Old Car Problems


The roof of my car looks awful. I thought it needed painting but my neighbor says a good detailing can fix it. He thinks the wax is coming off.Any ideas about how I can tell if that’s all it is?

Also, I killed my passenger side mirror with my recycle bin and it’s hanging off. Any ideas where I can buy one and not pay a small fortune?

I really appreciate your help

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Without even seeing your car, it sounds like your clearcoat is coming off

You can’t tell if the wax you applied 2 months ago is coming off

But you CAN tell if the clearcoat is coming off

As for that mirror, head to your local “pick a part” type of junkyard, or call your local junkyards. If they don’t have it, they should be able to tell you who does. Might even look on ebay. Sometimes aftermarket mirrors are so cheap, it’s not worth driving around, looking for one

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Since this is a BMW, the side mirror will cost a lot no matter where you buy it. It is probably moved remotely from the driver’s side with electronic controls, and may be heated. The movement mechanism will need a motor or two, and that adds cost. A used mirror will be less expensive than the dealer’s replacement, but won’t be cheap. If you have a shop do the repair, they will buy the part. You can ask for a used mirror though.

Investigate Rock Auto, catalogs on line. I bought the mirror for my Sienna there, though I understand BMW is a different thing. Checking costs nothing.

A power mirror is $16.50 at my local pick-a-part auto salvage yard. It may take visits over several months of before finding a part for a less popular car.

@Sammmie I just looked at your other threads and I think you may have gotten about all you can out of this vehicle. If it is clear coat peeling on your roof that will not be cheap to fix. If you sand and spray with an aerosol paint can it might look OK from 40 feet.

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Rock auto lists the heated mirror assembly for $72.79 plus shipping. Will need to be painted to match the car though.


You may want to ask body shop’s opinion of the roof.
By the way, what year is the car?

Try testing your neighbor’s detailing method on a small section of the roof. If it works, you know what to do next. Likewise if it doesn’t.

It’s a 2000. I sent a picture to the detailers and they say I need a body shop.

I know this car is on its last leg, but I need to keep it a little longer.

I really appreciate your help

If the car is on its last legs and if you are planning on keeping for just a short period of time, then I am not sure why you would bother to spend any money on either detailing or painting the roof.

On the other hand, a passenger side mirror can be very helpful in terms of avoiding a collision, so I would suggest that you focus solely on mirror replacement and not waste any money on this car’s appearance.


I agree, and would like to add that in NH, and I’m sure other states, a broken rearview mirror can get you a citation for driving with defective safety equipment. Just like a busted tail light could.

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OK. You guys have convinced me. Also, I took it for an estimate of the roof and he basically told me it wasn’t worth the money and I should buy a new car. I’m finally seeing the light.

I went to the BMW dealer and tried to find out about leasing versus buying. Or maybe I want an electric car that will get me in the carpool lane and better parking spots? It’s such a huge decision and I really don’t know what I want, but I do like BMW’s. I have no time to do research. I have major deadlines at work which is why I was hoping to postpone the decision, but a decent looking car is important for business too.

I would appreciate any advice. I really appreciate your help

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I thought about an electric last summer when I bought my current car. Unless you can charge on 240-Volt power at work, you need a 240-Volt charger at home. Using regular house power (120-Volt) takes too long to charge. Because of this, charging in a driveway or garage is imperative to me. An apartment or condo parking lot just wouldn’t work. There are chargers in public parking lots, but you pay too much to make that practical on a regular basis.

For a commuter electric, I think the Chevy Bolt makes the most sense. It goes 230 miles on a charge without regenerative braking. A Bolt was driven from Monterey to Santa Barbara in a test last year. They did not use regenerative braking for the first 3/4 of the test, yet the miles driven plus estimated remainder showed a range of 280 miles. Drivers also commented about how they liked driving the car. Test drive one and compare it to others on your list.


So what is your decision. I’m just like you too, I love BMW’s and planning to get it this year. I am also making a decision if it will be leased or I will just buy it, if it depends on my budget too. I have no idea about electric car, maybe I will consider it too. I think I will consider Chevy Bolt as what jtsanders suggested here. We will wait here for other suggestions and let’s see if what is best for us.

BMW has an electric - the i3 - that can be electric only or with a gas engine to extend the range. The range on electric only is 114 miles so a bit short but if you are diving only short trips that may work for you. Same for the Nissan Leaf at 150 mile range.

The Chevy Volt has a much shorter range on electric - 50 miles or so - but also has a gas engine as a range extender. The Bolt, any Tesla, or really any pure electric has great range but neither is good for long distance traveling because of the recharge time, in my opinion.

And then there is the “charging at home” problem if you rent or have no garage empty enough in which to park your car. Many, many garages, 1, 2 or even 3 car garage homes have too much junk in the garage to park even ONE car inside! :smile:

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I have 2 car garage and both care are inside.
Last year I went into argue with UPS, where I was waiting for important overnight package and driver simply made a circle on cul-de-sac and drove out without even stopping, “nobody was home to accept package” message showed up in tracking 5 minutes after.
I called them and they argued it was no car visible, so it was an indication nobody was home.
It did not even appear to them car might be inside garage :slight_smile:

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If it were me I’d file a formal written complaint with UPS. This is an unacceptably lazy UPS employee shirking his duties. He should be “called out”.

I had a recent problem with UPS that changed my previously-positive perception of the company.
I sent an item back to LL Bean, and that “trip” normally takes 2 days, or a maximum of 3 days.

When LL Bean had no record of my package having been returned after ~7 days, I checked the UPS website, and it indicated that my package was in Worcester, MA–about half way from my house to Freeport, ME–and that it had been sitting in Worcester, MA for 4 days.

So, I contacted UPS–which was arduous due to their obvious desire that you not actually speak with anyone on the phone. During my 22 minutes on “hold”, a recording repeatedly asked if I would prefer to do a live “chat” online. When I finally reached a person, she attempted to connect me to a different department, and wound-up disconnecting my call. That resulted in beginning the entire process again, and–eventually–I was able to speak with somebody in their “investigations” department.

About a week later, after LL Bean still had no record of having received my return package, I again checked the UPS website, and it indicated that my package was still sitting in their Worcester, MA facility–and now the total period of supposed non-movement of the package was over 10 days.

Later that day, I returned home after some shopping and found a message on my answering machine. The person who left the message was so poorly-spoken that the only parts of the message that I could understand were “UPS” and a phone number. So, I called that number and asked if that person could tell me what type of message they had been trying to relay to me. Her response, after checking her terminal was, “We wanted to know if the package was returned to you, because we have no idea where it is”. :angry:

The bottom line is that LL Bean finally received my return package ~3 weeks after I sent it, and they promptly issued my refund. I never again heard from UPS, so perhaps they are still searching for that package.

My wife ordered a dress for a Christmas present about 12/3 and it never arrived. She tracked it and that said it was in Memphis. About a week before Christmas, it was still in Memphis. She placed a second order for the same item, and it was also lost at Memphis. Both items are still there. FedEx isn’t any better.