Is there a way to make a mark on a vehicle paint job and not be permanent?


I would suggest he ALWAYS be a good neighbor, and offer to touch up THEIR white Sienna first… when you get real good at it, then do your own vehicle…



It’s true that doing a hand wax job would do a better job of protecting a finish then hot wax. But I’m an old guy. Us older guys just don’t have near the energy younger folks do.

Then pay to have it done by a professional once a year. You can also buy an orbital buffing machine or a rotary buffing machine to make the job easier. I have one of each. I have a small orbital buffer for tight spaces and small areas like the pillars, and a large rotary buffer for the large areas like the trunk and the hood. The rotary buffer takes two hands, but the small orbital buffer only takes one hand to operate. With my bad back and other health issues, these devices make the job a lot easier.

I know waxing a minivan can be a lot harder than waxing a car, but having the right tools make the job a lot easier, and you don’t have to do the whole job in one day. You can do the top and the pillars one weekend, and the hood and the rest of the body the next weekend. Like any overwhelming project, the way to tackle it is to break it up into small manageable tasks.



No, I don’t work for Toyota.

If you get the vehicle properly washed, polished, and waxed right now, those spots will probably buff out and look as good as the rest of the paint job. When you see the spots reappear, you will know it is time to wash and wax again. Use these spots as a barometer to show you when the wax has washed away. There is no reason to have an expensive repair done, regardless of who pays for the repair.

There is a good chance the vehicle took damage during transport and that it was not involved in a collision with another vehicle. A lot of vehicles take damage during transport, and repairing the damage allows the dealerships to still sell the vehicles as new without disclosing the repairs.

It is a shame you don’t like taking bad news, but if you really think you have a legitimate issue, take appropriate legal action. What you are planning is an act of desperation, and it will come across as such.



Regarding prior damage. Well we bought the vehicle new. It was sold as new. And regarding the concept of Laches. Don’t know. I sought relief the very same day I was alerted to the issue by the appraiser.

About legal action. Well I am not an expert. Like I mentioned earlier I had called and found out that a new paint job on the entire vehicle would cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 or $6,000. So I would expect the bill to repaint the side of the car would be about $2500 maybe $2700. That is about small claims court size.

Now an attorney to represent them in small claims what would the billing rate be about what maybe $200 to $300 per hour for a junior type. Then there is pesky travel time as well. Preparation time. So what maybe an hour to prep. Hour for travel back and forth to the courthouse 1/2 hour for court time. That totals up to 2-1/2 hours total. That means about $500.00 total billing time. True they may choose to bypass an attorney and there is that hassle they would have to be there and if my presentation of ‘laches’ is on the mark. Then they lose. But they may not.

Now take a look at their cost. Let’s say the $2700.00 is accurate for taking care of the problem areas in a skilled workman manner as far as billing, materials, labor, overhead etc. They undoubtedly have a markup. I have a degree and it is in accounting and worked in that field for a number of years. Now back when I was working as an accountant even though I never worked with Body repair shops. Lots of business had about a 100% markup. I assume that it’s probably at least that for body shops. So the actual cost of labor, materials, overhead is probably less then $1350.

Now I have done research on that Duplicolor ‘Shield’ that washes off. It cost about $8.00/ can plus shipping. So maybe $15.00 total. I’d venture to say I could probably spray eye catching signs on the vehicle and keep replacing them for a year for probably about $100.00 easy.

I’m also a pretty gregarious guy. I can talk to folks at the senior center. I have 5 dogs that all love walks and lots of folks in the neighborhood know me and talk to me while I am walking the dogs. I walk them one at a time.

So I think that I do have a leg to stand on as a matter of fact two legs to stand on in civil/small claims court. (Now part of earning that degree in accounting was sitting in I think about 4 business law classes total.) I may be wrong. I haven’t talked to an attorney. Don’t intend to.

But I can help other people from falling into this trap by educating them about what happened to us. Driving around in a white van with huge lettering that says “Please talk to me about my New Toyota buying experience.” With arrows drawn to the big circles that I painted around each of the six areas where the damage was done and not correctly taken care of. Oh I should mention that I live in a Big 10 University Town. Football team needs work. But football season is coming up. Tailgate parties are a huge, I mean absolutely huge thing. It is amazing how well a van works for tailgate parties.

