Autobody repair appointment scheduling

How Does My Tucson Body Shop Schedule My Car For Repairs?

When we get into an accident all we want is to get our car fixed as fast as possible. Same day would be great, but in the real world, we know that we need to wait a few days. But if you haven’t had to go through this for a while, you might be surprised to hear that you car cant come in for repairs for a couple weeks and in some situations, even more than that.

Auto body shops are typically laser focused on what is called a CSI or Customer Satisfaction Index. These are typically carried out by your Insurance company to gauge your satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of the repair.

The next metric body shops are concerned with is a term called cycle time. Cycle time is the length of time from when you hand the shop your keys to the moment they hand you back your keys to a repaired car.

All of these factors are used to grade an auto body shop by the Insurance companies and good shops want to keep their customers and their insurance partners happy at all times.

Scheduling is the tool that auto body shops use to drive the jobs through the shop. Ineffective shops with ineffective scheduling, methods can lead to bottlenecks, customer delays, repair mistakes and low profitability.

Many shops still adhere to the old “in-on-Monday, out-on-Friday” system that is antiquated and inefficient.

Some body shops use total repair dollars as a tool for quickly identifying capacity. Say for instance a body shop knows that it can comfortable handle on average $250,000 worth of repairs in one month, they will try and balance jobs by sales volume. What that means to the customer is that if for example, you have some minor damage or a bumper job and the shop is at max dollar capacity because of some heavy collision jobs, or expensive to repair vehicles like Porsches and Mercedes, then your repair could take a few weeks before the shop will take your car in. This method of always trying to balance work by sales volume leaves the scrambling to average out their work mix and sales. As a consumer, you might get shuffled around unfairly just because of your estimate dollar value.

High-quality auto body shops use an estimating system that also assists with scheduling. This is called a management system and most of the good shops have one. These systems break down repairs into five categories, simply by number: Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4, and Category 5. These categories are based on labor hours for each job. The management systems then look at statistical data to determine that a shop can have “X” amount of Category 1s, “X” amount of Category 2s, and so on. Next the system takes the amount of days the shop is open that month and begins to estimate out how many of each job category we need each day to meet our high-performing capacity labor hours.

What the shop then determines is that they can service, as an example, two Category 1s on every other day, two Category 2s every day, three Category 3s every other day, and so forth.

The body shop then schedules your drop off date based on statistical data of a prior month’s work mix to reach its capacity for each day.

When done properly a body shop might schedule your job to start on a Wednesday or Thursday which is in contrast to what the inefficient shops do with their in on Monday out on Friday scheduling systems. What ends up happening in those scenarios is that you car might sit for a day or two waiting to go to the next stage in the repair process.

As a consumer, you need to be willing to leave your car over the weekend for repairs if your start date is later in the week. But believe me , your repair will be done faster than if the shop does not use intelligent scheduling.

If you are currently in need of Auto Body repairs, ask about Thursday and Friday drop-offs, you might just save yourself some repair time.

Do you have some collision repair damage that you need to have fixed in Tucson Arizona?

Click the button below to get your Free Online Estimate.


Click me

 

 

Should you bring your car back to your Tucson auto body shop for a color match re-spray?

You just got your car back from a body shop in the Tucson area and after a day or so you can’t help but notice the paint color doesn’t match. You may be wondering if you can take the car back to have it repainted, or if the body shop will even be able to match the paint a second time. Is it worth the time and frustration? This is the topic for today’s post.

A body shop gets paid to fix your car one time. If you have to take it back, that auto body shop is doing the re-work on their own dime, and it is costing them money on an already thin profit margin. A great body shop will have minimal “go backs” because they have the proper training, staff, equipment, processes and inspections in place already. Smaller shops, or shops that have been hit with a sudden high volume may be struggling to get the work out and might cut corners.

