: Change Bulb - Scratched Paint

07-24-09, 02:15 PM
OK, here we go...

I took my car in for its first warranty work. Loose driver seat, pipe bulb (tiny decorative light in the headlight housing) out, and oil change. First two covered by warranty/CPO.

No problems with the drop-off, loaner setup (handled by in-dealer Enterprise agency, SRX for the day).

Driver seat seems OK (it would click and give a little during turns, covered by a TSB). Hopefully the oil change is OK. But as you can see in the picture below, they scratched/scuffed the *bleep* out of the paint around the headlight - bottom and outer edge. Yes, that's a freaking gouge on the bottom edge. Oh yeah, and the body panel doesn't even line up correctly now!


No doubt I can expect to see condensation in that headlamp down the road too. They must have had the White Sox game on while they "worked" and were trying to listen/watch Buehrle's Perfect Game.

Now I'm really thinking about cashing out on this car, trading in my 15 year old van for the cash-for-clunkers program and getting something affordable to drive that I won't care about its looks. In the meantime, I'm getting my complete $1,500 value out of the CPO for a freaking 50 cent light bulb.

It goes back on Monday morning, stay tuned for the fun.

07-24-09, 03:03 PM
That's actually pretty typical if they don't use tape to cover it before they start working on it. I've had 3 headlights replaced and watched over them every time. In fact, before I was an employee here, this dealership did something very similar to my '99 Seville...I didn't like it one bit.

07-24-09, 03:47 PM
That kinda sucks....good luck on Monday

07-24-09, 03:57 PM
Take it back, they did the damage, up to them to fix it. Complain your ass off till they do!

07-24-09, 04:43 PM
They were appropriately apologetic on the phone so far considering they have not seen the damage yet. Hope they can live up to my expectations.

07-26-09, 11:20 PM
Damn, that really sucks, especially since the lens/bumper itself never needed to come off, I've replaced the bulb you are mentioning from under the hood several times until I found a bulb with just the right color to match my HID fogs.

Insist that they remove the entire bumper and professionally sand and paint it, or do not have them fix the scratches!!! Dealers always have some guy working in their lot who can do a quick fix by taping and airbrushing with paint, but it will always peel within about a year because the new paint will not stick well to the paint underneath (learned from experience unfortunately). Bubbled chipping paint will look worse than the scratches, and then when you try and trade in or sell the car someday someone will worry about what type of accident you were in.

07-27-09, 09:15 PM
Round 1 is complete. The car looks better - they realigned the fender / panel / headlight junction at the bottom left corner of the headlight case in the picture above, but we're still "discussing" a couple of scratches on the bumper itself. They want to call it normal road-related pebble damage, while I point out that the two major nicks are directly in line with clips on the bottom of the headlight casing.

Great. Now I feel I have to make a High-Def movie of the car's exterior before and after every service activity?

07-29-09, 08:40 AM
My rule of thumb is to always have a clean car when you take it to the dealer. Therefore, any damage can be spotted easily. My 07 has a small chip on both front fendors (possibly belt buckle) from a repair when it was about three weeks old. I did not want to break the paint to make the repair.

07-29-09, 11:57 AM
Round 1.5 -- getting better. They called me today and said bring it in and they'll finish the bumper.

That was a close call. I filled out the response card this morning and was about to call and go for the Service Director when they finally called. I think we'll be OK now.

My bet is the original tech worked on the wrong headlight and didn't fess up to it until today.

Now I'm curious to see what the next loaner will be. The first was an SRX - I still don't like trucks, even with padded leather everything. The second was a Kia Rio - wow, somebody didn't like me.

08-04-09, 08:42 PM
Not the best of endings. They didn't repaint the dinged areas, just touch up work. I tire of arguing with them over something this relatively trivial (compared to stolen tires while at dealer). I wish to enjoy my car for a while before winter strikes.

08-12-09, 02:40 PM

(see first post)

08-12-09, 04:21 PM
i tried for an hour and could not find a bulb socket down/back there.