Common Auto Body Repair Steps


Along with computerized cars, the modern auto repair shop in St. Louis has grown by using complex technology. Vehicle designs and government regulations on safety and fuel economy are changing the way car repairs are done. While no one ever wants to imagine needing a car repair after an accident, it’s helpful to know what goes into a typical auto body repair process. Most collision shops follow a similar process with the following basic steps:


Estimate: Most collision repair shops include an estimator who inspects, documents, and photographs your vehicle. That information is given to the insurance company and the shop’s customer. These results are based on visible damage, and can’t be informative on unseen damage after the car has been taken apart.

 Disassembling: The insurance provided needs a disassembling of the vehicle to document all the damage and determine if it’s economically feasible to repair the vehicle. Once work authorization has been provided to the shop from the customer and the insurer, the parts that are needed for repairs can be purchased.

Structure: After the disassembly has occurred and the parts have been received, the auto body shop begins repairs. At this point the car is analyzed by an electronic measuring system to restore it back to factory specifications. With a scientific system doing the measuring, the car frame is certain to be straight and structurally sound. The necessary suspension repairs and wheel alignment are also done.

 Body Repairs: After the car is declared structurally and mechanically sound work on the body starts with straightening and paint preparation. Parts are sanded then primer is applied before the color or base coat is applied, followed by a clear coat to protect the finish.

Reassembling:  All of the components that were initially disconnected are now put back together. For example, the electrical wires, hoses, airbags, etc., are properly connected. Trim and moldings are reinstalled. A reputable auto body shop will take the vehicle for a test drive to be sure that everything is functioning correctly.  


Teaching Children About Car Maintenance

Working with a young child on the family car is a great way to teach kids about car repair and a chance to bond together while building good memories. You can start teaching a very young child about car maintenance by taking him or her to a car wash. At the least they can learn how to vacuum the car’s floor mats. You can also let them help you wash the car by letting them spray the car with a hose.

If you are working on your car at home, say, changing the oil or topping off the liquids, a child in elementary school can be your “tool box assistant.” He or she will learn the names of the tools while you show them what each tool does and how to take care of them as well. At they move on to junior high, they can begin to do things like replacing air filters and wiper blades. Also, it’s easy and fun for them to learn how to check the car’s tire pressure.

As teenagers, kids are old enough to understand how a car works. At that age they are capable of checking and changing oil, pumping gas, and rotating tires. Depending on the level of their interest, you might want to let them replace bolts and work at a slightly more complex level on the car.

Show your teenager what goes on at our auto repair shop in St. Peters, MO. Bell & Osborn Auto Body serves customers throughout St. Peters, St. Louis, and all of the surrounding areas.


Good Reasons to Buy a Used Car

Buying a used car today is not as risky as it was several decades ago. In the past a used car’s mechanics and major systems were unreliable, especially if it was taken care of properly. Today’s cars are more dependable than ever before and are built to last much longer. There are a number of good reasons to choose a used car over a new one. Some of the biggest reasons include the following:

  •  New cars generate more carbon dioxide emissions than used ones. So, from an environmental point of view, a used car has already passed through the manufacturing and shipment phases and produces much less carbon dioxide. Even hybrids have an environmental impact with their lithium-ion, lead-acid, or Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries. Therefore, buying a used car could be the “greenest” choice of all.
  • New cars lose value as soon as they are driven off the dealership lot. After they are 4 years old they only retail for about half their value. Once that marker is passed the curve of depreciation goes down.
  • It also cost less to insure a used car, as used vehicles have less value than new models. Once the car becomes older you can also save more money by dropping collision and theft coverage.
  • Repair Costs. It’s best not to put money toward repairs once they surpass more than half of a car’s value. For example, if your 9-year-old car is worth $4,500, a $2,300 repair bill is better spent on a down payment for another car.

When you need cosmetic repairs done on your next used car, go to Bell & Osborn Auto Body, a leading auto repair shop in St. Louis. We serve clients throughout St. Peters, St. Louis, and all of the surrounding areas.

How Often Should You Get Your Car Waxed?

