Summary of how to fix paint issues

A quick summary of how to get different types of car paint damage fixed.

Pealing paint: All too often the clear coat on a car will weaken and start to peal off. This happens when a car is kept outside much of the time, or if a car is poorly resprayed. It seems to be more frequent on darker colored cars, especially Hondas. I’m guessing that it’s the fact that they get hotter in the sun, and then cool off at night – i.e. the constant and radical change in temperature. The only way to fix this is to have the area sanded down and resprayed. Although I strongly suggest that you don’t bother. By the time this happens on a car, it’s probably aged to the point that its not a good financial decision. I know it’s unsightly, but you probably should either save your money for a new car, or spend money on mechanical issues instead.

Key scratch: This is probably the hardest thing on a car owner, but if you’re reading this, you already know. Sorry. :) As far as fixing it like it was new, it can be really expensive. Each panel that is damaged will need to be sanded down and respray painted. The usual cost is between $250-$350 per panel, so if the scratch is only a foot long but goes from the back door to the front door, the price to fix can double. If the scratch is on a vertical surface it can be done by a mobile repair guy (a bumper guy). If it’s on a horizontal surface like a hood, you’ll need a body shop. The difference is that dust settles in the wet paint on a horizontal surface and will need a clean room to prevent that.

If you want a cheaper fix – a skilled touch-up guy can hide the scratch a little. The darker the color your car, the more effective. A bright silver car is probably not worth the effort. Please never use the touch-up kit from a car dealer for this – it’s going to look much worse. I promise.

Curb scrapes: With today’s push for MPG the front of most cars are very close to the road to improve aerodynamics. This makes a great target for curbs – it’s a battle with your cars paint right in the middle. Paint touch-up is pretty effective here. It’s not going to look new, but unless you get down on your knees to look at your car, you’re probably not going to see it anymore. Although I really don’t like touch-up kits, you can probably do a decent job here.

Dents: There’s hundreds of dent guys out in the world nowadays. If you can’t find one, call your local car dealership and ask the Used Car Manager for his. Don’t go through the dealership to get the work done. They’ll double the price – and you’ll have to go to the dealership. Dent guys are mobile, so he’ll come to your house and charge half of what the dealership will charge. Usually $75 per panel. Not per dent. So if you have three dents in your front door and one in the back door, it’s $150.

If your dent has the metal creased, or it’s on a crease in the design of your car, it’s exponentially more difficult for a dent guy. Always make sure a dent guy has at least 10 years experience. And don’t use someone that works at a car wash. If he’s working there, he’s probably not good enough to go out on his own.

Dings: I’ve been doing this for years and worked on well over 20,000 cars, and I don’t know what constitutes a ‘ding’. lol. I’m guessing it’s a dent with the paint marred – usually caused by shopping carts, and people flinging their car doors open and hitting your car. If it’s dented – handle as above and ask him if he can buff out the marred paint. If the paint is missing, many dent guys have some touchup paint. He’s just going to put a little blob of paint on it, but what can you expect from a dent guy.

Light scratches: First determine if your paint is scratched or if there is ‘transfer’ on your car. Transfer simply means whatever rubbed up against your car, transferred some of its color on to your car. Many times I’ll work on a car that a customer swears the paint is missing. I’ll find bright red scratches on a black car. I instantly know they rubbed up against a red curb or red fire hydrant and its simply the paint from that curb or hydrant. A light rubbing compound or a soapy sponge will take it off. Never ever, EVER, use a Scotch Bright pad. In other words, NEVER! Or a wet paper towel. If its really stubborn you can use acetone, but use very little – just a few drops, with a tshirt cloth. Be patient. As you rub, the acetone will loosen the transfer slowly, and then it’ll come off all at once. If the acetone mars the paint, buff out with a tshirt cloth and car wax.

