Long Term Test: Mitsubishi L200 - June 2011

Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An unscheduled argument with a parking post enabled What Van? to gain an insight into the valuable service provided by smart repairers such as Dent Wizard. James Dallas reports

When running a long-termer one builds up knowledge of a vehicle day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month through driving it in a variety of environments that enable a detailed picture of its strengths and weaknesses to emerge.
It is a rewarding experience, and one which, on occasion, can also call into question the driver’s own competencies…
During a particularly intricate parking manoeuvre a few weeks back the tailgate of our L200 Barbarian had a minor dispute with a concrete post, which had cunningly escaped detection in the wing mirrors. Despite the excellence of the reversing camera an audible parking sensor might well have saved the day – a churlish quibble no doubt.
But every cloud has a silver lining and thanks to a visit to Dent Wizard’s facility just outside Birmingham, the mishap enabled us to gain some first-hand experience of the important role smart repairers can play for fleets in limiting the costs associated with end-of-life damage recharges.
Despite the ding to our L200 appearing to be fairly innocuous, the damage under the skin, apparently, was more serious and the quote from the local What Van? bodyshop came back in the region of a wince-inducing £1400. However, this involved the wholesale removal and replacement of the tailgate.
According to Phil Newstead, managing director of Dent Wizard, this would be the action suggested by most accident repairers.
“Most repairers would have replaced the tailgate,” he told What Van? having returned our pick-up to us in “as new” condition, “and I would estimate the replacement cost to be in excess of £1100.”
The process Dent Wizard followed was to remove the badges, push out the dent using paintless dent removal, apply a thin layer of filler, then primer, base coat and clear coat. The repair was completed using a Standox paint and lacquer, and Newstead said the bill for the work would have come in at £450 excluding VAT. A relative bargain.


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