Many of us don’t often take the time to get our cars waxed, though the general recommendation is waxing 3 or 4 times a year. The minimum number of waxes should be at least 2 times a year in order to protect the vehicle’s paint finish. However, if your car is exposed to snow, rain, and road salt, and spends most of the time outside, it should be waxed more often than twice a year. The best way to protect your car’s exterior from the weather and environmental elements is to wax it by hand on a regular basis. A car that is regularly waxed is easier to clean. In addition, waxing adds a layer of protection over the clear coat and paint job.

The two best times to wax your car are in the spring before summer and the fall before winter. Wax protects the car from harsh UV rays in the summer heat and from the cold extremes of winter. If you want to know when it’s time to wax your vehicle you should add a few drops of water on it and see what happens. If the water beads up, the car doesn’t need to be waxed. If no beads form, it’s time for a waxing.

Keep up the appearance of your car to maintain its value. For dents, dings, and damage, bring your vehicle to Bell & Osborn Auto Body, a leading auto repair shop in St. Peters, MO. Call (636) 278-6700 today to find about our products and services.



What to Do Before Selling Your Car


It’s commonly known that you’ll make more money selling your car yourself rather than using it as a trade when you are ready to purchase a new car. Below are some tips to consider and put into use before you put the “For Sale” sign ad online or on the car windshield.

  • Research the market by checking ads to see what others are asking for your kind of car. Try searching with the specific criteria of your make, year, and model.
  • Get your car professionally detailed, which will give it the best possible look and smell. At the same time, remove all personal belongings except for the owner’s manual and the registration.
  • Check and top off fluids like the oil, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Topped-off fluids show any buyer how well you’ve taken care of your car.
  • Choose the most popular places to advertise your car online. Those include AutoTrader.com, Craigslist, and eBayClassifieds. Listings in local newspapers are good places as well.
  • Figure out what your bottom line is and stick to it. It’s best not to negotiate online before the buyer has even seen the car. If you lower the price sight unseen, the buyer may ask for an even lower price after he or she has seen and driven it.
  • Finalizing the sale includes limiting your liability. Once you’ve been paid for the car (cash or a cashier’s check), record the odometer reading and sign the car title over to the buyer. Make sure you have a “release-of-liability form,” which records the time and date the car changed possession.

If the car you are selling has dings and dents, take it to our shop for paintless dent repair in St. Louis. Bell & Osborn Auto Body serves customers throughout St. Peters and St. Louis, MO.

The Benefits of Rust Repair


The biggest cause of rush on your vehicle is moisture. When moisture combines with road salt, mud, and air pollutants, the steel on your car is sure to get rusty. The problems created by rust include taking the paint off the steel, rotting steel, ruining your car’s finish, and corroding important components that keep your vehicle’s coil and springs working properly.

Bring your car to Bell & Osborn Auto Body for rustproofing or rust repairs before the metal or steel on your car corrodes or weakens. Don’t let rust impact the structure of your vehicle when our auto repair shop in St. Peters, MO, offers comprehensive rust repairs that solve all the issues brought on by rust.

When you eliminate the rust from every part of your vehicle, you not only enhance its appearance and appeal, you ensure the value of your car is not compromised. Making auto body rust repairs sooner rather than later make your car safer and give it a longer lifespan. Eliminating rust also ensures that there’s no body damage in the electrical and mechanical systems in your vehicle.

Choose an auto body shop that pays attention to details when it comes to rust repair, particularly when it’s time to match paint to the exact color of your vehicle. Bell & Osborn Auto Body serves customers throughout St. Peters and St. Louis. For more information, call (636) 278-6700.

A Brief History of Paintless Dent Removal

Paintless dent repair or removal is not as new as commonly thought. Paintless Dent Repair or PDR dates back to the car assembly plants in Germany more than 60 years ago. On the assembly lines of luxury cars, the manufacturers used steel rods and special lighting to massage away the imperfections. This method was highly secretive for many years. However it wasn’t well known in the United States until 1983, and that was when it was brought over from Argentina to the U.S. by a man named Nattalio Balderama, whose nickname was Lido.

