Best Way to Restore Exterior Black Plastic Trim

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black car headlight

Why Does Black Trim Fade So Quickly?

As your vehicle ages, your black trim pieces will first begin to dull and then turn gray. This oxidation and sun-bleaching process will begin to dull bumpers, rubber moldings, fender flares, plastic trim pieces, and grilles even in a year or less. They can also be stained by waxing if you use a traditional paste wax rather than a sealant. Sealants can be applied to any surfaces to help prevent fading by blocking the UV-damage and weatherization that takes a toll on highly absorbent black vinyls, rubbers, and plastics. Products that are used to clean and add a glossy shine to vinyl in interiors and exteriors (e.g., Armor All) tend to dry out and fade those materials as the means of forcing you to purchase more of the vinyl dressing. So, what is the best way to restore exterior black plastic trim?

What is the Best Way to Restore Exterior Black Plastic Trim?

There are many polishes and even black dyes on the market that cover your black trim pieces in a coating of deep black. The problem is that the different types of plastic, rubber, and vinyl require something gentler than dye and something more durable than a polish. The sheer number of products on the market makes it a guessing game when it comes to predicting which one will produce results that last years. Even more confusing is trying to figure out how they will affect a variety of surfaces and if they are compatible.

If durability and compatibility are the essential elements of a quality trim restore product, we believe that the best product to restore black trim is Trinova plastic & trim restorer. The Trinova kit is easy to apply with an applicator sponge. It seals and protects any type of plastic, vinyl, or rubber moldings. It provides long-lasting rich color that restores and brings out the original color rather than covering over it with a dye. While a traditional sealant may help to weatherize and protect brand new trim pieces, Trinova has the capacity to restore and protect any trim material that, in our opinion, makes it the best of the best.

How to Clean Black Plastic Trim on Car

Few people know how to clean car plastic exterior trim pieces properly or how to reduce the need for cleaning. Although Trinova may be the best way to restore exterior black plastic trim, there are other methods to clean it and prevent the need for restoration. For example, if you have ever used a clay bar to clean your paint, you know just how rough your paint surfaces really are at a microscopic level. These micropores in the paint are likewise found in the textured vinyl, smooth plastic, and rubber parts. Unfortunately, a clay bar simply won’t work on all these surfaces and other techniques may be needed.

Read more about caring for your black vehicle paint by waxing and polishing

If you have ever smudged paste wax on a vinyl trim piece or rubber molding, you know just how hard it is to get in those pores and pull it out. If you use a chemical to strip the wax, you risk discoloration and absorption of the chemical in its place. Because vinyl, plastics, and rubbers are essentially petroleum-based products at their core, any kind of solvent has the potential to create a chemical reaction that damages them.

If you are smart, you won’t need to clean your black vinyl and plastic trim pieces from wax. If you cover them with masking tape when you are waxing or always hold a clean microfiber towel on the edge to create a small boundary, they will not accumulate all those nasty wax residues. Nevertheless, your trim pieces are the perfect place for particulate matter from pollution and minerals from hard water to accumulate. They are a prime target for road salt to lodge in during the winter months.

The solution to simply cleaning them is probably a quality sealant. A quality sealant, also known as a waterless car wash, can be applied on a freshly washed surface preliminarily. From thereafter, you don’t have to wash it to clean it but simply apply more of the product on a microfiber cloth. These sealants are designed to bond to the surface right into the micropores. They can dislodge and repel the environmental toxins that build up and will help block damaging UV-radiation.

Related: Best wax for black cars

Auto Manufacturers Engineer Trim to Fade

A quality sealant is versatile enough to work on all your plastic, vinyl, and rubber trim pieces. They will not add a high gloss with chemicals but will bring out the natural color and help it retain colorfastness. Of course, many people do not apply these products correctly when they purchase a new vehicle. They may not want to experiment or fix anything until they see a problem. The problem with fading is that it is gradual. It sneaks up on you subtly and only shows when you look back after a few years and realize that your car is already starting to look old.

By this time, you probably have some mechanical problems and bills to pay to keep it going. If you do not like the appearance of your vehicle or feel proud to drive it around, you are more likely to trade it in for a brand-new vehicle. This is one of the motivations for auto manufacturers to load your vehicle with delicate trim pieces that oxidize and suffer fading from the environment relatively quickly. When headlights were made out glass, oxidation was virtually unheard of when you purchased an automobile. The types of materials that manufacturers are using, tend to self-destruct as a gentle nudge to push you into a newer and more attractive ride.

This is no different than providing a dog a treat when he obeys and punishing him when he is not listening. The voice of the major auto manufacturers is commanding us to purchase new vehicles and fill their pockets. It is time to take control of your own destiny by making smart choices on how you maintain and restore your vehicle to eliminate the ticking time bombs placed in your vehicle according to the planned obsolescence agenda of auto manufacturers. It is all-but-certain that auto manufacturers could produce vehicles with materials that would retain their luster forever.

Saturn was one manufacturer that came out with innovative dent-resistant doors that were made out of a special polymer instead of ordinary metal. Classic cars do not suffer from these vexing trim problems because they are made of metal rather than porous and hard-to-maintain plastics. Volkswagen joked in its ads that it does not believe in “planned obsolescence” and that they didn’t have to bother showing a picture of the new Beetle because it still looked the same. This is exactly how the auto manufacturers force purchases. They make vehicles that are perfectly good seem undesirable by adding small styling cues that make former styles look dated. In this case, they engineer vehicles to look bad with trim pieces that age prematurely and that are difficult to maintain.

In Closing

There are many steps being taken to maintain vehicles, nowadays, that weren’t being used before. People are even putting hard paste waxes on top of sealants and relying on a variety of specialized products to protect their finishes. Washing your vehicle and simply adding a hard wax is for amateurs. The number of processes involved in keeping your vehicle looking like new for years is far more necessary in today’s built-to-implode vehicles. The sealants today are far more versatile and engineered to build up in layers like a hard wax. It is not right to say that manufacturers have not always built in self-destruct buttons to force new purchases because, before plastic trim, rust was once an inevitable destroyer.

Trinova is one of the key components if you have already let your vehicle pass into a phase of fading. In order to protect paint today, owners are even wrapping their vehicles in urethane in an attempt to retain resale values. I am sure you’ve heard about the clear bras. Well, now they are making computer designed thermoadhesive plastic wraps to keep your vehicle like new in the box. The more solutions that appear on the market, the more convoluted the care processes become as manufacturers engineer new problems to cripple vehicles after the sale. Hopefully, more manufacturers will start competing harder in the future to please customers with durability by adding innovative die-hard products like dent-less doors.

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