Having a damaged car can be a frustrating experience

Having a damaged car can be a frustrating experience

Associated Collision Center wants you to be safe and aware, this blog contains great info on Having a damaged car can be a frustrating experience.

Whether you swerved to avoid a pedestrian and hit something else, or another driver made an error and struck your vehicle with theirs, getting your car, truck, or SUV repaired is important. Most newer vehicles today are made with a unibody frame. What does that mean, and how does it affect the repair process? Here’s everything you need to know, so you can choose the right auto body repair shop for unibody repair.


A unibody frame is exactly what the name implies. The frames on unibody vehicles are all made from one piece, with the chassis and the body of the vehicle joined as one. That’s different from the way cars were typically made in the past, when the body was made separately from the chassis, and then attached to it later. Unibody frames have been around since the 1930s, and were occasionally used on vehicles. But most companies didn’t use this option, because it was more expensive and not well-known.

In the last couple of decades, though, unibody frames have been made in ways that are less expensive to manufacture, while still providing quality, value, and safety for drivers of cars with these frames. The unibody design is a safer, solider alternative, and it also makes the vehicle lighter and more fuel-efficient. Unibody frames have specific “crumple zones” that are designed to take the impact of an accident, which protects the driver and passenger.

Since unibody designs help to reduce injuries and save lives, and they’re also lighter and better for fuel economy, it’s understandable that car manufacturers made the switch. Now, it’s harder to find a vehicle that doesn’t have a unibody design, unless you choose one that’s significantly older. In time, it will likely be nearly impossible to find a non-unibody design, unless you choose a classic car.


The one downside to a unibody frame is that it can be more difficult to repair than the chassis-on-body options older cars were built with. The reason behind this is that the unibody is all one frame, so if a part of the frame is damaged in an accident, the entire frame is damaged. In a collision, the frame of a vehicle can bend, crumple, twist, or actually break apart. That impacts the vehicle’s structural integrity, which needs to be fully restored before that vehicle is safe to drive again.

Unibody repair has to take this structural integrity issue into account very carefully. There are two main issues with repairing a unibody vehicle. Those are the safety of the people inside, and the way the vehicle actually drives down the road. Not having proper repairs can mean that the driver and passenger are at greater risk of harm, because the vehicle won’t handle another impact or accident properly. Inadequate repair can also mean the vehicle doesn’t “track” straight, putting strain on its systems.

Driving a vehicle with a damaged frame is never a good idea. Not only could another accident mean serious bodily harm, but you could be wearing out your tires, suspension, and other vehicle systems due to misalignment from the original accident. Instead of taking those kinds of risks, it’s best to bring the car to an auto body repair shop, and get a rental vehicle until your car has been properly fixed. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can take a little while to get the unibody frame straight again.


If your vehicle’s unibody repair is handled by a qualified shop and performed correctly, you’re just as safe in that repaired vehicle as you would be in a new one. Before unibody frames became so commonplace, this wasn’t always the case. Straightening and repairing a unibody frame wasn’t as common, and more vehicles were “totaled” by the insurance company after an accident. There were even some people who believed a unibody vehicle couldn’t ever be repaired and would never drive straight after a collision.

Fortunately, that’s no longer something you have to worry about. If your insurance company isn’t writing your vehicle off as totaled, that means they agree that it can be restored to factory, manufacturer levels of safety and security for you and your passengers. That’s great news, because you won’t need to get a new car. Instead, you can get yours repaired and continue to enjoy driving it. You’ll have your car back, and you’ll also have plenty of peace of mind to go along with it.

Cost will be a factor in your insurance company’s decision, as well. Even if your vehicle can be properly repaired, if the cost to do that is too much the insurance company may write off the car anyway. A few hundred to a few thousand dollars in cost is common when performing a unibody repair. In some cases, though, the estimate can be much higher. Your insurance company might decide the car isn’t worth the cost to repair, even if the repairs could make the vehicle whole again.


Theoretically, you could take your vehicle in for unibody repair at any auto body repair shop that advertises that service. But you may not want to just pick a name off of your search results. Instead, make sure you’re looking for the best quality repair options in your area. Most insurance companies have a list of companies you can choose from, or will let you select any shop in the area that’s licensed, and insured properly. With certified technicians and a good reputation, that’s a shop you can feel safe trusting.

