Automotive

How likely the dealership will find out a car scratch fix job at bodyshop?

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  • Oct 6th, 2020 6:23 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2013
30 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto

How likely the dealership will find out a car scratch fix job at bodyshop?

shit happens!

My car got scratched badly (doors and some part of the body frame, deep cuts, metal visible) at some stupid road curb...sending my car to some body shop for the fix.

I guess my only concern is..since this is a leased car, how likely the dealership is going to find out the body shop job and ding me for extra money when i return the car? (assuming the body shop does a really decent job)

Appreciate if anyone can shed some lights on this.

Thanks!!!
14 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2009
1084 posts
510 upvotes
Toronto
If it is not in good sellable condition when you return the car then be prepared to pay for a second repair. Its easy to spot paint mismatch and return inspectors will have a paint thickness meter with them.

If the lease isn’t expiring for a while I would suggest driving it as is and repairing it just before you return it.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
2184 posts
825 upvotes
Hometown
From anecdotal evidence from my friends who lease it seems the dealer does NOT inspect most lease returns these days. The manufacturers hire it out to be done by independent specialists

I would like to think It simply does not matter if they catch your touch up work.... If you go to a decent body shop they are going to do just a good a job as the dealer's body shop could do. Now if you go to Aunt Tessie's brother's uncle half cousin who does part night body work in his garage at night that might be a whole different story.. (Some times it pays to pay more up front because any decent shop will guarantee their work for the lifetime of the car, so if there is an issue with the return try to use that...)

That said these specialists that are hired, they do use paint gauges and all kinds of other hi tech toys to find out every little thing you "might" have done. Mainly because if they NEVER found anything wrong with all these lease returns they would not be NEEDED, and manufacturers would just stop using them.

In other words toss a coin you either will or will not have a problem and no one here can accurately predict the unpredictable.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2013
30 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the advice!

I actually thought about wait until the return, its just the metal are exposed so to avoid the rust and complication i am sending it in now
submarine wrote: If it is not in good sellable condition when you return the car then be prepared to pay for a second repair. Its easy to spot paint mismatch and return inspectors will have a paint thickness meter with them.

If the lease isn’t expiring for a while I would suggest driving it as is and repairing it just before you return it.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2013
30 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the info!

hmmm, I guess the dealer can find out the car has been repainted no matter how good the bodyshop did the job, i am at the dealer's mercyDisappointed Face
Canuck2fan wrote: From anecdotal evidence from my friends who lease it seems the dealer does NOT inspect most lease returns these days. The manufacturers hire it out to be done by independent specialists

I would like to think It simply does not matter if they catch your touch up work.... If you go to a decent body shop they are going to do just a good a job as the dealer's body shop could do. Now if you go to Aunt Tessie's brother's uncle half cousin who does part night body work in his garage at night that might be a whole different story.. (Some times it pays to pay more up front because any decent shop will guarantee their work for the lifetime of the car, so if there is an issue with the return try to use that...)

That said these specialists that are hired, they do use paint gauges and all kinds of other hi tech toys to find out every little thing you "might" have done. Mainly because if they NEVER found anything wrong with all these lease returns they would not be NEEDED, and manufacturers would just stop using them.

In other words toss a coin you either will or will not have a problem and no one here can accurately predict the unpredictable.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 8, 2007
8715 posts
9525 upvotes
Way Out of GTA
If you use a quality shop. It shouldn’t be an issue. For example one that’s on your insurers approved bodyshop list. If you use some cut rate shop that you can see the work a mile away then yeah problems.

The diff between good shop and bad shop is very noticeable.
"It is in times of great fear or greed that the most opportunity exists."
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
34448 posts
20474 upvotes
Center of Universe
Take on another lease at the end of the term and all will be forgiven.
Jr. Member
Mar 17, 2020
117 posts
105 upvotes
if you lease another car from that dealership, most likely they won't even look, even if they find - no big deal.
but if you don't lease another car, they will milk every penny out of you before you leave the door, it takes a seconds to go around a car with paint meter.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2013
30 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
So true.. the dealer literally closed their eyes on my last car when I returned it because I was getting a new lease from them...won't happen this time thou cus I did plan to have something different for my next one.
vkizzle wrote: Take on another lease at the end of the term and all will be forgiven.
drwxr010 wrote: if you lease another car from that dealership, most likely they won't even look, even if they find - no big deal.
but if you don't lease another car, they will milk every penny out of you before you leave the door, it takes a seconds to go around a car with paint meter.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2013
30 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
finger crossedNeutral Face
cartfan123 wrote: If you use a quality shop. It shouldn’t be an issue. For example one that’s on your insurers approved bodyshop list. If you use some cut rate shop that you can see the work a mile away then yeah problems.

The diff between good shop and bad shop is very noticeable.
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1665 posts
1226 upvotes
GTA West
violet0114 wrote: shit happens!

My car got scratched badly (doors and some part of the body frame, deep cuts, metal visible) at some stupid road curb...sending my car to some body shop for the fix.

I guess my only concern is..since this is a leased car, how likely the dealership is going to find out the body shop job and ding me for extra money when i return the car? (assuming the body shop does a really decent job)

Appreciate if anyone can shed some lights on this.

Thanks!!!
When I returned my leased car the manager just did a walk-around, since they already had the insurance report that the only insurance damage claim on record was for a windshield.

Damage history reduces the value of a used car but if the repair is professionally done to a good standard, what can they do about it? But they may wholesale it rather than resell it if they have any doubts.
Sr. Member
Jan 20, 2012
692 posts
318 upvotes
Toronto
Use dealer approved body shop. They should know how to get it done properly. Previous car was in accident and needed repaint for whole rear end. Nothing noted on the return inspection except for minor scratch on wheel.

I spot painted my Civic bumper with can spray from Canadian Tire before lease return. It passed inspection as well.
Deal Guru
Mar 22, 2004
13096 posts
3562 upvotes
RFD
@violet0114 let us know how it goes when you take it back to the dealer. You might get lucky and they don't spot it even with their paint thickness gauge, maybe they measure around it instead of on it.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
27627 posts
7975 upvotes
These are normal things that happen to cars. That's completely allowed during a lease provided you have it repaired properly/well. If it's a shitty job where it's subpar work, paint doesn't match, it's visually obvious to the untrained eye it's been repainted and done badly...those things you're gonna get charged for upon return. If the repair is done well at a good body shop, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Note that typically speaking you get what you pay for so a cheap job is usually not going to be a good job, and that's where you'll get yourself into trouble, like trying to get it done for $500 on the cheap when it's a $1500 repair or something like that. Yeah there's gonna be someone out that will do the work at a cut-rate price, but it probably ain't gonna be good and that's what's gonna bite you later. Just have it done correctly once and be done with it.

Incidentally this is one of the advantages of leasing--if "shit happens" to the car and you have to get it repaired (like a larger damage or accident rather than a small one) then you get it repaired and walk away. Any lost resale value is eaten by the manufacturer, not you. As someone else mentioned it could be the difference in a dealer buying it out and going on the lot or just going straight to auction 'cause few branded dealers want a car with a big accident on its carfax. But whatevs you don't care as you are lessee, you just walk away at lease end if you want.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
5830 posts
4510 upvotes
My inspection always comes with paint depth check to check for repainted panels.

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