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Auto Body Repair Jargon

When you’re in an automobile accident are you afraid of taking your car in because you don’t know what the mechanic is talking about? The auto body repair process can be a daunting place with a lot of acronyms and difficult terms. We’ve put together a list of some of the auto body industry’s most common jargon so you can better understand what’s going on with your vehicle and what repairs are being done.

Peace mind after a crash

Aftermarket Parts

Many auto body shops use what are called aftermarket parts. These are any parts of a vehicle that aren’t produced by the original manufacturer. Since they are made by a company that originally didn’t produce your vehicle, they can vary in quality and price and may not be the best option.

Estimate

This is a written document that lists the damages and cost of repairs. A well-written estimate should have an easy-to-understand breakdown on how much parts cost, labour, and how many hours a technician thinks it will take to repair your vehicle. While an estimated isn’t always completely accurate, there should not be a large variance between the estimate and the actual cost. If there is unexpected damage or a change in the estimate you should be notified immediately.

Primer

A primer is an undercoat paint system usually applied to the metal surface of the car before the paint is applied. It is used to protect and bond the metal with the paint.

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

This is a unique code the motor vehicle industry used to identify your car. You can look up the history of a vehicle if you know the VIN you can find out what type of accidents the car has been in and the previous owner’s information. The VIN also allows an auto body repair technician to order the correct parts for your vehicle.

R&I (Remove and Install)

When a motor vehicle part is removed from a damaged vehicle and is repaired separately and then re-installed on the vehicle. 

R&R (Remove and Replace)

Likewise, when a damaged part is removed from a motor vehicle and instead of being repaired, it is replaced by a new part.

Betterment

This is an insurance term used to describe a motor vehicle part that has been replaced due to an accident that has some wear with a new part. This often results in improvements on your vehicle. For example, a car that has over a hundred thousand kilometres is in an accident and the engine is destroyed. We may not be able to source an engine with the exact same kilometres, so we will likely find an engine with less wear and tear on it to replace it.

Bench

This is a heavy platform used to fix a vehicle that has been misaligned during an accident. It is done by placing a portion of the vehicle on the platform then restoring the structure using special clamps, hydraulic winches, and hoists.

Detailing

This is the process of thoroughly cleaning the interior and external for your vehicle. It often includes shampooing, vacuuming, spraying and polishing your vehicle.

LKQ (Like Kind and Quality)

This is an industry acronym for Like Kind and Quality which refers to a used part salvaged from another vehicle. It usually has roughly the same wear and tear and same value as the old part. The technician will inspect the part to ensure it’s safe to be used in your vehicle.

3 Common Auto Body Winter Repairs

 

Canada is known for its winters and though out Canada, with that comes a higher risk of accidents due to quick changes in weather conditions. The wet snow, icy roads, and salt take a toll on your vehicles so it’s no surprise that at Colorworks Autobody Centres, it’s one of our busiest seasons.

Here are some things to be mindful of when you’re on the road this winter.

Rust from Snow and Ice

Cold weather takes a toll on your vehicle’s paint job and can cause lasting damage if not properly treated. The moisture from the snow and ice can also cause rusting, especially in the crevasses of your car. A large contributing factor to the rusting is the de-icing salt used on roads and walkways which can quickly damage a beautiful paint job.

At Colorworks, we can do paint touch-ups and fix small corroded areas to prevent rust from spreading quickly and which can save you from having to get your entire vehicle repainted. Whenever possible you should park your vehicle in a garage or underground parkade during the winter months. This will protect your car or truck from the elements. Many people don’t think to wash their car in winter but don’t wait to get rid of the dirt, salt, and grime that builds up.

More Front Bumper Damage

As the temperature drops, one of the most common problems is front bumper damage. This has become even more problematic as a lot of modern cars now have plastic bumpers which aren’t as durable and damage easier than the steel and chrome ones used in older vehicles. Many drivers hit black ice or skid on wet snow and damage the bumper. Also snow banks become hard and drivers make the mistake of driving over them which can result in dinged bumpers.

