THE REPAIR PROCESS
HAIL DAMAGE REPAIR
(1) VEHICLE DROP OFF – when the customer drops off the vehicle for the repair, 2 forms need to be signed in order for us to start the repair process. If preliminary estimate by the insurance company can be brought to us at the time of vehicle drop-off, our repair process would be expedited greatly. If there is rental coverage, Enterprise can pick you up from our shop and you can drop off their rental at our shop for your convenience. If you don’t have rental coverage, please ask us about our loaner availability!
(2) INITIAL INSPECTION – when a car first arrives, we perform pre-repair scan to see what’s going on with the vehicle first. After cleaning and inspection of all damages, hail related and unrelated prior damage are marked with grease pens and all dents are measured and counted. Then, the original insurance estimate is checked for accuracy.
(3) SUPPLEMENTATION – if the initial inspection reveals deficiencies in the original estimate then the insurance company is contacted and a re-inspection of the vehicle is requested. This is perhaps the most important part of the process! Most original estimates are short by as much as 200% in fact, most insurance companies intentionally write the first estimate “light”! A large percentage of insured claimants accept that first estimate, as the final amount the insurance company is willing to pay; and then never get their car fixed. This results in billions of dollars in savings for the insurance company.
(4) DISASSEMBLY – once a vehicle is ready for repair, the required panels and components are carefully removed and labeled for reassembly. For example, headliners are typically dropped down to allow access to the underside of the roof panel.
(5) PDR REPAIR – after disassembly a highly trained PDR technician meticulously massages all dents back to their original shape. This is done with a variety of different tools and methods. When a panel’s underside is inaccessible, a glue pulling method is sometimes used. In glue pulling, the tech glues a pulling tab to the outside of the dent and gently pulls the dent out. The combination of these two skills, allows almost any dent, in any location, to be fully repaired without using invasive access techniques.
(6) CONVENTIONAL REPAIR – if the damages require conventional repair, we can do that as well since we do paint & body in house! This traditional body repair includes using a sander to grind off the paint, banging the metal back into shape, and then filling in the spaces with putty. The technician will then sand and spray with a primer, base coat, and the final layer of paint.
(7) REASSEMBLY – after all the dents have been completely repaired, a supervisor inspects the work for any flaws and the vehicle is reassembled. We also perform the repair inspection by multiple techs so that we can assure the quality of our work!
(8) FINAL INSPECTION AND CLEANING – after the vehicle is reassembled, all related functions are checked. If the headlights were removed, they are checked and aligned. If the headliner was removed, it is checked to make sure all interior lights function properly. We perform post-repair scan to show the insurance company that your vehicle is all fixed and good to go. If we find some diagnostic issues, we define the problem and come up with the solution! After we confirm the vehicle is ready for customer, then the vehicle gets washed and vacuumed, prior to delivery.
(9) DELIVERY AND PAYMENT – once the repair is completed, the customer is contacted to arrange delivery of the vehicle. Full payment is due when we release the vehicle. We contact the insurance company to check the payment information to see if the insurance company pay partially or fully directly to customer or not. So, we know how much is due from customer at the time of delivery.
The length of time required to complete this entire process is called “cycle time.” at dent-techs, we pride ourselves in having a fast cycle time. Our average cycle time is 2-7 days on most moderately damaged hail repairs. However; this cycle time can be significantly increased due to different insurance company’s policies regarding re-inspections. Please consult with us prior to dropping off your vehicle is time is of the essence!