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Dent & Scratch Repair Questions & Answers - The Scratch Master


What kind of damage does Scratch Master specialize in?
Are you mobile? You come to me?
How can you do it in the rain? Don't you need a shop?
What if it's breezy?
How much time does it take to make a repair?
Are you certified?
Is your work guaranteed?

I have a brand new car. Can you really make my damage look "like new"?
Should I file an insurance claim?
Can you work with my insurance company?
I have a LEASE RETURN vehicle. Can you help?
I want to sell my car fast and for top profit. What should I do?
Who have you done work for?
How much money can I expect to save compared to what a conventional body shop charges?
Are quotes free? Where do I call?
I have a scratch. Will the color match?
How does Scratch Master match the color?
How does Scratch Master fix a scratch?
Step by step, how does Scratch Master repair a bumper scrape?
I have chips & scratches all over my car. Can you help?
What is Paintless Dent Removal?
What are the advantages of PDR as opposed to traditional methods?
Will my dent pop back in after you leave?
Can every dent be repaired with paintless dent removal?
What size dents can be fixed?
Do you offer a multiple dent discount?
What is "no drilling?"

What kind of damage does Scratch Master specialize in?

I do high quality, fast repairs to minor damage that does not require a full auto body shop.

Exterior:
paint scratches, bumper scrapes, door dings, mirror scuffs, hood chips, dents up to basketball size.

Interior: leather and vinyl seats, dashboards, and door panels: color re-dye, worn spots, holes, rips, scuffs, cracks, gouges, tears, stains, cigarette burn holes, discoloration, punctures, scratches.

   
Are you mobile? You come to me?
Yes. I come to your home or work place rain or shine.
   
How can you do it in the rain? Don't you need a shop?
A shop is not needed for minor repairs. My service van has an attached retractable awning. It's big enough to cover an entire car. This awning will protect your car from the elements and allow me to deliver a professional, quality repair rain or shine. Guaranteed! If your damage is major, I can assist you in locating an auto body shop in your area.
   
What if it's breezy?
No problem. If there is high wind speed, we may have to reschedule.
   
How much time does it take to make a repair?
Average repair time is 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the severity of the damage.
   
Are you certified?
Yes. I am I-CAR certified in paint finish matching. Insurance companies often require I-CAR certification for quality assurance.
   
Is your work guaranteed?
Yes. All my work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you don't pay.  Ask about our limited lifetime warranty.
   
I have a brand new car. Can you really make my damage look "like new"?
Yes. I provide the finest services and products that surpass the quality of most auto body repair shops. Please see the "Our Experience" page as well as "Our Guarantee" page.
   
Should I file an insurance claim?
Because our rates are so much lower than conventional auto body shops, most customers prefer to avoid a claim and pay the cost of the repair themselves. The total bill often ends up being less than your deductible, and everyone likes to avoid a rate increase and a blemish on their claim history.
   
Can you work with my insurance company?
Yes, if you decide to file a claim, I can assist you through the whole process.
   
I have a LEASE RETURN vehicle. Can you help?
Big time. Unfortunately, by contract you are required to pay for "excessive wear and tear". Let me fix those scratches and dents before the dealer or lease company sees it. I can save you money since you receive the cost benefit of a more efficient repair method. Don't pay more for traditional methods needlessly.
   
I want to sell my car fast and for top profit. What should I do?
When it comes to scratches & dents, trust Kelley Blue Book.  They can show you what your car is worth looking great vs having damage.  Also, let me carefully inspect your car for free. Please see my "Selling Your Car" page.
   
Who have you done work for?
See the "My Experience" page.
   
How much money can I expect to save compared to what a conventional body shop charges?
Because of a more efficient process, you will save anywhere from 20% up to 90% in some cases (depending on the type of damage).
   
Are quotes free? Where do I call?
Yes, phone quotes and "in person" quotes are free and without obligation when you come to me. If I come to you, there is a nominal (usually $25) fee which covers my travel, fuel & wear-n-tear if we do not do any business together.  Simply call Brian's cell @ 1-888-SCRATCH (727-2824) for a free ballpark estimate.
   
