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Body shop guys out there, dent in fender, repair or replace??

8361 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Nhcycle
So my neighbor just backed into the driver side front fender on my 2015 Outback :crying:. First new car I've ever owned. She is going to pay for the repair. I've gone to three different body shops for estimates, two want to pull out the, about a salad plate size, dent and then smooth any imperfections with body filler, one wants to replace the whole fender.

I'm not very happy about the thought of using body filler as I live in Tahoe and we get extreme temperature fluctuations and I'm worried that over time the filler may start to crack.

The body guys claim this is not a problem and that to get the fender off they have to pull the driver's door and trim pieces and that to get everything to line up again may be difficult.

Thought I would put it out the the FORUM and see what all of you had to say.

Any body shop guys out there that can chime in?

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I would talk with another shop. I hit a deer when our 15 was 6 mos old. The shop replaced both the fender and the front door. The alignment was perfect. There is no evidence either in or out that the car has been repaired. If this guy only wants to do Bondo, I would question the quality of the shop.
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OP said nothing about using ONLY bondo. When repairing dents it's fairly standard practice to get the metal REALLY close, then use body filler to fine-tune the contours since you're never going to be able to return the metal perfectly to the shape it's supposed to be. Even the best shop will still use some, but it's a VERY thin coat and the product and techniques they have these days are tons better than in the old days when Bondo got its bad rep.
Yes, I know how bond works. If the customer wants anew fender, he should not allow a shop to talk him into bondo. The fact the guy thinks you need to remove the door to remove the fender makes me wonder about the quality of the work. Paint will only hid poor work for a short time.
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Unfortunately, just about any body work will diminish the value of the car. The last car I traded, the dealer trade in form asked it we had body shop work that exceeded $500. You will have more damage from a shopping cart than will be covered by $500.
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