If it’s not transfer and they are indeed light scratches – use a very gentle rubbing compound, or even car wax if you don’t have anything else and a tshirt cloth, and simply rub out the scratches. You can use a lot of pressure. You might inadvertently mar the finish. Simply polish is out with less pressure, and car wax. Meguires Scratch X works great, and can found at most retail stores like Target and Walmart.

Door edge paint chips: Really easy to fix. You can get decent results with most touch-up kits, but I much prefer Dr.Colorchip from drcolorchip.com

Paint chips from rocks: Dr.Colorchip is far far and away the best for this. This is exclusively what I use. I’ve worked on some of the most expensive cars in the world. I work for most of the Porsche clubs in my area and travel with them to their larger events. I use Dr.Colorchip and I WOW crowds all over the western U.S.

But again, if you’d like it to look new, you’ll need to have it resprayed. See above for general costs and where to go for which part of your car.

Scrapes from hitting a pole, the side of your garage, etc: I get a lot of these. With the Dr.Colorchip paint I can usually make about an 80-95% difference for very little money. But the above applies if there is severe damage to the plastic of a bumper, or the metal of a car. On that note, if a plastic bumper is cracked or severe misshapen, it’ll need to be replaced, not just resprayed.

Scratches from garage door closing on your car, or back lid opening too high and hitting the garage door: This, for all intents and purposes, is the same as a key scratch. For dark color cars, it can be hidden, but for it to go away completely it needs to be resprayed. If there’s manufacturer emblems on that panel, the cost to fix will go up. They’ll need to be removed before painting, and reapplied when the paint is dry. A mobile tech won’t do that type of work.

NOTE: To keep your garage door from closing on the car, I’d suggest simply raising the safety sensors that are near the floor of your garage and the rail the garage door slides on. Raise them to the level of your bumper.

Headlight fogged: There a lot of products out there. I’ve never tried any. :) I get great results from using a terri-cloth towel, with a dollop of rubbing compound and squirt of acetone, and rub like crazy. The acetone will eat away at the aged plastic. It might look worse when you first start – but see it through to the end.

Dull finish: Wash your car. :) While I’m thinking about it – I should mention that dust is slightly acidic. When a car is dry and dusty, it’s fine, but add a little moisture from a dewy morning or a drizzly rain, and it’ll start to eat away at your finish. If you have to leave your car outside, simply squirting it with a hose once in awhile will help.

Cracked paint: Two causes – a gentle impact, not enough to damage a bumper, but enough to crack the paint of a bumper, or sun damage. For sun damage, try not to look at it anymore. If this is happening to your car, stick it out. It’s not cost effective to fix and your car is probably getting too old to spend money on such things. I see this happening most frequently on black Hondas

If it’s cracked on the bumper, it’s probably from a very gentle ‘bump’. Again, the best solution, try not to look at it. You’ll either need to have it resprayed, or the bumper replaced. Ugh.

Don’t use…
your fingernail to pick off anomalies on your car
Scotch Bright pads on your car or paper towels
a touch-up kit from the dealer. They are awful!!!
and don’t lick your finger and then rub out a spot on your car. It might work, but it’s gross. :P

Don’t spend money on aesthetics if…
your car has more than 75,000 miles
there are mechanical issues – tires, brakes, etc.
or if you’re hurting for money

If you’d like more specific info, please email a pic of your car to results@carpaintchiprepair.com or text it to me at 949/463-7690. Please don’t call. I don’t answer my phone very often. It’s too hard to get anything done if I do.

If you’re in southern California, I can do the work for you.

Please also see my reviews one Yelp.com. Just search Quinn The Eskimo.

And be well and happy. :)

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Where should you go, for which type of damage to your car??

Where should you go, for which type of damage to your car??

