After a lot of hard work and even some setbacks like having to straighten out my frame which wasn't part of the original plan, my car was ready a day earlier than promised. This was an awesome experience. I enjoyed being able to spend the time in the garage with the BRB staff and especially owner Randy. I learned a lot about what goes into fixing a car after a front end collision and I even got to get my hands dirty...well not literally I wore gloves when I painted.
The folks at BRB Autobody are awesome and I hope that if you ever have the misfortune of an accident that you turn that into a good experience with BRB Autobody. They're just 1/2 mile past Gander Mountain on XX in Rothschild.
At BRB Autobody they've made the switch to waterborne paint. This is an enviromentally friendly paint, but Randy made sure to stress that this does not mean in any way that his shop is "GREEN". They're about 30% of the way there. Though the paint itself is "green" the other elements that go with it are not.
The reason for switching to waterborne paint is because the government has lowered it's VOC (Volitile Organic Compounds) limits. Basically this refers to chemicals emitted from certain products like paint, gasoline, and paint thinner. These chemicals then react with the gases in our atmosphere and contribute to pollution and can poison people.
So this waterborne paint is not only good for the enviornment it's also better for the employees of the autobody shop.
Just because the waterborne paint is better for the enviornment doesn't mean that you can just dump it down the drain with the dish water. It still needs to be disposed of in a specific manner as Randy explains in this video:
I mentioned above that this waterborne paint makes BRB Autobody about 30% "green", because there are other parts to the painting process that are still not environmentally friendly. If the car left the shop after only being coated with waterborne paint the paint would peel off after a while in the sun. Besides that it also dries to a satin finish instead of a glossy one. That means that you need a clear coat over the top. They have not yet developed a waterborne clear so that is still filled with solvents. You also need to use a traditional primer which is not "green" either so only one-third of the painting process is officially "green".
Lots of shops like to say they've gone "GREEN", but Randy is an honest guy and won't say BRB Autobody has "gone green" until there's waterborne primer and clear available.
I sure learned a lot working with Randy at BRB Autobody!
When Randy told me that he was going have me paint my car I got a little nervous. He told me that I'd be surprised how easy it really is and assured me that he'd be right there to make sure I didn't screw it up and if I did he'd be able to fix it.
The more I thought about painting my own car the less nervous I got because I have full confidence in Randy's training abilities. I was actually really excited. I even called my a couple of my friends and my dad to tell them what I'd be doing. Knowing that of course my dad would have to check out my paint job after it was done to check my work.
When the day finally came, which seemed like forever, but really wasn't, the first thing we had to do was get geared up. I had to throw my hair back into a pony tail, got a big white paint suit, rubber gloves, and a respirator to wear. I looked cute no doubt, LOL.
Randy, owner of BRB Autobody, discovered while putting my car back together that things weren't fitting the way they were supposed to. That's when he realized that my frame was slightly bent from the deer hit. My car had to be put on a machine to straighten the frame so that he could get the parts to fit correctly. Luckily the damage did not compromise the strength of the vehicle so it won't be considered salvaged. It did cost the insurance company more money. My $4700 estimate quickly went up to about $5300. Thank goodness for insurance...I only had to pay $50 of it.
Here are some pictures of BRB Autobody calibrating my frame:
When I hit the deer I got a sharp little dent in the hood of my SUV. Luckily my hood wasn't too messed up other than that so Randy Yach, owner of BRB Autobody, was able to pound it out while I watched. I took some video of it so hopefully I'll be able to add that to this blog as soon as our video person gets back.
It was very loud. He simply put a block on one side and took a hammer to the other until the dent was pretty smooth. Then it took a little sanding and some primer and it was good to go.
Here's some pictures of the car after the dent was pounded out and it was primed.
I think it's important to know the history of the service business that you're planning use. I know from hanging out there that though this history is completely accurate it doesn't quite paint the picture of the work they do that I experienced.
BRB AUTOBODY'S HISTORY Since 1988, BRB Autobody, a family owned and operated facility, has been serving the Marathon County area with outstanding collision repair work. We have earned our reputation for excellence, and we want to thank those of you who have recommended us to your friends and family. At BRB Autobody, we go above and beyond what is necessary to restore your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. Our I-CAR certified technicians are here to assure your complete satisfaction. Our experienced staff takes pride in their work.
BRB Autobody’s technicians are I-CAR certified. You can rest assured that our skilled and experienced staff, coupled with the latest technology available anywhere, will return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. All work is carried out using safe, proven methods. After you inspect our work and indicate to us that your vehicle is back to its original, pre-loss condition, BRB Autobody will furnish you with a written warranty. Customer satisfaction is the first priority at BRB Autobody. It has been ever since our doors first opened in 1988. We want to help you in any way possible and we are always interested in your comments or questions. Thank you for visiting BRB Autobody.
You need to check them out for yourself. You'll be glad you did.
BRB Autobody is located just a half mile past Harley Davidson of Wausau on Cty XX in Rothschild.
Working in the garage with Randy at BRB Autobody reminded me of when I was a little girl hanging out in the garage with my dad. Not that Randy is old enough to be my father, it was the way he took the time to explain things to me and didn't get irritated with me hanging over his shoulder the whole time he worked on my car.
When I was little my dad worked as a motorcycle mechanic and my mom stayed home and worked temp jobs here and there when she could. At times my dad would buy cars super cheap and fix them up and sell them to make a little extra money. He spent a lot of time in the garage after work, working on motorcycles and cars so in order to spend time with him I would hang out with him in the garage on warm evenings. I remember he and I cranking up Iron Butterfly, while I wondered what "Inagadadavida" meant, he rebuilt engines and replaced worn out parts. The smell of exhaust filled the air as the June Bugs flew through the open garage door and bounced off the lamps he used to light his work space. He, like Randy, would tell me what he was doing as he did it and never made me feel like I was in the way.
Even if you can't experience the car repairs the way I did you should know that BRB will take great care of your vehicle. They want you to know what's going on with your repairs and will gladly share pictures of the progress at your request. So the next time you have an accident head on over to BRB Autobody in County XX in Rothschild.
Accidents suck and being without your car while it's being fixed is even worse. When you take your car to BRB Autobody they'll give you a loaner car and keep you up to date on the progress of your repairs.
Not everyone can do what I did and show up at the shop for an hour or more every afternoon to watch their car get fixed, but BRB will take pictures as they work on your car and email them to you per your request. These are the pictures they sent me showing the repairs they made when I wasn't there.
In the video I posted a couple days back Randy gives us an overview of the damage and the repairs that need to be made. These pictures show him taking the old pieces out, I will post a video of him putting the new parts in hopefully Monday.