Before they take their cars to body shops for a fix that can cost hundreds of dollars, car owners should consider some cheaper but effective alternatives to fix paint scratches and blemishes, advises Edmunds.com, the premier resource for automotive information. Not only can these DIY projects help owners save money, but they can also improve the value of their vehicles when they’re ready to go on the market. In fact, Edmunds.com experts say that a simple touch up kit that costs less than $100 can almost instantly improve a used car’s value by hundreds of dollars more.
“Even little scratches in your car’s paint can hurt its value, but it’s remarkable how a quick repair can greatly improve the look of your car,” says Edmunds.com Sr. Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. “With a little elbow grease and a few inexpensive tools, you can fix it yourself with a spray can or, depending on the type of damage, a bottle of touch-up paint.”
In his latest consumer advice piece “Touch-Up Paint Options for Your Car,” Mr. Reed describes his experience repairing scratches on his own family’s vehicle. He was able to complete the job himself in just a couple of hours with a $79 (plus shipping and handling) touch-up kit that he ordered online. The same job at a professional body shop, says Reed, could have cost him hundreds of dollars more.
Edmunds.com offers car owners who opt for the do-it-yourself route additional advice to make sure they perform the most professional-looking job possible:
- Find “how-to” videos on the Internet. Edmunds.com recommends searching YouTube or visiting Automotivetouchup.com.
- Identify the specific paint code for your vehicle, as opposed to eyeballing the color. This can be found by checking directly with your car’s manufacturer. And always test the color match before applying paint to the vehicle.
- Remember to order and apply clearcoat, which is the transparent protective coating on just about every paint job.
- Be patient. It’s important to wait for each coat of paint to dry before applying the next coat.
For those who don’t want to take the do-it-yourself route, there is still one more option before heading to the body shop: hire a mobile touch-up technician. These specialists will come to your home and perform the fix themselves using their own DIY kits. Mobile technicians often charge less than half of the price of an actual body shop.
For more on how you can save money on car paint touch-ups, please visit http://www.edmunds.com/how-to/touch-up-paint-options-for-your-car.html.
A paint touch-up is just one of many “Do-It-Yourself” projects that can help you save money on your car maintenance tab and improve the value of your car. Edmunds.com identifies five more common tasks that all car owners can perform on their own at http://www.edmunds.com/how-to/5-automotive-fixes-you-can-do-yourself.html.
A good shine can also help your car’s curb appeal when it’s time to sell. Edmunds.com offers detailed tips on how to wash and wax your car at http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/it-takes-more-than-the-occasional-wash-and-wax-to-keep-your-car-looking-its-best.html.
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