Go to the wrong place, and you might as well just open up your wallet and give them what you have, or drive away with your car looking much worse than it did.
From my experience, many people immediately think ‘body shop’ as soon as something happens to your car, or worse, they think ‘car dealership.’
I’ll start with the car dealership. Car dealerships have alliances with body shops, sometimes they are even on the same premises, but are usually different companies. If you take your damaged car their, you are really going to a body shop, but the dealership will mark up the price to make a little profit for themselves.
Bodyshops fix major to moderate damage. Anytime the original form of the metal or plastic is damaged, it most certainly needs a body shop if you want it to look new again. For very light scrapes along a bumper, or less so, with a side panel a mobile ‘bumper guy’ will be fine. In general any vertical surface can be resprayed by a mobile professional. The reason for this is that dust settles on horizontal surfaces. To get a good paint job on a hood for example, it would need to be done in a spray booth to reduce particulates from settling and ruining the newly painted surface. Bumpers don’t have that issue and you can generally get a good paint job. There are exceptions where a bumper would need to be removed and sprayed separately to get a good final paint job.
Also many damaged areas can be ‘spot sprayed’ by a mobile professional. Little scrapes, can be sanded down and resprayed. If you’re going this route, make sure the guy has experience! In general the lighter the color, the harder it is to match. Bright silver is the most difficult. If your spray gun is 6 inches away from the car, versus 18 inches, you’ll get a different color, or if it’s pointed at the car an angle versus straight on, you’ll get a slightly different color. If that happens, your bumper won’t match the fender.
The next smaller issue is very minor scratches, and paint chips. Paint chips are generally on the hood and front bumper and are caused by flying rocks. The next most common place is door edges, mirrors, and chipped paint from other peoples doors and stray shopping carts. A good paint touch up guy can fix most of these issues, but this is no longer an objective practice. Meaning, we (I’m a paint chip technician) only make things look better. If you want it to look new, have it resprayed (which is many times more expensive). We also see a lot of scrapes along bumpers from hitting tall curbs, or scraping the side of your garage as you pull out. This can often be patched up for a fraction of the cost of a bumper respray, but it’s only going to make it less unsightly.
The other area is minor dents. This is also most commonly a mobile service. The price for a dent is about $75. Please make sure your guy has at least 10 years of experience. There’s a lot of people that try to get into this industry to make a fast buck but soon learn that it’s not easy to do without ruining a lot of cars. It is an art. Don’t let some guy working at a car wash do it. If he’s there, it’s because he can’t find work! Find someone at a high end car dealership. That goes for the other vendors. In general, if we aren’t good at what we do, we don’t eat. We make the most money at dealerhips because of the volume, and they don’t tolerate incompetence.
I can go on at length giving you more info, but this should suffice for now. If you have any questions about where you should take your care, please email me a picture of your car at results@carpaintchiprepair.com or text me at 949/463-7690. Please refrain from calling. I’m very personable, but get distracted from my work when I have to answer the phone.

ps. Don’t ever use a paint pen!! It’s nothing more than an income stream for the dealership. There’s not real concern for you about how it’ll look on your car!!

Be well and happy.

Steve Bode
aka Quinn The Eskimo
“Life is as you decide – and if this does not seem so, it is you who has decided it so.” SRB

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Dr. ColorChip to the Rescue!

Dr. ColorChip to the Rescue!

I have repaired over 10,000 cars – from Ferraris to Hyundais, from rare classics to old beaters. I have worked for car museums, car collectors, and for regular car owners who just want to drive a nice-looking vehicle. I love what I do and want to do my best for every customer.

That’s why, when repairing paint chips, I use the Dr. ColorChip system.

I demonstrate the process on   “http://youtu.be/xkjG8kInRhM” YouTube. First, we paint right over the chips. The paint is designed to stick in chips and scratches. It is pre-mixed for your car, per OEM specs, so there’s no guesswork involved in color-matching.

After painting, we use a special solution to remove the excess paint. The solution rubs everything off except for what’s in the chip. No little paint blobs are left on your car. The traditional method would require the use of a toothpick or a very fine brush to dab paint into each little chip, building it up over days or weeks. Then you would have to sand it down and build it back up again. After several weeks, you might have a chip filled. But with the Dr. ColorChip process, I can fill several thousand chips in about an hour to an hour and a half.

