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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, here's the story...

I picked up my 04 pilot and drove it home (about 40 miles) and, naturally, the neighbors come out to ooh and aah and one of them wants to look under the hood. No problem- we satisfy our curiosity and then close the hood. Except it doesn't close tightly. The secondary "safety" latch caught but not the primary latch. I pushed and wiggled and what not but no luck. Called the dealership but the service dept. was closed and the salesman's best advice was to raise the hood even higher and drop it. Didn't get a chance to try his recommendation because I finally noticed the bolts that could be loosened to move the latch up and down. I adjusted the latch and closed the hood fine after that.

Fast forward a few days to when I'm doing my first wax on the car. I notice a few depressions in the hood right above the latch. They aren't even deep enough to qualify for the title of dent. They are only noticeable when you look at the car under the right light. I figured they occured when I was pressing down trying to get the latch to close.

Needless to say, I was a little incensed, partly at my own overagressiveness and partly at the dealer because if the pre-delivery inspection had been done properly then it never would have been a problem.

So I called the dealer to register my frustrations and to see what they could do to make things right. I expected a fight but they immediately offered to fix the dents. Today I took it in to the dealership and they had their contract bodywork guy look at it and see if it could be done without repainting.... it can't and now the delearship is offering to have it taken to a body shop to be fixed and repainted and is also offering a rental car while it is in the shop.

So here's my dilemna (finally)- I don't know if I should just leave the barely detectable dimples alone or have them fixed. My big hangup is that I hate the thought of somebody grinding off the factory paint on a car with less than 225 miles. My fear is that the body shop paint will not have the longevity of the factory paint, that there won't be an exact color match, and that I'll be left with a body shop paint/factory paint intersection somewhere on the hood that won't hold up real well.

So what do you think? Are my fears well-founded or should I take the dealership up on his offer of fixing my hood? I've had mixed results with body shops in the past (and no experience recently) so I may be concerned over nothing. I'm looking for any thoughts or opinions on this.

Thanks,
John
 

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jsprag said:


So what do you think? Are my fears well-founded or should I take the dealership up on his offer of fixing my hood? I've had mixed results with body shops in the past (and no experience recently) so I may be concerned over nothing. I'm looking for any thoughts or opinions on this.

Thanks,
John
There is nothing better than factory paint.

Leave it alone. Wait till you get a bunch of dings and then take it to a paintless repair place. If they cant do it, then LEAVE IT ALONE!

Hmm, bet a nose guard would hide them just fine :)
(No reason to miss an opportunity to accessorize!)
 

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Check the reputation of the body shop. Do they specialize in Honda? Go to the shop and look at other cars they have repaired. Asked them how they plan to repair your hood. Use bondo, pull out the dent, replace the hood? What if you are not satisfied with the repair, will they fix it until it right? Note some body shops will give you an unconditional guarantee.

When I got our Acura TL, I noticed a chip in the hood. I took it back two times to the body shop before I was completely satisfied.

Another alternative is to buy a bra. The half nose mask would probably cover the dent.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Re: Repair small dents or leave alone?

N_Jay said:
Hmm, bet a nose guard would hide them just fine :)
(No reason to miss an opportunity to accessorize!)
I've actually thought about this! Maybe I can get the dealer to give me an air deflector.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Repair small dents or leave alone?

jsprag said:
I've actually thought about this! Maybe I can get the dealer to give me an air deflector.
FWIW, this would be my first choice. The concern I have with the hood-bra approach is that they will eventually damage your paint.

Good luck!
 

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A little thread drift here, I had a push broom fall off of it's hook and I didn't know it. When I backed the Pilot out of the garage I backed over the broom part and the handle hammered the car right above the rear wheel (twice!!).
So now I have two nasty dents that stick out like a soar thumb.
I called my local body shop (best in town) and they gave me the name of the guy they use for paintless repair.

He came to the house and fixed it. Cost $100 and it's so close to perfect that it's scary. The main dents were right on the body line, so if you strain and look, you can see a ripple in that line, but you have to know where to look.

He did say that Hondas are the softest cars he works on besides the ones with aluminum bodies (Land Rovers).

Sorry for the drift,
G.
 

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I paid $150 for two fixes.

I had to fix the lower trim and a ding on my SS. Lower trim had damaged completely. A red truck had damaged in Walmart parking lot. It was flat and touched the bumper. Cost of fixing these two were $150 at paintless dent remover.
 

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Re: Re: Repair small dents or leave alone?

N_Jay said:
There is nothing better than factory paint.

I would have to disagree with that. I know a couple of shops that do much better work than any factory paint job. Our SS Pilot came from the factory with slightly blotchy paint and even a run/sag in the paint.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Repair small dents or leave alone?

pjb3 said:
I would have to disagree with that. I know a couple of shops that do much better work than any factory paint job. Our SS Pilot came from the factory with slightly blotchy paint and even a run/sag in the paint.
Sorry actually I was referring to durability.

