All the visible damage is first inspected. This data along with the administration data (owner name, address, phone number, VIN number, mileage, options, license number) is entered in a computer software estimating system, and is then compiled into a written damage report. Hawkeye Auto Body has the capability to receive an upload, send a download, fax, or email this damage report to your insurance carrier. There are times when the damage report is not a complete report, due to possible hidden damage that cannot be seen until the vehicle is disassembled.
Once the insurance company has received the damage report, it will be assigned to a claims handler. This person will review the report and then possibly negotiate some pricing or repair procedures required to repair your vehicle. If your vehicle has major damage, this person will also determine if the vehicle is even repairable. Hawkeye Auto Body can bypass some of this process, because we are a direct repair facility for a number of major companies. In some cases, once Hawkeye Auto Body has downloaded a damage report to a company, we can then order the parts with your approval and schedule you for repairs. This process saves a lot of time for you.
It is important to disassemble the vehicle as soon as possible. All the damage can be located and a repair plan can be started. Additional parts may be necessary. An insurance company may require a reinspection at this time, delaying the target delivery date.
Once Hawkeye Auto Body has received authorization from the insurance carrier and the owner of the vehicle, all parts are ordered. Some parts may arrive very quickly, but all parts must be received before repairs can start, especially if there are structural parts needed.
The start to the actual repair process begins at this stage. It’s like building a house. The foundation must be built before you can build the house. The unitized structure and frame of your vehicle is the foundation for the engine, transmission, suspension components and sheet metal parts. The unitized body structure vehicles are more critical to bring back to factory specifications than full frame vehicles. Hawkeye Auto Body has the capability to monitor before and after factory specifications with their computerized laser measuring system by hanging targets at certain control points. With the multiple towers four-point anchoring frame rack system, Hawkeye Auto Body is able to watch as the damage is being repaired. This total system assures an accurate factory foundation for the rest of the repairs.
The sheet metal department starts to reconstruct the vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. With a good foundation, the sheet metal will be installed and fitted, mechanical and suspension components installed and repair any cosmetic damage to the exterior sheet metal parts. The vehicle begins to come back to life and starts to look like your vehicle again.
Preparation and Paint
Preparation is a critical step in the adhesion and refinishing process of every vehicle. Sherwin Williams Automotive has a specific guideline in this process so that the end result is a pre-accident factory finish. The metal is first prepared, and then it is primed. It is then sanded and checked for any imperfections. From here it enters the down draft heated paint booth. The entire vehicle is masked and covered completely except the panels that are to be refinished. The panels are then wiped down free of any lint and contamination, sealed and checked for any imperfections. The panels are wiped down one last time and the base color is applied with the clear coat to follow. Hawkeye Auto Body mixes all colors on site. This enables them to tint the color if needed so there is a seamless paint match when completed. When the last coat of clear coat is applied, the computerized booth is started to bake the finish to a factory shine. After the cool down period, the vehicle is moved to the buffing area where the finish is buffed to a beautiful luster if needed.
Exterior and sometimes interior trim, bumpers, glass, door components, possibly some sheet metal parts and air bag components are now reassembled at this point. Vehicle systems are checked also. In this stage, the vehicle is almost ready for delivery.
Wash and Clean
During the total repair process, sometimes your vehicle could accumulate dust. Your vehicle will be cleaned and washed. A final inspection will be completed to assure that your vehicle has been restored to its pre-accident condition.
The final step of the repair process is contacting you, our customer. When you arrive, someone will go over and explain your finial bill and talk to you about the proper care for your new finish. If there are any problems or questions, we are happy to answer your concerns. You are driving home our reputation.