How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

These days there is something you can do rectify this situation. A new paint job works wonders but when you start looking around for an auto paint shop you realise that the cost to paint a car can be prohibitively expensive depending on what needs to be done. Or it can be relatively cheap but remember that old adage – you get what you pay for. There is a big variation in the quality and level of workmanship out there and all these factors directly influence how much it will cost to paint a car.

Decisions That Influence The Cost Of Painting Your Car

The first order of the day is to decide what sort of quality and end result you are looking for in the finished product. Do you want a high-end paint job complete with customised airbrush artwork and two-tone metallic paint using top of the range paint? Or are you just looking for a good basic repaint using good quality, durable paint that will stand the test of time, at least for a few years. Your answer to this question will determine whether you look for a specialty high-end paint shop or one of the more middle of the road ones and whether it’s going to cost you a small fortune or somewhere in the vicinity of $1000 to $5000.

Secondly, can you do any of the preparation work yourself? Before any car can be successfully repainted there is a fair amount of prep work involved and this is where a lot of the expense is incurred. If you have the time, the skills, the tools and the knowledge to do some of this work yourself you could save yourself quite a bit of money. If not, don’t even attempt it because you may just create a mess that will cost you more money to have fixed.

What Contributes To The Cost To Paint A Car

Most of the costs involved in repainting a car can be narrowed down to two main components – the quality of the paint and the amount of prep work that needs to be done.

Paint Quality

Auto paint varies hugely in quality and cost so you really need to ask each repair shop what quality paint they use. At the top end of the scale are the expensive ones that usually have reduced chipping and peeling qualities, are very durable, don’t fade as quickly and will withstand the elements for a good number of years. These types of paints can cost several hundred dollars a quart and usually come with a lifetime warranty.

More economical auto paints, such as those used by many of the middle range auto shops, still offer excellent value and quality for money. They’re durable, have a reasonable life span on the vehicle, can withstand normal wear and tear and generally come with at least a few years guarantee.

At the bottom end are the cheap paints. These types of paints are rarely guaranteed to last, will chip and peel easily and fade relatively quickly. However, they’re super cheap in comparison to better quality paints and may ‘do’ the job if you’re just looking to smarten the car up for resale.

Preparation Work

This is the other big expense involved in the cost to paint a car. The old paint has to be sanded back from the entire area being painted, which in a total repaint job is the whole exterior of the car at least. Dents, bumps, rust and scratches have to be fixed before the new paint can be applied and this is labour intensive, time consuming work.

Things on the car like the windows, mirrors, lights, trim, door handles, bumpers, antennas, tyres and spoilers also need to be removed or masked to avoid over spray damage. The more upmarket paint shops will often remove what can be removed to give a cleaner, more professional finish and only mask what they can’t remove. Again, this is time-consuming work and so the costs mount up. Discount paint shops may cut costs here by simply masking everything rather than removing, resulting in a less professional look.

So the bottom line here is that if a good, clean, professional looking finish is what you’re looking for, choose a quality painter.

General Price Ranges For Painting A Car

A bargain basement paint job can cost as little as a few hundred dollars – anywhere from $300 to $900. However, the paint will inevitably be generic, cheap synthetic enamel and there will only be a minimum number of coats applied. Some areas of the car, like under the hood and inside the doorjambs, may not be painted at all and protected areas will have likely just been masked rather than removed. Dents and damage to the panelling will probably simply be painted over rather than repaired first.

A better quality job will set you back somewhere between $1,000 to $2,500 depending on make and model of the vehicle, its condition and how much needs to be painted. The paint will be higher quality, usually brand named and there will be enough coats laid to create a quality finish, including several clear coats at the end to protect the coloured paint and produce a glossy, smooth finish. More care and attention will be paid to protecting areas that aren’t to be sprayed and to repairing panels prior to painting.

Right at the top end is the ‘show-room quality’ auto paint job, costing anywhere from $2,500 upwards depending on the model and make, vehicle condition and how much you want done. The vehicle will be prepped to within an inch of its life, including a complete sand back to bare metal. Every dent, scratch and bit of rust will be repaired if required and everything that isn’t to be painted that can be removed will be removed. Up to 18 to 20 layers of high quality professional brand name paint will be applied with another 6 to 8 clear coats applied over the top and you can expect the entire process to take a month or more to complete.

