Back-To-Basics: Repair Tolerances

Sometimes going back-to-basics can make the difference between a quality repair and a failed repair. When it comes to straightening and repairing a vehicle back to specification, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Repairing a vehicle to the proper specifications helps to ensure that all panels, suspension, drivetrain parts, etc. fit properly. This will help ensure any required alignments and/or calibrations can be completed. Newer vehicles have a tighter tolerance than what you may see on older vehicles of the same model. In the past, the often heard “+/- 3 mm or +/- 5 mm” is no longer accurate for all vehicles. Vehicle makers often provide specific measurements that need to be met and not a repair tolerance range. Measuring points of a vehicle should be checked often during the repair process, as well as test fitting panels.

Newer vehicles are often constructed with non-adjustable door hinges, suspension mounting locations, and sensor mounting locations. This means that if the rest of the vehicle is not repaired to OEM measurements or specifications, the non-adjustable components may not fit properly, function as designed, or may affect the operation of other systems. Always follow OEM procedures and use up-to-date measuring systems/software to help ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

Additional I-CAR Collision Repair News you may find helpful:
Back-To-Basics: Three-Dimensional Measurements And Welding With Loaded Suspension
Common Mistakes: Performing Wheel Alignments When Damage Still Exists
Three-Dimensional Measuring Equipment - Is It Really Necessary?


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