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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,538
    Find a shop that does convertible tops or vinyl roofs like we used to have--or a shop that does detailing, like your car wash. There may be cleaners that can be used. I tried googling in your town and only found Carey's. Everyone else is farther away.

    I had a vinyl roof back in the day and found a nearby shop that installed them. They sold me a cleaner they used for maintenance by the gallon. Nothing over-the-counter would clean into the little grooves that give it texture even with a fine brush, but that cleaner that was just the thing to easily clean.

    I'm concerned that the car wash folks didn't know what to do... that's a bad sign. Maybe it can be touched up with black in spots--a Sharpie pen maybe?

    Good luck.

    The whitening might possibly be bleaching? Bad Birds. :mad:
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Bird droppings have acid in them, most likely it's discolored. I had a bird dropping actually etch the clear coat on my 2003 Avalon. To be fair, it was summer and parked at the airport for a week without any shade.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,298
    edited March 2013
    If any of you have any suggestions as to what to do, please let me know.

    Try green or black tea. Soak the teabags in hot water then apply to the stained area. It should work like a charm. By the way, this remedy is also good for getting rid of puffy eye bags.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,538
    >Try green or black tea.

    Isn't the green tea healthier? ;)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    Richard,
    Bird poop is organic, so it may break down over time.
    I would put some warm water in a spray bottle of wet one of the spots, letting it sit for a minute or two.
    Then put some dish washing soap or shampoo on an old tooth brush and just brush it, but not with a lot of force. Let it sit for a minute, go over it again with the toothbrush, then spray some water on it and wipe off the area a few times.
    Let it dry completely, and see if it looks any different than the other spots before spending a lot of money.
    I think that fits in with the cheapskate theme going on lately. :)
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,445
    edited March 2013
    Try these folks.

    They have all sorts of convertible top cleaners and protectors.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    If any of you have any suggestions as to what to do, please let me know

    I am sure you've tried vinegar diluted in water for the stain. I wonder if you could apply bleach to the entire top. I used to use Armorall on my vinyl roofs to protect the top - it did work.

    Bird droppings are acidic and eat into the paint and rag tops. That's why I keep a bottle of Maguires polish and cleaner in my car with several terry cloth cotton rags I bought at Target. As soon as I see a "bird turd" on my car, I immediately apply the polish and remove the turd. Even though today's cars have many layers of clear coat on them, it can still eat away into the paint if you don't remover it as soon as possible.

    Black, dark gray, dark blue and dark green painted cars show every scratch and discoloration.

    I love Maguires products - the polishers and cleaners are outstanding. I can even remove bits of tar from the road with their products.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,839
    Try green or black tea. Soak the teabags in hot water then apply to the stained area.

    But, will these tea bags be reuseable? :)

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 , 2013 Audi A4, 2013 VW Passat

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,899
    I use the Raggtopp cleaner as well as their protectant on my Jeep's soft top; it has worked very well for me, but I haven't had to deal with severe staining.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,953
    A guy I know recently had a cat kill and tear apart a bird on top of his 300Z convertable. He said it resembled a crime scene.

    Hey, does anyone know hpw to remove hazing and scratches on a plastic convertable rear window? I had an estimate of 900.00 to replace the rear window on our money pit BMW! The top itself is still in great shape!
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    When I first started working in the car business, they trained us effectively to be very careful about reading and recording VIN numbers on title applications, loan and lease documents and registration documents. Just one number or letter transposed can create havoc for the dealership and the customer. No matter how careful we are in getting the 17 character VIN correctly transposed in those documents, we are still human beings and human beings make mistakes. Remember, the F&I people in the dealership use computers, of course, as they print those documents in their offices. But, the initial responsibility lies with the salesman in correctly copying the VIN to the handwritten buyers order. Remember, I am going back 14 years when networks were not as sophisticated as they are now.

    I had a very nice customer come in with his best friend. They both had Infiniti Q45's and they swore by them. We walked the new car lot (we had over 1000 new cars on our lot) and looked for an LS430 that suited him. He selected a pearl off-white sedan nicely equipped. After the demo drive, he said he definitely wanted the car (the 2002-2007 LS430's were the best riding and handling cars Lexus ever made).

    As we were about to drive over to the "get ready detail department", his friend decided to buy one also. He asked the buyer if he would be upset if he got the same color. The buyer said no problem. So his friend asked me if I had another car just like the one his friend was buying. I checked inventory and found four more just like it. So we drove over to the lot and selected the car he wanted. I drove them back to the showroom and I took the cars over to the detail department.

