Autobody News - Items filtered by date: December 2011

Amended regulation enhances Consumer Safeguards

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the final approval of amended regulations that simplify the requirements for determining whether a driver is principally at-fault (PAF) for an accident, which impacts consumers’ ability to obtain “Good Driver Discounts” under Proposition 103. The amended regulations prepared by the Commissioner today cleared the final administrative hurdle, having obtained approval from the Office of Administrative Law.

The amended regulation also allows an insurer to rebut presumptions concerning circumstances where a driver should be considered at-fault because the insurer may have evidence that the driver's acts or omissions caused the accident. The amended regulation also corrects problems with the PAF definition by including accidents involving bodily injury or death, restoring "total loss or damage" language, and raising the threshold for property damage, which has not been adjusted in nine years.

Richie’s Collision Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is extremely proud of their propensity for quality repairs and excellent customer service, but one fact that owner, Richard Lewis, does not boast about is his lack of a formal education. Despite the fact that Richie only attended school until second grade, he has established a business that anyone would be proud to own, whatever their level of education.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

After dropping out of school during second grade to begin work painting houses in order to help support his family, Richie spent his spare time building model cars, and this early automotive interest led to the purchase of a 1969 Camaro when he was fourteen years old. He and a friend restored the car, but though Richie had discovered his talent for auto body work, he was unable to use those skills in an occupational facility due to his lack of an education. A few years later, he restored a 1970 Trans Am and was offered a job in a local auto body shop after the shop’s owner was impressed with Richie’s remodeling job. For the next twelve years, Richie worked in several auto body shops.

According to Richie’s wife, Tracy Lewis, Richie “taught himself to read, write and work the estimating system. He grew up on the streets in the roughest of neighborhoods with everyone that he grew up with being in jail, dead, alcoholics or drug addicts. Where he grew up, someone was getting beat, shot or stabbed almost every day, but Richie wanted more for his life, so in his pursuit to prove himself, he wanted no one to notice that he didn’t have an education so he would do everything he could to work that much harder and try that much more to achieve the best outcome of the job he was doing so that people didn’t think he was uneducated.”

Car Crafters in Albuquerque, NM, was founded in 1982 by Jim Guthrie, who at the time had only his love of cars and time spent repairing them in his parents’ garage to go on.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

After almost 30 years in business Car Crafters is now a 50,000 square-foot shop the grosses an estimated $10 million per year. They not only offer full collision and mechanical repair, they also provide glass repair and replacement as well as some custom fabrication work.

When Guthrie was a teenage boy, his parents told him to “either focus on college and become the dentist you’ve always wanted to be or find a shop and move out of our garage.”

That prompted Jim to rent his first shop space and he open Car Crafters for business on January 2, 1982.

Through hard work and good relationships the business was able to double in two years and expand to the building next door. The business took off once again and with the addition of insurance work, and expanded twice in the following five years. At the end of a five-year lease, Car Crafters moved to a 20,000 square foot building on McLeod Rd in Albuquerque, NM, where the young company continued to grow for the next 18 years, learning from its mistakes daily.

Hot air welders have been around for a number of years and used mostly in bumper remanufacturing facilities. A hot air welder works by passing compressed air over a heating element and heating the air to around 345ºC (650ºF) to melt the base plastic and filler rod/ribbon together. This type of welder does not use a flat shoe or feeder tube-type tip. A V-groove is cut into the part, the rod is laid into the V-groove, and the two are melted together. Whenever using this type of welder, it is important to have airflow over the element at all times no matter if it is preheating, welding, or cooling.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

A nitrogen hot air welder uses compressed nitrogen gas to eliminate oxygen from the weld area. The nitrogen acts as a shielding gas and allows for a contaminant-free weld with less smoke, which creates a stronger weld (see Figure 1). This type of welder can also switch to compressed air so that when preheating, or cooling down the heating element, it does not waste the nitrogen.

A fusion weld is made when the welding rod and plastic melt and mix together. This type of weld can only be done on thermoplastics. Thermoplastics, such as polypropylene/thermo plastic polyolefin (PP/TPO), which is used to make most bumper covers today, work very well with this type of welder.

Back in October Autobody News interviewed Joseph Carioti III about his NJ shop, McBride Auto Body, which had suffered flood damage from Hurricane Irene. (See Autobody News November 2011 Edition) The business was able to recover from the flooding and is back on track, but there’s more to the story.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

In 2012 McBride Auto Body will be celebrating its 75th year in the automotive collision repair and refinishing industry. McBride has been owned by one family, the Cariotis, throughout its long history of industry ups and downs, the family’s ups and downs, and just plain life’s ups and downs. They have survived and persevered through it all, watching many body-shops come and go with great sadness. The owners have always fought for the rights of the auto repair shops and for the rights of the insured when it was apparent that the laws were unjust.

Joseph W. Carioti Sr. moved from Calabria, Italy in 1910 as a young boy with his family to come to America to start a new and better life.After arriving in America his family settled in Paterson, NJ, where he attended school but never got past the 8th grade due to the hard times and his family needing his wages to survive. He took on odd jobs in masonry work while the country was in its growth period of building dams and tunnels up north in Wanaque Township, NJ. Then, one day in 1937, for no reason that he could ever articulate, Carioti Sr. purchased his first gas station with a two car garage attached and began the legacy of McBride Auto Body.

McBride began with humble beginings but not shortly afterwards in the early 40’s it was clear to Carioti Sr. that a larger facility was needed so he purchased a larger building two doors down from McBride’s present location. To the new structure he added another 4,000 square-feet and opened up the second location with apartments above in which his family lived, and two additional rental units attached. Carioti Sr. always believed that common sense was a person’s best investment in life, according to Joe Carioti III.

I’ve missed you guys the last couple of months because I’ve been really slammed with great projects and getting ready for SEMA, but I’m back with a lot of great news and some great projects.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

I’ve been fascinated with a product from a company that I came across about six months ago called Solution Finish. They have a product called Brings Black BackTM that is in a class by itself. Just like I do with everything, I put it to the 6 month test. I’m so excited about this product that I’m putting my name to it (see ad). I’m not just endorsing this product, I’m part owner of the company and I’m glad to be a part of Solution Finish. This is going to go viral and be used to fix millions of cars from here on out.

If you’ve worked on cars for a while you’ve noticed that the black plastic or the black finish on your windshield wipers fade over time. This problem is due to the carbon in the plastic and carbon is what makes the color whether it’s black, brown, grey. There’s never really been a product that could really fix these problems. A lot of us just came to accept that there is nothing that can repair the problem. Eventually the sun and the wear and tear, the carbon is eventually going to fade. Now I know that there are silicones that you can wipe on to make the surface shiny and slimy, but it wipes off on your towel or rubs off on your clothes. It attracts dirt, and after one or two washes it comes off anyway. You can also slip if you get it on your running boards; it’s just a real temporary fix.

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