Need help w auto paint
I’m gutted. My 2018 M3 was flawless until yesterday when my wife borrowed the car and scuffed the bottom of the bumper. The paint is missing from a 1/4” x 5” swath along the bottom of the bumper-passenger side. I’ll try to upload pics. I have a few options but wanted to get your opinions as well. There is no denting but the plastic of the bumper is gouged. Adding to the horror (yes, I’m aware there are way bigger problems in the world) this is the only tri-coat (three stage paint) color BmW made this year for the M3. It is mineral white metallic and notoriously hard to match. Since the area is so low and not as noticeable as, say, the hood or fenders, I was considering tackling this myself.
My fear is that if I go to a body shop they are going to recommend sanding and repainting half of the bumper. Again, this is a nightmare to match color-wise and I want as little “new” Paint as possible and want to leave as much factory paint as possible.
My options (as I see them) are:
-Sand the grooves flat, small amount of bondo, buy 3 stage paint online and brush it in.
-same as above but attempt to spray it
-have a body shop to the same
-have a body shop repaint 70% of the bumper to blend it.
What I really need is a detailer that’s a pro with an airbrush. Pics to follow:
Edit, for some reason my phone only wants to take extremely low quality pics. But you can see how low it is in the bumper.
A friend just texted and said they make vinyl color matched stickers but a 2”x5” sticker is $50
Still, I’d like a permanent and 90% unnoticeable fix.
I told my wife not to worry and it’s just a car but inside I’m dying. This has been my dream car for 25 years (had a poster of one on my wall as a kid)
When I was a kid, I washed and waxed all my cars. Vacuum, kept them spotless.
Then I would get upset at a rockchip- used to touch them up.
Then an old lady blew a stop sign and hit my rear quarter panel.
Then another started to rust bubble.
Then another car the clear coat started peeling.
Then rock dings... scrapes, scratches...
I learned to let it go. If you want it perfect- don't drive it.
Cars are meant to be driven- which means they won't stay perfect.
You can try- but it will be wasted money in the long run.
Unless you’ve done body work before. It’s not really a DIY job. I’m usually all in on DIY everything but body work that I want good isn’t one good of them. I second l, to get an quite from dales. Example. My wife scratched up her suv. It was small but noticeable. Dales did a great job and to my surprise it was only a $250 job. It’s worth going there.
3 weeks ago
Josh, I drive the car very little and it’s garage kept. I put 4-5,000 miles a year on it. I’ve owned MANY nice cars in my day and have always kept them pristine. I get quite a bit of joy detailing my cars and I will get this problem fixed one way or another. Respectfully, I’ll pass on your suggestion to just “not care” but thanks for your thoughts.
Thanks sacks cousin and BC. I’ll stop by dales and see what they say.
I took my wife’s old Saab 9-5 aero to another local auto body shop a few years ago and was horrified with the results. I mentioned it once on this forum but my post was removed because apparently the shop is (at least they were at the time) a BID member.
I don’t mind paying for a quality fix but, as mentioned, don’t want them sanding and respraying a large area of the bumper that isn’t affected. I want to keep as much factory paint as possible.
You will pay but if you want this done right it’s a job for the auto body shop at the dealer. They are the only ones who can get that paint for that vehicle.
Dales is the way. Anything you do will show.
Or just use touch up paint, especially for potential rust, mostly can’t be seen from ten feet out, and no matter how good you are, everything else will show. Then wait for insurance claim to do it right and then Dales. In a perfect world, they will hit you right in the touch up!
Keep most for over a decade; truck over 20, looked brand new for 15, plastic by wheel wells took the worst, ice slide scrape. Getting ready to Dale’s it since figure good for another 15 but.......hard to figure out how to trick out a truck and just hate plain ;-)
That’s not true, Pauly. Any body shop can “match” the color with the cars paint code. Mine is A96. The reason it’s hard to match to the factory finish is because of the dispersion of metal flake in the paint which changes based on ambient and environment factors.
