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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so seeing as how this car is about 6 weeks old and there is some front end rock chips from taking a drive to the mountains when I only had 500 miles on the car. I went to the body shop today to see about getting the front end "repaired". Well to me, I think the body shop may have gone overboard with the estimate. But I figured I would share some figures with you guys to see what you think. I took some pictures over at my friends place today after I got back from the body shop.

First things first. They are replacing the headlights, and the Windshield. removing the front bumper and refinishing it. They are painting parts of the hood and putting it all back together. I will attach some pictures so you can see the damage here. Anyway, I was quoted $5,237.61 ($4,336 labor) and a 14 day turn around time. I took a tour of their shop and they are pretty busy, which is the reason they will have it for so long. They are the only shop in the area that does the Chevy Dealer cars. I drove by the dealer and talked to a friend who confirmed they are the only ones that do the dealer work. Everything that was at this place, in the completed condition, was pristine.

The second thing is, the paint on this car is extremely thin. They only use Spies Hecker to complete their work. They offer a lifetime guarantee on the paint and the labor as long as I own the car. They have been there for 16 years. This isnt anywhere near my primary car, I have many more, but one thing I have never had to deal with was an insurance claim. Ive been with my insurance company for 14 years and I have claimed 2 windshields a lockout and a tow in that time. I this is my 17th car I have insured with them, and have never been in an accident and have never needed to file a claim. For me, this car is just something I like tooling around in and its nice to drive. So to me, its not worth coming out of pocket this much money to get this thing repainted. I have a $250 comprehensive deductible and I am thinking about using it for the first time.

Does anyone have experience with body shops? They are quoting 44.7 hours and they will only do the car if they can take everything apart. They even remove the tail lights, and are pretty much going to reclear the entire car to blend it in correctly. They have a perfect rating on yelp, and are the highest rated body shop in my area. The guy doing the estimate also said that when he was done with the car, I should wait a few months before installing a clear bra so the paint could cure. And that he was confident I would look at the paint, a few months down the road, and not even need one. He then brought out a digital paint depth gauge and showed me that the 3 series BMW they repaired, the paint was over twice as thick as my paint, and that was the part they didnt even repair. The paint they shot was over 3 times thicker than my factory paint. I was pretty much sold. The quality of the paint work these guys do is amazing "looking" but I dont have any experience in this area. They are also going to shoot the headlights with clear, they will take the rocks and also wont turn colors or fog, like all of the plastic headlights do.

Thoughts??


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive exterior Bumper
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive exterior Red
 

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I think they're ripping you off. I have had body work done on my Montana several times over the years and they never had to disassemble the entire shell to do the work. Just because they have the contract with the local Chevy dealers doesn't mean they are the only body shop that can do the work.
 

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For that price I'd be awfully tempted to install a clear bra over the chipped area and forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True, there are plenty of body shops around here. This is the San Francisco Bay Area. I would like to get it fixed, just because of how new the car is. I will be driving this as a primary car for the next year, thats why I bought it. I may sell it when I leave here in a year to go back home. And I dont want this damage when I sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For that price I'd be awfully tempted to install a clear bra over the chipped area and forget about it.
True, although Im looking at $250 deductible out of pocket. Ive just never had to go this route. So Im guessing I should try a few more estimates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The more I think about it, the more I only see the hood and the front bumper need re-painting. The mirrors are a little nicked also. But those can be covered with something else. So $5,200 to paint a bumper and a hood. I'll replace my windshield myself. That's zero deductible coverage. Problem is trusting someone to paint the bumper and hood to OEM specs or better.
 

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1) It sounds like you're thinking that your insurance is going to pay for this. Have you checked with them? I wouldn't think insurance would cover rock chips.
2) Try touchup paint/clearcoat and call it a day?
3) Can you buy a brand new OEM front bumper and hood for less? The bumper comes off easily, check the thread on fog light install.
 

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If the shop is truly that busy, they are giving you a really high estimate because they aren't interested in the job because it doesn't pay enough. Neither a customer or insurance will approve that amount so you go somewhere else.
 

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I dont think insurance will pay, you can buy a new hood, and front bumper, get them painted for less then half of the quote, plus you can sell your old pieces to recover your cost.

Sent from my DROID X2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont think insurance will pay, you can buy a new hood, and front bumper, get them painted for less then half of the quote, plus you can sell your old pieces to recover your cost.

Sent from my DROID X2
Getting my hood fixed and repainted was $460. This is crazy!

