keyed paint-impregnated plastic panel
Hi guys. I have a new Smart car, which has paint-impregnated plastic panels in white, with clearcoat. There is no available paint to match the plastic panels--this has been researched. (I could get some clearcoat touch-up paint from my dealer, however).
My dilemma is it got keyed a couple weeks ago, down into the plastic. It is barely noticeable when the car is clean, but if you just run your finger along the scratch a few times, the dirt gets in it and shows up. I have a $500 comprehensive ins deductible and (like most folks right now) am tight on money. My body shop says it would still show unless panel replaced, which would be $280. But many folks on my Smart forum have talked about wet sanding or use of products like wet-o-dry, Langka scratch repair, Quixx. I am wondering if somehow there is a better/cheaper way to make the scratch smooth and not collect dirt, hopefully cover it over with clearcoat, or even just polymer protectant (I usually use either Rejex or Klasse products anyway).
Any ideas out there?
The car is brand new, buy a new panel. There is nothing short of properly repairing that key scratch by filling the droove in the plastic with a polyester spot putty, block sand that, then high fill primer, block sand guidecoat that primer, scuff sand the entire panel with 600 grit sandpaper, spot paint with white to hide the primer blending that paint into the surrounding panel then clearcoat the entire panel. I would charge $350 - $450 to take care of that scratch. OR you could just spend $280 and buy a brand new panel.
White paint CAN be matched to the color on your car if really necessay to do any painting.
Thanks so much for the detailed and honest response. The body shop estimator made it sound like they couldn't really fix the scratch, had to replace the panel. Maybe it was just that it was the cheaper (and better) option. Thanks again!