9. Inspect inner vehicle structure
When reviewing the structure composition, Shoemaker said to pay close attention to the metals you are working with. OEM websites, AllData and I-CAR guidelines are all resources that can help shops determine steel type and ultimately, the reparability of the vehicle.
10. Structure measurement and repair
“Similar to scanning, any vehicle that has considerable damage needs to be measured,” said Shoemaker.
Establishing torque box measurement includes measuring select points, determining the damage, reason (squash or mash) and severity. Shoemaker recommends shops itemize each repair required.
“Document exactly what you replace,” he said. “We live in a litigious society. We own the repair---we give everyone a lifetime warranty.”
11. Determine additional damage
This includes associated damage to adjacent panels, mechanical repairs and interior repairs from secondary impact and restraint systems. Some of the websites that can be accessed to verify the repair process in respect to restraint systems include: OEM procedures, I-CAR, AllData and OEM1stop.
12. Refinish requirements
During this stage of the process, Shoemaker said to determine blend requirements, the multi-stage process, paint times, as well as any clear and stripe requirements. When looking at identifying the paint type for a certain vehicle, use your paint manufacturer’s system, such as BASF’s SmartTrak system.
13. Address other requirements
Checking the fluid and tires are also important parts of the process.
“Any fluids removed should be measured,” said Shoemaker. “This allows for adequate replacement and billing.”
After identifying the specific OEM requirements, reusable fluids can be stored in a sealed container and any Freon recovered should be documented. Regarding tires, note the tire size and depth in the line note, as well as the brand.
14. Complete repair plan and take final photos
When completing the repair plan, Shoemaker said to verify the “Incl” labor and conduct a P-Page audit for all the vehicle parts and procedures. When in doubt, he recommended consulting the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) database found at degweb.org. Funded by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), DEG was developed to help improve the accuracy of collision repair estimates. The repair plan can be used as a checklist for final photos.
“Take the photos in the order of the estimate and label them for clarification,” said Shoemaker.
15. Vehicle value and reparability
When determining a vehicle’s value, Shoemaker said shops can conduct thorough research on the NADA website and indicate the exact make, model and trim as well as the current mileage. The reparability of a vehicle can be determined by taking the appraisal total and dividing it by the vehicle value as a percentage. For example, if you take the appraisal total of $8,695 and divide it by a vehicle value of $12,025, the repair percentage is 72%. Shoemaker said that by comparing the repair percentage to your local laws, it will help you determine if a vehicle should be repaired or considered a total loss.
“Overall, when you are blueprinting, be thorough and descriptive, itemize all repairs, take photos and document, document, document,” said Shoemaker. "Use line notes whenever possible. They’re free---they don’t cost a thing. If the insurer says, ‘No,’ you haven’t given them enough information.”