A Proper Damage Analysis Looks Like This

July 27, 2018

There is a major difference between an auto repair estimate and a damage analysis. The latter is much more involved, requiring an expert to conduct a thorough and meticulous investigation of any damage—both direct and indirect—that may have been caused by a collision.

Insurers and repair centers alike will often cut corners during a damage analysis—but that’s not what we’re about here at Compact Auto Body. When you bring your vehicle to our New Jersey auto repair shop, you can expect a real damage analysis consisting of:

Pre-Repair Diagnostics
Before attending to the direct damage, we need to scan your vehicle to identify any systems repairs that might be needed. The pre-scan searches for fault codes involving electrical components such as SRS systems, blind spot monitoring, lane assist and collision prevention. Even if there is no notable damage, any number of these systems might need to be “flashed” or recalibrated prior to auto body repairs.

Complete Disassembly
After the pre-scan, we will disassemble the vehicle and identify damage that might have been hidden or omitted in the original estimate. Many shops do not do this, opting instead to leave the car assembled. This prevents an accurate analysis, as supplemental damage is rarely visible from the outside.

For example, simply removing the bumper cover does not allow us to see reinforcement, radiator or headlight damage. About 90 percent of the cars brought to our two shops in Matawan and Middletown have supplemental damage not previously addressed in the estimate. Insurance companies will often encourage drivers to take advantage of photo estimates; while photo estimates are extremely convenient, they do not achieve anywhere near the detail of a damage analysis.

A Clear Repair Plan
Disassembling the vehicle enables us to create a repair plan with a completion date and all necessary parts pre-ordered. Does the vehicle have suspension damage? Does it need an alignment, framing, etc.? The more accurate our damage analysis, the more accurate our repair plan. With the damaged parts fully removed and replacement parts ordered ahead, our technicians can get right to work and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

Manufacturer’s Specifications
Compact Auto Body is OEM certified with all of the top manufacturers, including Tesla. This means we can price match factory parts, whereas insurers typically use aftermarket parts.

Instead of relying on the insurer to dictate repairs, we follow manufacturer’s guidelines—the parts and processes leading brands put their proud names behind. A manufacturer might recommend using adhesive and rivets to replace a quarter panel. While some dealers might look to instead weld the panel on, we stick with the adhesives and rivets because we know the manufacturer specifically recommends them in order to avoid rust or corrosion.

A damage analysis takes time, and that’s a good thing. If your car has been damaged in a collision, let Compact Auto Body give you an accurate, honest damage analysis the first time around. Learn more about our process here.

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