Realizing that many customers would like to understand the detailed work involved, the following is an outline of the 14 main steps involved to repair your vehicle when you bring it to AutoMind. Each step is completed fully and accurately with attention to detail, guaranteeing that your vehicle is repaired to its original pre-accident condition.
In the Scheduling In stage, the customer has either dropped by an AutoMind facility or phoned in and spoken with any of the AutoMind Repair Process Managers. Customer information is collected which includes: Name, Address, Phone Number, E-mail address and Claim Number. If the car is at the AutoMind facility, digital photos of the damage will be taken. If an alternative transportation is requested, the customer will be asked to provide a valid driver license and credit card. A rental vehicle will then be arranged at this point. Once the arrival date of all the necessary parts is confirmed, an appointment date for dropping off the car for repairs will be provided.
In the Vehicle Here stage, the vehicle has been dropped off to AutoMind. It is either driven in by the customer or, if the vehicle is not drivable, it is towed in. If it is towed in, the register owner will be contacted at this point. The vehicle is stored in a secure area pending the next step.
In the Holding Vehicle stage, no repairs are being performed on the vehicle. Some reasons for a vehicle being in this stage would be: pending insurance procedure, pending customer authorization, possible total lost, or back order parts. Once conditions are satisfied, the vehicle will be moved to the next stage and the repair work will continue.
In the Approved stage, the vehicle is given a go ahead to start the repairs. Authorization has been given by the insurance company and also by the owner.
A vehicle in the Disassemble stage will undergo a complete tear down on the damaged area to reveal any possible hidden damages. All necessary parts or components of the car that need to be accessed will also be removed. All the damaged parts or structural damages will be digitally photographed and sent to the proper party for approval. All removed items are stored securely in the car’s designated parts cart. At this stage, the entire repair process will be blue printed to show the total extend of the repair.
In the Repair Plan stage, all the operations required to complete the repairs on the vehicle is identified. This includes:
- Strategic disassembly to identify 100% or operations and parts required to complete the repair without additional supplements
- Record all operations and parts in estimating software
- Photos taken of all damage and non-collision related damage to the vehicle
- Correctly identifying all required parts – verify parts on estimating software to actual parts on the vehicle
- Identify all required refinish operations
- Submit estimate to insurer for approval
In the Build Down stage, AutoMind is working to reduce the repair to the point that the vehicle can be put into a “predictable” process cycle by simplifying the repair and reducing the amount of body repair to establish a target delivery date. This includes:
- All parts that will/may impede the delivery date have been secured and / or received
- All mechanical work completed. Mechanical repairs deal with any mechanical component that is not of the outer surface of the vehicle or of the frame structure. Possible mechanical repairs are brakes and suspensions, exhaust, engine fluids, electrical, air condition system and wheel alignment.
- All structural work completed. State-of-the-art computerized frame diagnosis equipment will be used to create a three dimensional digital read out of the vehicle. The measurements will then be compared to the specification from the central data repository provided by the original manufactures. The comparison will create a damage analysis to show if the frame or the body of the vehicle is twisted from the accident. Repairs will then be performed on the damaged area using frame straightening equipment. After the repair, another three dimensional digital read out will be performed to ensure that all of the vehicle’s frame or body now conforms to factory specifications.
- All welding completed
- Identify parts to be painted off the vehicle
- All sublet works completed
- Re-mirror parts to ensure they are correct
A vehicle in the Bodywork stage is undergoing body surface repair. Body repair involves any outer body surface of the vehicle. It includes sheet metal repair, plastic repair, polyester surface treatment, trim repair, and glass repair. All surfaces are repaired to meet factory specifications. The repaired panels are treated for rust proofing. In the case that the panel is too damage to repair, a replacement panel will be used instead. All body surface repairs are backed by AutoMind’s limited lifetime warantee.
A vehicle in the Refinishing stage is getting painted. All repaired areas will be prepped and chemically washed down to remove all surface contaminates. The repaired areas are sanded and primered to create a proper surface adhesion for the paint. The vehicle is then masked and prepped for painting. Colors are mixed on an electronic scale based on the factory color code. It will then be sprayed out on a test card and compare with the actual vehicle to ensure color accuracy. All vehicles are sprayed with base coat/clear coat water born product. If the repaired area is very close to an adjacent panel, the panel will be blended. Blending means partial coloring of a panel to create a fade-in effect to the original color which will enhance the visual effect of an invisible repair. All paint jobs performed by AutoMind Collision are backed by AutoMind’s limited lifetime warrantee.
A vehicle in the Reassembly stage is being reassembled. All of the undamaged parts that were previously removed as well as any replacement parts will be reinstalled onto the vehicle. All installed components will be checked for functionality. Fluids are checked and topped up as needed. The vehicle is now brought back to pre-accident condition.
A vehicle in the Sublet repair stage has either been sent out to a specialty shop or a specialist has been called in onsite to perform a repair. Sublet repairs are done when highly specialized repairs are needed. All the sublet vendors that AutoMind work with have the highest degree of qualifications in their specific field of repairs. Examples of such specialty repairs are: windshield replacement, interior vinyl and leather repair, convertible top replacement, original dealership-only electronic diagnosis, aluminum rim repair, and bio-clean up for bodily fluids.
A vehicle in the Detailing stage is getting detailed. To remove any dust that may have resulted from the repair process, the vehicle’s interior is thoroughly cleaned. A polish is applied to enhance the shine of the paint. The vehicle’s exterior is power washed and cleaned. It is now returned to the pre-accident condition. A final quality check will also be performed at this point to ensure that all accident related components of the car are in proper working order. Quality checks are also done all throughout the repair process.
A vehicle in the Vehicle Ready stage is ready to be picked up. All repairs are completed and inspected. The paperwork is ready to be signed. Deductibles or repair costs can be paid with cash or credit cards.
A vehicle in the Vehicle Returned stage has already been returned. It is either picked up by the customer or by any appointed personnel. Any information or photos on the repair of the vehicle is still available online at the AutoMind website (www.automind.ca) or upon request. Information will continue to be available online for 60 days after the vehicle has been picked up.