Kayak v. Car - Auto body repair questions


#1

Yes, really. Someone dropped their kayak off their pickup truck’s rack (very high rack) in a parking lot at the park. The boat fell onto my sedan, onto the quarter panel, between rear windshield and rear glass not-quite-window thing. It chipped off some paint (1/2" by 1/4") on the edge of the rear windshield gasket–which I covered with nail polish for the time being.

Since I did witness this accident, it is being covered by the driver/kayak-fumbler’s insurance.

My questions are about good auto body repair. I probably should not worry as I have selected a very reputable shop nearby. Excellent rep. But they plan to take out both the rear windshield and other small glass, fix the dents, and paint–with blending of the paint into the roof of the car and back towards the back.

I know almost nothing about auto body work. I’m vaguely worried that the windshield will leak, that the paint won’t come out right, or that other problems will develop. Silly?

I guess–back to the kayak dent/paint chip–it’s just a little shocking how much work it is to cover a small bit of unpainted metal and a dent. The paint part aesthetically is nearly unnoticeable, but I don’t want rust obviously. WOULD IT BE CRAZY to just somehow repaint the small area or use more clear nail polish , and not go into the whole proper paint-much-greater-area approach? It isn’t the money, but it just seems like it could end up becoming problematic.

EllieT

Plus, I can’t sleep and I thought someone would get a laugh out of the kayak v. car part! Thank you everyone. Sorry to be a worrier.


#2

A good shop will have no problem matching the paint, from your description they are going at this the right way. Do not worry about the window, they have done this before and can make a good seal. If the car was a beater your idea of just painting over would be fine, but not with clear nail polish. Without knowing anything about your car I assume it is relativly new or in good shape based on the approach the body shop is taking. They are just trying to put you back in the condition you were in before the Kayak incident. This shows why seemingly minor accidents cost a lot to repair.


#3

Thank you Steve. It’s a middle-aged car that is new to me and has relatively few miles, and that I bought a year ago when it looked perfect, due to wonderful care by a first owner .

I don’t drive all that many miles and plan to keep it a long time. It’s a safe, AWD car with some nice extras. It’s the best car I’ve ever owned and I guess that’s why I worry–

But you’re right–that’s why they’re doing it the right way, and I do trust the shop. If it weren’t for a certain person’s second-guessing comments, I would not have worried.

Thank you very much for weighing in. It really does help me.

And watch out for falling boats in parking lots, everyone!


#4

As @SteveCBT has said the body shop has the experience to do this right and you shouldn’t worry so much about it.

Because you said "I don’t drive all that many miles and plan to keep it a long time. "

Doing it right is the only way that in five years it is not an obvious problem that stands out like a sore thumb.

Yosemite


#5

“Doing it right is the only way that in five years it is not an obvious problem that stands out like a sore thumb.”

I agree. Get the job done right the first time and stop worrying.


#6

Or you could pocket the money from his insurance. This would allow you either keep using nail polish and looking at the dent, or finding a shop who will use a “stud welder” dent puller like this:
http://www.sears.com/usatoolsnmore-stud-welder-dent-repair-kit-special/p-SPM12760814819?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

I have one, not this brand, that I’ve gotten good results with.

Using this type of tool MIGHT allow them to fix it without taking either window out. In fact, that MAY be what the shop you’re using will do while telling you otherwise.


#7

Their plan of attach is correct. You should only wory if you do nothing.

The quarter glass and backlight/back glass are glued in. As long as a professional removes and installs you should have no leaks.


#8

I can’t speak to the repair issues, but I witnessed a kayak vs car accident last winter. It was pretty spectacular. Not so much in the damage done, but the way it happened.

One of those huge and looking brand new SUV’s was towing a big trailer that had a dozen kayaks and canoes loaded on it, in two levels. Probably for a scout trip or something. Anyway the SUV was making a left hand turn, and a small car in front of the SUV likewise. As the small car started after the left turn light turned green, a woman with a stroller started across the street (illegally crossing against the light), and so the small car had to stop mid-turn. And the SUV apparently not noticing the pedestrian, the SUV crashes into the back of the small car, and the entire load of canoes and kayacks dislodge, and half of them fall off the trailer and onto the street.

