Fixing Dents and Scrapes on Car
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  1. #1
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    Fixing Dents and Scrapes on Car

    My wife and I agree on almost everything, and share the same values in all of life's most important areas, like finances, how to raise kids, religion (or lack thereof), etc...

    When we relocated, we sold our cars in the US, since the import duties were so extreme- maybe $12K for each car. We ended up buying a used 5-Series BMW wagon-- a family car that was surprisingly affordable, given our proximity to Germany. Norway has insane car taxes-- often around 50% of a vehicle's price (or rather, cars often cost twice what they do in the US). With the law of unintended consequences, people tend to drive much older vehicles, and they are generally meticulously maintained (also in part to biannual EU inspections).

    We recently had about $2000 in mechanical work done to the car- the ABS computer went out (and subsequently the speedo). This is another unintended effect of extraordinary high vehicle taxes--- higher maintenance costs.

    We just returned for a family vacation-- a road trip, so today I went to wash the car. I noticed a nasty scrape on the rear bumper (big enough you can see it from across the street). I was livid. The other side of the car has a scrape on the front fender and the mirror from my wife driving into the garage (literally). At that time, we went around and around about having the damage repaired. It is barely visible, but it drove me crazy. I very much wanted it repaired. I do not want this to turn into a wreck-- and it is in otherwise in excellent condition. We never got around to fixing the scrapes-- but it was still on my "to do list".

    When I returned from washing the car, I mentioned the damage to my wife and asked if she knew how it got there. She then indicated that a friend who visited. Her friend actually said that she thought she might have hit our car. As this is a black mark, I want to repair it. She thinks there is no point, since the car already has damage on the other side. To me, this is the slippery slope that occurs when damage is NOT repaired. Suddenly no dent or scrape is worth fixing. Her friend has insurance--- that is what it is for. We ended up getting into quite an argument regarding how to resolve this. We clearly do not share the same attitude toward vehicles. I confronted her that she would pay to have a new car repaired--- or use someone else's insurance. She agreed, but said this is not a new car. Her argument is that since the car is several years old, it is bound to be scratched and dented. My argument is that due to the taxes here, it is still worth more than most new cars in the US, and thus should be treated as if it were a new car. Of course my primary argument is that we are just "letting the car go" by not repairing it. Sure we have other financial priorities--- but we are not driving a wreck. I want it fixed. She thinks I'm crazy.

    At what point should someone just let a car go? When is it too much trouble to care anymore?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If the car is still mechanically solid and you don't plan on getting rid of it in the near future it is always worth maintaining.

  3. #3
    POGUE MAHONE
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    My wife drove through a hailstorm two weeks ago with her 05 Corolla it was an immaculate car 10 minutes before. It is probably worth 15000 Cdn ... it sustained almost $11000 damage. If it would have bean 2 years older it would have been written off. The hail was so bad she had to pull over on the side of the highway, she thought the windows were going to shatter.
    She called me on her cell while her and my daughter were ducking behind the seat.
    Now we have a perfect car mechanically with a golf ball finish It only has 20 000 miles on it and looks like a piece of crap.
    My kickstand is busted.

  4. #4
    Strained coccyx etc etc
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    SCC, happened to me as well. freak hailstorm in memphis. 1-mile wide. our insurance agency dispatched a disaster team and we got BOTH cars totally re-faced and a new roof o'shingles!!!

    good luck.
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  5. #5
    ARP
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    My past haunts me once more

    My previous job as of Friday(Detail Shop MGR for large auto dealership) was to advise and get help to a person like you. A set of tools in the right hands can do the repair for a fraction of what a body shop would charge to do an "as new" repair. It just depends upon to what level you can accept.

    Here is the process: I had a guy on call that would stop at my shop every day to do the dented cars, cars that customers would trade in for something else. Our dealership would in turn recondition (clean/pull dents/touchup paint) and resell for thousands over what the previous owner received on the trade in compensation. That is what keeps the auto business afloat, the used car market. My guy has a specially made set of prying tools that he would find an insertion point near where the damage was located. He slides the tool in behind the dent and works it back out from the inside, he massages the metal back to it's original shape or in the high 90% of it's original shape. If the spot was very difficult to reach, he would drill an access hole in the panel somewhere and work through it and then rubber plug it afterwards. It works alot better in the process if the dent is in the middle of a flat panel, very close to 100%. This guy was very good, he works on ex PGH Steeler Jerome Bettis' Bentley alot. There are alot of hacks out there that bought the tools, went to the 2 week training course and have dollar signs in their eyes. Dent Wizard has a fairly good track record of repair technicians. No idea what they have in Europe, my guy was asked to go work at the Benz factory in Germany, turrned it down.

    Now the paint, whole different story.Rubbing compound and a high speed buffer can do alot of good for surface scratches. Touch up paint and technique can also make a vehicle look great from a distance of 3 feet.

