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Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair



  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Well as i say i worked in a body shop at a couple dealers and a few independents. high turn over for sure since i cant recall anytime i wasnt working on atleast 4 cars at a time
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but you were waiting on parts or supplies for some of those, right, so it wasn't like you had to be real careful to be sure you had the right spraygun in each booth to avoid spraying barf orange over a pearlcoat, right?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    So...what pricing area are you suggesting for a complete job? I know there are an immense number of variables, but I'm interested in trying to interview people who profess to handle "custom" painting and body work.

    Joe W.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    no i usually had one in the booth, one in the prep station where my assistant worked on taping it up and things...and two sitting out for a good buffing
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I'm not sure I'd be able to give you an acurate estimate. I'm not in the business. A friend of mine had a complete strip-down painting of an old Porche 912 done a few years ago. I think he paid $6k. If your also restoring the interior or replacing exterior trim, you might be able to coordinate these activities with the body shop and save a few dollars overall, so things don't go back together for the drive from the body shop to the interior guy, etc.
  • ajacatajacat Posts: 63
    Hi--have a 98 Camry, bought used, trying to figure out how to get off these stains that look like dried water droplets from the windshield and windows. There are also some of them on the body. Tried cleaner/wax etc. on the body, nothing. Tried usual glass cleaners/rain-x on the glass, nothing. They're still there.

    I don't know what they're from--they were there when we bought it--but it just *BUGS* me. Does Clearing off the body would help too, but the paint makes it not so noticeable.

  • ajacatajacat Posts: 63
    sorry, strange editing thing happened--

    I meant: If anyone can recommend something that can clear these residue stains off the glass (they're kind of whitish clear--but I don't know what they came from), it would be much appreciated. Something that does clearing off the body too that would help, but at this point the stains on the body are not as irritating, because the paint makes it not so noticeable.

    Thanks again.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Maybe the experts who've been helping me will have a better idea, but I'd suggest the following:

    Wash the entire outside, concentrate on the areas with spots, with dishwashing detergent with grease cutters (like Dawn). This will remove the wax over the spots. Then go to Pep Boys, pick up a clay bar and a spray bottle of detailers wax (usually sold as a kit) to use as a lubricant. Use this combination. If this takes off the drops, wash the car again and re-wax.

    If it doesn't work, you ;may have glass that's been etched by acid rain. Same with the paint. It happens a lot here in NE.

    Could a body shop buff it out? Don't know.

    Take Care.
    Joe W.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    For really tough jobs like mineral deposites,where soap or ammonia or clay don't work, there are polishes for glass. These actually have microscopic silica particles in them that act like a jewler's rouge to polish out the small imperfections. I use a product made by Zaino ( (mail order), but I think there should be some over the counter products available too. In a pinch, toothpaste is a good substitute. The non-whitening kind, as it has the mildest abrasive. But the clean-up with toothpaste is more difficult. You have to wash it off after the buffing, rather than just wipe it away, as with the specialty products. It helps to have an orbital buffer to do the brunt of the work, with a foam polishing pad. Otherwise, a lot of elbow grease. If your glass has a lot of pits in it, sometimes the polish get's caught in the pits and is hard to remove. A high pressure water rinse, or a wash with a soft bristle brush will get it all off. You'll be amazed at how clean and shiny the glass will be after polishing.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    i know this sounds like it would do damage but IT DOES NOT damage glass...careful to aviod the paint of the car and go over all the glass area with steel wool. It will smooth it out and take everything thats on the glass right off. what we have always used in the body shop to take off paint over spray so it wont damage the window itself. as for the paint...a good buffing should do the trick.
  • ajacatajacat Posts: 63
    Thanks so much you all--we'll put these into action and see what happens. We'll get the clay bar and the detailer's wax for the body, and probably try some toothpaste first for the windows, rather than spring for the zaino...but we'll get it if we need to.

    I do believe that it could be acid rain. The car lived its entire life before we bought it in NC--from the first owner. While depressing, it would be an interesting little object lesson for our daughter, at least.