You probably also want OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, although some aftermarket options can be good choices, as well. Talking with an auto body repair shop you’re considering can give you plenty of insight into whether they’re the right shop to meet your needs, so your vehicle can be repaired the right way.

At the end of the day, it’s your vehicle. It’s undoubtedly important to you to have it repaired correctly, so you can drive it safely and get back on the road as quickly as possible. The more you understand about unibody repair, the more confident you can feel when working with the repair shop, for a better overall experience.

What to know more? please visit our last month’s blog Quiz Your New Driver Before They Hit the Road a complete Blog listing can be found here.

Quiz Your New Driver Before They Hit the Road

Quiz Your New Driver Before They Hit the Road

Associated Collision Center wants you to be safe and aware, this blog contains great info on Quiz Your New Driver Before They Hit the Road.

Letting a new driver loose on the roads can be nerve-wracking. Luckily, you can help your teen to be better prepared by giving them this quiz.

  1. What should you do if you spot an emergency vehicle with its lights on?
    a. Pull over to the left
    b. Ignore it
    c. Pull over to the right
    d. Let it pass and then follow it
  2. What do you need to always have with you while driving?
    a. License
    b. Registration
    c. Insurance card
    d. All of the above
  3. When can you turn right on red?
    a. Anytime
    b. After making a complete stop
    c. When there is a sign that says “No turn on red”
    d. All of the above
  4. How loud should you play music?
    a. As loud as you want
    b. At a non-distracting level
    c. Under 25 DB
    d. None of the above
  5. Where are you likely to see a speed limit drop?
    a. Yell at the other driver
    b. Drive away if the damage isn’t bad
    c. Ensure the safety of passengers and yourself, then exchange information like phone numbers and insurance information.
    d. None of the above
  6. What should you do if your vehicle is hit?
    a. Yell at the other driver
    b. Drive away if the damage isn’t bad
    c. Ensure the safety of passengers and yourself, then exchange information like phone numbers and insurance information.
    d. None of the above

The next section will include fill-in-the-blank questions. These will be specific to the vehicle your teen drives:

  1. Where is the parking break?
  2. How do you use the windshield wipers?
  3. How do you use the windshield wiper fluid?
  4. Where is the child lock?
  5. How do you turn off the child lock?
  6. What is the legal maximum number of passengers you may drive?
  7. Where is the spare tire?


  1. What should you do if you spot an emergency vehicle with its lights on?

Answer: C. Pull over to the right. This is a good rule of thumb for new drivers to know. However, it’s important to explain that there will be times when they need to move in other directions for an emergency vehicle to pass. The bottom line is to ensure the vehicle can pass in an orderly fashion.

  1.   What do you need to always have with you while driving?

Answer: D. All of the above. In the event you are in a car accident or get pulled over, you will need these documents present to deal with each situation. Always make sure to have these with you when driving your car, even for a short distance.

  1. When can you turn right on red?

Answer: B. After making a complete stop. Although you can turn right on red as long as there is no sign prohibiting it, you must still be sure to come to a complete stop before turning.

  1. How loud should you play your music? 

Answer: B. At a non-distracting level. While there is no federal law that limits the volume level of music in a car, a new driver should always be focused on the road first. Ensure that music is kept at an appropriate level that still allows you to focus on the road.

  1. Where are you likely to see a speed limit drop?

Answer: D. Both b & c are correct. Expecting a speed limit drop and knowing when to slow down will help keep these areas safe while also keeping a driver out of trouble.

  1. What should you do if your vehicle is hit?

Answer: C. Ensure the safety of passengers and yourself, then exchange information like phone numbers and insurance information. Although we hope these situations never happen, it’s good to be prepared for if they do. When your vehicle is hit, the first important thing is the safety of everyone involved. After that is secured, the driver can decide whether to call 911 or simply exchange information with the other driver. A 911 call would depend on the severity of the collision and the discretion of the driver.

What to know more? please visit our last month’s blog Can I Repair my Car After Flood Damage? a complete Blog can be found here.

Can I Repair my Car After Flood Damage?

Can I Repair my Car After Flood Damage?

Associated Collision Center wants you to be safe and aware, this blog contains great info on Can I Repair my Car After Flood Damage.

Water can wreak havoc on a car—especially if that water comes from flooding.

