After almost fifteen years in car refinishing business, I have heard quite a few myths. I bring to your attention 15 myths about products and not only, which have been proved to be wrong.
Myth #1. HVLP spray guns are the only professional’s choice for quality paint applications. Not really! LVLP, Reduced Pressure or Trans-Tech technology are all great alternatives.
Myth #2. Waterborne paints are safe, so no special breathing or skin protection is necessary. Wrong! Same measures for personal safety must be applied.
Myth #3. Using a thinner as cleaner makes the same job as degreaser. Not really! Thinner will dry too fast, just spreading dirt and oil around, while leaving some thin film.
Myth #4. Polyester filler with aluminum particles is designed for aluminum car parts. Not only! It can be applied on a number of materials, including iron, bear metal, galvanized steel and GRP.
Myth #5. Resin on top of polyester filler means it has expired or it is of bad quality. Wrong! Resin separation is natural thing. Too dry product means that a producer saved on expensive resin. However, adequate mixing before application is required.
Myth #6. If polyester filler is applied, anticorrosive protection of the surface beneath it is guaranteed. Completely wrong! In fact, polyester putty absorbs moisture. Wash primer must be applied after (not before) filler application or epoxy primer, which can be used both as underneath layer and as primer on top of the polyester filler.
Myth #7. The most important and expensive component of coated abrasive paper is the abrasive mineral used. Not really! The most expensive and technologically important component is the backing (paper in our case).
Myth #8. Soaking your spray gun in thinner overnight will help to clean you gun from dried paint. Damn wrong! Leaving your spray gun for a long time in such an aggressive liquid will damage all plastic seals and valves.
Myth #9. Half mask with cartridge filters offer full protection for automotive paint application. Wrong! Half masks protect from organic vapors and air-borne particles, but not from isocyanate. Only air-fed respirators provide adequate full respiratory protection during automotive paint application.
Myth #10. Holograms and swirl marks on the dark colours mean that a polishing compound is of bad quality. Questionable! Holograms or swirl marks are mainly caused by either using too aggressive compound as the finishing step or by using dirty or inappropriate polishing pad (wool pad, for example, may cause swirl marks on dark colour).
Myth #11. High quality painting materials will work in any bodyshop and under any circumstances. Absolutely not! Final result of a body repair job depends a lot on the application conditions (cleanliness, humidity, temperature) and on painter’s working techniques and competence.
Myth #12. The more cars (or parts) I spray, the better my bodyshop is doing. Not always so! You could have a great vehicles turnover in a bodyshop, but profit (what is left after all expenses and costs incurred are paid) is the key parameter to measure success of a collision repair business.
Myth #13. We are providing top quality refinishing job, so we don’t really need to advertise ourselves. Not exactly! Every business needs some kind of advertising or marketing support. Word of mouth is a great way of providing credibility for your bodyshop, but it doesn’t guarantee that your potential customer will find you when she needs your services.
Myth #14. My bodyshop is running over capacity, so I don’t need to advertise either. False! Even if you are not planning to grow or expand your output capacity, you still need to promote business to attract more profitable customers. For example, if you are overwhelmed with repairing vehicles for a large rent-a-car company at low rates, you may still need promotion to attract customers with better profit per vehicle ration. Moreover, losing one big customer may leave your bodyshop in trouble overnight.
Myth #15. I am loyal to my current supplier/jobber, so I don’t consider any offers from others. Not good! Loyalty is a great thing in business, however being faithful partner and being up-to-date with new materials and offers are not necessarily contradictory things. Losing the touch with the industry’s tendencies and novelties may easily impair a bodyshop’s competitive edge.
As John Maxwell said: “Make a point to continually search for a better way of doing things, even when things are going well, to ensure that a better alternative has not been overlooked and to keep your creative talents in practice.”