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Boy, am I leaning towards painting these things....what a nightmare they are. Yesterday really did it for me. :evil:

Person is looking at my E...walking around it as I was standing at the back. As he walks by me and heads towards the front, he says...Oh wow...look these are plastic....My eyes rolled and I rushed towards him to tell him to not touch them, BUT I was to late as he walked slowly towards the front with the back of his hand lightly touching the panels....Well guess what? Two light scratches about 2 feet long are now on my E...his signature I guess. Looks like his finger nails got em.

I was rereading my Brochure and it states clearly that the panels are Scratch Defying right in side it. :shock:

I would just love to hear how other have removed fine scratches from the EX's ? Has anyone gone back to the dealers and show them the Brochure and your scratches?
What answers did you get? Has any dealers replaced any panels? Has any dealers removed the scratches?

I am having a few test parts painted to maybe avoid these problems over and over again. The gas lid looks like a great place to start. :idea:


EE
 

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Easy E: Do a search and you will find lots of personal opinions about the "care and feeding of the composite panels". I just ended up putting many coats of Lexol on the panels and they seem to make them slicker and less easy to scratch. I now have enough layers of Lexol on the panels, that evern after a heavy rain, the Lexol still is protecting quite well. However the scratches I do have, by the wheel wells etc., are now starting to blend together and I don't notice them much anymore. It reminds me of a car with a black paint job. The first couple of light scratches very noticeable and are mind numbing. Then over time, and numerous clean ups, it all kind of runs together and becomes unnoticeable.

What is interesting about these panels is that they seem incredibly resistant to breakage. Look at the crash test photos. The panels are all bent up during the crash and then pop back in place after the crash. Really quite amazing.
 

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I can't say much about the scratch problem, but I can attest to the durability of the panels. I was about 20 miles into a 1000 mile trip when the unthinkable happened. I was crossing a bridge on the freeway and a VERY large dog darted out in front me just as the bridge was ending. I barely had time to see it, let alone avoid it. Anyway, after getting up the road a piece I decided to pull over and survey the damage. To my surprise, the front left fender panel had popped loose, and that was all. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would have had significant body damage had the front end and fender been metal, but instead I only had to pop the panel fasteners back into their holes and voila, fixed. I can't begin to guess how much the front panel had to flex to force the fender panel to pop. As of this writing, there is NO evidence of the impact. For that kind of durability I'll forgive them the scratch issue.
 

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zozohead,
I am appauled by your joy in lack of damage to your E and NO sympathy for the dog you killed.
I thought E owners were more sophisticated than that(you)

MT
 

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I'm sophisiticated enough not to dwell on the obvious. Were you hoping for gore and details? I thought this forum was about the E, not about the gorey details of a very unfortunate accident. I'm sure there's web sites out there to accomodate you. By the way, who said the dog was dead? Or is that just wishful thinking on your part?

FYI: I have dog that I love very much and what happened left me grief stricken for longer than was probably normal. But I'm sure that doesn't satisfy you.

It's funny, I thought most folks would appreciate my leaving out further reference to the details, and I guess I was right. How's it feel being a minority of one?
 

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I dont know the condition of the dog but I am glad you are not one
of those people that pull head on with traffic or mow down people on
shoulder just to put a dogs life over people. I too care for dogs but
people are important also. In moment like that, you dont have time
to check all options. The safety of you and others is the most important
thing.
 

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Well. Now that we have delt with the animal issue, it is really nice to know that the E panels are very durable in terms of resisting dents etc.

I am beginning to think that Honda's use of large composite panels is setting the stage for more and more of this type of body construction. I am sold on their design and use of this material. It would be nice if the composite material did not take surface scratches quite so easily, but the protection offered by certain liquids (Lexol or Mothers Back to Black) does seem to work well. Honda has once again set the stage with a dramatic new direction in auto construction.

Imagine how inexpensive it will be to replace a panel if necessary. No paint or color matching. You pretty much simply pop off the old and snap on the new. I am starting to like this idea very much.
 

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Imagine how inexpensive it will be to replace a panel if necessary. No paint or color matching. You pretty much simply pop off the old and snap on the new. I am starting to like this idea very much.
Okay you bring up a good piont. After 4 years my white dodge's paint was looking pretty ruff. To fix one spot you have to paint the whole truck because otherwise you would never get a paint match. Any idea how much these panels are worth?
 

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Boneheadz: Another thread on this site gives prices on the composite panels. I don't remember where it was, but the prices were very cheap. The entire front bumper portion was something like $195.00. However I don't know if these prices are correct or not.

I also read that Honda is going to be releasing a product soon, to help with the scratches on the panels. Again, I don't know if this information is fact or just rumor. I fully trust that Honda will be taking lots of steps to keep the consumer happy. They have put a lot of time and money researching, designing and manufacturing the Element. They are also a company which will not let issues, like the panel concerns and scratches, left unanswered.
 

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I have the address to a web site for genuine honda parts and I found the panels to be pretty cheap the left front fender was like $45.00 and the right was like $43.00. I'm at work right now and dont have the link but I will post it once I'm at home!!
 

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The friend that I go shooting with works in the aerospace industry and said the composit panels could be much tougher than you think, as they make a very sturdy composit panel for airplanes. I ought to ask him if they have ever been painted and if paint adhears enought to it to look good.
 

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Why is everyone wondering whether or not the panels can be painted or not. It's PLASTIC people! The same material bumpers have been made of for decades. Not to mention the photos of painted panels that would seem to prove the point...

Why go to an aerospace engineer to find out if plastic can be painted??? Should I call the CEO of McDonald's to see if I can get my Big Mac without cheese??? How about a trip to your local paint and body shop! I think the paint guy would know...

Sorry to go off like that, but after six months I thought this would be a dead issue...
 

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You're right....dead issue. Lets go another route. How about having the painted part be turned into composit panels all the same color, and the whole car can be a composit vehicle. Does THAT turn ya on?? :lol: 8)
 

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[quote:859af17702="Ger Brassfield"]You're right....dead issue. Lets go another route. How about having the painted part be turned into composit panels all the same color, and the whole car can be a composit vehicle. Does THAT turn ya on?? :lol: 8)[/quote:859af17702]

There are a lot of new people just buying their Elements and visting this site for the first time. For those who have been here a while, nearly every subject being discussed is getting a bit repetitive. But so what! To the new owners, this is not a dead issue. To the new owners this might be an important subject for them. I found the secret: If you don't want to read any more about a subject: then simply don't read it. I just think that none of us can start saying which is a worthwhile subject, or not, based on our own interest level.
 

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medic4lee, please post that website as soon as you find it. I was backing up this weekend and plowed down a newspaper box with a metal post. Now I have a huge scratch in my bumper! :cry:
 

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then i would be out of a job!!! no dents to fix.............i can still work on saturns there made of metal hood roof and trunks atleast, the steel industry will never let that happen kinda like the 100 mpg car that won't be here till are supply of oil is about out!
 

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[quote:172ad06796="dinggos"]then i would be out of a job!!! no dents to fix.............i can still work on saturns there made of metal hood roof and trunks atleast, the steel industry will never let that happen kinda like the 100 mpg car that won't be here till are supply of oil is about out![/quote:172ad06796]

Personally I think you will begin seeing cars with all composite body skins within the next few years. No visible rust or rot, inexpensive replacement panels and a good way to fight the ever increasing insurance costs. It is the trend.
 

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The real pain in the butt with these panels is that they cannot be repaired. They must be replaced if broken or badly damaged.
 
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