It’s all well and good having perfectly corrected paintwork, but if faded and tarnished trims surround it, then there’s no real point. The exterior trims are just as important to tend to as the paint. So, in this blog article, we thought we’d write about vehicle trim detailing. We’ll list some of the main types of exterior trims found on modern cars. Then, we’ll share how we treat them at our car detailing premises, based between Hampshire and West Sussex.
A Closer Look at Vehicle Trim Detailing
Uncoated plastic is probably the most common type of exterior trim found on modern cars. Over time, these trims can become faded and lose their original lustre. Sometimes these trims will have a textured finish to them; other times, they will have a smooth finish. Either way, the vehicle trim detailing methods we use are pretty much the same.
Depending on how far gone the trim is in fading, we may use heat to bring the oils out in the plastic. This process effectively “re-moisturises” the plastic. But in most cases, we can simply clean and decontaminate the part using the same method as used on the paint. After this, we’ll panel wipe and coat with a ceramic coating like Kamikaze Collection Zipang Coat. The coating restores the finish and adds some much-needed protection. It’s also one of our most frequent choices for vehicle trim detailing (and other car detailing) at our premises on the Hampshire and West Sussex border.
Chrome & Polished Metal
Chrome and polished metal aren’t commonly seen on modern cars. However, they are materials sometimes found on exhaust tips and also on the trims surrounding the glass. Chrome and polished metal finishes can tarnish or stain over time, often resulting from water spots and exposure to harsh wash chemicals. Occasionally, rust may start to show through if remedial action isn’t taken. When it comes to vehicle trim detailing on chrome or polished metal, we’ll use a good quality metal polish to remove any staining or tarnishing.
Trims like polished exhaust tips often get hammered from contaminants from the Hampshire roads being kicked up by the tyres. So, we usually need to use some tar remover before we can treat the metal to some polish. After polishing is complete, we protect and seal the metal with a ceramic coating like Kamikaze Collection’s Stance Rim Coat 3.0
Importantly, many chrome trims that you’ll see on modern vehicles aren’t actually real chrome but plastic with chrome effect finishes. These trims need to be treated with extra care as the chrome effect finish on them is usually extremely thin. For this reason, heavy polishes and compounds are off the table. Instead, we gently go over these trims with a medium to gentle polish to remove most swirls and scratches. After this polishing process, we protect them with a ceramic coating like Kamikaze Collection’s Zipang Coat.
Some cars have metal trims with a satin or raw finish rather than a mirror finish, highly polished surface. Here we decontaminate the surface just like the paint, but since it’s not a polished finish, we cannot use any abrasive product. This means we can’t use the usual polishes or compounds. Instead, we use Kamikaze Collection’s Silica Scale remover to remove the most common defect on these trims (staining and water spots). This product gently dissolves and lifts ingrained dirt and stains from the finish. Afterwards, we protect and seal the surface with a ceramic coating.
When it comes to vehicle trim detailing, exterior rubber trims (surrounding the glass and some body parts) can be tricky. It’s sometimes difficult to achieve an even finish. This is why we recommend you use a professional vehicle detailer, like us! You’ll find us on the Hampshire and West Sussex border. We always like to start by properly cleaning the rubbers first during the wash process. We use a good quality boar’s hair detailing brush and some diluted APC (All Purpose Cleaner) like Bilt Hamber’s fantastic Surfex HD.
Then if any polishing work is going to be taking place, these rubbers must be masked up. By doing this, we ensure the oils do not stain them in the polishing compounds. Once we’ve finished with the paint polishing, we will usually ceramic coat the rubbers. We use the same product that goes on the paint, paying careful attention to our application technique, thereby achieving a nice flat even finish. Improper application of the coating results in a blotchy, smudgy looking finish; hence, the extra care taken at this stage. Consideration needs to be given to the type of coating used. Always avoid using coatings with a high solvent level as these can dry the rubber out in some cases. We like to use Kamikaze Collection Zipang Coat as it’s nice and gentle to rubber materials.
Do contact us if you’d like to find out more about the vehicle trim detailing services we offer. We are based on the Hampshire and West Sussex border.