I mean just from this run around, if Toyota and Dealership maintain the track here is what they are losing. We have two Toyota vehicles that I take in and have all of the work done at the local dealership. That won’t happen anymore. Needless to say I wouldn’t purchase another Toyota vehicle since they apparently don’t quality control their dealerships. So we expect this Toyota to last us the rest of our lives. Our other Toyota will probably need replacement. Not going to be with a Toyota. So the Dealership and Toyota lose that profit margin. Acquaintances, friends, and family are going to be made acutely aware of the issue. Some will think about it and realize that they don’t want to be doing business with an entity that doesn’t deliver what is advertised. Then there is going to be the people that I don’t know who see me driving and at tailgate parties with my Toyota Sienna van that was poorly repaired before I purchased it brand new that I will tell about what is happening. Some will undoubtedly say a case of sour grapes on my part. Others will be surprised and maybe thunderstruck if Toyota doesn’t do something about it. They may realize that they don’t want to do business with an entity they can’t trust to deliver what is advertised. All those profit margins lost for what $1,350? Money that should have been spent when the damage was done. Something that should have been corrected in a skilled craftsman manner initially.

Then there is this guy that made a really cool video about United Airlines treatment of his guitar. It’s gone viral. I’m not near as good looking at him. I don’t play guitar and I can hardly play the ukulele I own. Any how Some of the comments folks have made about United Airlines. Well undoubtedly United Airlines is going to be losing profit on passenger seat miles that probably would have paid for 10’s maybe 100’s of guitars of the price that they broke. I will leave it to investors and customers to determine if United Airlines did the right thing. I know personally that I won’t be flying United and I’m pretty sure my wife will also be avoiding them like the plague. I’d go on and on about this issue because it runs a course in my heart. But United charges extra for luggage that isn’t a carry on and then when it gets broken they refuse to do anything about it.

But I’m pretty good with a camera, both still and video. I have some cute relatives and friends. I know how to post things on the internet. Including to YouTube. I have no expectations that any video that I am involved in making will get anywhere near as many view as the one I linked to.

So who knows?

I very much appreciate the time you took to come back and respond.

Have a Great Day,



So the question is. Why didn’t whichever dealership or factory that was made these repairs not do them in a skilled craftsmanship manner or at least disclose that the damage had been done so we could have had full information to take consider whether we wanted to purchase the vehicle?

Let me ask you a question. Kind of an analogy type of thing. I assume you work for a living. Now let’s assume that opposed to a paycheck you are paid in cash. You take that cash home and you put it someplace at home until you are ready to spend it. Might be tomorrow might be sometime later. When you go to spend it you discover that some of it is counterfeit. The police don’t arrest you but the money is seized. Now you know you got this money from your boss. Do you just take the lumps and say, hey it’s my own fault. I should have checked to make sure it’s counterfeit. Or do you go back to your boss and say, “Hey we have a problem. When you paid me some of the money was funny money. I’d like to get paid in real money.”

The finish on the side in the areas outside the spots is just fine and dandy. Looks great. So apparently what care I have been giving the vehicle has been fine. Just these bad areas that have shown up. It’s these 6 actually 7 areas about 9 inches to a foot in diameter that stick show because the repairs weren’t done in the standard skilled craftsman manner. Why should the consumer bear the brunt of someone not acting honestly? Trying to save some bucks. This vehicle cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000. If I thought had expected that it would only last for the warranty period and that is all. I wouldn’t have touched it with a 100 foot pole.

If you look at some other of my responses you will see that civil action on my part of some nature is a consideration. But if I have to go through that kind of hassle then, then I’m going to not be a happy person.

Regarding your comment about it ‘looking like an act of desperation’. Well nothing has been done yet. Going to see what the dealership says. If they don’t make it right then this will end up being my way of educating other people about dealership quality and honesty. It will hopefully save some other person or persons from having this happen to them.



Hilarious. ROFL. Great Response.

Thanks much for taking the time to respond!

Have a Great Day,



Whitey. Apparently I was doing a pretty good job of taking care of the exterior. Because the paint job on the rest of that side of the vehicle with the exception of these spots that are about 9 inches to a foot in diameter looks great. I’m not an expert detailer or auto body person by any stretch of the imagination. But outside of the spots the finish looks like it just came out of the show room. Except for some very minor chipping that has occurred since we bought it.