Consigliere, it sure wasn’t a 2018 M3 you dreamt about on your wall as a kid....it was an E30 with box flares and a four popper under the hood. ;)
I understand your concern but l kind of feel the way Josh does these days. My BMW has some spider cracks in the paint on the front spoiler, quite a few stone chips....just comes with the territory. I take the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic. Embrace imperfection. It means the car has been driven and enjoyed.
I too would recommend Dale's. A 3 stage paint is challenging for anyone let alone a diy attempt.
I have heard good things about a shop located on 57 in Port Murray, Valhalla Restoration & Fabrication They may be worth stopping into as well. I understand one of the owners teaches paint technique.
You’re right Emperot, it was an E30 :)
I hear you on the wabi sabi and that’s why I don’t need it perfect. Even 20 minutes and a $20 touch up pen would make look better than it does now. I’m at LEAST doing that much. Definitely not leaving it.
I’m now thinking of buying the three stage paint and some Plastic bumper filler. I’m just wondering if I should buy an airbrush and paint/thinner or buy the rattle cans.
I have some experience as I repaired my leased 340i a few years ago before lease return. I rattle canned that (bottom of front spoiler lip) and it came out perfect. The difference was, that was a non metallic Alpine white. Not this three stage pearl nonsense.
Haha Ian, you’re right! But I’m still a few decades away from wanting anything that large and lumbering (and expensive). The new ones are as big or bigger that a 90’s 7 series.
Thanks Greg I haven’t heard of them but will give them a visit if I decide the job is outside of my abilities
I am a fan of Mikes Auto Body on Rt31 in Washington. Mike himself has some old cars that he re painted and they really look good. I have brought a couple of my old cars there, and he has done a nice job with some paint and body work.
Thanks Rhyme. I checked them out and the yelp reviews don’t seem too positive. Plus, they’re in Washington so I think I’ll give Dales (who also has some bad reviews) and Valhalla (all positive reviews) a shot.
If they start talking about a full bumper respray or too much blending, I’m going to take a shot with an airbrush and rattle can clear coat (I’ve found that clear coat really thins out too much with an airbrush)
Thanks again to all.
Yes, of course it has three pedals. I’m not some paddle shifting poser! Lol
And SD, she can drive it anytime she wants. Whether or not she’ll take me up the offer needs to be seen.
Of course you had to add "when my wife borrowed my car"...
3 weeks ago
Just telling the honest story Dancer Life. Had I known it would somehow offend you, I would have....written it anyway :)
heh, heh, sounds like she got the glare.....
three pedals? you mean it has gears? how quaint. Just don't need to perform anymore....
by the by, poser, for formula one cars: "They only have two pedals, but there is a clutch paddle on the back of the steering wheel along with paddle shifters, which makes up/downshifts hilariously fast. ... The clutch paddle is only used when moving from a stand-still (pit stops and race start)"
hilariously fast.....who's the poser now? heh, heh.
+++. Like this.
“Yes, of course it has three pedals. I’m not some paddle shifting poser! Lol“
3 weeks ago
SD, I hear ya and have heard the F1 argument before.
To me, it comes down to engagement with the machine. It’s just more involving, more fun, with a “standard” transmission. DTC/dual clutch autos are faster around a track. No question about that. But I don’t live my life on a spreadsheet and driving experience, to me, is worth more than lap times.
Hey, I can't use a paddle for love nor money, so it no help to me. The concept of it being faster seems to be for the video game generation..... But past the age where shifting is really that fun either.
Even when I had the svx, it didn't matter to me; it idled at 30 mph and went so fast that my biggest problem was getting that sxxx-eating grin off my face. My main problem was the constant break replacement and tire replacement due to use..... Had an earlier 4-wheel sports machine that had both all-wheel and 4-wheel, and used to lock those differentials just to get a few more mph in the snow-covered curves ---- how silly is that? But it was really fun!
So now I skip the gears, use the cvts, skip the 4-wheel, and love it. Have even stopped finding myself letting up on the gas when I think the automatic trans is about to shift. Now the truck is so old it's still an automatic, but hey ----- if it's a work truck and you're punking around the work site, ten feet here, ten there, auto seems best.
