As part of our CERTIFICATIONS by various manufacturers, we are required to purchase state of the art tools specifically for aluminum repair. Mercedes-Benz S, CL and SL models, the BMW 5- and 6-series, Chevy Corvette, Jaguar XJ, Range Rover, Porsche Panamera, 991, 981, and 918, Audi TT, A8 and R8 Acura NSX’s and Ferrari and Maserati, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus and Tesla all have aluminum that requires some special aluminum welding, weld-bonding, or rivet-bonding (even some Hondas and Fords too). With the recent rise in fuel prices, manufacturers have utilized more aluminum than ever before because of its fuel efficiency.
So when these cars require repairs, who can fix them? The tools are specialized and VERY expensive. As are the conditions under which the work is performed. Because Collision Consultants has the Celette and Carbench jig benches and a dedicated aluminum room, we can accommodate all these repairs without any delays, or back log. We aggressively send our technicians to factory training and purchase the tools in order to remain on top of the collision repair industry. Our certified Aluminum Master Technicians are qualified to repair those cars with the same finesse and quality as they were built.
Aluminum IS MUCH more expensive to work on than steel. Primarily cause it IS more difficult. Let me give a few examples:
* The MIG welding requires precision in the shielding gas mixture and travel speed. Tesla certified shops (also Porsche, Mercedes and Audi) are required to purchase a Fronius aluminum MIG welder because that’s what they use in the factory.
* Aluminum is prone to galvanic corrosion so there must not be ANY steel that comes near the repairs (dust, debris, etc…)
* The tech/shop must purchase a duplicate set of tool to be used exclusively with aluminum panels (to prevent galvanic corrosion).
* Aluminum dust is explosive. So the shop must be equipped with extra safety equipment like the $9000 Ruwac explosion proof vacuum cleaner.
* Tesla provides repair specs exclusively to Carbench equipped frame shops. Audi only approves Celette. A complete Carbench or Celette setup will cost around $130K. We have BOTH.
* Aluminum conducts heat much better than steel, which makes the process of heating for repairs very different. Also, aluminum does not turn red before reaching its melting or annealing points, so an untrained tech can easily turn a simple dent into a totaled car.
So as you can see, there is a valid reason for repair shops to charge much more for aluminum repairs. At Collision Consultants, we do our best to minimize those repairs costs, but NEVER at the expense of safe and thorough repairs. Often times, the best repair, is the minimal repair (think of non-invasive plastic surgery). Other times, the difference between quality and “good enough” can be quite costly. In any case, rest assure, we will always deliver the BEST REPAIR POSSIBLE, at the most competitive rates.