Refinish Paint Specs Give Repairers Options
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007
By Bruce Adams, ABRN Correspondent
Auto body repair shops should adopt original equipment manufacturers refinish paint specs for the vehicles they paint, said Joe Skurka during a Thursday afternoon seminar. Skurka, manager of OEM and industry relations for BASF, said during the OE Approved Products seminar that many repair shops don’t even know the specs exist.
“It would be beneficial for the collision repair industry to adopt the refinish paint specs to have a definitive pattern for success,” says Skurka. “If you are working on fairly new cars that you want to bring back to original condition, you need to do it.”
Most repairers have a paint system that they use on all the vehicles they paint and they select the paint that they think is most appropriate, he said. “They base their choice on past experience and go by the seat of their pants.”
Sometimes conflicts between repairers and insurance companies arise over ambiguities within the repair process.
“If you are working on a bumper repair and the paint company says you need a flex additive to meet the OE specifications for flexibility to bring it back to OE performance characteristics, but the insurance company says they won’t pay to put it in, then the repairer is caught in the middle,” Skurka says. “From a repair situation, what should you do? You can paint it without the flex additive, but it won’t have the same performance characteristics.”
By establishing refinish paint standards repairers can consistently bring a car back to its pre-accident condition, he said. That’s one of the reasons why General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other OEMs have published repair paint specifications.
The refinish paint specs, adopted in the 1990s, are an outgrowth of the OEM paint specs that were adopted many years ago. Automakers began pushing hard for the specifications to improve the quality of paint repairs.