Structural Sectioning Procedures: Audi

Ask I-CAR receives many technical inquiries referring to sectioning. The collision repair industry wants to know where can you section, does the OEM have a sectioning procedure, and where can I find the sectioning procedure? Most OEMs allow sectioning to outer body panels and the front and rear rails. Sectioning reinforcements is not as common, as most reinforcements are replaced at factory seams.

Parts are made from various materials including HSS, UHSS, aluminum, and carbon fiber. These parts also have complex designs to collapse or transfer collision forces in a specific manner. Introducing a sectioning joint to many of these parts will alter how the part reacts to those collision forces. For this reason, sectioning a part is only allowed if supported by vehicle maker repair information. Let’s see what Audi says about structural sectioning.

Vehicle-specific Audi repair manuals offer procedures for sectioning of various parts. However, it is crucial to pay attention to the various Notes and Warnings through the entire procedure. For example, per a note in the Front Longitudinal Member, Replacing, Partial Section procedure on the 2016 Q3: "This separating cut is permissible only in the specified area on the longitudinal member. If the longitudinal member is damaged further, then it must be completely replaced."

The vehicle-specific body repair manual is used to determine the required type of welding and sectioning joint for the repair being performed.

Audi has a position statemen pertaining to structural sectioning that you should be aware of.

  • Unibody Alignment and Repair states: "All Audi vehicles are manufactured using body jigs in the production process to ensure exact structural body alignment, and body panel fit. Collision repairs for correction of body alignment, or structural body replacement should be conducted on Audi of America approved equipment."

Failure to follow OEM procedures will sacrifice the safety and quality of the repair.

For additional Audi information, check out the Audi OEM Information page.

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