into the air, sending lead, chromium, and other heavy metals into the atmosphere, where it rained down on our homes, crops, and waterways.  

Understanding the Basics of Car Painting

Carmakers developed water-based enamels in the 1990s. Applied first, the primer creates a smooth surface by leveling it out. Primer protects the vehicle from corrosion and damage from rocks and other road debris. The base coat is next—it is what probably what you call “the paint,” giving your car the desired color. Sprayed over the top of the base coat, clearcoat is the final step. How glossy do you want it? Clearcoat  transforms the paint, changing the flat base coat into the shiny, rich color that gives new vehicles the allure car sellers and buyers want.

It turns out that waterborne paint is cleaner and brighter than the old-school stuff,  healthier for anyone who works around it, and better for the planet, too!

Match Game for Cars

If you only need a small portion of your vehicle touched up, we mix paint that matches so perfectly that the repair is undetectable. We have to take into account any fading that might have occurred from age and sunlight exposure, as well as any differences between the color listed by the carmaker and the actual color used. For highly complex paint, such as metallic or tri-coat peal finishes, we may have to paint a larger portion of the vehicle to ensure matching, such as the entire bumper, door, or hood. Plastic bumpers can be especially tricky since paint darkens at different rates on plastic vs. steel.

Of course, paint is just part of the job. The prep work is just as important. We take the time to remove existing layers of paint and fix all scratches, gouges, dent, pits, rust spots, or holes before painting. We may even have to remove interior components, including the dash, console, and even the seats. All of this takes time. Though we know how inconvenient it is to have your car in the shop, it is even worse to have your life disrupted and end up with second-rate repairs. We make sure the value of your vehicle remains the same, or is even increased by our high-quality work.

When you have autobody damage, go to the pros at Cline Collision Center. We are ASE-certified, have OEM certification from InfinitiNissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, 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!

Was Your Crashed Car Repaired Right?

The crash was over in moments, but the repair has taken weeks. You finally get the call from the shop and head over to pick it up.

You’re a little anxious, though. Did they repair it right? How will you know for sure?

We’re a Gold Class shop, which means we go above and beyond to repair your car the right way. That’s why we encourage you to take a very careful look at your vehicle when you pick it up. We’re proud of the work we do and excited to show it off.

We’re also not afraid to tell you how to give your vehicle a long, hard look after collision repair.

A technician or advisor will likely walk you around the car, showing you the repairs. Hopefully, you took it to a Gold Class facility that guarantees their work for at least 12 months. That’s a start anyway.

It’s All About the Details

The first thing to note is if the car is spotlessly clean, inside and out. Reputable shops thoroughly wash the outside and clean the outside—even your floormats and engine should be clean. Dirt hides imperfections and you want to be able to see every surface clearly.

Was Your Crashed Car Repaired Right

Next, examine the repairs. Check body panel seams for uneven gaps. Open and close doors, hood, and trunk to see if they are closing perfectly. If an airbag was deployed, make sure it has been replaced. Look at the gap between tires and fenders—is it the same distance at every wheel? Ensure that all hoses and wires in the engine are connected. Turn on your headlights to check for beam alignment. Request the frame spec printout if the frame was straightened and have them explain the numbers to you.

Don’t Get Painted into a Corner

Now for the paint. Matching paint is one of the most difficult parts of collision repair. When paint fades, technicians have to add a little tint to get it just right. If possible, pick up your car during the day and use bright sunlight to help you see hair, grime, or overspray. Look at it from up close and then take a few steps back.

Go ahead and take it for a spin before signing off. Are there any odd sounds? Does it drive and steer okay?

If any red flags come up, be sure to speak to the owner for an explanation. Some problems won’t show up until later, such as uneven tire wear from a poorly straightened vehicle or hidden suspension damage. That’s why you went to a shop with at least a 12,000-mile guarantee, right?

A good inspection goes a long way toward guaranteeing your collision repair job is done right. An even better way is to go to a shop known for helping you navigate insurance and performing top-quality work. Check out the long list of Cline Collision Center 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google. Then contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today!