Panel beating – otherwise known as smash repairing – are terms used when referring to taking in cars after a collision, and restoring them. Those that work in the field are given the responsibility of making a vehicle look as good as new, but one job is always different from the next.
As the panel beating industry is expansive in Australia and largely competitive, providers need to keep on their toes with the latest techniques and equipment (just like we do). Armed with the right tools and knowledge, there are plenty of ways to ensure the just is completed thoroughly. So how exactly do professionals in the field establish the best possible process?
Mostly, there are a few main steps that form a compliant method. These also have to be followed carefully to ensure all work completed is done so thoroughly. This includes:
- Shrinking and/or stretching
- Smoothing – filing and sanding a car’s body parts
- Replacing damaged parts
- Installing any new hardware
- Painting the parts.
These also come with their own specifics and require attention to detail across the board. Here’s what you can expect from each of these phases:
Realigning: Before any car bodywork can begin the vehicle must be assessed to fix any misalignment from the accident. Panel beaters will use a hydraulic lift to pull the car chassis into place before it is aligned. This is done at the start of the process to ensure that the frame and any other mechanical parts are in order and working correctly before beginning the exterior work needed.
Shrinking and/or stretching: This is when the heat is applied to the damaged panel areas. This technique involves using a special hammer to reshape the damaged metal then, bringing it back to its original shape and form.
Smoothing: This involves filing and sanding any rough body parts to ensure that they are smooth and as close as possible to the car’s original state.
Replacing damaged parts: If there are still any damaged pieces that cannot be fixed, these will need to be replaced entirely. When replacing these parts, panel beaters should always try to replace them with original and authentic options.
Installing new car hardware: Any car hardware that’s been compromised will also need restoring. Replaced parts here should also be original, allowing for absolute consistency.
Painting the car: This is the final stage of panel beating and completing this step should leave the overall vehicle looking better than ever. The spray paint used is typically chip-resistant and is designed to be identical across the entire surface of the car. In this phase, it’s also important that the paint job is carried out evenly, to ensure no lines are left behind. The final step, once the paint is applied, is baking the car in a special oven. This process seals the job and gives it a fresh, ‘like new’ look.
No matter what panel beater you opt for, these steps must be carried out effectively. This ensures accuracy, precision and safety across the board, as well as leaving no room for shortcuts to be taken. If in doubt, we recommend getting in touch with our helpful team to find out how we can help you with all of the above steps.