As a car owner, the last thing you want to do after getting your car back from a body shop is to have to bring it back in to re-do the work. It is frustrating for both sides. But nonetheless, there are times when you just need to do it.

Our answer is yes, by all means take the car back. But when you do take the car back, here are some suggested discussion points to bring up with the body shop:

1. Pick a slower time- If you can live with the paint for a little while, it might be in your best interest to work out a date with the shop when the paint booth is not so busy. When a painter isn’t rushed, they will have more time to match the color to your existing body work. Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days for a body shop, so perhaps there is a Wednesday that would work better and the shop can do a re-paint with minimal down time to you.

2. Color Matching Earlier in the Process- Again a rushed paint shop with a busy painter will have to contend with several alternates on a color combined with an inconsistency with manufacturer paint codes. Auto body painters in a time crunch will be forced to choose two or three alternates and paint the closest one. If you’re concerned about an exact color match, get the shop involved now with a more detailed, complete sprayout before the cars gets to the paint department, and get a second opinion if need be.

3. Discuss color matching in a brighter area of the shop– if the color didn’t match the first time, don’t rely on that same location to make color match and sprayout decisions. Dimly lit areas make color matching difficult, so give yourself the time to make sure the vehicle is in proper lighting. Natural light is the best way to look at the car.

4. Simplify the Tinting Process -This may be a bit advance for most car owners, but if you are really struggling with a paint match for your car, consider telling the shop to alter their tinting approach. Tell the painter to start with a deficit color and work forward. Instead of trying to take the their six toners and trying to make it right. Find that one color that you have too little of focus on one color instead of focusing on five or six.

For example, pearl white is the most common color that has to be tinted to match. Painters will often spray a pearl that is too white or too yellow for the color they are matching. Suggest to the shop that the painter try mixing 20 to 30 percent less of the predominant color, mix the rest of the formula straight out and then do a sprayout from that. From there the painter can tint up instead of whitening down the base color.

5. Equipment age –Every couple of years, paint equipment companies design new paint guns to keep pace with the paint suppliers who are constantly updating their liquid paint materials. If the shop you are using has outdated spray guns, the older fans will not be able to break up materials and provide proper atomization.

Most painters don’t realize that using different guns or different settings will result in different sprayouts. This can really cause problems for metallic paints that most cars today have.

Everyone deserves to get their car back looking as though no car accident ever happened. Paint and color quality are the most noticeable areas of any autobody repair. While it may be frustrating to have to send the car back, hopefully these conversation points will help guide your Tucson auto body shop to a perfect color match.

Need some paint work on your car in Tucson? Click the button below for a free estimate.


Click me

 

 

Auto Detailing in Tucson Arizona

Detailing

O’Rielly Collision Centers has a state of the art detail shop specializing in the rejuvenation and protection of your vehicle’s surface and interior. Every repair ends with a complete automotive detail. Our professional detailers will gently work your vehicle’s imperfections to give your vehicle that like-new showroom appearance.

Auto detailing Tucson

Our mission is simple. To exceed our customer’s expectations every day with every vehicle being restored both inside and outside to as close to its original condition as possible.

Auto Glass Repair in Tucson Arizona

Accidents happen, but when road debris or stones kick up and hit your windshield chances are there will be some damage. If that damage is left unrepaired then the broken or cracked glass can spread and ruin your windshield. Any time there are extreme seasonal or temperature changes in the glass temperatures causes glass to expand and contract. In most cases the cracked or chipped glass can be repaired, in some cases the glass is shattered and will impair your vision and make it unsafe to drive. Most importantly, it is best to have it inspected by our professional glass repair and installation technicians at O’Rielly Collision Center in Tucson Arizona.

 

When your car’s glass gets damaged we can work with your insurance company directly to see if they will cover the cost of the repairs. Even if your windshield has a small crack or chip, bring it to us for repair. Some insurance companies will even waive your deductible for small glass repairs. It is worth having our glass service team give you an estimate and get you scheduled in for repairs. You will find value in our fast and friendly service and we warranty our repairs for the life of ownership of the vehicle.

