How to Know if a Car Has Original Paint

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To know if a car has its original paint job, look for evidence of over spray where it would have been masked off, such as around the door jam, underneath the hood and around the windshield, but checking the paint code located inside the driver's door is a sure way to know if the car has been repainted. Identify a car's original paint color with auto advice from an ASE-certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Body Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Mark and in this segment we are going to cover how to tell if your car has original paint. Some of the things you want to look for to determine if a car still has original paint on it, any time they have to paint a car they have to mask it off with tape so that the areas that they don't want to paint like the black trim won't get the color of the car paint on them so what you want to look for is areas like that where that will be taped off, inside the door jam, underneath the hood, and various other locations and we are looking for evidence of over spray or where they put the tape on and it just slightly covered up something it wasn't supposed to. We are going to look for details of this color finish being on any molding surfaces around the windshields where those would have to be taped off, check areas up underneath the windshield around where all the body lines are, look for signs of over spray down through the fenders, look for any body damage up in the front and over spray on other components in the engine component that might not have been masked off carefully. If the car has been painted a totally different color a lot of times they won't paint the inside pieces, they'll just tape right over them and these are the body panels where the, or actually lips, these inner panels where the fender bolts on to will be a different color than the fender itself. The last thing you can do to check if it is original or an identical color anyways is by checking the paint code inside the vehicle and that is located usually inside the driver's door and this is a different location on different manufacturers and this information will also be available to you in the owner's manual. By taking this paint code, writing it down and calling the local manufacturer dealership in your area they can decode that for you and you can compare it to the car's paint. Those are some of the ways how you can tell whether your car has original paint. Thank you for watching.


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