Now, getting used to the hybrid engine shutting off when stopping, don't think I will ever get used to that.
I agree that it's in the eye of the beholder and whatever floats your boat is f-ing a skippy with me. I was actually just amazed that paddles are faster. Go figure on that one.
@Consigliere I just think it's funny...and pretty typical lol
3 weeks ago
I recommend wait a couple of months and see if still bothers you. If you still need to fix it, there is a bumper repair kit that may work on this. Then paint over it. If still bothers you then go to a pro and refinish the complete bumper.
I went to Dales and spoke with the owner (Dale?). He said the fix is the easy part. Matching the paint will be a pain but said he could do it for $200. He would have to blend 6-8” above the fix for it to look good. That’s more blending than I’d hoped for but at least it’s not the whole or half of the bumper. I think I may give him a shot. The paint alone would cost me $50. Another $10 for the filler and $30 for thinner, clear coat, tack clothes and plastic paint-adhesion spray.
I went to Valhalla, or, at least where google said it was. Nothing there. At the address of 460 rt 57 there is no body shop in sight. I turned around and came home. Does anyone know exactly where they are located?
I can only point....
From McDonalds, go down East Ave. Before the river, industrial park on right; they are first entrance on right. Snake back to rear building, they are on the left. Really good alignment, frame guy on right. Looks weird, but really great folks.
Google maps has it.
Valhalla is on the east bound side of 57 just passed that large landscape/ excavator place on the west side that is sort of always under construction. It's at the bottom of the hill and sits back off the road about 75 feet.
It's actually 664 Rt 57 according to Google maps.
I think you mean the Plymouth Belvedere in the Time Capsule in Tulsa Oklahoma:
That's the place owned by Dwight Foster that developed and sells Ultra One and did what restoration work could be done on her ("Miss Belvedere"). (Unit #3)
I believe the place Stranger Danger is talking about off East Ave. is Phoenix Auto Restorations, which is in the same complex. Same complex, different Units. (Unit #8)
He does mention a frame guy, which I think is Dimension, where they do great work on alignments without costing an arm and a leg. (Unit #6)
Yeah, Dimension, thanks. Great folks.
But no, it’s Dales Custom Auto , East Avenue and pretty sure where I said, other side from Dimension.
Again, it’s on Goggle Maps by name.
Except that the Counselor was looking for directions to Valhalla... he said that he went to Dale's and spoke with the owner and got a price.
Thanks all. Yes Ianimal, Valhalla is the shop I was looking for but thanks, SD.
Ok thanks, Greg. Did I just dyslexia out for a second? Could have sworn it was the other address...but obviously not haha. I did notice the excavator dude so I’ll go back and look again. I didn’t even know that’s considered Port Murray unless that’s just their mailing address.
Thanks again everyone. My neuroses of various life concerns is always tempered by the good folks at hackettstownlife :)
Consigliere- It is odd. The 460 RT 57 is what is listed on their website. However I simply put Vahalla in google maps and it showed it at 664 Rt 57. It even had the street view of the building so I know it was,correct. Now I looked it up again and it has 460 RT 57 on Google maps! Very strange.
In any event traveling west from Hackettstown toward Washington, it is located past 57 Auto Salvage and before Snyder Bus company on the east bound side.
Haha, I thought I was going nuts! Ok great to know, Greg. Thanks for your help.
I have learned to live with imperfections. I drive my two classics all the time and love doing so. There are rock chips, some paint bubbles, and scratches here and there. One day they will get a makeover. In the meantime, drive drive drive. I replace things here and there. Headlight bezels, mirrors, trim, etc. I've fixed most of the things I broke as a kid in my '73 sedan. I keep up with them both. Everything works in both of them. I'm a stickler about mechanical. Even 40 year old air conditioning, upgraded to R134a 15 years ago. Drive and enjoy I say. Even if I had a multi million dollar Ferarri or 300SL, I would drive it. Easy to say when I never will.....
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