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GM doesn’t want you to jeopardize your safety with reconditioned wheels.

Nearly every car manufacturer releases Position Statements explaining what methods of auto body repair they do or do not recommend.  While some shops disregard these statements, we take a fine-tooth comb to the information they provide so that we can provide the best possible repair for every vehicle that comes through our doors.

In the case of wheel reconditioning, GM has issued a Position Statement clearly discouraging this practice in any Buick repairs.  If you are not familiar with wheel reconditioning, it is a process of using various tools and methods to try to repair a damaged wheel, instead of replacing it entirely.  Some methods include welding, reforming, or reshaping the wheel.  

Here’s what they say:

“GM does not endorse any repairs that involve welding, bending, straightening or re-machining. Only cosmetic refinishing of the wheel’s coatings, using recommended procedures, is allowed.  In evaluating damage, it is the GM Dealer’s responsibility to inspect the wheel for corrosion, scrapes, gouges, etc. The Dealer must insure that such damage is not deeper than what can be sanded or polished off. The wheel must be inspected for cracks. If cracks are found, discard the wheel. Any wheels with bent rim flanges must not be repaired or refinished.”

The problem with reconditioning methods, such as heating, welding, and reshaping, is that these techniques could compromise the structural integrity of your wheels.  If a wheel is damaged enough to warrant reconditioning, then it should just be replaced outright.       

Being the only parts of the car to actually make contact with the road, your wheels are essential to your safety and are worth investing the proper time and energy into.  It is simply not worth the risk to your life to take chances with the condition of your vehicle’s wheels.

 

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Why does GM approve of wheel refinishing?

While wheel reconditioning is not approved of by GM, certain cosmetic repairs are fine.  It’s important that the wheels are carefully inspected first for any cracks, gouges, or bending. 

GM says:

“A refinisher’s responsibility includes inspecting for cracks using the Zyglo system or the equivalent. Any cracked wheels must not be refinished. No welding, hammering or reforming of any kind is allowed. The wheel ID must be recorded and follow the wheel throughout the process in order to assure that the same wheel is returned. Material removal, though, must be kept to a minimum. Re-machining of the wheel is not allowed. Paint and/or clear coat must not be present on the following surfaces: the nut chambers, the wheel mounting surfaces and the wheel pilot hole. The refinisher must permanently ID stamp the wheel and warrant the painted/clear-coated surfaces for a minimum of one year or the remainder of the new vehicle warranty, whichever is longer.”

As you can see, GM provides very clear instructions for the procedures we must follow while inspecting and refinishing your Buick’s wheels.  If the damage is something that can easily be sanded or painted, then refinishing is acceptable.  If the damage is more than superficial, then the wheels must be replaced.  

Superficial cosmetic adjustments are allowed, since they won’t jeopardize the integrity of the wheel structure.  Minor sanding and polishing repairs do not involve the use of heat or reshaping that reconditioning would entail.  

 

 

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Not all shops follow these recommendations, but we do.

It’s disappointing, but some shops throw caution out the window and continue to practice wheel reconditioning, despite GM’s adamant recommendation to avoid this practice at all costs.  They can get away with this because no body shop is actually forced to adhere to a manufacturer’s Position Statement.  

At our shop, we strongly believe that there’s no reason to take a chance with your Buick’s repair by going against the advice of the manufacturer.  Reconditioned wheels can lead to very dangerous problems down the road.  We will always replace your Buick’s wheels entirely if they’ve sustained significant damage or we will follow proper refinishing methods if the damage is cosmetic. 

You won’t have to worry about driving on unstable wheels when you bring your vehicle to us.  We always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to deliver the safest possible repair to our customers. 

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The right replacement parts can make all the difference.

Nearly every car manufacturer releases “Position Statements” that instruct body shops in how to perform repairs on their vehicles to the highest standard.  While all body shops should have access to this vital information, not all shops take the time to read the statements and follow the directions expressed by the manufacturers.  At our shop, we closely examine these statements because we make it our mission to provide the best possible repair to our Buick customers.

In a statement released by GM, they explain in detail why they do not recommend the use of salvage or recycled parts in Buick repairs:

“General Motors does not support the use of salvage or recycled parts due to the sensitive nature of the safety and performance of General Motors vehicles. Salvage or recycled parts are defined as parts removed from a previously damaged vehicle and then re-installed on a different vehicle.”

 

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Salvage and recycled parts come with a lot of risk.

Salvage and recycled parts can often have a questionable history.  They might have been involved in a previous collision or damaged during normal wear and tear.  They might have been in storage for a while or exposed to extreme temperature variations.  Because of these factors and the questionable conditions that the parts might have been exposed to, it’s nearly impossible to predict their durability and structural integrity.  Even the most minute disparities can lead to problems during assembly, as well as issues with the reliability of your repair.

