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 Post subject: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2022 3:18 pm 
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Location: alameda,CA
We bought a new Subaru Crosstrek a number of months ago. Its been a great car so far and we really enjoy it. But when we bought it, I said to myself- there sure is a LOT of plastic trim on this thing. The front bumper area, the wheel arches, rear bumper and other areas are all clad in grayish-black unpainted trim. Its there to prevent damage when you're off-roading or loading things in and out of the rear. But from my experience and especially due to the sun here I know it will fade and start to look like crap in 8-10 years. And from my experience, none of the products sold to rejuvenate plastic really works. Because there is no way you can put back in what has outgassed from the plastic. That and it like most modern cars has large, clear plastic headlight lenses which will, as all of the other cars I've owned with them- start to haze over in about the same time period. I suppose manufactures assume most people will have sold or traded in their cars before that starts to happen. But not us. We tend to keep cars till the wheels fall off. I just wish car manufactures would go back to having vehicles with a majority of the body either painted or use metal trim that doesn't fade or degrade so quickly. That and its annoying when trying to avoid getting wax on the plastic- which is eventually unavoidable.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2022 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 2666
Location: Lafayette, CO
I totally agree. Keep in mind the designers have to keep weight down to almost nothing. My sister's car has an oil dipstick made of plastic. All in the mpg chase....stay tuned as others will speak. Craig


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2022 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Aug Mon 17, 2009 3:11 pm
Posts: 4124
Location: Fort Worth, Texas USA
When the black plastic trim on my wife's 10 year old Escape started looking bad my heat gun brought it back to like new. It still looked good 8 months later when we sold it.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2022 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 7:27 pm
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Location: alameda,CA
I have not heard about the heat gun thing. How hot did you have to get it to work? I might experiment on my 27 year mold Tacoma as some of its plastic bits are very faded.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2022 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Jul Thu 16, 2020 7:44 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Moss Landing CA
When shopping full sized SUVs in about 2015 I looked at a Nissan Armada ~2005 model. The interior was full of cheap looking plastic parts that were crumbling. I passed base on that alone. The plastic seems to be deliberately made to self destruct. Modern cars seem to be even worse. The construction quality looks extremely poor to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 12:22 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
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Location: Redlands CA
Have it painted to match the rest of the paint.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 1:13 am 
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Joined: May Mon 25, 2020 6:37 pm
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Location: Greater Boston, MA
Location: Greater Boston, MA
Look into 303 Aerospace as a UV-blocking protectant for me plastics.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 1:24 am 
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Joined: Feb Mon 21, 2011 3:19 pm
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Location: San Marcos, CA 92069
I use 303 Aerospace Protectant on the black plastic cladding on my wife's 2005 Ford Escape, and it still looks good after 17 years. Granted it is garaged most of the time, but the black still looks good.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 2:31 am 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 6:28 am
Posts: 1242
Location: Moultrie, GA 31768
Not just cars but plastic in general, our camper not that old has plastic parts falling apart, the fender skirts are cracking and falling apart among all the rest inside and outside.
The sun has cooked this camper. Lost money if I tried to sell it.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 2:55 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Location: Mission Viejo, California
The very best thing is to keep the vehicle in your garage. It seems likely the vehicles left outside to deteriorate are worth more than 1,000 times the value of all of the stuff in most garages where vehicles are left outside.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Fri 23, 2022 5:30 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 426
Location: Oakland,MD
If you don't like plastic car parts you don't live where they salt the roads 5 months a year. Cars don't last "8-10 years" . I wish the whole thing was plastic.

(And to anticipate the "wash it more often" response...you would need to wash it every time you drove it)


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Sat 24, 2022 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Jun Wed 08, 2011 1:33 am
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Location: Ohio 45424
Well then it sounds like a Pontiac Fiero might be a bane or a boon depending on your location. My curb to my driveway is rather a dropoff and it scrapes the plastic trim under the bumper to the point that it is fairly well worn. I can get a replacement strip and probably should get one while I can, but save it till some time I can get the driveway issue rectified. When this house was built cars set higher and had metal bumpers.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic trim bits on cars
PostPosted: Sep Sat 24, 2022 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 29, 2020 4:59 pm
Posts: 588
Location: Northeast Illinois
Location: Carol Stream, Illinois 60188
AB wrote:
If you don't like plastic car parts you don't live where they salt the roads 5 months a year. Cars don't last "8-10 years" . I wish the whole thing was plastic.

(And to anticipate the "wash it more often" response...you would need to wash it every time you drove it)


As a prior owner of 2 composite bodied vehicles (Lumina APV and Saturn Vue) and living in the "salt zone" I'd buy another if they still made 'em.

The Lumina had no visible exterior metal body parts (except perhaps the door handles). Even the door jams and pillars had a composite exterior. At 21 years old and 200K mi, it was dent free and still looked like new although it had never been garaged.

- Jim


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