Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Wrench Tip #6 Checking a Car for Body Filler

Another round of wrenching tips, and yep it deals with using a magnet again. =)  Aren't you glad these little things are so handy?

If you happen to be buying a used car, and you're not sure if the body has any body filler in it instead of sheet metal, take a piece of wax paper and a strong magnet up to the surface of the car.  The wax paper will keep the magnet from scratching the car, and as you hover the magnet over the car, if it does not become attracted to the car at all, there's body filler there.  This is handy when buying a car that's getting old, or if you live in an area prone to rust. 

Why check for body filler?  It's not as durable as using metal patches, and will eventually crack over time.  Keep in mind that body filler detection with a magnet won't work on plastic bumpers, or trim.  You will have to make a visual inspection yourself on both sides of the panel if possible.

Happy motoring and keep on driving!


  1. Before purchasing, you might also want to ask questions to help decide whether to buy car or nut. Be familiar with the details like gaps on fenders, doors, trunks and panels to know if you’re being offered a lemon in disguise. Buying a used car can be challenging, but through diligent inspection, you’ll increase your odds of ending up with a brilliant car.
    Tyra Shortino

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you for the extra tip Tyra! No doubt it pays to double check all gaps, and if needed, to bring a friend along to give a second opinion.