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Old 01-11-2008, 02:03 PM
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Another new car question: Cosmetic damage, repair it?

A few weeks ago I asked about Kia's as I was in the market for a new car. My first new car, actually. I ended up getting a new sportage, which I'm very happy with.

This morning however it received it's first bruise. I don't know what happenned, perhaps some sort of tree part fell on the windshield, but there's a crack on the plastic lining at the bottom of the windshield right next to the base of the windshiled wipers. I have no idea what that part is called, I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow, perhaps you guys can help me out in that department as well.

Anyhow, this brings up a question - how expensive to repair are these type of minor cosmetic damages, and are they worth getting repaired? If this was my old car, or if I've had this car for a while I proabbly would shrug my shoulders at the crack, but it's a brand new car, dammit, I wanted it to be all shinyand perfect for AT LEAST the first few weeks!

So how do you guys handle cosmetic damage to your cars? And do you think I should get this taken care of? Would such cosmetic damage so soon after purchase be covered by the bumper to bumper warranty on the car (I'm guessing no, since I think those cover only manufacturer defects).

Last edited by Kinthalis; 01-11-2008 at 02:07 PM.
Old 01-11-2008, 02:37 PM
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Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinthalis
Anyhow, this brings up a question - how expensive to repair are these type of minor cosmetic damages, and are they worth getting repaired?
Honestly, cosmetic damage can run from $20 to $500+ to fix, depending on the repairability of the damage, part cost, how many parts are attached to the part that needs to be fixed. It will vary from buying and installing a cheap surface part (like a strip of rubber trim), to having to take apart 20 different things to replace a $100 part, to having to spend all day sanding, straightening, filling, priming, painting and buffing that dent in the quarterpanel.

What you have described sounds cheap, and might even be something you can do yourself, we definitely need a picture to nail down what part it is.
Old 01-11-2008, 04:13 PM
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinthalis
So how do you guys handle cosmetic damage to your cars? And do you think I should get this taken care of? Would such cosmetic damage so soon after purchase be covered by the bumper to bumper warranty on the car (I'm guessing no, since I think those cover only manufacturer defects).
It can't hurt to ask. It's possible that when you point it out that tell you that they've seen that a few times already. OTOH if it clearly looks like it took a hit from something, then get an estimate, and go from there.

If you do chose not to get it fixed, based on how you explained it, I might put some clear caulk on it. It sounds like something that will let water leak in.
Old 01-11-2008, 04:15 PM
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Sorry, but it will not be covered under the manufacturer's limited warranty.
Old 01-11-2008, 04:27 PM
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I think it is worth investigating how expensive it is to repair. Then, based on your budget and priorities, make a decision.

I believe there to be a very real psychological effect which tends to make people extra protective of things which are pristine, and very nonchalant about risks to things which are already scuffed and worn.

(This effect applies to you, anyone else who drives your car, and to a lesser but still real extent, anyone who attempts to, say, park next to your car. It is not universal, but it is real and the effects can be seen.)

So, postpone getting that first real scratch/dent/ding/ whatever on your car as long as possible, because once you start letting them accumulate, they snowball.

Last edited by Eureka; 01-11-2008 at 04:27 PM.
Old 01-11-2008, 05:16 PM
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I think a car doesn't look good until it has its share of bumps, rust, dings and scratches. But that's just me. I do realize I'm not like most people nor am I saying you shouldn't get this fixed. After all I've never owned a brand new car.
Old 01-11-2008, 05:57 PM
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Well, taking a closer look after work today I realized that there are some scratches on the plastic leading to the crack and then it hit me: I think I know how it happenned.

This morning I was leaving for work and parked in front of me was a construction van with huge ladders sticking out of the top, the ends of which came within a few feet of my car. I'm almost certain one of the contruction workers was taking down one of the ladders and carelessly bumped my car with one of the ends. Damn it!

I'll take pictures tomorrow, with better lighting to show you guys. Hopefully you can tell me about how much it would cost to get fixed.

Last edited by Kinthalis; 01-11-2008 at 05:58 PM.
Old 01-12-2008, 02:56 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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The cars are parked at the bottom of the cliff in front of the house. The cliff is about 18 feet high. I had planted a breadfruit tree at the top of the cliff and it dropped a fruit on Mrs. Slothrop's new VW Jedda. It put a ding in the left front quarter panel. I thought she would have me kill the breadfruit tree.

She didn't. She had me take out the Cook Island Pine (they sometimes suffer termite damage and fall on the house) which was at the corner of the house and then move the breadfruit tree to its place. It took four of us. The breadfruit tree lived.
Old 01-12-2008, 06:31 PM
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Ok, here are some pictures:

http://home.comcast.net/~gothiccrux/site/?/photos/

Hopefully you guys can tell me about how much it would cost to fix, and what exactly do I call this part of the car?

And now I also have a scratch on the rear side panel! I went quickly into the crafts store with my SO to get some things, came out, and some asshole had side swiped my car! Eureka it looks like you were right!

Last edited by Kinthalis; 01-12-2008 at 06:32 PM.
Old 01-13-2008, 02:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,418
I think that part would be called the "cowl vent panel" or at least it's covering the cowl assembly. It's a strange part to get damaged since it's pretty well protected, I think I found it online here

To see it yourself, select the 2007 Sportage then select from the list that pops up on the left, Cowl, Cowl (again), Cowl Vent Panel, then look to the right for "view illustration".

You could also try your local auto parts store, they may have a parts diagram, so you can point the part out, or even your local body shop, who should give you an estimate to do the whole thing, no strings attached.
Old 01-14-2008, 09:45 AM
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I've had the cowl vent panels off all my cars (gluing screen over the heater air intake as an anti-mouse precaution) and it's no big deal. You have to remove the wipers (there's a nut under a little cover at the base of each wiper arm which holds the arm onto its driving shaft), and then there's usually a bunch of inconspicuous screws. Not a big deal; if you have any mechanical aptitude at all it'd probably be about a fifteen-minute job.
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