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Old 13th January 2011, 16:30   #1
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Default State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

Although some members have discussed this issue, it has been quite car-centric but I guess this issue has become prominent on almost all cars.

Why is it that the plastic fitments on brand new cars like the door handles, the back portion of the mirror and the panel around it, the fitment at the read window, the plastic surrounding the fog lamps etc. fading so quickly?

Is it because the manufacturer quality itself is poor or there is some role played by how it is maintained? Eg. the water used to wash the car : of late, there are these people in each society who wash hordes of cars each morning; using less than a bucket for 1 car etc.

Recently a member had the plastics on his ANHC fading considerably in a year and got them changed. I have myself seen a 6-month old Figo and a <1 year i10 with the plastics fading.

Each time I take my car for servicing, I spend 1200 for polishing for all the plastic items viz. dashboard, door handles, plastic cover between bonnet and windshield; that is how it at least hasn't turned white.

Is there a way we can prolong/avoid it?
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:45   #2
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

^^ I guess I'm lucky that my car is old. '07 Model Ford IKON Flair. Run 96,000kms.

No where the plastics have faded. The window beading's do show a slight color change.

Yes, bad part quality is the culprit.
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:54   #3
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Red face Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

The quality of the plastics may be cheap and in most cars meet the standards of the manufacturers? What standards, even I am in dark. I think this is a price every customer pays to fill up the car manufacturers coffers for offering an India centric car. Its is not something which a customer can demand, but based on the customer response the future offerings from car manufacturers the quality may be improved.
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Old 14th January 2011, 15:34   #4
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Is it because the manufacturer quality itself is poor or there is some role played by how it is maintained?
Quote:
Recently a member had the plastics on his ANHC fading considerably in a year and got them changed. I have myself seen a 6-month old Figo and a <1 year i10 with the plastics fading.
Shoddy part quality, there's no two sides to it. Plastic fittings don't have a scheduled maintenance chart, and aren't supposed to be maintained in any particular way. We enthusiasts get our cars detailed, but that's not the norm (nor is it supposed to be). India is an incredibly diverse country with varying weather conditions and whoever sells a car here, had better make sure their parts hold up well....whether in Himachal or Bombay. Its disgusting how manufacturers will equip their cars with sub-standard parts just to save a couple of bucks.
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Old 14th January 2011, 18:47   #5
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

Agreed.

But is something that we do (water being used to wash being hard, shampoo which washes the sheen off the plastic part or likewise) coupled with the already-bad quality of plastic used, bring out fading more quickly?

Getting the manufacturers to give us quality product would take ages.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 14th January 2011 at 18:50.
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Old 14th January 2011, 18:57   #6
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

Also, if you refer to Rudra's car cleaning thread, there is a warning on the usage of borewell water for car cleaning for the Bangalore folks. May be it has got some share of the blame as well! Your thoughts?
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Old 14th January 2011, 22:03   #7
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

I agree with GTO here. G1HC ( i.e. OHC ) has would have seen more seasons and more washes than a car sold in 2008 or 2009, but G1HC ( OHC ) would not have plastic fading. Why ?

On a similar note, cars manufactured earlier like in 200 or even 2004 usually have less complains about plastic quality. Those cars also see rough whether like any "latest" car does, but how come old car holds up better ?

This is one aspect I am watching out for in our Waggie as Baleno has not seen any sort of excessive fading despite the car being older.
Washing, etc. are secondary excuses and applicable only under some situations/circumstances. There is no escaping from the fact that manufacturers are trying their best to cut costs.
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Old 14th January 2011, 23:19   #8
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
On a similar note, cars manufactured earlier like in 200 or even 2004 usually have less complains about plastic quality. Those cars also see rough whether like any "latest" car does, but how come old car holds up better ?
Unlike olden times, these days, the average life of the car spent with its owner is much.. much.. less.

So the manufacturers 'can' almost get away with cheap parts, as the original owner will have swapped the car by the time plastics 'show' their quality.
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Old 15th January 2011, 00:03   #9
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

1. The competition is high and pricing is an important factor in India for sales figure, so it is taking toll on the plastic and other fitments.e.g. just look at the latest, Etios, figo, punto, vista, U-va

2. As said in above post the diverse weather conditions have different effects on the same plastic. Also sometimes ours cars are exposed to high sun radiation to harm the exteriors. Also the dust and suspended particles in air are much higher in India.

3. The way we maintain the vehicle is an add-on issue. Usually people dnt care what kind of water they are using i.e. soft or potable, hard with moderate mineral contents or high mineral contents. In addition to this is the washing compound used, I have seen people using cloth washing detergents (yes...You read right). Cars are not like clothes or human body they are different so need different cleaning agents (auto wash shampoos/liquids)

There might be provided good plastic by company but if washed with fabric detergent, it is surely going to fade.
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Old 15th January 2011, 07:59   #10
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

Let us not forget OEM vendors for these plastic parts. All our imagined visions of gleaming cars in bright and shiny assembly lines come crashing down when one visits the vendors for these parts. The parts are (probably) made to meet required standards with the lowest margins imaginable, most likely reworked by unskilled casual labourers and heaped on the floor like trash. One didn't imagine that the car manufacturers made these parts themselves, right?
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Old 15th January 2011, 21:14   #11
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Default Re: State of plastic fitments on cars : Poor quality or poor maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
But is something that we do (water being used to wash being hard
Parking under the direct sun and bad water take their toll on plastic parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
I agree with GTO here. G1HC ( i.e. OHC ) has would have seen more seasons and more washes than a car sold in 2008 or 2009, but G1HC ( OHC ) would not have plastic fading.
My 7 year old OHC didn't have any faded plastic parts. Not on the inside nor outside. I see the same in Dippy's '03 OHC today. Clearly Honda isn't using an equal grade of plastic as they used to. The OHC's interiors may be basic, but they are incredibly durable and hard wearing.
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