Pickup Truck Collision Aftermath: Repairing and repainting a tailgate after a car crash

You may be the best and safest driver in the world and all it takes is a split-second distraction for the driver behind you to slam into your car from the back and cause extensive damage to your vehicle.

This is exactly what happened to a middle-aged man. He stopped his pickup, waiting for a green light when another pickup truck rear ended him. The damage was extensive for both trucks.

Insurance Claim Processing and New Parts Delivery

The cautious driver came to High Tone Auto Body for a complete repair of the tailgate and new rear bumper. The tail lights also needed replacement. While Tanja handled the insurance paper work the technicians in the auto body shop removed the damaged bumper, tail lights and tail gate. We use replacement Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for a seamless fit.

Matching the New Paint To The Original Deep Cherry Red Truck Color

The new tailgate came in with an E-coat, black in color directly from the manufacturer.  The new tailgate was cleaned with wax and grease remover, then sanded, cleaned again with wax and grease remover, then one coat of sealer was applied, followed by three coats of base coat red.  Once the basecoat was flashed off, the protective clear coat was applied twice to ensure the proper millage (thickness) of clear for ultimate UV radiation protection.

The painter weighs out the different components of toners, reducers and additives to come up with the exact color match to the customers vehicle.  Each component is weighed to the gram.  The painter can replicate any shade and color on any car on the market.


mixing the colors for spraying the crashed truck
Adding Component Colors to get the original truck color

Once the paint toners were all measured by the gram on the digital scale, the paint technician mixed with appropriate reducer to make up the matching deep cherry red paint and was ready for spraying the panels.

computer controlled car paint making
Components and base color mixed up to get the desired deep cherry red.

With properly mixed paint and the tail gate inside the downdraft booth, the certified paint technician was ready for base coat application to the tail gate.

painting a crashed car with deep cherry red
Sealer was applied and painter is now putting on application of deep cherry red base
Collision repair truck tailgate repaint
3 coats of deep cherry red base coats, now ready for clear coat

If the base coat paint layers do not get covered with a protective clear coat, the paint will quickly fade away.   Without the clear coat there is no protection from the suns harmful UV rays.  The added benefit of the clear coat is that it gives the paint a mirror like finish that also protects the vehicle from the elements.

Collision repair tailgate clear coat spraying
Spraying the protective clear coat layers
Collision repair Aspen, CO. tailgate painted and ready for installment
2 coats of clear applied, now ready for baking

With the tail gate properly painted and clear coated after being baked, it was ready for installment on the truck. The finished repair took only a couple of days. The insurance covered all the repair expenses and the client left very pleased with the service and quality of work. Since then he referred several other clients for auto body and paint repair services.

Repair & Repaint of Saturn Vue

We all love a scratch-free car. Especially if we buy it new, we would love it to stay shiny and clean forever. Unfortunately, that shine we all love will not last. In fact, even if you never scratch it, the shine will simply go away thanks to UV radiation which slowly damages the clear coat.

Paint repair on a Saturn VUE

It is almost impossible to protect your car from scratches and dents. The bottom line is that you own your vehicle for your convenience, and as months turn into years you lose that initial respect for your car. Before you know it, every single panel of your car has at least one scratch or dent.

This is what happened with this white Saturn VUE. The owner was a family person, she had kids, dog, did regular trips to camps and slowly but surely her Saturn slowly lost its charm. She took her vehicle in for a face-lift. This meant that we needed to work on every single panel, and some of them were quite badly damaged from those unavoidable supermarket parking lot door-to-door encounters.

To do a thorough job, we removed all the panels that needed some body work. After smoothing out the metal and plastic panels, it was time for make-up.

Repairing the paint on a Saturn Vue
Disassembly of all right side panels to be repaired and replaced.

The right back door and right quarter panel actually had more damage from a person backing up a few inches too far into this Saturn.  So, to do a proper yet affordable repair, our technicians had to remove the back door panel, do the body work and then repaint it, as shown on the image below:

Repainting a tailgate of a Saturn Vue
Applying sealer to the hood and other panels that were damaged.


Our certified paint technician adds a coat of sealer to all panels for corrosion protection.

