Damaged Jazz

Around Manchester, my survey concludes that the Honda Jazz is driven by either mostly female old age pensioners, or Asian men and woman. It is a good car and has proven reliability as well as being one of the least depreciating cars on the market.

After four Fiat Puntos’ worth of toil, the Honda has proven a refreshing change. I did my research as usual by confirming mileages¬†although was braced for other damage apart from the driver’s door as¬†it was described as having “all around damage” that¬†transpired to only be a scuffed front bumper with a missing towing eye cover and the usual age-related scratches. The former keeper who had only bought the Jazz in August 2016 (a sales invoice within stated that it had been sold for ¬£2745) damaged or had the driver’s door dented so it was declared a category D total loss. Thankfully,¬†a wallet contained a wad of documentation including MOT certificates, receipts and most importantly, a fully stamped service book remained in the glovebox. I paid ¬£870 with all auction costs.

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Assuming that your purchased car is a good one, I’ve found that the other issues are logistical i.e. transporting the car back. Fresh from a Christmas and New Year’s break, I drove the Jazz back to Manchester. It was better than I had expected; the door card and fixings had been stripped by the insurance assessor with all bolts and screws left in the car although I had to use the outside door handle to open – from the inside. Logistical, I say as I drove directly to my local Honda dealership as my newly-acquired car was due airbag inflator recalls at no extra cost as well as a so-called ‘health check’. Furthermore, I was able to¬†loan a new Jazz automatic¬†to collect my own car with another driver. The euphemistically-named health check revealed nothing serious; fluid advisories with split wiper blades verified by a film attachment sent by e-mail – how things have changed but for the better. I had hoped that Honda, Stretford would have cleaned the car but I did well besides. Their service was courteous although when setting off in the recalled Jazz, an ominous red airbag light refused to go out – it got sorted with a dirty connection being the alleged cause.

 

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A clean within was done then to find a replacement¬†door. Phoning about gave some possibilities although in a different shade to sirius blue on our Jazz. A final call to one of the largest car dismantlers in Europe proved fruitful with a text stating that they had a door in light blue although it was in Doncaster two hours due east. Motorhog have dismantling depots around the country with an indication of the size of Motorhog’s Doncaster depot that you are transported by an electric buggy around the site to view the part. With light fading, the door appeared to be in a slightly different shade and had some small dimples. Eventually, workers removed the door and it was brought in but that shade still looked different even under torchlight. From a ¬£85 with VAT quoted price, I was able to pay ¬£70 on account of the ‘different’ colour shade, minor damage with haggling and the man who took me to the scrapped vehicle even found a towing eye cover that I had missing off my car.

Finding parts requires resilience and determination as there is always one somewhere but do try to get the right colour that will save ¬£150, the average cost of paint per panel. Next day, I viewed my newly-acquired door in daylight and happily; it looked like the right shade despite my confusion the previous evening. Using a jack to support the bottom part of the door, it’s a simple process to remove but the wiring loom needed to be disconnected first as our donor door had a loom for four electric windows in contrast to my car had only had two. Eventually, the new door was bolted on but be careful¬†with the electric mirror wiring that should be tucked besides the window channel otherwise the retracted window will press down on that wire. One problem though, that door handle looks difficult to remove with a diagram found on the internet flummoxing me further – as you can see everything is done apart from that handle!

 

Words and photos are copyright of Sotiris Vassiliou

January 2017