12 Last
Item Posts    Sort Order

New paint w/ scratches/swirls, shop wants to buff?

 
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/17/09 12:45 PM

I've got a '67 RS convertible that I've done the engine/trans/rear on, and took it to a body shop for the body and paint and interior.  Now, it's almost done and I have a problem, and I'm trying to decide if I'm being too picky about the importance of this problem (or to be more clear; the likely outcome anyway, with the shops "plans" to remedy the problem).  I don't have faith their solution is viable, but perhaps I'm mistaken?

The shop painted the car 6 or 8 months ago.  I had them paint it black and put three coats of clear.  It looked good as far as I recall, but then the interior was put in, the new top was put on and some work here and there.  Over this time, such places they took it to, put carpet over the side of the car when they were working on the top.  People walking by, dust building up, other work in their shop, things like the mechanic brushed up against the side and caused a scratch and so on.

Overall, there are some pretty significant scratches now, which they said "should come out" when they "buff the car".  Some of these appear to be deep in the clear, or through the clear into the base paint (I can't say for sure right now though, but it looks that way to me).  It seems that almost all over the car, there are swirls from the buffer or when they polished, some dull and scuff areas as well.  I mean, _all over_.  I am not happy.  They say they'll buff out, but they've buffed this car already a couple of times and this is the current condition, and I don't think it's the right solution or that the results will make me happy (and why should it?)

My father owned a body shop for 30 years, and I'm going to talk to him about this and see if I can get him out with me to look at it.  However, in the meantime, I'd like some input.  I'm trying to be reasonable about this (and I'm clearly not jumping the gun, which is why I'm asking for additional input based on what I'm outlining here), but I just wonder how reasonable it would be to tell these guys to reshoot it.  Take off all of the clear, reshoot it and apply the three layers again (since I paid for this).  In the end, they might have to do this, but I'm thinking that it seems very likely considering.

Obviously they shouldn't need to buff or polish the thing, since it should be a new paint job and three coats of clear, but since it was painted so long ago and they've been working on it over that time, it's gotten scratched by all sorts of people and things (some light, some deeper).  In this case, is just buffing it out a reasonable solution?  I don't see how all of these dull/scuff areas, swirls and small scratches, let alone the prominent scratches are going to go completely away (these are what I see now, after they've buffed it before).  Also, this will be the third or fourth time he'll either be buffing or polishing the car combined.  If this is the fourth time he's buffing it, it's GOT to be burning through the clear, I'd imagine, or it's getting close.

Tolerating this seems a bad idea, since I didn't bring in a car that had issues, they put the new paint and clear on it.  Besides, when I pointed out all of these issues last night to them, that was when I was supposed to be picking up the car (since it was supposed to finally be done).  So, that means after the third time he's buffed and polished it, is what I saw was *after* that buffing, and it didn't look good.  His defense was that "It's a black car, it's going to show scratches, that's just pretty much how it is".  Well, *I* didn't put the scratches in, even if they are fine scratches and even if they can be buffed out (which I'm not having faith in).

Perhaps it's just sloppy work with buffing it, but I'm actually concerned that this guy is buffing it out each time and not even wet sanding the scratch prior to buffing (at this point, I'm starting to get paranoid about their methods, but perhaps that isn't justified yet).  Again, a new paint job, should look _new_ and you shouldn't have to keep fixing the issues, but this is basically all over the car.  I'm unsure what to do, if I should let them do what they've going to and see how it looks, or if there's no way that will be viable and just save time and tell them to reshoot it).

Anyone have any experience with this?  I just don't see these guys being receptive to my demand that they remove the clear, re-shoot it and then reapply three new coats of clear.  However, I'm not going to accept shoddy work either.  Does this sound like a matter where I should just let them buff and polish (yet again) and see how it turns out, or should I not waste any time and just explain the situation and my dissatisfaction and tell them to not waste time (maybe explain why) and effectively force them to do this right, but reshooting it?

I mean, considering they wanted me to pick it up last night, this IS how they felt comfortable releasing the car to me in this condition and that right there is a major concern for me.  The scratch the mechanic put in, he said happened just that day and he didn't see it (it wasn't there earlier that day). So, okay, let's assume that is the case, but how about all of the other light scratches and scuff marks?  They just plan to "buff them out"?  How about the deeper one's though?  Some of the light scratches, maybe, but I just have doubts it'll look like a new paint job.  It'll look like a "newer" paint job with some swirls, as far as I can tell, at best.  That is not what I paid for.  However, is there a chance that they will be able to resolve it and it's not just patch work, per se (if it did even work)?  After all, by now, a good coat or clear (or two) has to be partially burned through with all of that buffing, I worry (is that not likely though?)

