What Everyone Needs to Know About Collision Repair for Aluminum Portions of Vehicles

My parents told me that when I was a little kid, all I ever asked for on my birthday and other holidays was toy cars! I do remember having fun playing with them, but they have told me many funny stories about how obsessed I was with them. When I was finally able to buy my first car after I turned 16 and got my driver's license, I really had fun putting aftermarket parts on it and customizing it. However, when something important needed repaired on it, I had no idea how to do it! I took learning more about cars as a challenge, and I have studied up on how to do my own maintenance and even perform small repairs over the years since. I want to share my knowledge on a blog and help other people realize that learning about their cars can really be fun!

What Everyone Needs to Know About Collision Repair for Aluminum Portions of Vehicles

27 March 2017
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

Many newer vehicles on the roadways today are made of aluminum and steel. Some auto body technicians might not have the training to perform repairs on aluminum. This is because there was a time when the vehicles were made of steel, and technician training in those times focused on steel repairs, which involve different techniques than aluminum. This can lead to some confusion among consumers when they need to have collision repair performed on their vehicles. If your vehicle is made of aluminum and steel, the following points will help you understand why it is important to choose an auto body repair technician who is trained to perform work on both materials.

Differences in Metals

Steel is stronger than aluminum. This means that it can withstand harsher welding techniques than aluminum. Technicians who are unaware of this difference could use the same techniques they use on steel for aluminum areas of your vehicle. This could weaken the structural integrity of the aluminum areas. When heat is applied to aluminum, it spreads more quickly than it does on steel. This is due to aluminum being a thinner metal than steel. Despite being a more sensitive metal, manipulating aluminum is still more challenging than manipulating steel. 

Cross-Contamination Risks

Technicians who have been trained to work with both materials know that the two do not react well with each other in welding environments. Untrained individuals might assume that because they are both metals and can be found on the same vehicles that there is not any harm in performing body work on the two simultaneously. However, if the two metals come into contact with each other during a collision repair session, it can cause devastating consequences. An example of a potential consequence is corrosion of the metal. In a proper shop setup, the technicians are aware of these sensitive risks and take care to keep the tools used on aluminum and steel car parts separate. In some repair shops, there may even be designated areas for work to be performed on each type of metal. This means that aluminum repairs would be performed in a separate docking or bay area of the shop away from steel repairs.

A collision repair shop that has experience repairing modern cars is the best resource to use to protect your vehicle. Do not choose a repair shop at random and neglect to ask specific questions about the techniques and precautions used during the auto body process. Your goal should be to get your vehicle back in as pristine condition as possible, which is why you must choose a shop that can handle aluminum repairs. Talk to shops like Fenza's Auto Body Inc. and be sure to ask plenty of questions about your collision repairs.