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Road Grime: Come on...peel the protective plastic film off your door sills...

  • Posted: 01-16-2017 02:52 AM
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It's the automotive equivalent of putting a plastic cover on your sofa...

I've been seeing this on first gen TSXs since they were new. People keeping the blue plastic film over their car's pretty metal sill plates. Why? To preserve the newness? The car is ten years old by now. What is the point in keeping such an insignificant part of the car in good shape?

And look in the image...the plastic is trying to come off. It looks ugly! The irony of attempting to keep a part of the car perfect by leaving the ugly film applied evades me like that windfall of money that was supposed to come by now (how long until I can say I'll retire before my UPS driver?) 

There is a subset of our car community who is so little of a car person that they take more pride in the fact that they pretend their car was never sold as new. I feel like these are those folks who get nervous when the tach climbs more than half-way to redline. Criticisms abound when the infamous car-sales line ad reads "EG with a K swap, never raced or launched hard!" Even though the statement is complete baloney (because your "not a racecar" was not build for speed at all) there really are people who don't utilize the performance of their cars. Even people who mod them!

Yet they lurk in our car communities.

I've had people with very mild suspension upgrades claim their teeth were being rattled out, subtle changes in drivetrain bushings were causing their transmission to wear out, and very moderate exhaust changes result in head-pounding drone. To these folks I happily advise they not modify their cars. It's not worth the agony...for either of us.

On the whole I can be very forgiving and accommodating, and accept a broad myriad of tastes and styles. With something so broad and interpretive as car customization, you need to be able to view each customer as an individual. The broad age range, income level, and individual taste demand a retailer be fairly non-judgemental

But I don't get this granny fanny type of thing.

We all know, we enthusiasts wanna buy the car that has the plastic still on it. The best used cars are used least. I can appreciate that these cars are out there and I'd by lying if I said it would not help make a car more attractive to buy. The owner could only be someone so naive yet well intentioned that they would over-care for their car.

But that this person could be part of an enthusiast community, a community based around knowing the car thoroughly and wishing to preserve and enhance it, and not peel that stuff right off in an effort to hide the brilliant, etched alloy luster underneath feels like an intrusion.

We preserve our sills by not stepping on them, cleaning them, polishing them, and refusing rides to people who don't respect them. Not by keeping them ugly.


About the Author

Marcus di Sabella Marcus is the founder of Heeltoe Automotive. He's been working with cars (mostly Honda cars) since 1996, and has been providing enthusiasts with excellent products, services, and web experiences since 2002. He's been published in Honda Tuning, and holds a degree in Engineering Technology.

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