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Maaco painting for cars... anyone had experience with them?


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Maaco painting for cars... anyone had experience with them?
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Windswept
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-04-03, 14:00

A little old lady crunched the back bumper of my vehicle awhile back.

She begged me not to call the police, so I didn't.

She said she would pay to have my car fixed, but the estimate was like $1,200. It's only the rear bumper, nothing else.

I went and checked the price at Maaco recently, and they quoted me $600.

I hate for her to have to shell out $1,200. Do you think Maaco would do a halfway decent job for half the price?

I don't know anyone who has ever used them, so I thought I'd ask you guys if you had any reliable information about the company.

I googled Maaco, and read a pretty awful review of someone's experience with them.

I'll probably be getting a new car next year, and my current vehicle is not new. But the rest of the paint is in very good condition, because I have kept it nicely waxed, and the interior is like new because I take care of things. I wouldn't expect the new bumper to have paint like 'showroom new', but I would like it to be respectable.

Any thoughts, opinions, horror stories?

Thanks for any replies.
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DMBand0026
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2006-04-03, 14:04

If there's $1,200 damage to the bumper, expect someone to offer you somewhere in the area of $2,500 less than what you're asking for the vehicle. I've never used Maaco, but I've never heard anything good about them either. A very good friend of mine in high school used Maaco on an old project car that he was working on and he later showed me two spots where they had painted over bird droppings on the vehicle.

You did her a favor by not calling the police, do yourself a favor by getting your vehicle fixed the right way. It'll save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Come waste your time with me
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alcimedes
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2006-04-03, 14:04

Maaco sucks.

PM me.
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 14:20

Well, not very encouraging so far.

Anyone else?
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Artap99
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2006-04-03, 14:27

I went to Maaco once and the price they charged me beforehand was quite different than what they charged when the job was done. It went from $500 to $1100.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2006-04-03, 14:29

I almost got Maaco once. Sears screwed up the hood of my car doing a battery install and made a dent in my hood. Sears said I needed at least two estimates to get it fixed.

Went to Maaco and they wanted to paint the hood and both front quarter panels "to get the color matching correct". They quoted me a little over $300.

Then I went to a local place who quoted me a little over $100 which of course didn't include quarter panel painting. Needless to say, Sears approved the local place's estimate. They had it done in a day and even looking closely you couldn't tell there had been any damage.

So this probably doesn't help you in any way, but I would worry about a place that needs to paint 1/3 of your car just so you don't see any color variations between the two paint jobs. The local place probably painted about 6 square inches of my hood and you couldn't tell where the new paint stopped and the original paint started.
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Bill M
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2006-04-03, 14:56

Maaco? Aaaaargh! Nooooooooo!
Dealt with them some 15 years ago. Terrible experience to say the least.
Enough said.
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ast3r3x
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2006-04-03, 16:22

I was told you get exactly what you pay for when you want paint jobs.
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billybobsky
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2006-04-03, 16:59

The old lady probably shouldn't be driving -- hence the don't call the police cop out (heh, that's funny) -- use all his opportunity to convince her financially that she shouldn't be on the road...
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 17:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artap99
I went to Maaco once and the price they charged me beforehand was quite different than what they charged when the job was done. It went from $500 to $1100.
Ack!
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 17:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend
Went to Maaco and they wanted to paint the hood and both front quarter panels "to get the color matching correct". They quoted me a little over $300.
[snip]
The local place probably painted about 6 square inches of my hood and you couldn't tell where the new paint stopped and the original paint started.
Getting gloomier and gloomier.
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 17:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast3r3x
I was told you get exactly what you pay for when you want paint jobs.
Yeah, I was afraid of that.
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Banana
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2006-04-03, 17:30

Wind- why do you have to use Maaco? Isn't there another joint?
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 17:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky
The old lady probably shouldn't be driving -- hence the don't call the police cop out (heh, that's funny) -- use all his opportunity to convince her financially that she shouldn't be on the road...
Well, I felt sorry for her, y'know. She was 80 years old, all dressed up so nice and neatly for an afternoon out.

I guess I felt that I should have been able to avoid getting hit.

Yes, it's guilt folks. That's what it is.

*sigh*
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Windowsrookie
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2006-04-03, 17:49

my mom had her car fixed at maaco. they painted and took out the dings from an accedent on a 2003 stratus. they did everything fine, they just couldn't get the "D o d g e" sticker thingy. but we were fine with that.


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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 18:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana
Wind- why do you have to use Maaco? Isn't there another joint?
Yeah, lots of other places; and they all charge $1,200 or so.

I just figured that something like a bumper might be a job that a discount place like Maaco could manage without screwing up too badly.

She hit me some months ago, and there wasn't a time when being without my own car would have been convenient. And *now* I feel a strange reluctance about calling them. I mean, I will if I have to, of course.

They might decline to honor their word. If so, I'll be back to getting it done myself. No way do I want to spend $1,200. If it were a newer car, I would; but I'll only be keeping it another year, and I've already sunk a packet into it, getting work done last summer.

ANYway...
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 18:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by windowsrookie
my mom had her car fixed at maaco. they painted and took out the dings from an accedent on a 2003 stratus. they did everything fine, they just couldn't get the "D o d g e" sticker thingy. but we were fine with that.


Omigosh! A ray of light in this subterranean den of sorrows.

Hey, thanks for some 'good' news, windowsrookie.
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Luca
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2006-04-03, 18:40

Your resale value will be reduced by a lot more than $600 if you let those Maaco hacks mess with your car. $1200 might seem like a lot, but it's well worth it. When you go to sell your car in a year, that $600 Maaco job will show, and potential buyers will start asking tough questions about the car's history. Even though it's a minor, cosmetic problem that doesn't affect the car's mechanical operation, it'll reduce the car's value by a lot more than the $600 you'd save from taking it to some cheapo place.

