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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,683
    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:

    This message has been approved.

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    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: 1,055
    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: 17,683
    >Try green or black tea.

    Isn't the green tea healthier? ;)

    This message has been approved.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    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: 9,195
    edited March 2013
    Try these folks.

    They have all sorts of convertible top cleaners and protectors.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    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.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Try green or black tea. Soak the teabags in hot water then apply to the stained area.

    But, will these tea bags be reuseable? :)

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    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.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    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: 3,109
    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.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,194
    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: 3,109
    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.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,096
    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: 5,096
    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: 5,096
    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: 17,346
    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: 3,109
    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.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    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.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,556
    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!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

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