Frequently Asked Questions
Do you know what to do if your car overheats? What if a fuse burns out? At Hargraves Auto Repair Center, our technicians get asked these and many other questions. We've compiled a few of our most frequently asked questions below to ensure that our Phoenix customers are always prepared. You have a question not listed below? Give us a call! One of Hargraves Auto Repari Center's ASE Certified Master Technicians will be happy to answer any automotive question you might have.
Q. What if my frame is bent?
Frame damage is a very common occurrence in an accident. The problem isn't so much the damage but rather the techniques utilized for repair. We use computerized measuring systems that contain a database for all vehicles commonly sold in the USA. This equipment is used in conjunction with "state of the art" pulling and anchoring equipment. The end result is a vehicle returned to factory specs that will track straight and true.
Q. If my vehicle's frame is damaged, is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company's determined value of your vehicle. Most cars these days are built using uni-body (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians with the aid of our state-of-the-art measuring system can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
Q. Who determines if my car is a total loss?
Typically, if the cost to repair your car exceeds 75% of its market value before it was damaged, then it's considered a total loss by most insurance companies. Insurance policies contain clauses that limit them from paying more than your car is worth. The insurance company makes the determination if your car is a total loss based on repair costs, salvage value and pre-loss market value.
Q. Can I keep my car and have it repaired even if my insurance company has deemed it a total loss?
Yes, in some cases, this may make sense and serve your needs. Our service representatives will give you the necessary information to see if this is a viable option.
Q. Who is the Insured and who is the claimant?
If you're using your insurance company to pay for repairs to your car, then you are the "insured" and the terms of your policy apply. When another person's insurance is responsible to pay for repairs to your car, then you're the "claimant."
Q. What if I get my car back and something isn't fixed right?
Contact your auto body repair shop immediately! We also know that latent undetected problems can develop after the repair work is done. Either way, we want to get it fixed as soon as possible!
Q. Can you match the paint?
Yes, provided that your vehicle is an original factory color that is not faded or discolored. The following is a brief description of how paint matching works: Your vehicle carries a paint code printed on a label on your vehicle. This code is broken down into a formula given to automotive paint manufacturers. A repair shop uses the formula to mix the color within their chosen brand of paint. This works fine if your vehicle is precisely the color specified by the paint code. However, in actual production there are often slight variations in color.
If your vehicle is not the exact shade specified by the factory, the first step is "tinting" the color. This is done by varying the amount of the toners used to make up the original formula. Sometimes, a perfect match can't be achieved by tinting alone. In these cases, "blending" may be required. This is a process where portions of the vehicle adjacent to the repaired area are gradually misted with the tinted paint so that any minor color variance is unnoticeable. This can make the difference between a very good color match and an invisible repair.
Q. Can I wash my car?
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS:
Do—Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade. DON'T—Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. Do not "dry wipe" your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS:
DON'T—Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely. It is recommended to wait at least 60 days before waxing. Although the clear coat reaches its maximum hardness in 30 days, there may still be some additional cure-out of solvents for another 30 days.