Why does it matter if a body shop is certified? A certification makes the difference in the safety, function, and value of your vehicle. It takes time for body shops to train its technicians. It takes money to have the required equipment that is necessary to make the repairs the way the manufacturer recommends.
Collision centers may hold a variety of certifications, all of which have a different meaning for the customer. As technology changes, the right training and equipment means an auto body shop will provide higher quality work.
The meaning of ‘Certified’
Certified collision repair means the manufacturer trains a technician to make repairs. When researching body shops, ask how frequently the technicians train. This makes a difference if you wreck a brand new car. It also signifies how much emphasis a body shop puts into quality.
Additionally, shops spend a significant amount of money to have the right equipment for making the repairs. Most manufacturers require a shop to have certified technicians and the necessary tools.
Working regularly with manufacturers helps to understand the need for certain methods and tools. Certified technicians and the right equipment help ensure quality repairs.
Why the Certification matters
Every car owner cares if a repaired vehicle functions correctly. The better training and equipment a shop offers, the more likely it is to make higher quality repairs.
There are more details than ever for technicians to consider. Technicians now focus on auto body parts and technology. All of this affects function and safety. The smallest details make a difference in safety after repairs. For example, a technician must follow the manufacturer’s specifications to repair a damaged automatic emergency braking (AEB) system. If the technician does not follow the recommended method, the car may not be safe to drive.
If you own a luxury vehicle, certified collision repair is important for the value of your car. Shops that are certified in brands such as Porsche, Land Rover, or Audi use OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts. OEM parts cost slightly more than aftermarket parts because they come from the manufacturer. These parts fit more precisely to your vehicle. Should anything happen to the parts, the automaker typically offers a warranty.
Manufacturer certifications are different
All brands of vehicles differ from one another and the same is true for the qualifications to become certified. For example, GM requires its certified body shops to perform a scan on vehicles before and after repairing.
A specialized tool is used to identify trouble codes and issues in the car’s powertrain and safety systems. A technician can use it to find out if something is or is not working, or if something is not properly calibrated such as a rear backup camera.
GM not only enforces a scanning mandate, but it requires technicians to only perform the specific repairs which they are trained and certified. Honda ProFirst also has a mandate on scanning, plus mandates on repairing aluminum versus steel.
GM and Honda are not alone in enforcing its certification requirements. Audi conducts audits of its certified collision centers and discovered some shops are not consulting their instructions before repairing Audi vehicles. Manufacturers are ensuring that their certifications mean the technicians and the shops are following what they have been instructed to do.
Aluminum Certified collision repair
With more cars being made from aluminum to reduce weight, aluminum collision repair requires specialized training and equipment, just like manufacturer certifications. Manufacturers can provide this certification.
If a shop is aluminum certified, manufacturers will regulate this repair just as they do for all other repair. As an example, Honda ProFirst requires its certified body shops to keep steel and aluminum repair separate with dedicated spaces for each.
If you have an aluminum vehicle, ask a body shop about its certifications. A shop may state it is Ford Aluminum Certified, but if you own a Lincoln Navigator ask if the technicians took the additional training course offered by Ford, for Lincoln. If you are ever unsure about aluminum certification, ask someone at the auto body shop.
The certified technicians at ProCare Automotive & Collision, a San Antonio body shop, hold 14 OEM certifications from a variety of manufacturers, such as Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, Audi, Honda, GM, and others. We have aluminum certified repair facilities with technicians trained by the manufacturers on how to properly repair aluminum vehicles. Contact our team to learn more about our high-quality certified collision repair and schedule a free estimate for your auto body repair needs.