Another completely different history of PDR states that it was started by a man named Oskar Flaig in 1960 during the “International Motor Sports Show” in New York. He worked for Mercedes and was responsible for the paint on show cars. He had to repair the cars at night after they’d been damaged by the public during the days of the show. Word has it that he used a hammer to push out a small dent so he wouldn’t need as much paint to repair. It looked as good as new.

A trio of American businessmen formed the Dent Doctor in 1986. At that time, the largest group to provide PDR was formed in Springfield, MO, when a group of men who worked at the Springfield Acura began the trade in earnest in 1990. At first the most likely career for PDR technicians was to chase storms around the country and work on the cars that got damaged by hail, door dings, small creases and more. Less radical PDR professionals were hired by auto dealers and auto body shops to offer the service at a retail location.

The Benefits of Paintless Dent Removal

Has your car been dinged by a grocery cart or another person’s car door? Noticeable dings mar the value and appearance of any car. It’s always a good idea to get the dents removed as quickly as possible by an experienced mechanic. The right auto body shop can repair the dents in your car or truck efficiently and affordably with paintless dent removal. It’s always a good feeling to drive away with the imperfections on your vehicle gone and forgotten.

One of the worst ways your car can incur dents is from a hailstorm, which are not uncommon in the St. Louis Metro area. You also may have been rear-ended by a careless driver or worst yet, just found damage to your car without knowing how it happened. Dents that mar your car’s finish can have various causes. Choosing a reputable auto body shop for paintless dent removal in St. Louis, and the nearby areas, renders your car back to its original pristine appearance.

The damage on a vehicle can be resolved quickly and flawlessly with the paintless dent repair technique. An experienced and careful technician can restore the look of your car by restructuring the dent from behind the damaged area. This technique requires no painting, and the exterior of your car stays intact. When the process is finished, the damaged area should be completely invisible.

When you are searching for paintless dent removal in St. Louis, take your car to the professionals at Bell & Osborn Auto Body for a free estimate. Visit BellandOsbornAutoBody.com for more information or call us at (636) 278-6700 to set up an appointment. We are based in St. Peters and serve customers throughout the St. Louis area.

What Size Hail Can Damage Your Car?

In St. Louis there were 14 reports of hail in 2017 within 10 miles of the city center. The hail storms in 2017 also included a record-breaking size report of 2 inches. Hail is extremely damaging to property, especially cars. Hail the size of a golf ball can break car glass, dent holes in the roof, and even cause engine damage. The size of the hail combined with the angle at which it hits your car is what determines the extent of the damage.

The strength of the metal on the car can prevent hail from causing major damage. A car with thinner layers of metal may suffer from more serious damage. In either case, you don’t want unattractive dent marks all over your whole car. The first place to go when you are driving a hail-damaged car is Bell and Osborn Auto Body. They specialize in hail damage auto repair in St. Louis.

Also, car shoppers beware before you buy a hail-damaged car. Chances are it could not be fixed by paintless dent repairs, which means the dents were too deep, too large, or too severe to be fixed. Before you buy the damaged vehicle—no matter how good the deal sounds—it pays to get an estimate from a reputable company that does paintless dent repair.

Visit BellandOsbornAutoBody.com for information on all of our services. Or, call us at (636) 278-6700 if you have any questions about your auto collision needs.

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to our blog! Here you will find information on auto body repair news in the industry as well as interesting content on vehicles in general. We aim to write blog posts that address your interests and perhaps add a new perspective or two to your current knowledge bank. Some of the topics we may cover in the near future include:

•Questions to Ask When You Choose a Collision Shop
•What Are the Easiest Collision Damages to Repair?
•What Are the Most Difficult Collision Damages to Repair?
•Prevention Tips: From Rock Chips to Mirror Damage
•How to Clean Your Car Like a Pro

Since we have been in the auto trade for more than 40 years, we have packed in a great deal of knowledge about how to provide our customers with quality repairs that are meant to last. In fact, we are so confident about the work that we do that we ask you to bring your car in 30 days after the completed repairs and we’ll check that everything looks exactly as it should. When you want to come in you don’t need an appointment. Just bring your car into our auto body repair shop St. Peters, MO, for a free estimate. For more information, please contact us at your earliest convenience.