    The steel wool? I don't know...I'm a big chicken when it comes to steel wooling glass, but I suppose if the other ones don't work I'll get some really really fine steel wool and try it on a relatively less visible part. I believe that it wouldn't damage *your* car, but with my luck it would completely etch mine!

    hopeful for a clean shiny car and minty-fresh glass :)
    thanks again
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    If you do go this route, to reduce the possibility of scratching, it will help to keep the glass wet with soapy water. Also, wool pads can be very fine, like 0000 (four-ought)or finer.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    NOTE: i never did use it on my car...i only used it on a couple hundred or thousand cars that went thru the paint boothes. and it does have to be fine steel wool, but as i stated earlier...thats what we use to take paint overspray (or the paint on the glass that slide inbetween the paper) off the glass. i have NEVER seen it cause damage to the WINDOW. the moulding and things around it is another story. good luck
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The rear view mirror also has stuff on it that I can't get off, been on there since I bought the car used November '97. Tried glass cleaner, WD-40, and wax all to no avail. Steel wool probaly will be to rough. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance all. Edmunds rocks!!

    The Sandman :-)
  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 629
    After spending a nice chunk of the afternoon washing and waxing my 2002 Accord, I went outside 3 hours later to find that someone had rammed it in the parking lot of my apt complex.

    The bumper cover on the left rear corner is pushed in, quite a bit of paint is scuffed off of that area, and the bumper cover has popped free at 3 points where it fastens to the LR quarter panel.

    My questions:
    What are the odds the bumper cover will need to be replaced? It doesn't appear to be creased.

    How hard should I fight any gap between the body shop estimate and the insurance company's estimate? I've seen them try to save on paint/labor, and the results are jobs where my colorblind brother could see the mismatch.

    How much damage should I look for on a suspect vehicle? No lights were broken. Should I be looking for dents if the damage appeared to have been done with the corner of their car? Any reason I should expect to find gold (the color of my car) paint? There were no traces of the other guy's paint on my car.
    2015 Acura RDX AWD / 2013 VW Jetta 2.5SE
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    make your report, let them look it over and cruise the lot for a couple days, and don't get into a match with any potential suspects, real or imagined. let the damage part of the incident stop here.

    the bumper cover is the least of it... there is also the matter of the shock absorbing material underneath it, which is nasty expensive, usually looks like a real dense version of those "zillions of little boxes" light diffusing panels in ceiling-tile-supported troffers.

    insurance companies vary widely... I got away with taking my 2000 explorer to the dealer's body shop, having them make the estimate, and then forwarding it on to the other person's insurance company. got a full payment on what was about $400 worth of damage for what looked like a ding and a scrape, and some fuzzed-up edges on the plastic bumper cap on the top. got all factory parts as a result.

    get only estimates from the dealer, maybe another honda dealer, and one or two of the top independent shops in the area, not any lowball gyp joints. specify factory parts on the estimate. and see where that goes. if the insurance company wants to do a $1200 job for $10.95 including your deductible, I would push that up their ladder, and not call in the Marines right off the bat.

    PS -- why in 'ell wasn't the car in the garage? for reasons such as this, and dopers with iron pipe who do smash and grabs, I don't even consider housing without a defined lockable garage space that is mine and mine alone. if you have junk in there, put it out in the rain and garage the car, which is a darned sight more valuable. if no garage, start checking the newspapers for a place to move to. I'm serious. get the ride under cover and let somebody else get rammed by drunks and goons.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Unfortunately this kind of stuff happens all the time. Seems like every couple of years we are taking on of our cars in to the paint and body shop for something. If it's not a parking lot, it's a fender bender in stop and go traffic or some jealous soul with a key in their hand. Hey, in this day and age, just be glad it wasn't some doper with a gun.

    That being said, with all the opportunities for paint and body work, we have found a shop that we trust and who has been doing all of our work for the last 10 years. We insist that this is where we have work done. Insurance companies have whined and balked and said that they have their shops, etc., etc. But we have stood our ground and have always gotten the work done, fully paid for, at the shop of our choosing. And we let the shop and the insurance company work out the details. BTW: this shop is at the high end of the spectrum, and their normal billing reflects it. Still, they have always worked things out for us so we have no out of pocket expenses.
  • bja104bja104 Posts: 26
    Recently we had the misfortune to have driven over what we believe was a spray paint can that was actually spraying paint. So now I have droplets of paint on the body, headlights and windshield. I plan on trying a clay bar on the body. What about the windshield and (plastic) headlights? Is paint remover or nail polish remover safe for that? Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Paint thinner, mineral spirits and the like should be fine for brief exposures to auto paint, glass and plastic, but the plastic is the one you should worry about most. Some plastics might be damaged by prolonged exposures. Some plastics and rubber may become brittle.