It’s probably just a matter of time before Toyota goes under. I say this because it seems that the manufacturer of every product I buy goes out of business. I drove Rambler automobiles and AMC disappeared. I bought an Oldsmobile and GM dropped the line. I built a house 20 years ago and had a state of the art high efficiency gas furnace installed. The furnace was manufactured by Clare and guess what–Clare is gone. My HVAC company recommended getting a new furnace because parts may be hard to obtain. I have a Chevrolet Uplander–I’m certain that my purchase caused the problems with GM. For GM’s sake, I should have kept my Ford Windstar. We also have a Toyota 4Runner–this spells doom for Toyota. I’ll get them for you.

I would bet that all auto manufacturers have dealers who aren’t so good as well as some really great dealers. You can find a purchaser of every make of car who has had problems with after the sale service. Dealers do trade cars around with each other. In fact, the dealers have access to databases where they can find a dealer who has the particular vehicle a customer wants. When my wife and I bought a new Toyota 4Runner back in 2003, the dealer located one in an adjoining state. The dealer that had this 4Runner wanted a trade for a Toyota Sienna. My dealer didn’t want to give one up. He finally found a 4Runner close to what we wanted about 100 miles away and we got this one. This dealer had gotten it in trade from another dealer. Things can happen when vehicles are moved around. The minister at my church drove cars from one Saturn dealer to another. She had a rock crack a windshield on one new car she was delivering. My understanding is that you are the owner of a new car if you are the first party to whom the car is titled.

Paint quality has certainly improved on cars, but it isn’t perfect by a long shot. Back in the 1950’s, it wasn’t unusual to have a repaint done on a car after 5 years or so. I would think that if your Sienna had been damaged in being transported from one dealer to another, that there would be other signs of this.



You don’t even know that this damage is the result of a faulty repair. You are speculating, as is the guy at the body shop.

Allow me to expand on your analogy a little. Let’s suppose I take that cash and mix it with all my other cash. Then some of the cash ends up being counterfeit, only I don’t know for sure whether the counterfeit cash came from my employer, my bank, or from change from cash transactions. My friend, who works at a bank, thinks the counterfeit cash came from my employer, but he is just speculating. However, I believe it came from my employer because I trust my banker friend, only I can’t prove it. Should I go to my employer and accuse him of giving me counterfeit cash? If I can’t prove it, I won’t get very far, and it isn’t my boss’ responsibility to pay me twice because I didn’t do a good job of managing my cash. I could make excuses for not properly handling my cash, but why should someone else compensate me after I neglected my money?

For all we know, that paint damage could have happened in a drive-through car wash. It could have been some kind of chemical spill or some kind of fluid that got on there while you were driving on the highway. You have no proof that Toyota or the dealership are responsible. All you have is speculation from body shop personnel.



I concur with what you have said about things getting damaged. There are however standards that are used to fix damages. For example with a car, when a scrape occurs and the insurance company is paying the bill. The standards of practice by body shops (at least in this area) is that they take and refinish that entire body panel that the scrape was on. That is what they are going to be billing you/the insurance company for.

I’m saying that when these damages occurred. The repairs should have been handled in a skilled craftsman manner that body shops work with. That is they should have isolated if necessary the panel sanded it even painted and clear coat it like body shops do when they do repairs. This is not what happened in this case. Whoever repaired it apparently just sprayed paint and then clear coat over these spots [u]as opposed to[/u] doing the whole panel.

Regarding good dealers and bad dealers. I am sure you are correct. But most franchised businesses have quality control standards or the whole brand goes down. Kind of like what happened to Dunkin’ Donuts in the last part of the 20th century. It is my contention that people like myself expect a quality product when purchased new from a Toyota dealership. That if a repair had been done, it should have been a quality repair to the standard of the new vehicle. In other words doing the work as a skilled craftsman at a body shop would do the work.

I sure hope you are wrong about Toyota going out of business. But look at what happened to Ford, Chrysler, and GM when they thought they were to big to have to pay attention to the consumer.

I thank you for taking the time to respond.

Have a Great Day,



It could also be that the damage to the paint was caused by a drive-through car wash.

Even if this was the dealership’s repair, no repair is as good as factory paint. However, the repairs are good enough that if you take proper care of your car, and wash and wax it, it will last. It isn’t meant withstand neglect, which the factory paint is better at withstanding.



Whitey, Whitey, Whitey. The only car washes we use are the no touch type. We once had a car that had a mirror torn off by mechanical brushes. Since then we have always used spray washes.

