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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently bought a 2008 Silver Element EX. When I went to pick it up and was inspecting it (hadn't paid yet), I noticed a half dozen, mostly fine line, scratches scattered over the driver's side passenger door and fender.

The sales manager offered to touch-up the scratches and take maybe $200 off my price, or repaint with no money consideration ("because it is going to cost us"), saying their auto body would probably repaint the panels entirely. I looked at some of their touch up jobs on their used cars and, while the chips were colored to match, there was still an indentation.

From what I have heard, factory paint and primer is the most durable. I called an auto body shop (Steve Overbeck) to check this out and talked to his wife. She said, in no uncertain terms, that I should not accept a touch-up, that I would still be able to see the scratches. She also said that today's epoxy paints are very durable.

I don't really want to start negotiations on another car as I negotiated a good deal on this car and don't think I would do as well next time around as there are few 2008s left in my area. With reluctance, I told them to repaint. They will be going down to the metal and composite material on the fender and applying new primer and paint, I think.

I will inspect again before accepting this auto. I would also like a warranty on the paint job for as long as I own the car. Needless to say, I am stressing about my decision and need some feedback, hopefully supportive.

Questions:
1. How long lasting is a paint job compared to factory?
2. Any change of color, or sheen, dullness, etc. over time?
3. How should the paint warranty be worded so that there are no loopholes that the dealer might use if the paint fades, dulls, etc.

Any other advice?
 

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Personally, I would either accept the car as is, or go for a different one. Things may have changed but the last time I dealt with a partially painted car, yes there 'problems' that came up down the road.

Since you haven't actually 'signed the deal' on this one, I would give a lot of thought to just going after another one - chances are you will regret it if you don't. It's funny how a simple scratch on a new car just looks like a neon light to the owner... know what I mean?
 

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I have had both of my Elements "partially" painted for some reason or another.

Having said that I would bet you could not tell where they had been repainted by looking at the paint.

Painting today is NO where like it was in the 70s. The paint has changed the techniques have changed.

Bottom line....if you are not under contract with this E check it out when they are done painting, very closely, and then make your decision.

I think you will be just fine.

Although you mentioned them going down to the metal / panels to fix it.

I highly doubt they would take the whole panel down to bare metal just to fix a few scratches. It is extra work for them that is not needed.

They will more than likely just spot fix the damaged portions and scuff sand the panel then paint the whole panel. Like I said down to bare metal on the whole panel is not needed just for scratches, even if the scratches were down to the metal.



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Starting all over may be the safest route to go but I'm not inclined to do this because of the price I negotiated (within $250 of Edmunds TMV). I doubt I could get near my negotiated price as 2008 Elements are getting scarce and dealers as getting less inclined to deal on them due to their scarcity. In fact, all the sales managers I called told me they could not match my deal and that was when the quote was $200 more than what I finally got.

As for the 2009 model, it would be minimally 2k more and I am not that fond of the new hood angle and grill. It makes the E look more like a Scion which I don't like.

I figured that a number of readers on this site have had paint repair work done and I am wondering about their experience after some time has passed (like years) ... not just negative experiences but SATISFIED ones as well.
 

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What BigT said. Today's paints aftermarket and done right, are just as good as factory. Had a hatch ding fixed on a silver MINI cooper - and no way you could tell 1/3 of the hatch had been sanded and repainted. BUT check the job in different lighting - take a piece of cardboard or poster board with you when you go to pick it up, and shade it a few different ways, if in direct sunlight, and check the work. The 1st job on the MINI had to be redone, as the silver metal flake hadn't been done quite right the first time, but the slight defect in the new paint only showed up in certain light. 2nd time - perfect. 3 yrs later - still perfect - when I traded it for my E, and it had some hot Texas summers to sit through in my driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bottom line....if you are not under contract with this E check it out when they are done painting, very closely, and then make your decision.
I would definitely inspect before turning over my check.

Although you mentioned them going down to the metal / panels to fix it.

I highly doubt they would take the whole panel down to bare metal just to fix a few scratches. It is extra work for them that is not needed.

They will more than likely just spot fix the damaged portions and scuff sand the panel then paint the whole panel. Like I said down to bare metal on the whole panel is not needed just for scratches, even if the scratches were down to the metal.
I would be more satisfied with this solution rather than taking it down to bare metal. That way, the factory primer would still be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The 1st job on the MINI had to be redone, as the silver metal flake hadn't been done quite right the first time, but the slight defect in the new paint only showed up in certain light. 2nd time - perfect. 3 yrs later - still perfect...
Thanks for your response. My stress level is starting to go down.

Regarding the MINI, did you have to pay for the second repaint and, if not, were you given a hard time to get it done? I ask because I am wondering how picky I can be.
 

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Thanks for your response. My stress level is starting to go down.

Regarding the MINI, did you have to pay for the second repaint and, if not, were you given a hard time to get it done? I ask because I am wondering how picky I can be.
It was done by the MINI/BMW dealer's body shop. I'd had it back about a week when I noticed in certain light, it looked like one small area didn't have the same even "flake" in the silver, almost like a shadow. Brought it back in and showed them, and they re-did it, no charge, no-question that it wasn't done 100% (and it was really hard to see). I'd be totally picky and let them know that up front - your buying a new car and it should look factory when they are done.
 