The cost of repairing paint chips with Dr. ColorChip is considerably less than having your car repainted, and it does a really beautiful job. I get better results with each chip, because I fill them more completely. I am also more likely to fill more chips, because with this process, I’ll see the very small sand-sized ones. The system works well for dealing with different shaped chips and for the ones caused by things like shopping carts or door dings. The same goes for the awkwardly-placed chips – the ones that happen in the crease in the middle, for example.

I fix everything: chips on the door hood, door edges, mirrors, bumper scrapes, you name it. My fine arts background sets me apart from other paint chip technicians; I understand the nature of paint. And the Dr. ColorChip system enables me to fix scratches a typical person wouldn’t be able to.

Every car is different, and every chip or scratch is different from the one before. I love the feeling that comes when I’ve repaired a car, I can see that it looks great, and I know I’ve done a good job. If you’re in Southern California, stop in and see me with your paint chip needs. If you’re unable to visit me personally, feel free to send me photos of your car’s damage. I can tell you what your options are.

Send photos to my cell phone:  949/463-7690 or email me at results@carpaintchiprepair.com

Quinn The Eskimo

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Rock Chips and Their Flavors

The open road causes more damage to our vehicles than we would like. Debris gets kicked up by other cars speeding by, and sure enough, small particles, such as rocks and sand, slam their way into the front bumper. All chips can certainly be repaired, but some are an easier task than others.
The easiest chip to repair is a bucket-shaped chip, where the sides are straight up and down into the car, typically caused by a rock hitting the car directly from the front. You can tell for yourself if this is the type of damage on your car, because you’ll see that the edges are lightly scraped in and scraped out. This type of chip takes very well to the Dr. ColorChip system that can be wiped on and off, with just a little finesse.
Although most chips can be repaired using a typical paint chip repair system, there are others that are too big to simply blot with paint. Chips that are the size of the tip of a pencil eraser are definitely pushing it. You’ll only end up wiping the paint back out, if it gets too big. On the other hand, a paint chip repair system works fantastic on sand-size chips. With tens of thousands of chips all over the hood, and especially along the bottom of the facia, a kind of hazing effect is created. Dr. ColorChip can reduce the visibility of sand chips perfectly.
Unfortunately, there is sometimes no point in repairing vehicles in which the drivers are speed freaks. I was at the Porsche Parade in Colorado two years ago working on cars when a guy pulled up in a Porsche GT. He pointed out the rock chips on his car, and just as I was getting excited to work on his $300,000 ride, he essentially told me that any repairs would be undone as soon as he left. He got the chips traveling at about 75 mph, and he sure wasn’t going to be slowing down anytime soon.
There is a clear bra available to those that want speed and protection for their cars. I do a lot of prep work for clear bras, because they are semi-permanent, and chips that are not repaired will be sealed in. A clear bra is basically a clear sticker, and you can have your whole car done, but most people do a partial hood or front bumper area.
Chip repair is also important beyond aesthetics. A chip that doesn’t get the attention it deserves will rust, and then you have a bigger problem. What I will do is clean the chip out with a solution that should stop the rust in its tracks. As long as it is surface rust, I can paint it, keep it from scratching and have your vehicle looking good as new.
Chip repair is an entirely different process than scratch repair. More difficult scrapes will take several applications, and do-it-yourself kits just don’t do your car justice. There are also chips that are large enough to need a re-spray of the panel. It all comes down to a level of expertise. If you aren’t sure how to fix something, don’t risk additional damage. Send me a photo of your car, and I can give you tips on how to fix the problem.

Quinn the Eskimo
Steve Bode
949/463-7690  or www.carpaintchiprepair.com

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Take a look at this article I was interviewed for.

