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Old 12-19-07, 03:51 PM   #1
JasonF
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How much to pull a dent out of a car?

So I'm pulling into a parking spot from a crummy angle today and my side view mirror scrapes the car next to me. It leaves a mark about 3 or 4 inches long and a slight dent. Ugh. I don't want to file a claim with my insurance, so I tell the guy to just get an estimate and let me know what it costs. I figure we're talking a couple of hundred bucks, but he just called me and let me know that he got two estimates and both were around $800.

Is that reasonable? I want to pay the guy what it will cost to fix the car, but $800 to buff a car and pull out a tiny dent seems very excessive. Anyone want to let me know whether I'm right to think this can be done for a third of that price?
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Old 12-19-07, 03:59 PM   #2
4KRG
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That sounds like the MSRP and of course since it is your money the guy isn't going to haggle.

I would have to see a picture of it, but it really all depends on if it needs paint or a simple buff. $800 sounds like paint.
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Old 12-19-07, 04:04 PM   #3
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Paint would be my guess too -- Chicago prices may be a bit inflated for service too.
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6. Use a spray primer to prime the area, being sure to use a primer specially designed for automotive use. Six coats of primer should be used, allowing each coat of primer to dry completely before applying the next coat.

7. Sand the primer using a 600-grit wet and dry sandpaper. This will help to remove any scratches. The area should then be touched up with a matching automotive paint. If the paint is not smooth, resand and repaint the area until you have a smooth surface.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/repaircardent
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Old 12-19-07, 04:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG
That sounds like the MSRP and of course since it is your money the guy isn't going to haggle.

I would have to see a picture of it, but it really all depends on if it needs paint or a simple buff. $800 sounds like paint.
Yeah, he sent me the estimates (he got two) and both included paint. It doesn't seem to me like you'd need to paint, but what the hell do I know.

I thought about proposing that I send him $400 and he just live with the dent (you really can't see it -- I had to actually feel the car before I could tell there was a dent), but I figured if he's willing to live with the dent, he'd probably rather take my $800 instead of settling for $400.

Crap. Oh well.
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Old 12-19-07, 04:24 PM   #5
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Did you hit a Mary Kay car?!
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Old 12-19-07, 04:28 PM   #6
JasonF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinBlank
Did you hit a Mary Kay car?!
No, I scraped a 10-year-old 4-Runner. What I really want to say to the guy is "Your car has a slight dent. Nobody can see it. Get over it."



But he's within his rights, so what can you do?

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Old 12-19-07, 04:39 PM   #7
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If it were my car and in decent shape, I would be giving you an $800 quote also. Totally sounds normal.

Don't be afraid of going to your insurance unless you have a pretty bad record. The insurance increase won't be that much for someone with a decent record. I think mine went up about $10 a month for a year or so before dropping back down. Thats $120 total. and was for more than $800 worth of damage.

You can ask him if he wants to go through your insurance, or offer the $400 cash, which he can probably use $200 to pop the dent and buff. and pocket the rest. but if he goes through insurance, they won't pay until they get the actual repair bill, so he doesn't get anything in his pocket. But you are at his mercy.

Just say "Hey, I was hoping to avoid my insurance, but it doesn't look possible since I can't afford $800. I can give you my insurance info to file a claim, or take $350 bucks cash."

edit: Im no lawyer, but if he goes for the cash, I would ask for something in writing that its settled, and he isnt gonna go after your insurance after the the cash payment.

Last edited by grrrah; 12-19-07 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 12-19-07, 05:26 PM   #8
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Or he can spend a few bucks at the auto parts store buying a suction cup dent puller.

They also have those ones that use that hot wax and a small suction cup to pull out the dent.

I've used both on my car - and they work pretty good.

And for scratches, I've used that stuff you pour into a rag and rub into the scratch to make it come out.

Better than reporting it to the insurance company.
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Old 12-19-07, 06:50 PM   #9
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Old 12-19-07, 07:00 PM   #10
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I had 3 dings in my door. A guy used a paintless process to get them out. It's a big secret as to how it's done. The dealers all use this on trade ins. I think they heat the panel, drill a small hole in the side (where it can't be seen), insert a rod (insert joke), and pop it out. $100 cash. Looks as good as new.

When it got keyed I got paint estimates of $800. A nice body shop guy filled it in, matched the paint. You can't see it unless I tell you where it is. He quoted me $50 then asked for $40. I gave the $50 and the rest of my business.
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Old 12-19-07, 07:20 PM   #11
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Yes, if you go through your insurance company, thats what you buy it for. Unless, you have a bad driving history like DUI, DWI, accidents and driving tickets. Then you might get cancelled.

