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Discussion Starter #1
I am leasing my Smart and this may seem like a stupid question. ( And it probably is ) but what modifications can I do that can quickly and easily be "undone" before returning it at the end of the lease?

I'm assuming modifying a leased auto and returning it with modifications would be frowned upon by the dealership.

I read that "plastic dipping" certain components can simply be pealed off and that is what brought this question to mind. I suppose changing the wheels and then putting the original ones back on would be another possibility.

I plan on returning the vehicle in 2017 and leasing another one so any investment in parts might not be a total loss.
 

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... what modifications can I do that can quickly and easily be "undone" before returning it at the end of the lease?
I'm a new lessee too. Here are the "undoable" things I have done or thinking of doing.

  • Changed dome light and license plate lights to LED.
  • Added footwell lights.
  • Added cargo area lights.
  • Integrated a Parrot bluetooth module with the standard radio.
  • Currently working on adding DRL, but for this I went ahead and bought a DRL version of front grille for $75 from MB so I don't have to cut / drill the grille that came with the car.
  • Considering adding some vinyl accents. They can be peeled off any time.
  • Waiting for these metal pedals to arrive. Although they require drilling screws in, I don't think they will be noticeable as you can cover the holes with the standard rubber boot.
  • Thinking about adding these scuff plates.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I'm a new lessee too. Here are the "undoable" things I have done or thinking of doing.

  • Changed dome light and license plate lights to LED.
  • Added footwell lights.
  • Added cargo area lights.
  • Integrated a Parrot bluetooth module with the standard radio.
  • Currently working on adding DRL, but for this I went ahead and bought a DRL version of front grille for $75 from MB so I don't have to cut / drill the grille that came with the car.
  • Considering adding some vinyl accents. They can be peeled off any time.
  • Waiting for these metal pedals to arrive. Although they require drilling screws in, I don't think they will be noticeable as you can cover the holes with the standard rubber boot.
  • Thinking about adding these scuff plates.
Thanks EDSanka Those are some great suggestions :wink: I like the metal pedals and the scuff plates. Actually already orderd the LED domelights from SmartMadness but they are on backorder. Like the Parrot bluetooth module too. What is DRL? ( Never mind, found out, it's Daytime Running Lights ).
 

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DrKillerBee
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Pod rings and speedo surround in different color or carbon fiber pattern can be added and replaced with original when turned in. Boesch Built paddle shifters make the car more fun but you need to keep the original small paddles to put back on later instead of getting the credit for sending them in to Matt. Pedal covers, floor mats, (metal or carpet) emergency brake handle and leather or vinyl cover, and floor mounted phone holder can be added now and removed later in the interior as well.
On the outside you can switch out the antenna, add a license plate frame with circular custom badges, add front license plate holder which goes in the tow port, tow ring that goes in the same tow port, headlight eyebrows, and all kind of vinyl stripes or graphics. These can be added and removed before turning in. You can buy two extra rear wheels and tires and replace the front wheels and tires to make your smart drive and handle better and put the original front wheels back on at turn in time.
Have fun making it your own if only for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Why would you modify a car that does not belong to you.
That's a very good question and I can only reply by saying that when I look @ the modifications others have done I feel a very strong compulsion to do the same. Doing so gives it a sort of personality of it's own as opposed to the generic "off the lot" look.

And seeing as technically the vehicle does not really belong to me I was seeking ( As the subject of the thread implies) "Temporary Modifications" that can easily undone for when I return it to the dealership.

And as I stated in the original post, since I fully intend to lease another one in 3 years it wouldn't be a total loss as I could possibly reapply those modifications should the vehicle not change too much by the time the 2017 models are out.

There have been some very good suggestions in this thread. Whether or not I take the initiative to make any of them depends on cost and difficulty to remove them to return the vehicle to it's original state. If by the time the 2017s' come out the parts are no longer able to be used I would simply sell them on eBay. I have no intention of making any "Big" modifications, just small ones to give it a bit of character.

And more than anything else, I was just curious as to what responses I would get to the question itself.

One thing for sure, those plastic hub caps leave a lot to be desired, so if nothing else, I may replace them, hold on to them and put them back on when I return the vehicle.

Hope that answers your question. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pod rings and speedo surround in different color or carbon fiber pattern can be added and replaced with original when turned in. Boesch Built paddle shifters make the car more fun but you need to keep the original small paddles to put back on later instead of getting the credit for sending them in to Matt. Pedal covers, floor mats, (metal or carpet) emergency brake handle and leather or vinyl cover, and floor mounted phone holder can be added now and removed later in the interior as well.
On the outside you can switch out the antenna, add a license plate frame with circular custom badges, add front license plate holder which goes in the tow port, tow ring that goes in the same tow port, headlight eyebrows, and all kind of vinyl stripes or graphics. These can be added and removed before turning in. You can buy two extra rear wheels and tires and replace the front wheels and tires to make your smart drive and handle better and put the original front wheels back on at turn in time.
Have fun making it your own if only for a while.
Some very good suggestions, thanks :wink:
 

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I'd check with your lease company, but mine (Mercedes Benz Financial Services) said that mods were okay as long as they met a certain criteria:

A. They were returned to stock at lease end.

B. They didn't dramatically impair the car's performance, and I accept that any mods left on the vehicle would become property of MBFS.

C. I purchase the vehicle lease-end.

Of course, my gameplan from day 1 was "C" so I took the chance.

If you plan on turning in the car in 2016 (for a new lease), I'd skip on more hardcore mods. The next smart you'll end up leasing will be the 453, which won't be compatible with 451 parts.

And yes, when applied correctly, Plasti-Dip just peels right off with little effort. :)
 

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Is the plastidip hard to remove? Does it just peel off or do you need to use solvent or do both?
Plastidip is quite easy to peel off. No solvent needed. Just find an edge or rub/scratch a spot until it tears, and start peeling. An entire set of plastidipped wheels can be peeled in just a few minutes.
 
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