Estimating Tips

Audatex: Color Tint – Audatex’s two-stage setup refinish labor includes time for standard tint. Standard tint is defined as the initial mix, check, one tint cycle, and check. Audatex’s studies revealed instances where additional time was required for the tinting process. The range of this additional time was commonly between 0.1 and 1.0 hours with an average of 0.5 hours per estimate per color. The appearance of color match can be difficult enough to require both color tint (tinting to adjust the color) and blending.

 

I-CAR Finish Matching (Module 2, Topic 3) recommends planning and preparing for blending before the work begins. Per I-CAR, tinting should be done only to achieve a blendable match.

 

 

CCC/ MOTORS: Front End Alignment – Inquiry 12163 states that the estimated work time applied to front end alignment is to perform set-up and align procedures on the front of the vehicle only. If any procedures or adjustments are required to be made to the rear of the vehicle they would be considered not included.

 

An example would be a vehicle with a non-adjustable rear axle. The front alignment is always dependent on the rear end to be in correct specifications prior to adjusting the front end. The correct way to address this on the estimate is to select “Wheel alignment align front wheels” and then select “Wheel alignment check rear alignment” from the rear suspension group, additional operations, to set up the heads and read the specifications prior to making any adjustments on the front.

 

 

All 3 Systems: Wire Harness and Computer Modules – Repairs requiring wiring, cables, computers or modules to be removed or set back are NOT INCLUDED in repairs or panel replacement time unless specifically noted in footnotes of the specific component you are working on. This will require an on-the- spot evaluation, as each vehicle and model is specific due to vehicle options and various complexities running wiring in the vehicle.

 

Mitchell states the following:

“Computer Modules

When working with vehicles equipped with on-board computers, manufacturers recommend removal if temperatures are likely to exceed 176⁰F (80⁰C). Do not apply heat from a torch or weld in the immediate vicinity of computers without protecting them. Remove if necessary.

Many vehicles have multiple computers such as: Electronic Control Modules (ECM), Body Control Modules (BCM), individual computers for Anti-Lock Brake Systems and Electronic Suspension systems. All of these computers should be protected or removed before exposing them to high heat. Never connect or disconnect these units with ignition switch on, or charge a battery with battery cables connected. Before servicing, ground yourself and ground the work area to discharge stored static electricity.

Computer control information is listed in the Electrical Section of all Mitchell Collision Estimating Guides. There is a footnote below the listing or an illustration describing the location of each unit.”

 

 

All Three Systems: Masking unpainted areas of bumper covers

CCC/Motors: Masking the grained, textured, or non-body color portions in preparation for body color application is an included operation. This process is only included one time in the refinish labor operation. Should the process require multiple masking operations for preparation and again for refinish, this would require an additional on-the-spot evaluation.

Mitchell: Masking of non-painted areas within the perimeter of a bumper cover is not included in the refinish allowance, unless identified with a labor footnote.

Audatex: Masking the grained, textured, or non-body color portions in preparation for body color application is an included operation. This process is only included one time in the refinish labor operation. Should the process require multiple masking operations for preparation and again for refinish, this would require an additional on-the-spot evaluation.

Note: Masking material cost is NOT INCLUDED with labor times.

 

 

All Three Systems: Pre-wash and Completed Vehicle Detail/ Clean-up – Vehicles may require a pre- wash prior to starting repairs to remove contaminants, dirt, grime, debris. This process is NOT INCLUDED in the information providers’ labor times. After repairs are complete, final wash, detail and clean-up of the repair process is NOT INCLUDED in labor times.

Both processes would require an on-the-spot evaluation of appropriate material cost and labor.

 

 

You can view these tips and others on the DEG website by visiting: www.degweb.org

 

The estimating databases are all intended to be used as a GUIDE ONLY – it is important to remember that the auto body professional performing the repair is in a position

to thoroughly inspect, diagnose and identify

the methodology and their unique cost

of the vehicle damage repair.