Counterfeit Auto Parts

Is My Car At Risk For Counterfeit Parts In Tucson AZ?

Counterfeiting is a global issue, and you could already be a victim. Counterfeit auto parts have flooded the market to such a degree that the Department of Homeland Security is now warning consumers to be cautious of counterfeit parts.
When a mechanic fixes your car, they can choose from parts that come directly from the manufacturer (Ford, GM, etc) at the parts counter, or they can order an aftermarket replacement part from the local auto parts store. Typically the same companies that are making the parts for the OEM’s make these parts. So for example, you could buy replacement brake pads directly from Ford, or you could go buy a set of Raybestos pads. Either option would be acceptable, perfectly safe, and slightly less expensive than the parts directly from the Ford Parts counter.
Counterfeit auto parts on the other hand are different than aftermarket parts in that they are imitations in look and feel only. Aftermarket auto parts are at least made to similar specifications, and most carry some sort of certification such as the CAPA certification. Counterfeit parts are unsafe, illegal, and are a real danger to unsuspecting car owners.
While there is much debate over whether you should use OEM VS aftermarket parts for repairs, counterfeit parts are not held to any kind of standards, nor do they follow any rules as to their construction. “Close enough” is always the rule for counterfeiters. When making counterfeit parts, the factories will cut any corner they can in the name of profitability for the lowest price possible.
All it takes is a simple website for counterfeiters to start up and sell parts online. These companies and their websites intentionally deceive the public. Criminals will continue to run these sites until the original automobile manufacturer serves a cease and desist order to take these websites down. Selling counterfeit good as authentic OEM parts is a trademark and copyright infringement. Sometimes a counterfeit parts site is up for a month, and then it gets shut down and they are ready to go with another illicit website.
Bruce Foucart is the director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center for Homeland Security Investigations in Arlington, VA, and has helped weigh in on the issue. Bruce has 30 years of experience as a leader and manager at both the headquarters and field activities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its predecessor agency, U.S. Customs Service.
What kinds of counterfeit parts are fitting the market?
“What we have found is that every part that goes into a car, whether it is interior or exterior, it’s all being counterfeited now—smart keys, air bags, fuel filters, window shields and tires for example. Anything that they can counterfeit for profit, they will”, says Foucart.
Where are the counterfeiters based?
Fully 85-95% of all counterfeit goods come from China, or they are trans-shipped to Hong Kong or to other countries to help elude customs authorities. Just under 50 percent of counterfeit goods seized last year came directly from China. Just under 35 percent came from Hong Kong and five percent came from Singapore. Experts believe that all those goods are originating from China because Hong Kong and Singapore do not possess the same manufacturing capabilities that China does. Instead the goods are trans-shipped through Hong Kong and Singapore where the manifest is being changed in order to trick U.S. customs.
“I happened to be in China last September visiting with the Chamber of Commerce, various companies, embassies and Chinese law enforcement. There was a case where the Chinese Ministry of Public Security took down an operation involving counterfeiters in China who were selling counterfeit Ford brake pads and air bags”, said Foucart.
What is the biggest concern to the public with these counterfeit parts?
Every consumer’s health and safety is at risk anytime they get into a car with a counterfeit part. There have been cases where counterfeit safety belts that didn’t secure and air bags that have exploded so dramatically they hurt or kill people. Some of them even failed to deploy.
Methods used by counterfeiters to fool the public.
Recently a couple of Canadian citizens were purchasing air bags from China and smuggling them into the United States. They would then drive them down from Canada into Northern Washington mail them via US mail to repair shops. This was an attempt to make the parts look like they were coming from the United States versus China. Authorities arrested one of the people as he was smuggling a batch coming in to the US. Later, his brother was indicted. The Department of Homeland Security shared the information with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security in Beijing who then shut down a manufacturing facility and made four or five arrests. They also seized the counterfeit air bags, and US and Chinese currency. It was an extremely successful operation.
How can consumers know that their car is being repaired with authentic parts?
Always choose a reputable auto body or mechanical shop. A quality or certified shop would never put their customer’s lives at risk just to earn a couple of extra dollars on parts. Consumers are also welcome to contact the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.

