Monday, April 6, 2015

Six Ways Silverado Cuts Complexity of Collision Repair

Smart design can reduce time, 
complexity, cost involved with body repair

DETROIT – Collisions can happen anytime, anywhere, and the resulting body damage frequently results in complicated – and expensive – repairs. Not so much the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, designed to save time and cost during body shop visits.

“Designing automobiles to be both durable and light weight is a challenge for the automotive industry,” said John Van Alstyne, president and CEO of
I-CAR, an international organization focused on sharing new repair procedures among automotive repair professionals. “Advanced materials may deliver both qualities, but automakers need to still ensure vehicles are still designed for affordable reparability.”

When development work began on the current generation Silverado several years ago, General Motors’ engineers incorporated several features that allow technicians to efficiently repair collision damage.

“When we design trucks, we don’t only consider what features our consumers demand from a full-size truck,” says Mark Szlachta, a GM serviceability design engineer. “We also approach the process with our technician hat on, ensuring we engineer a truck that is straightforward and cost-effective to repair.”

The Silverado reparability features include:

Front Frame Rail Section
Because of the way Silverado’s front frame rails are engineered, minor impacts don’t necessarily equate to substantial repair bills. Depending on the severity of the impact, technicians may be able to repair a leading section of the truck’s frame instead of replacing the entire chassis. If so, the damaged section can be cleanly cut away at a specific location, and a new service section – shipped fully assembled – can be welded in place.

Structural Front Fenders
On many passenger vehicles, unbolting a damaged front fender removes only the outer skin, leaving behind additional structure welded to the cab. If that structure is damaged, technicians then need to drill out welds in order to remove the panel. On the Silverado, the front fenders incorporate both outer sheet metal and the supporting inner structure, allowing simple unbolting of the entire assembly.

Bond-On Body Panel Procedures
When it comes to replacing non-structural body panels, including outer roof panels or outer door panels, technicians can use an ultra-strong structural adhesive to bond the panels onto the vehicle. This helps avoid welding and possible corrosion issues later while speeding the repair.

Pre-prepared roof panels
Technicians can get replacement panels that essentially plug-and-play, thanks to pre-installed studs and pre-drilled holes for accessories.

One-Piece Body Side Outers
If damage occurs to the outer panels of the cab, technicians can order a complete body side outer, shipped as a single, complete assembly, allowing technicians to cut out and replace only the damaged area instead of the entire assembly. “Our goal is to only have weld seams where we absolutely need them,” Szlachta said.

Flexible Bed Repair Options
If the Silverado’s pickup bed or outer bedside should ever be significantly damaged, owners won’t necessarily need to purchase an new pickup box. Depending on the damage, the outer bedside or the bedside assembly can be replaced from the bed floor out.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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