The Repair Process
Repairing a vehicle that has been in a collision is a complex process. The repair process begins with an initial preliminary estimate to assess visual damage. The number of steps necessary to restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition depends on the extent of the damage. The steps listed below are the necessary steps for an” average” auto body repair.
After an accident if your vehicle is SAFE TO DRIVE, please give Lovett’s a call to schedule an estimate. You may drop by without an appointment but an appointment will allow us to schedule our time and give you faster service. If your vehicle is NON-DRIVABLE, please give Lovett’s a call and we will arrange to have your vehicle towed to our facility. When you call we will ask all the necessary information to process your claim.
Lovetts has agreements with several insurance companies to write the estimate and proceed with the repairs thus expediting the process. If your repairs are being paid for by an insurance company that we do not have an agreement with they will assign their appraiser to write an estimate. Lovetts will work from their estimate.
It is not necessary for Lovett’s to write an additional initial estimate. Each insurance company has specific documentation and a specific process that must be implemented prior to starting repairs and during the repair process. Lovett’s will implement the specified procedures and policies of each insurance company.
The initial estimate is a preliminary estimate covering visual damage. It is not the final cost of repair. Once the estimate is written and the insurance company approval is obtained the owner signs a Repair Order Authorization allowing Lovett’s to begin repairs.
If your vehicle is drivable parts included on the initial estimate will be pre-ordered prior to the vehicle being dropped off for repair. This facilitates a faster repair and also reduces the cost of a rental vehicle. If your vehicle is non- drivable the vehicle will be disassembled before parts will be ordered.
Each insurance company has their own policy relating to the replacement parts used in the repair of your vehicle.
The initial estimate for your vehicle is assigned to a technician. The technician will disassemble the vehicle, remove all damaged parts and write a detailed list of all the additional or supplemental damage they find. This list is given to the Estimator/Customer Service Representative.
The Estimator/Customer Service Representative adds the additional or supplemental damage found by the technician to the initial estimate and forwards this information to the insurance company. The vehicle owner is called and updated regarding the additional damage.
Additional parts are ordered based on the detailed list of supplemental damage found by the technician during disassembly.
If the severity and location of the collision damage indicates there is inner structural damage, damage to the unibody or “frame”of the vehicle, the vehicle will be mounted to a dedicated bench, or a universal frame rack. A computerized electronic measuring system will be utilized and the damage to your vehicle will be repaired returning specific measuring points back to the dimensions dictated by the vehicle manufacturer.
After structural repairs are complete the vehicle is removed from the bench or rack and the sheet metal repair and or replacement operations are performed.
REFINISH or PAINT PREPARATION
All panels that need to be painted go through a series of steps to prepare them for the application of paint. They are finely sanded. Primer and corrosion protection products are applied. Areas that won’t be painted are covered and “masked off”.
REFINISHING or PAINTING
Lovett’s uses a computerized paint mixing system to mix the paint that will match your vehicle’s color and finish. The paint code on your vehicle provides the starting point for the formula, but painting is a science and an art. The paint code is the color your vehicle was when it left the factory. If it is relatively new the paint has minimal oxidation. If your vehicle is several years old the paint has significantly more oxidation. At Lovetts our painters are able to blend art and science to match the paint on your vehicle.
Your vehicle will be spray painted and “baked ‘in a downdraft paint booth providing you with a factory finish. We proudly use BASF, R-M Diamont paint products for all of our refinish operations.
Once the vehicle is painted and the finish is baked dry the vehicle returns to the technician for reassembly of all the external trim pieces such as moldings, door handles, stripes, new glass etc. The interior repairs are also completed at this time. If necessary, repair of the interior damage may be sublet to a company that specializes in vehicle interiors.
Vehicles that are involved in collisions often sustain mechanical damage as well as structural damage. After reassembly the mechanical repairs are addressed. The most common areas of repair involve suspension and steering, alignment, air conditioning, cooling systems, the exhaust system, computer sensors and electrical diagnosis. Lovetts repairs much of this damage at our facility. However, if we feel a specialist is needed to correctly diagnose and repair the damage we will sublet the repair to the proper facility.
After completion of the repairs, Lovetts will thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
Each area that was repaired is checked to ensure that the repairs were done properly. If any defects are found or any part is not operating properly or additional damage related to or not related to the collision is found. The customer is notified and the problem is solved.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION INDEX-CSI
Each customer is given a comment card to fill out when you pick up your vehicle and you will receive a follow up call approximately one week after you pick up your vehicle to ensure your complete satisfaction. We warranty our workmanship for as long as you own your vehicle.