    Laquer thinner, nail polish remover, acetone, should not be used, except on glass, unless you are very familiar with this. It will take the gloss off your clear coat and might eat into some plastics.

    The clay is a good starting point. There are fine polishes and glazes made for auto paint, glass and plastic that might do the job if other things fail to.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I am specifically referring to the wonderful modern headlight, which is Lexan or another plastic material, and will melt at the touch to solvents. if you have paint gobs on these things, don't get after it with abrasives. try chipping paint off with a razor blade, and then follow up with specific plastic polishes like the Novus series.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Use the fine steel wool it WILL take that paint off no problem, and no damage done. have a bucket of warm water, dip the wool in it and just scrub the paint of the windshield. and yes it will work...i promise.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 628
    I believe there are various grades of "fine" steel wool. Can you specify exactly what grade is suitable for this application? Thanks.
  • Question about getting adhesive and tape residue off my paint.

    I just recently bought this car (99 Neon) and have noticed some discoloration around the drivers side window. It looks as if the drivers side window was broken (I have found broken glass under the drivers seat) and someone taped some plastic to it. But there is some discoloration.

    Also, there are door edge guards glued on to the doors with some type of black tacky adhesive. I can pull the guards off easily but I am worried that the adhesive will not come off.

    What would you recommend to remove these from my finish? I cant really afford to take it to a detailing shop and have them do it.

    Thanks in advance
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    soak 'em up for awhile with a wet rag full held on the area, then use a soft cloth with mineral spirits to rub the slop off. the crud from the area of the broken window is probably crusted adhesive from duct tape, and I know this treatment will get it off without munging the paint. on the door edges, depends on what the black peu is. if it's a tar-based compound, this should melt right off. if the previous owner got tired of "no glue required" door guards popping off on the ends, he might have shot silicone rubber in there and pressed them back on.

    that would be somewhat evil, and you'd almost have to slit it off with a blade if you couldn't roll little pieces of it off with the ball of your thumb, and keep that up a while until it finally came off.
  • I just bought a shiny new black car. No garage. The car will be parked outside all (New England)winter. How do I deal with ice? I've been driving junkers most of my life and never gave a second thought to banging and chipping away with an ice scraper.

    My first thought was to just clean the windshields and let the ice melt off as the car warmed up. But, when I've done that in the past, the bottom of the ice melts first and slides off in sheets. That sounds like it will scratch the paint.

    All advice welcome.

    Thanks! Karl7777
  • skerewskerew Posts: 20
    I just got rear ended this morning. I stopped in ttraffic, car behind me stopped, Explorer behind him didn't pushing him into me. Miraculosly there is really no visible damage. Not even a chip. However, upon closer inspection it looks like the bumper has been pushed in about 1/8 of an inch because the trunk is not quite aligned properly. Is there a cheap way to just have this pulled back out again?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if it's a mid-70s GM car with the shock absorber bumper system, it's either fix a brace or replace a shock absorber (if you can find any anyplace.)

    virtually everything else except light trucks and truck-based SUVs, there has been a shattering to a cellular shock baffle, and it has to be replaced. this is a decidedly expensive deal, I have heard $1000 and up. obviously, this is dependent on the model and make.

    light trucks and truck-based SUVs, probably just a brace needs to be hammered down off the truck or a new one put on.

    if the trunk is not aligned right to the frame of the car, you have body damage to the unibody of the car as well as a bumper baffle, this will need to be pulled out or new metal put on, or possibly a bondo job depending on the damage.

    you need a legitimate examination by a good body shop familiar with modern cars to know what's up and what the cost is. since your profile says you're a honda driver, you probably need some body work as well as a refit under the clever plastic "bumper" cover, which has some pretty good paint on it.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Sorry bout the long time getting back to you i was on vacation. I really dont recall what grade fine wool it was, but any of the fine wools will work. i know in the differant body shops we have used more than a few differant ones.
  • may be a bad idea. I can't believe this. I always thought waxing put a protective coat over the paint that protected it from the elements, kind of like engine oil coats an engine. I am not an expert, but have hand waxed my new car three times since I got it in September 2002.

    Do you really think waxing is bad for a car's finish?
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