Painting the trunk and back door panels
Applying white base coat to the right side panels


Painted panels awaiting the clear coat layer.
Urethane sealed panels awaiting base coat application.

Once the base coat was dry, the paint technician added two coats of clear coat that serves as a protective layer that keeps the white base paint from scratches and harmful UV rays.

Saturn Vue panels, painted clear-coated and ready for installment.
Saturn Vue panels, painted clear-coated, baked and ready for installment.

Thanks to the qualified technicians and the clear coat, the car panels got their like-new sparkly shine.


Mercedes Front-End Collision Repair

One of the most common collision repairs is the front collision repair. Front collisions usually result in a damaged front bumper cover, the reinforcement beam and absorber, headlights and sometimes there is damage to the grill and radiator. If the crash is more severe, there may be damage to the radiator support and other items related to the cooling system.

In this case, the Mercedes had a severely damaged front bumper, the reinforcement beam was deformed, and there was damage to the fenders on both sides. Take a look at the image below. There is plenty of damage on this vehicle but on the positive side, the headlights and hood were intact so the dollar damage was not as big as it could have been.

Front bumper, beam, hood, side panels: Severe crash with plenty of damage
Front bumper, beam, hood, fender panels:  Severe crash with plenty of damage

We stripped out all the damaged parts and panels to prepare the vehicle to be shipped to our sublet shop for engine removal. The collision was significant and in order to do a solid repair job, we needed the engine out of the engine bay so our body technicians can make the repair to meet factory specifications.

Stripped of all damaged and removable panels, this Mercedes awaits engine removal
Stripped of all damaged and removable panels, this Mercedes awaits engine removal
A sublet car repair shop removed the engine and the Mercedes is ready for auto body repair
A sublet car repair shop removed the engine and the Mercedes is ready for auto body repair

With the engine and damaged parts out of the way, our auto body technicians did the necessary body work on the panels that could be repaired, and replaced all the parts that were beyond repair:

  • Front bumper cover and support brackets
  • Reinforcement  beam
  • Fenders
  • Wiring for the bumper indicators and fog lights
  • Chrome grill and Mercedes emblem

The repaired and replaced panels were painted, the Mercedes was then reassembled for an invisible repair.

Our Snowmass client was very happy with the end result, the time of repair and the reasonable price of this collision repair project.

Contact Us


Honda CR-V Collision Repair: Rear Bumper, Tailgate & Rear Stop Lights

Collisions in the Aspen-Snowmass-Basalt area are quite common especially during the snow season. Any kind of accident can be stressful for the vehicle owner and it is even more stressful when you cannot find a reliable auto body repair service.
High Tone Auto Body is focused on getting you the best possible auto body repair service and we have served countless clients from Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale, Basalt etc.
Recently a Honda CRV owner stopped by the shop. The vehicle was in a relatively small collision but the damage wasn’t that small.

As you can see from the images here this Honda CRV had plenty of damage:

  • the roof had some minor bumps and scratches
  • the rear stop light needed replacement
  • rear bumper was broken on one side
  • the tailgate was deformed

Our technicians follow an industry-specific repair workflow to ensure proper auto body repair so the vehicle can be as safe and nice looking as before the collision.
Here, we started by removing the tailgate from the vehicle and our auto body specialists worked on restoring the geometry and look of the back side of the car. After the repairs on the door frame and roof we had the area repainted with a few coats of paint and clear coat.

Bumpers are composite parts, and in this particular case the plastic shielding took most of the impact and was broken. When the plastic shielding is broken we replace the entire bumper because bumpers act as safety buffer zones, protecting people in the vehicle, as well as people around the vehicle (bumpers are designed to cushion pedestrians in case if they are in a car accident). The new bumper also got a coat of paint and a coat of protective clear coat.

The rear stop lights on Honda CR-V’s are positioned relatively high, so the only damaged part was the outer glass. We replaced the rear stop light with a new one and did all the necessary wiring checking to make sure that everything works as it should.

While one team did work on the vehicle itself, another team did the needed body work and paint on the tailgate. With the tailgate repaired, our technicians assembled the Honda CR-V and the owner was quite pleased with the quality of work and timely repair.

Click Here For More Collision Repair Info