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Old 01-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #1
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Question Scratched Steering Wheel (Pic included) - Repair Suggestions?

Hello Fellow RX8 owners and fans!

-- Introduction --

(Feel free to skip! Haha.)

I'm completely new to the board here - though I've been a reader for a few weeks now. I'm actually a new and extremely happy rookie owner of an RX8 I purchased used - 05, Touring, AT stick, with only 7500 miles on it. (For those who were interested.)

The car is in amazing condition - I've gone from purchased 'get me by for now' car to the next and struggled for a time to finally land myself with this amazing car. I couldn't be more happy to have it and I look forward to driving it for years to come.

-- Steering Wheel Damage Information --

Well - Having said all that, I was in a lot of pain after only having the car a couple of weeks now and managing to hurt the steering wheel's vinyl cover by complete accident.

Here's the quick story on that. I bought a cheap pocket knife for use at work and started carrying it on my right side front pocket. Unknowingly I got in and out of the car a few times before I noticed what I had done. The pocket clip had raked itself across the bottom of the steering wheel causing a series of small scrape/gashes. A terrible mistake. It's a bit heart wrenching given the cars condition is basically pristine and I'm being as careful as I can to keep it that way. I never expected something like this would happen. Didn't even cross my mind when I dropped the knife clip on my jeans. (Still beating myself up over it... Haha.)

I believe the cover material is only vinyl, but I could be mistaken. Though, my RX8 doesn't have the leather option on it. (Nor do I know if there is a leather covered steering wheel option available, either. So forgive my ignorance, if I'm mistaken.)

-- Repair Advice/Question Request --

Are most dealers equipped to repair such a surface scratch? (Vinyl or otherwise?) Should I consider just checking with an Auto Body shop and ask them if they can repair vinyl, instead? I'm honestly afraid to take on such a task on my own unless there is an easy fix I can do on my own - I would be very thankful for such information as well.

Here is a quick cell phone camera picture I took to help show the damage:

Click the image to open in full size.

(Sorry the quality isn't all that great, but hopefully it helps a bit.)


Thanks a ton for any information in advance!

-Niric
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:37 PM   #2
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You can always get a steering wheel cover..
my .02cents
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
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Well, I've spotted some cheap 'vinyl repair kits' on store shelfs. They look basically like a paint set with several colors. I assume maybe it would more or less fill in the uneven areas with enough work. Still yes - The access hack marks sticking out would be a problem. I wondered if it was possible to sand them down and fill them.

Though - as far as looks go I did luck out a bit. The scratch is actually on the very bottom center of the steering wheel - so visually it's not easy to spot unless you were looking for it and the car is actually being driven to expose the bottom of the wheel with a full rotation.

The worst part is the feel. I was actually admiring the feel of the steering wheel the day before it happened. (Still getting used to the car. Haha.) So the rough scratchy hacked out nicks are really awful to the touch.

Also - I'm worried I could make the marks worse by just rubbing over them and causing more damage over time.

If I can get it repaired and the look bothers me too much, I could consider at least a steering wheel cover (Of decent taste of course!) to keep from doing any further harm to it.

Thanks again for the info! Please if anyone else has anything to add, please do!

-Niric
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:33 PM   #4
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FYI: Had this happen to my other 8. If you dont put something on the wheel to keep is slick your pants will get it and rip it just like that.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:39 PM   #5
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Did you ever get your's looked at or repaired, DOMINION? If so - where at? Auto body shop? Dealer?

I've been doing some net research and it sounds very possible to repair. Still - it sound like it may require filling, re- sanding, and touch up paint work. If thats the only option, I'd best leave it that to a professional. I have no experience in this area.

-Niric
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:27 AM   #6
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I just got a reassuring private message (Thanks for that, if you're reading this!) related to my topic here that leads me to believe the steering wheel is actually designed well for replacement. I found a few images of the replacement part and it looks like the center airbag is simply inserted into the middle while the shift paddles & buttons, cruse control, and radio control buttons are the parts that will also be included in the replacement. After reviewing ebay as recommended - I found a new replacement on sale for only $150. Which sounds pretty reasonable from what I was expecting.

