A piece of debris gouged my hood in a windstorm. I went through insurance and had the repair done at their recommended shop, which I suspect was a mistake.

The car is red metallic, and I can see the color fade because the repainted parts looks like they have too much metallic flakes in it compared to the rest of the car. As a result, the edges of the hood (where they supposedly faded the colors) almost have a blue tint between the hood and the fenders. Also, the clear-coat on the center of the hood looks mottled and has an oily reflection, whereas the rest of the car has a mirror-like reflection.

Do these issues sound like a lazy body shop job, or is there something inherent about metallic colors that make this sort of repair more difficult and this is the best I can expect? Is it normal for clear coat to have an oily appearance? What's considered reasonable and standard with body work like this? I'm inclined to ask them to re-do the repair.

Edit: an image of the issue(s). Except for the circles, this photo is untouched and straight from my iPhone:

  • green circle: original paint. Notice the clear reflection of the trees
  • blue circle: bad paint job on the hood. Notice the extra metallic bits and the blue-ish tint. That's not a reflection of the sky, it's just a bad matching job on the ridge on the hood
  • yellow circle: bad clear coat job. The paint color is better and closer to the original, but the clear coat looks mottled and the reflection of the trees is almost oily.

car paint job


So I ended up asking my insurance company to honor their guarantee and re-do the repair at another body shop because I didn't really trust their first shop anymore.

I picked up the car today and it looks great. I'm SO glad I had the work re-done. Talking to the guy who did the repair, the first shop did indeed do a bad job. He said hood was still dented and the dent was obvious after sanding off the poor clear coat job. They knocked out the dent, repainted, blended, new clear-coat, all to my satisfaction. Should I post "after" photos? It's quite striking how much better it looks now. Thanks for the answers!

  • 1
    If you're not happy, then it isn't good enough. Take it to a dealership or another bodyshop for a second opinion.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 3:41
  • 1
    See if you can capture it in photos to post here.
    – jxramos
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 20:35
  • I've educated myself a lot more since posting the question. Clear coat should have a mirror-like reflection. A washed-out reflection or an oily appearance is a sign of skimping on materials and not polishing enough.
    – Rocky
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


If the repair work looks shoddy, take it back to them and get it fixed. There are two very important reasons why they will get it fixed to your satisfaction:

  1. Since this is an insurance referral, they will want to have it fixed to your satisfaction. The reason being, insurance referrals are easy money and the service comes to them, rather than having to advertise or spend other money to bring in customers. There is always a ready supply of work. If enough customers from your insurance company tell them the work was second rate, the insurance company will stop using their services. Having these types of jobs is very lucrative for the body shop, so they don't want to lose this ready built customer base.
  2. Most body shops (especially body shops which deal with insurance companies), at least the ones here in the States, have lifetime warranties on their work. This is especially true if it is a national chain. Due to this, if something is wrong with the paint, they are obligated to fix it correctly. You can check your body shop's literature and/or website to find out if the work is warranted or not, but I'll bet you it is. By law they are required to make it right if they offer the warranty as I've suggested.

As anecdotal evidence for what I'm saying, I had a car where I rear ended another car and smooshed in the front. I took my car to the body shop which the insurance company gave me to have it worked on. I went back to the shop a week later after I was told it was ready. Upon inspection, I checked the condition of the repair only to find there was some HUGE issues with it. Things like the new front bumper was about ready to fall off, the hood wasn't fixed right, paint wasn't done very well, etc. When I asked the repairman about it, he was going to just tweak on a couple of things and say, good to go! I didn't like it and called the insurance company. They told me, "If it isn't right, don't accept the car and tell them to fix it right." I took that to heart. I pulled the service manager (or shop foreman or whatever he was called) out and showed him the issues. It took another week, but when I got the car back the next time, it was right. Insurance companies want to get the service which they are paying for and so should you.

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