Auto Paint Repair Inspection And Care Guide

Even a minor car accident will likely result in some body damage, even if it's just a scratched paint job. In fact, the paint is the most obvious part of the repair, whether the damage was minor or more severe. Making sure that it was done correctly and then caring for the new paint properly helps ensure that there are no remaining signs of damage. This guide can help you inspect and care for the new paint.

Color Matching Difficulties

Unless your car was fresh off the new car lot before the accident, your paint color has changed from the factory specs. Aging caused by sun and weather fades the paint, so repainting isn't as simple as using the original factory color on the damaged panels. Your body shop must mix the factory paint color until they can match it to the current color of the undamaged panels of your car.

You may also opt to repaint the entire car to ensure all the panels match. Insurance may not cover a full paint job, though, since they typically only pay to repair the damaged panels. You can opt to pay for the difference out of pocket, though.

Inspection Pointers

Plan to pick up your car mid-day when new paint is part of the work order. Have the shop pull the car out into the sunlight and give the repairs a full inspection. Make sure the mechanic points out which panels were repainted, so you can compare them to the original paint job. It can help to get next to the car and sight along the side of the panels – sometimes paint differences show more easily from this low angle. As you look over the paint, make sure that not only the color matches, but also the luster and texture of the finish.

Care Pointers

You can help prolong the life of your new paint job with some proper aftercare. Generally, you won't want to wash the car for a week or two after it has been painted. Your repair technician will likely tell you exactly how long to wait. When you do resume washing, wash the car in a shady location so soap doesn't dry on the paint's surface. Use a large soft sponge and soap formulated for use on cars.

Paint can take several weeks to fully cure, so you don't want to wax it or apply any special treatments that can cause the paint to look cloudy for at least a couple of months.

Parking in a protected area can also prolong a paint job, but avoid parking under trees that shed sap or that attract birds. Both sap and bird droppings can damage a new paint job.

If you notice any issues with your paint, take it back to the repair shop. Often, paint repairs are under warranty so the shop should repair any issues that arise due to the quality of the workmanship. 

For professional painting services, contact a company such as Mach 1 Body Shop Inc.