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10 Critical Paint Meter Mistakes that Costs Unsuspecting Car Dealers a Fortune

Posted by David Newton at

Paint Meter for Inspecting Used Cars

What You Learn in this Report Can Add $1,000's of Additional Profit to Your Bottom Line... Every Month. 

Learn to Avoid Disastrous Mistakes that Actually Cost You Money

Today, more than ever, you need to be sure on every car you appraise or purchase. Missing paintwork on a late model vehicle can easily be a $2,000 or $3,000 mistake, which comes straight off your bottom line.

Best Paint Meters for Used Car Dealers, FenderSplendor Paint Meters

After 8 years in the Automobile Paint Meter Business (and a lifetime in the Automobile Business) we are the #1 seller of Paint Meters for Dealers (and actually outsell all of our competitors COMBINED)

With over 10,000 Paint Meters in use, we know how a Paint Meter can help you and we know when a Paint Meter can "hurt" you. We have seen how much money a paint meter can make for you, and we've seen (too) many people make mistakes with a paint meter that actually wind up costing them money.

Increase Your Profit by Avoiding These 10 Costly Paint Meter Mistakes

Mistake #1 - Not holding the Paint Meter Properly

Not holding the Paint Meter properly. In simple terms, you need to hold the Paint Meter so it is flush with the surface being measured. I see many dealers at the auction holding their Paint Meters at an angle against the car. This will give an incorrect reading if there is any space between the probe and the vehicle.

The most common time this mistake is made is when the vehicle you are trying to measure is moving into the auction block. Be sure that you get the gauge flush to the surface. The FS 688 and FS 488 are built with the probe centered in the body so it is easy to get the gauge flush. Some of the competitive gauges (designed for engineers, not car dealers) have the probe off to one side of the gauge making it very hard to get the gauge flush to the vehicle.

If I am going around a car and I get a reading that seems high, I always re-take the reading to be sure that I had the gauge flush against the surface of the vehicle.

Mistake #2 - Not Believing the Gauge

Call us egotistical or hardheaded, but most of us in the car business have a tendency to think we are right. I came up through the "old school" and KNEW I could spot paint work. I actually laughed at the first few Paint Meter users I saw

When I finally started using a Paint Meter, I wanted to "argue" with the gauge. I eventually got it through my hard head that the gauge was right and if it read high (or low...more about readings later) there was a reason for the reading. Every time I thought the meter "was wrong" it turned out that the meter was right, and I was wrong. Trust the FS 688 and FS 488. If it reads high--or low--there is a reason. Usually, not a good reason!

FS688 Paint Meter Gauge for Used Car Dealers

Mistake #3 - Forgetting Your Paint Meter

Get Ready...this one will cost you money every time. Not keeping the Paint Meter with you and using it on every appraisal or purchase. Buying cars without a paint meter is like going to a gun fight without your gun!

I was trying to buy an ES 300 from a very good friend who always "called" a car like it was. It was raining and he said, "You'll like the car. It had a little paint work on the left quarter and needs to be wet sanded. You'll like it."

I went out in a light rain and looked at the car and felt his description was correct. I reached in my briefcase for my meter and realized I had left it on my desk at my office, around the corner. I was in a hurry, and I trusted the seller, so I started not to go get the meter. Thank God, I went and got the meter.

Paint Meters next to the Official Used Car Market Guide Black Book of Florida

Yes the quarter had been painted, but what my seller did not see (or chose to tell me) was that the left front fender had been painted too! To make it worse, I then checked paint thickness in the door jamb (more about this 'secret' later).

The Lexus had been hit so hard that the inside of the door jamb had to be re-finished. I could have easily lost $1,000's. You do not want to try selling a Lexus with a hard hit in the front end and ‘uni-body' damage.

MISTAKE #4 - Not keeping fresh batteries in your paint gauge.

Batteries last a year for some users and 3-4 months for other users. There is nothing worse than to be at a big auction, where you are looking at 100's of vehicles, and have your batteries go dead. During the winter this is more important, since the cold weather weakens battery power.

MISTAKE #5 - Not keeping the paint gauge and the probe clean.

Dropping and abusing the gauge. We recommend wiping the gauge and the probe with a soft (microfiber) cloth to keep the probe clean. The FS 688 and FS 488 are sophisticated electronic instruments. While the FS 688 and FS 488 are exceptionally sturdy, we suggest using the wrist strap and being careful not to drop the gauge.

You are welcome to call us toll free (in the USA) at 866-310-2539. You can order over the phone or on the Internet: click here.

When you go to our website, be sure to take a look at some of the users of the FS 688 and FS 488 and what they have to say about it.

MISTAKE #6 - Not understanding what the readings on the meter mean.

Many people expect every make of car to have the same readings. The most common question I get is, "How thick should the paint on _____be?" To be successful with a Paint Meter you must learn to look for large changes in the readings. Paint thickness usually varies about 1 mil to 1.5 mils on most cars. When a panel has been refinished you will usually see a jump of 2 mils or more.

Paint Meter for Inspecting Used Cars

MISTAKE #7 - Not paying attention to a "low" paint thickness reading.

If you are metering a vehicle that ranges from 5-6.5 mils and suddenly find a panel that is only 4 mils, you probably have a panel that has been replaced. The body shop probably repainted too thin. Often times you will see a panel that is high and then the next (adjoining) panel will be low.

Pay attention to any reading that is higher than the average of the car, or that is too low.

Mistake #8 - Not knowing how to use a meter in cold weather.

All Paint Meters, no matter who makes them, are battery powered. In severe cold weather (below freezing) the batteries lose their power.

The secret is to keep the meter warm in freezing weather. I used to keep mine in my pants pocket or in the inside of my coat. If the gauge is warm and the batteries are fresh you will get good readings.

MISTAKE #9 - Not learning to check door jambs and trunk sills when you find a problem.

The first thing I check when I find a painted panel is the adjacent door jamb. You will find that the door jambs on almost every vehicle (with the rare exception of a few very expensive cars) are about 1/2 the thickness of the rest of the car.

If the car you are checking is 5-6 mils thick, the door jambs will usually be 2.5 to 3.0 mils thick. If you find a door jamb that has been painted, you can be sure that the car has had serious damage.

MISTAKE #10 - Not buying a vehicle because it has some paintwork.

You need to learn what is important on the type of car you are looking at. A three year old Tahoe with a good repainted door is probably worth buying if you need it.

A one year old Mercedes with a painted hood and front fender is probably a very bad buy.

You will find that a FS 688 or FS 488 will make you more money than you can imagine. Also, remember that you have 90 days to be sure you like the FS 688 or FS 488 when you buy it.


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