I'll have to check with the dealer ship to see what they would charge to replace it, labor included.

Thank you for the posts everyone! Please keep them coming!

I'll report the information from the dealer once I get a chance to call them tomorrow.

-Niric
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Last edited by Niric; 01-17-2008 at 12:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niric View Post
Did you ever get your's looked at or repaired, DOMINION? If so - where at? Auto body shop? Dealer?

I've been doing some net research and it sounds very possible to repair. Still - it sound like it may require filling, re- sanding, and touch up paint work. If thats the only option, I'd best leave it that to a professional. I have no experience in this area.

-Niric
Something like that cant be repainted or repaired. Just replaced.
-Gil
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #8
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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Ahh - I see.

We'll I'll see how much it would set me back to have one installed then, and I'll report back in with prices. I assume the dealer would probably charge much more for the parts then the $150 I saw on eBay.

I was also only able to find a couple 04' wheels, but no 05's. They were also leather. I guess I'm wondering now if the wheel comes in leather and vinyl both. Do you all happen to know?

Also would the year of the steering wheel would mean anything? Would I want to make sure I get a hold of an 05' wheel?

Think a steering wheel replacement, if done by myself, would be dangerous or void any warranties I have?

-Niric
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:10 AM   #10
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Nice AT. Get some clear corners springs and wheels man
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:34 AM   #11
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Nice AT. Get some clear corners springs and wheels man
I definitely want to get some wheels for it. But to be honest, I've not even made my first payment on the beast yet. Haha. (Part of the reason I'm beating myself up so much about the steering wheel damage) A good excuse to put some of my Tax return aside for some shiny new rims though, huh?

I really wish it had the fog lamps and auto dimming mirror options on it as well. That seems to be the only two things I feel the car is missing.

These clear corners springs, you're talking about - Are they lowering springs? Sorry - I have no idea. I'm completely new to modding any car, actually. (Don't make to much fun of me, haha.)

-Niric
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:12 AM   #12
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sorry to hear about the scratches.

but- yah. i think you're only 2 options are to either get the wheel replaced or to just live with it. $150 sounds like an awesome deal on the wheel tho. if the dealer will replace it for under $100 labor then i would just spend the $250 and have them replace it.

in comparison, if this was a new bmw still under factory warranty, the bmw dealer would probably just replace it and charge bmw for it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:51 AM   #13
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Like you said , its on the bottom of the stering wheel so you wont see it and eventually you'll forget . You'll also will get use to the feel. The only reason your so upset is because you just got the car and I can understand that . [ I went thru it to. ] In a month's time you won't remember ......Save the money for some wheels , you need them .........
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:42 AM   #14
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I'd have to go with those suggesting replacement, assuming you can afford it. If you're like me - and scratches make you nuts, think of the $150 as really cheap therapy. I know it's "just a little scratch" and logically doesn't matter, but if you're like me, it does.

Replacing scratched parts is my vice. Some people drink, some gamble, some cheat on their wives - I stupidly waste money replacing scratched parts.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:06 AM   #15
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It's black leather. Try shoe polish.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I'd have to go with those suggesting replacement, assuming you can afford it. If you're like me - and scratches make you nuts, think of the $150 as really cheap therapy. I know it's "just a little scratch" and logically doesn't matter, but if you're like me, it does.

Replacing scratched parts is my vice. Some people drink, some gamble, some cheat on their wives - I stupidly waste money replacing scratched parts.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #17
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Agree with architect, all the wheels are leather covered. You could get a leather wheel cover for around $50 to go over it but the wheel will feel thicker. Otherwise, try the shoe polish to make it less noticable (probably a liquid shoe dye would work best), most expensive move replace the wheel but it will set you back a bit on money that could go into other nice goodies for your 8.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #18
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http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...wheel+cover.do
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:41 PM
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