The article is about different options to make your car pretty again.  It’s written by Edmunds.com.

http://www.edmunds.com/how-to/touch-up-paint-options-for-your-car-commentspage.html

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Process for Scratch Repair

“It’s just a scratch.” That’s how people describe paint damage. Some will even buy a DIY kit, assuming they’ll fill the scratch in with some paint, and it’ll look as good as new. They are so wrong. Repairing scratches is completely different than paint chip repair.

The reason why scratches are so difficult to repair is that the gradation of damage varies. While the edges may only dig into the paint slightly, the middle gets pretty chunked out and then kind of smooth. This means you can’t simply apply the same amount of paint across the whole area. It also means you better know what you’re doing if you don’t want to make the scratch worse, possibly damaging the whole panel.

Like any repair job, before you can get started, you have to assess the damage. Sometimes the paint isn’t actually chipped. What can look like a scratch turns out to be whatever you hit stuck on top of the paint. When this happens, I try first to remove it with a light solvent, which requires special care, or you can damage the finish.

A lot of people make things worse by using a high-speed buffer on a simple scratch, especially on the side where the curves are. For a single scratch, I might hand-buff with an abrasive or a buffing compound so the edges disappear. The middle may still need to be painted, but this makes a scratch less visible. Hand buffing maintains the integrity of the clear coat all the way around, in addition to hiding the scratch. Sometimes, a scratch is shallow enough that if you make the sides look smooth and non-oxidized, you can’t see it anymore.

The rule of thumb most people follow is: if you can feel a scratch with your fingernail, then it’s through the clear coat.  But I think this is too general. You can still buff many scratches that you can feel, but you need to know exactly how far you can go. The industry term for sanding through the clear coat is burning. If you do this, you need to re-spray, which involves more than chip repair.

I use two processes for painting, or a combination of both. First, I’ll apply a big blot of paint at one end and use a rubber squeeze to rake it around. After some time in the sun, I’ll use the Dr. ColorChip solution to gently rub off the excess. To get the paint to stay, I take a fine brush and put a very light bead of paint across the top, to cover the scratch that much more. Once the color dries, a clear coat is applied. Painting, along with hand buffing, is where skill and experience most comes into play.

I repair every kind of paint scratch from chips on the door hood to mirrors, bumpers and front scrapes. I also work for car museums and collectors, including the Porsche crowd. After repairing well over 15,000 cars in the past six years, I have to say that good materials are essential to good craftsmanship. So many people come to me with paint bombs after trying one of those systems advertised on infomercials, like the clear pens. If you insist on using a paint system other than Dr. ColorChip, I’ll tell you how to use it best. Better yet, send me a picture of your car and a close up of the scratch, and I’ll advise you on how to fix it.

 

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What is that on my car…

I’ve been asked to fix many different anomolies on peoples cars.  Some things are pretty obvious as to what they are, others… not so much.

1. Bug poop.  Not a very appealling subject, but it still needs be addressed.  :P  There are, of course, many types, but only a couple might be an issue on your car.  Honey bees will leave small circles of a dark yellow.  It comes off very easily.  Please don’t use your fingernail to clean anything stuck to your car.  I spend too much time buffing out fingernails scratches where someone tried to remove something that a damp cloth will take off.  As a side note, I tried to convince a customer that bee poo tasted like honey.  He didn’t believe me, and wouldn’t taste it.

The second type of bug poop hardens into a dark dark brown shell.  It’s about the size of a pencil tip.  Many people think these are paint blobs from a touch up pen.  If you can ‘crack’ that shell with your fingernail, the rest will rub off completely.  Don’t rub your fingernail back and forth across it – just get your nail up against the side and flick it off.

As long as we’re talking about ‘poop’, we should talk about birds.  Bird poop is acidic and will eat into your finish.  The sooner you get it off your car the better.  You should be fine if you remove it before it dries.  This is more critical if the bird has been eating berries.  If it’s semi dry.  Take a wet towel and heat it up in the micro wave, and place ontop of the bird poop until it loosens up, then wipe clean.