You can probably guess what happened. The SUV driver gets out of the SUV, surveys the damage, then starts yelling at the driver of the small car for stopping mid-turn.

So OP, count your blessings, at least you didn’t get yelled at.


#9

Making sure it’s painted and sealed, even under the seal will make sure you don’t get rust within a couple years. That way you won’t have problems and you can keep it for a long time.


#10

The reason they want to remove the glass is to protect it. The banging of hammers and heating from the torch could crack the glass if it was left in place. One benefit is now you will have a new seal around the glass. Seals do dry out and leak with age, usually 20 or more years, but eventually.


#11

@keith
The reason they want to remove the glass is to protect it.

With all due respect that is incorrect. The hammers will not crack the glass and more than likely no torch will be used.

Torches are not used that often on body panels in body shops. If a panel needs cutting the tool of choice is a cut off tool/die grinder with a cut off wheel used.

The reason glass, lamps, handles, etc. are removed is for proper paint access. Pull the part and get the paint wrapped around the edge. If a part is masked off there will be a paint edge exposed that can easily lead to paint peel.


#12

I agree with you on the paint issue, but they do use torches and hammers will crack the glass. Bodywork puts stress on the metal that wasn’t there before, in fact the dent puts stresses in the metal that wasn’t there before.

I had a car that was in a minor accident once and while waiting for the body shop to start work, the windshield just cracked from the stresses. No one touched it, it cracked about three days after the accident. They hadn’t gotten around to removing the windshield yet, needless to say it had to be replace then.

When they have to remove a panel, the tool of choice is a nibbler. After the panel is removed, then there is welding involved and weld=heat and heat will cause stresses that can crack the glass.


#13

Just a short story about glass and stress. Not many years ago a project car was taken into a long time glass facility here for a new windshield. I’ve used them before with never a problem.
I picked the car up, adjusted the mirror, and drove it 22 miles home in 100+ degree heat and parked it in the drive during later afternoon; locking it up before going into the house.
The next morning I go out to tinker with it and the windshield is cracked from the glued on mirror mount all the way down to the dash.

When talking to the glass company they said I must have banged into the mirror hard, kids were playing with it, etc. None of that is true at all. Never touched the mirror after adjustment; no kids.

When talking to another glass shop (Safelite) about why this could have happened the owner asked me if the pad on the mirror mount was kind of large. The answer was yes.
He stated that in some cases the type of glue used on a large pad attached to new glass can cause new glass to crack due to expansion and contraction of the glass under the pad.

I had never heard of this one and emailed PPG to see if there was any truth to it but never heard back. Anyway, I’m on the hook again for new glass because the glass company insists that someone dunnit.

It would seem to me that if glue on a mirror pad can split a windshield open it wouldn’t take much residual heat from a torch to have an effect on glass either.


#14

@keith

I agree with you on the paint issue, but they do use torches and hammers will crack the glass…ok, yes they do use torches but that is mainly for straightening frame rails and items like that. No one will use a torch inches from glass. That’s a no brainer. If a weld needs to broken to remove a panel a cutting torch leaves a ragged edge. The spots welds are drilled with a spot weld cutter and then separated with seam separator. If a quarter panel needs replacing the back glass and qtr glass comes out not because hammers will break the glass but you cannot remove or install with the glass in place. If a rear body panel for instance is replaced it is spot welded back in but there is no need to pull glass in this case. The heat generated will do no harm.

I had a car that was in a minor accident once and while waiting for the body shop to start work, the windshield just cracked from the stresses. No one touched it, it cracked about three days after the accident. They hadn’t gotten around to removing the windshield yet, needless to say it had to be replace then…
Yes, glass cracks while under stress. That is a good observation. Sometimes you can see a bend in the glass adjacent to a damaged panel. That glass can crack before or during removal.

in fact the dent puts stresses in the metal that wasn’t there before…
that is because the metal has been stressed. A dent in a panel has stretched the metal. It is not in its original shape and since it is connected to other panels via mechanical fasteners or a weld it can pull other panels out of shape.


#15

@Ejones Do you really think the OP is still around?
@cdaquila - Me thinks SPAM