ALL YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It means that we have completed factory training with numerous OEM manufactures on how to properly repair your vehicle. Believe it or not, most “body shops” including dealers that have a body shop, have never taken this training. It’s normally very expensive and requires new tooling and Equipment.
In most cases yes. Not all “body shop” or repair facilities are the same. Most are still repairing the vehicles the way that they did many years ago. With the new fuel economy standards that the EPA and Federal Government imposed on all OEM’s manufactures, they have to “lightweight” the vehicles and make them more fuel efficient or face enormous penalties.
On today’s vehicles, there are so many sensors and other diagnostic equipment on-board that simply replacing the bumper can cause numerous codes in your computers ECM. Sometimes these codes show on your dash screen and sometime they don’t. At Dorn’s we want your vehicle safe and all diagnostic equipment working as it should. This is why we scan your vehicle when it arrives and when we complete the repair insuring you know the vehicle was repaired correctly and all safety features will perform as expected.
Structural or Frame benches have been around quite sometime but have mostly been used on “exotic” vehicles like Lamborghini or Ferrari. Now, because of lightweight materials in vehicles and because of strict fuel standards, these benches are needed frequently on most all vehicles from Honda to Tesla. At Dorn’s we are one of only 2-3 repair facilities in Virginia that have these specialized benches to insure your repair is the absolute best. These benches use special “Jigs” that precisely measure and support the vehicle in the exact same platform that the vehicle was built on, therefore giving you a seamless repair—less than 1% of Body Shops have this ability.
OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and is used to describe parts made by or for the manufacturer of your vehicle. So OEM Ford parts come from Ford, Mercedes parts from Mercedes and so on.
Aftermarket (A/M) is used to describe parts that are produced by a manufacturer other than the one who originally made your car. Some aftermarket parts carry certification that helps ensure the basic quality of the part. Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than new OEM, but for some applications may be a better choice than used OEM parts. While it is not the practice of Dorn’s, some repairers and insurers list these parts as “Quality Replacement Parts.”
LKQ stands for “like, kind and quality.” Most of us are more familiar with the other term for this category which is “Used Parts.” The term LKQ should more precisely define a sub-category of used parts that are just like the ones on your vehicle before the loss, with a similar age and mileage.
No, you do not have to accept used parts. Most customer-oriented insurance companies will only suggest used parts (LKQ) when there is agreement from all parties; generally used parts are suggested when there needs to be a savings to justify the repairs. The insurance company’s obligation is to restore your vehicle to “pre-loss” condition – not better than it was before the loss and no worse than it was after the loss.
You can always take your vehicle to Dorn’s. The insurance company cannot tell you where to repair your vehicle. Some insurance companies with special interests will attempt to convince/insist or STEER you to fix your vehicle at their PREFERRED SHOP; a shop that gives the insurance company special deals. These deals will often come at the vehicle owner’s expense which could compromise safety and the quality of repairs. If you feel this is happening to you, please contact Dorn’s; our professional claims handlers can guide you through this unfortunate practice. Remember that it is the insurance adjuster’s job to satisfy the customer and close the claim at the lowest possible cost. It’s your vehicle and you make the choice who repairs it.
No, you do not need to get multiple estimates; you only need to notify your insurance representative as to where you will be having your repairs done. Your insurance company will work with Dorn’s to insure you receive the service and quality repairs you have come to expect.
Insurance companies are generally willing to pay for a proper repair. The insurance company appraiser may include only the most obvious damage in their estimate. At Dorn’s, we try to write a thorough repair estimate (We refer to them as Repair Plans) as possible. Just bring the insurance estimate in with you and we can go over the differences. If necessary, we’ll notify the insurance company of the changes we need to make. Generally, this just takes a phone call and we will bill your insurance company for the supplement at the start of the repair. Although it does not happen often, some insurance companies will refuse coverage of certain necessary operations even though those operations are required to properly repair your vehicle. Unless you, the “vehicle owner,” tell us to perform the inferior repair – which we discourage – we will charge the insurance company storage while the vehicle is left idle in the shop.
Today’s vehicles are very complex so it can be difficult to see all the damage during the initial inspection. Therefore, finding additional damage has become very common; estimates written without a thorough disassembly of the vehicle often have overlooked additional damages. Dorn’s is the exception; our DFR process (Disassembly for Repair) almost always assures no surprise damage. If additional damage is found, it is documented and discussed with you and the insurance company. The insurance company may, or may not, want to come see the damage. These supplemental charges are itemized, authorized and billed along with the rest of the repairs. If the insurance representative wants to come see the additional damage, the repair process could be delayed from 2 – 5 business days. Be mindful that any additional parts found to be damaged will have to be ordered and that can lead to another delay (based on availability).