I'm trying to be reasonable, and I don't expect perfection, but this was enough to trouble me, and their methods of remedying the existing problem doesn't seem like the best method, especially considering that I paid for the body work, complete paint job and three coats of clear, only to deal with this now.  I realize that if I'm bothered and unsatisfied, that's probably a good indication of the situation, but I want the car back (it's been way too long -- they've had it since May 16th, 2007!), and I'm concerned about what will happen if I demand it be repainted.  I'm asking or input about the situation, if it's not as dire as I think, or maybe how to approach them about it, if it is something that they'll have to reshoot.

I can just see having to call a tow truck and the police if they aren't receptive, and I've had excuse after excuse.  I only owe a final balance of about $2,000, which I don't know if it's enough to pay someone else to take it down to the base, reshoot it and put the three coats of clear.  I certainly won't cause an issue for these people if they do it right, but I feel a little stuck and am looking for any suggestions or insight.

I also realize it's difficult to determine by my words without seeing pictures illustrating the problem, but just going by what I'm saying, if there are swirls and scuffs and scratches that aren't coming out and the paint job doesn't look new, you can then see where I'm coming from and I'm hopeful for some advise based on those variables.  I'm aware I'm mainly venting here and I probably know the answer.  

Post Reply
Pontiacman2
Moderator
Posts: 8956
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 01/17/09 01:04 PM

If they have buffed it 3 times already then the clear is most likely very thin and will not hold up well but hard to say for sure with out accually seeing it. The dull spots could be that they already buffed past the clear.  
Pontiacman2
Pontiacman2

Professional Hi-performance engine builder

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/17/09 03:08 PM

Yeah, this is why I'll have my father look at it.  But, if it's been buffed three times and still looks like this, he either doesn't know what he's doing and someone else needs to do it next time, or it's obviously not going to work, in which case they need to just reshoot it.  Their own loss for poor quality, I just worry about how they'll react and if they try and hold my car hostage or something.  A mess, for sure.  Still, like I said, they've got to be burning through those coats of clear with all of this buffing.  I'm just waiting for this guy to cut through somewhere obvious and burn through the paint.  No matter what, this is unacceptable, I'm just hopeful it'll work out either way, but the simple fact I've had this car buffed three times unsuccessfully (where it should look like a NEW paint job) BEFORE it has even left their shop, is troubling.   I wouldn't doubt if the dull spots are from him going too far, and burning through the clear.  My father will be able to tell, and if it's that bad, the question is only one (and no amount buffing will solve the problem).  Thanks for the reply.  

Post Reply
Shorty_o
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 39
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/18/09 06:15 PM

Yes. We can't see the car. We don't know how much it cost to paint, we don't know what else they were supposed to do, nor the percent complete. What you told them. What they said. But I can tell you this! Pay the money and get the car back (in your possession). Do it like everything is fine. DO NOT let them have the car back even if they say they can fix it. Get the receipt(s) cash, credit, check, whatever.  DO NOT stop payment on a check (whatever you do). Let them have their money. It's way too nice of a car to risk. Take them to court for the poor paint job. By the time you go to court (even small claims) you'll have had a chance to really look at it and will have probably scratched it a couple of more times finishing it. Black is not as difficult as everyone thinks. Yes, it shows everything but if it's done right, it's right.
I don't know what state of repair the car is in, nor do I know the type of paint, i.e. base coat clear coat, laquer, enamel-clear, but you could probably have a good paint and body shop 600 grit it back down and re-shoot the clear, then 1000 or 1500 grit, them buff.
Unless you paid a premium I doubt if they REALLY put three coats on it anyway. Your three coats, and my three coats are probably different. If they really did put three coats you (they) wouldn't be having this problem.
Get the car back, let them have the money, then deal with it.
I know that's cold - but I've seen too many people think they know what to do - then lose a car to a mechanics lien.  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/18/09 06:40 PM

I won't pay them for a paint job that's junk.  I did pay $2,500 extra for the three coats of clear.  No, they shouldn't be having this issue.  I will show up with a police car and a tow truck and take possession if I need to and they can sue me.  I have a contract, they need to live up to it.  I won't allow them to get away with it and end up in court and sue them and not likely be able to collect.