No repair is as good as factory paint? It’s funny in this area. I have talked to 4 body shops in the past week. One of them being the body shop at the dealer where we bought this vehicle. Guess what. Every one of them. All of them. Warranty their repair work for the lifetime of the owners or until the owner gets rid of the vehicle.

There hasn’t been neglect. As I said, the rest of the vehicle with the exception of these areas look to me like the car just got out of the showroom … with the exception of some very minor chipping.



Whitey you said. “You don’t even know that this damage is the result of a faulty repair. You are speculating, as is the guy at the body shop”

Actually I got the opinions from 4 (four) guys. One who was the appraiser who said he used to manage a body shop for a dealership. Two independent body shop owners. One of whom owns three separate body shops. Lets see … there is a fourth. Oh yes. That opinion was from the body shop manager of the dealership that I bought the vehicle from.

No I’m not at all resistant to waxing a car by hand. I have said I haven’t done it yet with this vehicle. Instead I have used spray washes and hot wax offered at those sites. When this matter gets all settled. I’ve been educated to the advantages of hand waxing. Haven’t done it in 20 years. Nah, now that I think about it, I think my wife waxed a car of hers once back in 1994 when we bought it new. But she only did it once or at the very most twice. Anyhow we haven’t had a problem with any of the new vehicles we have purchased new in the past 20 years regarding finish and with the aforementioned exception we have just using spray washes and hot wax.



Regardless of whether or not the paint had a defect when you bought it, and that is questionable, who would you go after? It could have been damaged at the factory, in transit to the dealer, the original dealer could have painted it. It’s impossible to prove anything. In any of the above examples, the dealer you purchased from probably has no knowledge of any re-paint, assuming that’s the issue.

Polish it, buff it, wax it and don’t lose sleep over it.



It could have been damaged at the factory, in transit to the dealer, the original dealer could have painted it.

That is a darn good point. Toyota would be stupid to assume responsibility for damage that occurred at the dealership, and the dealership would be stupid to assume responsibility for damage that occurred at the factory.

It would be kind of like blaming your employer for paying you in counterfeit cash even though you mixed the cash in with the rest of your money and you couldn’t prove where the counterfeit cash came from.



I bought a new Toyota, it is within that entity and it’s chain of operations, that is who is responsible for it. Your absolutely right that it could have been the first dealer that did the damage and didn’t fix it well. But that undoubtedly was a Toyota dealer.

“Polish it, buff it, wax it and don’t lose sleep over it.” Well lets see we spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 for the vehicle. We didn’t do the damage and try to get away with it. Someone in the Toyota chain did. There is damage that requires care beyond the normal standard apparently. Why should we who payed a lot of money for it and didn’t do the damage. To whom the damage was not disclosed. Have to bear the burden when it should have been fixed correctly initially or disclosed? To bring it to the point that those areas take the same standard of care to maintain as the rest of the vehicle. Probably would cost somewhere in the neighborhood I’m speculating now … of about $2500.

My wife and I work hard and we have lived a conservative lifestyle and worked at saving money. But Toyota I bet has a whole bunch more money then we would ever think about having. Then on top of it, it was someone in their retail chain of operations that tried to skrimp and get away with hiding their problem without fixing it correctly. My opinion and I think a lot of other peoples’ opinion as well think teh Toyota operation somewhere shoul be the ones paying.



How do the guys at the body shop know Toyota is to blame? How do they know the shipper isn’t to blame?

Has it occurred to you the body shop manager of the dealership where you bought the vehicle might be lying to cover the dealership’s mistake?



Bar of brightly colored soap !! Crayons , Pastel chalks !



If bright soap/candle wax is hard to find. First write using soap/piece of wax. Let the soap/wax dry. Then use/color the pastels on top of the soap/wax writing.



Re: Toyota’s behavior. They charged me ca. $170.00 for two wheels worth of lug nuts with one set of locking lug nuts. I couldn’t afford it. I took them back. They refused to give me a cash refund. They said that they did not have enough money to cover the cash refund. Four times I’ve been there. The same story !!! This is San Diego for God’s sake ! Millions of dollars worth of cars on that lot, and they refuse to give a cash refund for what I paid cash. $115.00 for eight lug nuts; $55.00 for four lousy locking lug nuts. I know that they are good quality, but , Jimminy Christmas ! … and no refund unless you give them your name,address,and bank account number! They will only send you a check!