Collision Repair News

Your job requires that you keep on top of the latest in vehicle, tool, and equipment technology – I-CAR is committed to helping you do so in one convenient place. We regularly publish new articles highlighting the latest and greatest collision repair information.

So check back often and follow us on Twitter @Ask_ICAR to ensure you’re equipped with the most up-to-date collision repair technical information available in the industry.



So you've got a Chrysler sitting in your repair facility and a service part, but no installation procedure. What do you do? On any other steel vehicle, you would duplicate the original attachment method and plug welds are ok, but not a Chrysler. A while ago (August 14, 2013 to be exact) FCA/Stellantis released the collision bulletin, Welded Sheet Metal Repairs and Replacements, that changed the way that their vehicles should be repaired. In this bulletin it states that: "weld bonding of replacement panels is the recommended installation method to utilize when repairing Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, or Ram vehicles."


Repairing mild steel body panels with collision damage is nothing new. Using hammers, dollies, and picks when access to the backside is obtainable is a very common practice for straightening. With areas of limited access to the backside, using a weld-on dent puller for straightening is also quite common. So why does this change when dealing with an aluminum exterior panel?


On May 14th 2014 I-CAR's Steve Marks gave a presentation at Great Designs in Steel. In this presentation Steve gave a brief status of the current state of the collision repair industry, highlighting some of the common challenges in everyday collision repairs.


In your recent pursuit of late-model Ford sectioning information, you've scanned past the term "lap-joint backer plate" in their body repair manuals. Wait a minute, pause, rewind, what is a lap-joint backer plate and how do you make that?


"NOTE: The following steps provide a general guideline for replacement of body structure components. Refer to exploded views for specific component and assembly information." Additionally Ford says "Where possible, create a backer piece using a portion of the old panel. This will create a stronger joint."

These statements are found in the 2007-2014 Ford Mustang body repair manual under "Inner Body Reinforcing Panels" at www.motorcraftservice.com. Like others, you may have questioned if this is a general guideline giving you permission to apply general sectioning guidelines.


When going through a collision repair manual, it is important to know what the symbols and colors mean. The same holds true when using the I-CAR developed OEM Collision Repair Information Matrix. Let's take a closer look at the key that identifies the status of each vehicle maker on the I-CAR developed OEM Technical Information Matrix.


When it comes to repair information, vehicle makers use a wide variety of terminology for replacement parts. All of the different names can be confusing, especially when repairing a variety of vehicle makes and models.


Do you know what vehicle makers have collision repair information available? Do you know where you can go to find that out?


Have you misplaced your copy of the I-CAR Recycled Parts Request Form? Let us help you.

Here is a link to download your copy of the I-CAR Recycled Parts Request Form.


When it comes to repair information, vehicle makers use a wide variety of terminology for replacement parts. All of the different names can be confusing, especially when repairing a variety of vehicle makes and models.


While doing research to update the OEM Partial Part Replacement Search we found there were several model years from Subaru that did not have a collision repair manual.


A cowl may also be referred to as a firewall or dash panel. It is common for cowls to be multi-piece parts. Typically, if the part is sold by the vehicle maker, it can be replaced as supplied. A cowl may have one or multiple layers of sheet metal. When this type of part is replaced, make sure to maintain the same panel layering as the original part.


How do you use a 3M™ Sun Gun™ to evaluate color? Do you just shine it straight at the panel like you would any old flashlight? Did you know that there is a procedure for getting the best results?


When it comes to repair information, vehicle makers use a wide variety of terminology for replacement parts. All of the different names can be confusing, especially when repairing a variety of vehicle makes and models.


Because more aluminum panels are being used on vehicles to reduce weight, you are more likely than ever to have to remove a dent in an aluminum panel where you can't get access to the backside of the panel to push the dent out. Aluminum dent removal equipment is available for pulling dents out of aluminum panels using weld-on studs similar to the way you pull dents on steel panels. But, do you know what's different about the aluminum "stud welders" compared to the steel "stud welders"? Most dent pulling systems for aluminum panels use a capacitor-discharge type of welding technology as opposed to a resistance-weld type stud attachment.