As much sympathy as you have for the old lady, it's still her fault that your car got screwed up, and you shouldn't have to put up with a second-rate job just to save her a few hundred bucks.
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Windswept
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2006-04-03, 19:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
Your resale value will be reduced by a lot more than $600 if you let those Maaco hacks mess with your car. $1200 might seem like a lot, but it's well worth it. When you go to sell your car in a year, that $600 Maaco job will show, and potential buyers will start asking tough questions about the car's history. Even though it's a minor, cosmetic problem that doesn't affect the car's mechanical operation, it'll reduce the car's value by a lot more than the $600 you'd save from taking it to some cheapo place.

As much sympathy as you have for the old lady, it's still her fault that your car got screwed up, and you shouldn't have to put up with a second-rate job just to save her a few hundred bucks.
Yes, you definitely make some good points, Luca.

Thanks for the input, to you and everyone.
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Maciej
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2006-04-03, 21:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend
Went to Maaco and they wanted to paint the hood and both front quarter panels "to get the color matching correct". They quoted me a little over $300.
This is actually pretty standard procedure. May I ask whether it was a domestic or not?

Quote:
I was told you get exactly what you pay for when you want paint jobs.
I couldn't agree more.

Carol, what kind of a car was the elderly woman driving?

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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Windswept
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2006-04-04, 10:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej
Carol, what kind of a car was the elderly woman driving?
She was driving an older model American sedan, nicely maintained, but about 15 yrs. old.

She was obviously on a fixed income, doing okay, but not affluent.

She didn't look a day over 68. heh

As might be the case wrt many accidents, I feel partly at fault, though 'technically' I wasn't. And it's not like her insurance company would be paying. It would be out of her pocket.

Has anyone here ever gotten a part out of a salvage yard? Just wondering.
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alcimedes
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2006-04-04, 10:51

I get parts from junkyards all the time. If you're going to go that route though you'll need someone with you that knows how to disassemble a car, and some way to carry the parts back.

Google is your frenemy.
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Windswept
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2006-04-04, 11:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes
I get parts from junkyards all the time. If you're going to go that route though you'll need someone with you that knows how to disassemble a car, and some way to carry the parts back.
I went with my brother once to an auto salvage yard.

The parts were all disassembled and lined up neatly on racks, shelves, or the ground outside.

What would be nice is if I could go find a white bumper (of the correct year and model) in good condition, take it to a body shop, and they could install it. Would a body shop do that, do you think?

I do remember going to an actual junkyard once with someone. He needed an outside rearview mirror, and found one.
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alcimedes
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2006-04-04, 11:14

Well, what you're going to find is that the bumper will run you $400 or so from the shop, and the junkyard will sell you one for $200. (or $100 depending on what you wear).

The auto place is still going to charge you $800 to take the old one off and put the new one on. So yeah, you'll save $200 or so, but you don't save the lion's share of the cost unless you do the labor yourself.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Windswept
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2006-04-04, 11:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes
Well, what you're going to find is that the bumper will run you $400 or so from the shop, and the junkyard will sell you one for $200. (or $100 depending on what you wear).


Quote:
The auto place is still going to charge you $800 to take the old one off and put the new one on. So yeah, you'll save $200 or so, but you don't save the lion's share of the cost unless you do the labor yourself.
$800!

But surely taking the old one off and putting the new one on shouldn't take more than an hour - or two, max? How could they possibly charge $800?
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709
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2006-04-04, 11:55

He's quoting high in the hopes that his round-trip ticket will look like a bargain.
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Dorian Gray
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2006-04-04, 12:29

Similar thing happened to me a few years ago: a man in his seventies reversed his pickup into my path in a car park. I didn't have the heart to get the insurance companies involved, but I did end up needing a new bumper, quarter panel, and headlight, so fairly substantial damage. I did my own maintenance work when I owned a car, and changing a front quarter panel is fairly straightforward, so I got the parts from scrap yards for a total of £80 and installed them myself. The bumper was more difficult than the quarter panel but I managed the whole lot in about three hours. I refuse to live my life in a perpetual tizzy about resale value, so didn't even consider that aspect.

Painting a bumper will cost more than buying it in the first place, so if you can call a bunch of scrap yards to find a white one it would save you some cash. If you're not feeling up to dealing with a scrap yard personally (they're institutionally sexist in the UK, probably the same in the US; in addition, unless you look like you live under a bonnet you'll be ripped off) get a male friend to do that part of the job for you.

All that will remain then will be to find a little garage in the countryside that charges so little you'll feel sorry for the owner and give him a tip. These places exist in every country I've been in, so at a guess they exist in the States too. They'll charge 25% of the city garage quote and probably do a better job.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2006-04-04, 13:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej
This is actually pretty standard procedure. May I ask whether it was a domestic or not?
It was a Hyundai Excel rebadged as a Mitsubishi Precis, but had Hyundai stamps on the body & motor.
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Kickaha
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2006-04-04, 13:28

Yoiks - I had an ex-gf that got a job done at Maaco in SLC... the price went from $600 to $900 ("well, once we got to masking things off, we realized we had more work to do than we thought..."), and they painted it the wrong color.

She chose a beautiful dark midnight blue, it ended up bright purple.

She bitched, raised hell, threatened with a lawsuit, and they basically said "tough". Last I heard, her Blazer was still My Little Pony purple.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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Windswept
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2006-04-04, 14:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709
He's quoting high in the hopes that his round-trip ticket will look like a bargain.
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