If your car is exposed to flood damage, sometimes it can be repaired, though oftentimes those repairs may cost more than simply replacing the car. This is especially true if your car is flooded with saltwater. Saltwater damage can be extremely difficult to repair, and oftentimes it’s better to simply consider the car totaled. Freshwater damage is sometimes fixable, though it often depends on how high the water was, and which aspects of the cars were damaged.

Not sure where to start after a flood? Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to begin considering your options. Though, at the end of the day, you’ll likely need to bring in a trusted expert to help you determine the extent of the damage.

Check the level of water damage

When you first return to your car after a flood, you should see if you can tell how much of the car was submerged. You might be able to see an actual water line on your vehicle, or you may be able to tell by where the damage seems to be.

Flooding can damage a whole host of things in a vehicle, but the most concerning is damage to the engine or electronics, which can be difficult, if not impossible, to repair. If the water only rose to the level of the flooring of the car, it might be salvageable. However, you’ll need to take care to properly dry and clean all interior aspects, as well as ensure there’s no damage to the exterior that could promote rusting down the road.

Even if the damage appears to just be superficial, it’s still best to bring the car in to a professional. A trained expert can remove paneling from your vehicle to ensure it dries properly, inspect the engine and electrical systems, and potentially install new seating or carpeting if necessary.

Check the engine oil for water

One of the biggest concerns if your car is flooded is damage to the engine. An important note – never turn on your car’s engine until you know whether it’s been contaminated with water. Turning on an engine that’s been exposed to water can force water through the whole system, worsening damage.

One way to tell if water has compromised your engine is to check the engine oil with a dipstick. If the fluid level is unusually high, there’s likely water in it, since oil floats in water. If you find any evidence of water in the oil – or if you know that water rose to the level of the engine – it’s best to take it straight to your nearest repair ship for evaluation by a professional.

Determine if it’s worth repairing

At the end of the day, many flooded vehicles would cost more to repair than they would to replace. One of the most important assessments you can make is figuring out the worth of your car, then determining if the cost of repairs will exceed the value. Insurance companies can often help with this – though they may recommend simply considering the car totaled, especially if flooded with saltwater.

If your car is flooded, bring in an expert who has experience dealing with flood damage to make these determinations, and to run a full diagnostic test on your car’s functionality. Not only can flood damage be complicated – but it can also be dangerous if not diagnosed or repaired correctly.

Carwise.com can help you find a shop near you that can help you decide if you can fix your car after flood damage, or consider it totaled: carwise.com/auto-body-shops

What to know more? please visit our last month’s blog Acting on ADAS. A complete Blog can be found here.


The Parts Shortage in 2022

The Parts Shortage in 2022

Associated Collision Center wants you to be safe and aware, this blog contains great info on The Parts Shortage in 2022.

2021 was a challenging year for industries across the country. It hit the parts and service industries especially hard. And it may get worse in the coming months, extending into next year. Kaylee Felio, Sales and Marketing Manager for Parts Edge, joins Corey to talk about what’s going on. She explains why the supply chain issues persist and what dealerships can do to retain their customers and their satisfaction scores in the middle of a supply chain crisis.

The Outlook for Parts & Service Industries in 2022

Shutdowns ended up delaying everything, especially at an international level. Global suppliers couldn’t get goods shipped out at their normal rates. That meant dealerships and customers were waiting for much longer than normal for shipments of parts.
The outlook for 2022 is going to be more of the same. Global shutdowns have (for the most part) come to an end, so manufacturers are once again shipping items out. It’s now the carriers at the end of the supply chain that are having issues because there simply aren’t enough drivers to go around. The supply chain is now broken in those final miles, between getting parts from the dock to the parts department door. That means parts managers are spending more of their time tracking parts and making claims on a daily basis.

It’s not just obscure parts that dealerships are waiting on, either. Dealerships are running out of parts that are so common, no one ever expected them to run low. Who thought air filters would ever be hard to come by?

What Parts Managers Can Do to Mitigate Supply Issues

The broken supply chain issue shouldn’t be solely on the shoulders of the parts manager to overcome, especially when there is no playbook for a situation like this. Most parts managers understand how to deal with inventory management and handling the parts once they get to the dealership. But if the parts aren’t there, what can they do?
This is when the dealership needs to come together as a whole. As a team, the dealership must understand what issues every department is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, dealerships will need to:

  • Remove the blame. You won’t do anyone any favors–including your customers–by blaming one department or the other. Work with sister stores or friends in the industry to create mutual support networks that could help you overcome current challenges. They may be able to share parts or even mentor new parts managers in how to handle shortages.
  • Create a structure for communicating with customers. Be honest with your customers about what’s happening. If you are upfront and honest with them, most of them will understand why a part isn’t available for their vehicle.

