In his presentation, Robaina spoke about important considerations when deciding whether to repair or replace on larger repairs. This included paying close attention to OEM repair requirements.
“In this OEM DRP world, everyone has a long list of requests that you have to do to be on one program or another,” he said. “We need to make sure that in every single repair that is done that there is some reference to documentation.”
If necessary, he recommended contacting the OEM to confirm the information.
Other important considerations he mentioned included being familiar with insurance DRP program guidelines, looking at how the decision will affect cycle time, overall profitability and what is best for the vehicle.
“A lot of that relates to CPO status and what translates to resell value,” said Robaina.
Robaina reminded listeners to consider disclosures, diminished value and the fact that Carfax reports certain things about a vehicle, especially with intrusive repairs.
When making a decision about whether to repair or replace the part, Robaina recommended that technicians first look over the vehicle carefully. In many cases, the only way to determine if the damage is repairable is through a physical inspection.
“Today, we’re steering away a lot of technicians from ‘checking’ with their hands to determine if the repair is good enough based on touch,” he said. “Instead, we want them to look at a panel and use their eyesight with contrast lighting as their primary sense to accomplish this. After all, when a customer picks up a vehicle, they see the repair, not feel for correctness.”
After assessing the damage, he advised listeners to read through the vehicle manufacturer’s work instructions. He said it’s critical to take into account the value of the part, its availability and the amount of time it will take to do the repair, as well as what may be hidden behind the skin of the exterior body panel.
“The last thing you want to do is start de-trimming a vehicle that you’re not entirely familiar with,” he said. “You don’t want to be married to a job that you just started and then find out it’s getting complicated (beyond your level of knowledge or ability to access OEM information).”