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Old 12-19-07, 09:54 PM   #12
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If he goes through the insurance he gets the car repaired plus they pay for a rental car as well. If the car needs a paintjob it will take more than a day. I wouldn't settle for cash unless all the costs were covered.
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Old 12-19-07, 11:20 PM   #13
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I don't really want to go through the insurance company because I just filed my first claim ever about six weeks ago (I was turning out of an alley and a guy I didn't see hit me -- totally my fault). I'd rather not file a second claim this soon.
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Old 12-20-07, 01:44 AM   #14
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A valet at a place I worked at in the late 90's put a decent sized dent on my door of my 1992 Isuzu Rodeo... I went to three body shops to get quotes, they all recommended that since the dent was smack-dab in the middle of a transition on the metal that "dent pulling" wouldn't work, and that it would be a better result if the door was re-skinned. All three gave different quotes from the high $1,600 to the low of $900. The valet company and I finally settled on the quote that was just over $1200. They cut me a check and 8 years later I still have that dent on the Rodeo that now serves as my "Home Depot" and other general errand vehicle.

I doubt he'll end up fixing the dent... unless you go through your insurance company, which is probably already too late to do anyway.

Be the better person and pay the guy, you would expect the same regardless of your opinion of how little the dent is.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hal9000
Be the better person and pay the guy, you would expect the same regardless of your opinion of how little the dent is.
Oh, certainly. I dropped the check in the mail this morning. I was just shocked at how much it cost.

And if I were him, I would certainly pocket the cash, but then again, if I were him, I would have told me not to worry about it, as it's only an imperceptible dent, and cars get banged up. Like I said, though, he's within his rights, so I really can't fault the guy.

I'm just going to tell myself that he's really poor and he wasn't going to be able to buy his kids Christmas presents until I came along and dropped $800 in his lap. That way, I can fool myself into thinking that instead of paying a lot of money for an inconsequently fender-bender, I saved Christmas.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:20 AM   #16
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Probably a smart decision. I would get something in writing from him though stating that the $800 is payment in full for the scratch on the passenger door just below the mirror that occured on 12/19/07 in the Circuity City parking lot, whatever, whatever.

You never really can be sure what people are going to try to do.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:27 AM   #17
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Don't think of it as compensating him for damage you did to his car, think of it as an added recurring cost for you being such a terrible driver.

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Old 12-20-07, 10:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF
I don't really want to go through the insurance company because I just filed my first claim ever about six weeks ago (I was turning out of an alley and a guy I didn't see hit me -- totally my fault). I'd rather not file a second claim this soon.
Smart decision in paying the guy. Next up- learn to drive better
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Old 12-20-07, 10:21 AM   #19
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cool deal.. I would have asked first about the $400 and then if he went for insurance option, would backtrack and say you will tell/ask your wife for more cash.
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Old 12-20-07, 04:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF
Is that reasonable? I want to pay the guy what it will cost to fix the car, but $800 to buff a car and pull out a tiny dent seems very excessive. Anyone want to let me know whether I'm right to think this can be done for a third of that price?
My girlfriend did the exact same thing just a month ago.

Estimate? $800.

So unless you are my girlfriend, it sounds like that's the going rate. I do think it's very high too. I would expect maybe $40 to $100. Though she said the car did look like it was brand new.
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Old 12-20-07, 05:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF
Oh, certainly. I dropped the check in the mail this morning. I was just shocked at how much it cost.

And if I were him, I would certainly pocket the cash, but then again, if I were him, I would have told me not to worry about it, as it's only an imperceptible dent, and cars get banged up. Like I said, though, he's within his rights, so I really can't fault the guy.

I'm just going to tell myself that he's really poor and he wasn't going to be able to buy his kids Christmas presents until I came along and dropped $800 in his lap. That way, I can fool myself into thinking that instead of paying a lot of money for an inconsequently fender-bender, I saved Christmas.

Thanks SantaF!
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Old 12-20-07, 06:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey65
Or he can spend a few bucks at the auto parts store buying a suction cup dent puller.

They also have those ones that use that hot wax and a small suction cup to pull out the dent.

I've used both on my car - and they work pretty good.
I wonder if those dent pullers will be able to fix the dents in my home's aluminum siding?
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Old 12-21-07, 12:46 AM   #23
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Old 12-21-07, 09:42 AM   #24
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Old 12-21-07, 10:52 AM   #25
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Sounds like an accurate price.
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