Until fairly recently, aluminum auto bodies were the domain of a select few high-end vehicles, including Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes Benz. But in their search for ever increasing gas mileage, more automakers are using aluminum for at least some of the body panels, frames and parts on the cars they make.
Repairing Aluminum vs. Steel
But that poses a problem for auto body repair shops – and owners of vehicles with aluminum frames or body panels. There is a big differences between working with aluminum and the steel that is traditionally used in auto bodies. If you need body repairs to an aluminum component on your car, you must use a collision centre that specializes in aluminum body repairs.
1. Aluminum Doesn’t “Bounce Back” Like Steel
When steel is dented or bent, it is relatively easy to return it to its original shape. Conversely, aluminum must actually be reshaped to remove a dent or correct a bend. The repair shop must have technicians who are trained in reshaping aluminum parts and the specialized equipment needed to make it happen.
2. Aluminum Conducts Heat Much Better Than Steel
The heat used to weld steel remains fairly localized during the welding process. With aluminum, the heat travels through the metal further and faster. Excessive heat throughout the metal part can affect its strength. Welding aluminum without compromising its strength requires the right equipment and training.
3. Steel and Aluminum Aren’t a Good Match
They are actually corrosive to each other. If even tiny shavings from one contact the other, the damage will be immediate. It means your body shop must maintain separate sets of tools and equipment to be used exclusively on one metal or the other. And the body work on each metal must be done in separate parts of the shop.
Finding the Right Repair Shop for Aluminum Auto Bodies
Celette® is recognized around the world as the leader in providing the specialized equipment for aluminum frame and body panel repairs, and the comprehensive training that’s required to do the repairs properly.
Leons Auto Body is a Toronto Authorized Celette® Collision Repair Shop, specializing in all aluminum frame collision repairs for Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover. Utilizing Celette® equipment enables us to repair and align structural parts to a level of accuracy which would otherwise be nearly impossible.
The ability to simultaneously control dimensions over the entire vehicle chassis is unsurpassed by any other style of straightening equipment.