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Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?

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Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?

 
Old 02-17-2017, 10:01 PM
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Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?

As the thread subject says, my silver 2003 CL-S 6MT has areas of clear-coat failure on the paint (mainly the rear quarter-panel on the driver's side, as well as crazing all over the front hood) but it's otherwise in fine shape (both within the interior and mechanically -- completely stock, dealer serviced regularly) with relatively low-mileage for a 2003.

I'm seeking advice on whether to have it professionally repainted before selling it, or will it still attract eager buyers in "as is" condition ?

Since I now have a newer ride, the CL-S can spend 3+ weeks in the body shop without causing me major inconvenience. But will I recoup the ~ $3,000+ cost of the paint job when I sell the car ? And do buyers get suspicious buying a freshly-repainted car ? ("What is the seller trying to hide ?" ...)

Conversely, will my putting in $3,000+ on a paint job and then listing it for its full "top dollar value" -- instead of knocking $3,000 off my asking price and selling it "as is" -- actually make it LESS attractive (price-wise) to buyers who are primarily looking for a 3.2L 6MT performance car ? Or to buyers who (for whatever reason) would rather buy it for less money now, and maybe have it repainted themselves sometime down the road ?

Visually speaking (see photos attached), the paint does not look 'that' bad from 10- or 15-feet away, but seen up-close the paint / clear-coat flaws are very obvious. Thanks in advance for any advice !!

-- Jim
Attached Thumbnails Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?-dscf6700c.jpg   Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?-dscf6700b.jpg   Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?-dscf6701c.jpg   Seek advice on selling 2003 CL-S 6MT w/ areas of clear-coat failure - repaint first ?-dscf6701b.jpg  
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:20 PM
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Sell as-is, you won't make the $3k back.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Harper View Post
Sell as-is, you won't make the $3k back.
So I shouldn't discount my "as is" asking price by the full value of a professional paint job ? If it would be worth "X" dollars in used but "excellent" condition (granted it's a 14-year old car with >100,000 milles on the odometer, but made by Honda it should go at least another 100K miles and I'm in SoCal where prices are likely higher than in other parts of the country).

In "as is" condition, you're saying my asking price should not be "X minus $3,000 because it needs a paint job" but something higher instead ? In my head, I had no way of gauging how much I should discount the asking price for the obvious and extensive flaws in the paint, other than to knock off $3,000 if that's what a decent quality paint job would cost its next owner, before the car would be back in "excellent" condition (like one that had been garage kept / parked inside everyday and hand-waxed regularly, which mine has not been).

Or are you really saying that I'm likely find many more buyers willing to spend "X minus $3,000" for it in as-is condition (discounted price), than I'm likely to find willing to spend "X" dollars (top dollar) for it in top-notch condition on the outside (like it already largely is on the inside and mechanically) ?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts ... much appreciated.

-- Jim
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:16 AM
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For over a 10 year old car, I'd say just price it according to the blue book value somewhere between "fair" and "good" condition. The price difference between "fair," "good," and "excellent" on any book value site won't be anywhere near $3k.

If I were in the market for a used car, I'd expect there to be flaws in the paint. If I found a used car with flawless paint, I wouldn't justify spending an extra $3k on it if a comparable one in sound mechanical condition but had a couple paint flaws could be had.

Also not everyone needs/wants a 14 year old car with flawless paint. As for the exact number for a discount from your asking price, I'd say list it at full asking price to test the waters. If you find a buyer, great. If no buyers after a week or two try reducing the price by a few hundred dollars.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:24 AM
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Don't waste your money by repainting it. You will never get your money back on the paint job ever. If you can get the hood blended and painted, just do that only. I had my rear quarter panel painted and blended and I can't tell at all in any light it's been painted. But 3K is absurd to spend on paint on a non-collector 14 year old car. Compare yours to what others are going for, then price it say $1000-$1500 below. When people are buying cars of that age, typically they care most about maintenance instead of overall condition and if the price is enticing enough given good maintenance, most will jump on it.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:06 AM
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Have you got a quote to fix the clear? I wouldn't think it would be 3grand. But no matter the price you probably won't recoup the money.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gnuts View Post
Have you got a quote to fix the clear? I wouldn't think it would be 3grand. But no matter the price you probably won't recoup the money.
Due to the nature of the clear-coat failure problem, the recommended fix is to sand it down all the way to bare metal on the hood (elsewhere just through the delaminating clearcoat and into the base color and/or primer), feathering edges so the surfaces are all level and smooth), then apply a leveling primer (sanding smooth again as needed), new coat(s) of base color, and finally fresh clear-coat to top it all off. A quality body shop would also completely remove all the glass, weather-seals, and emblems -- rather than simply mask around these elements. Given the number of labor hours involved, it is a costly proposition to have it done correctly -- so it will not only look great afterwards, but also so it will hold up well and stay looking good well for another decade or more -- throughout the car's second 100K miles.