GM specify the following in their Position Statement:

“The use of non-OEM structural components may compromise the overall crashworthiness and occupant safety of General Motors vehicles in a subsequent collision.”

They are saying that, above all, salvage and recycled parts can pose a risk to your safety due to their unpredictable nature.

 

Why new OEM parts are the best:

It’s extremely important to use the best replacement parts for your Buick when repairs are needed, and the best parts are always new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts.

According to GM:

“Genuine GM Parts are designed and constructed using metals with specific properties, thicknesses and stamping features built to perform in a consistent and predictable way during a collision event.  GM recommends the use of Genuine GM Parts in repairs to help ensure the vehicle is returned to pre-collision condition.”

The engineers at GM have rigorously designed, tested, and manufactured the parts for their specific vehicles.  They only trust the parts they have produced to meet the qualifications necessary for your specific make, model, and vehicle year.  You’ll need new OEM parts if you want your vehicle to be as good as new after your collision repair. 

 

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We take these guidelines seriously at our shop.

We take all manufacturers’ Position Statements very seriously at our shop, because we care about your safety AND your wallet.  Despite the recommendation to use new OEM parts in repairs, some shops will continue to use salvage and recycled parts, even though this choice can jeopardize your vehicle and your safety.  It might shock you to learn that body shops are not forced to abide by the manufacturers’ guidelines.  

When you take your Buick to us for repairs, we will use only new Buick OEM replacement parts so that you don’t risk future problems with your car that could potentially lead to an accident.  There is no guarantee that every shop will make the smartest and safest choice for your car, but rest assured, we always will.

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GM wants you to use only the best replacement parts on your Buick.

When you take your Buick to a body shop for collision repair, of course you’re going to want the job to be done as safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible.  At our shop, one of the ways we can ensure the best possible repair for our customers is by adhering to the recommendations of each vehicle’s manufacturer.  

Just about every manufacturer provides “Position Statements” that explain how to repair their types of vehicles properly.  Some shops toss this advice out the window, but we believe it’s imperative to study the information carefully and follow the recommendations as expressed by the manufacturer.

GM has issued a Position Statement about the reuse of salvage structural parts on their Buicks and here’s what they say:

“General Motors does not approve of or support structural repair procedures where Genuine GM Parts are not used for Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles. Any repairs performed not using Genuine GM Parts may expose current or future vehicle owners and occupants to unnecessary risk.”

Essentially, they are explaining that it would be detrimental to your safety if salvage structural parts are used in a repair.

 

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How are structural parts different from any other parts?

Structural parts include floor elements, body panels, frame rails, and more that basically hold your vehicle together. 

You might already be aware that GM disapproves of salvage parts in general for your vehicle, but it’s specifically important to preserve the integrity of your structural components, as they are the sections of your car that can help minimize damage in the event of a collision.

According to GM, “Structural parts are critical elements in the design of specific crush zones that allow the energy of a collision to be absorbed in a predictable way and maximize the effectiveness of the restraint system to protect the occupants. The use of parts not specifically designed and tested by General Motors may compromise the integral balance between these safety systems.”

 

Here’s the problem with salvage structural parts.

The biggest problem with salvage parts is that it’s impossible to know the quality of their condition by the time they get to you.  They might be from a car that was already involved in a collision or experienced extreme weather fluctuations or simply survived general wear and tear.  Even upon close inspection, it’s often impossible to see all the microscopic damage a salvage part might have endured. 

Keep in mind that even very minor discrepancies in material or shape can cause a structural part to become less effective and, therefore, less safe to use on your vehicle.

 

The best replacement structural parts for your Buick are Genuine GM Parts.

General Motors explains in their Position Statement that the only parts you should ever use on your Buick are new OEM parts:

“Only authentic Genuine GM Parts are designed, engineered, manufactured and tested to the General Motors internal and government mandated standards and are the only ones equivalent to the original equipment installed on the vehicle.”  

Unlike salvage parts, new Original Equipment Manufacturer parts have never been used, never been exposed to the elements, never been rendered defective by improper disassembly.  New structural parts are made to function optimally on your vehicle, increasing your car’s performance and your personal safety.

 

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While other shops might disregard GM’s recommendations, we respect this information because we care about the quality of your repair.

It might be surprising to you, but collision repair shops are not required to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  There’s no one actually enforcing these Position Statements, so manufacturers are putting their trust in us to do as they recommend.  

At our shop, we genuinely care about every repair we do.  Because of this, we make sure to follow GM’s recommendation of using new replacement structural parts, instead of taking chances with salvage components.  It is our mission to do what’s best for your vehicle’s performance and for your safety.

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GM wants to make sure that your Buick is repaired thoroughly.

