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Cheapest way to repair/minimize scrape on car door?
Old 01-14-2009, 07:05 AM   #1
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Cheapest way to repair/minimize scrape on car door?

Someone scraped my car doors in the parking lot (left no note, thanks) - see photo. It does appear to go down to the metal on some parts of the doors. Is there any cheaper option that getting both doors repainted? The car is getting up there so I'm not inclined to sink a lot of money into it, but the household doesn't like looking at the scrapes.

I've never been to Maaco before - their website says they have a spot painting service. Not sure how they are on quality?
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:27 AM   #2
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I'd get a good cleaner wax and polish most of it out. Maybe even a very light compound. It won't take the dent out but should remove most of the scratches.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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You can buy a tiny bottle of matching touch-up paint at the dealer. Well, at least I did that back in the 1970's so I assume you can still do that. As I recall, it either had a tiny brush in the cap like a nail polish bottle, or else I got a tiny brush, and I used it very sparingly and delicately to fill in a tiny scratch.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Unless you click twice, you can't see it well (would be nice if the attachment system were better). Here's a closeup:

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Old 01-14-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Years ago I thought it was cost-effective to allow "the guy in a van" to pound out the dents for $25.00. He asked for cash because he was taking the kids to the beach. I then did some paint touch up like Want2Retire suggests. My car's dents were more dramatic than yours.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:54 PM   #6
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I use maguires scratch/swirl remover, or something like that. Put some on a soft rag, rub like hell. Repeat a few times. The stuff is very mildly abrasive and will clean it up good.

I also do my whole car once a year. Really takes out the swirls and all the accumulated wax/dirt/residue. You will be amazed at how good your paint looks after done. If you are like me, you will have sore hands and shoulders from the hand buffing...
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Someone scraped my car doors in the parking lot (left no note, thanks) - see photo. It does appear to go down to the metal on some parts of the doors. Is there any cheaper option that getting both doors repainted? The car is getting up there so I'm not inclined to sink a lot of money into it, but the household doesn't like looking at the scrapes.
I watched a local one-guy operation take out a couple of dings on my car.

My vehicle had 2 dings -- a large 'door ding' and a small shopping cart ding. Fortunately, neither ding had removed any paint.

It took him about 20-30 minutes. He used a mirror and some long steel tools. He stuck the mirror to the surface with some duct tape so he could see a reflection of what he was doing as he used the steel tools (which he inserted into the cavity behind the ding) and basically used them to smooth out the surface of the ding. THis process was much like when we used to smooth out metallic gum wrappers with our thumb nails as a kid. When he was done, there was no indication that there had ever been a ding there. I was quite impressed. IIRC, he charged me $65.

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:25 AM   #8
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In my opinion a choice between MAACO and an independent body shop i would choose an independent... perhaps stop in and ask what can be done for $100
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:15 AM   #9
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I did the same Meguire's to my car, and it didn't help much at all; however, out of desperation, I grabbed a bottle of Orange Glo and dabbed it on the light black scratches and then the tar marks on my car and it did work. Easy, cheap..and works. Just an idea.
**(Orange Glo is a cheap household cleaning product found in any grocery store cleaning aisle.)
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #10
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What's wrong with Sharpie marker? For light-colored cars, Wite-Out is pretty slick, too.

Or you could go classy and get some nail polish at the local Walgreen's. They've got most colors in metallic.

If that harshes your cool, you could get those little stickers that look like bullets have hit your car. See here: Fake Bullet Holes Pranks and Gags From PrankPlace.com

Just thought I'd offer a frugal alternative. Or is that cheap? I forget...
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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Thanks for the tips. The first thing was to get the black bumper residue off. Tried Meguire's Scratch-X and Goo Gone, neither was particularly effective at removing it, though the Scratch-X did help make some of the fine scratches less noticable. I went to a car wash place and asked them what to do, they pulled out a spray can of some solvent and it came right off. No charge, gave the guy a tip for his help.

Then I picked up a bottle of touchup paint at the dealership (which offered to fix everything for $700 - I decided the $9 paint was a better deal). Fortunately they had my color in stock. Cleaned the spots where the paint was scraped away and then applied just a bit of the paint. Up close you can tell that I painted it, but you would not normally notice it.

Thought about calling one of those "painless dent repair" places but decided to try my luck first. Back home, removing the interior door panel to get access to the dent from the inside took 10 minutes, and as soon as I pushed on the dent with my hand, 80% of it popped back out. To remove a little more of the dent, I used a rounded wooden dowel and hammer to work it out. As you can see from the "after" photo, I ended up getting 95% of the dent out.

Total cost: $12
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:47 PM   #12
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Nice job!! Looks like all is well. I can't even see the damage any more.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #13
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Wow, I am impressed! Maybe this can be your "fallback career." Charge $50. Maybe throw in a couple of free bullet hole stickers, for goodwill.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urchina View Post
What's wrong with Sharpie marker? For light-colored cars, Wite-Out is pretty slick, too.

Or you could go classy and get some nail polish at the local Walgreen's. They've got most colors in metallic.

If that harshes your cool, you could get those little stickers that look like bullets have hit your car. See here: Fake Bullet Holes Pranks and Gags From PrankPlace.com

Just thought I'd offer a frugal alternative. Or is that cheap? I forget...
That's frugal.
Cheap would be to go with my preferred method of ignoring it and hoping it will go away.
The self-destructive cheap method would be to hide the scratch among a myriad of other scratches by driving through overgrown roads with brambles scraping up either side of your car, followed up by tailgating a dump truck speeding down a gravel road.
The bitter and angry cheap method would be to give all the other cars you see in the parking lot the same scratch because maybe it was their fault and to have some company in your misery.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:39 PM   #15
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Impressive!
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:54 PM   #16
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That is unbelievable--you must be thrilled with the results.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #17
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Very nice work!! Next time, you might be able to get the black rub marks off with a shot of WD40.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:58 PM   #18
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Nice work! You mentioned in passing about the "paintless dent repair". I've used this outfit a couple times and saved myself a ton of money. There are probably a few out there but the one I use is called "the Dent Wizzard". These are franchised outfits and do a great job. Shopping card dents, etc. are no problem. The one I use comes right out to your house to do the repair.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #19
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I do think there is a market for this kind of "good but not perfect" auto body repair. Kind of like a Maaco $199 paint job (a good paint job costs thousands of dollars). Maybe Maaco already does this kind of thing; I've never gone inside.

There are the paintless dent repair guys that will pop your door dents out for less than $100 if there's interior access, but sometimes you also want someone to remove the scratch residues and strategically paint very small areas. I suppose maybe the paintless dent repair guys do that kind of work if you supply the paint.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:09 PM   #20
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FYI on the dent wizard, I tried it on a door ding on my car, and it pulled the paint off the ding, making it worse. I'd still probably use it again since I think that was probably a fluke, but do realize there is the possibility of making things worse since it uses glue to pull the dent from the outside.
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