Have a need for a reputable certified Auto Body Repair shop in Tucson or Green Valley Arizona? Click the button below for a free estimate.

Click me

Free Online Tucson Auto Body repair estimate

Is Arizona One Of The Top 10 States For Increased Accident Repair Costs?

After a steady decade long downward trend, 2015 saw the first increase in auto fatalities. In fact, motor vehicle related deaths increased by 8% in 2015, which is the largest jump in 50 years according to new data put fourth by the National Safety Council.

Lower fuel prices and a rebounding economy brought more vehicles on the nation’s roadways. This automatically increased the number of auto body repair claims. Combined with severe winters in 2014 and 2015, improved employment opportunities, a jump in new vehicle sales, increased road congestion and a crumbling infrastructure, all factored into an increase in auto body repair claims in the last two years.

Additional research performed by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America led to recent finding linking distracted driving, increase in traffic congestion, changing demographics, distracted walking and the decriminalization of marijuana to increases in automotive fatalities.

More fatalities and more accidents mean more claims for Auto insurers who are already dealing with a sharp rise in the average auto body repair bill. Today’s cars are continually outfitted with technologies that are making them harder to crash, but also more expensive to repair. All the sensors, telematics systems, and even the car’s construction methods are contributing to an increasingly higher repair bill to insurers.

The increased use of technology in vehicles is also affecting repair costs because parts are more complex and require additional labor hours for repairs. CCC says replacement parts account for approximately 40% of the overall repair dollars, and “new vehicles manufactured today are changing the landscape for insurers and collision repairers.”

New tools, equipment and training are required to repair vehicles as manufacturers increase their use of aluminum and other lighter-weight materials to meet stricter fuel efficiency guidelines. Lighting (headlights and taillights) that has improved safety features, sensors and cameras will also impact replacement part and repair costs.

Robert Passmore, assistant vice president, policy development and research at PCI, stated that on average, insurance claim costs for bodily injuries rose 42% and collision coverages are up 17% during the past decade.

Insurance companies are constantly under pressure from their insured customers to keep rates low, so much so that it has become a central theme in auto insurance advertising. Nearly every insurance company is marketing some form of “save hundreds by switching insurance companies”.

Some states have significantly higher claims and accident costs than others. Luckily Arizona is not one of them. However, with the summer months approaching, perhaps your vacation plans include travel to or through some of these states.

Here are the 10 states with the biggest increase in accident costs, according to PCI’s analysis of Fast Track data:

10. Rhode Island

Increase in accident costs: 6.5%.

9. Colorado

Increase in accident costs: 7.2%.

7. (tie) Maryland

Increase in accident costs: 7.4%.

7. (tie) South Carolina

Increase in accident costs: 7.4%.

6. Mississippi

Increase in accident costs: 7.8%.

5. Nevada

Increase in accident costs: 8%.

4. Massachusetts

Increase in accident costs: 8.1%.

3. Florida

Increase in accident costs: 8.5%.

2. Georgia

Increase in accident costs: 9.5%.

1. Washington, D.C.

Increase in accident costs: 12.2%.

Have some accident damage that you need repaired? Click below to get a free online estimate!


Click me

Modern auto body repair welding

Is Your Tucson Auto Body Shop Trained For Modern Welding?

Is your body shop trained for modern welding?

For quite some time, we have discussed the life-saving qualities of ultra-high strength steel, and its continued use in modern car construction. As a Tucson body shop, we repair an ever-increasing number of cars with advanced and exotic materials including aluminum and even carbon fiber. Therefore it’s no longer a secret that vehicle materials have changed and are being used by auto manufacturers to meet Federally mandated fuel efficiency standards.

