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Plastic repair

Repairing rather than replacing plastic automotive parts can increase profits and customer satisfaction
Monday, April 15, 2013 - 08:30
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Each year thousands of plastic automotive parts can be repaired profitably rather than be replaced. There has been a stigma in the automotive repair industry that plastic car parts are not repairable and can only be replaced once they are damaged. While this might have been true many years ago, recent developments in repair materials and processes have made it simpler to choose repairing over replacement.

In the past, not only were some of the repair procedures very cumbersome, but the type of plastic material had to be correctly identified in order to determine which repair product to use on the damaged part. The technician had to ascertain if the plastic material was flexible or semi-flexible, rigid or semi-rigid – and often a consensus could not be reached among several technicians. Adding to this challenge was the lack of any useful repair products for plastic parts.

When repairing plastic automotive components, apply the adhesive and spread it evenly to ensure the best adhesion.

Repair vs. replace
Enter a new era of repair products – adhesives specifically formulated for repairing bumpers, bumper tabs, emblems, headlamp modules, grilles, cladding and door trims. Now, the technician just chooses among a few products and only needs to know that the part is plastic – not the type of plastic material. Repairing a damaged car part is as simple as identifying the damaged part and choosing a repair adhesive.

The question of “repair vs. replace” can be profitably answered by using repair adhesives.  Almost any plastic part can be effectively repaired with an adhesive. When used properly, adhesives will repair a part to “like new condition” – rendering the repaired section as good as new.

Some of the points to consider when deciding on repair vs. replace include: cost of the new part, time and labor for repairing the broken part, age of the vehicle, and the manufacturer and model of the vehicle. For a very simple repair on a less expensive vehicle it might be worth it to replace the part. If the replacement procedure involves excessive disassembly work, it might also be more beneficial to use a repair adhesive. Customer satisfaction is always of prime importance and the customer should be reassured that a good, reliable repair can be made with quality repair adhesives.

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