While the most significant areas of clear-coat failure are on the driver-side rear quarter panel and the crazing on the hood, there are smaller / minor areas elsewhere on the car where the clear coat is starting to fail, so if one is going to go to the trouble of repainting it (rather than just living with it as-is), it really does make the most sense to bite-the-bullet and do the whole exterior at once, rather than addressing it piecemeal with just the hood and rear quarter panel first in the near-term, and other sections later as the clear-coat elsewhere delaminates more.

To date I've taken it to three body shops --
  1. First was a small body shop in my area with the best on-line reviews ... their rough-estimate was $5K to $6K (and probably closer to $6K), but the owner was honest in telling me that because he only uses the best materials and employs only the best / most-experienced staff, his prices are at the high end of the scale, so for a non-collector car produced in 2003, I would probably do better taking it elsewhere;
  2. Second was another small body shop nearby that works on a lot of 10+ year-old cars (mostly collision damaged), but the re-painting process steps he described to me were the same -- no shortcuts would be taken. His estimate was $2500 to $3000 (and probably closer to $3000).
  3. Third was a larger-scale body shop (AAA-insurance preferred for collision repairs, also factory-authorized for numerous auto brands), and their estimate was between $4000 and $5000 (and probably closer to $5000).
I guess the ideal buyer would be someone who either (a) isn't bothered by the clear-coat failures of the paint, and is attracted to this car for the performance of its V6 engine + 6-speed manual transmission, in a nicely appointed yet affordable 2-door coupe, or (b) has a buddy or friend-of-a-friend in the auto-body-business who could repaint it nicely at a discount, or (c) might have the time and resources to sand it down and do other prep-work themselves, and then take it to a body shop just to have it re-sprayed.

In this AcuraZine > Regions > California thread (link), I posted a graph of price-versus-mileaage for all recent sales (well, maybe "last advertised asking price" before the cars sold) for 2003 Acura 3.2CL Type S vehicles. Investigating this further, I concluded that the plotted points are a mix of both manual and automatic transmission vehicles. Assuming that those with manual transmissions are more in-demand as performance cars, but meanwhile are more rare (elsewhere here on AcuraZine I've read that only about 3400 were produced), it seems reasonable to think that the uppermost points at any given mileage might be the manual transmission and/or best-condition 2003 CL Type-S cars, yes ?

So in trying to come up with an asking price for my 2003 CL Type-S, I was thinking of starting with the upper range of the points on this graph for the mileage on mine, then (if I didn't re-paint it before advertising it for sale) subtract a deduction for the fact that it would need a paint job before it would legitimately rank among the "top dollar value" category of these cars (keeping it mind it doesn't have the built-in Navigation system, nor any upgrades like custom wheels or performance mods ...).

Thanks for the consensus recommendations not to repaint it first, and maybe not to discount the asking price by a full $3000 either just because it needs repainting.

Wish me luck,

-- Jim
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:48 PM
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Sell it as is, unless you love the car so much that you plan to keep for a very long time. You wont need to discount price the cost to repair paint off what the car is currently worth. I would think with less than 100K on odometer the car should bring $3500 to $5000 provided it has a clean (non-salvage) title and hasn't been wrecked in past. I am also assuming that interior is in similar condition (slightly worn). I spent just south of $5K on my paint job (its gorgeous). Probably spent another $3k on oem parts (because old parts look bad when put next to new paint).
I will never get my $ back, but I enjoy the car. Just had it out today, and it was a lot of fun.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldsman71 View Post
Sell it as is, unless you love the car so much that you plan to keep for a very long time. You wont need to discount price the cost to repair paint off what the car is currently worth. I would think with less than 100K on odometer the car should bring $3500 to $5000 provided it has a clean (non-salvage) title and hasn't been wrecked in past. I am also assuming that interior is in similar condition (slightly worn). I spent just south of $5K on my paint job (its gorgeous). Probably spent another $3k on oem parts (because old parts look bad when put next to new paint).
I will never get my $ back, but I enjoy the car. Just had it out today, and it was a lot of fun.
Thanks ! Clear title, one not-too-serious accident (mild front-bumper / hood / headlamp / radiator damage; no airbag deployment, no frame damage -- quite some years ago, fully repaired afterwards so it still drives the same, and has given me no problems since), black leather interior is in very good / excellent condition, and it's had all the regularly scheduled service intervals and routine maintenance at the local Acura dealership (Acura trained mechanics and genuine parts as needed).

