Auto Collision Repair Process

West Coast Body and Paint will take care of your car whether you were involved in a minor fender bender or a major car accident.  We work with all insurance companies and will help you throughout the process.  Our primary goal is to make your car look like it did before the collision.  Here are a few of the collision repair steps we take to get your car back to it’s pre-crash state.

Disassembling Your Vehicle

Prior to collision repair work we remove your car’s damaged parts and panels like fenders, quarter panels, bumpers, grills, trim and/or upholstery etc.  Often hidden damage is found that needs repair in the inner structure, which we call auto frame repair.

Ordering Parts for Your Car

Many times in a collision repair we get vehicles with parts that are very damaged and we can’t repair them so we order them.  We order all the parts your car will need.  If any part that we need is special ordered and causes a delay in completion date, we will notify you.  The types of parts we buy is up to you and/or your insurance company:

  • New parts
  • Brand name parts
  • Used parts
  • Repaired parts
  • Aftermarket parts*

*Aftermarket parts are parts installed after original manufacture of the vehicle.  Parts may be new or may be used components salvaged for repair of damaged vehicles.

Repairing Your Vehicle’s Structure

Vehicle structure repair is also known as auto frame repair.  To repair your vehicle’s frame, our technicians use a computer based system to insure accurate and exact factory specifications.  This type of repair includes alignment and frame work.

Repairing Your Auto’s Body

Your vehicle’s metal body will be repaired or replaced by sheet metal which will be insulated and aligned to exact specifications.  This helps ensure your safety and it’s the law.   A few of the auto body repairs might include:

  • Bodywork, dent, scratches, etc
  • Prepping the body for a high quality build
  • Body alteration and fabrication
  • Undercarriage and frames
  • Panel pre-fitting

Preparing Your Car For Paint

Once your car’s frame and body is in its correct position, the paint preparation process begins.

  • Body filler work (bondo)
  • Straightening the body
  • Rough shaping the body
  • Final shaping of the body
  • Panel flow and gapping
  • Trimming edges
  • Fitting the headlight buckets

The ultimate goal of the paint preparation phase is to shape the body of your car to its original state, before the collision.

Sanding Your Car

After sanding the bondo, block sanding, and working on the body filler, we apply the primer. Sanding the body filler and primer is the the fine-tuning stages.  We sand after applying each each coat.

Masking Your Vehicle

We mask your car and give it a final wipe down, then we spray on primer.

Painting Your Auto

Before we spray on your car’s original color, we use a specialized computer program to mix various colors until we color match the color of your car.  However, depending on the type of collision repair your car might need more than just the exterior painted, but also the interior.

  1. Primer*
  2. Primer Sealer
  3. Base Coat*
  4. Top Coat (Color)
  5. Clear Coat

*The base coat and primer get the same after treatment, we pay close attention to dust removal.  Further as an extra step for we also wet sand the primer surface.

Polishing Your Car

Finally, the last step of the process is polish.  Your car will get the sandpaper and buff machine treatment until you are left wondering: “Where did the collision occur?”  And that is our ultimate goal!

Do you need collision repair?

Come by our shop for all your collision repair needs, give us a call 818.785.2639, or email us for more information.  We serve Van Nuys, the San Fernando Valley, and the Los Angeles area.