If you read your auto repair estimate and see “destructive weld testing,” listed you might be questioning what that means. You probably see the word “destructive” and think that is a word you wouldn’t want to associate with your vehicle when trying to get it repaired.
Its safe to assume when you need collision repair, you want to be sure that the auto body shop you selected is experienced, but also that they don’t cut corners. Majority of vehicles that come in the shop in need of auto body repair will need welding. You’ve likely done your research and trust that the shop’s technicians are skilled enough to know how to properly weld your car. Unfortunately, some Cherry Hill technicians will skip a vital step called “destructive weld testing” because it requires a lot of time to perform. The actual setup process of the welder and performance of the destructive weld test are two separate processes that are known to take a long time. “Each welding machine manufacturer may have its own unique configurations and setup processes” (CCC P-pages) and the shop may have more than one brand of welder being shared among the staff.
What is destructive weld testing and why do you need it?
Every car is made of up of an array of parts made of steel or aluminum or both metals which do different things when using heat (welding). This means welding is custom every single repair and requires extensive research. A trusted welder will look up the manufacturer’s requirements then calibrate their welder to perform consistent, quality high penetration welds on your new parts based on the type of metal they are. They know what technique welding to do as a result of destructive weld testing. During the weld testing the technician will use scrap materials from the damaged parts of your car and make a few test welds. Then they will do a “peel test” and a “twist test” where they will try and peel or twist the welded metal to make sure the welds are secure and safe. Only then should the technician move on to your car to make the welds based on the results of the destructive weld test.
How does this apply to your specific repair on your car? When a shop fails to do destructive weld testing, your vehicle may be welded based on a guess. This could leave you and your passengers at risk if the weld won’t reman stable over long term use or in the even of another accident. Every vehicle has its own unique variables that can change the type of welding repair so its imperative to take the time to perform testing and research on every single repair.
Besides the fact that destructive weld testing is time-consuming, it’s also a service that is “not-included procedure in all three estimating systems…” (Repairer Driven News). A less skilled estimator may not even know to put it as a line item on the estimate, and a high production shop or larger corporate chain may not include it as a way to cut costs for an insurer.
Destructive weld testing isn’t just limited to spot welding or MAG plug welding. Another common bonding procedure is known as “weld bonding”, which involves the use of super-strong adhesives instead of melting metal to join two panels. Just like welding, adhesive weld bonding should also undergo a destructive weld test to ensure that the adhesive is correct and properly mixed.
Here at Cherry Hill Collision, we know its crucial to perform the destructive weld testing before we begin any repair on your car. Your safety is worth the time to do this and it means we care about you, your car and doing a proper repair. We follow OEM repair procedures and never let your car be the guinea pic test for welding.
We look forward to hearing from you!