What Chevy GMC Wants St. Louis Owners To Know About Collision Repair for 2019 Silverado and Sierra 1500 

We at Hunter Auto Body make it a point that each one of our blogs can provide St. Louis drivers with important information regarding a repair on their vehicles. We do this because we know how important it is to follow the repair procedures released by your car’s manufacturer, but not every auto body shop does this. We do because we know following OEM repair procedures are the only way to repair your car that has your safety as the top priority. 

If you or someone you know is the owner of a 2019 Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra, this blog is for you. You probably wouldn’t think there would be a big change from the 2018 model of these vehicles to the 2019 models, but both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have had significant changes that change the way they are repaired. Because of this, Chevy and GMC have strict repair procedures on how to properly repair both of these vehicles which we will go over in this blog. 

You would think that every shop would follow OEM repair procedures, especially if your safety would be compromised in any other way. Unfortunately, most body shops ignore these repair procedures and get right to work on your car without taking the additional time to look up what the manufacturer says. This happens more often than you think, which is why we at Hunter Auto Body want St. Louis drivers to know what Chevy and GMC require when repairing the 2019 Silverado and Sierra. 

One of the biggest reasons why it’s critical for technicians to follow the manufacturer repair procedures when repairing your 2019 Silverado or Sierra is because both cars are composed of a combination of steel and aluminum. This is known as a “mixed materials strategy.” Even though both materials can form into a vehicle body, they cannot be repaired the same way. Aluminum repairs require specialized tools and equipment, among other requirements which we discuss below.

Because of the “mixed materials strategy,” the 2019 Silverado is 450 pounds lighter than the previous model. In fact, the body on the 2019 Silverado weighs 88 pounds less than the 2018 Silverado, and the 2019 Sierra is 360 pounds lighter than the previous generation. All of this plays a significant role in how your car should be repaired. 

The importance of a shop knowing how to work with aluminum: 

As we mentioned above, in order to properly repair a car or truck made with aluminum material, technicians need the specific knowledge associated with it. Aluminum can’t be welded like steel since it reacts to heat entirely differently. Complete panel replacement, adhesive bonding, or mechanical rivet bonding are some of the most common OEM procedures for aluminum. 

Technicians also need to use tools and equipment specifically for aluminum. Body shops need to have an entirely separate aluminum downdraft cleanroom to make any aluminum repairs. You can’t just jump from repairing steel to aluminum. Even if airborne steel flakes get on a raw aluminum panel, it can cause galvanic corrosion (rust) on your car.

What do Chevy and GMC say about repairing the Silverado and Sierra? 

One of the most important things to note is the updated repair manual has an extensive list of repair procedures that are “the most ever seen in a GM vehicle.” This list will provide technicians with the knowledge on repairing different areas on your truck and offer different options that would call for sectioning, welding, cutting, or even removal of that part. Although the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are structurally very similar, they are still different vehicles.

This is why technicians need to know different brackets will require installation, based on whether the vehicle is a GMC or Chevy, as an example. As we mentioned above, both are comprised of a combination of high strength steel and aluminum. However, the regular cab pickup does not have aluminum doors and only has steel doors. You may not know what your doors are made of, and that’s entirely okay. It’s the shop’s responsibility to proper any necessary research to know precisely what parts of the vehicle are aluminum and what parts are steel. 

What’s also important to note and what many shops get wrong is they assume just because a vehicle was assembled a certain way in the factory, that is how it should be repaired. The box of the Silverado and Sierra have several repair procedures is just one example of that. The box in your truck could have task lights and outlets built-in that need attention, especially if you’re rear-ended. Unless a technician is willing to look up the repair procedures, these might go unnoticed in the repair, and you’re left with a half-repaired vehicle.

Calibration requirements on the Silverado and Sierra: 

One of the newest repair procedures to hit body shops over the past couple of years is something known as calibration. This is a modern repair procedure to accommodate the advanced safety features built into just about every vehicle manufactured nowadays and checks to see if these systems are performing the way they should be. These features used to only be seen in luxury vehicles, but are pretty much a standard in most cars manufactured nowadays.

What you may not realize are these advanced safety features (aka ADAS) are created with different technologies using camera, ultrasonic, and radar sensors. An ADAS calibration is an extensive process to make sure the cameras and sensors of these systems are correctly performing their designated functions. 

Below are the different areas on the 2019 Silverado and Sierra where these sensors and cameras are located: 

  • There is a forward-facing camera on the rearview mirror responsible for Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist systems. 
  • The rear bumper has blindspot sensors in the corners, whereas the front bumpers have ultrasonic parking sensors. 
  • There are cameras located in the grille, side mirrors, and tailgate, which are part of the 360 Camera System. 

If any of these cameras or sensors are removed or replaced, calibration will be required. The same applies if the windshield is removed or replaced since that’s where the forward-facing camera is located. 

Why are we letting you know about the different areas needing calibration? Well, many body shops might skip over this step and assume if no lights are appearing on your dash, nothing needs to be fixed. However, this is not always the case, which is why each repair procedure is its own unique process. Cars are complex machines that need proper attention, otherwise, there’s no guarantee if these safety systems would even be able to continue working. 

A lousy repair could mean total repair failure in those systems, and then what? Your risk of getting involved in an accident increases, all because of a shop knowing to look up the necessary repair procedures. 

Who in St. Louis knows how to repair my Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra? 

Here at Hunter Auto Body, we are always researching the latest repair procedures on any vehicle that comes into our shop so we can provide you with the highest quality of collision repair for your car. We also know a safe repair starts with the technicians knowing the importance of following OEM repair procedures. Chevy and GMC require these repair procedures for a reason, which is why the best body shops are capable of performing them in your car. You want to take your car somewhere that will not only give you a safe repair, but also the highest quality repair out there for your car. 

We have been serving the St. Louis area since 1973, assisting drivers with all of their repair needs. We know how stressful this time can be for you and we want to help ease some of that stress. Our team of experienced staff has nearly 50 years of experience and will make you feel like family here at our shop. 

If you’d like to schedule an estimate or request a quote, click any of the buttons below. Or, feel free to call us anytime at (314)-353-3122. We look forward to hearing from you and showing you the Hunter Auto Body difference!