    As I was trained to do, I copied the VIN's off both cars making sure I got them exact. I won't go into the details of pricing the cars because I sold them the cars for the exact same price since the cars were identical including options and equipment.

    Needless to say, I recorded the vehicles to the wrong buyers - the VIN's were the same except for the last 2 numbers.

    About a month later, both customers came storming in to the dealership advising us that when they contacted their insurance companies and read the VIN numbers, they did not match the registrations. In other words, buyer #1 was driving buyer #2's car and vise versa. The cars had been titled and registered incorrectly. The loan document were also messed up.

    To solve this problem, I had to redo both deals and send corrected VIN's to the banks, the State of Florida, etc. It was a nightmare to say the least. The management of the dealership was not happy at all. To make amends, we gave both customers free maintenance in their cars for as long as they owned them. And who do you think had to pay for that? You guessed right - they took it right out of the commission I earned on both cars.

    I learned that lesson the hard way. So when I became a sales manager and did the training of all salesmen, I related the above story to impress upon them the importance of making sure the VIN is read on the car on the driver's side dashboard and then written down precisely as it is shown. In that way, you have "touched" the car and made sure it was the correct VIN.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,453
    You can search -- convertible plastic window restoration for diy info. The pro detailers do it -- so check with your old car contacts to find someone who does it right.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    Hey, does anyone know hpw to remove hazing and scratches on a plastic convertable rear window? I had an estimate of 900.00 to replace the rear window on our money pit BMW! The top itself is still in great shape!

    It is impossible to remove scratches on that plastic rear window. As for the hazing, they have products available to remove hazing on front plastic headlight lenses.

    I thought most convertible rear windows were made out of heavy-duty glass. I guess there are still manufacturers who don't want to design the folding mechanisms to accommodate glass. My 1967 Pontiac Bonneville convertible had a tempered glass rear window. My Triumph TR6 had a plastic rear window.

    But as for scratches, you'll have to live with them.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    edited March 2013
    If worse comes to worse you can try guys that fix interior plastic trim and carpets. They can try to lightly spray paint the affected area. At least that's what they did to interior discolored carpets and scratched plastic trim.

    Or if that doesn't work, just sew in a good ol' elbow patch :P

    image

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Many convertibles in the 80s and 90s came with plastic rear windows. I don't think scratches can ever be removed, hazing maybe with the same stuff that clears up headlight hazing probably.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Ouch, that sucked!

    I can see it happening with two buyers and two identical cars. Expensive lesson to remember for you and good thing they didn't get into accidents otherwise it might have been an even costlier issue.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,953
    The BMW is a 1998. The newer ones have glass now and I was told that a glass one can't be installed in ours.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    The BMW is a 1998. The newer ones have glass now and I was told that a glass one can't be installed in ours.

    They use tempered glass, for obvious reasons. As for glass replacement for your BMW, a convertible top with a glass rear window is more difficult to engineer and design because it is rigid and must be folded carefully whereas a plastic window is more flexible.

    I thought BMW convertibles are hardtops - right? Like the Lexus, VW, and Infiniti. Mercedes, for some strange reason, has not gone the hardtop route in its convertible E Class. I believe they have two tops for the SL550, one which comes off and one that is fabric.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,839
    I thought BMW convertibles are hardtops - right?

    Yes, the 3 Series has a hardtop convertible...since 2008. Isell's is a 1998 model so has plastic. Not the cars fault, that's what they used. Maybe there is a newer better plastic replacement window they have these days.

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 , 2013 Audi A4, 2013 VW Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,676
    that was the same issue with my RDX purchase last year. salesman error, that no one down the line caught.

    if you don't remember that one, that was when the dealer started the deal on 1 of 2 identical units, until the internet guy discovered mine was parked at the remote lot. So, he switches the deal to be the one right at the dealership.

    but somehow, the salesguy that inherited the deal along the way didn't make the change in the computer, so everything goes through on car 1. Took them almost 2 weeks before they (actually, I) figured it out.

    lucky for them, it was only a pain for me, having to go back to return car 1 for car 2, that I owned all along!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    that was the same issue with my RDX purchase last year. salesman error, that no one down the line caught.

    Actually, stickguy, I do not remember that story. But it sounds very much like what I experienced except both cars were sold at the same time. If I was selling only one car, I would not have made that error.

    Best part of that situation is that both customers were delighted with their new cars.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,984
    "How to remove bird dropping (or crap as you so elegantly put it Mr. B.A. in English) from a convertible top."

    That would be Mr. M.A. in English thank you very much. I used "crap" because I am pissed about the stains. For you, we'll use "excrement" if that makes you feel better.