What Dealer Principals Can Do to Help

In a recent poll, PartsEdge asked parts managers that if they could have more of anything, what would it be? Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said that they’d have more staff, and 46 percent said that they’d have more time. Parts managers are spread thin, and they aren’t just managing inventory anymore. They are dealing with shortages in both their supply chain and in their workforce. Those issues aren’t coming to an end anytime soon, either. At the earliest, says Kaylee, it will be the third quarter of this year, but it’s likely to last longer.
That means tensions are high in dealerships and could remain high without dealer principal intervention. combat growing tensions, they can:

  • Make sure departments understand the challenges that other departments are facing. Encourage them to find ways to support one another and create a unified front for the customers.
  • Beware of employee burnout. That might mean doing things like scaling back hours, eliminating Saturday hours for parts and service.
  • Support parts managers as much as possible. This is especially true for new managers. The situation is frustrating for everyone and giving them a chance to vent can go a long way towards easing tension.

The Takeaway

So, what can dealerships and parts managers do to provide a superior level of customer service during this supply chain crisis? Kaylee recommends:

  • More meetings. Keep everyone up to date on supply chain issues and what’s happening now and in the future. That will keep everyone on the same page and ease tension between departments.
  • Find additional support for your teams. That might be downloading an e-book for them or finding mentors in sister stores. Whatever you can do to give them more support will go a long way towards avoiding burnout.
  • Stay positive. It might be difficult, but a good attitude will help everyone get through this tough time.

Want even more insight from Kaylee on the supply chain crisis? Head to our YouTube channel for the full video interview of her latest Fixed Ops 5 episode with host Corey Smith. And be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel as well as to the Fixed Ops 5podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen, so you never miss a new episode!

What to know more? please visit our last month’s blog Acting on ADAS. A complete Blog can be found here.


Acting on ADAS

Acting on ADAS

Associated Collision Center wants you to be safe, here is some important information about Advance Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that we want you to be aware as you drive cars equipped with these systems.

Keeping that in mind, another important area of advancement for consideration is advanced driver assistance systems. Along with all of the conversation surrounding EVs, ADAS is also undoubtedly a hot topic right now.

Some shops are leaning into it, and some are leaning away. But what aspects should shops really be focusing on? Seyfer says it depends on your shop’s discipline.

“If you’re in the collision industry, you need to be aware. You need to be capable of providing service for those by whatever means you do it,” Seyfer says. “But for general repair shops … those vehicles can’t be aligned without some kind of calibration, and that will change as more and more dynamic cars come online. But you still have to calibrate them.”

Understanding ADAS calibration and repair procedures is crucial if you don’t want to be turning away repairs. In order to avoid miscommunication with a customer, Seyfer says it’s important to be well-versed on the processes and procedures ahead of time. Put in the work to understand ADAS, and it will pay off.

“If you’re still thinking that this is a trend that is not going to go on or these cars will be completely self calibrating, that’s not actually going to be the case,” Seyfer says.

Seyfer goes on to say that another step worth taking involves customer education. Currently, ADAS has the potential to interfere with how a driver performs on the road. That is to say that these systems are not perfect, even if they are well intended. Seyfer is hopeful that in the future ADAS will only help and not cause distractions for drivers.

“They know it’s there, but I don’t think they have any idea in most cases what’s involved in making those systems work properly after what they would consider a simple operation like an alignment,” Seyfer says of general customer knowledge on ADAS. “As a repair shop, you have to be aware of this.”

This also ties into who is hired on as technicians. Who are the people in your shop educating the customers and doing these complex repairs?

The labor shortage throughout the industry right now certainly does not make this question any easier to consider, but Seyfer has an idea of the right approach, which unsurprisingly has to do with shedding perspective on the situation.

“Where I would be focusing is that technician/IT mindset,” Seyfer says. “Because everything on the cars anymore is on the network in some way, shape or form. So, someone’s got to be able to service the network.”

Donny Seyfer, executive officer for NASTF,

For more information please visit our Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) blog, and please visit our great Blogs page here.