Career summary

Details for Automotive Body and Related Repairers


Description

Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

Tasks

  • Follow supervisors' instructions as to which parts to restore or replace and how much time the job should take.
  • Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
  • Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.
  • Fit and weld replacement parts into place, using wrenches and welding equipment, and grind down welds to smooth them, using power grinders and other tools.
  • Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.
  • Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Chain or clamp frames and sections to alignment machines that use hydraulic pressure to align damaged components.
  • Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.
  • File, grind, sand, and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.
  • Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.
  • Position dolly blocks against surfaces of dented areas and beat opposite surfaces to remove dents, using hammers.
  • Mix polyester resins and hardeners to be used in restoring damaged areas.
  • Adjust or align headlights, wheels, and brake systems.
  • Cut and tape plastic separating film to outside repair areas to avoid damaging surrounding surfaces during repair procedure and remove tape and wash surfaces after repairs are complete.
  • Remove small pits and dimples in body metal, using pick hammers and punches.
  • Fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns, adhesive brushes, and mallets.
  • Remove damaged panels, and identify the family and properties of the plastic used on a vehicle.
  • Clean work areas, using air hoses, to remove damaged material and discarded fiberglass strips used in repair procedures.
  • Apply heat to plastic panels, using hot-air welding guns or immersion in hot water, and press the softened panels back into shape by hand.
  • Inspect repaired vehicles for proper functioning, completion of work, dimensional accuracy, and overall appearance of paint job, and test drive vehicles to ensure proper alignment and handling.
  • Read specifications or confer with customers to determine the desired custom modifications for altering the appearance of vehicles.
  • Measure and mark vinyl material and cut material to size for roof installation, using rules, straightedges, and hand shears.
  • Replace damaged glass on vehicles.
  • Soak fiberglass matting in resin mixtures and apply layers of matting over repair areas to specified thicknesses.
  • Cut openings in vehicle bodies for the installation of customized windows, using templates and power shears or chisels.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

Skills

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