I got rear-ended at a red light a few days ago and my otherwise
pristine 1982 300CDT now has some deep paint damage around the left
rear wheel well and quarter panel, but no body work otherwise. What
should I look out for when reviewing Allstate's estimate and getting
the repairs done? I'm worried that no matter how good a job the shop
does, I now have a car that's worth significantly less than it was
before. What's my best bet for repairing the damage?
1. Look up you state's law(s) on auto insurance claims so you'll know
2. Don't let Allstate "total" your car sight unseen just because it's 25
years old. If they try, ask for their appraisals of similar cars -
chances are that an "independent" appraiser will come up with some
"comparable cars" that were sold within the last six months - condition
unknown and now long gone so condition will remain unknown.
I made my own survey of similar cars currently on the market year,
model, mileage, condition and phone # and gave that to the adjuster.
3. As I recall, the Calif. law is: repair or provide an equal or better
replacement vehicle within 90 days.
Insurance co. fixed my old car, no salvage title, and local shop did a
Thanks, T.G. Allstate didn't even try to total my car - the damage
wasn't that significant. They gave me an estimate of $775 for 12 hours
of paint work and replacement of the rub strip on my bumper. It's not
a large amount of damage, necessarily, but the paint is gone above the
rear left wheel all the way down to the metal underneath in about a 24
inch swathe, plus some other smearing from the car that hit me.
To make my question more specific, how do I know what a reasonable
estimate would be to return the car to it's "original" condition (i.e.
have the paint work done to a reasonable standard considering the
quality of the original paint job and the almost new condition it was
in before the accident). I don't want to take a mink coat and patch it
with dog fur, if you know what I mean.
Anyone know of a shop that will do high-quality work of this type
around the Los Angeles, CA or Austin, TX area? I want to make sure I
get an estimate from a shop that I trust before taking any money from
On Apr 6, 6:08 pm, "-->> T.G. Lambach <<--" <"T.G. Lambach at
Insurance cos have "preferred (to them) shops" that don't need further
approval to start work. Get three estimates and ask your questions THEN,
look at the shop, the cars being repaired etc. Ask about the shop's
warranty on its work ask how far their repaint will extend and if a
clear coat will be put on etc. Look at their cars in final stages of repair.
You'll know which shop to choose for it will stand out from the others.
Unless someone makes a specific recommendation, you may want to select
a shop from this site http://www.i-car.com/ . By doing this, at least
you'll be at a shop interested in continuing education... which ought
to be a good indication of "something".
Otherwise, you're making things excessively difficult. Select a shop,
give them the Allstate estimate, and ask whether it is sufficient to
return the car to preaccident condition. If yes, no problem. If no,
take the car for repair and get a rental. Then, with the car at the
shop, have the shop call for a reinspection.
What you will have created by doing this is a situation where the shop
wants you to be satisfied by the repair, needs paid for operations x y
z to accomplish that, and will try to get paid for those operations.
If the insurer is unreasonable, then they are faced with what is known
in the industry as a hostage situation: the shop has the car, and
you're in a rental being paid for by the insurer.
12 hours paint time sounds excessive for the job you have described.
Are you sure some of this isn't "metal" time, that is panel repair and
removal of attached parts for painting? Depending on where the damage
is on the affected panel, blending of adjacent panels may be
necessary. Generally, based on what you've described, 12 hours total
You sound like a reasonable person, not an excessive one, but be
careful in how you describe to the shop what you want. Statements
like "I don't want anyone to be able to tell the car has ever been
damaged" are going to make a shop hesitant about doing the work,
because if someone is given information "this car has been damaged in
this location, can you tell?" the answer will usually be "yes". A
reasonable standard is whether a person of consumer skill level who
doesn't know the car has been damaged can tell.
Not saying you are thinking this way, but just bringing it up as a
reminder of what I believe is reasonable.
The original paint will either be Glasurit or Henrys (it'll say on the data
This stuff is harder to work with than the cheaper stuff.
Some shops mark the chromp, some remove it. You don't want it masked.
If you can find a shop that uses the original paint and removes the trim
then they'll almost certainly get the rest right.
Don't listen to them if they say masking and cheaper paint is
just as good. It's not and youwant it the way it was when it left
the factory. Be firm but polite. And persevere.
Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
It sounds like based on the description of damage and the hours
allowed, that trim removal and some blend has been allowed. I'm
curious about your recommendation to find a shop using original paint
brands. I can't imagine any modern shop being set up to spray single
stage paint. 82s weren't clear coat were they? (I don't have a
reference available, but assume based on age they weren't.)
In any case, I think a modern mix to match paint system with
electronic color match would be acceptable and perhaps superior.
This is all great stuff. Repaint is something I've never dealt with on
any car, let alone a 25 year-old Mercedes, so the insight into what to
look for is fantastic.
Anyone aware of any reputable shops in Austin, TX? I'm there for the
On Apr 8, 12:20 pm, edward ohare
I got one of my doors ('87 w124) repainted when a rust spot appeared in
the middle. This is a light (willow) green metallic paint that's
supposed to be hard to match. The result was excellent, I can't tell the
difference. Cost me close to 400 EUR.
OTOH I *can* tell the difference between my '87 willow green w124 and my
GF's '88 willow green w201. The color is just slightly different, even
if the paint code is the same.
It seems that a good professional paint mixer would be a better bet than
a can of original MB paint.
Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...
and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....
Typical procedure was for manufacturers to phase in clear coat by
having some colors be clear and some not. If the subject car isn't
white, the owner can determine whether its clear coat by sanding it.
If the car isn't white and the sanding residue is, the car is clear
From the sound of the insurance estimate, I think they are right on the
money. Important thing to do is have a good relationship with the body
shop... ask their opinion on what they think of the estimate. Every bodyshop
will come up with similar figure so don't worry about that.
If the body shop finds that they need more money, they will get it from
insurance company as supplement. They won't have problem getting extra money
to fix it right.
Just look at their finish works they done... They don't have problem showing
off their work if they are proud of it... if you like it, then then that is
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