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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

One of the things I learned from my dad is that it pays to find a good auto repair shop and stick with it. True enough, I have tried using more than one shop, based on what I needed done to my car. Every time, I found myself going back to one shop that knew my car and the car's history. I had found that shop not too long ago. They had offered help with everything from rebuilding engines to dent repair. The shop is located near my home, and they keep records that went back for years. Thanks to the long history, they always knew what to do when something was not working as it should. If you think that finding one shop to meet all your needs is a good idea, let me help. With a little effort, you'll know exactly where to take your vehicle any time it needs some work.


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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

Tips For Matching Auto Paint After A Collision

by Noelle Snyder

After a collision, your body repair mechanic has two main challenges – fixing the dent or replacing the damaged panel, and then matching the paint color. Generally, the first part is simple, especially if the panel requires a full replacement. The challenge comes with the painting.

The Problem With Mismatched Panels

Mismatching occurs for one of the following reasons:

  1. The car is a custom color that is hard to color match.

  2. Sun fading makes the repainted panels look brighter or darker than the rest of the car.

  3. Faded clear coat on the unpainted panels makes them duller than the newly painted panels.

  4. Slight changes in factory paint colors result in mismatched panels.

Often, you may not notice slight color differences right away. Bright sunlight tends to wash out colors, so you need to examine the car in a couple of different kinds of light to make sure the panels match.

Insurance Limitations

Poorly matched paint is often the result of insurance limitations. In a perfect world, your mechanic would be reimbursed to repaint the entire car after a collision, but insurance adjusters often only pay out for the damaged panels.

You can try to convince the adjuster to write off the entire paint job from the beginning if you are prepared. If your vehicle is more than a few years old, sun-fading or a worn clear coat is likely an issue. In some cases, you and your mechanic may be able to convince the adjuster that the car will require a full paint job to return it to it's previous condition.

Keep in mind, if you have a custom paint job the insurance company may only pay for repainting in the original color, unless you have previously contacted them to specifically request coverage for the paint modification.

Other Options

In many cases, you will end up footing the bill if you want a full paint job for minor damage. This is especially true with older cars, where the insurance company may decide that the cost of a full paint job is less than the car is worth.

If this is the case, you have other options. You and your mechanic can try to color match the replacement panel from a vehicle in a junk yard, which will likely have similar fading. Or, you can pay the difference in cost for a full paint job out of your own pocket. In some instances, the rest of the vehicle may just need a new clear coat so the new panel blends in better. 

To have your car's paint job touched up, contact an auto body and collision shop.