They might see the issue and agree to reshoot parts that need it and the problem will be solved (provided they get the right guy to detail it to get rid of any minor scratches).  Believe me, I'll have to go with my gut if I feel there's a potential of them putting a lien on it, and I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that doesn't happen, but I also won't just pay them because I'm concerned with them holding my car hostage.  I'll be out there with people from other body shops and a bunch of guys form my classic car club, and a lot of friends, including a sheriff if they think they'll extort money from me with a shoddy job.

A new paint job is new, there should be no scratches, but I don't expect perfection down to a microscopic level either.  But, trust me, this is bad.  I appreciate the insight and that it's better to not allow them to screw me over by putting a lien on it, but I am just not the type of guy that will fold.  I will not make payment until they resolve the situation and I will put a lot of pressure on them if they try and screw me.

In fact, last night I couldn't sleep, realizing that one part that felt like a big scratch was actually a portion on the driver's side fender that had a big GOUGE they made when they moved to their new shop.  I assumed they'd reshoot it and the other night, while I couldn't see well on that side of the car, it made sense (same location, same shape, and very noticeable).  They don't have a paint booth set up at the new shop yet and the car hasn't left the complex, so they did a crappy job filling and trying to buff it out (and that was a big scratch that went down to the actual metal).

Again, I appreciate the warning and I'll not let my emotions dictate a poor decision, but I know now that I'm not going to allow them to extort money from me and force me to accept this as complete.  No freaking way.  I can't take that loss and then pay for someone else to do it right on top of that, it's just not possible.  I'm trying to be calm and consider all of the aspects of this, and don't want to lose a $35K car over a $2K balance, but I also won't ever let someone try and scam me either.

I'm hopeful they'll see the light and agree to do the job.  This isn't nitpicking about swirl marks left from a polisher, for example.  Maybe I'll point this out to them and they'll reshoot the areas that are deep and do the buffing properly on the other parts?  Or, maybe they'll make a big problem out of it and insist it's fine, in which case... I don't know what I'll do (probably lose it).  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/18/09 06:43 PM

In fact, I'm sure it would be quite easy to prove they were intentionally trying to scam me, so they couldn't put a lien on it.  I hope it doesn't come down to that sort of issue, but I'll be damned if I pay them thinking I can sue them.  I don't have that sort of time in my life and I'd never collect if they operate their business like that.  That's too long of a process, though I appreciate the suggestion.  I really, really, really hope this doesn't blow up.  

Post Reply
Shorty_o
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 39
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/18/09 08:19 PM

I know that's cold - but I've seen too many people think they know what to do - then lose a car to a mechanics lien.    
I'm sorry. You will lose. (I'm your friend) Just do what I say. GET THE CAR. PAY THEM! If you show up with a police car and a tow truck, that goes in their favor. NOW it's recorded that you took it without paying. Don't be impatient. JUST GET THE CAR!
Besides the tow truck won't do it, and the cop won't do it!!!! And even if they did the shop doesn't have to sue you. They just file a mechanics lien and the courts do the rest! You WILL lose your car. AND (the oldest trick in the book) if they think your pissed they'll make the price of repairs so high that you can't get it! That's why I say just pay them. GET THE CAR IN YOUR POSSESSION----------LEGALLY.
The shop will never extort money from you. You took it there and left it in good faith. They did what they said (in good faith). They painted it...........(unless YOUR contract says "no swoorls", etc)  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/19/09 10:37 AM

You're right.  It seems that an auto body shop can do anything they want once they have it, don't have to do the work or do it right at all, and there's nothing anyone can do, and they are forced to pay anyway -- there's nothing stopping them from scamming the public at all.  I understand I can pay and then sue, but that's a long process.

I might need to sell this car soon, too, if the economy doesn't pick up, and that means I'll have to try and sell it with a crappy paint job, or I have to get someone else to re-do it.  In that case, I'm out another $3K on top of the $2K I'd have to pay them.  Suing them would take too long, I can't bank roll that much extra right now and feel comfortable about it.  I don't even know if they'd be in business by the time I sued and won (I would win, but it's a long process).

