4 min read

Additional Repair Operations

Written by
Kirk Carlisle
Published on
April 28, 2023

Collision repair involves a wide range of operations that must be carried out to ensure that a vehicle is properly restored to its pre-accident condition.  However, as highlighted in our Estimate Accuracy blog post, there are several critical operations that are often overlooked during the repair process.  In this post, we will explore some of the additional operations that you’re already doing but are often missed on estimates.

A repair technician running a electronic diagnostic operation on an automobile.

Pre-Repair Scanning

Pre-repair scanning is a crucial operation that is often missed in collision repair.  Pre-repair scans involve scanning the vehicle for any hidden or underlying damage that may not be visible to the naked eye.  This is particularly important for modern vehicles that are equipped with advanced safety features and electronic systems, as even minor damage can affect the performance and functionality of these systems.  Pre-repair scanning can identify issues such as misaligned sensors, damaged wiring, or malfunctioning components, which must be repaired or replaced before the vehicle can be considered roadworthy.  These issues will surface eventually if they’re present, so it makes sense to catch them on the front end of the repair process. 

A repair technician removing the window trim from an automobile.

R&I Operations

R&I (Remove and Install) operations involve the removal and reinstallation of parts or components that may need to be accessed during the repair process.  This can include items such as interior trim panels, door handles, or mirrors, which may need to be removed to access damaged areas of the vehicle.  R&I operations are necessary to facilitate the repair and properly refinish the panel.  They are also not included operations in the repair, so capturing them is critical to making the repair profitable.

A large, used oil bottle being placed in a trash receptacle.

Parts Code Items

In addition to R&I operations, there are a number of operations that are generally relegated to the parts code, which are often overlooked during the repair process.  Cover car and masking for primer are done on virtually every repair.  Similarly, hazardous waste items must be properly disposed of in accordance with local regulations to ensure that they do not pose a risk to human health or the environment.  Not only is there a cost involved in this, but documenting it on the estimate is required in many areas as proof that the waste was handled correctly.  Billing for inventory items such as fluids, clips, caulk, and adhesive can also come from the parts code table, and in the course of a year, your shop is likely using thousands of dollars worth of these materials. 

Car on lift in wheel alignment operation.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is another critical operation that is often missed in collision repair.  Collision damage can cause misalignment or damage to the wheels and tires of the vehicle, which can affect the handling, steering, and overall safety of the vehicle.  While wheel and tire damage can make the need obvious, confirmation of alignment cannot be done visually.  On modern vehicles, alignment plays an important role in the correct functioning of many ADAS systems. With all this in mind, an alignment check is never an unreasonable operation, and a wheel alignment may be required if the vehicle needs any calibrations completed. 

These are just a few of the operations that are regularly performed in the course of a typical repair.  Even capturing the manufacturer-required scans, basic R&I and parts code operations can add hundreds of dollars to a repair.  If you are completing proper repairs, then you’re completing these operations.  Are you being paid for them, though? 

iPhone mockup of app.

This is where the Damage Appraisal App can help.

Our latest version includes a panel-specific list of the most commonly required additional operations for the proper repair of each panel on the vehicle.  Paired with LiDAR-powered scanning technology and advanced repair time algorithms, the app can quickly build a report detailing the extent of damage, substrate, body lines, and operations required for repair, all in a single-page report.  Start your free 10-day trial of the app by signing up now at

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