Punks broke into my Audi

Mike Arman armanmik at n-jcenter.com
Thu Sep 21 09:28:50 EDT 2000

>From: Martin Suryadarma <msuryadarma at wesleyan.edu>
>Subject: Punks broke into my Audi
>Hi fellow audifans:

Rear right passanger window is smashed to pieces. They must have 
>tried to break the front passanger lock, because oh boy, it's messed up. 
>The keyhole is gone, 1/2 of the door handle is gone, and there is a 1 inch 
>gap between the window and the door plate itself.
>The only thing they took is the Panasonic CD Player/radio that I have on 
>the dash (comes with the car when I bought it). The sad thing is, that 
>thing doesn't even work. The CD player skips every 5 seconds, and some of 
>the buttons are broken. I really have no idea why they decided to pick my 
>car. There's a brand new Mazda Millenia parked in front of me, and a white 
>Alero behind me. Amazing. And of course, I don't have comprehensive 
>coverage on my insurance.
>Now, does anyone have any idea how much it is approximately to replace that 
>rear window? Parts and labor. How about the locks?
>The locks still works if I operate it from the driver's side, but the front 
>passanger side is totally dead. I can't even open that door from outside. I 
>appreciate any information you can give. Thanks.

Someday I will take a dead CD player and fill it up completely with C4, and
let someone steal it . . .

Best way to handle this is find yourself a you-pull-it junkyard and buy the
parts from them. At Audi parts prices, you will come close to totaling the
car! This happened to me a few years ago, and the insurance company wrote
me a check for just under $2,000 on a car I originally paid all of $400 for.

Rear window glass is well over $200 from Audi, costs $25 at a junkyard.
About an hour to put in yourself, the very first time. Another advantage of
a you-pull-it junkyard is you get to take the old one out, so you have some
idea how it comes apart, and you don't have to be terribly worried about
breaking anything on the junkyard car.

Use a shop vac to get all the bits of glass out - they have lots of very
sharp edges, and you'll be finding glass crumbs in the car for years.

I have no idea how much damage was done in the front door, but you might
want to think about buying a complete RF door, same you-pull-it yard, which
you can often buy for $40 or $50 for the whole thing. Think seriously about
having it painted to match the car and changing it complete - if the
interior metal brackets, etc, in your door are damaged, it may be cheaper
to have the replacement door painted! (Or you could get lucky and find one
the same color as your car - I got a flawless trunk lid that way, for $25.)

And in the future: NEVER leave anything even remotely worth stealing, or
better yet, NEVER leave ANYTHING AT ALL visible in your car, no cameras, no
briefcases, not even a sweater, and especially if it is parked somewhere
that it is obvious the owner is far away and won't be back for a long time
- parking lots, malls, movie theaters, etc. All the dirtball has to do to
get a nice camera is break ONE window, which costs FAR more than the camera
costs - CD players are especially bad for this - they scream STEAL ME - and
unfortunately, some people listen. (Essentially, they picked your car
because it was an easy target with a visible reward: Break one window, get
a CD player! They will discover later that it doesn't work, but your window
will still be broken.)

When you get a replacement CD player, make sure you get one with a
removable faceplate, and make SURE that you take it with you EVERY time!!!

Also, get an alarm of some sort, and make it obvious to the casual  (or
malevolent) onlooker that the car has an alarm and it is ON. The flashing
red LED on the dash sends the message loud and clear, and that message is
"Go bust into someone else's car - this one will get you put in jail!" One
problem is that current sensing alarms are frequently triggered by the
radiator after-run fan, which can switch on after the car has been parked
and locked.

Finally, check the prices for comprehensive insurance. With my insurance
company (Hartford, through AARP), comprehensive is about $50 a year ($200
deductable), and when I wanted to raise the total-loss value of the car to
$3500 from their stated $2200, it cost me a whopping $3 a year more. In
Florida, BTW, glass breakage has a zero deductable, but YMMV.

If they ever catch the guy (fat chance, but sometimes it DOES happen), be
sure to press charges.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman

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