[Vwdiesel] Plastic VW parts-what falls apart?

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Mon May 14 00:32:46 EDT 2007

Well, where I live, where barely 1 million people inhabit a province, 
window rubbers last the life of the car plus.
I still have pristine window rubbers I took off my wrecked 82 Jetta.

Visiting the snowbird in-laws in Phoenix I was astounded at seeing these 
coveted "Arizona Cars" that everyone gets wood over are in reality ozone 
eaten, oxidized, bleached, baked, sand blasted, cars that merely by 
desert circumstance happen to be rust free.  I wondered why all these 
people had old shag carpet on their dashboards... some kind of flower 
power convention?  No, to keep the wonderful sun from killing off the 
dash in two years from UV.
I drove a 240 123 benz home once from PHX for the father in law, it was 
an adventure.  Sun baked window rubber and door gasket-less rust-free 
chicken coop in need of five grand worth of paint, and every rubber, 
wood, and plastic part on the car. Hitting the cold weather states was a 
treat, as the pleasant breeze that circulated through the car became a 
freezing winter gale.
Here, it was purchased by a local benz affinn.. afino... err..  freak 
with a rusty 123 you couldn't lock a cat in who planned to swap over all 
the climate related consumables.  And, yeah, adventure was had, but I 
trailer stuff from now on.

S. Shourds wrote:
> dieseltdi at verizon.net wrote:
>> OZONE,  OZONE, OZONE!!!! One of the biggest culprits in the break  
>> down of plastics and rubber parts is ozone.  This is especially true  
>> if you live in a large urban area like I do.  I have installed rubber  
>> parts, like boots, caps etc and seen them basically destroyed in a  
>> matter of years.  Heat plays a big roll also.  As the plastic parts  
>> are repeatedly heated and cooled over thousands if not millions of  
>> cycles, the bonds between atoms break down and eventually the plastic  
>> comes apart.  Newer plastics last much longer because they have  
>> different chemical bonding agents and  other things to keep them from  
>> aging as fast.  Hayden
> Maybe heat and ozone of living amongs 6 million people in Texas would 
> explain it, but on my TDI, the interior is generally degrading.  The 
> armrest and the door and overhead light switches have failures in the 
> plastic parts as well.  Rear ashtray and cupholder as well.  Not that I 
> use either, but broken parts make the car look tacky. 
> I have the same problem as Mark with the window sill seals.  On the '85 
> Jetta, they are so shrunken that when I tested a door liner seal job one 
> time by running a hose against the window, I got 9" of water standing in 
> the doors.  Not much can stand up to that.  And, near as I can tell, 
> those aren't particularly available parts.  It'd be nice if they were a 
> standard part that could be ordered by the foot.  I wonder if Citroën 
> seals would fit....
> -Shalyn
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