Bodywork is an art that I don't have the talent for but I know from watching a friend that thanks to government regulations and taxes the material is very expensive. A quart of paint can cost over $400.00.
For $9500.00 you have a lot more than a few deep scratches. It is usually less expensive to replace dented panels than it is to try to straighten them. You didn't list what parts are needed so I have to guess there's a bumper cover involved which is usually plastic. That means more expensive additives to the paint to make it flexible. Don't forget the primers, sealers, adhesion promoters, paint thinners, clear coats, paint strainers, and tack rags.
If you think you can repair body damage yourself, start by taking the two-year Body Repair and Refinishing course at a community college. Once you have enough experience to know how the paint will apply in humid conditions, what air pressure to use, how far to hold the spray gun from the panels, how to adjust the gun for the proper spray pattern and application rate, you can go out and buy a $500.00 spray gun, an air compressor, air-powered sanders, and lots of sandpaper.
If you haven't figured it out yet, it will be less expensive to have your new car repaired to look like new by a professional who already has invested in all those things I listed and who has the experience to know how to apply all those products. I've watched numerous people doing bodywork and I still can't do it myself. I've learned to stick with what I'm good at and leave the other stuff to those people who can do a good job.
What you CAN do if you have the tools and the manufacturer's service manual is remove and replace damaged panels yourself. The problem is though, bumper covers are typically painted off the car, then installed separately. Metal panels like fenders are "jammed" first, meaning painted around the edges, then installed and aligned for proper fit and gaps, then fully painted on the car. Removing the old panels takes them a few minutes so you won't save anything there. If you install the jammed panels yourself, then take the car back to be painted, (which I've never heard of anyone doing), the people at the body shop will not be responsible for how they fit and line up. If the body lines on the fender don't line up with those on the door, or the door rubs on the fender, you will have to fix that yourself.
At first it sounds like you might save a few bucks by removing panels yourself, but while the professionals do that they observe how they were bent so they can get an idea of other hidden damage to look for, and to figure out which panel to move which way when two adjacent panels don't line up. There's a lot more you're getting for your money than just slapping on a few parts and throwing paint on them.
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 AT 4:02 AM