Smart repair is used for minor damage
In principle, any company can use the non-protected term smart repair. In general, this means that damage is repaired with the least possible effort and therefore at the lowest possible cost. In most cases, this involves removing scratches and dents.
Here the executing company decides whether Smart-Repair is possible. There are a few special cases. For example, many workshops rule out bulging or partial painting if the car is painted in flip-flop paint or metallic gold. The same applies to rust spots. And lying surfaces such as the bonnet or the roof are also out of the question. In general, the damaged area must not be too large. In the case of a scratch that extends, for example, over the entire fender, the entire component is usually painted.
Smart-Repair removes scratches quickly and cheaply
It should actually be a matter of course that minor scratches on the bodywork are selectively repaired. But the practice looks different. Bumpers, for example, are all too quickly replaced and repainted at high cost after they come into contact with the wall of a car park. It doesn’t have to be. This is where Spot Repair comes in – a subcategory of Smart Repair. Only the damaged area – the point – is repaired.
The advantages of spot repair are not only a short visit to the workshop and lower costs. Since no parts are exchanged, the work is also more environmentally friendly. Some companies even offer a mobile service, so that there is no need to visit the workshop at all.
Dents are pushed out
But if the dent is on an edge or curve, you have to go further here too. Depending on the location, steel pins, for example, have to be welded on, with the help of which the dent is then pulled out. The area is then repainted over a small area. Even this complex type of smart repair can still be significantly cheaper than buying an unpainted new part and having it painted and installed.
Holes in the seat cover or dashboard can also be repaired quickly and inexpensively thanks to Smart-Repair. Burn holes caused by cigarette burns in particular can cost drivers a lot of money if the affected part is replaced. Just removing the dashboard takes a few hours, which of course is reflected in the price of the repair.
Smart repair providers who specialize in such damage usually tackle the holes with a scalpel, filler and spray gun. Instinct is required here at least as much as the right equipment.
Be careful when repairing aluminum rims
Damage that does not protrude deeper than one millimeter into the base metal and is no further than 50 millimeters from the edge of the rim may be repaired. Corrections to minor blemishes are permitted, such as slight scratches after hitting the curb. Scratched aluminum rims can be made shiny again in a TÜV-tested process. If in doubt, a short visit to the TÜV helps to have the damaged rim appraised.
Windscreen: small stone chippings are not a problem
Only damage limited to the outer car window can be repaired. In addition, the defect in the pane must not be larger than a two-euro piece. The damage must be at least ten centimeters from the edge of the windscreen and must not be in the driver’s field of vision.
The latter is clearly defined by legislators: the driver’s field of vision lies in a vertical strip about 30 centimeters wide exactly in the middle of the steering wheel. The driver’s field of vision is limited at the top and bottom by the field of the windscreen wipers. In any case, the specialist decides whether it can be repaired or whether the entire pane has to be replaced.
Costs are difficult to calculate in advance
Many companies that offer smart repairs have price lists on their homepages. The stated prices are generally to be understood as a minimum. A lot of damage is too individual to estimate the cost of repair in advance. Therefore, you should show the car to a specialist. After the assessment, the expert can usually give the customer a fairly specific price for the work to be done.
ADAC: Not all companies are equally good
But beware. Not all companies that offer smart repair deliver a good result. A comparative test by the ADAC at 20 companies showed that there are major differences in the quality of the service provided and in the price. Some companies showed some serious weaknesses, especially when it came to removing scratches. Dents, on the other hand, were removed by almost all of the assessed companies without leaving any residue.