Im with both of you guys on this one. And I haven't contacted insurance yet because I wasn't sure I wanted to claim it. And if I can get the hood and the front bumper repainted for like $800, I won't bother. But I do need a new windshield also. That cheap piece of junk isnt cracked, but there is so much sandblasting on it, it's hard to see driving into the sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Since this is my only car here, the rest of my cars are at home, Im down to rent a car for a few days and take the hood and the bumper off myself and take them to get them painted. $5,200 is just insane money, I dont care if its my money or not.
 

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Maaco?
 

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The quoted job isn't just painting over the rock chips. It also involves replacing the windshield and the whole car being redone in clear along with the headlights. It's not a simple matter of just spraying clear over the existing paint, it will have to be prepped first. I'm sure that's a big part of the labor cost. Compare the quotes you get from other places and note exactly what work they say they are going to do. I'll bet they won't perform exactly the same work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I want it to look like it did when I bought it 6 weeks ago, I dont think Maaco is my solution.

The quoted job isn't just painting over the rock chips. It also involves replacing the windshield and the whole car being redone in clear along with the headlights. It's not a simple matter of just spraying clear over the existing paint, it will have to be prepped first. I'm sure that's a big part of the labor cost. Compare the quotes you get from other places and note exactly what work they say they are going to do. I'll bet they won't perform exactly the same work.
This pretty much eludes to my first post about them taking everything apart and making it new again. They will be sanding and prepping a lot of the car. I will also have them remove some of the factory fish eyes. But they are replacing and clearing the headlights and also replacing the windshield. I will shop around, I just think $5,200 is a little excessive. I understand the labor involved. The estimate sheet quoted 61 items.

Then again, to me, the hood and the front bumper need to be repainted. The headlights are lightly sand nicked and the windshield needs to be replaced. Remove the hood, paint, remove the front bumper, paint, call Safelite and have them change the window. They listed 2.9 hours for the windshield! Ill get projectors anyway, so I dont really care about the lights.
 

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The projectors still need good clear lenses to project through.

If you don't get the headlights cleared, Xpel headlight protection film is about $60, IIRC. Well worth it, IMO. It saved us a foglight on our Honda back when an OEM replacement was $220. Well worth the $15 we had spent on squares of the stuff!
 

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Working in the auto-body industry I can tell you that your estimate sounds about right for what i THINK they gave you an estimate to do.

In order to "do it right" you need to take anything off of the car that can leave a tape line that is visible, otherwise you risk seeing the tape lines and having plenty of places for this new paint to begin peeling from.

So to summarize, if you are having a door done - take a look at it, right off the top of my head you'll have:

Belt molding, mirror, handle, interior trim, misc seals around the bottom/sides/top of the door; all of the labor for disassembling this should come near 2-3hrs, multiply that by all 4 doors, plus the repair time to feather/fill/prime/block the chipped areas and you can see how this starts adding up quick. This is how we do it at my shop, and this is exactly how i charge to do it.

Just got done doing a Jag that had come up behind a gravel truck and the gravel was coming out from under the cover all over the front/sides of the car. This car was metallic black and we did similar repairs; repair bumper, replace headlights, chrome moldings on bumper/headlights, repair fenders hood, doors, roof, 1/4 panels and it came in right near 7k but those things pay alot for the disassembly due to how much "crap" (creature features) they have. Was done under his insurance (you'll have to check if your policy covers stuff such as this) Oh and it took us 3 weeks to do this car, so 14 days sounds about right too.

It all comes down to what you really want to do... wanna take it to a ma and pa shop that charges half as much but has no warranty and will tell you to beat it when you pick at the small dirt nibs they didnt feel like polishing out, or take it to a place that is going to charge you for everything they do and actually do it right. Paint isnt getting any cheaper either btw.

Also something to consider, if you do end up getting some panels painted and then plan to put some clear plastic covering done; dont do it immediately. We recommend letting the paint cure for 1-2 months before waxing or doing any kinda graphics or rock guards. If you don't do this, and the paint hasnt fully kicked yet - you could end up with some blistering or bubbling which will surely not be covered under the warranty (If they dont warn you of this, then they prolly will since it was their fault for not telling you)
 

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From the sounds of it, they expect to almost re-paint the entire car to give it better protection. My advice would be to drive it for a year, beat it up, and when its getting close to the time that you want to sell it, deal with it. If you already have that much damage on your car, re-painting it, or replacing parts will simply cost you more money, as over a year the same thing will happen over, and over. Keep your current bumper, let it get banged up, and pay for a fix once, not 2 or 3 times. If you're happy with the performance of your car, and you want to save money in the long run, you can live with a couple chips.
 
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