But those materials also present various challenges to auto repairers, that auto body technicians can’t afford to overlook, says Steve Marks, industry technical support manager at I-CAR. T the present, the auto body repair industry is currently focused on steel and aluminum and learning how to handle these new types of repairs, as well as making the necessary investments in tools and infrastructure. But not all shops are making this investment. Marks says vehicles with dissimilar materials including aluminum, steel and carbon fiber, that need to be joined together will become increasingly challenging for auto body shops in future.

“Technicians are going to have to get knowledgeable at a variety of materials. And not only understanding the materials themselves, but also understanding the precautions and requirements when they start joining these dissimilar materials together. Almost every car company has a higher-end premium vehicle where portions of it will be steel and portions will be aluminum. That’s starting to be common,” he says.

Cleanliness is increasingly important when welding these modern materials. Good auto body repair shops with well-trained technicians will receive new training dealing with hygiene while working on an automobile structure. Auto body shop repairmen will need to keep everything clean and be aware of what is are mixing with what.

Marks has spent much of his career working intensively with aluminum and steel welding training for I-CAR’s OEM programs. He breaks down the equipment and training your chosen auto body repair shop needs to have for modern welding.

Advances in Auto Body in Welding
Vehicle materials are changing dramatically, and there are three materials your selected shop’s technicians need to be aware of and trained on to weld:

1. Modern Steel. In the past, steel was mostly welded with a MIG welder to do plug welds or continuous welds. Today’s vehicles that utilize ultra-high-strength steel also require resistance spot welding, MIG brazing, and more specifically, MIG brazing done as slot welds or open butt joints.

2. Aluminum. Most body shop technicians are trained for and comfortable with welding steels, however welding aluminum alloys can present a challenge, as higher thermal conductivity and lower melting point of aluminum alloys can easily lead to burn through unless welders follow prescribed procedures. Welding aluminum requires both special MIG welders set up aluminum repair and the skill to weld aluminum the right way.

3. Silicon bronze.
Of all the welding techniques, silicon bronze is the least understood welding process, mainly because it has numerous variables to it. While you can do the silicon bronze process in pulse, transfer and short circuit, OEMs require silicon bronze be done in pulse. The reason techs need to pay attention and practice the MIG process with silicon bronze is that the process to do an open butt joint or slot weld is notably different than steel or aluminum welding.

The Proper Welding Equipment For Modern Auto Body Shops

The modern auto body repair shop needs to have a MIG welder capable of pulse, and the correct squeeze-type resistance spot welder. Collision repair shops should be equipped to match the specific welding equipment to the OEM requirements given for the vehicle being repaired.

1. MIG welder. There are many MIG welders on the market with an array of options, features, and levels of welding capability. As vehicle specific OEM certifications become increasing important to the consumer becoming an authorized collision repair facility for a specific vehicle maker network, the OEM will instruct the auto body shop on what specific equipment it needs to be in compliance with the manufacturer’s repair specifications. Typically this will be a MIG welder with a machine capable of pulse synergic welding.

Many car manufacturers require a specific repair area for welding aluminum as steel can contaminate an aluminum repair and cause all kinds of problems like electrolysis. The OEM’s don’t like for body shops to move these MIG welders from the aluminum clean room and then run out in the shop and back and forth.

2. Resistance spot welder. Whether or not it’s for a specific OEM, resistance spot welding equipment is all about higher power and more squeeze force.
“With today’s high and ultra-high-strength-steel, there will be more OEMs that will have specific areas of the car where they will require squeeze type resistance spot welding only,” he says. “With that requirement, we are talking about welding structural parts. So we need to make sure the joining is done perfectly and it has to be strong. We’re talking about a safety issue.”