The contract says a complete paint job, it's a new job, why should I have to specifically say that it doesn't have scratches and crappy patch work?  They agreed that I'd be satisfied with the work, I have witnesses to that fact.  I can say I'm unhappy, but they could say I'm unreasonable.  Apparently there's no way out of that and I just have to pay?  Apparently, the more I ask about it, the more people say just to pay, and that I have no choice.  How can this be legal?  How can a shop just commit fraud like this?  It is indeed extortion to say I don't get my car back until I pay them in full, paying for a car with a new paint job that has deep scratches, scuff marks and lighter scratches and deep swirl marks you can see form 20 feet away all over it.

I believe you, and I appreciate the advise.  I'm not going to get ME in trouble by driving away with it, I just was wondering what my options are.  They still may cave to the pressure of my father and I pointing out the issue.  I don't have to threaten any action and maybe they'll just accept it and re-do the parts that need to be redone.  If not I'll explain that I'll be suing them and see if I can get any guys from other shops out there to give estimates on the fix.  It would seem to me that there would be some type of consumer protection, besides the California (where I am) BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair) that could investigate them, sibnce they take a while, too.  I also noticed the license for their new place with the BAR is Delinquent (shows this because they need to review by Jan 31st, when it expires).

I just want the car and what I paid for, without being forced to pay for work they've done poorly and know it, including trying to hide/cover up areas with shoddy work.  This is all because of their apparent desire to get the car out of their without doing any more work to it, because when they first shot it, other than the small area where there are bumps from paint running (by the looks of it), it looked smooth, clear and certainly didn't have any scratches or problems.  I suppose I might end up having to pay and sue, which will take too long and they'll likely be out of business.

Apparently, if a body shop is fraudulent, they can get away with it and there's nothing you can do about it by calling the police or some investigator if they don't provide the service and want to put a lien on your car, other than file a civil suit.  Again, it is extortion, this isn't about them just saying "this is the best we can do" and you have to accept scratches caused by them, etc.  If that's the case and they caused them there, they need to fix it anyway, because it happened while in their possession.  In that case, if it's not their responsibility, maybe I can call the police for vandalism?  I'm half joking, but there's got to be another option if it's that bad.  

Post Reply
Shorty_o
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 39
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/19/09 07:00 PM

The mechanics CAN do anything (it seems). If fact your situation is mild compared to what I've seen. Some shops seem to make a lot of their income at selling liened cars. I've seen where they'll give a low ball estimate to get the car in the shop, tear the engine completely down, knowing the person "needs" the car for next week (or some other situation) then come up with some outlandish cost for the labor they have in it just to tear it down. From what I've seen, (I'm no law expert - and states are different) you either pay the outlandish cost then pay someone else to fix it, or leave the car with them and sue them at which time the shop will still put a lien on it and sell it, before the court date, which actually gives them the leg up in court because they did everything legal. They take they're chances.
It's not extortion or fraud unless they put in the contract some sort of quality statement that they did not meet. So you won't get fraud to stick. In fact most of the things in the contract are about how you have to pay.
Some shops are on the up and up. This is why the laws are the way they are for mechanics. If you put the shoe on the other foot and try to realize how many idiots will get their car aligned but after they pay and leave the car is still pulling to the right. So in the old day you could just stop payment on the check. The shop would be out all that money for their good hard work when in actuality it was the warn ball joints. You can make a hell of a good living repairing cars correctly and they know it, but even the good ones won't do anything for free. (which is what your wanting these yahoos to do) This is why I tell you to just get the car. What ever it takes. Have the receipt marked "Paid in Full" Don't tell them your going to sue. This only gives them time to prepare.
What I would try to do is get the car. And don't be surprised if there is an added cost for something. They'll try to push your buttons. Stay calm. Pictures, pictures, pictures. Then get three written estimates to repaint. While your there ask them verbally if it can be fixed. i.e. sanded and recleared. Maybe even just color sanded and buffed correctly. It cost may not be as bad as you think to "fix". I'm not sure about Calif. but small claims court might not take that long. If it doesn't, hold out until court date, show the judge the three estimate to repaint and you can sue for 1-1/2 time, plus, plus (something like that). Then if you can "fix" it you'll end up with some extra money for your troubles.
Even if I'm wrong on some of this, there is a correct and legal way for you to address it. Leave your emotions at home and do it right.
Good luck.  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/19/09 07:39 PM

Well, I think I could prove extortion/fraud if I went to court.  That is like them painting a car with spray paint and saying they did their part and they'll put a lien on if you don't pay.  This is why there are investigations and that would be illegal for them to do.  There are consumer rights that protect you, but in the end, I'd still have to pay and then sue (and report them to the California BAR), but I don't know if I'll need to at this time.  There might be some good news here.

