Troubles keeping a car looking like new


Established Member
I'm convinced owning cars is generally a pain.

Of course there's the whole thing with maintainance such as oil changes, tires, battery, and of course, paying for gas. Then you have the whole insurance thing -- eeh.

But what's been bothering me the most lately is keep a newer car looking good.

My wife own drives our 2000 Toyota Camry. She bought it new. It's a nice looking car. Its silver and still shiny.

But unfortunately, the car has had some trials and tribulations. First I scuffed the front corner of the bumper a couple times (long stories). Then I rear-ended some one in it. My wife just about killed me. The body shop put on a new bumper and hood with a fresh paint job. (which they supposedly guarentee for as long as you own the car) At least that took care of my first few scuffs :) That cost me $500, raised insurance rates, and the "I forgave you but not really" mentality from my wife.

Next, a couple Thanksgivings ago my wife made stuffing for our church Thanksgiving Dinner. It was thi huge batch that was in this flimsy tin-foil-like container. She made the mistake of placing it on the trunk door while she opened the back door of the car (it was pretty heavy). This cause the container to put a bunch of surface scratches on the trunk door. Fortunately you can only see those when you look at them in the light a certain way. But just knowing they are they drives us crazy.

Then, my wife got a little too close to a drive-thru window and put a big scratch on the left mirror. Touch up paint covered it up a bit, but it's still visible.

Also living in California, parking spaces are small and parking lots are full. There are very many inconsiderate people who don't seem to feel quilty when they didn't up your door. Including people who park their monster SUVs and trucks in compact cars spaces. :angry: So to say the least there are also some small chips, dents and scratches on our doors.

Lately, my wife scratched the corner of the bumper up against the post of our covered parking spot. No dent, but the paint keeps peeling off. This is the body shop paint that is supposedly "guarenteed". I called up the body shop, but they said they don't cover it if the "seal of the paint was broken". A couple days later, I was washing the car and I notices there are some other small areas on the same bumper that have paint chipped/bubbling off. It's not related to that bump-in. I might call them up again and tell them about that. I just hope they don't think I'm bringing it/faking it so they will fix the big piece of paint missing.

Does anyone have any sympathy? suggestions?

Will my car ever look nice again???


Staff member
I feel your pain. I have scratched my car while manuevering it into the garage about once a year with big scratches. I beat myself up over it every time it happens. I just get it repainted though since my body shop owner is my best friends dad I get a VERY nice discount and they do an awesome job, can't even tell there was anything aloof where it was scratched.

As for SUV's parking very close to your car it sucks. Sometimes when I go to the store and I come back out there are 2 SUVs on either side of my car and I can't see to either side of me while backing out. Just have to move very slowly backwards till half my car is sticking out, then I can see things.

It's the price we pay for owning a car.
if you use the car daily and for everyday life it's hard to keep it in tip top shape...

if the paints bubbling off or chipping on the bumpers that means they didn't prime the surface of my cars has the same problem, eventually it will all chip off from where ever the bubbling-chipping started.

right where the arrows are is a clear difference between the paint and the bumper...the entire top half of the bumber now has no paint and the bottom is loseing it... good thing it's still red ;)


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Mid Boss
This is why I park at the very end of parking lots. No scratches on any of my cars - first one or my current one. I'm lucky, I guess (most people, when they saw my '87, thought it was a '92 or '93 at least).

My dad's SUV it very beat up, though. He (and my sister) are too busy putting dents in your cars.


Established Member
Originally posted by MTXBlau@Jan 21, 2004 @ 10:29 PM

This is why I park at the very end of parking lots. No scratches on any of my cars - first one or my current one. I'm lucky, I guess (most people, when they saw my '87, thought it was a '92 or '93 at least).

My dad's SUV it very beat up, though. He (and my sister) are too busy putting dents in your cars.

Believe me, we try that.

CA is just too crowded.

The worst is parking garages. We had to go to the hospital when my father-in-law was there. At least 2 of our dents are from there. Almost no empty spots, and they are all small. I hate CA. Only 7 more months til I'm outta here.
yeah i bought a 2004 grand am gt brand new a couple months ago. 2 week into having it i scuffed a small spot under the front bumper. you cant see it but i know its there (on the underside). the i hit a deer about 2 months ago. was only going like 20, the thing slid up on my hood and we basically scared the shit out of each other. i got out and it hopped up, looked at me like "bitch NO you did NOT just hit me" and ran off. all i had was like 3 hairs in the front plate spot. but i really hate the snow right now. i got the all aluminum wheels and seeing them so dull, having ice on my moonroof and having the white salt powder all over the car just pisses me off. i hate the winter :(


Established Member
Wow, that sucks man. My bumpers are chrome, so I don't have to worry about those too much. However, if they do get messed up I can just replace them, no paint involved. I find that with the exception of my school, parking spaces around here are pretty generous. I don't think I've even seen compact car spaces, and some spaces give large buffers. One thing that DID happen to me recently is someone dented my front passenger door, pushed the skin of the door in in a long streak (probably when pulling in or backing out). I was planning to have the entire car repainted soon anyway. The paint on the sides is in pretty good shape considering its a 1987 Chevy Caprice, but I don't want to run into paint matching issues, so its better to have them do it all.

As for basic maintainence, I really don't have any issues with that stuff. An ounce of prevention and all that. My engine is very clean and doesn't leak or burn a drop of oil. It absolutely loves Castrol Syntec. My Everstart battery still puts out plenty of cold cranking amps after 3 years. My Michelin Weatherwise tires still have plenty of tread, and decent grip. I just put a K&N air filter in, so I shouldn't have to touch that for at least 40,000 miles.