Wind Shield Damage

In the winter months debris from trees, bridges, and other obstacles can fall onto the road and then get spit up by passing cars and hit your windshield. Most people also remember when motorists were faced with an expensive bill after the ice storm and ice bombs fell from the Port Mann and Alex Fraser Bridges and shattered their windshields.

Another common problem during winter time is when motorists blast the heat up too quickly in their vehicle and the outside is so cold that the rapid change in temperate can actually cause small hairline fractures to grow and crack the windshield. Do not wait to get the crack fixed as it will spread, and you’ll have to replace the entire windshield. It is much more cost effective to get the crack fixed when its small. In general chips that are smaller than a toonie can be filled, depending on the area.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore problems just because you’re busy – we know winter can be hectic for so many reasons! Come visit us at Colorworks so you can make an informed decision about your vehicle.

How Can You Tell a Good Auto Body shop from a Bad One

Auto body shops are EVERYWHERE! How can you tell the good ones from the bad ones.

Ask Your Friends/Family

People that have used a specific bodyshop have first-hand knowledge. Ask them what their experience was. Ask if they got their car back on time. Ask if there were any surprises.

Check On-Line Reviews

More and more the on-line review is becoming crucial in choosing everything from a good dog walker to a good restaurant. Be leery of any establishment that serves the public and has little reviews.

Check the Wall

Not to say that autobody repair is brain surgery but good autobody repair does take some skill and certain aspects of the trade need certification. Check the wall in their lobby to make sure that the people that will be working on your car are certified. If you’re not sure, ask the manager or estimator.

Listen To the Estimator

In any field, you can quickly identify who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t. While some autobody repairs can be complicated, make sure the estimator is talking to you in terms you understand. That is one of the skills of a good estimator.

The Lowest Price is not Always Going to Yield the Best Result

If the estimator explained the repair clearly to you, you be should be able to know why one estimate may be higher than another.

Top 10 Safest Cars

All car manufacturers always show off their “Top Safety Pick” awards, but these are based on simulations and crash tests. While this data is useful, I’ve always felt that REAL WORLD DATA is more relevant.

Canadian press, such as The Globe and Mail and Canada MSN Autos, use a status report issued by the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as their source for identifying the safest cars on the market. The IIHS compiled four years’ worth of crash fatal car accident data for its status report, particularly focusing on driver fatalities, and compiled a list of the safest – and the most dangerous – cars.

Top 10 Safest Cars

The IIHS lists the following 10 cars as having the lowest rates of driver deaths. The vehicles are model years 2005 to 2008 and the crash data was compiled from 2006 to 2009.

  • Audi A6 4-door 4WD (0 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years)
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4-door 4WD (0)
  • Toyota Sienna (0)
  • Ford Edge (0)
  • Nissan Armada (0)
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport (0)
  • Land Rover LR3 (0)
  • Honda CR-V (7)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (11)
  • Acura MDX (11)

As you will notice, there are quite a few SUVs that made the list. In years past, SUVs were considered unsafe for drivers given the high risk of rollovers.  Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research, explains: “The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case, thanks to ESC.”

ESC refers to electronic stability control, a computerized technology that detects and reduces the loss of traction. Most SUVs are now equipped with ESC, greatly improving vehicle stability and reducing the risk of rollover. The technology is now mandatory in many countries, including Canada.

Top 10 Runners Up

The next ten safest cars on the road – based on driver deaths – are as follows.

  • Mercedes E-Class 4-door (12 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years)
  • Lexus RX 400h (12)
  • Lexus GX 470 (13)
  • Mercedes M-Class (14)
  • Saab 9-3 4-door (16)
  • Kia Sedona (16)
  • Honda Odyssey (17)
  • Jeep Wrangler (17)
  • Honda Accord (19)
  • Jeep Wrangler 2-door (20)

It’s interesting to note that the lighter the vehicle, the higher the risk of death for drivers. Pound for pound, SUVs have some of the lowest driver death rates. During the four-year period the IIHS studied, there were 71 deaths per one million registered vehicle years among cars weighing less than 2,500 lbs. On the other end of the spectrum, there were 41 deaths per one million registered vehicle years among cars weighing 4,001 to 4,500 lbs.