I'd definitely keep the Acura if I had room for it in my garage (and didn't need the extra funds to offset some of the cost of the low-mileage used 2015 Audi A5 2-door coupe I just bought ... you're enjoying your S5, I trust ?), since mechanically this CL-S 6MT has been extremely reliable, mechanically it's still in great condition, and indeed it is lots of fun to drive as people in this forum all know.

Around here in SoCal, these 6MT's seem to be selling for more than the dollar amounts you mentioned (most with higher mileage and more interior wear-and-tear than mine), so we'll see ...

Thanks again,

-- Jim
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:48 PM
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if you have a bit of handiness you could probably find a hood from a local junker and swap it out (there's a few bolts and detaching the washer lines). it may be one of the easiest jobs on the car.

i'm seeing one in CA for $300 in silver. check out Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

i would never recommend repainting a car and then selling it immediately, unless you go to some cheap place like maaco.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Harper View Post
Sell as-is, you won't make the $3k back.
I agree with Harper. As one who paints his cars every couple years or less, a 3k paint job isn't quality. Count on minimum 500 a panel assuming no dents ir other labor. Try to use ppg brand or better paint.

I would suggest painting maybe the hood and front bumper as a good body shop can really do other work on the not so bad areas. (Buffing, polishing, etc)
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:27 AM
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I just read all the other posts you mentioned worry more info. Yes, 5-6k for paint is still a fair price. 70/hr is usually minimum labor charge and if they're doing it right, every panel needs to come off. The painting isn't the hard part. The labor of removal is. If you're trying to save money, take off the pieces yourself and have them just paint...

I have headlights for that car, I'll be glad to send or you come get. I have alot of parts as I restored mine and didn't have the heart to throw away good pieces. I gave away I think some parts but I still have lights and probably about 300+ parts I believe.

What color is interior?

Last edited by Lance10; 02-20-2017 at 05:29 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:51 PM
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I am buying a car next weekend with bad clearcoat failure. I will have it painted myself. I would not pay an extra 3k for fresh paint. I will take it to the people I want to paint it. Just my personal thoughts.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:15 AM
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Thanks everyone for all your advice. I thought I'd take this opportunity to provide a long-overdue update on how things have evolved since my last post:

It was rp_guy's good suggestion that started me down the path ...

Originally Posted by rp_guy View Post
if you have a bit of handiness you could probably find a hood from a local junker and swap it out (there's a few bolts and detaching the washer lines). it may be one of the easiest jobs on the car.

i'm seeing one in CA for $300 in silver. check out Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
With the car having been well-maintained and in such good shape mechanically (just had its 105,000-mile service, etc. etc.), I really didn't want the next owner to feel "embarrassed" to be seen driving around in it! So swapping in a salvage yard silver hood struck me as a great idea. Investigating this in detail, I found that to get an undamaged hood that wasn't already showing signs of clear-coat delamination would cost me not $300 but $450 ...(OK -- to ease my conscience selling it, I was still "in" at that price). The next hurdle was then needing to either transport it home or find somewhere "around the corner" from the salvage yard to install it with a buddy. But -- mechanically handy yes, but "amateur rookies" in terms of auto-body work -- would we find ourselves in deep trouble trying to get the salvage-yard hood to fit 'perfectly' between the fenders ??

Maybe it would indeed be an easy job ... but it did seem a bit risky ... possibly needing(?) a few iterations of lowering + raising the hood while trying to align + shim the hinges to even-out the hood-to-fender gaps on both sides. So in my head this idea then evolved into "Plan B" --- find a body shop near the salvage yard that had the acceptable $450 hood, and see what the body shop guys (not amateurs!) would charge in labor just to swap-in a new hood. I found a body shop about 2 blocks away from the salvage yard with *outstanding* on-line reviews on yelp, and I drove the car over to see them. Answer: $90. (OK -- for $540 this seemed like it still would be worth doing ... the original hood was by far the cosmetically worst area, and like I said, improving its appearance would benefit the next owner and ease my conscience ...).

