Repairer driven news photo of a sectioned A pillar

What Chrysler Says About Sectioning And Welding Their Cars

If you need to have surgery, how important is it to you that your surgeon knows what to do before beginning any procedure? It’s rather important, wouldn’t you say? Now, how would you feel if you found out your surgeon didn’t even look at your chart, but instead, they performed the surgery just based on experience with past patients? That can be a bit unnerving and make you question a lot of things. 

Unfortunately, that is just how collision repair goes if you don’t go to a body shop that knows the importance of looking up the latest repair procedures released by the car’s manufacturer. Unfortunately, this type of careless repair happens more than you’d think. This is why it’s critical you take your vehicle to be repaired somewhere that knows how to perform repairs the right way.

.Repairer driven news photo of a sectioned A pillar

All manufacturers, including Chrysler, create specific repair procedures for particular types of damage. Your repair professional has the option to stop and research the proper repair or take the lazy, dangerous route and do it the way they think is right. There’s no legal requirement that tells technicians they must repair your car a certain way. They can do whatever they want and give you an unsafe repair, depending on where you go. 

We don’t expect any of our customers to study and understand all of these procedures. Still, we want to highlight the fact that not only do they exist, but we research them, and we follow them on every repair. It is important to us that you know, that we know to research and prepare a plan for every repair and document it all.

So, what does Chrysler have to say about removing metal, sectioning, cutting, and welding?

Just last month, FCA’s advanced body development and collision repair manager Dan Black demonstrated how sectioning locations could be found in the OEM repair procedures. During the presentation, Black showed the below diagram detailing different sectioning locations on a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

According to Mr. Black, “all those are identified in areas or specific spots where they must be sectioned, but also more important, where not to section,” he told the SCRS Collision Repair OEM Technology Summit last month at SEMA. Some items which must be replaced at factory seams only are “clearly identified,” he said.

“The described sectioning locations only explain joint location and type. All other welds along the sectioned portion of the component must be replaced,” it states. “Squeeze Type Resistance Spot Welding (STRSW) is the method to be used. If accessibility prevents application of spot welds, MIG plug welds are to be used. Welding of structural panels through 3 or more tiers of panel stack-ups will require 9.5 mm. plug welds. Exterior panels should be installed using 6 mm plug welds.”

If these repair guidelines, which are laid out by FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) specifically for auto repair technicians are dismissed, then it can cause an illegitimate repair. As a result, your safety would at risk since your car wouldn’t be able to provide you with the same level of protection in another accident. 

Modern vehicles are a unique combination of different materials. When it comes to sectioning and welding on your car, a body shop can easily turn your vehicle into a moving death trap if they mix and match the wrong materials and ignore the best practices laid out by your car’s manufacturer. These are known as OEM repairs, which the best auto body shops know to follow and perform on your vehicle. We wish we could say this rarely happens, but unfortunately, it happens more often than you think. This is why you must research your local body shops to ensure your car receives the proper, correct, and safest repair. 

FCA Requirements On Sectioning Repairs 

A sectioning repair is exactly how it sounds: part of your car is removed and either replaced with a new part or welded back on, based on what the OEM calls for. One of the most critical aspects of sectioning repair is knowing the exact areas where to section and where not.

FCA not only stated how critical it is for shops to follow these repair procedures. Mr. Black also said during the November presentation: 

“If cut at a different location, that repair, we cannot speak for how it will perform.” 

Partial part replacement Source: Wikipedia

Although these repair guidelines are specific to a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, each vehicle has its own unique set of OEM repairs. However, it’s up to the shop and the technicians receiving the necessary training to be capable of performing these types of repairs. Any auto body shop can make your car look better than what it was coming into the shop on the outside, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle has been fully repaired everywhere the manufacturer outlines. That’s almost the easy part. What separates a good body shop from any other body shop are highly-trained technicians who take the time to repair your car the right way. That is what makes all the difference in the world in a genuinely safe repair. 

Take a look at the below diagram. It shows a frame rail on a 2017 Chrystal Pacifica. The red areas are the areas on the car that cannot be sectioned. The other inner bodyside parts would need to be replaced entirely as a whole and not sectioned. We’re showing this diagram as an example of what a technician should/would pay attention to when repairing your vehicle. 

We want all drivers to feel confident in taking their Chrysler vehicle somewhere that knows how important it is to look up these guidelines before, during, and after any repair. A safe, quality repair could mean the difference between your car still being able to keep you safe the way it was designed to or crumble to pieces as soon as it gets into a future collision. These repair procedures are released by the manufacturer with your safety in mind and the best body shops know this.

Why trust us with your Chrysler auto repair:

We are always looking up what car manufacturers, like Chrysler, say on repairing their cars so we can provide you with the safe, quality repair that you deserve out of an auto body repair shop.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with any of your auto repair needs! 

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