While walking toward my car the other day, I saw a piece of chrome laying on the hood of my car. I was puzzled because nothing appeared to be missing. I picked it up and tossed it in the backseat. I had a long awaited appointment with my hair stylist and didn’t want to be late. When I got to the salon, I glanced over my shoulder at the passenger car door and realized the part had, in fact, fallen off of my car on the passenger side door! Someone was nice enough to put it on my car so I wouldn’t drive off without it. My question? I know those chrome detail pieces can be pricey. Is this something I can repair by myself, or should I take it to the dealership? I would hate to pay the dealership prices, but I don’t want to ruin my car by trying to save a buck. By the way, I love your column. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Irene in Idaho
Irene in Idaho,
Let me give you the scoop on body molding. With today’s cars, most of the trim parts are installed with a double sided tape. Over time after driving in all types of weather conditions the tape will shrink and come loose which can allow dirt to get behind the trim. Within time it falls off. My former owners let lots of things fall off of me. It felt like I was driving on the road without being fully dressed. Cars talk too, you know! You are one of the lucky ones to have had a good Samaritan pick up the piece and place it near or on your car. Being that you were in a hurry to the hair dresser, one knows no one messes with a woman and her hair appointment. Amen to that, Sister. Personally, I like to look chamois chic at all times!
Your question is of value because it will save you cash by not having to replace the trim. On some vehicles, the trim parts come as a set and might need to be ordered by color which takes a few days to a week to arrive. These type of parts may not be reproduced by an aftermarket company meaning you will need to purchase it from the dealer only. What you can do to re adhere this trim piece is to clean the back thoroughly and remove any old two sided tape. Then go to an auto body paint supply store and bring the trim piece with you then ask them for some TRIM 3M double sided tape. They have different widths so by bringing the old piece you are sure to get the right size. Clean the area of the car where the trim is to be installed with a car finish De wax to remove any polish or dirt that could cause the trim to not adhere properly. And I thought only beauty queens used tape like that. Who knew? Press it firmly into place and your car is fabulous once again. Happy Motoring.