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Body work repair before selling

I have a 2002 Mitsubishi Glaant ES, maintained well. It’s got an orange-sized hole in the driver-side door which has been temporarily covered up with a cementlike substance (different color than the door) to prevent water damage (a piece of iron went right through the door). The car’s got 80K miles on it. there are some other scratches as well. Is it worth the body work before I sell?

Generally not worth it. Having a body shop do this work is likely going to cost nearly what you will be able to sell the car for. Best course of action is to sell it “as is” unless you can do the work yourself or have a family member do it gratis.

Have you had an estimate done? Most (if not all) body shops do free estimates.

Go see a new car dealer that has a friendly used car manager. These managers know where to get body work done (and it is often not the body shop at the agency where they work). If you get a recommendation for a shop, let them know who refered you to the shop. You may be surprised how low it may cost to have the hole repaired. First impressions count on selling a used car and fixing the hole in the door may be worthwhile.

I’ve found many used car managers pleasant people and easy to talk with. They figure that someday you may either buy a car from their lot or refer someone to them.

I’d get an estimate on a proper repair and repaint of the door. It sounds like this is a nasty looking patch up job and will significantly impact the selling price of the car. You have to balance the cost of a decent repair against the reduced selling price.

Well maintained or not, an 02 Galant with this kind of defect sounds like a $500 car to me. From a buyer’s perspective the car doesn’t look “well maintained” at all.

As is, dont repair. It’s not worth it

Get an estimate and decide.

The cars likely book value is <$4000 and this is not a high desire model on the used market.

It will make the sale easier as you won’t scare buyers off.

First impressions always count in life whether we like it or not. If I say an ugly messy job I would assume the owner did not care about the maintenance or treatment vehicle.

Exactly what is the “cement like substance”?

I’d be inclined to remove the “cement like substance”, repair the hole using a screen-reinforced fiberglass or body putty finished with glazing compound, prime that spot, and leave it as-primed. Repainting might leave the buyer wondering exactly how extensive the damage was. Having it repaired and primed would leave the buyer thinking it was minimal damage and could be repainted easily. Matching paint on an 8 year old door is tough.