Several years ago before the advancements of car safety technologies, a common type of repair procedure known as “sectioning” would be done on cars. It would be inexpensive and quick, compared to replacing damaged components or re-straightening.
So, what exactly is sectioning? This type of repair practice would typically be used on cars that had received extensive damage, like if a driver was in a horrible rear-end collision. Technicians would then take this damaged car, cut it out, and weld in a section from some junkyard vehicle that didn’t have any rear-end damage.
Believe it or not, this type of repair was acceptable up until cars started being made with high strength steel between 2007 and 2009. Nowadays, sectioning, or “clipping,” is no longer an acceptable repair practice because it puts your life at risk. You would think this would be enough for body shops to stop this type of repair practice, but unfortunately, many body shops still do it.
Here at Autotech Collision Service, we’ve heard several times about the horror stories of collision repair go horribly wrong. No matter what a shop or repair technician tells you, no car can ever be repaired the same way. It’s not possible, nor is it safe. The problem is many repair shops are under deadlines from insurance companies that are typically unrealistic to meet unless corners get cut in the process. In order to save time, a technician will get straight to work rather than look up the repair procedures for your exact car, known as OEM repairs. To make matters even worse, the state of New Jersey doesn’t require technicians to be licensed to perform a car repair.
Knowledge Is Power
We want you to feel more confident going into the repair process, which is why we write about specific repair procedures. When you know what certain repairs mean for your car, you feel more empowered in the repair process.
What Is Full-Body Sectioning?
According to I-CAR, “full-body sectioning, often referred to as clipping, is the process of joining large assemblies cut from separate vehicles. This involves cutting through multiple panel layers in a combination of A-, B-, C-, and D-pillars, the quarter panels, the rocker panels, and across the floor plan.”
In other words, full-body sectioning/clipping is the process in which large removed parts from different cars are joined together onto a single vehicle to “repair” the damaged area(s). A technician will then take these different portions from a few different cars and weld them onto your car to finish the repair.
Why Full-Body Sectioning Should Never Be Done
No matter how big or small a repair might be, there’s never a time that calls for sectioning. There are no OEMs that support it, no matter the size of the repair, as it is not an approved repair method from any car manufacturer. It is “not a safe or viable repair option and should not be done, under any circumstances,” according to I-CAR.
Take a look at the following photos of what full-body sectioning/clipping looks like on a car:
When parts are welded onto your car, primarily full-rear or full-front body sections, it requires the technician to make several different joints (or spot welds) “in multiple structural panels and reinforcements” (I-CAR). Modern-day vehicles are composed of a combination of aluminum, carbon fiber, high- and ultra-high-strength steels. This material combination creates your vehicle’s overall structural integrity and is designed with the highest level of safety in mind. If anything other than these exact materials is used, it will damage the overall structural integrity of your vehicle. As a result, your safety is compromised, putting you at an increased risk of getting in an accident.
Here’s an example: if your car needed to have doors and the rear bumper replacement, you would only want it repaired with the same doors and bumper it was manufactured with. Full-body sectioning would use doors and a rear bumper from some other car that might not even be the same manufacturer and put that on your car instead. This is why there are several published warnings from car manufacturers against full-body sectioning repairs. You might as well just call them Frankenstein repairs for your vehicle.
What Does This Means For New Jersey Car Owners?
Here at Autotech Collision Service, we refuse to perform full-body sectioning or clipping no matter what needs to be repaired on your car. Your safety is our top priority, which is why we wanted to inform you about the dangers of this type of repair practice.
We are here to help any with questions you may have regarding your policy because that’s the type of service you deserve from an auto repair shop. We have been proudly serving Southern New Jersey for nearly 30 years and aren’t stopping anytime soon because our customers are our number one priority.