Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.
Automotive body repairers typically do the following:
Review damage reports, prepare cost estimates, and plan work
Inspect cars for structural damage
Remove damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, grilles, and trim
Realign car frames and chassis to repair structural damage
Hammer out or patch dents, dimples, and other minor body damage
Fit, attach, and weld replacement parts into place
Sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
Apply new finish to restored body parts
Automotive glass installers and repairers typically do the following:
Examine damaged windshields and assess reparability
Clean damaged areas and prepare the surfaces for repair
Stabilize chips and cracks with clear resin
Remove glass that cannot be repaired
Check windshield frames for rust
Clean windshield frames and prepare them for installation
Apply urethane sealant to the windshield frames
Install replacement glass
Replace any parts removed prior to repairs
Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Repairs may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel. After a major collision, the underlying frame of a car can become weakened or compromised. Body repairers restore the structural integrity of car frames to manufacturer specifications.
Body repairers use many tools for their work. They use pneumatic tools and plasma cutters to remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels. They also often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers for major structural repairs, such as aligning the body. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.
In some cases, body repairers complete an entire job by themselves. In other cases, especially in large shops, they use an assembly line approach in which they work as a team with each individual performing a specialized task.
Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer's location and perform their work in the field. They commonly use specialized tools such as vacuum pumps to fill windshield cracks and chips with a stabilizing resin. When windshields are badly damaged, they use knives to remove the damaged windshield, and then they secure the new windshield using a special urethane adhesive.