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The FenderSplendor FS 488 Paint Meter Gauge

Posted by richard hale at

If you’re looking to buy a paint meter that is reliable and proven, you need to check out the FenderSplendor FS 488 Paint Meter. This paint meter is priceless and worth every penny. Here’s the thing, you can eliminate a lot of vehicle buying and appraising mistakes with this paint meter. It can save you a lot of money and is a great investment, but there’s a lot more you should know. We’ll be discussing the FS 488 paint meter gauge in this article.

Once you’ve bought your FS 488 Paint Meter, learning how to properly use your new FenderSplendor is essential to getting results. 

Make Sure You Read The FS 488 Paint Meter Instructions/Guide

Who needs to read a paint meter guide? Well, all of you should, no matter how much experience you have using coating meters. You don’t want to waste your time, you want to clearly understand what you’re seeing on the paint meter. You want the readings to make sense, so go through the guide. After you learn how to use the gauge, you’re going to realize just how important it is and you’ll never go without it again.

Your New FS 488 Paint Meter Gauge Needs No Calibration

All coating thickness gauges are tested and fresh batteries are installed prior to it being shipped out to you. Be sure that you store the gauge in such a way that the probe doesn’t get depressed, as this will wear the batteries out.

We suggest sliding the paint meter gauge into a holster “head first” so that the LCD readout is pressed to one end of the holster. This will leave enough room for the probe not to get depressed. 

We also suggest leaving the hand strap to the top, don’t want it to get caught on the bottom of the holster when you pull the FS 488 out to use it. Switching between Steel (Fe) and Aluminum (NFE) is automatic.

The FS 488 switches between Steel and Aluminum automatically.  A small indicator on the face will tell you if you are measuring FE or NFE. The FenderSplendor FS 488 turns on automatically when you press it to any surface. It stays on for about 10 -15 seconds so that you can see the last reading. The FS 688 display will flip over automatically to read “right side up” when the FS 688 is tilted past 90 degrees. When taking a measurement on the side of a vehicle, tilt the probe end downward as you complete the reading. This will cause the gauge display to flip.

The way you hold the FS 488 is very important, so pay attention to this. Hold the FenderSplendor flush to the surface you are measuring. The most common cause of an inaccurate reading is not having the meter perpendicular and flush to the surface. If you rock the FS 488 (or any paint meter) to one side or the other, the reading will be inaccurate.

As I attend auctions I can’t believe the number of dealers I see using a gauge incorrectly. If you are looking at a vehicle and you see a reading that appears to be high, I suggest lifting the gauge a few inches and then pressing it on the surface again; making sure that it is flush.

As you go from panel to panel, be sure to lift the FS 488 3-4 inches from the panel you just measured. The paint meter will take a new measurement in less than a second, but it is important to lift it a few inches from the surface before you take the next measurement.

The Paint Meter Is Highly Effective

Once you have your FS 488 Paint Meter, go out and use the meter on a few vehicles. Get used to what the typical readings are, they will vary by make, model and color. You are looking for differences, not the actual thickness.  If a vehicle is 5.0 to 6.0 mils as you check it, and then a panel jumps to 7.5 mils, you have paintwork.

Some cars come from the factory with paint in the 3.5 mil range, and some come as high as 7-9 mils or more. American vehicles built in the older factories seem to be thicker and show more variation.  The most common reading you will see when you go up to a vehicle will be in the 5-6 mil range.  Remember, you are looking for large changes.

Almost all vehicles use a three coat painting process and when a panel is refinished, the painter will clear-coat the entire panel. This will cause a 1 ½ to 2 mil jump on your FS 488.

Go to a body shop and find a car they just finished.  This helped me more than anything. I was able to see the exact changes that take place as you ‘meter’ a vehicle. The body shop manager told me where the paint was, and then we checked it. I could see the exact differences in the readings.

Next, he asked me to do a truck he had just finished and asked me to tell him where the work was. You should have seen the look on his face as I not only found paint work, but as the gauge started really going up where he had used bondo (filler on the rear of the cab). 

Keep the gauge with you. You can’t use it if you don’t have it with you. I recently sold every gauge in stock and then sold my own personal gauge. Needless to say, that was a big mistake.

The next day, I stopped by the local Mercedes Dealership to see if I could buy anything.  It was raining when I got there, and the used car manager was appraising a gold Maxima.  I walked around the car with him, and it was flawless.  Neither of us saw any signs of paintwork. I bought the vehicle, I ended up paying top dollar, and even after it was detailed, I didn’t see any paintwork. When my next shipment of FenderSplendor arrived, I happened to check the car. Dang! The right front door had been refinished (exceptionally well) and the front fender had been replaced.  It happens that the work was perfect, and I didn’t lose any money.  In most cases I would have lost at least $1,000 on the car. More importantly, if I had had the paint meter gauge with me I could have probably bought the car for a lot less! That’s why it pays off to have a FS488 paint meter.

In Closing

The FS488 FendorSplendor Paint Meter has become an icon in the industry and rightfully so, it’s a top level precision tool you can’t do without.

Over 15,000+ Car Dealers and Auto Auctions use FenderSplendor Paint Thickness Meter Gauges. There’s a reason - it works and works great!

Plus, there’s many more perks you should be aware of.

  • The only true 2 year replacement warranty with 24 hour replacements shipped directly from our USA office.
  • Fully automatic, with no hidden buttons or calibration required. 
  • Reads Steel and Aluminum need to switch 
  • Large, Ice Blue Lighted Display, easy to read at night and in bad weather. 
  • Rock Solid 90 Day Money Back Guarantee. 

The FS488 meter reads both Steel and Aluminum Automatically 

  • No Calibration needed. Automatic Power On and Off 
  • Large Lighted "Ice Blue" Backlighted Display 
  • Sold and Warrantied in the USA 
  • 2 Year Replacement Warranty with the FS 488 Paint Meter 
  • Free Shipping in United States & Canada 

Lastly, if you have any problems with your meter you can contact us and within 24 hours of your returned gauge we will replace your problem meter with a new meter. 

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