Marks recommends looking for machines capable of putting out an increased amount of squeeze force and a considerable amount of higher amperage output. In general, those machines hitting OEM requirements are three-phase, 220-volt machines.

Regardless of the brand of equipment, it is important that auto body repair technicians receive proper welding training, even if they’ve been welding for a number of years. That training could come from an organization like I-CAR, automakers, or welding schools, such as the Lincoln Electric program. I-CAR’S welding certifications have a five-year expiration, he says, but some OEMs require certification to be renewed sooner.

Training is one of the best training investments an auto body repair shop can make. Any time a technician is performing a joining process, there’s an obvious safety issue there.
“We’re talking about holding the car together,” he says. “You’re giving the customer a vehicle that is safe.”

Have some welding you need on your car? Click the button below for a Free quote


Click me

Body shop out of business

Will Auto Brake Technology End The Auto Body Shop?

Will auto brake technology make the auto body shop a thing of the past?

Walk into any auto body shop such as our shop here in Tucson and Green Valley Arizona, and you will find that 75% of the cars being repaired were either hit from behind, or hit somebody in the back. Of the remaining 25%, more than half are hits to the side of the car. So if you were to eliminate the possibility of someone hitting your car from the front, would that eliminate all car crashes?

It could actually, and the government agrees. In fact this technology could be an alternative to the fully autonomous driving car or it could lay the groundwork for the fully self-driving cars as laws change state by state, and car buyers begin to accept the technology. According to a recent IIHS study, automatic emergency braking can cut rear-end crashes by as much as to 40 percent, however fewer than 10 percent of new cars offer automatic emergency braking as a standard feature

For a year now, there has been talk of forcing carmakers to include the technology into all cars. Yesterday, in a truly historic moment for the automobile, twenty automakers agreed to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all cars and trucks starting in September 2022.

The reason why this moment will prove to be historically significant is because these twenty automakers account for 99% of new car manufacturers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the Transportation Department working closely with The agency insurance industry’s version of the NHTSA known as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, negotiated the deal with car makers. In a statement from the IIHS, the agency expects the deal will speed up the timeline it would normally take for a new federal mandate to be implemented. The IIHS estimates the deal will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries during those three years.

By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.” However it could be a huge blow to auto body repair shops, many of whom who are already struggling to adapt to a shrinking pool of cars that can be fixed, and advances in automobile construction.

Auto Braking technology as a feature can be found in several cars today, however it is usually only found in luxury vehicles or it is an expensive safety option. Auto Brake technology relies on a combination of radar, cameras and lasers to scan the cars in front and determine distance and relative velocity to detect sudden “panic” stops. The same sensors are also used in the emerging self-driving car technologies. If the car with auto brake technology detects it’s about to rear-end the car in front of it, it slams on the brakes without the driver having to do it and the results in either preventing the accident entirely or vastly decreasing the force of the impact, more than a human could, and thus eliminated distracted driving incidents.

Automatic emergency braking now joins a long list of safety technologies that gradually became mandated as standard equipment, beginning with seat belts and padded dashboards in the 1960’s, to air bags in the 1990’s and recently to backup cameras in 20014-2018.

The list of car manufacturers who agreed to the deal this week include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. It will also be standard on most medium-duty trucks by September 2025.

Current problem areas that will need to be solved

With the news of the agreement this week, automotive safety experts praised the agreement, but were quick to point out other steps necessary to fully implement the technology. Automakers have to make sure that cars are still safe if the systems occasionally fail, and that automatic braking is not a substitute for federal regulations. Despite the fast pace, some of the foundational components that should be in place aren’t there yet.

Benefits To The Consumer

In addition to the obvious safety benefits, IIHS says the implementation of such a technology could lower insurance rates. Having the systems in more vehicles “will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums,” said IIHS Board Chairman Jack Salzwedel, who is also CEO of American Family Insurance, in a statement.

