How to Estimate the Cost of Auto Body Repair

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To get an estimate of auto-body repair costs, mechanics must evaluate the car first by breaking down its part; an expert explains how in this free auto-mechanics video.

Part of the Video Series: How to: Car Repair
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Video Transcript

The most important thing that you want are proper repairs. Proper repairs are dependent upon proper estimation and a proper estimation is depended upon a proper evaluation. In order to get that, you have to do tear down of the vehicle. This one has been especially prepared for it as you can see but you have to take it apart. When you have the vehicle apart, all of a sudden you can see the hidden damages. Here is an example of fiber glass. A fiber glass front panel and a steel structure behind that so you have the combination of the two materials. In order to get a true evaluation, you need to determine if the vehicle is shifted. If there is any frame damage across both the diagonal and horizontal planks. The best way to do that is with a tape measure and you find two equal points on each side like hood hinge bolts and you do it diagonal in both directions. They should be equal and if they are not, obviously the body has been shifted. That will give you a good indication. Also in heavier hitch, you want to measure from the center of the wheel to the center of the wheel. That will tell you if there is any distortion of your actual drive ability pattern. It is important to mention is the economics. The show is not about economics but someone has to pay for this damage and in order to do that, usually at an insurance company they have to agree to what has to be replaced and what has to be repaired. Someone makes that decision and it may not necessarily be you, the car owner. So once the economics are in place, the parts are ordered, when you tear it down, keep all your clips, little screws, bolts put them all in a pan so that they are all together. Once you have it torn down, once you have it estimated, then you go into frame repairs.

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