Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Laural asks: I need some body work done on my Audi as I noticed the driver’s side was scratched up when I left work last Monday (shop guy thinks a car door was the culprit).
I have since been told by two different body shops: We can’t get the replacement decals that we’ll need after we remove the ones on the area we need to paint. We can get them, but they are very expensive.
Shop #1 said we’ll remove it, paint and leave it off. We will then remove the corresponding decal on the other side to make the look even. Shop #2 said removing the decals will leave the paint damaged – it can’t be done.
In the meantime, my husband and I have been noticing the myriad of decals all over my Audi that we never noticed before. The “bra” on the front of the car has a small tear in the front, as well as a discoloration. I asked the body shop guy if he could remove this large hood decal, but his answer was a resounding “No!” “You will have to paint the whole hood for $3,000 if we remove the hood “bra” Really? That much? There is no way to remove these Audi decals without making mincemeat of your Audi’s paint job? I love the color of my Audi (Midnight Blue) and don’t want to wreck it, but I need to fix these imperfections that are making me crazy! In the meantime, people are dying from vaccine injury and as a nurse I live in fear of losing my job since I refuse all WuFlu testing and “vaccines,” but let’s obsess about my Audi. Sounds like a reasonable thing to do!
My reply: Unless your Audi is very old (20-plus years) or an oddball model, I’d be surprised to find out that an Audi dealer/body shop cannot get replacement decals as these are as necessary to restore the car’s appearance in the course of repairing accident damage as any other trim bit.
I am not at all surprised to hear they’re expensive. I own an old muscle car – a Pontiac Trans Am with the famous “screaming chicken” decal on the hood. The bird plus the other decals cost well over $1,000 to replace, not counting labor.
As far as the rest: Decals can often be removed using a heat gun but the underlying paint may have a shadow of the decal’s outlines after removal, the result of normal fading of the rest of the car’s finish.
Most modern cars have base/clearcoat paint systems and it may not be possible to buff out the shadow – or the clearcoat may have been applied over the decal, making removal impossible, without damaging the clearcoat and so requiring refinishing.
It might be possible to deal with the shadow issue by aligning the new decal exactly with the margins of the shadow of the old decal – but that can be tricky work and the shop may not be willing to risk it because decals are hard to work with and if they get it wrong, the decal will be ruined and then someone’s got to pay for that.
I’m not sure what you mean by the “bra” – unless you’re referring to the translucent stone chip protection some cars have applied to the nose. If that’s what you’re referring to, the shop is being straight with you. That cannot be peeled off. It’s integral with the finish and if you want it gone, the whole area will have to be refinished.
Hope this helps!
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