• How to Use an Auto Paint Meter

    An auto paint meter is a useful tool for any person who owns a car and may wish to complete auto body work. Also called an auto paint gauge, the purpose of this device is to measure the thickness and other qualities of the paint that coats the frame of the vehicle. An auto meter paint thickness reading can be helpful for a number of reasons. Among them are the part of the repainting process of a vehicle when you’re considering whether it’s necessary to strip off the old paint and replace it, or simply to paint over the existing paint. You can also use this meter to help you ensure that the vehicle’s condition is exactly as reported according to the vehicle history report. Read on for a step by step guide on how to use an auto paint meter for your vehicle.

    Step 1 – Determine the Type of Metal Used to Frame Your Vehicle

    The type of metal that is used to build the frame for your car will partially determine how you go about testing the thickness of the paint and the other qualities discussed above. Most auto frames are, at this point in time, made from stainless steel compounds. These compounds will respond well to a hand-held and non-destructive measuring device that can be placed up against the surface of the vehicle to measure. Some cars are built with aluminum-based frames; these vehicles require a different type of device to measure the paint thickness. Still other cars have plastic portions of the frame, and these require a third type of device.

    Ask a dealer about which type of metal or material is used to make your frame, if you have any questions.

    Step 2 – Purchase the Proper Meter and Read the Instructions

    At an automotive repair shop or an auto body shop, purchase the appropriate meter for your vehicle based on the material that makes up the frame. Most of these meters have information about which cars they are best suited for printed on the box, and representatives at the store can assist you as well.

    Unpack the meter and be sure that you have all of the batteries and other necessary accessories by reading the instructions.

    Step 3 – Hold the Meter to the Car and Get a Reading

    Most meters will work very quickly. You’ll likely have to hold up a certain portion of the meter itself to a part of your car and then activate the measuring device, or to hold up a side measuring device to the car. The meter will typically provide a measurement of thickness in millimeters.

    Repeat this step to measure other areas of the car and to compare the smoothness and evenness of the paint surface, if desired.

    If you have any questions, consult with a professional auto body service person.