On that note, the above tip with the wet cloth also works for tree sap and eggings.  Again, please don’t scrape off with your fingernail.  Especially the egg, mostly because it’s gross, but also because the acid from the egg yolk has loosened up the clearcote.  In general, most of the damage from egging is from the shards of the eggs shell, not the egg itself, so the damage is already done.

The final anominal is from transfer, meaning things that you’ve hit, and are still stuck on your car.  It’s pretty obvious when you’ve scraped up against a red curb, and now there’s red on your car, but it’s often not apparent that something is on car, versus your paint being scraped off.  Many, many times I’ve simply rubbed off some ‘transfer’ to the amazement of my customer, who thought I repainted his/her bumper.  Knowing what will rub off and what needs to be repainted often takes some careful investigation.

There’s two more things that I can think of.  They look the same, but come from different sources.  Tiny white spots.  If they are perfectly rounded and brite white, it’s probably wax that has splattered across the car.  When wax is old, and is then buffed into the car, little drops can stick to your car like cement.  It’s so difficult to remove that even an expert car detailer might think they’re paint chips.  The only way I’ve found to get rid of them is some of our Dr.Colorchip solution beefed up with some acetone on a tshirt cloth, and a LOT of careful rubbing.

The second type of white spot comes from tree drippings. Not necesarrily sap, but it’s more like a misting.  If the sap is still on your car, it’ll looking like very tiny water drops, if the sap had dried, it’ll take the paint with it and leave tiny irregular white spots where the paint is gone.  These are different from rock chips in that they will be equally spread across the enitre car, and they are much shallower than chips.  They only way to get rid of them, short of repainting your car, is to use a small brush and paint each drop with our Dr.Colorchip paint system.  (or apply ‘shoe polish’ method)

That’s all I can think of for now.  If you have any questions please text 949-463-7690 or email me at results@carpaintchiprepair.com or check out my website for more info www.carpaintchiprepair.com

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Schedule – come watch me work.

Monday – Allen Cadillac/Hyundai, Laguna Niguel
Weseloh Honda, San Juan Capistrano

Tuesday – Keyes Lexus, San Fernando Valley
Galpin Jaguar, Aston Martin, San Fernando Valey
Courtesy, Thousand Oaks Auto Mall
Silverstar Cadillac, Chevy, Thousand Oaks Auto Mall

Wednesday – Open for Private car owners

Thursday – Circle Porsche, Audi, Long Beach
Pacific Ford, Long Beach
Long Beach Lincoln Mercury, Long Beach

Friday – Volkswagon, Garden Grove
Freeway Honda, Santa Ana
Power Ford, Tustin

Saturday – open for private car owners

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Looking Good!

If you’ve spent a lot of money on your car, you’ll want to show it off, right?

Of course you do – that’s exactly why you bought it!

Thing is, you’re more than likely still want to make good use of your car and if you’re using it frequently, it can be really difficult to keep it in good condition. In California, even just having your car parked on a sideroad can cause it to collect dust and dirt, and nothing damages a car’s image than it looking like it’s been poorly maintained.

Even worse than general day to day grime, though, are paint chips. Stones, pebbles and grit can really easily damage your car’s paintwork and even the smallest blemish might damage the aesthetic of your car.

Of course, our best advice is to get it sorted as soon as you possibly can. Leaving it alone might only make the situation worse. Depending on your policy, you might even be able to claim your repair on your insurance, and you should check this out when you’re getting your motor insurance quote. It can be well worth the time.

Here at Car Paint Chip Repair, we’re experts at fixing paint chips, and we can restore your car to its original state – just like when you bought it! Make sure you keep your car neat, tidy and up to scratch – that way it’s sure to impress!

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Dr.Colorchip

I’m looking for a regular car venue where I can show off a little. I have an exceedingly good reputation in southern California for being able to fix those unsightly rock chips on everything from the car you’re returning on a lease, or some of the most valuable cars in the world. (worked on more than one Enzo Ferrrari, and several other million dollar cars.

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