The Autobahn in Germany—full name Bundesautobahn, which translates as “federal motorway”—has no speed limits for extensive stretches of asphalt. Cars are known to reach astonishing speeds of over 190 mph. It takes a dynamic automobile, like a BMW 440x, to accomplish such feats. While thrill-seekers on the autobahn do not earn glistening trophies or champagne showers, pleasure and pride are their coveted accolades.
Driving a safe, high-end vehicle like a BMW or a Tesla does not require the acumen and training of an astronaut captaining a SpaceX rocket. Instead, in most modern-day vehicles the sophisticated computers and software, hybrid fuel configurations, and state-of-the-art built-in diagnostic and calibration systems function autonomously or can be operated with a mere push of a button, or even just a simple voice command. However, these complex, automated operations are akin to synapses in the human brain—easily susceptible to disruption when some other part of the car is damaged.
The unrestricted zones on the autobahn are punctuated, around urban areas and construction sites, with sudden speed limits that mandate a dramatic drop in velocity. Breaking hard to comply with the speed restrictions, not to mention the carelessness of other high-speed drivers, sometimes leads to accidents. But it doesn’t have to be the just the Autobahn. Mishaps like this can just as easily occur while traveling on a highway in the U.S. The images of an 18-wheeler FedEx truck barreling into cars on an icy I-35 in Fort Worth, Texas, during the recent snowstorm sent chills down our collective spines.
When an accident compromises the integrity of the body and the engine of a vehicle, it also disrupts the flow of pertinent data between complex programs and parts that keep “all systems go.” It is imperative, then, to restore the vehicle in its entirety and check all integrated systems, not just for optimal performance but also for uncompromised safety considerations. A body shop must possess the competence to mend the overt damage and restore impairments that may not be immediately evident, of course. But proper repairs are vital for safety as well, maintaining the vehicle’s warranty, its resale value, and the driver’s peace of mind.
Vehicles of different makes and models vary widely in all aspects—from technology and design down to the clasps and clips that anchor cup holders. Typically, repairs at brand-brandishing dealerships are pricy. Neighborhood mechanics—in an attempt to stay relevant and draw business—may make false promises about their competence and abilities. And the average driver may lack the expertise and astuteness to inspect minute, crucial details of the auto and body repair.
For that reason, one must secure the services of trained Automobile Repair Technicians at trusted establishments to preserve the performance capabilities of your vehicle as well as to maintain its manufacturer’s warranty. The best way to ensure that your car is in good hands is to check if the body shop is officially certified to work on your vehicle’s make and model.
Body shops readily offer information regarding their certifications. Should you search for body shops online, the way one might for a lawyer, doctor, or any other competent professional, click the certification tab for details. For car repair, there are three major certification authorities of repute, as follows.
Gold Class certification from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) is considered the, well, gold standard for an auto repair shop. I-CAR is a non-profit organization that offers instruction, training, and resources for technicians to perform complex, high-quality, and safe repairs. Currently, only about 20% of collision repair shops are Gold Class certified—and Keri Coach Works is one of them! This certification assures customers that their vehicle has been repaired in the most up-to-date manner according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”; which means there isn’t just one OEM certification authority but many, each specific to a given make of car. Many people believe that they can only get original parts and the services of brand-certified technicians at a dealership. Fortunately, OEM Certification offers a more affordable option for original parts and technical proficiency. When a body shop is OEM-certified, it is approved by the auto manufacturer to work on that specific brand of vehicle. For example, if you take your BMW to an OEM Certified body shop like Keri Coach, you will receive:
- Original BMW Parts
- BMW Trained Technicians
- State-of-the-art repair equipment
- BMW-approved repair procedures
- Certified results
ASE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, is another independent, non-profit organization that offers certifications for both mechanical and aesthetic aspects. Technicians receive on-the-job training for two years, or one year of training along with a two-year degree in automotive repair; and they must pass the ASE test. ASE also offers certifications in sub-specialties like collision repair.
When your car needs attention, be sure to treat it well. Trust a certified body shop like Keri Coach Works. Here are the vehicle makes for which we are currently certified.