    Thanks for the web site.

    Richard
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 4,278
    edited March 2013
    That would be Mr. M.A. in English thank you very much. I used "crap" because I am pissed about the stains. For you, we'll use "excrement" if that makes you feel better.

    Removing "whatever you want to call it" from a convertible top is one thing - getting rid of the stains from years of baking in the sun is quite another.

    As for what to call those drops of intestinal excretions from birds, we can learn a lot from the "Harry Potter" books and movies - they would never mention the name "Valdermort", but preferred to call him "You Know Who!" So instead of using the inappropriate vernacular "s__t", we will call it YOU KNOW WHAT!

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400 Sport Sedan

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,839
    That would be Mr. M.A. in English thank you very much.

    I am really LMAO with your last post.

    It reminds me, there was a retired doctor playing on the tennis court next to us in Florida, and people were calling him Dr. Joe. We thought it was a bit strange, that a retired Dr would still use Dr in his name.

    I once had a neighbor who was a retired prof, and he wanted to be referred to as Dr. Watson. He wasn't even a medical doctor and he was using his Dr. handle, even in retirement.

    I hope you don't go around asking to be called Richard M.A.

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 , 2013 Audi A4, 2013 VW Passat

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited March 2013
    We all know business theory that existing customer is more important than new and as such should get better consideration. Yet, wherever I go, I see evidence that companies think exactly the opposite. Already a customer? Here is our special existing customer plan with highest price we can think of. Not a customer? We have real specials for you. Latest installment, my antivirus renewal. Just got a nice autorenewal email with price over 20% higher regular price of the box version of the same programs old at local Costco and over twice when the box was on sale with coupon. I expected that so I bought that box then so I can put it at a renewal, but it just ticks me off with no end that nobody there would have an idea to offer me similar/same renewal price without having to buy "new" again. Needles to say the autorenewal is gone from my account.

    I see same behavior with many other businesses. The moment they hear customer loyalty, they hear you aren't going anywhere so let me raise my price.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,953
    I've noticed that the hardtop convertables suffer from less rear seat room than mine has which is bad enough as it is!
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    "Hey, does anyone know hpw to remove hazing and scratches on a plastic convertable rear window?"

    isell--

    You don't mention how bad (deep) the scratches are or how many. As an artist, I often have to "touch-up" plexiglas on my framed artwork as many, many individuals who visit galleries and museum don't know museum etiquette. I often have scratches, nose and finger prints, etc, etc.

    For a number of years I have been using this mix of abrasives/cleaners made by Novus (usually only sold at glass/plastic retailers. They make it in several grades. Depending how bad the scratches are you could start with #3 (heavy scratch remover, followed by #2 and then #1, which is primarily a cleaner and reducer of static. Be prepared for some elbow grease.

    I have had good success so it might be worth your while as long as they are fairly superficial. Certainly a set of 2 oz. bottles will set you back much less than a $90 replacement. If you search Amazon you will find a lot of reviews. Some love it, some don't. I think much depends on both the depth of scratch and the type of plastic (acrylics, lucites, lexans) as to how well it performs. I have heard some stories of it being used to repair old CDs and DVDs. For me it also worked great on a pair of plastic magnifiers and reading glasses that had gotten pretty beat up.

    Gogiboy
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,953
    You know, I don't think my rear window is actually "scratched". It's more like it has hazing or cloudiness more than anything else.

    It's getting harder to see out of.

    Someone suggest a product made by Meguires that is designed for this but I'll look into the Novus products too and I think you for that suggestion.

    Of course, none of this matters since the tabs expired in September and it flunked it's emission test AGAIN!! Long story but this car is being so typical of a German car!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    I've used car polish to get a scratched CD working again.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,839
    edited March 2013
    I've noticed that the hardtop convertables suffer from less rear seat room than mine has which is bad enough as it is!

    Rear seat is only for emergencies.....or for carrying tiny objects or small dogs.

    If a real person were to get in there, you would never pry them out. You would have to be a contortionist to actually be able to get inside.

    My thinking was, I wanted a convertible, I would only consider a hardtop convertible (don't want to mess around with a slashed roof or bird ah er excrement stains, a la Mr. M.A.), a Mercedes 2 seater would cost about $5000 more, and I really need the backseat to take the dog and odd things like tennis equipment around.

    Remember, the scratchy rear window isn't really the cars fault, that's how they made them back then. Probably someone sells replacement windows at a reasonable price.

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 , 2013 Audi A4, 2013 VW Passat

This discussion has been closed.