The Collision Repair Process | D&S Automotive

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The Collision Repair Process


Specialized Auto Body Repair

At D&S Automotive, we have a unique and organized repair process that separates us from other body shops in Northeast Ohio. Rather than one technician working on the repair from start to finish, we have specialized teams that are experts in their designated part of the repair. By having a specialized process, we are able to achieve top quality auto body repairs while increasing efficiency. This means you get your car back faster and looking better when you bring it to D&S.  Let us tell you how our specialized auto body process works and why D&S Automotive is known for first-class quality collision repair!

After you drop your vehicle off, it will go through each repair department, as part of our specialized process to ensure consistent results. First stop, is an exterior wash in our Detail Department so that we can clearly view the vehicle and avoid missing any damage. At intake we also take pictures to verify facts of loss and avoid unrelated prior damage.

It will also get an Astech pre-scanned before it is ever touched.  This is where we identify any codes or faults in the vehicle to help determine what is related to the accident. The scan will also indicate any prior codes that are saved in the vehicle’s system. With all the new technology, cars are essentially large computers. This pre-scan, sets the stage for the repair plan process. 

Repair Planning

Once the vehicle is washed and pre-scanned, it will enter our Meticulous Disassembly Department. Our Repair Planners take photos of the vehicle’s vin number, odometer, interior, license plate and four corners. Then your vehicle’s damage is mapped with either a green marker, meaning the damage occurred from the accident, or a pink marker, indicating it was prior damage to the vehicle.  The damaged parts are then identified as repairable or need to be replaced.  This process sets a guide for the Disassembly Technicians in the next phase of the repair process. 

Meticulous Disassembly Department in shop

Meticulous Disassembly

Once the vehicle undergoes repair planning, our Disassembly Technicians get down to the facts of the loss by meticulously diassembling all damage to identify what was  related to the accident. 

“We are very meticulous with cataloging and taking inventory of parts that are taken off the vehicle, even down to the screws.” – Gideon Metz, Repair Planner

Once the damage is fully disassembled and reviewed, the Repair Plan is laid out with all parts needing to be ordered and repair procedures to follow, according to manufacturer specifications. 

Parts Department

After the Disassembly process is complete and parts are ordered, we  have a more accurate idea of an estimated completion date, according to when all the parts will arrive.  When the parts arrive, our Parts Department check them in and do what we call a mirror matching of the damaged part with the new part, to ensure it is correct.

At this point, we are ready to begin repairs to bring the vehicle  back to its pre-accident condition.

Once the parts are in and the repairs have started, the rest of the process happens pretty quickly due to our technicians’ extensive training in each of their assigned departments. Depending on the extent of the damage, the vehicle will enter the Metal and Frame Department or Body and Plastics.

Mechanical Department in body shop


All vehicles will go to our Mechanical Department before the body repair is started. The mechanical department has their own disassembly and reassembly process to identify any mechanical repairs that may be needed as a result of the damage to the vehicle. If mechanical repairs are needed, they are performed, while cars that pass the inspection move to the next department to begin body repairs.

Metal and Frame department in collision center

Metal and Frame

If the vehicle sustained structural damage, it will be sent to Metal and Frame. In this step in the auto body repair process, our technicians use a state of the art 3D measuring system to make sure that the vehicle is square, meaning it measures the same from left to right and vice versa for length, width and height.  If the vehicle is not measuring properly all the way around, we use a frame machine to pull it into shape.  All kinks and bends in the frame are also fixed at this time using equipment and techniques supported by ongoing I-CAR training for our body technicians.  

Body and Plastic Department in D&S automotive shop

Body and Plastics

Next stop, is Body and plastics where nonstructural damage is addressed. If the vehicle did not have any structural damage, it will skip Metal and frame and come straight here.

Using specialized tools (required by the manufacture of the vehicle), the Body Technicians in this department will work to get your vehicle back to its original look in appearance and shape. The process is finished by smoothing out any imperfections to get a seamless look.

“Not one hit is ever the same. There is always something different. Trying to be better at what I do every day and seeing that it makes a difference in every vehicle I repair is so rewarding.” – Mike Downs, Body Technician

All body work is completed line-by-line of the Repair Plan. This ensures that nothing was missed in the Repair Planning and Meticulous Disassembly process.  Once all repairs are completed, a Quality Control checklist is used to verify that everything was completed and correct. We test fit every part we replace for quality and have the refinish team inspect the vehicle before it moves into the Refinish Department.  

Paint Department in body shop


Once the vehicle enters the Refinish Department, it is all about proper preparation. All panels are prepped, primed and sealed so that an excellent adhesion is possible. Once completely prepped for paint, our Refinish Team mixes PPG’s water borne Envirobase to ensure the exact match paint to be used to blend seamlessly with the rest of the vehicle. Using our high-tech mixing system, we mix the amount needed to refinish your vehicle, which is then applied in our state of the art, EPA approved, paint booth. 

The Refinish Team undergoes ongoing I-CAR and PPG training to accomplish the best results and understand the newest techniques and technology.

Raassembly department in auto shop


After the refinishing process is complete, the vehicle enters the reassembly department where the vehicle gets put back together. During this time, body panels are fit and gaps are checked.  

“All new parts are reinstalled on your vehicle to make it look like new again. After assembly, your wheels and headlight aims are aligned and we check that the windows work properly as part of our Quality Checklist.”  – Jordan Wilson, Reassembly Technician


This process goes smoothly, as the Disassembly Department does their process in a way that is easy for the Reassembly Team to efficiently put the pieces back together. One last step before the vehicle moves to the Detail Department is to review the work order, along with the  vehicle, to make sure all repairs are completed correctly and do any necessary calibrations to the vehicle   

detail department in body shop

Detail & Quality Inspection 

Detail and Quality Inspection is the final stage of the repair process. As part of the Quality Inspection Process, all vehicles are Astech Post Scanned to make sure that no codes are still showing up in the vehicle.  We also perform a recalibration of the vehicle to make sure that all Assistive Driving Technology is accurate and safe for use. After the scan, any paint correction is performed and we spray the repaired parts of the vehicle with a factory finished product free of defects. The Quality Inspection is finalized by making sure all parts are fitted correctly and one last inspection is completed.  

“Our goal at the end of the auto repair process is to return the customer’s vehicle back to them looking better than it did when it came in to us.” – Brian Erbskorn, Production Coordinator.  

The last thing your vehicle will experience is a final wash where it is buffed and cleaned, not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.  

Trust the Experts

Your car is important to you, and if you were ever in an accident and needed to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop, you would want to be involved, right?  At D&S Automotive, a local and family owned body shop, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers informed every step of the way so you don’t have to wonder what is happening to your vehicle while it is here for repairs.

With our proven and consistent process, you can rest assured you are getting a safe vehicle back that looks good as new. We are so confident in our work that we backup our repairs with a lifetime warranty. Next time you are in need of collision repair, trust the experts at D&S Automotive. 

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