I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SOME DAMAGE I CAUSED TO ...
2000 Toyota Camry
December, 11, 2012 AT 7:06 PM
I have a question about some damage I caused to a 200 Toyota camry. The color is super white. I was given an estimate but I believe I'm being grossly overcharged. The estimate claims this damage calls for a complete repair and refinish of the bumper and quarter panel with over eleven hours of labor. It claims that parts of the quarter panel and fender need to be replaced with sheet metal. The total estimate comes to $659.70. I know enough to see that this isn't reasonable. Most of the damage is scuffing with one small dent and a few small scratches where the right rear quarter panel meets the rear fender. Do you agree with the estimate or am I correct in saying he's trying to fleece me? I appreciate the help. Thank you for your time
You are WAY out-of-line. I looked at one of your dandy photos for less than two seconds to know you were given a good deal. You have no idea of the work that has to go into making the panels look right and for the paint to match. Any color paint can be made to look wrong by having a different humidity, temperature, air pressure, distance the spray gun is from the panels, and amount of paint applied. Often they have to wait for the paint to dry, then sand it off and start over. They do part of the job two or three times at no additional charge to you.
To put things in perspective, I replaced a rusty lift gate and sliding door on my minivan two years ago, and since I found out I have no talent or patience for body work, I had them painted the right color by a friend who owns a body shop. He mostly rebuilds smashed one and two-year-old Chrysler products. Both of my panels have the wood grain appliques so only half of each panel needed to be painted. There was no body work involved other than the prep for painting. I bought the paint, additives, sealers, primer, and sandpaper for a cost of just over $300.00. My buddy supplied all the labor for free. The extremely high cost of paint is due directly to the environmentalists and politicians who make the stupid laws. Now you are feeling the results of that. Some paints are over $500.00 a gallon.
Almost all body shops go according to a flat rate book to estimate the times needed to do each part of the job. That way all of them will quote you the same amount to be fair. The variables are some shops have people who are really good at straightening out panels so they will charge more for labor to do that and less for parts. Some shops have people who know better than to waste time trying to straighten panels because they know the results won't be satisfactory, so they just order new ones. More cost for parts, less for labor. You were given a real good price and you should be taking them donuts or cookies when the job is done, (preferably with chocolate). If you think you're being ripped off, get a second estimate from another shop. When you find out you were treated fairly at the first one, please don't insult them by telling them you went somewhere else to check up on them. Thank them instead for taking care of you.