Schools Training

A Short Checklist of Auto Collision Estimation

5 OCT 2012
Career Path : Automotive

Car accidents can range from being a mild nuisance to a serious situation. The very first things we think about are the safety of any motorists, passengers or pedestrians who were involved. Only later, once the initial shock has subsided, do we begin to think of the damages done to our cars. Clearly the relief that nobody is harmed greatly overrides the consideration of the car’s damage. But when cost of repairs becomes a factor, not to mention having to leave your car with a mechanic and have to get around with alternative transportation for a duration of time, we still want the best, most efficient, and most cost-effective solution.

The very first step of collision repairs is the inspection and estimation. Sometimes there is more than one way to get your car back and up and running, from fixing parts to wholly replacing them, with different costs and advantages to each option. For this, the auto body collision estimator is a key player on the team that will fix up your car and put you back in the driver’s seat. This specialist is trained to recognize, through a variety of methods, the extent of the damage and what is required to be road-ready again, using both their own observational skills as well as modern software programs. A course for auto body estimators will combine much theoretical training with practical experience to cover all aspects of estimation.

Collision estimation has a long checklist of points they run through when a car is brought in. Here is a short checklist of some of the main aspects:

– Have intimate knowledge of a car’s structure to understand core structural damage

– Figuring out the point of impact and the intensity of impact to determine less obvious areas of damage

– Checking the steel components of the body, determining what needs welding, or replacing

– Checking the plastic components, such as the door interiors and instrument panels

– Understanding a car’s repair history to distinguish old damage from new damage

– Determining if there is damage to the suspension system

– Determining if there is damage to the mechanical system

– Estimating any fix-up regarding the exterior paint job

The above tasks are the part of the initial inspection. After they are complete, the estimation continues with several more tasks:

– Check parts availability and prices for parts that need replacing

– Determine the total of labor hours required to repair and replace parts, as well as painting and finishing

– Prepare a thorough documentation for the vehicle’s records regarding its repairs and part-replacements

– Explain these factors to the customer and determine with them the best method for proceeding where more than one option is available, taking into account cost and time of repairs

Most auto body schools will offer the future estimator recorded case histories, simulated class training and actual work experience as part of a complete program.

Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information on auto body training and other similar programs.