A body shop is a body shop is a body shop. Right? Wrong! As with any human skill, levels of expertise and experience will vary from shop to shop and from individual to individual. Some mechanics are just better at it than others; and the collective skill of all the mechanics working at a single facility can vary—often significantly—from one to the other.
Similarly, a car is a car is a car. Right?! Wrong again! A long time ago, in an automotive galaxy far, far away, when the car industry was relatively young, one vehicle was more or less indistinguishable from another. Sure, some makes and models were simply better than others right off the assembly line. Some were known for their superior performance on the road, while others could boast about their extra-eyecatching stylish or sporty looks no matter where they were.
But aesthetics and engineering aside, underneath it all most automobiles could be characterized as “generic”: that is, they were all basically a collection of seats inside a box bolted to a chassis mounted on a set of four wheels—a self-motile machine equipped with lights and mirrors, propelled by a petroleum-fueled internal combustion engine, and controlled by a steering wheel, gear shift, gas-pedal, and brake. If it broke down, was involved in a collision, or otherwise damaged in some way far away from the dealer from which it was first purchased, no problem! Pretty much any competent mechanic could fix it. And if it needed new parts, again no problem: a good many of those parts were more or less standard and interchangeable from one make/model to another, and could easily be obtained from any well-stocked auto parts supplier.
Well, those days are long past.
With the advent of electric motors and aluminum bodies and hybrid powertrains, those “generic” automobiles of old began to evolve into vehicles that could now best be described as “futuristic”: high-tech machineries of motion specially engineered with highly proprietary components, assembled using space-age materials, and equipped with instrumentation rivaling that of Apollo 17. The sheer volume of unique and specialized technologies comprising any given make and model of a contemporary car would challenge the abilities of even the most skilled (but uncertified) mechanic of yesteryear working at your average corner body shop.
Which is why manufacturer certification is so important nowadays when it comes to auto body collision repair. Case in point: any car manufactured by Subaru Corporation and sold in North America.
Subaru has built an enviable reputation on the reliability, drivability, and safety of their vehicles. But those qualities did not simply materialize out of thin air. They required years of innovative thinking and intensive testing to develop. And while the advances made in Subaru automotive design and engineering are no doubt welcomed by its customers, they come at a certain price: a level of complexity so deep and interconnected that only a highly trained, certified technician is truly qualified to repair such a vehicle in the event it is damaged. Here are just a few of the advanced automotive features of a typical Subaru vehicle that will stop an untrained mechanic dead in his or her tracks.
Chassis and Body
Higher rigidity and strength in the chassis, along with lighter weight and better rolling resistance, promote more comfort and less fatigue on long rides, resulting in a car that’s not just safer but more fun to drive. The body, framed by a ring-shaped reinforcement structure with strengthened side rails, creates a virtual “cage” that encloses the central cabin. This design combines both body and chassis together as a large, single crush zone that can absorb more of the force of a collision, thereby better protecting the occupants of the vehicle.
The boxer engine—so called because the motion of its horizontally opposed pistons resembles two boxers throwing punches at each other—is found in all Subaru vehicles. Renowned for its compactness, superior balance, and smoothness while running, this type of engine feeds power directly to the drivetrain with maximum efficiency, while also offering better lateral acceleration.
Moreover, it has a low center of gravity, which helps ensure more balanced handling, flatter cornering, and greater stability on every type of road. While a boxer engine offers definite performance advantages, its wide profile makes it significantly more difficult to service than other types of engines. Only a trained expert should attempt it!
Symmetrical All-wheel Drive
As its name implies, Subaru’s Symmetrical All-wheel Drive system (which comes standard in virtually all of their vehicles) is symmetrically laid out in a straight line from front to back. Since the four wheels bear weight equally in this configuration, the road-hugging properties of the tires are thus maximized.
But that is just the beginning.
Unlike conventional all-wheel drive, this proactive system also intelligently distributes balance, control, and outstanding traction where needed to all four wheels of the vehicle while in motion on curved or slippery roads.
EyeSight® Driver Assist
EyeSight is a proprietary active-safety system developed by Subaru to monitor traffic movement, optimize cruise control, and warn if the driver sways outside their lane. EyeSight acts like an extra set of eyes on the road and includes:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane departure and blind spot warnings
- Emergency pre-collision braking
- Automatic throttle management
The core of the EyeSight system is its set of dual cameras, which are placed unobtrusively near the rearview mirror and designed to scan the road for unanticipated dangers. These cameras communicate with the on-board computer system which, when needed, can activate the pre-collision braking feature and even apply full braking force in emergency situations, helping the driver to avoid or reduce frontal impacts. EyeSight has been found to reduce the rate of rear-end crashes with injuries by up to 85%; and when equipped with EyeSight, all tested 2019 Subaru models received from IIHS the highest possible rating for front crash prevention.
The Keri Coach Works Advantage
In the event of a collision, or even a minor fender-bender, it may appear to the Subaru owner that the damage to the vehicle is purely cosmetic. Yet, beneath the surface it is possible that even a small accident will have damaged one or more of the advanced systems listed above. That is why you need to see a Subaru-certified body shop that has the correct tools, training, and access to OEM parts to get the repair job done right.
At Keri Coach Works, our I-CAR Gold Class rated and Subaru-certified collision repair technicians will not only restore the vehicle’s appearance to like-new condition; they will also look beyond the visible damage to determine whether the underlying systems have been affected in such a way as to compromise the operational efficiency and driver/passenger safety features of the vehicle. For instance, at the time the repair is made, your vehicle will be hooked up to a Subaru-specific computer that will clear and accurately recalibrate the EyeSight code components of the car, assuring the continuing safety of you and your family when you take it back on the road.
Accidents may be unpredictable. What is not unpredictable, however, is getting your damaged vehicle reliably repaired at Keri Coach Works, Long Island’s premier auto body repair shop. So if your Subaru is ever damaged and requires collision repair, be sure to give us a call. Returning your Subaru to the way you love isn’t just Subaru’s motto. It’s ours as well.