The Repair Process
There are many steps involved with the repair process. As a general rule, the more damage caused in the accident, the more complex the repair process is. Listed below are the necessary steps for an “average” collision repair. Please keep in mind collision repair is not an exact science and because of this we are not always able to give you an exact date when your vehicle will be ready.
Administrative: After the estimate has been written, the approvals are obtained from the owner and the insurance company. NYS Law prevents a repair facility from beginning any repair to a vehicle until all the proper authorizations are received. Depending on your specific situation, different authorizations may or may not be needed. T.A.C.S. Service Managers will explain which authorizations are needed for your situation. Please, keep in mind the sooner we receive all the authorizations the sooner we can order parts and begin your repair.
Parts: We order the necessary parts, based on your initial estimate, to repair your vehicle before we begin to “tear down” your vehicle. Insurance companies are only able to cover parts in their first estimate that they can “physically” see are damaged on your vehicle. Most of the time (due to this insurance procedure), additional damage is discovered during the tear down process. At that point, we will contact your insurance company to come and inspect the additional damage. By law, insurance companies have 48 hours (2 days) to send an adjuster to our facility to review the additional damage. Once they approve the additional damage, we can order the rest of the parts and continue with your repair. Please keep in mind; this may lengthen the time to repair your vehicle. This is considered the supplemental damage.
Tear-Down: Your car is assigned to a technician to begin the repair process. At that time they “tear-down” the damaged area of the vehicle and remove all damaged parts. A complete list of any additional hidden damage that is found is made and given to the T.A.C.S. Service Manager. The Service Manager then contacts the Insurance Company for them to come and inspect the new damage. NYS Law allows Insurance Adjusters 48 hours (2 days) from the time we contact them with the additional damage list to arrive at our facility.
Revised Estimate: The Service Manager revises the estimate to include the additional parts and labor that are necessary to complete the repair of your vehicle. This information is then forwarded to your insurance company for approval. We also will contact you with this information.
Structural Repairs: If there is damage to the inner structure of your vehicle we are able to repair the damage on our frame machine along with a computerized frame measuring system. Our computerized measuring system will provide us with the specific manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle so we can assure you your frame is back to the manufacturer’s specifications once your repair is complete.
Cosmetic Repairs: Once the structural damage is repaired, sheet metal repair and replacement operations are performed.
- All parts of your vehicle that need to be refinished go through a thorough preparation process.
- The exterior finish is applied on site in our paint booth.
- We offer a 30 day wax and buff on the newly painted panels as a finishing process to remove any imperfections in the paint.
Re-assembling Your Vehicle: After your vehicle is complete, the technician that has worked on your vehicle reassembles your vehicle, attaches trim, door handles, mirrors and other various parts that had to be removed to complete the repair.
Mechanical Repairs: If needed T.A.C.S. has an in-house Service Department to handle your mechanical repairs. Keep in mind mechanical repairs often need resets, alignments, or other tests to ensure the system is working properly.
Detailing: After the repairs are complete we detail the vehicle inside and out. This is a FREE service we offer on all of our repairs.
Quality Control: Our quality control experts check each and every part that was repaired to make sure that all work was completed properly before you pick up your vehicle. In addition, most vehicles are road tested. We have a complete checklist that is part of our process before delivery that includes instrumentation, locks, windows, and other items. If something that does not work is found and it is not related to the damage from your accident, we will make sure that you are informed.
Customer Contact: You are welcome to contact us anytime while we are working on your vehicle to find out about the status of the repairs. We make every effort to have your car ready on time, but additional damage, revised estimates, parts delivery and insurance response time are sometimes out of our control.