So Will Auto Brake Technology Kill The Auto Body Industry?

To meet the new standard, the automatic braking systems must receive at least an “advanced” rating under IIHS’ current testing criteria. This means that the technology has to reduce a vehicle’s speed by at least 10 mph in either a 12 mph or 25 mph test, or by 5 mph in both tests. The systems must also include a forward collision warning system that meets NHTSA standards.

So the technology does not actually guarantee that a collision will not happen, instead it will significantly reduce the velocity of the impact in most crashes while eliminating many smaller impacts. This will greatly reduce the number of total losses, which are the enemy to body shops who get paid to fix cars, not store them until insurance adjusters complete their paperwork and town the vehicle to salvage yards. Auto Brake technology could ultimately increase the lower impact fender bender accidents, and will require a much more specialized collision repair shop to properly replace and re-calibrate the sensors, lasers and cameras in a car’s front end. Auto body shops will need to adapt, and those that don’t will go out of business.
Have some collision damage that you need repaired? Click the button below.


Click me

Automotive Paint Tucson AZ

When Will Your Car Be Ready? Ask Your Body Shop These Five Questions

When will you car be ready? Ask your body shop these five questions

No matter how big a body shop is, or how many employees it has, or how many locations the shop has, there is one area that has always been the biggest constraint to how fast a shop can fix a car- the paint booth.

Ninety-nine percent of all collision repairs will require some form of paint work. Not all of it has to be done in the booth though and smart shops will be set up for smaller spot repair jobs which are small scrapes and bumps that do not require repainting a whole panel or large portions of the car. But a majority of repairs will require that cars shuffle in and out of the paint booth and that booth sets the pace for how fast you can get your keys back after the repair has been done. The faster shops are not necessarily cutting corners on the car repair, they simply have a better understandingof how to clear the bottlenecks in their repair process.

So if you are in the market for fast auto body repair work in the Tucson AZ area, here are five things to ask your bodyshop before selecting them to do your repairs.

1) How much down time in the booth.

Much like an employee, a good shop will have their paint booth constantly working. In order to keep the paint booth working, shops must have managers in place who can instinctively and methodically ensure that having the next couple of vehicles are always ready or close to ready and staged to be painted by either end of day, or before lunch. Another time saving tactic is to perform all color matching and spray outs before the vehicle enters the booth. This can easily be accomplished by having a painters helper do the prep work prior to driving the car into the booth. Much like having a Nurse prep an operating room for a surgery.

Inefficient shops wont even begin painting their first cars of the day until nine or ten in the morning because the painter is too busy doing color matching, sprayouts and other prep that could have been done the day before. A quality body shop should be able to paint seven to or nine cars a day and that is per paint booth

2) How does the shop handle mistakes?

Mistakes happen in any shop, and customer go-backs and even re-sprays are bound to happen. Even the most careful re-assembly team can drop a part or chip some fresh paint. It is how the shop prevents the problems on Monday become the bottleneck of Tuesday and so on.

The fix is to have cars staged and ready for paint at the end of every day or shift so the first vehicle can start to be painted by starting time. The paint shop needs to end every day by setting up the first few vehicles for the next day. This includes the painter making sure all needed parts are there, and that the prep is complete and passes quality assurance and final verification of color match and spray-out panel. And beyond that, the vehicle should not only be prepped, but also masked with the color mixed and matched. This takes as take as little time as 15 or 30 minutes, but will make a big difference in efficiency the rest of the week.

3) Does the paint staff take lunch while the booth is not in use?

At inefficient shops, employees take beaks based on the clock and no based on what’s best for the workflow. The right time to take a break is while the booth is baking a paint job and not while it’s idle just because it is “lunch time”. The paint booth doesn’t know or care what time it is, and customers just want their cars back.

4) What about Paint Booth Cleanliness?