BUT then in talking with the co-owner of the body shop (whose customer reviews on yelp.com were all >extremely< positive, and the co-owner was clearly a stand-up guy), I made the "mistake" of asking how much his shop would charge me instead to sand my existing hood down to primer + bare metal, then repaint just the hood ? Answer: $550. To me, for just $10 more than the hood swap, this seemed like a winner of a plan -- eliminating risk that the salvage-yard hood either wouldn't fit right, or else would begin having clear coat problems in the near future for the next owner. I then asked the co-owner of the body shop if, rather than masking all of the front fenders, they could instead mask just the vertical sides of the fenders, leaving the horizontal top surface strips of the fenders exposed on either side of the hood (for sanding, priming, painting, and clear coat) so there'd be no color mis-match between the hood and horizontal tops of the fenders. I figured if there was to be a slight color-mismatch associated with stripping and repainting the hood, having it along the line where the front fenders break from horizontal to vertical would be best (since the light on the horizontal top surface is almost always different than the light illuminating the vertical sides).

When I dropped off the car to have this done, I made my second "mistake" in asking that if they had time to do just a little touch-up work to address the worst clear-coat delamination areas on the rear quarter panel (behind the driver's door) and could just do a little touch-up spraying of those areas and feather it out, then I'd pre-approve the extra work up to a fixed (somewhat higher) dollar amount. I reminded them I was planning to sell the car and didn't want the new owner to be "embarrassed" to be seen driving it .... or have to answer to their spouse or girlfriend / boyfriend, "You spent how many thousand dollars on this car with peeling finish on the paint ?" (( I wasn't seeking a "perfect" exterior appearance --- if that is extremely important to the new owner, then eventually that person would want to have the car completely repainted. That wasn't my goal here -- I just wanted to fix the checking paint on the hood and (ideally also) the delaminating clear-coat on the rear quarter panel behind the driver's door, since that's an area the driver sees every time they walk up to the car to open the door.)) The owner of the body shop understood where I was coming from, and said he'd be happy to help me out.

A week later when I returned to pick up the car, I was really impressed by this body shop (like others who reviewed them on yelp.com) and their willingness to go-the-extra-mile towards satisfying their customers. The owner went ahead and told his employees to go beyond the bare-minimum that he and I had discussed + agreed-upon ... so cosmetically speaking the car now looks a great deal better than I had any right to expect it would. The hood looks really great, as do both of the front fender quarter-panels -- they feathered new paint down most of the vertical portions of the front fenders (instead of just masking along the sharp break from top-horizontal-edge to vertical side portions), and the drivers-side rear quarter panel appears to have been completely repainted instead of just spot-area touch-up and feathering. To top it all off, they also went ahead and prepped + repainted the roof (since there a zone above the rear window where the clear coat was starting to peel).

So my modest "stop-gap" investment to address the hood and the worst areas of the original clear-coat and paint certainly accomplished lowering the next owner's 'embarrassment quotient' by a huge amount during whatever length of time they decide to drive it around with the paint in its present condition. Then depending upon how much they end up liking the car, how long they plan to keep the car, and how high up on their priority list "exterior cosmetic appearance" is, the buyer can decide whether they want to completely repaint it to make it "perfect" consistent with their standards (and their pocket-book).

Meanwhile if the next owner finds the freshly painted panels quite satisfactory and -- maybe for budget reasons -- they think they'd be quite pleased with just "more of the same" in the near-term (regardless of what they might ultimately want in the long-term), I'd be happy to refer them back to the body shop that just did this work for me. Really all that's left to have done is: (a) the door on the driver's side; (b) the door on the passenger's side; (c) the passenger-side rear quarter panel; (d) the trunk lid, and (e) maybe also the rear bumper cover. That which remains could all be done for about half the cost of a complete paint job, and judging from the quality of the work just completed for me, I'd say the result would look just about as good.

Anyway, I guess you can chalk this up as a case of ... "In for a penny, in for a pound" ... in that I ended up spending more than what a $300 install-it-myself hood might have cost, but I'm convinced the result looks a whole lot better also. If anyone is interested in seeing photos of what the car looks like now, I've uploaded a recent set into my acurazine photo album here:

https://acurazine.com/g/album/7144644

Thanks again to everyone for your interest and suggestions. Much appreciated !

-- Jim
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:07 PM
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so is this for sale or not and if so how much and where??
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:40 AM
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