    So now that you have the dents pulled, how is the paint? Paintless Dent

  6. #6
    Resident Dutchbag
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCC
    My wife drove through a hailstorm two weeks ago with her 05 Corolla it was an immaculate car 10 minutes before. It is probably worth 15000 Cdn ... it sustained almost $11000 damage. If it would have bean 2 years older it would have been written off. The hail was so bad she had to pull over on the side of the highway, she thought the windows were going to shatter.
    She called me on her cell while her and my daughter were ducking behind the seat.
    Now we have a perfect car mechanically with a golf ball finish It only has 20 000 miles on it and looks like a piece of crap.
    Just paint it black and put large "Zipp" stickers on it.
    Originally posted by thatsmybush:
    I can only speak for my self, but if Fergie wanted to rub her lovely lady lumps on me, I could play the role of "human stripper pole."

  7. #7
    POGUE MAHONE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman
    My previous job as of Friday(Detail Shop MGR for large auto dealership) was to advise and get help to a person like you. A set of tools in the right hands can do the repair for a fraction of what a body shop would charge to do an "as new" repair. It just depends upon to what level you can accept.

    Here is the process: I had a guy on call that would stop at my shop every day to do the dented cars, cars that customers would trade in for something else. Our dealership would in turn recondition (clean/pull dents/touchup paint) and resell for thousands over what the previous owner received on the trade in compensation. That is what keeps the auto business afloat, the used car market. My guy has a specially made set of prying tools that he would find an insertion point near where the damage was located. He slides the tool in behind the dent and works it back out from the inside, he massages the metal back to it's original shape or in the high 90% of it's original shape. If the spot was very difficult to reach, he would drill an access hole in the panel somewhere and work through it and then rubber plug it afterwards. It works alot better in the process if the dent is in the middle of a flat panel, very close to 100%. This guy was very good, he works on ex PGH Steeler Jerome Bettis' Bentley alot. There are alot of hacks out there that bought the tools, went to the 2 week training course and have dollar signs in their eyes. Dent Wizard has a fairly good track record of repair technicians. No idea what they have in Europe, my guy was asked to go work at the Benz factory in Germany, turrned it down.

    Now the paint, whole different story.Rubbing compound and a high speed buffer can do alot of good for surface scratches. Touch up paint and technique can also make a vehicle look great from a distance of 3 feet.

    So now that you have the dents pulled, how is the paint? Paintless Dent

    This car is way beyond paintless dent repair. I forgot to mention the 11000 is coming from the insurance company to fix the car. The trunk the roof the hood the right fender.2 door skins and a rear quarter panel are being replaced and then the whole car is being repainted except for the 2 ends, the bumper portions. I just hope that it all gets put back together properly and that the areas that require body work get a top notch job. I can pick out a crappy body job a mile away.

    Now because of the severe labor shortage in Calgary I have to wait until the 2nd week of October to get it in a reputable shop.
    My kickstand is busted.

  8. #8

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    I'm with you on this one, my g/f has an older 3 series BMW, and never washes it, has garbage all over the inside, and a trunk full of crap. Me on the other hand, I have a 5 year old civic, that is always spotless,never has garbage in it,you can't even smoke or eat in my car. She thinks it's just a car why worry so much about it. But to me if I take care of it, it will last me forever and still look good.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    My old car cleans up well, although there's not much I can do about all the crap in the trunk- it's the closest thing I have to garage space. I always keep certain things in it, like helmet/bike shoes, laundry detergent etc. Makes life a little easier, and if I plan on driving people around (rarely happens) I make sure it's tidied up.

    Won't wash it if there's rain in the forecast, though!

  10. #10
    Gruntled
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    I'm inclined to agree with you FS. Once you start letting the car get dinged up, then you don't care if it gets more dings, you don't wash it etc. It becomes a downward spiral, and the car does lose value because of it. OTOH, if it's only cosmetic and not mechanical, and you have other priorities, I can understand letting it go for a while.
    It's funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's hilarious.

  11. #11
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    I can't fall on your side at all. I'm with your wife. The car's US "value" is moot in my book. You're not in the US. Anyway, cars get scratched and dented, it's just life. Let it go. I also drive cars into the ground before ever considering another and I don't really care about the "status" associated to one via their car.
    p.s. and for all you SS freaks out there...ya' know, some people want to go faster than what gravity allows when going downhill. I'm just sayin'....

    To bad carbon bikes don't have the same abilities as our carbon based bodies....namely, the ability to regenerate after an accident.

    Even logic must eventually give way to understanding

  12. #12
    Motorator
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    Not having pics, I'm not sure I would be correct in saying you ought to loosen up on this, but I'm tempted to say that anyway. Really now, how worse off will your life be if you let it go - will neighbors/associates notice? Will they think less of you? Isn't this more of a self-image thing, instead of being more outwardly?

    I can't say you shouldn't feel bad about the scrapes, as long as they don't consume you and dampen your relationship with your lady.

    Quite often with a scrape, the application of rubbing compound - use it like a polish - will clean it up. If your scrapes are not bad dents, you might be surprised at the before/after.
    Beam me up, baby.

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