Jim Merry, Manager of the DeMaagd Auto Body shop was our guest on Wednesday's morning show.  

Not only does Jim bring a lot of valuable information, he's a swell guy.  I get a lot of feedback from listeners, telling me how much they enjoy and learn from his segments.

Jim invited me down to have his service department take a look at the front end of my truck.  Seems that whacking that pothole threw the whole truck out of alignment, and subsequently, some front end works needs to be done before an alignment can be done.  (As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, it's always something)

While service was doing their thing, Jim gave me a tour of the body shop.  Good gravy!  It's more like a hospital surgical suite than what I remember a body shop looking like.  Ultra modern, ultra clean and frankly, VERY quiet!  He introduced me to some of the staff there, many have been in the auto body business for 20+ years.

Jim pointed out the challenges that body technicians face when rebuilding your dented beauty.  Not the least of them is all those air bags!  MUCH care needs to be taken with them prior to any work being done on the car.  Technicians DON'T like when un-inflated air bags go off while they're working on the vehicle.  Nope.  It can leave a mark.

So, Jim asked me if I had ever seen an air bag deploy.  I said, thank GOD, no!

Apparently, I misunderstood this question.

Safety protocol dictates that when airbags are removed from a damaged vehicle, they MUST be discharged before being discarded.  (The reasons for discharging the device are obvious.)  And there's only ONE way to safely accomplish that.

Jim's staff safely set up a discharging demonstration in the back of their property.  The air bag was first placed a healthy distance from people and things.  And then, after a L-O-N-G bit of cable was attached to the unit, connection was made to a battery charger and B-O-O-M!  Off it went.  I can't say for sure how many feet it went in the air, but it sho' nuff was a pretty good distance.  And, if I'm honest, IT WAS FLIPPIN' COOL TO SEE THAT THING GO OFF!!  I suppose it's a guy thing!

Having seen the force with which they deploy, I want to avoid ANY type of crash that would press those babies into action. I know they would probably save my life in a nasty accident, but nonetheless, I'll be just as happy if they stay quietly tucked away behind the panels in the car.  Yep.  You stay on your side, I'll stay on mine.

DeMaagd Service Manager Doug Baker (a wonderful Christian brother) was able to give me an estimate (that I could afford) for the front end work, and we scheduled it to be done.  (Partly personal to Doug:  tell Deb HI for me.)

After seeing what goes on there and meeting their veteran staff, I would encourage you to call Jim for any type of work that needs to be done on your vehicle.  And stay away from those air bags!!