I had my father come out and take a look.  He wasn't happy.  He said it doesn't look like they put three good, thick coats or clear, but it's on jacks in the shop for bleeding of the brakes, so without the right lighting when the car is clean (it has dust on it), it's hard to tell just how flat or how deep it looks.  He said the body wasn't perfectly straight and they'd need to re-do a lot of the car.  I called the guy after I got home and told him what my father noted and what I did.  I took pictures of the car and scratches, including the one they indeed did just fill in and buff out (it's completely dull looking and very noticeable).

My father said to just take the car and take it to someone else, but I'd have to not only pay these people, but I'd have to pay someone else who knows what for a good job on top of it, far exceeding what I owe them, though I could indeed sue for the difference.  They promised a show room quality paint job and that I'd be satisfied.  When I mentioned the fill attempt, he said it was small and they could fix it. When I said that's not going to "buff out", he said they can airbrush it, they don't need to do the entire fender in that case.  I said "You're not going to do some cheesy patch and airbrush it, you're going to have to do it right and reshoot that fender".  I bluntly said "if you get it to look perfect, I don't care how you do it -- as long as it's not a temporary solution where it'll show again later, so that means if you can't fix it, you'll have to reshoot it, understand?"  He said that if I have a problem, let him know and he'll fix it.  Eventually he stated that yes, if I am not happy and his solutions don't work, that he will do what he has to, including to reshoot it.  That's all I needed to hear, I told him.

So, while it might not be perfect, if I point out a problem and they can't buff it out to make me not see the problem or never knew it was there (I'm fair about stuff like that), then they can reshoot and reclear and that _will_ satisfy me, because I don't have a reason to believe they'll screw it up (the paint job itself was fine, other than a very small area that had runs -- I don't recall if it was in the clear or the base -- which I also mentioned to him).  I reminded them that I was happy with their work, just not the paint job due to the scratches and their attempts to remedy it.  Reshoot it and I'll not have a reason to complain.  He said that's fine and if I find I have a complaint later down the road, call him and he'll get me in as soon as he can and fix that problem, too.  I don't anticipate that will happen, however.

So, it's a positive step forward.  I was very nice about the entire thing and just let them know where I stood.  He wasn't thrilled to hear it, but deep down, they all know it's not the quality it should be, or the quality I was told it would be.  I asked about the clear being so flat by the looks of it, and he said they painted, sprayed two coats and then color sanded the "orange peel" and then put two more coats of clear over top of that.  The orange peel look is due to the wrong pressure when they sprayed, but I didn't get on his case about it and how that could have been avoided, since the common solution then is to indeed color sand and add more layers after the fact.  It's not what I'm used to having to hear or deal with in painting, but it's not so bad either.

I've still yet to see it washed/cleaned off and outside the last few months, so there's a chance it'll really show the deepness to it, and if that means a few panels need to be reshot and recleared, provided they get a good color match, don't get junk in the paint when they spray, and don't botch it (their motivation is they need to do a good job so I don't complain and make them do it again anyway), and all should be good.  For now, they've reported that it'll have the brakes bled today and in the morning it'll go to an auto electrician to do the electrical and hook up the new stereo (they last the old one, but I didn't actually care about that).

He reported the RS headlight motors weren't working, which I'm suspicious of, since I just had the entire wiring harness, relays, switches and motors, etc. replaced 6 months before I brought them the car (and I only turned on the headlights and used the door motors for them a total of 8 times or less since they were put in).  I called the mechanic I trust about it and he said that there are a lot of things that could cause it to not work, so if they say it's not working, to have them put things back in (the motors -- they had them out to get tested) and he'll look at it.  

Post Reply
Shorty_o
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 39
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/20/09 05:09 PM

Sounds like you have it going your way. Good luck!  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 02/07/09 10:40 PM

I figured I should post an update.  I picked up the car about two or so hours ago.  I ended up just taking the car and not paying the balance and they agreed (but I'm still in a bad spot, as good as an outcome as that may sound like).  I explained the car needed to be reshot, he didn't disagree, but I'm pissed he tried to ignore it hoping I'd settle for the condition it was in.  I found two or three significant runs in the paint, parts where a mirror was mounted at one point that bled through the paint, a bunch of scratches and chips all over the car... and, get this, the driver and passenger side windows that were perfect now have BIG, DEEP scratches in them and they're going to need to be replaced!

