Scratched or dented your first car?

Have you recently scratched or dented your first car?

did someone damage your new car

It can be terrifying and heartbreaking to be involved in an incident that causes damage to your first car. It does not have to be an accident involving another vehicle; it could happen at home or almost anywhere. 

It is possible that you will scrape your car against something, back into something, or have something fall on or bang against it. Whatever the cause of the damage, the most important thing to do is to remain calm and devise a plan for getting your car repaired.

Have you got a fully comprehensive insurance policy on your car?

fully comprehensive car insurance

If you are fortunate enough to have full comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, you may wish to use it to have it repaired, but keep in mind that doing so may affect your monthly premiums. 

So, before making a decision, please seek professional advice and conduct thorough research.

If you either don’t have comprehensive insurance or decide not to use it, then the next phase is to find out how much it’s going to cost to get it fixed.

The costs associated with repairing dents and scratches on your car.

the costs associated with fixing your car

Panel repairs and spray painting can be expensive for a young person on a low salary. However, don’t dismiss the possibility of having the damage professionally repaired right away. You might be surprised at how cheaply you can get out of this bind with a little discipline and hard work.

If panel beating is required, either have it done professionally or spend a significant amount of time learning how to do it properly, as nothing looks worse than backyard panel beating jobs done by people who have no idea what they are doing.

Whether you try to fix it yourself or engage a professional panel beater (very much preferred), whatever you do, don’t put off dealing with the problem for too long. Restoring your car to its original condition prior to the incident is important for maintaining the love you have for your car.   Unfortunately, if you leave it too long, you can become used to it and desensitised to it and this can be a problem in a few ways.

1.     If the incident has exposed bare metal to the elements, the process of corrosion will be accelerated.

2.    If you run into financial difficulties and need to sell your vehicle, the damage will reduce its value.

3.    Once you’re okay with one piece of damage to your car, it’s possible that you’ll end up being okay with two, three, or more pieces of damage over time, and before you know it, your car is a shambles.  This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the broken window theory and there’s an article on this here.

Repairing even minor issues, such as a scratch or small dent, can cost between $400 and $1,500. The more complex the repair, the more labour and materials required, and thus the higher the cost of the repair.

There comes a point when it is better to replace the panel rather than repair it, and a good auto repairer will advise you on this before taking any money from you.

A complex repair could easily cost between $1,500 and $8000, depending on the location of the damage on your car and the specifics of your vehicle’s construction and paint specification.

If you need to purchase a new panel for your car.

replacing car doors and panels

A good idea might be to shop around and buy the panel yourself and take that with you to the vehicle repairer when getting a quote.   You can sometimes get lucky and obtain a high quality 2nd hand panel and the more time you spend shopping around the more likely you’ll come across a good deal for a new genuine new panel.   

Aftermarket parts can be great too but I’ve always been a bit hesitant buying non-genuine parts online, I’d rather go for the drive and look at what they are selling in person and take a tape measure with me.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, while non-genuine aftermarket parts may appear to be a good deal at first because they are less expensive, they were not designed by your vehicle’s manufacturer and may not always be a 100% perfect fit. While it may not be obvious at first, they may protrude slightly or simply not look right side on or from a certain view angle. 

If this occurs, it is not the end of the world because these issues should be fixable; however, it will cost you more money and you may regret not going for the genuine part in the first place.

It’s always best to use a professional panel beater.

you should always use an authorised panel beater

If you can feel the scratch with your fingernail, or if the scratch is near a sharp body line, you should get this situation fixed as soon as possible, preferably by an authorised vehicle repairer. Any ding, damage, or scratch that penetrates past the base coat of your paint and exposes the bare metal of your car will invite rust to the party. Once rusting has begun, it is extremely difficult to stop. As a result, spending a few hundred dollars now is preferable to having to replace large portions of your car’s body later.

Professional panel beaters ensure that your vehicle is restored to its original condition. Although this may be expensive, keeping your car in good condition has a value to you that is possibly more important than having to go without for a few months in order to pay for getting your car fixed properly.

