Pan American Collision Repair Blog


Big Investment

Repairing a damaged vehicle is more than just banging out dents and painting the panel. Modern day vehicles have become more complex than ever with advanced technology, vehicle construction and advanced part composition materials making the repair process more difficult. Customers demand more features while maintaining optimal efficiency and still preserving safety of the occupants inside the vehicle. Vehicle manufactures invest billions of dollars in research and development to provide you, the customer, with a cool car with tons of features.

The car you are driving today more than likely represents the second largest purchase you’ve ever made. You may have even scoured all dealers in the area for that special feature or that unique color. Therefore, even cosmetic repairs require the same level of attention to detail, as if a vehicle was involved in a heavy collision.

You never want to find out the hard way that a repair facility is performing incomplete repairs to your car. Sure, the paint may be shiny, and the car might look clean, but let’s dive into what a proper repairer means, to ensure not only a good-looking repair, but also performing it following OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) repair procedures. 

Getting Back to Pre-Accident Condition

Pan American Team Members have a broad range of skill sets to ensure all the OEM requirements are met. We have specialists dedicated to customer service as well as specialists to repair that vehicle. The commonly utilizes the term “estimator”, referring to the person who will “guestimate” the cost of repairs; but how do you know they are factoring in all the proper costs involved? In addition to our “estimators” Pan American Collision Center has a dedicated TECHNICAL RESEARCH team to ensure repairs done correctly by our expert technicians by having all the proper manufacturer repair procedures. Following these repair procedures may require the use of special tools and equipment or even following a certain sequence of removing a part to prevent further damage to your car. Some parts on your vehicle may be “one time use”, meaning, they required to be replaced after being removed, even though the part may not appear to be damaged. This information is only found in the OEM repair procedures.

Part of being a manufacturer certified repair facility is the ability to locate and understand the requirements by the OEM to perform a safe and proper repair. After all, the expert engineers who designed your vehicle know your vehicle best and know what it takes to repair it to their original specification. If your shop is not following OEM repair procedures, consider your vehicle “RE-ENGINEERED”, making you clueless as to how your vehicle will hold up in the event of another accident. Next time you need repairs done, don’t always look for the lowest cost involved, since an uneducated repairer may be leaving critical labor operations or critical parts off your repair plan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about why something is or is not being performed. Our Team at Pan American Collision Center are your trusted experts in repairing your vehicle back to OEM Specifications. Don’t hesitate to ask us about the details of performing a safe and proper repair.

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OEM Parts

What is the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts?

When it comes to repairing your vehicle you may have heard the terms OEM parts and aftermarket parts. Original Equipment Manufacturer parts are made by the manufacturer of your vehicle. These parts are made to original specifications to ensure the best possible fit on your car. Aftermarket parts on the other hand are not made by the manufacturer but are designed for your specific vehicle. Check with your representative on the options for your car. 

What if the insurance will not cover OEM parts?

Not all insurance companies approve the use of OEM parts for every repair. The good news is if you want OEM parts but the insurance will not cover them you are able to pay the difference yourself. If you are picking out an insurance policy you can also ask for an OEM parts endorsement to make sure any future repairs will have OEM parts

Our team at Pan American Collision can help guide you through the repair process and make sure you get the best possible repair regardless of what parts are used. Call our auto body repair shop today at 408-289-8745 and set an appointment for a free repair consultation. 

What is the difference in a visual estimate vs an in shop estimate?

Estimates from an auto body repair shop are a great way to get an idea of what a repair will cost. It is however important to understand the difference between a visual estimate, sometimes called a preliminary estimate, and an in shop estimate.

Visual or Preliminary Estimate

Visual estimates are normally the first estimate you get from a shop. This may be done in person, or through photos sent in from your home. These estimates can be best understood as a starting point, they will only include what we can see from the outside needs to be repaired. These estimates are great to understand the basic repair scope but keep in mind that when the vehicle comes in the shop the estimate will likely change as things are taken apart and additional damage is found.

In Shop Estimate

An in shop estimate, sometimes referred to as a teardown estimate, takes place once the vehicle is in the shop and damaged parts can be removed. This estimate will be much more detailed then a visual estimate because we have the chance to see damage that is under the body panels such as the bumper. If you did receive a preliminary estimate that was approved by the insurance company we will send a supplement over to the insurance to update the additional damage.

How We Work with Your Insurance Company

We work with all insurance companies and participate in many Direct Repair Programs (DRP). These programs offer fast claims and speedy repair service after an accident. You don’t have to get damage estimates or schedule an appointment with an adjuster. Simply Contact us and we will work directly with your insurance company, then bring your vehicle directly to one of our collision repair shops.

Do I Need to Give the Insurance the Estimate?

Your claim is sent from your insurer electronically to us. We write an estimate and with your approval, we begin repairs. It’s that simple when you choose Pan American Collision Center.

What about Towing?

We will work with your insurance for the repair work and bill the towing to them. We will coordinate the pickup from the accident, your home, or even your work.

Rental car

If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.


When handled through one of our insurance partners your repair will get the backing of our limited lifetime warranty but should you ever move the insurance provider will warranty the work through one of their providers.