This guy had it at a stereo shop to do the wiring for the hideaway headlights (he claimed the motors were bad and they'd test them or get them to work -- I had a whole new wiring harness, motors, etc. installed before I took the car to them (I had opened and closed them maybe 4-8 times total before taking the car to them).  Anyway, these people were supposed to fix the reverse lights and blinkers as well (the hazard worked fine)).  I told him when his own "mechanic" was working on it, that if he couldn't figure out a simple wiring on this car, I would look at it, or have the guy I had do it originally look at it, and to call me and let me know.  Two weeks of him not answering the phone or returning my calls, I find it's at that place.

That place was a real shop, had people answering the phone and I could get a hold of them to find out what was going on.  When these guys lost my stereo, I got a CD player for the car and asked if it would fit.  He said it would, but when he took it to these guys, he told them "Do what you have to to get this working with this CD player".  When I talked to the shop, I asked what they were doing, where they were at and what they still needed to do (as usual, I'm told two days they'd have it, and it was 2 weeks), they told me they fixed the headlight motors and the turn signals and backup lights didn't work (yet the hazards did).  They said they were going to cut into the dash to put the CD player in and make a wood bezel custom.  

I said I never authorized that and don't want anyone cutting into it and wood would like ghetto -- he agreed and said he'd not do that to his classic truck either.  By then, all of the electrical was supposed to be done and I told them I didn't want to wait another week or more for a stereo, especially since I don't want anything cut (I was told it would fit, but since it won't after all, I'll decide what to do about that later).  I told them to stop work and tell the autobody shop to pick it up.  They did and the guy picked it up the next morning.  I never heard anything from the autobody shop this entire time, no messages returned just asking where they are at.  I left a message after getting pissed off and said "I never authorized or said to cut into the dash, I specifically asked you if it would fit and you said it would--DO NOT tell people to just "do whatever" to MY car!".  I knew that'd make him less likely to call because he never wanted to deal with their screw-ups and just preferred to avoid me and make the problem worse by dragging it out.

They said they had to replace the brake cylinders and bleed them a couple of weeks ago and said it was done.  Yet, I pick up the car, we agree I don't pay the measly $1,500 balance on this $16K job I've had them do, because of the deep scratches in the windows they put in (this is quite bad, by the way), the fact they lost the original stereo and bezel/face plate, and the fact they never got the scratches out that I knew were too deep.  He said it would take two months to reshoot the car and I said I'm not waiting, how about I pay you nothing and take the car away like it is now.

Well, that sounded good enough to be done with these people (I didn't have a choice, I wasn't leaving it sitting there and these guys have no definite plans for when they'll even have a booth!), and yet, as I was driving this home, I found the dash/instrument panel didn't light up, the headlights are not aligned (at least the doors open on the headlights), the brakes either were never fixed or they were never bled (I thought the car wasn't going to stop several times on the way home, in the dark!), and the idle is set really high because the mechanic sucks and doesn't know how to tune it (it ran great when I took it in almost TWO years ago!), and as I was trying to get the gauges to light up, there's a short when I turn it counter-clockwise and the interior under dash light comes on and nothing else.

The wipers didn't go on (luckily it wasn't raining), the reverse lights don't work.  When I tried to use the turn signal, either right or left, it takes some good amount of force to get it to switch (even though they don't work, I was hoping 1/2 way home that maybe I just didn't see it and it's better than no signal at all and I was already in the thick of it with no good way to pull over).  The car was also surging.  I told them to drop the tank and clean it before filling it and they said they would, but I am having my doubts, I don't know if they even drained it, but I doubt they dropped it and did it right, so there's likely crap sucked into the carb jets.

There's more, but I am too annoyed to get into all of the details.  The paint looks fine 5 or so feet away, but there's way too many problems with it.  I paid for a new paint job, and I get this shoddy quality, right along with all of the mechanical and electrical problems, and all I was able to do was to tell them that I'm not paying the small $1,500 balance.  I assumed they fixed the brakes, which could add a few hundred more I'd have to had to pay anyway, which they knew they couldn't tack onto the balance, since I was so far in the hole if I had to have someone else reshoot it.  It didn't sound like they'd want to even reshoot it, and even if they did agree, who knows how long it'll be, even if they get the paint booth.  No way are these guys going to last anyway, especially with this lack of quality, the huge delays and avoiding customers for weeks and months at a time.  People only keep them in business with their cars being there, because people feel trapped since they'd gain more by waiting than by pulling their car out (even if they owed nothing) and having someone else start over.

