According to some estimates, the average driver will become involved in a collision at least once every 18 years. This is a sobering statistic, especially as most people would reasonably expect to be behind the wheel for five decades or more. You may be counting up the statistics in your mind right now and trying to do a calculation if you've recently encountered a "fender bender" of your own. However, you may also not be interested in data right now because you need to focus on repairs, and you wonder how it will be possible to fix the extent of this damage. Can a panel beater come to your rescue in this case?
It's a Piece of Cake
It's good to know that skilled technicians are available to help restore your car to normal and that they have learned their trade through years of theory and practice. They make sure that they stay up-to-date with training as well, so they can work with the typically complex designs of modern cars and have a tried and true process to get the ball rolling.
To begin with, they will need to look very closely beneath the bent panels to see how the underlying chassis has been affected. Sometimes, they will need to call for a 'jig' to force load-bearing areas back into position before they can work on the aesthetics. While some cars feature space-age materials, most vehicles still have metal panels, and these will need to be stretched or shrunk back into shape to meet the original dimensions. The panel beater will use heat from a blow torch and a special hammer to approximate the original design.
They will then swap their tools and introduce a special metalworking technique called 'planishing'. Here, they will coax the metal by using a number of different tools known as 'dollies' that help them add finesse to the work. Sometimes, individual pieces need to be cut out and new metal components welded into place; these additions will then need to be moulded carefully so that they are untraceable. Putty and filler will need to be introduced to any areas where there are any joins or cracks and will help to fill in the smallest imperfection.
At this point, the panel beater is not quite ready to hand over the vehicle to the paint shop, as the entire surface will need to be sanded so that it is perfectly smooth. This will require the use of sanding pads that come in a variety of different textures as well as a copious amount of water.
Hand It Over to the Experts
Now that you know what is involved, you may not feel quite so bad about presenting your vehicle in such a sorry state. Panel beaters have seen it all before. For more information about panel beaters and what they can do for you, speak to businesses like Dandy Smash Repairs.