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i had some discoluration on my rear door and was offered to have it repainted / repolished.

I sought the advice of my bodyshop friend and was told not to do it. Having the body assessed, it was not worth the hassel and may lead to corrosion problems in the future if not done properly and beautifully. I place emphasis on 'getting it done properly ok'

If its minor its probably best to leave it or have it hard waxed....
 

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Buy the E,Take the $200, put it in your pocket and do a good waxing of the scratched panel. My wife's E is silver and it has some minor scratching- when clean and waxed, nobody knows the damage is there but me.

Her E had the hood replaced and the body repainted to the edge of the front doors on both sides. Three years later- it still looks just a shiny as the factory paint, however in twilight conditions- with the yellowish light- you can see a difference between the two finishes (only IF you know where the new stops and the old begins) which is why they repainted to a body gap- silver is a real bear to blend.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The decision to paint has already been made and I am told the vehicle should be ready tomorrow, Monday. Naturally, I am a bit nervous about missing something during my inspection.

The reason I made the decision to have the dealer paint the scratches, is that while most of the scratches were very fine-line ones, the scratch in one area was wider, and about five, varying in length and depth, had areas where I could see primer. I doubt polishing would have helped to make the scratches less noticeable as the car is brand new and already highly polished. I noticed them immediately when I inspected the car.

What I am primarily concerned about, at this point, is that the job looks good and that it will last as long as the factory paint, that is, no flaking, chipping, dulling, fading, or obvious color change from the original factory paint. Am I forgetting any other type of failure?

Questions:

For my piece of mind, I feel I should get a written warranty on this paint repair work and a copy of the repair order describing what was done for my records.

1) Does anyone know how a warranty for this paint repair should be worded to minimize any potential hassles with Honda if there is a problem down the road?

2) I am not expecting any trouble, but if the dealer does not want to give me a written warranty and the repair order, what are my options? I've signed all the paperwork but have not paid.


Curiosity Question: Why is silver so hard to blend?
 

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly.

I've done paint and body work since the 70's... OK, I actually started in the 1960's but only sanding. Gotta sand for a couple of years before they'd let me shoot something. (Age 12 or 13.)

1. It's not unusual for Dealers to re-spray a panel or do a touch up. If they'd done it prior to you wouldn't know it. (Odds are.)

2. Only the Best painters will do paint repairs on New vehicles!

3. I can't say for Honda but I've been told by Dupont and PPG that the Big Three don't clean their paint equipment between colors. If they're painting Red and switch to Silver, they load the equipment and shoot it until the lines are clear and turn the robot back on-line. What this does is Make Matching Some Colors Almost Impossible! I repaired a Suzuki with a beige champagne color we had to spray four times before it was a Match. There's 7 directions (angles) of Match and there's so many differences in paint flake and you can shoot it with More paint gun pressure and change the color a 1/2 shade. (Many times even if the flake is the same because of the gun pressure or static charge it can lay differently.)

I agree that paint is much better today than it used to be but color matching can be a Booger, even using a color analyzer. I'd rather them spray the whole panel instead of just spotting it in. (Most good painters will agree and it's actually less work.)

For them to only offer $200.00 off it had to be extremely minor. $200.00 paint wise is nothing. When you go to pick it up inspect it Very Carefully and if you're not Happy, walk or tell them No Deal.

Good luck, I hope it come out well!

Silver is hard to blend because all it is is (mostly) clear and aluminum flake. Blending silver is not impossible but the odds are is going to show. If it was a color that had more tint (or color) it's not as noticeable on blending color but it still has to be pretty close.
 

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I would just make sure that the warranty they are going to provide is at least as long as the warranty you get on the factory paint job. Other than that I doubt there is much else you will get them to commit to. Once the car leaves the lot everybody will take care of their cars differently. Some may take it through a car wash once a year and never wax or polish it. Others will hand wash it every week and wax and polish it every month. The point is depending on how you take care of it will dictate how long it may last and everybody does it differently.

It is my opinion that even the factory paint job on the element is not of the highest quality so chances are unless they really botch the job it will come out as good or better than new. Just take care of it and forget it ever happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I have my car, finally. The respray is beautiful. The visual difference from factory paint is extremely subtle. The slight yellowish cast ... I didn't see it until Pearl* was parked in my garage and the overhead florescent light was turned on. One has to really look for it. Must have something to do with the clearcoat is my guess. The respray also looks a tiny bit shinier and there is a subtle "heavier" look to the paint. But, considering I feel I had no choice but to respray, I am satisfied. Now, we just have to see how this respray holds up over the coming years.

Warranty: Honda's body shop did the work and they warrant "repairs" for lifetime (one owner).

* I toyed with naming my E, Lone Ranger or Silver, but Pearl won.

 

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Hey CaptMike"

I'm buying an Orange E and would like to paint it Nighthawk black pearl. What do you think?
I'm having a hard time finding a nighthawk black E Manual, awd.
So The tangerine was the one i found.
 
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