With an eagle eye for dents and a few tools, free-lance roadside repairers offer low cost repairs. They’ll be in a local shopping center parking lot and they’ll say, “Hey I can fix that for you real cheap.” They’ll claim that they work for local well known collision shops and that they do this on the side. Most of the repairs that the roadside repairers do are incompetent and consist of globs of “Bondo” slathered all over the dent, then the repairer sprays gray primer on the repair and covers it with little black dots of black underbody coating which hide the ripples and waves of the in proper repair. When questioned about the unfinished look, the repairer tells the vehicle owner to “just take it to a collision shop and they will sand it down and paint it,” usually giving an unrealistically low price. It is reported that a lot of these scam artists are part of an “extended family.”
Sometimes it is reported that the scam artists use intimidation and won’t leave until owners agree to the repair, they can also ask for money to go buy paint and materials and never return. A lot of the victims are elderly that think they are saving money or avoiding filing an insurance claim, only to be ripped off. Our advice, if its too good to be true, you can bet that it probably is. We have seen these repairs come in on high end cars (Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, SUV’s) and said that they were told if they brought their vehicle here we would smooth out the repair paint it for $50, not the case, the improper repair creates more damage and can be over twice the price to repair than it would have been originally.
Look around, you see them every day, cars and trucks driving around with gray primer over wavy bondo and black speckles to hide the lumps, bumps and waves.