When you get your car repaired in Southern New Jersey, you expect the technicians to know what they are doing and to repair your vehicle exactly the way the manufacturer recommends. The problem for you as a consumer is that there is no way for you to know if your technician looked up the proper repair procedure and performed the repair quickly. A repair can “look” correct when painted, but be wrong and render the vehicle unsafe.
In fact, it is actually very easy for a repair shop to cut corners when repairing your car. We have an epidemic of “real bodymen” who trust their experience over taking the time to do a little research. Collision repair is very vehicle specific and is always in evolution. Materials change, procedures change and it is up to the technician and the culture of the shop to enforce the rules of check first, then cut.
An example is directly from Acura that was just released about how to repair the tailgate are on the RDX. Because of the popularity of mid-size SUV’s on the road, the RDX is a popular model and shares a lot of architecture with the Honda midsize SUV’s of the same size.
Tailgate Repair on the 2019 RDX
Last year, Acura released a statement that a new high-strength resin outer ‘skin’ on the tailgate of the 2019 RDX would replace the plastic and steel skin on the 2018 model. “This new construction method for Acura retains steel for the inner structural tailgate, maintaining the essential strength and security of the tailgate.”
According to Repairer Driven News, Acura is referring to the outer as “all-plastic.” This makes repair technicians believe it’s not a composite like resin with reinforcement fibers. According to the OEM from 2018, cutting steel out of the outer makes the vehicle 7.1 pounds lighter. That may not seem like a lot. However, it would allow the car to have a more flexible design.
What Technicians Must Do
As of this year, auto repair technicians were given new OEM repair procedures for the 2019 RDX that require a large amount of masking. A shop “must ensure no paint is on areas that do not have base court applied by supplier” on the tailgate. Collision repairers are required to mask:
- The rear window opening
- The holes in spoiler area
- The holes in rear lid light areas
- The tailgate frame
- The license light areas
- The rearview camera
- The tailgate open switch
- The license plate holes
This is very important to note because the repair shop that is doesn’t check repair procedures might not mask these areas and paint them instead. It is common practice to paint everything including these areas.
When these areas get painted on the new RDX, it can compromise the ability for the glass to seal properly and may even affect the backup camera and other sensors.
What does that mean for your Acura or Honda?
Due to the new construction method of the tailgate, this means new OEM repair procedures on how to properly repair it have been released for technicians to follow. Some repair shops might still refer to the prior 2013-2018 RDX repair procedures. However, as you read above, the very components making up the tailgate are entirely different from the 2018 model.
Steel is a very flexible material. Plastic is the same except once it’s formed a particular way; it can’t go back to its original shape.
The 2013-2018 repair procedures instructed shops to read “Resetting the Power Tailgate Control Unit.” This is considered an out-of-date repair procedure for the 2019 Acura and Honda’s. Repairer Driver News states that a shop will need to be aware of what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to tailgate repair. The new tailgate’s “programmable power status coming standard might carry additional electronics requirements and considerations.” If an auto repair shop is repairing the tailgate on your Acura or Honda using the 2013 to 2018 repair procedures, they are doing more harm than good to your car.
Why are we telling you all of this?
It’s important for you to know that autobody shops, like us here at Autotech Collision Center, are aware of these changes. Even if you don’t understand some of the information in this article, it is important to know that we do, and that sets us apart from our competitors.
We at Autotech Collision Center have been serving Southern New Jersey for nearly 30 years. We are customer focused and know what it means to perform a safe repair. At Autotech, all of our technicians have received extensive training and are up-to-date on the latest OEM Repair procedures. We will work with you and your insurance company to ensure a stress-free repair. We know that these repair procedures change frequently, and that’s why we are always checking what the most recent requirements are for your car.
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