You may get a beautiful job out of the shop, but 5 OR 7 years later it will often show where it was repainted.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Repair small dents or leave alone?

N_Jay said:
Sorry actually I was referring to durability.

You may get a beautiful job out of the shop, but 5 OR 7 years later it will often show where it was repainted.
I still have to disagree. It really comes down to prep work and application, if these are done correctly the repaired area should be at least as durable as the original paint. It seems that much of the factory paint is very thin and chips easily so that a properly done repair may be more durable. Most of the shops that I am aware of all warrant the paint for as long as you own the vehicle.

I do agree with you in some respects. There are so many different variables in paint that no matter how good a repair is, it is always "different" from the rest of the car and under the just the right lighting it may show. I think factory paint is very good these days, I don't agree "there is nothing better".
 

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NJay,
I also would have to disagree on the factory paint. If you take it to Maaco, then yes, you are correct.
If you take it to a quality shop that does the correct prep work and uses good materials, then their job will be better.
My reasoning for this is that the factory paint is put on by robots and they know EXACTLY how much paint and clearcoat it's going to take to cover. They control the tempreture of the material so they can put on the minimum amount (which in some cases is not enough from the sounds of the blotchy silver).

A shop that uses good materials and puts it on by hand will put on about 4 to 10 times as much paint and clearcoat. This extra will allow it to be rubbed out to a much better finish and still be protected.

Not too many of these shops around, but they do exist.
G.
 

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booger said:

A shop that uses good materials and puts it on by hand will put on about 4 to 10 times as much paint and clearcoat. This extra will allow it to be rubbed out to a much better finish and still be protected.

Not too many of these shops around, but they do exist.
G.
True true, but in the paint world thicker is not always better.
Thicker paint may crack or separate from the surface.

As far as surface prep goes, a repaint never starts with as clean a surface as factory paint.

Most repaint has to be blended in to the factory paint at some point, and at that junction you have multiple layers of Base, Metalic/Pearl, Clear, Base, metalic, clear. The edges of these layers will eventually show up.

Look at cars in the 7 to 10 year range. Wiith the exception of GM, and a few specific Chrysler and Ford issues, most of the paint falures you find will be with repainted vehicles.

The Auto restoration shops you are speaking with do exist, but most of the work they do gets limited wear and tear, so it is hard to say just how durable the paint is.

e.g. If a show car had the same life before its restoration as it has after, it would have never needed the resoration!
 

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N_Jay said:
True true, but in the paint world thicker is not always better.
Thicker paint may crack or separate from the surface.

As far as surface prep goes, a repaint never starts with as clean a surface as factory paint.

Most repaint has to be blended in to the factory paint at some point, and at that junction you have multiple layers of Base, Metalic/Pearl, Clear, Base, metalic, clear. The edges of these layers will eventually show up.

Look at cars in the 7 to 10 year range. Wiith the exception of GM, and a few specific Chrysler and Ford issues, most of the paint falures you find will be with repainted vehicles.

The Auto restoration shops you are speaking with do exist, but most of the work they do gets limited wear and tear, so it is hard to say just how durable the paint is.

e.g. If a show car had the same life before its restoration as it has after, it would have never needed the resoration!
Once again, if the paint is cracking or separating from the surface it was not prepped or applied correctly. I also dissagree that the surface is not as clean. Perfectly clean bodies and panels do not just appear when it is time for paint. You have contaminents from the forming process that have to be cleaned before priming and then you have a primed surface that has to be cleaned before painting. Painting in no different than any other step in building a car, it is a compromise between quality and cost and what comes from the factory can be improved upon.

While most restored cars do get limited wear and tear I also know of many that are used as daily drivers. These tend to be cars that a guy lusted after in high school and now that he owns his own company he can afford to buy the '66 GTO, '67 Vette, or '69 911E. These cars are treated no differently than a new Porsche or other toy and the paint holds up perfectly.

I only have space for 1 car in the garage so I have 3 cars that have to stay outside and due to kids, all have had repairs. In 7 repairs I have had only have one instance where the repair became visible, and that was after 5 years because the clear coat was too thin in an area.

N_Jay, I guess I have just been fortunate to have good luck with repairs so far.
 

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pjb3 said:

I only have space for 1 car in the garage so I have 3 cars that have to stay outside and due to kids, all have had repairs. In 7 repairs I have had only have one instance where the repair became visible, and that was after 5 years because the clear coat was too thin in an area.

N_Jay, I guess I have just been fortunate to have good luck with repairs so far.
You have been very fortunate.

How old are the other repairs?

As for the restoration project cars, yes there are some "daily drivers" that are taken care of like Porsches and new toy cars that hold up for years.
But the ones that are treated like Hondas and Fords, left out in the sun, not polished, etc. will show the effects far faster than factory paint.

