How Long Will My car take to be fixed at an Auto Body Shop?

Almost every customer that comes to us asks the question, “How long will my car take to fix?”, “It seems like we should be able to answer this easily, but it’s a bit more complicated than you would think. There are a lot of variables that come into play making this a really difficult question to answer.

For example: A small bumper repair should be easy….right? In theory, it should be, but it isn’t always easy. Let me explain:

First, when the car is dropped off, we have to disassemble the car and look for further damage. The majority of the time, there is additional damage. So, even if we have preordered parts, we have to order additional parts. This will add at least a day or two.

Second, we will have to get authorization. Both the customer and the insurance company will have to be contacted and approve the additional procedure. We are electronically connected with most insurance companies, so most of this is pretty fast. But, it does add to the complexity.

Finally, the majority of the new cars have electronics in the bumper for back up cameras, back up warning system, etc. These have to be re-calibrated. Even though we can scan 95% of cars with factory scanner, sometimes the scanning can only be done by the dealer. This adds time, because we don’t know what their calendar looks like.

As you can now see, a simple bumper repair or replacement that “should” to take 1-3 days in the past, can take much longer.

Items That Can Add Time to an Auto Body Repair

1. Parts Availability
Most parts are available within 1- 2 days. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes a part can be on back-order and take weeks.

A. Some specialty parts are not in high demand, so they are not readily available.
B. Less common makes of car often have less part availability compared to high demand cars.
C. Weather and Holidays can add complexity for our vendors to source parts. Bad weather or holidays can keep dealers from getting their parts, so that they can get them to us.

2. Auto Body Repair Time
We use an industry standard time guideline to prepare your estimate. On your estimate, there are times for each operation. The more time that it requires, the longer the car will take to repair.

So, you might think a 40 hour repair should be done in 40 hours. That isn’t accurate because many of the operations require down time for bonding products, paint, primers, etc. to cure. We also have down time awaiting the customer and insurance company approvals.
When a vehicle leaves one department and goes to the next, it usually adds time. So, let’s say the body tech is finished with the car and it is ready for paint. That painter is most likely already working on another car. There will be down time, waiting for his next opening. This happens at each stage of the repair.

3.Complexity of the Body Repair

The type of repair can greatly influence the amount of time the vehicle takes to repair. The more complex the job is, the more time it usually takes.

When a job has structural repair it needs specialty equipment that will need to be used. The availability and set up on this equipment is often time consuming.

The more complicated the electronics are in the vehicle can add time. These cars have to be connected to factory scan tools that take time to run diagnostics.

4.Insurance Company Approval for Auto Body Repair

Each insurance company has their own process for verifying and approving the repair. This could be as simple as reviewing pictures on line or needing to send someone out. When they send someone out physically, this can add days. They sometimes will do that multiple times.
Our shop is electronically connected as well as trained by most major insurance companies to review the repair and make decisions within their guidelines. Most of the time, this greatly simplifies the repair.

5.Quality Control on Auto Body Work

The quality of our work is very important to us. We follow a very strict quality control process and catch most defects before they happen. However, we aren’t perfect, and sometimes we find issues in our work. When this happens, it causes delays while we make things right.
Delivery Date Calculation for Auto Body Work.

We will do everything we can to get your car back to you as quickly as possible, but as you can see, there are a lot of variables that are hard to control.

At Collision Pros in Auburn, Chico, Paradise, Woodland and Red Bluff all of our staff is trained to use experience and our computer program to calculate the most probable delivery date for you. We pride ourselves in the accuracy of our delivery dates.

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