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Old 04-20-2005, 01:34 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 161
What questions should I ask a paint and body shop?

Please give advise on what I should look for in a paint and body shop. My 95 S-420 has had some very minor dents and scratches on front fender flare and also the cladding on front bumper and plastic panels in front and rear of wheel.

I have several estimates already, (but they vary widely from $1914.00 to $918.00). A big spread! I can't decide how to tell which shop will have the best chances of making a fine job of the paint match (white) and really a smooth clear coat which will match the balance of the car. Also what about brand and type of paint. Seems most shops want to use only the brands they are accustomed to using. I get the feeling they are annoyed by my questions, perhaps because I'm not asking the right questions?

The whole experience has been a "PAIN" . Looks like some one backed out of a parking slot beside my car, but didn't notice where their front wheels were moving. I don't even know where or when or who did this careless thing!!

This is the only dent on a 10 yr old car and I really want it to match after repaint.

Any advise appreciated.

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Old 04-20-2005, 01:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 161
Does It matter, my car is a 95 S-420 ?

Thanks , should have given that info first perhaps.
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:37 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 161
I sure you can tell I'm frustrated with this !!

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Old 04-20-2005, 02:34 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK - South East Coast
Posts: 864
Hi Daniel

Unfortunately this is a little difficult and often goes on recomendation by 'word of mouth'. In my limited experience; firstly the paint shop should be capable of mixing the paint themselves on their premises and have a wide selection of base paints in stock. MB recommend only a couple of brands - look out for 'Spieshecker'.

The shop should also have the necessary equipment, ie a sufficiently large spay booth to fit a whole car and ancillery parts and be completely enclosed. There's a massive difference between the 'DIY'er' and an established sprayer.

I personally wouldn't use a paint shop that contracts out to insurance companies which push through high volume cars - Vauxhal and Ford (in the UK) as the guys working on the floor are paid on throughput. I have a sprayer friend who quit his precision spaying job to work for one of these and was horrified by the work ethos, he was unfortunately was lured by the 'possible' salary - over here 70% of salary comes from bonuses, and that directly correlates to throughput!

Thankfully I have found a local shop which meets all the above, they also contract to insurance companies BUT, only the top brand cars - such as Porsche, MB, BMW, Jaguar, Aston Martin etc.... so as you can probably tell I've been in your position a while back too.

If your shops are getting 'annoyed' bin them! They should be happy to show you around and want your custom. Go view the booth, paint mixing system and talk to the lead sprayer if you can. Ask which vehicles they typically work with, ask around for recommendation - why not even ask your local MB dealer which spay shop they use. Remember they may not even have their own or when times get busy, sub contract out..

Hope this helps a little

'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:51 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: east coast
Posts: 1,255
Daniel, where are you located?

Are you aware that certain Mercedes models like the CL due to composite and aluminum use have repair shops certified by Mercedes Benz as up to the task of doing the repair. Not that a shop certified for this job is proof of quality, but it does provide some kind of quide.

A good shop will have excellent indoor fluorescent lighting, and they should be more than happy to show you cars in the process of being fixed.

Like the other post said, if the shop is working/painting on mainly high-end cars (other Mercedes-Benz a must) and performance cars / high quality modified cars, this is helpful.

Look over your estimates, did anyone or any estimate mention flex agent for painting the bumpers?

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