M3 COLLISION RIGHTS YOUR WRECK: EXPERTS TALK VEHICLE REPAIR FOR DUMMIES
For 30 years, Jerry Daniello, owner of M3 Collision in Neptune, has been repairing cars involved in accidents making sure all becomes right again in every driver’s world.
Like many of us, Daniello was drawn to the shore after repairing banged-up vehicles in Brooklyn for decades. He and his brother John opened M3 Collision in Neptune in 2008.
As Daniello’s reputation and business grew, they curated a team of 14 “car brains” to help. This included Keith Woodruff, center manager, whose passion for cars began at 14 when he purchased a 1967 Chevelle with his dad.
“Like a Skilled Surgeon”
Working with M3 and Woodruff was the smoothest part of making my recent accident history. He runs the center like a precisely tuned Hemi engine. The hummm you hear in the office is a combination of the M3 team lobbying insurance adjusters on behalf of their customers and patient explanations of technical details to the unsavvy Everyman.
Like a skilled surgeon, Woodruff astutely uses customized analogies to translate just enough of what can be overwhelming but important to understand. That’s a talent in itself and an intangible value-added.
When I left my banged up car with M3, I trusted it was in good hands. I knew they would get Allstate New Jersey to make me whole. Ultimately, I feel like my car is equal to or more solid than when it rolled out of the showroom last year.
“The Most Advanced Tools”
I spoke with Daniello and Woodruff about the mechanics of collision repair for dummies…
TBP: People come to you at an emotional time: they have just had an accident and most of the time they have no idea how to maneuver through the process.
Woodruff: We recognize a car is the second biggest purchase most people make. When that investment is in need of repair or in an unusable condition, emotions run high. The bottom line is we exist to help our customers get their second most valuable investment back on the road.
We have relationships with all the insurance companies to take some of the weight off of our customers. We just made an investment in technology to better communicate with each company. Every insurance company has their own “language” – how they want the information they base decisions on. Our customers tell us that a huge weight is lifted knowing we know the insurers.
Daniello: We blueprint a repair, outline every part that will be needed in advance. This helps our customers and the insurance companies and – equally important to us – reduces the cycle time, the time from when we get the car to the time the customer picks it up.
Woodruff: Our cycle time can’t be beat.
Daniello: When I first started, the most electric you would find in a car was the windows and maybe the ignition. Point to any car on the road today and it has more electronics than the Apollo spacecraft; seriously.
We have the most advanced tools to weld exactly the way the manufacturer recommends, ensuring the cabin’s collapsible impact zone is repaired precisely. There can be four of five types of steel in a car today. Ford is coming out with a 100 percent aluminum truck so I just invested in the tools and technology to repair that vehicle.
There is no such thing as a shortcut here. We don’t outsource anything. I respond to the changes every year with investments in training and technology.
TBP: Even down to the paint. You match a color and finish perfectly to the vehicle.
Daniello: Cars today have two or three stages of paint. We test every mix before applying it to make sure the computer is matching exactly what the car is now.
Woodruff: It’s a common misconception that Mercedes Benz paint is different than Ford or Acura paint – there is no such thing. Like house paint, there are different manufacturers. We’ve tested all manufacturers and believe the best, long-lasting quality comes from Sikkens, the brand that most airplane manufacturers use. It’s more expensive for us but there is a difference that lasts for the life of the car.
When a customer says “it doesn’t even look like I had an accident” it’s the biggest complement and what we strive for with every vehicle. Our goal is for each customer to not remember they had an accident when they look at their car.
Daniello: Our customers rely on us and we take that seriously. This is still as important to me as it was when I started.
Read The Coaster’s article about another local motor head here.