Is the Customer Always Right? Maintain profitability with OEM information at your fingertips!
By Karl Kirschenman,
and Jeff Webster, Technical Editor
Ever wonder how to repair warped or wavy door panels?
The devil is in the details, and in the collision business, it’s often the little things that can chip away at profitability.
Say you complete a repair and send the vehicle off with its happy owner – case closed, right? Not when you see the vehicle pulling into your shop a few days later and the driver is no longer smiling.
When the customer insists you didn’t finish the job, you may picture your profits dwindling. Upon inspection, you observe that the wheelhouse liner seems to be pulling away from the wheelhouse panel. You are fairly certain it is not your responsibility, but without evidence, you may agree to spend the time fixing it.
But wait! If you have access to OEM repair information and manufacturers’ technical service bulletins (TSBs), you may not be on the hook for the repair. And, in fact, you can turn the situation into a customer relations success story. TSBs describe pre-existing conditions along with detailed repair procedures. Always check for TSBs first. Your customers will appreciate that you perform repairs to OEM current standards.
In the example below, a TSB was issued by General Motors® to correct a known situation with the wheel linings on certain GM vehicles.
NOTE: Always refer to ALLDATA® Collision℠ S3500 for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information. Procedures and diagrams are shown as examples only and, for the purpose of this article, may be simplified for clarity. Complete procedures may not be included.
Front/Rear Fender Liners Warped/Wavy
Subject: Front and/or Rear Wheelhouse Panel Liner Wavy or Warped (Apply Heat and Reform Wheelhouse Panel Liner)
DO THIS: Heat and reform the wheelhouse panel liner. DON’T DO THIS: Do not replace the wheelhouse panel liner.
Some customers may comment that the front or the rear wheelhouse panel liner is warped or wavy (Figure 1).
Heat and reform the wheelhouse panel liner.
Remove the lower wheelhouse panel liner fasteners.
Lift the wheelhouse panel liner away from the fender. With a heat gun, apply heat to the area that is warped or wavy (Figure 2).
Twist the liner back toward the fender while applying heat. It may take a couple of attempts to work out the warp or waviness in the area (Figure 3).
Reinstall the wheelhouse panel liner and fasteners. Tighten the fasteners to 2 Nm (18 lb in).
NOTE: These repair/service procedures are excerpted from information published by the vehicle manufacturer, and intended for the purpose of promoting OE collision repair information to trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. Before attempting any repairs described, refer to the complete article in ALLDATA Collision S3500. It is recommended that these procedures not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”
Karl Kirschenman, ALLDATA Collision Product Manager, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. He has over 10 years of experience in the collision industry.