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Panel Gaps - advice needed!

JS1500 Dec 11, 2009

  1. JS1500

    JS1500 Howdy

    Hello all,

    I bought my S3 at the start of October and it has been great so far.
    One annoying niggle I have with it is that the panel gaps around the car aren't uniform. The driver's door has sagged a little and, more obviously, the tailgate doesn't seem to line-up as it should. The front bumper is maybe a little bit out as well.

    I have done a search and found the fix for a saggy door (jack and block o' wood method) which I will try, unless anyone has a better idea?

    The tailgate is worst. I think the car might've had a replacement or work done to it at some point (although no recorded crashes).
    Basically the edge of the boot makes contact with the top of the bumper at the driver's side (has chipped the paint and rust is beginning to form) and is a few mm away from the bumper at the other side. It is noticeable when looking at the spoiler too - one side is a few mm higher than the other and doesn't sit flush with the roof at that side.

    What I would like to know is;
    • Has anyone had a similar problem?
    • What's the root cause... hinges sagging, not aligned properly to begin with?
    • Can an autobody place or 'refinishers' fix this quickly/easily?
    • How much is it likely to cost me?
    I'll get pics of it up when I can if that helps.

    I wondering if it's worth me booking the car in somewhere and having all the offending panel gaps tightened up and the rusty bit on the tailgate treated and painted.
    If it's gonna cost me ££££ i'll probably have to learn to live with it!

    Thanks for any nuggets of advice/help/input.
  2. MURRAYS444

    MURRAYS444 Member

    Hey JS1500 My tailgate has the same problem as yours it kinks out a little on the passengers side just next the s3 emblum and my car has no recorded accident damage. guess with the other problems u have a panel beater/ body shop could take a look at it but most people use a lot of filler these days instead of tapping the panels back!!!

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