Getting Auto Body Work Done
December 5, 2013 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Will just cleaning up a section on the quarter panel of my bumper look horrible in comparison to the rest of the car?

I am getting a quarter panel on my Honda Civic cleaned up. Has some bad scratches on the bumper (plastic). I was looking to keep costs down and the auto body shop I am going through will section off the part of the bumper, sand it, and paint it. The mechanic doing it said he will blend the color, etc, but keeps making side comments about how I should just do the whole thing "right".

Will sectioning off the portion of the bumper look bad? I would imagine they would blend the color so that you couldn't tell. The autobody shop is well respected, not a Macco or other cheap place. I am afraid that the cost of the paint is what they might skimp on to keep this price down.

Has anyone out on mefe experienced a repair like this where just a certain section is fixed? Did it blend the right way?

I'm on the fence about ditching this place and trying another! Probably wouldn't hurt to get another estimate from another autobody shop anyways.
posted by melizabeth to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Bodywork is mostly labor, the paint is relatively inexpensive. These places are good at blending these things *if* the paint on the rest of the car is in good shape. If the rest of the car is faded and full of small scratches, it always looks strange when one section is shiny and new.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:05 PM on December 5, 2013

Response by poster: If it helps and if anyone has recommendations of other places to get estimates - I'm in Arlington, MA
posted by melizabeth at 5:11 PM on December 5, 2013

Yes, I just had a couple of spots like this done on my 2009 Audi. If the car is all shiny clean on a sunny day and you bend down and stare at it at just the right angle, you can tell. If you get five minutes' worth of driving dirt on it, you can't. One spot was a ding on the hood where someone backed into me, one was a bunch of scratches on the bumper, and one was a scratch on the door. If it helps, my car is black and takes a ridiculous amount of abuse, driving places that would make fastidious German engineers cry.
posted by HotToddy at 6:06 PM on December 5, 2013

It depends. if the bodywork is otherwise good and the quality of paint is otherwise good (shiny and will look like new paint if there was new paint alongside it) then blending it in would probably look fine. The worse the condition of the non-repaired paint area the more obvious it will look.

I'm sure they will blend it as best they can if they are a decent paint shop, but if the car looks other than almost brand new otherwise then anyone that does paint for a living (or anyone who knows what to look for) would notice it had been done on one section only when the car was clean and dry in good light.

It won't look 'bad' necessarily, but it is the 'right' thing to do to paint the entire bumper. It is much, much easier to hide a slight change of paint across a panel gap than in the middle of a panel, so if the paint shop is good it will be hard to spot but is unlikely to be invisible.

If the car looks perfect otherwise, paint the whole bumper. If it has any level of defects (sun fading, scratches, looks 'used') otherwise don't worry about it. In 6 months you won't even see it anymore unless you know where it is.
posted by Brockles at 10:37 AM on December 6, 2013

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