Most Dangerous Cars on the Road

In its report, the IIHS also provided a list of all the vehicles in which there were more than 75 driver deaths per million registered vehicles. Below are the most dangerous cars for drivers and their respective driver deaths per million registered vehicle years.

  • Nissan 350Z 2-door (143 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years)
  • Nissan Titan crew cab (126)
  • Chevrolet Aveo (119)
  • Chevrolet Cobalt (117)
  • Nissan Titan extended cab (111)
  • Kia Spectra (102)
  • Chevrolet Malibu Classic (99)
  • Hyundai Tiburon (96)
  • Nissan Versa (96)
  • Chevrolet Colorado extended cab (93)
  • Nissan Titan crew cab (92)
  • Kia Rio (89)
  • Kia Spectra (87)
  • Mazda Miata MX-5 (83)
  • Subaru Legacy (83)

 

How Important is a Car’s History?

How Important is a car’s history? You slowly and carefully back into that narrow spot in the underground parking garage. You turn your head for a split second to see who’s honking their horn and SCRAAAAAAPE! The parking garage pillar now has a perfect sample of the Iridium Silver paint you pain-stakingly spent hours choosing in the dealership. You take it to your local body shop and have it fixed. They do an amazing job and it looks like new. You can’t even tell it was ever damaged. It looks the same or even better than it did before it was damaged. So, is your car now worth less? YES.

If a dealer was doing a trade-in appraisal on 2 exact same cars, year make and model, and the only difference is your encounter with the underground garage pillar, your vehicle will be valued 10% – 30% less.

Continue reading “How Important is a Car’s History?”

“Q-Tips” BBQ’ing the PERFECT steak!

Many say that there are only 2 seasons in Canada. Winter and & construction. The good news is, construction season is also BBQ season! So let’s fire up the “Q”, as it’s affectionately referred to here in Canada and let’s look at some tips to help you make the PERFEFCT BBQ steak. Let’s call them “Q-Tips” (Do you see what I did there?) Here we go!

  1. To make beef great, marinate!  Marinating increases tenderness and adds exciting flavour to your meat; just remember to use a glass or ceramic dish for marinating, as metal can transfer a metallic flavour.
  2. For perfectly grilled steaks, have one side of your grill set on high and the other side on low. This way you can sear the steaks on the hot side and then move them over to the cooler side to finish cooking in slow, moisture-retaining environment.
  3. To keep steaks tender, leave the meat in the vacuum pack and thaw in cold water or overnight in the refrigerator. Definitely don’t microwave to thaw; it toughens and damages the steak before it reaches the grill.
  4. Just say no to salt! Avoid salting your steaks before cooking as it draws out the juices and dries out your steak.
  5. Only turn steaks over when bubbles appear on the surface, and remember to use tongs, not a fork. Each time that bubbles appear, turn the steak over to let the juices drain back into the meat.
  6. Get the best-looking grill marks by rotating your steaks a half turn on the grill halfway through the cooking time. Do this on both sides.

Did you know? (Vehicle Edition)

There are tons of online blog posts and articles about keeping your vehicle in tip top operating shape. (We’ve written a few ourselves.) Here are a few lesser known facts related to your vehicle.

Did you know?…

  • Washing a car at home uses five to 20 times more water than your neighbourhood car wash.
  • Texting while driving increases your chances of getting into an accident by a factor of 23
  • Almost half all vehicle crashes occur at intersections. Simply taking the time to look left and right will greatly reduce your risk of getting into an accident at an intersection.
  • The least amount of rear-end collisions on a highway happen in the centre lane.
  • Heated seats are not recommended for “wanna-be dads”. A study in Fertility and Sterility found that when healthy men sat in a temperature-controlled seat for 90 minutes, their scrotal temperature jumped as high as 99 degrees Fahrenheit, four degrees above the optimum temperature for sperm production.
  • The safest vehicle colour is white.

