Fall is one of the busiest seasons for new vehicle purchases. With so many new makes and models being introduced, there are lots of exciting options.
Today’s cars have more technology and advanced safety systems than ever, designed to make you safer on the road.
But what if you’re in an accident and need to repair that vehicle? These new technologies can be more expensive to repair, requiring trained and certified repair professionals to restore all of the systems accurately.
CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently owned collision repair facilities, just opened its 700th location in Los Angeles – one of the nation’s biggest new car markets. For car buyers in that market, and across North America, CARSTAR recommends looking into a vehicle’s safety systems and repair guides before buying. This can help protect you on the road and preserve the value of your vehicle in the event of a collision.
Karl Champley, Los Angeles resident and automotive and home improvement expert from shows like “Same Place, More Space” and networks like HGTV and DIY, is helping educate consumers about the collision repair process.
“When you drive in a city like Los Angeles with tremendous traffic, collisions are bound to happen,” said Champley. “Many people here want the latest car with the most technology, and when they’re in a collision, they’re surprised by the cost and complexity of the repair. By doing some homework before the purchase, they can understand what might be needed to restore their vehicle to pre-accident condition and what collision repair partner they should select.”
There are hundreds of computer codes required to manage all the operations of the vehicle. By having the collision repair facility scan those codes before the repair, they – and you – can get a more complete evaluation of the repair needed. A scan afterward ensures that all of the repair needs have been met. A high-quality collision repair facility will always conduct pre- and post-repair scans of your vehicle.
Many vehicles with advanced technology have cameras around the exterior to provide lane warnings, backup alerts and front distance notifications. Following certain types of collisions, these may need to be recalibrated to ensure they are performing correctly.
Vehicles with advanced materials like carbon fiber, aluminum and high-strength steel also require special repair processes, as do hybrid and elective vehicles.
“It is important to carefully choose a collision repair partner who is certified and equipped to repair your vehicle back to pre-collision quality,” said Champley. “Research repair locations who are certified by the manufacturer of your vehicle, carry I-CAR Gold training or third-party quality certifications. You should also consider collision repair facilities that are part of a national network. They usually have more access to technician training, certification programs and repair information so can be a more qualified choice for collision repair.”
Don’t overlook talking with your insurance carrier when you purchase your vehicle to understand what repair processes are covered on your policy, noted Champley.
“You should evaluate your insurance coverage not just by the deductible,” he said. “You need to understand if it requires OEM or aftermarket parts, if pre- and post-repair scanning are covered, if calibration is required and if OEM repair standards guide the repair process. This helps ensure your safety on the road in your repaired vehicle and preserves the value of that investment.”
While no one wants to think about their new vehicle being in a collision, you can help ensure your vehicle is repaired correctly to protect yourself and the investment you made into in your new car.
For more information, visit CARSTAR.com.
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