A deductible is like a “co-pay” on health insurance. It is a portion of the repair bill that is not covered by your insurance policy. The amount is determined by your insurance policy and is first set when you first purchase your insurance. Deductibles are commonly $100, $250, $500 and $1,000.
Your deductible is paid directly to Dorn’s at the time of completion. The insurance company pays us for the work performed minus your deductible.
No, and neither can any other repair facility as it is illegal in Virginia. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance carrier. It specifically outlines what is covered by insurance and what is going to be your financial responsibility. Falsely manipulating an insurance claim to advance one party’s interest is unethical. Be wary of a repair shop that offers to “cover your deductible”.
Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance may vary. Generally, collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by a collision with another object. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your automobile from incidents such as vandalism, theft or glass breakage. It is generally a good idea to periodically review your policy and ask your insurance agent what exclusions are in your policy.
Your rates may or may not go up depending on who is at fault, and the type of loss; also your driving history may influence a rate increase. Your insurance agent or customer service representative can assist you in determining the impact of a given claim on your own policy premium. The amount of the repair-plan/estimate is generally not indicative to a rate increase or cancelation.
Almost every vehicle color can be matched by utilizing technology and craftsmanship. Dorn’s employs highly skilled refinish professionals who are factory trained using state-of-the-art equipment to assure colors are matched to manufacturer’s standards. Dorn’s uses the following steps to ensure your satisfaction with the color match. 1. Your vehicle has an information label that includes a paint code. This code identifies the color of your car. 2. Our computerized paint-mixing system includes the standard color for your car and known variants. The database of known variants is important because in the vehicle manufacturing process there is some variability (such variations typically occur between paint lots or between factories). We check for the best match among these base colors and their variants. 3. A perfect match usually cannot be obtained by tinting alone. 4. Blending is used to transition the freshly painted finish into the original. Between tinting and blending, the color match area becomes completely invisible. (Some carriers do not pay for this service.)
Before dropping off your vehicle, we recommend that you remove your personal belongings or anything of value. Our insurance covers damage to your vehicle as a result of fire, theft, or even employee error, but it only covers the vehicle and its factory installed parts. Consequently, we do not assume liability for other items that you choose to leave in your vehicle. Even though our team is comprised of very honest and ethical people, they often remove interior parts to gain access to the damaged area or to protect the interior from damage. One misplaced item can cause a lot of frustration and we value your good opinion of us.
Dorn’s skilled technicians are trained to repair all makes and models of vehicles, foreign and domestic. We also have technicians who specialize in certain makes of vehicles; having factory-certified technicians for European vehicles and also specially-trained technicians for Asian vehicles.
Dorn’s gives a lifetime warranty for every collision repair that we do. Will Dorn’s repair my car as good as new? At Dorn’s we believe in the “invisible” repair. We repair your vehicle to meet or exceed all manufacturer repair standards. This allows us to offer our lifetime warranty.
This is where we connect a computer to your vehicle to determine the fault code in a computer controlled system (sometimes they have multiple fault codes). This requires the technician to first diagnose the issue in order to properly follow the manufactures requirements to repair the core problem. This can sometimes take several hours following pre-defined flow charts.
Most vehicles require preventative maintenance in these mileage intervals (including many smaller preventative maintenance inspections every 7500 miles). This is due to many factors, one being that these parts or components need to be replaced or inspected before they fail, and if not catastrophic damage can occur internally and chances of repair or breakdown are greatly reduced. This will only significantly increase your costs and in most cases void your warranty. With regularly scheduled maintenance you decide when to bring your vehicle in our facility. Breakdowns are never convenient.
Our technicians receive numerous hours of training on most all makes and models. Because the collision division repairs so many different types of vehicles our ASE Master and ICAR trained technicians have years of experience and understand the complexities of today’s vehicles.
Absolutely. Our work authorization has a section that you can fill out requesting different services that we offer in Service, Detail and Transport. Or simply contact the service department directly. We give our collision clients a discount on most of these repairs. This is very convenient for you as most customers already have a rental vehicle and there is no need to have to take the vehicle out of service twice.
Yes. We honor most extended warranty programs and we would be happy to inquire for you in advance.
Nighttime payments are cash only as the driver typically cannot process a credit card and we do not accept personal checks at that time.
Storage is basically “ground rental” and the liability we have when accepting your vehicle on our property.
In most cases the carrier responsible will pay for the full towing and storage fees involved with your claim. Some companies however try to “transfer” the cost to the owner. Traditionally this involves making a call to your agent or supervisor and usually it can be resolved quickly. Ultimately, you as the vehicle owner are required to pay for these services.
As the owner of the vehicle you are required to pay for any and all costs associated with the transport/removal of your vehicle.