Spring Maintenance

As the temperatures get a bit warmer and your car wash seems to be lasting a bit longer, it’s a good idea to do some simple visual inspections on your vehicle to make sure the effects of the past winter were minimal.

Spring has Sprung…..

  1. As your wipers froze and thawed and froze and thawed on your windshield, they may have become torn or cracked in that process. As they are relatively inexpensive and very easy to replace, as the spring showers approach, now may be a good time to replace them.
  2. Now would also be a good time to check your fluid levels. It’s a pretty safe bet that your windshield wiper fluid could use a top up. You should also check your motor oil.
  3. Check your belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can harden and/or damage rubber, so it’s important to check your belts and hoses for damage. Check your hoses for hardening, softening, leaking, cracks, blistering, or other visual damage, and check your belts for looseness, cracks, frays, or glazing. If you have to replace one of your belts, you may also have to replace the tensioner and pulleys to keep the new belt from slipping.
  4. After a carwash is a good opportunity to take a slow walk around your vehicle to do a detailed visual inspection to make sure all that salt wasn’t hiding any new scrapes or dents.
  5. Finally, if you’re like most people these days, you’re using a separate set of winter tires. When you go to your dealer or mechanic, to get your summer tires put on, ask them to do a quick check of some of the more complicated items you may not know how to check such as power steering, brake, transmission fluids and coolant levels. Most dealers have a “Spring Inspection” promo.

Fall Maintenance

Hi there and thanks for tuning into PMS!  How is it already Fall?  We hope you survived the back to school rush and are getting back into the swing of things as October begins.  In the hustle and bustle of saying farewell to summer, I know that I often forget to check out my vehicle for regular maintenance.
This includes all of the small or major bumps and bruises from all that summer lovin’.  Maybe it happened on the highway when that huge stone hit your roof.  Or in the parking lot with that runaway cart.  Or maybe your son or daughter didn’t factor in the wind when they opened the car door?  The list goes on.  You get it.  With our adventures and joy throughout the summer comes a little wear and tear on our vehicles.
What should you do moving forward?  Well, if the paint is broken on your vehicle, you are opening yourself up to rust.  This is bad.  Very bad.  If it’s a plastic part, for example, a bumper, it’s not a huge rush but it might drive you crazy every time you look at it.  The solution?  Drop by Colorworks Express Autobody Centers and have one of our estimators give you a free, no-obligation estimate on the repairs.  You can ensure that your vehicle is protected and in good shape as the fall becomes colder and we transition into those winter months.  It’s a great time to get work like this done and off your list.
Thanks for reading and catch you again soon!
Cheers,
Jess

Spring Maintenance

Hi there and thanks for tuning into PMS!  Here’s the short version of what I’m thinking about this week: spring maintenance for your vehicle.  Let me elaborate.

I was traveling in May (I know, lucky me) and noticed that most of the vehicles had a lot of damage on them while walking around.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’m talking paint peeling, dents all over, bumpers held on with rope, the works.  I kept thinking, how are these vehicles not rusting out?  This would never fly back home.  But that’s just it, our winters and early spring (even late fall) are brutal for harsh condensation, salt, and cold.  Where I was traveling doesn’t have to deal with that.
Spring maintenance is more than just a wash and wax.  It’s checking out your vehicle for those little (or large) scratches, dents, even rust bubbles after winter.  Spring and summer are the best time to get your car repaired because (touch wood) it’s usually drier and you can actually enjoy your new finish before it gets covered in salt and slush.

Canada is a beautiful place to live and we get to see all four seasons.  This means that our vehicles suffer more wear and tear than other areas of the world.  Staying on top of your spring maintenance checks will save you more in the long run as you’ll avoid greater damage (and bills!) caused by rust.

So…go and and give your vehicle a once over before you set out on road trips, picnics, and fun times for the summer.  Bring it into any Colorworks location for a free no hassle estimate.

Thanks for tuning in and catch you next week!
Cheers,
Jess

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