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11 - So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Front view.

In Chapter 9, Catfished by a Car Dealer, I ramble on about the lively exchange I had with one of the random managers at the dealer and the finance manager. They were aggressively condescending about how easy it would be to repair the windshield, so easy a caveman could do it. The finance manager was even nice enough to show me how to use the internet to find a windshield repair place. After a 400-mile trip home and a couple days of driving around town, I was already tired of looking directly through the chips in the windshield. I decided to get this problem solved ASAP. I started rummaging around Yelp and contacted a half dozen places before finding a guy who had the time to come out that same week. I scheduled an appointment and patiently waited 4 days for him to come out and fix that irritating little chip in my windshield.

I took off work early and rushed home to be home in time for the repairman. I cleaned the window and pulled the car into the driveway to be all set for him when he arrived. I’ve seen guys do this before. It’s an easy repair. They just do some prep work to the window, then use an epoxy to fill the chip/crack, then do a little polishing and cleaning, and the windshield usually looks as good as new. I had expected the same song and dance and a modest bill of a couple hundred bucks for his time and expertise.

About 10 minutes before he showed up, I got a text message saying he was on the way and would be there shortly. So I headed out to the driveway, cleaned up spots on the car, and enjoyed my new acquisition from all angles. Finally, the repairman showed up and parked at the end of the driveway, about 20 feet from the vehicle. I waved to him, said hi, and he did the same as he walked up the driveway. But then, he slowed down and stopped. Halfway up the driveway, he could see the car from the side and the spot on the windshield, good eye.

Let ‘Em Down Easy

He called out again as he slowly resumed walking and said, sorry, man, I can’t fix that. I responded, what do you mean, it’s just a chip? He had this disappointed and angry look on his face. I thought he was upset with me for a minute. He immediately asked, did you buy this from a dealer? I said yes, I just picked it up last week. In a very exasperated tone, he followed up, F*in' car dealers man, they do this all the time to people- I mean all the time. I asked, do what? It’s just a chip, right? He said that’s what they told you isn’t it? I said, yeah, there was actually a big drawn-out discussion. They were super condescending and said it’s just a chip. It will be easy to fix. I told him I responded to them and said, I just want to make sure it’s nothing more, so let’s get it fixed now. If I need a new windshield, we can discuss it now. But they guaranteed me it was just a chip and an easy fix.

He was very empathetic and said, sorry, man, I see this a lot. This is a repaired crack, not a chip. I can’t fix this. I hate to tell you this, but you’ll have to get this replaced by Tesla because of the Autopilot, and it will cost around $2,000. I asked him if he could just fill it with epoxy or something to look better at least, and he said he could, but it wouldn’t work, and it may make it look worse. I briefly recounted my exchange at the dealer again, with more details. He seemed really disappointed and told me they knew it was cracked and didn’t want to fix it. That’s why they fought you so much over it. They see cracked windshields all the time. They know what a cracked repair looks like. I asked him again if there was anything else he could do, and he said no, sorry. I thanked him very much for his time and appreciated his candor. Then, he took off and went to break similar news to another unsuspecting used car buyer.


In hindsight, it all kind of made sense and really made me wonder what went on between the inspector I paid $143 and the car dealer. All that stuff I called out in chapter 10 was really obvious: weird lines on the interior, a horrendous whine from the AC, a funky smell from the AC, trim sticking out, chips in the window, software issues. I was in the car for less than 5 minutes, and all those issues were super obvious…but didn’t show up on the inspection report, nor were they mentioned in the conversation with the inspector. Also, none of those issues were mentioned by the dealer at all. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist, but it sure looks a lot like I got swindled, and the inspector I paid was complicit in the sham.

At the end of the day, I still got a great deal. There was nothing truly wrong with the car other than the chip in the windshield. The software was an easy fix. The issues with the interior were incidental, the funky smell went away when I changed the cabin filter, and the AC whine went away after a week, all on its own. But, from the dealer’s perspective, they probably showed this car to a dozen people over a couple months, and those prospective buyers saw the same things I did and passed on the car. So now it made sense why the sales manager accepted my first lowball offer on the phone. He was probably tired of trying to dump this car on a sucker and probably got chewed out by his boss for buying a lemon on trade-in. What really stirs the imagination is… what kind of shady, trench coat wearing, underground parking structure deal transpired between the inspector and the sales manager.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Front view.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Front view.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Front view zoomed in.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Chips in front windshield.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Chips in front windshield.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Chips in front windshield.

Red 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. Chips in front windshield.


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1 комментарий

Andrew Hunter
Andrew Hunter
27 окт. 2023 г.

I had a small crack in my windshield, and I was concerned it would get worse. I contacted RV Glass Repair company for a repair, and they did a fantastic job. The technician was punctual, and the repair was completed in no time.

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