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The cowl trim on this car started fading at a very early age but I never bothered to do anything about it.  Might as well fix it now. :grin:  There's no magic potion in the car cleaning aisle that could possibly restore the finish of this plastic so it's going to have to be replaced or repainted.

A very long time ago, my friend had an X3 Accent and his mirrors (the cheap textured black plastic) faded to white after a couple of years.  We removed them and painted them with the black "rubber bumper" paint and that worked nicely.

Wondering if something like that could work here?  Thinking of giving it a shot, it can't possibly make it look any worse. :innocent:

I know we have some guys here good with body shop stuff, what would you suggest to use and what for surface preparation?
 

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Buy a red scotchbrite pad at any automotive supply place - they should be found in the autobody supply part of the store - and also get some Comet in powder form if you don't have any. If you're comfortable doing it, remove the cowl using instructions from HMA. It should be fairly easy to come off. Clean it really, really well with warm water and soap and degreaser. I can't stress how important it is that it's clean. After you know it's clean, wet it again with warm water... maybe keep a bucket of warm water near by so you can scoop more on to it. Pour a bit of Comet over the length of the cowl and use the red scotchbrite pad to sand the cowl. If the cowl is textured like I think it is, sand in circular motions too so you can try to get inside the grooves of the texture as much as possible. If it looks dry while sanding, wet the scotchbrite with the warm water and keep sanding. Basically, you'll be wet sanding with a scotchbrite pad. Note though - don't press really hard with the pad. Let the pad do the work, else you'll get some really hardcore scratches. After you feel it's done, rinse it with warm water again and dry it off with a chamois and let it sit in the sun for a bit to dry or use a hairdryer or something to make sure it's dry. After that, use paint of your choice. Flat black or satin black spray paint should be fine but whatever you use spray it evenly and in light coats 6-8 inches from the surface of the cowl. If you put it on very heavily you could run the paint and it'll look terrible. Put as many coats as desired until the paint looks as you wish it to look.

If all went well, your cowl should be painted and it shouldn't* peel off. Just be warned that you may have to do this again in a year or two when the paint eventually fades.

* no guarantees though
 

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QUOTE (Naky @ Sep 22 2010, 09:39 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=357985
Buy a red scotchbrite pad at any automotive supply place - they should be found in the autobody supply part of the store - and also get some Comet in powder form if you don't have any. If you're comfortable doing it, remove the cowl using instructions from HMA. It should be fairly easy to come off. Clean it really, really well with warm water and soap and degreaser. I can't stress how important it is that it's clean. After you know it's clean, wet it again with warm water... maybe keep a bucket of warm water near by so you can scoop more on to it. Pour a bit of Comet over the length of the cowl and use the red scotchbrite pad to sand the cowl. If the cowl is textured like I think it is, sand in circular motions too so you can try to get inside the grooves of the texture as much as possible. If it looks dry while sanding, wet the scotchbrite with the warm water and keep sanding. Basically, you'll be wet sanding with a scotchbrite pad. Note though - don't press really hard with the pad. Let the pad do the work, else you'll get some really hardcore scratches. After you feel it's done, rinse it with warm water again and dry it off with a chamois and let it sit in the sun for a bit to dry or use a hairdryer or something to make sure it's dry. After that, use paint of your choice. Flat black or satin black spray paint should be fine but whatever you use spray it evenly and in light coats 6-8 inches from the surface of the cowl. If you put it on very heavily you could run the paint and it'll look terrible. Put as many coats as desired until the paint looks as you wish it to look.

If all went well, your cowl should be painted and it shouldn't* peel off. Just be warned that you may have to do this again in a year or two when the paint eventually fades.

* no guarantees though
Ditto. Never heard of the comet trick though. Get black satin paint. Flat black won't look good. SEM makes a good paint called Trim Black. Nice satin finish and durable. It's a white and light purple can. Any good auto supply store should carry it. Do light coats like Naki said, don't get hasty. When you do your paint "strokes", don't start and end directly on the cowl. If you do, you'll get runs in those spots. Start spraying next to the cowl and stop spraying when you're off of it.

It's hard to explain when english isn't your birth language :grin:
 

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Dont waste your money!!!

That happened to mine with in the first oil change, the dealer gave me my first oil change for free, then he mentioned about how he replaced them because there was a recall on them.
 

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Great instructions guys, thanks so much. :thumbsup: I'll look for some of the Trim Black, found their site and have a few local sources. If all else fails, it's available from a number of places online for $9 a can.

I came close to asking the dealer about this at one point years ago, but I figured the new trim would fade just like this stuff so why bother replacing. :grin:  Too late to ask them about it now, my bumper-to-bumper warranty is long gone.  I do have an extended bumper-to-bumper, but I have my doubts it would cover something this trivial.
 

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IDK, Hoosier try really cleaning it, like take it off soak it and scrub it. Mine isn't nearly that faded and it's always been kept outside. I always scrub that part when I wash it after I noticed it starting to go white about a year after I bought it. I always clean really well and put some vinyl restore junk on all my outer black parts.
 
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