If there is no scratch in the paint, I have had good luck with the invisible
dent repair guys. The place I went to a few years ago mentioned that M-Bs
were relatively easy to work on because they tended to have a lot of access
points in the doors and body panels. They usually charge 'x' dollars to
access a panel, and then 'y' dollars per dent in that panel.
doordingless '94 E320
I took my '82 300CD to one of those places, a chain here in Silicon
Valley called DentPro. The car had a shallow, dinner-plate-sized
dent on the side, below the rear-side window. To save time and
prevent possible damage to the interior of the car by some ham-
handed body-shop employee, I carefully removed the interior trim
panel beneath the window beforehand.
When the DentDroid looked at the dent, he didn't even glance inside
the car. Instead, he started trying to figure out how to stick a
rod in through the door jamb horizontaly, into a hole that obviously
would've had to have been drilled and then plugged, and work the dent
out by bending the rod outward. Which was obviously a stupid idea,
as it would've created a series of ripples in the sheet metal.
"Uh, wouldn't it make more sense to go in directly behind the dent
from inside the car and simply push it out," I asked? "Look here;
I even removed the trim panel so that you could do that." "No,
absolutely not," he replied, not bothering to look inside the car.
He didn't elaborate, which I thought was a little strange...and
which put me on my guard. Hmmm...
I immediately realized that rather than repairing this rather simple
dent in the most straightforward way possible, the guy was trying to
make the job more labor-intensive (and therefore profitable) than it
needed to have been -- and was being none too subtle about it, either.
I thanked him for his time and left.
Granted, that's only one data point, but it nevertheless made me
wonder about those places. After all, their market niche is re-
pairing slight body damage, so the per-job profits probably aren't
very great. I'm sure there's a lot of temptation to pad their
(Epilogue: I sold the car a week or so later anyway, for the asking
price I had in mind for after the dent was repaired.)
"Your postings prove the Fourth Stooge Theory" -- Danny Clark
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