What Does A Body Shop Mean When They Say There’s Additional Damage?


Repairing a vehicle nowadays is quite a difficult task, especially when working with complexities of ADAS technologies that today’s cars are built with and following OEM repair procedures. One wrong decision in the repair process could cause further damage to your car and increase the chance of you getting in an accident after leaving the repair shop. 

Part of the reason why there’s an increase in the average repair cost is due to longer labor time, which means an overall longer repair cycle time. For those of you who don’t know, cycle time refers to how long it takes for your car to be repaired as soon as it enters the shop to when it’s back in your hands. But what exactly does it mean when a body shop tells you there’s additional damage? Is that just a way for the body shop to make more money?

These are valid questions to have, which is why we answer them below:

Additional Damage 101 

It’s not something you see every day, or at all for that matter, where you take your car to be repaired at a body shop and the estimate they give you is the total cost of the entire repair. This is because the technicians have most likely not taken apart the car to provide an in-depth assessment of the repair that needs to be done to your car. They’re only going based on what they can see on the outside, not the inside.

Here’s an example to better describe what additional damage means: a doctor can diagnose you based on how you look, feel, symptoms, etc. But to provide you with a thorough diagnosis from inside your body, they’ll need X-Rays, an MRI, or other scans that get an inside look of what’s not working correctly. Sure, you can get better without all that. But, it could just be a bandaid for a more significant problem inside your body. 

As soon as technicians take your car apart, they get an in-depth look inside the body of your vehicle. Much the same as X-Rays and MRIs provide doctors with an accurate diagnosis, technicians taking your car apart allows them to see any additional damage from an accident. This is where the repair plan is modified, the estimate goes up, the insurance company is notified, and you hear those two words. 

That said, the following are some factors that could play a role in a more extensive repair due to additional damage: 

Insurance Company

If the body shop finds additional damage on your vehicle, they’ll notify you and your insurance company before they begin the repair. An insurance company might send an adjuster to the shop to approve what needs to happen. This can definitely cause delays, since your insurance company may be reluctant to pay more for additional repairs. Don’t worry, this is completely normal. But if you want to get a second opinion, you can. Keep in mind: your deductible remains the same, regardless of the final approved cost of the repair. 

Additional Steps 

Some areas on your car may have a higher level of frequency on supplements, such as Front & Rear Suspension, Electrical, and Rear Body & Floor. If any of these parts were damaged in a crash, then the additional steps would be from the recalibration that a technician would need to perform. These extra steps may not be included in typical database labor times, such as destructive weld testing and calibration. 

Unique Repair Plan

No car accident is ever the same. Even if you and your cousin were both sideswiped on the right side of your car at 35 mph in a 2017 Black Subaru, it still is not the same. Repairers at body shops have to create a unique repair plan for each repair. It can be anywhere from 15 steps to 115 steps, depending on what is required. You may be given an initial estimate based on a repair plan when it’s at 20 steps and before the car is taken apart. But, as described above, it may not be until the technicians take apart your car before they see any additional steps that need to be added due to additional damage. 

Who In Southern New Jersey Can I Trust?

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.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or to get an online quote, click any of the buttons below! Or, feel free to give us a call at (856)-232-1833. We look forward to hearing from you