• What Every Driver Should Know About Hidden Auto Damage

    Any time you’re involved in a car accident, whether it’s a major wreck or a minor fender bender, a collision repair professional needs to give it a full evaluation. Some people are willing to ignore a few dents here and there, especially if they own an older model car. The problem with this is that car crashes often cause damage you can’t see. Hidden auto damage can shorten the lifespan of your vehicle, decrease its resale value, and jeopardize your safety.

    Hidden Damage Consequences

    There are a few financial and safety risks to be aware of. Hidden auto damage might not cause mechanical problems right away. But if it isn’t fixed, it’s only likely to grow worse. This might mean that the car’s occupants are at a higher risk of injuries in the event of another crash, or that the car will break down and leave you stranded. The car’s value will decrease. And if you try to fix the hidden damage long after the crash, the insurance carrier probably won’t cover it.

    Complete Inspection

    At the auto body shop, the technician may need to disassemble some parts in order to thoroughly inspect the car. A full inspection includes a check of these components:

    • Frame
    • Brackets
    • Suspension
    • Wiring
    • Electrical systems
    • Engine parts and mounts

    Common Auto Body Problems

    Any part of the car may sustain damage in a collision, even at low speeds. One common type of hidden damage occurs in the bumper. Your bumper may have little more than a scratch or two, but the technician can remove the bumper skin to verify its integrity. It’s possible that the shock-absorbing structure underneath the bumper skin has been deformed. If this is the case, the bumper won’t be able to absorb the shock from another collision. It’s the same reason why parents replace car seats after a crash, and why motorcyclists replace their helmets. Other types of hidden damage can affect these vehicular components and systems:

    • Frame
    • Alignment
    • Air bag deployment
    • Suspension
    • Steering system
    • Drivetrain
    • Brakes
    • Cooling system
    • Tubing

    No matter what sort of damage your vehicle has, the collision repair experts at B&L Automotive can handle it. Our body repair shop in Chicago consists of highly trained technicians who will take care of your car as if it was their own. You can reach our shop at (773) 463-1622.

  • Spotlight on Metallic Paint Application

    Once your collision repairs are complete, it’s time to think about painting your car. Auto paint shops use special techniques to seamlessly blend metallic paint. You can see a demonstration of this when you watch the accompanying video. It features an auto paint pro who is applying multiple coats of silver metallic paint to a Nissan.

    Pay particular attention to the explanation of the “wet bed.” This refers to the application of an orientation coat. This is a clear coat that allows the metallic paint to land wet. It’s significant because otherwise, the metallic paint would quickly dry at the edges, creating an undesirable halo effect.

    B&L Automotive offers comprehensive car collision repairs in Chicago, including computerized paint matching and professional car paint jobs. Get in touch today at (773) 463-1622, and let us know how we can help you get back on the road.

  • Get the Facts About Windshield Replacement

    Early drivers had an ordinary pane of glass to protect them from the wind. Since it was ordinary glass, it was prone to shattering when struck by an object. These days, auto manufacturers understand the importance of protecting drivers and passengers from shattered glass in the event of a car collision, and so they install shatterproof windshields. Shatterproof glass is made by placing a thin sheet of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between the two layers of glass. When the glass is broken, it sticks to the PVB layer instead of shattering and coming loose. This protects the driver and occupants, but the car will still need attention from a body shop.

    Insurance Coverage

    Many insurance policies include windshield repair and replacement as part of their comprehensive coverage option. Review your policy or call your insurance agent to double-check. Then, get a quote from the body shop for the windshield replacement. If you have a high deductible, it might not be worth it to file a claim if doing so would result in a higher premium. Take a few minutes to think it over before deciding.

    Preparation Process

    Windshield replacement can be a tricky job, so be sure to choose a repair shop with highly trained technicians. The first step in the preparation process is to remove the trim. The trim is what holds the windshield in position. Then, the technician can fasten very large, strong suction cups with handles to the windshield. These suction cups aid in lifting out the windshield safely and efficiently. Next, the technician inspects the pinch weld. The pinch weld is a little gap that pinches the windshield’s edges. Gunk can build up in this gap over time, and interfere with a proper seal. The technician will clean it out to ensure a good fit for the new windshield.

    Installation Process

    Next, the technician applies urethane to the pinch weld. The new windshield, which is held with the large, handled suction cups, is positioned over the car. It’s held in place within the pinch weld for several minutes to allow the urethane to set. Then, the suction cups can be taken off.

    Windshield replacement is one of the many expert services we offer here at B&L Automotive. We are a certified collision center proudly serving Chicago residents since 1978. If you’ve been in a car collision, call us right away at (773) 463-1622.

  • What Is a Bumper Skin?

    After a minor fender bender, the body shop may only need to replace the bumper skin to get rid of the signs of damage. Bumper skins are found on newer models of vehicles. They are made of flexible plastic, and fit over a piece of shock-absorbing foam attached to the structure of the bumper. First, the auto paint shop may paint the new bumper skin and let it dry before taking the old skin off.

    Next, the technician needs to remove or pry up the fasteners, which are located all around the bumper skin. Any molded-in lights that are present must also be disconnected. Next, the technician will unhook the bumper skin from each wheel well before sliding it off. In some cases, the shock-absorbing foam must be replaced before the new bumper skin can be securely fastened into place.

    Professional bumper repair services in Chicago are available at B&L Automotive—the trusted source for car collision repairs. Reach our team at (773) 463-1622 to request an estimate.