Carfidant Paint Depth Gauge – User Review

Odometer (ILX):  52,634


We’re taking a break from my long-distance late summer travels for a product review today.

“What’s under that shiny paint?”

That’s the tagline for a new product that promises to potential car buyers that it will help them determine if a vehicle they’re looking at has ever been involved in an accident.  I was given the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to perform a review of the Carfidant paint depth tool, so I used my 1994 Legend and my 2013 ILX as subject vehicles.


The idea here is that an all-original car should have pretty consistent readings around the entire vehicle.  A car that’s been hit & repainted, however, can vary widely from panel to panel.  The reason for this is that extra layers of paint & Bondo cause the meter to give higher readings.  Those high readings are red flags and could be an indication that body work has been performed, even though the vehicle may look 100% mint condition to the naked eye.

See the results for yourself here:

7 Responses to “Carfidant Paint Depth Gauge – User Review”

  1. Tyler Stoker Says:

    Fascinating little review, my friend! Thanks for sharing it. I hadn’t known about this device.

    • Kind of fun, isn’t it? I went around all my vehicles (and vehicles of friends!) just for the heck of it. Neat little tool. I hadn’t heard of it either until my friend approached me about doing a review. I had to laugh when the coupe had readings of 30 mils + in some areas where I’ve had extensive bodywork.

  2. Much like an isoscope we use to check paint thickness on commercial airplanes.

  3. Tyson, I’ve recently been thinking about getting one of those for the Accord before digging into heavy detailing and buffing. Great review and it looks super easy to use. Amazing how thick the paint is on the Legend. Have you noticed that newer cars now have a lot more orange peel and back then? Strange to me.

    • Jason, I think I’ve noticed the same thing. Some newer cars do have a fair amount of orange peel on them. Black/dark colors make it especially noticeable. The Carfidant tool is a fun little rig. I wouldn’t mind having one on-hand just to play around with.

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