Most dents and dings in a car can be removed rather easily. Cars that are practically scrap metal are almost unsalvageable. Did you see the word almost in the previous sentence? Good. If you have the time, money, and a spare car, you can rescue almost every damaged vehicle from the salvage yard. Here is how that process would work on a car that looks like it has been half crunched by King Kong.
Remove ALL Damaged Pieces and Sections
If you gave the go-ahead to the auto body repair shop to completely overhaul the damaged car and restore it, the technicians will start with pulling off all of the damaged pieces and sections. They lay these damaged parts out on a table to take inventory of everything that needs to be replaced and/or restored. After the main body parts are removed, damaged engine parts are removed, and then the technicians take note of any damage to the frame of the car. If the damage to the frame of the car is minimal, the whole of the vehicle can be restored.
Reconstruct Engine, Drive Train, Steering, and Transmission as Needed
First, the guts of the car and what makes it go have to be restored. Most engines can withstand a side hit, but there may still be some damage. The drive train, transmission, and steering, plus wheels, take the biggest punches. The technicians begin to pull this stuff out and replace or rebuild it. If the body was damaged to the extent that the engine supports were also removed, one or two technicians will work on the engine and moving parts separately from the technicians working on just the body and supports.
Reconstruct and Rebuild the Body of the Car
Starting with any frame damage, the technicians working on this part of your vehicle will repair minor damage. Then they will check the frame supports that hold the engine and other valuable automotive components in place, repairing these as they go. Finally, they will begin on restoring damaged doors, front panels, side panels and rear panels of the car. If the dents are small, they can tap them out and put these sections back onto your vehicle.
Larger dents in the panels of the body of the car may not be repairable if they are completely crunshed. At this point, the technicians may search for spare body parts to replace those that they are completely unable to restore. Regardless of the color, they will install these. Later on, they will do a complete paint job so that your vehicle is the same color it was when you bought it.
Resurface and Repaint
With the engine still outside of the vehicle, the paint crew begins their tasks. They will completely sandblast your car to remove all of the paint on the vehicle, even the parts that are not damaged. The purpose for this is so that the paint dye lot they use to repaint your vehicle is all the same dye lot, and your paint job will not look like it is painted by third graders. Then they will spray paint the entire vehicle, and wrap up with a clear gloss coat and sealant.
Reinstall the Engine and Other Restored/Rebuilt Parts
Finally, the engine, drive train, transmission, etc., will be reinstalled and reconnected. Everything will be checked and rechecked to make sure it is working. Your car is cleaned and polished, and looking as though it just rolled off of the dealership floor. You will receive a phone call to come pick it up, as well as the total cost to restore your vehicle.