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  1. #1

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    Default Need opinions on something car-related..

    My wife is shopping for a new car and she's looking at the new 2014 Impalas... I don't want to get into a discussion about how GM sucks or whether that's a good car for the money or what-not, because she's done her shopping and driving and comparing and is pretty sure that's the car she wants. It's her car, so I'm mostly going to stay out of the deal, HOWEVER.. I'm the car-care freak in the family and I'll be the one taking care of it. Here's my question: For 2014, nearly all GM vehicles- except for really low-end vehicles- use what they call "composite wheel house liners". It's the material in the inner fender areas, where you would normally find smooth black plastic. This material is not "carpet", but it's "carpet-like"... kind of a cross between carpet and the material you might find lining the trunk. It's some sort of nylon, according to the car salesman I was talking to this afternoon. He says that the material is for noise reduction and some weight reduction. It's black and looks nice,.. right now. My parents and my in-laws both live on dirt roads, so I drive on a dirt road, probably at least every other day. As much as I dislike that fact, it's not going to change. I'm concerned that once that material gets muddy, brown, dirty, that it'll be near impossible to get it black again. And I'm concerned about how that's going to look. Again, they're putting this on everything, including trucks/SUV's.. They must think it's going to hold up reasonably well.

    With the old black plastic, a little silicone-based protectant rubbed on there when I'd clean up the car, turned them a nice dark black color again, and made the mud and dirt tend to slide right off.

    What do you think? I'd kind of hate for something like that to end up being a deal-breaker. Anyone have first-hand experience with it? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I would think GM has done extensive real world research on the matter! I think it will be fine!
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  3. #3

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    I'm thinking a bit of soap, a bit of pressure washer and it'll clean up nice...

    "Composite wheel well liners" is marketing BS for "Plastic crap in the wheel wells"
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbrowser View Post
    "Composite wheel well liners" is marketing BS for "Plastic crap in the wheel wells"
    Lol! Yes, but it's now fuzzy plastic crap in the wheel wells.

    I may give it shot- I guess worst case, it could be replaced relatively easily, should it get too grimy-looking over time. It's flexible, so it'd be easier than replacing the hard plastic stuff. No idea what it might cost though.. Heck, I guess if it's plastic I could spray it down with armour all or something anyway, and it might have about the same effect as on the older material. Thanks for the replies!

  5. #5

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    My wifes Volvo XC90 has what looks like carpet in the wheel wells too. It cleans up fine and doesnt look dingy. If any thing I think it has lightned up to more of a grey color than black. It doesnt show dirt or mud unless its physically stuck to it but that isnt any different than smooth plastic.
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  6. #6

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    It's for noise reduction. Think cheap expanded carbon fiber.... that's how I look at it. It does get dirty as hell and requires a pressure washer with soap to get out. It's almost like the recycled egg carton material...but plastic.
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    If they bother you that bad being dirty. Take them out. Clean them and hang em on the wall for acoustic treatments.
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    Honestly, with they new body style and large wheel sizes, you really don't see inside the wheel well much at all.

    Just look at the photos. I think you are worrying about it a little too much.

    BTW, the Impala is now a Car and Driver Top 10 for this year.

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    Consumer Reports also raves about the new Impala. They gave it their highest rating ever for a car in that class. Wonder how it'll hold up over the long haul?
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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    Consumer Reports also raves about the new Impala. They gave it their highest rating ever for a car in that class. Wonder how it'll hold up over the long haul?
    Give me one for 6 months...I'll rack up 50,000Km and let ya know ? lol
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  11. #11

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    Toyota has had this "carpet' in the wheel wells for years. I just hose it of with a regular garden hose, rinses clean without any effort. I like it better than the plastic liners, and it's much quieter in the rain.

  12. #12

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    My Bimmer has it both inside and outside the fender wells (engine bay). It cleans up with little more than some medium pressure water spray.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    BTW, the Impala is now a Car and Driver Top 10 for this year.
    The Chevrolet Vega won several Car of the Year awards and took Best Economy Sedan from Car And Driver from 1971-73.

    "the Vega eventually developed a reputation as one of the most unsafe and unreliable cars ever. The experiment to create an exciting but affordable car led to cost-cutting and cheap measures. DeLorean later claimed he was pushed to over-promote the Vega beyond its ability."

    http://www.automedia.com/Blog/post/C...stery-Car.aspx

    Lucky for me, my first new car was a 1970 MG Midget. When my roommate asked my why I was selling it, my response: "Because it's running."

    Good Luck with the Impala!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4xoddic View Post
    The Chevrolet Vega won several Car of the Year awards and took Best Economy Sedan from Car And Driver from 1971-73.

    "the Vega eventually developed a reputation as one of the most unsafe and unreliable cars ever. The experiment to create an exciting but affordable car led to cost-cutting and cheap measures. DeLorean later claimed he was pushed to over-promote the Vega beyond its ability."

    http://www.automedia.com/Blog/post/C...stery-Car.aspx

    Lucky for me, my first new car was a 1970 MG Midget. When my roommate asked my why I was selling it, my response: "Because it's running."

    Good Luck with the Impala!
    I'd bet that almost all the cars from that era that fit into the 'economy' category were almost equally bad. That problem didn't go away for years. Citation? Chevette, Pinto? Gremlin? Hondas from the 70s were bad too. I think VW was the only one who knew how to do it at that time.
    Last edited by billbillw; 12-18-2013 at 01:37 PM.

  16. #16

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    I'll be trading in an '07 Impala SS that's been a fine car overall- I just think it's about time to trade it while I can still get decent money out of it. The old Impala bodystyle now looks more like an "old lady" car than it did to me a couple of years ago, but the V8 SS has a bit more of an aggressive stance that still sets it apart. It'll surprise older Camaros and Mustangs at stoplights and is averaging 22 mpg in mostly stop-and-go driving. Plus I'm paying only $191/six months for full coverage insurance. Hard to beat that. Why am I trading, again? It has always eaten tires, despite being aligned multiple times.... and the handling is what you would expect from a big front wheel drive car with a V8 sitting sideways in the nose. I have to keep reminding myself of its faults, because I'm actually rather attached to it.

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    I would just get rubber floor mats in whatever you buy. FYI, I like the Buicks a tick better. (still GM)
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  18. #18

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    Although, I drive a Toyota and work at Ford, GM is still a favorite. Just sold my Caprice wagon to get one that I can just drive and not work on for now. A Yaris. Pretty bullet proof engine wise, should go 300k without leaking oil. The GM's, they leak oil at 100k. What I have seen though, if well maintained, leaks do not form as quickly. Good luck in your quest.
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