Auto body repairers fix or replace damaged parts of vehicle bodies and frames.
Repairers fix damaged parts on vehicles. They remove large dents in metal panels with a jack or prying bar. They knock out smaller dents with hand tools or special hammers.
Repairers can heat and press most types of plastic body panel back to its original shape by hand. They fill dents that cannot be popped out with metal or plastic fillers. They file or grind the filler to match the body shape. Repairers use special machines to straighten the frame and body sections of cars twisted in accidents.
For more extensive damage, restorers remove ruined sections and replace them with new parts. They use cutting tools to cut through and remove metal body parts. They weld new panels in place of damaged sections.
Repairers also do simple mechanical repairs. They change parts of the various systems of an automobile, such as brake, steering, electrical, exhaust, and suspension systems. They also work on airbags and restraint systems.
Body repairers may specialize in one type of repair, including:
- Door repair
- Glass replacement
- Frame alignment
- Repairing fiberglass car bodies
Auto body repairers who work in small shops may inspect damaged vehicles. They write up estimates of repair costs for customers and insurance companies. Repairers in large shops discuss the repair jobs with supervisors.
Auto body repairers read technical manuals and attend classes to keep up to date on repair methods.
Many auto body repairers are also business owners. They:
- Keep track of income and expenses
- Pay bills and purchase supplies
- Manage employees
- Work with insurance companies