I have a scratch. Will the color match?
Yes. I guarantee an expert color match.
   
How does Scratch Master match the color?
I can match your color to perfection. Your car has a paint code that references its' exact factory color. The Scratch Master has access to the formulas or "recipes" for every factory color . I simply look up the formula in my database and then accurately mix the color by using a digital scale that measures every drop to the 1/100th of a gram. This is the same process used at dealers and auto body shops. However, Scratch Master uses only premium quality Spies Hecker brand paint. This "elite" brand of paint surpasses the quality of most and is found in the finest of auto body shops.
   
How does Scratch Master fix a scratch?

I use traditional auto body shop methods as well as non-traditional methods such as "paint the scratch, not the car" and "micro-repairs".

Traditional methods:

These are the mainstream practices used in auto body shops and I-CAR training manuals. I am I-CAR certified, experienced, and know how to fix it "by the book" and follow standard body shop protocol. This knowledge is absolutely foundational, but these "rules" are not always practical when performing repairs to minor damage. For Example: The "Continuous Film" rule. This is standard auto body shop protocol. Let's say you have a 4 inch X 4 inch scratched area on the corner of your bumper. The rest of your bumper is in perfect condition. The "Continuous Film" rule says that when fixing this damage you must re-coat the whole bumper in its entirety. And most of the time you will have to remove the bumper from the rest of the car. This "continuous film" rule is how to do it "by the book". It makes sense when you have larger damage. But in the given example, I believe in breaking this rule in order to abide by a higher rule. I call this higher rule "Save time, money, and your factory finish when practical" I don't have to repaint your whole bumper again to fix it with excellence. I do a micro-repair. But the catch is: the repair techniques must be performed properly and with the highest quality products available (which is the case with me.) For a step by step guide on how I repair bumper scrapes, see the next question below.

Non-traditional methods:

I use non-traditional methods and "higher" rules, when I make a judgement call that traditional methods are overkill. One of these higher rules is "save your factory finish when possible". This rule says that in many cases, it is a higher quality repair to just fix the chip or scratch and leave the remainder of the original factory finish untouched. Less is more. Part of the reasoning is that your factory finish is the best finish your car will ever have. Let's say your car was in great shape and an auto body shop offered to pay you $1000 if you would allow them to repaint your car. You'd be getting a bad deal because your car just lost value and the new paint job isn't quite the same as factory. Also, problems can arise when your factory finish gets re-coated. For one thing, these panels can become more prone to blistering, chipping and cracking. Have you ever seen a hood with a ton of chips on it? I can almost guarantee it's been repainted. And besides, why waste time and money when I know how to trim the fat?

I believe it is a public disservice to offer the traditional "paint the whole panel" approach in cases when non-traditional methods are a better option and visa versa. I will not withhold this information from you, and you will reap the benefits.

   
Step by step, how does Scratch Master repair a bumper scrape?
1. Keep in mind I don't repair large areas. It's a very clean operation.

 2. A surface cleaner is sprayed on and dirt is removed from the repair area.

3. The same area then gets further cleaned with a scuff pad, a quality wax and grease remover, and prep solvent. This step not only removes all contaminants, it also roughs up the existing finish so that it will permanently accept the new paint finish. Careful attention to detail is given to hard to reach edges and crevices so that the paint will permanently stick without having to remove your bumper.

4. Sand the scratches.

5. Clean off sanding debris.

6. Apply plastic adhesion promoter inside of the deeper scratches. Let flash dry. The purpose of the adhesion promoter is it prepares the deep scratches to receive or accept the scratch filler permanently.

7. Apply a fine, flexible polyester putty to remaining scratches. Let dry. Sand smooth. Clean sanding debris.

8. Mask off adjoining panels that are close to the area being repaired so that no overspray will get on your car.

9. Spray adhesion promoter over remaining plastic that was exposed by the sanding process. Let dry.

10. When necessary, Spray 1-3 coats of flexible high build primer over repair area. Bake Dry with a short wave infra-red heat lamp.

