Over the course of my ownership of a ' Dodge...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

Over the course of my ownership of a '91 Dodge Monaco, I have taken care of the "dings" in the paint, which I suppose came from the actions of thoughtless people who parked next to me in parking lots. Anyway, I bought touch-up paint from the dealer, and have been using it as needed. Usually, I just make sure that the area is clean and dry, and that the temperature outdoors is at least 55 degrees or so. But a friend of mine asserts that if there is any rust present, I should try to scrape it off with the sharp end of a nail. I'm reluctant to do this, because I'm afraid I'll do more damage. What do you think?

TOM: A nail?? Is this guy a dentist? Your friend's right about removing the rust, Rick, but I wouldn't do it with a nail.

RAY: All you need is a small piece of sandpaper. First, sand off any rust. Then apply a coat of primer, and finish it with your touch-up paint.

TOM: Of course, when you're finished, it's going to look a lot worse than when you started. First of all, with the sanding and priming, you'll be expanding the "blemished" area. Plus, touch-up paint never blends in perfectly. Because your paint has faded in the sun, the touch-up paint is always going to be a slightly different color.

RAY: But none of that matters. Because what you're really trying to do is prevent it from rusting any further. And by sanding it, priming it, and painting it, you'll accomplish that. Then, someday, when you have enough money, you can take it to MaacOver, and have the the whole car re-painted for $39.95

TOM: Actually, I'd spring for the $49.95 special, Rick. For that price they paint the car AND roll up the windows first.

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