My car had a minor altercation with a post in a car-park which resulted in the sill trim falling off.
There was also a minor dent in each door plus paint damage.
It didn’t seem worthwhile getting a full bodyshop repair done – the repair would cost more than the car is worth and there are a few other scratches in the paint anyway. But the plastic bit needed to go back on – otherwise the car just looks horrible.
First step was figure just how to refix it. The trim is held on with plastic clips and these were (mostly) still in the car body panels. Some had been left in the car-park so more were going to be needed. On first glance it looks impossible to put it back on as the clips need to slide into the plastic sill in different directions, but eventually I figured out that if you take the clips out of the car and put them into the sill it becomes easy – the side is tapped into position first, then the bottom clips swing up into the bottom of the metal sill.
Next I had to have a good think about whether it would be safe. The plastic sill is large and heavy – if it fell off at high speed it would be dangerous. I therefore decided to replace all the clips regardless of whether they needed replacement or not.
I phoned Mazda parts and discovered that the clips were £5 – £6 each. Ouch. Ordered them anyway, but they delivered the wrong ones. This gave me a chance to get the part numbers and find them on the Internet where they were around £3 for a packet of 10. If you need the information the part numbers for my car (2010 Mazda 6) are:
Side clips: G18K-51-SJ3
Bottom clips: BP4L51SJ3
I bought them from VehicleClips – good service and the clips look very good indeed.
Getting the old clips out is an art. I found a pair of children’s scissors that were flat enough to fit between the clip and the metal panel; I could then squeeze the clip enough to get it out without damaging anything.
Once all the clips were out I could fit the new clips to the plastic sill and bang it into place. This is quick and easy once you’ve got it set up.
To make the metal bits look better I washed down with car shampoo followed by car wax. This filled in the surface scratches making the damage much less visible. Overall you can still see some scuffs, with minor dents visible if you look for them, but it is now OK and a coat of winter grime will hide it all.