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I've got some tricks on some vehicles, mostly electronics, so I'll put them here.


I have my favorite "stuff", collected over the years, but invariably products and formulas change.

Rubber trim & plastic

Probably the most common need is rubber trim and plastic. The sun makes them gray and brittle.

My first experience was Armorall, in the 60's. At that time rubber was not forumulated to resist smog, and boy did we have it in southern California. Tire sidewalls checked and cracked early on. If you had an English car, you could almost watch door seals and trim decompose before your eyes (The UK did not forumulate for smog). Ordering new rubber was often fruitless, as parts could take 6 months to get to the states, and by that time it had likewise decomposed.

So, here is this stuff called Armorall, and the rubber stayed black and pliable, MAGIC! Over the years it was found these compounds had plasticizer in them, which helped. Also putting UV protection into it made a large difference.

Along came more varieties, but some were aimed at making up for the time you did not take care. These worked almost instantly, BUT they had strong solvents to remove the oxidized outer layer. You could tell this "trick" by the fact that no matter how "clean" your rubber, your application cloth always comes back black (hint: always use a white towel/T shirt cloth). Eventually the application of solvents will eat up rubber and plastic trim.

My first experience with a treatment that only "attacked" the oxidized rubber or plastic was "Black Chrome" by Turtle Wax. Initial applications would render your cloth black, but after a few applications (fewer on new rubber), your cloth came back clean, i.e. not removing "good" material.

So, this is my #1 criteria for rubber and plastic dressing.

I've been using Adams Polishes recently, and they have sever rubber/plastic dressings:

  • All purpose exterior dressing
  • VRT tire and trim dressing
  • Leather and interior dressing

Each is a little different, but they all "self limit" and give you a great result.



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