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Hi Everyone! I have owned my 2000 Insight since August of '01, and have managed to avoid any body 'dings' until last week! Apparently a bicyclist fell against my car over the long weekend, and there is definitely a dent/scrape just behind the drivers' door. Couldn't have been against the plastic front fender or someplace resilient like that!? It's definitely IN the aluminum. . . I'm sure this subject has been discussed here before, ad nauseam, but can dents and dings be repaired when hit in this tough/delicate alloy? Thanks so much in advance!
 

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Ouch! Sorry to meet over a fender ding, but welcome anyway.

It has been discussed. Most body work today is done with specialised "bumping" tools or bondo type fillers. On a positive note, unlike repairs to more comon steel bodied cars, the repaired area won't deteriorate with rust. Try to find a shop with aluminum body experience. Cars like the NSX and Audi A8 have aluminum bodies and several other cars use aluminum hoods and panels for lightning such as Aston Martin, Dodge Viper, and possibly some of the Toyota hybrids, as well as general aviation aircraft.
 

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Thanks Kip!

Thanks Kip! I appreciate the information. I will do some local research and find a shop that has this expertise! I will grill them a bit, and maybe ask to see some examples (photos) of past work on i.e. NSXs, or Audi A8s! It would be even better if they've worked on Insights prior to mine!

I will keep the Forum informed! (although it seems to be a really 'OLD' topic)?

Thank you!
 

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You're welcome. :D

You will notice if you poke around in the Insight that there are areas where the aluminum is bare, something that would be disasterous for steel.. When body work is done on a steel car inevitably the primer coat on the inside of the metal panel is damaged. Left untreated this leads to the body work blistering cracking and in some cases popping off! That is why it is seldom a good idea to buy a used car that has been repaired.

If the body work is done well on the Insight it should be as good as new, with none of the mentioned "steel" issues. The problem with aluminum is getting the filler or paint to stick to the bare aluminum. On an aircraft the aluminum is "pickled" with a chemical bath to pit the surface of the aluminum before painting.

If the damage is minor on your Insight it is probably best to just deglaze the paint slightly without taking it down to bare metal. I understand a specialist working from the inside can reform the panel and then airbrush the paint. (This is essentially art restoration.)

Ive had a stone dent that is down to the metal in my hood for three years. It has not deteriorated noticeably since then. :D :D
 
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