11. While waiting for the primer to finish baking, I mix your exact factory color (base coat). I use the finest quality Spies Hecker brand auto paint. See above to find out how I mix your factory color.

12. Primer is then wet sanded smooth. Sanding dust is cleaned off.

13. I then take a temperature reading of the repair area. Next, I choose a reducer that accurately matches the temperature of the repair area and mix it into the base coat (color). This thins the paint and makes it ready to spray. The base coat gets strained, poured into the gun and is then sprayed on over primer. On average this takes 5-6 coats to fully cover the primer. Each coat must be dried before applying the next one. Also, I keep the base coat as close to the primered area as possible in order to keep the repair small. As a side note, I use the high quality Sata Mini-jet paint gun.

14. Then I spray on a high quality clear coat over this to give it a permanent shiny look. It blends in super nicely with the rest of your bumper.

15. Remove masking.

16. Bake the clear coat when necessary.

17. You have a top quality repair. You'll love it.
   
I have chips & scratches all over my car. Can you help?
Yes. Although I am able to deliver a perfect invisible repair, that particular process is usually impractical when chips & scratches are on every panel. It turns into a big job and gets very expensive spendy. But I have a process where I color-match directly into your chips and scratches. You can still see the chip or scratch, but the color of it matches your car and it's a very nice improvement. It's the biggest cosmetic bang for the buck in this situation. Excellent value.



 
What is Paintless Dent Removal?
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR). This is the fastest, highest quality, and most cost effective method in the world for fixing minor dents. I use a specially designed board that casts a reflective pattern on the dent, ding or crease. Then, working from behind the panel, I use specially crafted tools to give your dent hundreds of gentle and precise pushes and "massage" the metal back to its' original shape without bondo or paint. For more info. See our "Dent Removal" page.
   
What are the advantages of PDR as opposed to traditional methods?
The most important advantage is quality. This is the closest you can get to "like it never happened it the first place". I preserve your original, valuable factory finish. And the result is, "Wow! It's Gone!"

I save you valuable time since the average repair time is 1/2 to 2 hours (not days like traditional methods)

I save you money since the average cost is approximately 50-75% off of traditional repair methods. My prices are usually less than your insurance deductible. Avoid a claim and possible rate increases.

Fact: This process is so sensible, insurance companies have adopted it as the "preferred method" for repairing minor damage!

   
Will my dent pop back in after you leave?
No, I guarantee it is completely permanent.
   
Can every dent be repaired with paintless dent removal?
No. While most minor dents can be removed by PDR, not every dent qualifies. Especially in cases where the metal is deeply stretched, twisted, or rippled. When I encounter this problem, I can offer a traditional repair using bondo and paint if the dent is relatively small.
   
What size dents can be fixed?
I fix dents that range from dime size to Basketball size. The most common size dent is maybe the size of a golf ball.
   
Do you offer a "multiple dent" discount?
Yes.
   
What is "no drilling?"
As a shortcut, many PDR techs punch and drill holes in order to more easily gain access to the backside of a dent. In many cases, the car owner is never informed of this. There have been extreme abuses of this technique where multiple holes (5-7) were drilled on one panel and its' integrity was compromised. Some insurance companies have adopted a "No drilling" policy because of these abuses from reckless PDR techs.

Here's my policy on drilling:

1. Most dents can be accessed without drilling. I have the proper knowledge & tools and take the extra time necessary to avoid drilling.

2. If it is impossible to remove the dent without drilling, or if a small hole will save you a significant amount of money, I will always inform you of this beforehand. The decision will be yours.

3. All small holes will be carefully placed, professionally rust-proofed, sealed, and plugged. They look like they naturally belong on the car.

If you have any more questions or would like a free "ballpark" phone quote call:            
1-888-SCRATCH or visit our online estimate page, fill out the form and one of our trained estimators will contact you usually within 1 business day.

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