The Lithia Repair Process

  Getting Started

STEP 1: SELECT REPAIR OPTIONS AND SCHEDULE REPAIR

The first stop in the repair process is to talk about the damage that occurred to your vehicle and to find out your needs and concerns regarding the repair. Our experienced and friendly estimator will advise you on the repair options available. Options designed to fit your budget and needs. Throughout the repair process, our team will act as your advisor; working with you to determine the best repair options, negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, or just offer advise on how best to care for and maintain the new paint job on your vehicle. We understand you are busy and want to get your vehicle repaired as quickly as possible. Once you have decided on a repair option for your vehicle with an estimator, we will set a convenience date and time for you to drop off your vehicle for the repair if it is safely drivable. Scheduling your repair allows us to make sure we have the parts and other resources in place to get your vehicle repaired and back on the road as soon as possible.

 

  Vehicle Drop Off

STEP 2: DROP OFF YOUR VEHICLE

On the scheduled date and time you drop your car off for repair, we will be waiting for you!  Our quick check in process allows us to gather information such as vehicle photographs and signed work authorization, which is necessary when you are making an insurance claim. We will also remind you to collect any personal items like garage door openers, toll passes or parking permits from your vehicle. If you desire we will even arraign for a rental car to pick you up at the repair center or give you a ride to the rental car office close to the repair center.

 

STEP 3: VEHICLE PRE-WASH

We do a lot of living in our cars and along the way we pick up dirt and debris. Dirt and Debris can affect our ability to see damage on the exterior of your vehicle or to diagnose damage on the interior. That is why we start our in shop repair process by washing, vacuuming and cleaning your vehicle from top to bottom. Our skilled technicians also provide detailing services to make your vehicle like new again.

 

  Vehicle Prep

STEP 4: VEHICLE DIS-ASSEMBLY

Vehicle accident damage is similar to an onion. There is an outside layer or visible damage that is easy to identify. However, to see all the damage that has occurred, we need to peel back all the layers. In collision repair, this is called Dis-assembly. During dis-assembly, our skilled technicians start by removing the visibly damaged panels and parts. They then inspect the components and systems underneath to determine the extent of the damage. All of the damages parts are removed from the vehicle and stored on a parts cart to maximize efficiency for a quick repair.

 

STEP 5: ASSESS STRUCTURAL DAMAGE

Have you ever broken a bone? The only way for a doctor to diagnose that you've broken the bone is to take an x-ray. In a similar fashion, the only way for our technicians to diagnose if you have structural damage to your vehicle frame is to put it on a frame machine that measures the frame dimensions. Your vehicle's dimensions are compared to the specifications provided by your vehicle manufacturer. If your vehicle frame is severely damaged, we may not be able to repair it safely. This would result in a total loss of the vehicle. However, in many cases we can repair the frame damage and bring it back into alignment with the manufactures specifications. As an added benefit, we inspect your vehicle for non-accident related damage; we will inform you of our findings and give you the option to make the repair. There is no obligation to this inspection. Many of our customers choose to repair this damage while we have their vehicle. This damage is separate from your insurance company appraisal. If you are not interested in the service, that is not a problem!  Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction with your repair.

 

  Research & Approval

STEP 6: COLOR MATCHING PAINT

Color Matching Paint - With any vehicle, the sections affected by the damage need to be painted once the repairs are made. Our collision center paint brand is a major supplier to all of the global vehicle manufacturers. You can be confident in our ability to match your vehicle's color. Our repair centers have spectro-fatometers which allow color matching to be done through a photographic analysis of the existing paint. There are two types of spectro-fatometers: an Acquire RX (TM) camera and an Acquire Plus EFX (TM) Camera. Both cameras work in similar faction. First, the two panels closest to the repair are cleaned with a polishing compound and wiped dry with a clean and dry, lint-free cloth. The camera is loaded and three readings are taken from the two adjacent panels. The readings are uploaded directly from the camera into the electronic formula retrieval system. The technician enters your vehicle information into the database and runs a search. The color proof system returns with two color renderings: on the left there is a lab-digital rendering of the existing vehicle color, on the right is a lab-digital rendering of the formula selected by the electric formula retrieval database. Enabling the blend/view option allows the technician a preview of how well the formulas will combine. If needed, the electronic formula retrieval system compares the lab images and automatically adjusts the tint accordingly. Once we have a color match we will then verify the accuracy of the color by creating a spray out card that is again compared to your vehicle before we paint anything. Using this process we can guarantee your color will match!

Step 6

STEP 7: APPROVAL FROM INSURANCE PROVIDER

Making a claim to your insurance company can be time consuming. However, by using our repair center the process can be hassle-free and painless. The direct communication between your insurance company and our repair center expedites your repair. We transact business with all of the major US car insurance companies - They know us and we know them! Once we have established a complete repair plan for your vehicle, we will send all of the appropriate documentation to your insurance company for their approval. Allowing you to get back to your life knowing that your insurance claim is being professionally handled.

Step 7

  Repair Begins

STEP 8: ORDER AND RECEIVE PARTS FOR REPAIR

Order and Receive Parts for Repair - Once the insurance company approves the repair plan, parts to repair your vehicle are ordered. Our repair plan allows us to order all of the parts needed to repair your vehicle at one time and this can greatly expedite the repair process. On the expected delivery date, to avoid any delays in the repair process we compare any new parts to the damage part taken off your vehicle. This helps us quickly identify if we've received the wrong part and get the issue corrected, which assures that we can expedite the repair process.

