So I live in Anchorage & love my A8 EXCEPT that, in one winter, it was whacked in both the left & the right rear quarter panels. I was assured, when I bought it, that I could get the aluminum body repaired in Alaska. No such luck. No Mercedes shop, aircraft repair, or boat repair shop will touch it.
I really enjoy the car & April in Service has been great BUT unless you are me or have an insurance company that is happy to fork over $3000 in shipping to Bellingham WA & back think twice before you plunk down for an aluminum body that a body shop owner said would be like straightening a "bent beer can." Nice.
Thanks Audi. You have a great dealership (back end) but lie to the customers from whom you profit most. The art of the crooked smile.
So I live in Anchorage & ... it was whacked in both the left & the right rear quarter panels...
I really enjoy the car & April in Service has been great BUT unless you are me or have an insurance company that is happy to fork over $3000 in shipping to Bellingham WA
I believe that quarter panels & fenders come from Audi already crated. Usually the cheapest option is Greyhound bus but seeing as how they don't drive upto your neck of the woods, have you looked into freight service via train?
So, does that mean no shop there works on any newer XJ, or the soon to be selling F150 and the other end of the volume and stereotype spectrum? Or...a variety of other aluminum bodied vehicles (beyond just bolt on lids and front fenders), including the Model S.
FWIW, the place I have gone to in SF Bay Area handles both Audi and Jag Al rides, plus lots of conventional steel--BMW's, Lexi, etc. And as is the spec. for it, they have separate tool sets and work area. Even if not currently found in Alaska, I bet the momentarily arriving F 150 is going to force body shop-related local market changes most everywhere in North America before long. Even if more on a truck is bolt on, they will still have to deal with the core of the cab shell.
It isn't just the parts availability on an Al vehicle
Originally Posted by pmdeaver
It's odd that a body shop up there wouldn't be able to have the part shipped. I had to replace a door, and my body shop guy had to order the door from Oregon.
The work--and shop certification--divides into structural and non structural. If you just hang the part on the core of the vehicle--front fenders, trunk and hood lids, doors, bumpers, lots of bolt on parts throughout suspension and drivetrain, that's comparatively easy. Typical of my 2000 A6 or current Q5 and probably most any modern Euro vehicle and many other brands, or often the same parts on A8 even if the shop isn't officially certified. The tough ones are the crux the passenger cell--floor, roof and all the A-C pillars...and, the rear fenders/quarter panels because they are all integrated into the seamless side sheet metal that runs all the way to the base of the windshield. Audi got rid of the hidden weld seam at the base of the C pillar many generations ago now; if you see the production line live or via video you can see those now huge single part sides getting mated up in the very early steps of in body build.
If a rear fender is modestly punched in they may be able to straighten. But if the rear quarter panel/fender area is torn or probably even seriously creased, or the fender area just behind the rear door or in other inaccessible areas (from the inside) like forward of the gas tank lid get messed up, it can be much harder--you can get into aluminum welding, riveting and joining adhesives at various junctures, and all the tools and jigs that go with this level of body work and have to be maintained separately from steel body tools.
I live in Alaska, been here since 1989. In that time I have only owned Audis. I've had an A8 there for about 8 years before my wife drove it down to Arizona. Fortunately I never had it damaged. You are correct April is great. I've known her for a long time. Now, back to your car. If you coordinate the repair through Audi they should expedite shipping of parts. At least the last time I dealt with them if you own an A8, the parts are expedited. They don't bring stuff up by train,because there is no train to Alaska. Most parts come by boat which means it only takes a week at the worst. There are a lot of A8's in Alaska, what body shop did you take it too?
There is good in everything that happens, you just have to look for it.
You guys continue to impress me. Yes, I had the car totaled but because it runs so well I drive around an A8 that looks like it prefers ditches. Yes, damage was all the way back to the gas cap & I must admit that I bitched to Audi who say they will double any loyalty discount. And how would I like my new A8 served, they asked?
I just spoke with some body shops that say that the new F150 will change everything. I can't wait 'til the first tobacco chewing Palinite from Wasilla goes to his local brother-in laws body shop & is told that that little dent behind the back window is really pretty major. So, yes, revenge is best served cold.
And me? I drive an A8 worth nothing. People shade their children's eyes. Homeless people drop their cardboard signs. But the mechanic offered to drive the car home (& swap the loaner) because he loves "driving that machine." So how much is that loyalty discount?