If your Buick has been in a collision, there are very specific steps that an auto body shop needs to take in order to optimize your vehicle’s repairs.  One of the smartest things that a shop can do is to review the manufacturer’s Position Statement regarding the type of repair needed.  While every shop has access to this communication from each manufacturer, not every shop abides by the recommendations provided. 

At our shop, however, we take this information very seriously, since we want to give you a safe and reliable repair.

In the case of your Buick, GM has issued a statement explaining why they strongly recommend pre- and post-repair scans in the event of a collision.  If you are not familiar with these procedures and why they are important, keep reading for our explanation of the key points expressed in GM’s Position Statement.

 

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Scans can provide shops with crucial diagnostic information.

Prior to conducting any repairs, we take the time to run a scan tool in order to uncover any damage to the vehicle’s internal systems.  The scan tool will provide diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that tell us exactly which systems are having issues.  When armed with this crucial information, we are better equipped to get to the source of any malfunctions.

Of course it makes sense that a shop would need to scan a vehicle to diagnose and repair damage after a collision, but it’s equally important for us to scan a vehicle AGAIN after we have made repairs.  Why?  Here’s what GM says about it:

“Even minor body damage or glass replacement may result in damage to one or more safety-related systems on the vehicle. Any action that results in loss of battery-supplied voltage and disconnection of electrical circuits requires that the vehicle is subsequently tested to ensure proper electrical function.  Many safety and security-related components, sensors and Electronic Control Units (ECUs) require calibration and/or learns when replaced. These systems must be repaired according to the corresponding GM repair procedures in Service Information (GMSi).”

What GM means is that any collision repair can impact the electronic systems within a vehicle—even when those systems are not the specific items needing repairs. 

As cars have become more sophisticated and technologically advanced, they are now equipped with more wires and sensors that can easily be disrupted when certain areas of the car are being addressed by an auto body technician.  Repairing a dashboard or replacing glass could potentially lead to a disruption of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), for instance.  All parts of your Buick are designed to work together.  When one part is impaired, this can affect a slew of functions within your car’s systems.   

Another issue that can happen after a repair is that a system might need to be recalibrated.  Cameras and sensors, for example, require very specific positions in order to function as needed.  After a repair, it’s imperative to ensure that every part is calibrated to the precise measurement.    

One of the best ways for us to ensure that a repair was done properly is to run a scan tool afterwards to ensure no diagnostic codes appear.  This will let us know if all systems are functioning as they should.

 

The best way to scan for DTCs is with a factory scan tool.

Every car manufacturer has its own unique scan tool that can identify codes applicable to its own vehicles.  General Motors is no different and recommends that shops use its scan tool (MDI or a J2534 device) and its own diagnostic software (GDS2 or Tech2/Tech2Win).  Using any other scan tool or software can cause less accuracy in diagnoses.     

 

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The utmost safety and quality performance of your Buick are the reasons why our shop goes above and beyond with every repair.

If a shop makes the choice to skip the crucial steps of pre- and post-repair scans, they are risking the safety and overall performance of your Buick.  It might be hard to believe, but some shops try to shave off repair time by avoiding these necessary procedures.  At a minimum, this might lead to minor inconsistencies in your vehicle’s performance.  At worst, however, this could lead to catastrophe.  If your collision detection sensors aren’t calibrated properly or your cruise control is defective due to wiring issues, for instance, you could end up in an accident. 

We don’t think it’s worth the risk to you or to your car to ignore the manufacturer’s recommendations.  At our shop, we make pre- and post-repair scans a priority.

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Buick wants to protect your Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

When you take your Buick to a shop for repairs, it’s imperative that the shop follows the guidelines specified in General Motors’ Position Statement.  Every shop has access to this information, but not every shop follows what the manufacturer says. 

GM makes it clear that all shops should follow their instructions for how to properly repair Buick bumpers/fascias on vehicles that are equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and there are several reasons for this.

If you’re not familiar with what the ADAS does, it is the modern technology that can help you avoid collisions, park easily, switch lanes safely, and more.  It can include sensors, cameras, alerts, and navigational help. 

Depending on the GM model and the year it was manufactured, your vehicle may have a very different level of ADAS than another GM vehicle.  

Many components of a vehicle’s ADAS are embedded within the bumper and fascia, and because Advanced Driver Assistance Systems can be very sophisticated, it’s crucial to use the precise parts necessary for repairs.  

 

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Why aftermarket, reconditioned, and salvaged parts just won’t cut it.

The biggest reason that GM wants you to use only new Genuine GM parts is because they have been designed and manufactured for your Buick’s specific system.  

GM explains, “General Motors (GM) vehicles, systems and components are engineered, tested and manufactured to protect vehicle occupants based upon both government mandated and internal corporate requirements relative to durability, Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH), occupant protection, and vehicle safety. The overall structural integrity of the vehicle is dependent on maintaining its inherent design specifications.”

Basically, they are saying that it would be taking a huge risk to use aftermarket, reconditioned, or salvaged parts, because those part might threaten the performance of your ADAS.  

