Dear Tom & Ray,
I’m a recent reader and find your columns very informative, interesting. Your sense of humor gets the message across very nicely.
Now to my pet peeve, I purchased a new 2004 Kia Amant. It is black and beautiful and despite what most experts say, I love this car. It is very quiet and rides beautifully. It only has 21,000 miles so far and I plan to keep it for a long time.
Perhaps I should be addressing this to a psychologist but I have a feeling you two have a degree in psychology as well.
The problem I have is with people who when they get in and out of the car, have a habit of slamming the doors shut as hard as they can. This kills me and it literally shatters my teeth when it happens. The doors are big and heavy and will shut with a gentle push or pull. Does this loosen the car’s nuts and bolts and does it damage its body integrity? More importantly, How can I tactfully and diplomatically tell my passengers to please shut the doors gently. I don’t want to hurt their feelings and also come across as rude . Would it help to put a small sign on the windows asking, “Please Shut the doors Gently”?
I have reminded my wife many times and each time she gets mad, rolls her eyes and tells me “It is only a dumb car” and I get the silent treatment for several hours. Would appreciate your help.
Dear Tom & Ray,
Tom & Ray don’t visit here. It’s only us lower life forms. But we’re good folks and some of us know cars.
It won’t hurt the car.
Yeah, try some small signs. But not on the door your wife uses.
I have the same affliction. The doors and trunk on my Accord close very easily. My family seems to like slamming them, though, and I think I know why. Our Regal and Silhouette have heavier doors and trunk lid, which require more effort to close. They are used to driving or riding in those cars and not my Accord. I ask them nicely not to slam the door or trunk when they do it and try to remember that their experience is with the older cars they normally drive or ride in.
If it’s such a big deal, take your wife’s car and let her slam her own car doors.
Slamming doors of any type is usually not necessary, but at least you can be reasonably sure you are closing the door in a single effort. Let it go man, let it go.
I have never seen a car damaged by slamming doors, other than the rear hatch on old Volvo station wagons. First the plastic stops break, then the door closes too far and tears up the lock. Sometimes the rear window shatters.
I would look at the plastic blocks that stop the door every time I wash the car. If they start to split from the abuse, replace them.
As for your wife’s attitude toward your car, that “dumb car” is the tool you use to get to work every day. That’s important. Abusing it increases the cost of ownership, which means that there is less money for other necessities. A grown-up should understand that.