Clear Bra Nightmare

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by TheEggO, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. TheEggO

    TheEggO New Member

    May 1, 2012
    +0 / 0 / -0
    So I bought a used car that came with a full hood and bumper clear bra kit already installed. I love keeping my Mini ultra clean and the clear bra had silvering, water spots and stretch marks that really bothered me. Last Saturday, I had the clear bra removed. When it was removed, a patch of clear coat was stripped from the hood of my car. Some minor stone chips around the bumper and hood were also revealed when the clear bra was removed. They were probably made before the clear bra was installed.

    I took the car this morning for an estimate to Pittsburgh Mini Cooper Body Shop (P&W). To repaint the hood it was $900 and to repaint the bumper and the hood was close to $1500.

    I’m pretty sure P&W can do a perfect job, but I’m looking for something more affordable and hoping not go over $1000 for the bumper and the hood.

    Can someone please recommend a good body shop/painter in Pittsburgh? Also, can someone shed some light of what the average price is usually to repaint a hood or a bumper and a hood?

    After this incident, I don’t think I’m going to put another clear bra on after I paint my car. Yes, they offer good protection, but running the risk of the film stripping the clear coat or the paint when removed, defeats the purpose, since I have to repaint the car again.
  2. Spa2k

    Spa2k Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2013
    +975 / 0 / -0
    The same thing happened with the GTI I traded in on my MINI. The used-car prep guy just peeled it off without using a heat gun, and it stripped off three patches of paint to the bare plastic on the bumper cover. The whole thing needed to be repainted; even after 3 years, there wasn't a mark on the bumper, fenders, hood or mirrors when I delivered the car to them.

    BTW, if the clear material is removed properly, there never should be any paint damage. Also, the fact that it was showing stretch marks tells me it probably wasn't installed properly. Finally, good suppliers like xPel offer a liquid cleaner for removing water spots, stains and bug jerky - plus a "wax" to help keep the clear clean and easy to wash.

    Good luck with the repaint; as detail-oriented as you are, you still may want to consider having a clear bra put on by a quality installer. Rock and bug chips really suck.
  3. LittleRed

    LittleRed New Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    +13 / 0 / -0
    That price isn't far off the estimate I got to re-spray LittleRed's bonnet. From what I understand it's a lot of work. Taking the existing paint off and blending the color with the fenders, etc.
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    +14,635 / 10 / -4
    Yup, $1500.00 is a good price. You could get it a little cheaper but not down to a grand for quality work and blending / matching it correctly.

    Or you could go to Maaco and get the whole car done for $800.:D

    KIDDING do not go to Maaco.
  5. maacodale

    maacodale Club Coordinator

    May 7, 2009
    Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting Center owne
    Poquoson, VA
    +265 / 0 / -0
    Ease up Dave. Not all Maaco centers are the same. My center is ICAR gold class certified and a direct repair shop for GMAC (now National General), State Farm, Liberty Mutual and Sentry. We're a USAA affiliate shop and GEICO has had a drive in at my shop for 15 years. We've been the leading Maaco center in VA for over 20 years.

    Not all MINI dealers are great, not all independent body shops are great and not all Maaco centers are cheap ass auto painters. By the way, we painted the Cabrio that won best paint at the Dragon this year. And we didn't charge her an arm and a leg.

    At 1500 bucks there is a lot of profit in the job. A grand is a decent price. According to Audatex estimating it only pays 3.8 hours to paint the bonnet. Add some detrim time and maybe extra prep time for the existing finish all figured at 44 bucks per hour our local body labor rate) and you'll see it shouldn't be that expensive.
  6. minime331

    minime331 New Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    washington dc metro area
    +30 / 0 / -0
    Dont forget you also did an awesome job on tigger aliycn's r52
  7. pmsummer

    pmsummer Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Semi-retired planner
    Jack Coffee Hays County, The Republic of Texas
    +400 / 0 / -0

    This is what came to mind when I read the thread title.

  8. Spa2k

    Spa2k Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2013
    +975 / 0 / -0
    Except in this case, the nightmare is that there is no clear bra. :drool:
  9. GreyLens

    GreyLens New Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    Dec 25, 2009
    Electrical Engineer
    San Antonio, Texas
    +71 / 0 / -0
    I've had a partial clear bra on the Lenz since the first week...running on five years now. It has several problems but has definitely protected the paint from what I can tell. I'm considering having it replaced. The original installation was pretty good but had a couple of problems I've lived with.

    Has anyone out there used a full one? Does that mean covering the full hood?
  10. whaap

    whaap New Member

    Jan 10, 2014
    Tucson, Arizona
    +313 / 0 / -0
    The best person to ask about body shop recommendations is your insurance agent. He deals with them more than any body else. He can tell you the shops that do good work and he can tell you the shops that generate the most complaints. Get several bids from the good ones and go from there.
  11. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
    Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Pacific NW
    +1,606 / 0 / -0
    I used to work at a body shop. Insurance companies would often try to get us to cut corners, like using used and non OEM parts. We never did do as they asked.

    I wouldn't trust an insurance company to recommend a body shop.

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