Only clean staff should enter the paint booth, yet all too often production staff enter who are covered in sanding dust. Managers in shops commonly do walk-throughs to check on the departments and will walk into the booth, not realizing that they are potentially contaminating the clean environment.

Efficient shops treat the spray booth as they would an operating room, where you do everything you can to keep all the dirt out of there. Also the booth should also be cleaned and swept several time a day to ensure the cleanliness of the booth. Cleanliness in the booth keeps dirt out of the paint and speeds up reassembly time.

5) When the shops is open for business, is booth is on?

In some climates or seasons, the booth may need to be warmed up before the start of the day or shift even in our Arizona climate. For paints to cure properly they need to be at a certain temperature and the vehicle surface temp needs to match. With even a 10 degree difference in ambient temperature and vehicle surface temperature, you can alter the drying efficiency of every paint type and brand because every coating needs to be sprayed at 70 degrees plus.

Paint manufacturing guidelines in drying, baking and cure times and temperatures must be followed to avoid quality issues. Quality body shops will assign this task to someone who is in early so that painting can begin exactly at starting time.

At O’Rielly Collision Centers here in Tucson AZ, we understand the needs of the consumer, and how to turn cars out fast. We recognize that the speed of repairs actually begin and end with the efficiency of our paint booth.

Got some auto body paintwork needs for your car, truck or SUV? Click the button below to get your free estimate.

Click me

Torn bumper cover

Can my bumper be repaired Instead of Replaced in Tucson AZ?

Can my bumper be repaired vs. Replaced in Tucson AZ?

Is there a big hole in your bumper right now? Well, you might be surprised to find out that you can get it fixed for a fraction of the cost to replace the whole thing. And here is how it gets done.

The Auto Body repair industry is one that is constantly being measured. Body shops get measured on their performance and timeliness of repairs, and customer satisfaction is always measured. One of the leading auto body repair management software companies, Mitchell, releases in-depth quarterly reports on trends they see in auto body repair. In its 2015 Q3 Industry Trends Report, Mitchell published the top 10 parts involved in collisions: fenders, grilles, hoods, headlamps and quarter panels, This much is a no- brainer but what is interesting is what percentage of repair parts all these parts totaled a mere 30%. One particular automotive repair part really stood out from the pack at 68% of all auto body repair parts. And what was that part? Bumper covers.

What Mitchell also found surprising was that 72 percent of those bumper cover repair jobs used a replacement part as opposed to the bumper cover simply being repaired. yet Mitchell also noticed in another report that it took more repair hours to do a quality bumper cover replacement than it did to do a repair job.

There are two ways a body shop can decide to repair a bumper. First they can simply replace the bumper with an aftermarket or OEM bumper cover, or the other option is to use a plastic welder to repair any tears in the cover.

As the report points out, the accuracy of the repair-versus-replace decision is critical, and these trends signal a lack of equipment and knowledge regarding plastic welding. That’s why, Mitchell says, bumper cover repair training is necessary and something that shops should embrace.

Oftentimes if an auto body shop buys a plastic welder and the technicians don’t know how to use it properly so it just sits in the shop collecting dust. But if technicians would just embrace the technology, several benefits became clear:

Ease of use. It does not take much training or practice for an auto body repair technician to get up to speed on plastic welding.

Inexpensive upkeep. The nitrogen used to fuel many plastic welders is very inexpensive, and the welding rods used to fuse torn bumper sections can last for several repairs.

With bumper covers costing the body shop over $400 per order, repairing them more often than replacing, the shop earns more money on labor and paint costs, and will get paid quicker from the insurance companies.

Faster Repairs. When a body shop is no longer burdened with waiting for bumper replacement parts to arrive, which could take up to a week, With plastic welding, repairs can begin right away which is beneficial to both the car owner and insurance partners.

O’Rielly Collisions Centers can repair most bumpers for a fraction of the cost of a full replacement. Stop driving around with an unsightly torn bumper cover. Click the button below for a free estimate.

Click me