Things You Need To Know About Installing A New Garage Door Motor

When it comes to garage door motors, the saying ‘Local is lekker’ certainly fits the bill. It doesn’t matter what motor you buy, eventually it will need a repair, and when that time comes you want to have purchased a motor with good backup support, and long-term sales of parts and spares. Cheap Chinese imports are constantly on the market, their lower prices may be attractive, but when no spares are available for a simple problem, it means buying a whole new machine. The truth is that all garage door motors have parts made in China, but there are more well-established companies that assemble their motors here in South Africa, and/or have offices in most major cities. So do your homework, or call us to find out more about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Battery Backup:

Let’s face it, we’ve all been left stranded in some way or form by our friends at Eskom, and the truth is that load shedding is here to stay, on and off, for the foreseeable future. So what can you do to ensure you don’t get trapped in or out of your garage? The first option, and a necessity with any automated door installation, is to have an emergency release mechanism installed. An emergency release mechanism is mounted into the curtain of the door, with a key hole facing outwards. A steel cable is then run from this mechanism to the motors emergency release leaver. When the power goes out, you’ll need to insert your key into the mechanism, give it a twist, and a pull, and this will in turn pull the steel cable and release the door from the motor. Although emergency release mechanisms are highly effective, they still require you to leave the comfort of your car or home in order to unlock the door, and then you will have to physically lift the door by hand. This can be problematic if the door is very heavy, and if it doesn’t want to stay in the open position, you’ll need someone else to hold the door open while you move your car.

The second option is to have some sort of battery backup system powering your garage door motor. This allows you to stay comfortable and safe in your car or home, but still able to access your garage during power outages. Just like gate motors, your garage door motor will need to automatically switch between 220v and 24v, and have the ability to charge your batteries while 220v is on. Unfortunately not all motors are designed to work off 24v, and all older model motors will fall into this category. Motors like the Digi 2, Gemini, Brano, Alladin, or the Pro Alpha 2000 are all 220v motors, and are therefore not compatible with 24v battery backup. Advanced UPS systems with the use of inverters can be utilized for these motors, but the expense of these systems are far too high to warrant going this direction. So unless you have a battery, charger, auto switch, and inverter setup currently running other devices in your house, then the only other option is to purchase a new model 24v garage door motor.

Modern 24v motors actually have a higher power rating than older 220v motors, they also have built-in battery protectors, auto switch functionality, auto close option, extensive sensitivity settings, and auto charging. Not to mention a one year warranty, and most come with two new remotes. Contact us today to learn more about battery backup in garage door motors, and to find out about our free door service when purchasing a new 24v battery backup motor.

Which motor do I use for which door?

The various types of garage doors work in different ways, so the manner in which they open and close is important to consider when deciding which motor you get, and how it is set up.

Roll Up Doors:

Require either a vertically mounted motor such as the Digi 2, or a shaft mounted motor such as the ET Blue Roll Up Motor. As mentioned above, the Digi 2 cannot accommodate conventional battery backup, but it’s a strong and reliable motor, and can even be used to operate two roll up doors simultaneously. Using a strong wormdrive mechanism much like a cork screw, this tried and tested motor has managed to outlast the competition, and I have even come across a few that are pushing on 20 years in operation.

The shaft mounted motors can only operate one door at time, and are not suited to large double size roll up doors, or very old stiff doors. However when used with new doors or those in good working condition, shaft mounted motors like the ET Blue Roll Up can give many years of battery assisted, silent, and smooth operation. An added bonus is that this motor comes with two very good quality remotes.

Sectional Garage Doors:

Sectional garage doors vary greatly from door to door. However, regardless of the size of the door, or materials used, every door should open smoothly, and without too much effort. Steps should be taken to check the door, and fix any issues before a motor is installed. This will ensure your motor is not put under too much strain, and will prolong it’s life greatly. A variety of motors are available for sectional garage doors, but they all work in exactly the same way, unlike with roll up doors. Selecting the best combination of power, compatibility, features, price, and backup support, is our specialty.

Tip Up Doors:

Tip up doors operate in a manner that is a little awkward for motor installation. The motor shaft needs to be hung at an angle, sloping towards the ground. This allows for the natural action of the door while opening and closing, and ensures a smooth operation. Some of the older tip up doors operate with counter-weight mechanisms, instead of the more modern spring setup. These counter-weight doors cannot be automated, as the door needs to be pulled/pushed at different angles through its operation. It is however, possible to upgrade the door to a spring mechanism, and then automate the door as usual.

Extra Height / Caravan Height Doors:

Different length motor shafts are available for doors that are higher than usual. If you have an extra height door and need some advise on automation, why not give us a call and we’ll come inspect, measure, and provide you with a free quote for your new motor.