One More Reason Not to Slam the Trunk

More from the "they all do this" dept: Note crack in trim
If you look above the rear license plate on every A124 Cabriolet, you'll see a black plastic piece of trim that runs the width of the car. You'll also notice that it's almost always broken. I used to think this was ultra-violet damage caused by the constant exposure to the sun suffered by a convertible. U-V surely weakens this piece of plastic, but I've since learned that the real culprit is carelessness in the form of slamming the trunk.

Incidentally, the price of carelessness is currently at $228. That's the list price for the rear lid handle (part #1247500193).

Like most examples, my trim was also broken when I purchased my Cabriolet. And since this piece is almost always broken on these cars, I accepted it as something not worth fixing, unlike other items that are typically amiss like missing sun visors, a broken rear view mirror, or worn seats.

Fortunately, the generosity of wisdom in online forums showed me that this piece of trim is easily replaced. (For directions, see the embedded link where an owner uses a pre-facelift piece of trim from a parts car and installs it on his late-model Cabriolet.) In a nutshell, there's a double skin behind the license plate. You remove this lower panel (made of plastic, by the way), then remove the inside liner on the backside of the trunk, then remove the nuts that hold the trim in place. It's simple, slightly tedious, but really, really satisfying to do.

Now comes the hard part—reminding your friends and spouse not to slam the trunk.

(White marks on trim are a reflection. Yes, I gave it a coat of zymol.)