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skyfish400h

Body Damage

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Well, I'm an idiot... I backed into a tree.

Now I'm concerned about how the body shop is going to match my beautiful Bamboo Pearl paint job.

Anyone have any tips on what to look for (or look out for) when it comes to auto body shops?

Should I take it to a Lexus dealer?

Any advice woudl be appreciated.

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After having a truck back into our 400h, the Lexus dealership from whom we bought our 400h recommended the Chevy dealership body shop, next door. However, after checking around, I found out that a Toyota collision center not too far from here was highly recommended for Lexus vehicles. They replaced our front bumper and painted it Bamboo Pearl. I was very impressed with both their repair center itself and the excellent job they did with the repair and paint. So, if you have a Toyota Collision center nearby, I recommend that you pay them a visit.

Dave

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Sky, I backed into my garage one night with the rear hatch open and discovered the hard way that my RX does not clear the upper portal of my garage opening. Hence some minor damage to my bamboo pearl baby. A few comments:

1. Matching the paint color was not at all difficult by a competent body shop. In fact they did not even repaint the entire rear hatch, only blended the color and then clear coated. It looks perfect a year later.

2. I got two body shop recommendations from a local paint supplier to body shops (who also a little bit of retail). Both turned out to be great referrals who did excellent and reasonably priced work.

3. Here in Arizona, several high end car dealerships refer you to specific body shops. When you do the research you find out that the body shops are commonly owned by the same owners as the dealerships--in my case Roger Penske and crew. They do not have the best reputation and also gave me the highest bids.

Hope that helps.

Tom

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--in my case Roger Penske and crew. They do not have the best reputation and also gave me the highest bids.

Tom

Sorry to hear about your little lesson, but it's good to know that that the paint matching is not a big deal.

I was going to folllow the recommendation for a Certified Toyota Collision dealership, but the closest one to me is a Penske outfit. Hmm.

There is Longo dealership a bit farther away that has won the President's Award in addtion to be a collision a shop... perhaps I'll go there.

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Sometimes it is better to use an independent body shop instead of one that is part of a dealership.

Unlike dealership body shops, most independent shops have to do good-quality work if they want to stay in business.

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Don't know where you live in So Cal, but if you live at all close to the LA South Bay, Ron's Body Shop in downtown Torrance has a reputation of being the best in SO Cal for repairing all of the higher end cars. They specialize in Mercedes-Benz but work on all.

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Thanks for all the help and advise, guys.

I took the car to a couple of places today, one of them a Toyota Collision center and they are recommending that the qtr panel be REPLACED (cut out the dented one and weld in a new piece of sheet metal).

This seems like an extreme measure for the damage that is there.

Should I be worrried about the structural integrity of the body after that kind of work has been done to it? :o

A highly respected local body shop did not even mention REPLACEMENT.

Both estimates were within 7% of each other and clocked in just under $3K.

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Thanks for all the help and advise, guys.

I took the car to a couple of places today, one of them a Toyota Collision center and they are recommending that the qtr panel be REPLACED (cut out the dented one and weld in a new piece of sheet metal).

This seems like an extreme measure for the damage that is there.

Should I be worrried about the structural integrity of the body after that kind of work has been done to it? :o

A highly respected local body shop did not even mention REPLACEMENT.

Both estimates were within 7% of each other and clocked in just under $3K.

Quarter panel replacement does not seem extreme at all to me. I doubt you would be happy with the results of just a repair. If it was me, I'd go with the shop that is going to replace the quarter panel. Don't worry about the structural integrity of the car. As long as it is repaired properly, it will be just fine.

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Did you ask why the Toyota Collision center recommends replacing a section of the panel? Perhaps if they explain why, you will better understand their reasoning. Give them a call; I'm interested to know as well. I have a hunch that this method is the most likely to produce a perfect result.

Dave

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Did you ask why the Toyota Collision center recommends replacing a section of the panel? Perhaps if they explain why, you will better understand their reasoning. Give them a call; I'm interested to know as well. I have a hunch that this method is the most likely to produce a perfect result.

Dave

I'm warming up to the idea. What they said was that since the crease along where the bumper attaches is so severe that it would result in a lot of bondo work to make smooth again. And there is the issue of the fit to the rear hatch where the gap is not uniform any longer, which indicates that the entire corner is pushed in slightly (1/8" or less).

Now what my insurance carrier is willing to do is another story. I expect the other shoe to drop in next couple of days. At least I can still drive the car, so I don't have that bit to contend with.

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What they said was that since the crease along where the bumper attaches is so severe that it would result in a lot of bondo work to make smooth again.

That's exactly what I thought they would say. Repairs done with body filler like Bondo almost never look the same as they did before. The main use of body filler at many shops is rust repair on older vehicles. The best body shops here in Kansas City don't even do rust repair, they just replace rusted panels. The shops that do rust repairs don't even give a warranty on the work because repairs done with body filler do not always age well.

Go for the place that is going to replace instead of repair. If the gap between the rear hatch and the quarter panel is no longer uniform, they will probably have to replace the entire quarter panel, not just cut out the dented section and replace.

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I don't think it's possible to replace a body panel without the use of body filler.

And I strongly disagree that repairs using body filler do not look the same as before. It's used on almost all work involving body damage.

Tom

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