Step 8

STEP 9: GUARANTEED REPAIR TIMELINE PROVIDED

One of the most frequent questions we hear from customers is "when will my vehicle be ready?" By completing a thorough repair plan we can calculate when your vehicle will be ready with complete confidence. At this point we know when parts will be delivered and what damage needs to be repaired. This eliminates surprised in the repair process. In addition, we will contact you throughout the repair process to update you on the status of your vehicle and to provide you with the delivery date. You will know when to expect your vehicle and when you can get back on the road!

Step 9

  Bodywork

STEP 10: REPAIR BODY OF VEHICLE

Ever had a runaway shopping cart hit your car door and leave a dent? How about those small dings, scratches and rock chips that seem to collect on your paint job? This type of damage can be easily repaired using paint less dent-removal techniques that are quick and easy. However, when larger accidents occur, our highly trained certified technicians have a variety of techniques they can use to repair the damage to your vehicle such as filling the dent with body filler, welding or adhesive bonding on a new body panel. Knowing your vehicle is in the hands of a trusted and trained means peace of mind knowing your repairs will be done right, the first time and every time.

Step 10

STEP 11: APPLY SEAM SEALER & CORROSION PROTECTION

Corrosion protection is required whenever bare metal is present in interior areas or on exterior surfaces of a vehicle exposed to a high degree of moisture. Corrosion Protection minimizes the damage from road debris and the exposure of bare metal that can lead to rust. All vehicles are treated with corrosion protection during the original manufacturing of the vehicle. During the repair process we must apply products that will provide you with a similar level of protection. Reapplying seam sealer and corrosion protection ensures a quality repair is completed and aids in getting your vehicle back to pre-accident condition. These steps should reassure you that your vehicle is safe and reliable.

  Preparing and Painting

STEP 12: PREPARE VEHICLE FOR PAINT

Have you ever ran your hand over the painted surface of your vehicle and enjoyed the smooth, sleek finish? That finish is achieved by extensive preparation of the surface before the vehicle is ever painted. Imagine that you sanded down to bare metal on your vehicle, you would discover that your paint job is made up of many layers of materials. With bare metal at the bottom, followed by etch primer, body filler, primer-surfacer, base color coat and then a clear coat at the top. To repair the damage, each layer needs to be reapplied and then sanded smooth before the next layer is applied. This sanding process is called "feather edging". Feather edging allows for the repair to be seamless when you run your hand over the finished paint job. When completing repairs to your vehicle, it is very rare that we need to repaint the entire vehicle. Instead, we often only need to repaint the areas that have been repaired. Therefore, it is critical that we tape off or mask off areas that do not need to be painted. Masking the vehicle also helps achieve a seamless finish by protecting areas of the vehicle from unwanted overspray. Before we paint, the entire vehicle needs to be clean and free of dirt and sanding debris. To ensure this, the surface of your vehicle is cleaned off with clean, dry air and then wiped down with a final cleaner. This process prevents dust and dirt from getting in your final paint finish.

Step 12

STEP 13: APPLY BASE COAT & CLEAR COAT

Paint technicians are highly trained artisans who work with the latest paint applications and color matching technology. Paint technicians mix the correct paint color based on a color formula using a mixing scale. Following a scientific recipe, they combine the appropriate amount of several toners and then add a controller or activator to the mixture that helps the paint dry. The paint is then stirred and strained into a cup. This cup is then connected to the spray gun that the paint technician will use to paint the vehicle. The first layer of paint is called a base coat and it contains a vehicle color. Our paint technicians undergo extensive training to ensure they are knowledgeable about the most recent paint application techniques. These skilled painters give you the comfort of knowing the old and new paint will blend perfectly making the damage to your vehicle undetectable. Our paint technicians then apply a second coat called a clear coat. This second layer provides UV and gloss retention properties to the base coat layer giving your vehicle an exceptional appearance.

Step 13

  Final Steps

STEP 14: REASSEMBLE VEHICLE & QUALITY CONTROL

After the painting stage of the repair process, your vehicle will then be reassembled. This stage is easily and quickly completed. Our repair centers take pride in their work, which is why we quality control check, every vehicle. During the quality control assessment, we check everything from the interior to the exterior of your vehicle; your vehicle is even driven by a trained technician to test the safety and reliability. Through this process, our repair center is certain that your vehicle is back to pre-accident condition.

Step 14

STEP 15: SCHEDULE PICK-UP DETAIL & INSPECTION

Once all quality checks have been completed, you will receive a phone call stating that your vehicle is finished and ready to be picked up. Together, we will schedule a date and time for you to pick up your vehicle. Prior to your pickup, your vehicle will undergo final detailing to remove all dirt or debris than may have accumulated during the repair process. This leaves your vehicle looking like new. When you arrive you will be walked through a final inspection. This final inspection allows you to approve the repair. At this point, you can drive away happy knowing your vehicle looks like new and having the peace of mind provided by a lifetime warranty of our repairs. Our goal is 100% Customer Satisfaction; our business is built on the complete satisfaction of each and every customer.

Step 15

Ready to fix up and look sharp? Find an auto body shop near you to experience the best in collision repair and technology.

Lithia Repair Process

Step 1: Select repair options and schedule repair

The first stop in the repair process is to talk about the damage that occurred to your vehicle and to find out your needs and concerns regarding the repair. Our experienced and friendly estimator will advise you on the repair options available. Options designed to fit your budget and needs.

Throughout the repair process, our team will act as your advisor; working with you to determine the best repair options, negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, or just offer advise on how best to care for and maintain the new paint job on your vehicle. We understand you are busy and want to get your vehicle repaired as quickly as possible. Once you have decided on a repair option for your vehicle with an estimator, we will set a convenience date and time for you to drop off your vehicle for the repair if it is safely drivable. Scheduling your repair allows us to make sure we have the parts and other resources in place to get your vehicle repaired and back on the road as soon as possible.
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