Question about repair estimate

I took my 2005 scion tc to two body shops for a small dent on the door (chipping away paint and exposing the body) and a minor separation of the front bumper.

They estimated 600-700 for all of it, mainly because the painting that will be necessary.

Does this seem reasonable? Here is a picture of the door dent:



It is a labor intensive process, and unfortunately, they have to paint the whole door and the whole front bumper. Just the process of matching the paint is labor intensive.

A little rust converter/primer (available at Walmart) and touch-up paint won’t look nice, but it will protect the exposed metal.

Absolutely reasonable. Get quotes from a few respectable shops if you’d like, but I’d be surprised if you get anything much cheaper, and it’s well worth that price for a good quality job.

Reasonable in terms of body work if you want it to match and look like it never happened.

Even after spending lots of time and expertise in trying to match the paint and even though most (if not all shops) will repaint the complete door.

The problem remains the vehicle is going on 4 years old now and the original paint has faded via atmospheric effects, including UV ray exposure.

The final result will be that the door will never match the rest of the vehicle. Only a complete paint job will accomplish this.

I would take Whitey’s advice and use a primer and touch up paint. Use the auto paint guide at the automotive store to get the closest color match possible.

Hm… if I do go this route (doing it myself), should I bother trying to “undent” it? And should I remove any unstable paint in the area?

Once I do that, I apply the rust converter, then touch-up paint?

Any other tips?

you can ‘undent’ it and rust convert it, then spray a can of paint on it.

however if you want it to look original and blend in with the rest of the car, YOU will never get match either the color and hue of the paint or the finish with out professional repair.

you may be able to get it ‘close’ to original, but if you are picky or finicky you wont like it.

some people just spray it with rustoleum color as close as you can find, and go with that. it is up to your personal preference.

The bent metal looks like it is on the edge of the door. You should be able to straighten it carefully with an adjustable wrench or locking pliers. This might make more paint crack, so be careful and go slowly.

Yes, the primer/rust converter goes on first, especially on the exposed metal. Follow the directions on the bottle of the primer/rust converter.

This Car Has Been In Two Accidents. Pay A Professional To Fix It Right Before You Screw It Up.

A high quality shop will make the paint match almost perfectly. They probably have allowed for “blending” the door on your estimate. Anything you try yourself won’t look right and can lead to further damage and rust. The rest of the vehicle must be in good shape or you wouldn’t be focusing in on these two areas. Don’t try this at home. Save money somewhere else and be more careful in the future.

I’d suggest after returning it to shape that you sand that spot to metal and prime and repaint.

Realize that you’ll never get it to match with parts store paint, or get an equivalent finish. A good body shop will “blend” the spray just past the door edge, will use the proper paint, equipment and facilities to do a good paint job, overcoat with clearcoat (your paint has this) and then polish the area professionally with special polishing compounds and practiced hands. If you can accept that it’ll always be a compromise then you can try it yourself.

Good points, although I’m not sure that I’d consider these true “accidents”.

The dent in the door happened on a super windy day skiing when my gf opened the door and the wind ripped it out of her hand and it hit the wheel well of a car next to us, which, of course, had no damage.

The bumper problem happened while driving from NH to VT along a super crappy road (Rt. 118) when I hit a bump. Also on a ski trip.

So I think the real lesson here is not to go skiing! Or at least make someone else drive :slight_smile:

When you buy your paint at the auto parts store, also buy a spray can of clear coat.

You can’t become an auto body repairman overnight; but, you can do a credible job if you try. Most auto repair manuals have a section on dent repair. An auto parts store will have body repair and paint instruction books, also.
On color matching, the esteemed gentlemen/women(?) are mistaken. I have used two part spray can paint, from an online supplier, which will match your paint within a half shade, or better. The prices are very reasonable for 12 ounce spray cans of a quality paint and clear top coat. Check it out:


however the repair and paint job turns out, post a pix back here so we can comment some more.:slight_smile:

will do! to be honest, i’m leaning towards paying the money for a professional job… although saving $600-700 also sounds pretty nice

Just about any dent will run that much and the price sounds fair to me. There’s a lot more to dent fixing than meets the eye. It’s somewhat labor intensive and there’s a lot of materials involved even on small dents.

Masking tape, paper, paint, thinner, primer, body plastic, Fish Eye Eliminator, enviro fees, taxes, etc, all add up. Paint prices have also gone up quite a bit over the last few years and the shop will have to buy a quart minimum even though they will not use it all.
(On a TV show about custom motorcycles last week they were painting a bike with a special paint that cost 4600 dollars a gallon! Utter stupidity in my opinion.)

For some really incredible paints, look at these:

Try the url, again. It works, now.

Common Sense Answer has had the best post of all. Pay a shop to do it correctly, 600-700 for this and the bumper cover sounds good. Anything you do, all with good intentions, will look like a patch job.
Since the rear of the ft door is damaged the belt moulding, mirror, handle, interior trim panel and body side moulding if attached will need to be removed. The door would not be completely painted but partially painted allowing for a blend within the door so it will match the fender but the door will be completely cleared.
Sense the damage is right next to the rear door it would have to be blended to match the ft door. Again, R&I (remove & install) belt moulding, handle, side body moulding and interior trim panel. Blend/partial paint and full clear the rear door.
R&I the bumper cover, a quality job will include the R&I, repair and paint.
A lot of work, about 3 days. 600-700 sounds better, doesn’t it?

If you don’t want to do this but want to patch it then go ahead and learn from the experience. But do not do what Whitey suggested with Vise Grips or a adj. wrench. These tools will chew up the metal and leave small dents. Use a hammer and a block of wood and go slow and be patient.

If the shop does not blend then it will tint the paint, this does not work with all colors and panel painting usually does not work either.

When using a hammer and a block of wood, make that hammer a wooden or hard rubber mallet.
I’ve used a rubber mallet and a small block of hardwood before on a small dent and after sanding/masking/priming/painting and clear coating, it turned out reasonably good.

Among other aspects of this kind of work, make sure you follow the temperature level required for use of that paint, otherwise you’ll be wasting money and time.

Don’t spray paint outside as even light breezes will scatter the over-spray.