So, I'm annoyed.  I have to take my car back to the mechanic I trust (the guy I TRIED to get the autobody shop to contact, but I think he was bartering trades for work with whomever would accept the offer, so no way would they hire a real good person (or do any actual hiring), which just make things take longer in the end and even more people working on it that really didn't have reason to care about quality).  Just scummy business practices.  So, I'll have to pay this mechanic to fix all of the issues they've created, tune it, etc. and then get quotes from body shops I can trust to see how much they'd charge to resolve the current issue, prep, repaint and reclear the car (3 coats again, since that's what I paid for and waited for), and then figure out the difference and take these idiots to small claims court.

I'm certain they'll be out of business by then, but I'm going to get the quotes early next week and file a report with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and get a case started and start the small claims suit.  Better to file suit while there's a chance they'll still be in business. I had originally hoped to chalk it up to a bad experience and pay another $500-1,000 more than I planned for the difference it'd take over the final balance to have someone else do it, but with all of these other problems, I just can't accept that big of a loss.  I'll be down anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on what all needs to be done with the mechanical, electrical, new glass, stereo replacement (that doesn't require cutting into the dash), the speakers for the stereo that are also lost, and then the re-paint process (fixing, prepping, painting and re-clear for max clear so I CAN buff out small scratches and have that deep look to the paint).  This sucks.  Anyway, that's the update (or the situation and the plan).  At least I got it back and out of their shop so I can worry about one less thing and the rest of the situation is pretty standard on the resources I have available to satisfy me.  Live and learn.  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 02/09/09 01:51 PM

Well, the car is in worse condition than I thought.  I found chips showing rust underneath, and the paint came right off when I flicked it with my finger.  I found another area that was down to the base primer and just ran my fingernail against it lightly to feel how deep it was, and more paint just came right off as I ran my nail over it.  I have 227 images I've taken showing all of the problems and I have a list of all of the issues with the running of the car.

I'm going to spend the next hour or two compiling a big, detailed list and getting the images uploaded all onto a web page outlining the issues (I'll post a link here for people to see what I'm talking about).  Following that, I'll email the body shop with the link encouraging them to read it.  I'll then call him (from another phone line, so he doesn't know it's me, or else he won't answer or ever call me back) telling him to check his email.

I'll then let him know my intention and that I'll be filing a report with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (where their license is currently in a delinquent state), and that I will file in small claims court for the max ($5K, I believe), because it's going to cost that much to have it done right and fix what these crooks tried to pull off.  I'll also print an entire hard copy of the page and snail mail it to them.

At this point, for the steps to resolve the paint issue, it's no longer going to just be a prep and repaint, but to actually strip it down to the metal because they painted over rust.  I found a lot of major runs and some holes (yes, holes).  This car had only a few small rust areas on it, and it makes me really uneasy to see that they just sprayed paint over an area where the rust is flaking off.  I'm so angry, but I'll do everything by the book and ensure I have a solid case (which I am sure I do).  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 02/09/09 02:32 PM

With all of the issues, it's incredibly difficult to chose only 10 or 15 pictures, and I don't want a huge page.  I'll likely have a summary of the issues and try and cover everything in a couple of paragraphs and the most 10-15 offensive issues the car has, and then have a link that goes to a page with all of the images for reference and documentation.  This way, no one following the link here or the shop, will have to be overwhelmed with it, but the information will be there if someone needs or wants to look more into it.  It should be easy enough to outline the problems and not have to go into a big story about it to explain what happened, because they know, I know, and everyone on the forums I've posted this issue to also know that.  

Post Reply
TimGreer
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 10
Joined: 01/09
Posted: 02/09/09 06:31 PM

I know it's long, but it's hard to document something and get your point across and outline all of the relevant details to get that point across, but I was able to get the images small, so the entire page of images are only 23 megs.

The page is at: http://www.chatbase.com/camaro/

That is basically what I sent to them.  Yeah, I know it's wordy and long, but I didn't want to leave anything out.  And that was without going into the rest of the stuff we all know from my previous posts above (and they already know it).  I'll see how it goes.  They'll either settle, lose the suit (no way could they win with all of the additional evidence and images I have), or they'll be out of business (hopefully not before I recoup my losses to be able to get some money for the amount I'm going to have to pay a body shop to do it right).  

Post Reply
12 Last
TO TOP