True that the factory paint process requires the cleaning of assembly debris from the surface, but repair paint prep never can clean down to bare metal everywhere since you always have edges to deal with (again, I am not talking about frame up restoration).
 

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N_Jay said:
You have been very fortunate.

How old are the other repairs?

As for the restoration project cars, yes there are some "daily drivers" that are taken care of like Porsches and new toy cars that hold up for years.
But the ones that are treated like Hondas and Fords, left out in the sun, not polished, etc. will show the effects far faster than factory paint.

True that the factory paint process requires the cleaning of assembly debris from the surface, but repair paint prep never can clean down to bare metal everywhere since you always have edges to deal with (again, I am not talking about frame up restoration).
Since I tend to keep vehicles about 10 years, most of the repairs (except the 2 on the Pilot) are between 4 and 7 years old.

I guess I am curious why you think factory paint will last longer? If you take your vehicle back to the dealer they may even use the same paint as the factory. I could be wrong but I assume the manufactures buy their paint from the same companies that produce paint for the after market. If it is the same paint and it is applied correctly, why would you expect it to behave differently? This is not taking into account that there are harder, more durable paints and additives for paint available aftermarket than
what is used by the car companies.
 

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pjb3 said:
I guess I am curious why you think factory paint will last longer? If you take your vehicle back to the dealer they may even use the same paint as the factory. I could be wrong but I assume the manufactures buy their paint from the same companies that produce paint for the after market. If it is the same paint and it is applied correctly, why would you expect it to behave differently? This is not taking into account that there are harder, more durable paints and additives for paint available aftermarket than
what is used by the car companies.
First, repaint materials are often not the same as the factory finish.
The composition of the paint is specific to the application method. What you buy from the dealer may be similar, but I doubt it is the same as the paint from the factory.
Often repair shops do not use factory brand paint, and have the color mixed by code in whatever base they are more comfortable with.

Second, the primer and base coats are not the same. Most cars are primered either with a dip or a heavy spray that reaches all parts of the car. These way the first coat of paint always adheres to primer. That primer is designed to be compatible with that particular paint, and is in a certain state of curing based on the time between primer and finish coat.
With a repaint the new finish is applied over new primer, old primer, old base coat and old clear coat due to the need to feather the edges of the repaired area.

Third, most factory finishes are baked to harden the paint, while repaint is typically air dried, or at best low temp "baked" since the other vehicle parts would not withstand the heat of the factory baking process.

To turn a phrase "I am curious why you think factory paint will not last longer?"
 

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N_Jay said:
First, repaint materials are often not the same as the factory finish.
The composition of the paint is specific to the application method. What you buy from the dealer may be similar, but I doubt it is the same as the paint from the factory.
Often repair shops do not use factory brand paint, and have the color mixed by code in whatever base they are more comfortable with.

Second, the primer and base coats are not the same. Most cars are primered either with a dip or a heavy spray that reaches all parts of the car. These way the first coat of paint always adheres to primer. That primer is designed to be compatible with that particular paint, and is in a certain state of curing based on the time between primer and finish coat.
With a repaint the new finish is applied over new primer, old primer, old base coat and old clear coat due to the need to feather the edges of the repaired area.

Third, most factory finishes are baked to harden the paint, while repaint is typically air dried, or at best low temp "baked" since the other vehicle parts would not withstand the heat of the factory baking process.

To turn a phrase "I am curious why you think factory paint will not last longer?"
I never said factory paint will not last. Unless you know how a car has been cared for it is not possible to make valid conclusions. I simply take issue with your assertion that factory paint is the best.

Your first point is correct, while it is sometimes possible to buy factory paint from the dealer, most shops, including dealers probably use which ever brand they are most comfortable with. I have no problem with this since I have seen no indication that factory paint is in and of itself superior to that which is available aftermarket.

To address your second point, all automotive paints have specific sealers, primers, etc. that are to be used as a "system". There is technical support available that tells which primers and thinners are recommended to be used with which paints. While I would agree that dipping a body in primer is not feasable outside of a factory setting, I don't think that alone would qualify to call factory paint superior.

Your third point is incorrect. Baking the finish does not make it harder, it cures it faster.

Don't get me wrong, I think that current factory finishes are extemely good I just don't think they are the best possible.
 

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pjb3 said:

Don't get me wrong, I think that current factory finishes are extemely good I just don't think they are the best possible.
This Thread started with REPAIRING a small dent, or leaving it alone.

Factory paint is better for many of the reasons I stated than anything you are likely to get from a repair.

Can a restoration shop do better? Sure, they can.
But you better know them real well and have deep pockets.
 

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N_Jay I agree. I was just objecting to your statement that it was the "best possible".
Many shops do marginal work because most people will accept it, not because they can't do good work. When my car comes back with a less than perfect repair I have to decide how much of my time I am willing to spend to get it right.
 
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