While Genuine GM parts have been made to fit your system like a glove, aftermarket parts are intended for use in a broader range of makes and models.  They’re also usually made with cheaper materials than OEM parts. 

As for salvaged parts, it’s often hard to determine their history and current structural integrity, so it’s difficult to predict how they’ll hold up. 

The same goes for reconditioned parts, which may have been rendered less effective through the reconditioning process:

GM says, “Reconditioned Bumpers/Fascia’s available in the aftermarket may have been repaired using substrate repair “filler material” or reinforcement tapes and as such General Motors does not endorse the use of reconditioned ADAS Bumper/Fascia systems. Only Genuine GM ADAS Bumpers/Fascias and components are tested and validated as a safety system.”

The process of reconditioning bumpers/fascia is generally disapproved of, because it can affect the stability of the components, rendering them unreliable.

 

Safety is always first when it comes to repairs.

In no uncertain terms, it can be very dangerous to cut corners with your bumper/fascia repair if your car is equipped with ADAS.  Using the wrong parts could cause a cascade problems for your system, leading to a possible collision. 

Imagine driving on the highway and your cruise control malfunctions or your emergency braking fails or your blind spot detection acts up.  Any one of these issues could lead to catastrophe.  

“At General Motors, safety is our overriding priority. With the safety of our customers at the center of everything we do, we are limiting repairs to Bumpers/Fascia’s with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to topcoat refinish only. Further, topcoat refinish material thickness of repaired ADAS Bumper Fascia systems must not exceed 13 mils in thickness. Any repairs such as gouges, tears or damage that requires the use of substrate repair material or reinforcement tapes must be avoided.”

 

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As you can see, GM has specified that only very superficial cosmetic procedures are permitted in repairing your Buick’s bumper/fascia. 

Any repairs that might be necessary beyond these cosmetic procedures would warrant all-new OEM replacement parts in order to maximize your car’s performance and safety. 

 

Save time, money, and possibly your life by choosing a shop that follows GM’s guidelines for how your Buick is repaired.

We take a fine-tooth comb to every manufacturer Position Statement that comes our way, because we want to make sure we deliver the best possible repair to every customer. 

Some shops don’t pay attention to what the manufacturer recommends or they simply disregard the information, even though they know better.  We would never take that chance with your wallet or your safety. 

You can trust us to treat you and your vehicle with the utmost respect and care.

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Auto manufacturers provide crucial information about collision repair in their position statements.

In the auto body repair industry, we are provided with manufacturers’ Position Statements that describe each auto maker’s recommendations for how those repairs should be done.  General Motors has released a detailed statement explaining why they prohibit the use of any parts other than genuine GM warranted parts in the repairs of their vehicles.

If you own a Buick and need to have your air bag system replaced, it is crucial to follow the guidelines set forth by GM.

 

Safety is the biggest reason for using new OEM parts.

According to General Motors:

“Air bag system components are carefully developed and specifically tuned for the specific vehicle environment. Corresponding air bag system components from other models or other model years may appear similar from the outside, may even fit the vehicle, but different internal elements or calibrations may result in degraded restraint performance.”

 

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GM is explaining that new OEM parts have been designed and manufactured specifically for the make, model, and year of your vehicle using the highest quality materials. 

Using aftermarket parts, salvaged parts, or parts from previous model years could jeopardize your entire air bag system, potentially risking your safety.  

 

The last thing you would want is for your air bag system to fail when you need it.  

Safety and reliability go hand-in-hand when it comes to your vehicle.  GM makes an important point about the reliability of salvaged parts:

“Reuse of used or salvaged components brings into question the conditions under which the components were obtained and stored prior to use. Components could have been damaged or stored under unfavorable conditions that could compromise performance and reliability.”

They are saying that it’s often difficult to determine the history of the car from which the salvaged parts came.  Who knows if that car was previously in an accident or if the air bag components were compromised in some way? 

A vehicle is a finely-tuned machine that functions well when all the parts work properly together.  Using a salvaged or used part could throw the whole system off.  

 

Failure to use new OEM parts on your Buick could void your warranty.

It’s pretty standard for manufacturers to stipulate that new parts must be used in order for them to honor your vehicle’s warranty. 

This is no different for GM, which states, “The use of these new parts is consistent with the vehicle factory warranty and extended warranty programs.”

 

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You can count on us for a repair that follows GM’s guidelines about air bag components.

The reason why we explain the manufacturer’s Position Statement to you is that we want you to understand why we take it so seriously ourselves. 

Some shops don’t really care what the manufacturer says and they use whatever parts they can get their hands on.  We simply refuse to take such a chance, because we don’t believe it’s worth the risk to your safety, your warranty, or your vehicle’s performance. 

We deliver only the best repair for your Buick.

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