I’d recommend taking your car to a professional panel beater rather than doing it yourself on your prized possession.   Among the many exterior car repairs and restoration tasks carried out by panel beaters are removing damaged parts and repairing them, fixing dents, fabricating new panels as replacements, smoothing out damaged parts with grinding and sanding, replacing broken car parts and hardware, and realigning misaligned parts.

The most traditional method of repairing a dent is to pound the dent out of the car’s exterior body. The panel beater will then skilfully sand down the area. They will reshape the dented area with layers of bonding material to recreate the original form. After that, it will be sanded and painted to match the rest of the body. This is typically a cheaper option than purchasing a new panel.

The next best choice is paint-less dent repair (PDR). The panel beater will use a specialised tool on the back of the dented panel to push the dent out at this point. Because it aims to fix the dent without affecting the paint, this is a delicate process. Only use this technique if the paint is still in tact. 

It won’t be applied to areas with scrapes, scratches, chipped paint, peeling paint, or bubbling paint. They can also occasionally use a device known as a “stud welder,” which involves pushing studs into the dent and removing it with pliers or a smaller tool. Once the dent has been fixed, the studs are removed.

A dent puller, which is another tool that might be employed, is a sizable suction cup that resembles a plunger. The tool, which is intended to suction it out, is placed on the dent. This is a bigger version of something you might find at an auto parts store. Last but not least, they might use a dolly and hammer. This is when they hammer the dent against the car while using a sizable metal piece.

Take your car to the panel beater for a quote.

have you recently damaged your car

It will always be difficult to get a fixed price quote for a dent repair over the phone or the internet. You must schedule an inspection and quote for your vehicle.   There are numerous factors that will influence the quote, such as how deep the dent is, where it is located, and whether there is multiple dents/damage. 

The other thing that they’ll look at is whether or not the dent is so severe that the panel must be replaced and painted?

There are times when there is nothing you can do to keep your car from being damaged. Fortunately, a small dent, especially one that is in a good spot for fixing, is usually an reasonably inexpensive fix that will have you back driving around in your much loved first car in no time.

If you are determined to re-paint a scratch yourself, here’s a few ideas.

Did you recently get a scratch on your car

You’ll need to buy a few things if you want to try the DIY repaint a scratched panel thing.

Grab some:

1.     2,000 grit sandpaper

2.    Masking tape

3.    Automotive primer (etch primer)

4.    A spray can of your car’s paint that is made up according to the paint product code that you’ll often find on the door jam, inside the door, in your vehicle manual, under the hood on the firewall, ask your dealer, or sometimes the auto parts store can find it by searching for your vehicle.

5.    A topcoat product.   The final coat of paint you apply is the clear coat, which is applied over the pigmented paint, which in turn is applied over the automotive primer. It’s a clear, glossy coating designed to protect your paint from the elements while also enhancing the appearance of your paint.

6.    A good quality polish compound and polishing cloth.

You can get this from any good auto parts store such as Auto One, Repco or Supercheap Auto.

1.     Wash and dry your car thoroughly before taping off the repair area to protect the surrounding paint job.

2.    After sanding the scratched area with 2,000 grit sandpaper in one direction until you see metal, apply an automotive primer layer over it as directed by the product’s instructions.

3.    After the primer has dried, apply the pigmented paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the pigmented paint has dried, apply a topcoat as directed by the product, spraying it over a slightly larger area than the repair to achieve maximum blending and prevent your small repair job from standing out too much.

4.    After the topcoat has dried, use a polishing compound to blend the area in with the rest of your car.

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6 months ago

Getting that first dent or scratch on your new car is like a rite of passage. It’s hard to see your beloved ride with a blemish, but getting it fixed sooner rather than later is essential. Rust and further damage can kick in faster than you think. And trust me, you don’t want to let those minor damages pile up over time. I’ve seen cars go from shiny to shabby quickly because of negligence. Also, always consider professional advice when unsure. Keep your vehicle looking its best. It’s worth it!

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