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Old 06-25-2012, 03:33 AM   #1
esteve
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Default Best Exterior Trim Protectant?

So what's the best exterior trim protectant these days? I'm a big fan of 303 Aerospace Protectant but on the exterior it just doesn't last very long. After just 2 car washes, most of it is gone. I'm looking for something with better durability.

I suppose if I keep using 303 on a regular basis on the outside trim, like every 2-4 car washes, then maybe it'll build up and last longer? The wiper arms and the trim around the side mirrors are the biggest PITA to keep decent-looking. They seem to be very porous so I'm not sure anything will last on them. My window moldings (the ones below the front and rear side windows) also have what looks like dirt spots and even the 303 doesn't make much of an improvement.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
IAMDABROODWICH
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I've used Adam's VRT (Vinyl-Rubber-Trim) for awhile now, and it's served it's purpose pretty well. It'll last about 3-4 washes. The advantage with the 303 is that it's only $12. VRT is around 25 or so. I know that Mothers Back to Black sucks, so don't bother with that. Good old Armor All is about the same.

I'd say try applying 3 or 4 layers with a decent drying period inbetween each. Your trim sounds thirsty to me.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
guitarman19853
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Collinite 845, it's been 2 and a half months and it's still going strong on the trim.

See a full test and where I got my advice to use it here:

http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...-blackwow.html
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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Collinite 845 looks like just what I was looking for, thanks! Very impressive results in that link. My 7-8 year old bottle of 303 is running out so I think I'll order both of them up.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:39 AM   #5
esteve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman19853 View Post
Collinite 845, it's been 2 and a half months and it's still going strong on the trim.

See a full test and where I got my advice to use it here:

http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...-blackwow.html
I'm going to give this stuff a try but interestingly, Collinite is very specific in not recommending the 845 for black trim.
Taken directly from Collinite's website - "NOT recommended for rubber, non-skid, black trim, vinyl, glass or non-painted plastic."

Is it because of the possible staining and spotting if you don't wipe it off soon enough? It appears that a wipe on, wipe off approach is the right way to use this stuff on exterior trim.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:57 PM   #6
Tinknocker46
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Mothers Back to Black exterior bumper & trim care. This stuff is amazing, I worked at a detail shop for 3 years buffing cars and I swear by this stuff.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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I've had terrible experience with Back to Black. It left streaks on the unpainted mirrors of my 1999 Dodge Dakota, then after ~1 week it was totally gone. Maybe they have a new formula, this was several years ago.

Since then I swear by Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze. Just make sure the trim is clean prior to application. As a bonus you can use it on the paint for the whole car too. IME, Zaino, 3M synthetic sealant and Meg's NXT while great on paint don't work as well on trim.

For quick trim touch-ups I really like Meguiars Ultimate Quick Wax. I've got some Optimum Car Wax I'll be trying next as well.

Re: Collinite
Isn't it hard to remove from textured trim, being Carnuba?
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinknocker46 View Post
Mothers Back to Black exterior bumper & trim care. This stuff is amazing, I worked at a detail shop for 3 years buffing cars and I swear by this stuff.
Yuuuuup.
I also use 303s interior stuff, mainly for interior..... but I do use it my truck mirrors, because of the size back to black seams to streak.
Aside from that no issues with either.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:14 PM   #9
DerrickRH
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i use the meguiars natural shine protectant (my baja has lots of plastic panels) and it works great! doesnt look greasy, just clean and like its new.

http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G4116-Protectant-Natural-Shine/dp/B0009IQXCChttp://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G4116-Protectant-Natural-Shine/dp/B0009IQXCC
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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Ultima trim guard plus is the best ive used. It will last 3-4 months and beads waters off just like a wax/sealant. It is pricey but alittle goes along ways. I use it on our 6 cars for the past 2 years and still have half a bottle.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #11
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I agree with the Mother's Back to Black for trim. I'm still looking for opinions on the rear roof vane though. Seems to be fading a bit on my 2007 STI but I'm not sure if Back to Black would be the best idea.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjerzey05sti View Post
Ultima trim guard plus is the best ive used. It will last 3-4 months and beads waters off just like a wax/sealant. It is pricey but alittle goes along ways. I use it on our 6 cars for the past 2 years and still have half a bottle.
I think I'm going to give this stuff a try, thanks! Most of the reviews I've found are great, and some people are getting 6 months out of it which is amazing.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
criler
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Just use Back to Back, you can get it at any oreilly auto parts and keeps trim looking good for weeks. used to use it for my wrangler hard top and really brought it to life with little effort
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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I've seen too many mixed reviews on the Black to Black. I ordered the Ultima from Autogeek and will try it out. Damn stuff is expensive but if it lasts for months instead of weeks it'd be well worth it in my book.

I'll report back when I try it out. I didn't know Autogeek and Autopia is the same company now. For the 10% off coupon code, they have you enter "autopia."
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #15
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #16
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteve View Post
I'm going to give this stuff a try but interestingly, Collinite is very specific in not recommending the 845 for black trim.
Taken directly from Collinite's website - "NOT recommended for rubber, non-skid, black trim, vinyl, glass or non-painted plastic."

Is it because of the possible staining and spotting if you don't wipe it off soon enough? It appears that a wipe on, wipe off approach is the right way to use this stuff on exterior trim.
I would imagine this is one reason they mention this. Personally, I prefer the use LSP's (last step products; waxes/sealants/coatings) on exterior trim vs using dressings/protectants. However, not all surfaces will be as "friendly" to this sort of approach depending on the particular product you use and the texture/characteristic of the surface itself.

IMO/IME, 845 is relatively "friendly" to trim even when left to set a bit but you're right about the wipe on, wipe off approach in some cases. Optimum Opti-Seal as got to be one of the most versatile LSP's I have used on trim since I have yet to find a surface I could apply it to. ....and being a WOWA (wipe on, walk away) product, it doesn't get much easier (I even apply it via airbrush in some cases). However, it doesn't do much to help darken or restore surfaces so it works best IMO/IME on relatively new or already restored finishes.

These days I'm beginning to switch over to using some of the newer coatings. An example of this would be G/Techniq's C4 and Optimum's Opti-Coat (not to be confused with Opti-Seal). The following is a thread regarding my experiences with C4 that you may find interesting:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2168074

I currently have C4 on my '10 Challenger and a couple of bits of my wife's Forester. ....Opti-Coat is on the majority of the trim on the Forester.

NOTE: Opti-Coat is literally a permanent coating so care must be taken when applying to some surfaces. It requires abrasion to remove (i.e. polish) so you can imagine if applied to some textured or "hard to get at" surfaces it may be difficult to remove.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjerzey05sti View Post
Ultima trim guard plus is the best ive used. It will last 3-4 months and beads waters off just like a wax/sealant. It is pricey but alittle goes along ways. I use it on our 6 cars for the past 2 years and still have half a bottle.
I was interested in trying out Wolfgang ETS which is supposed to be quite similar to UTGP. I have seen reviews for both that seemed quite promising. I also found an in-depth one where these products were successfully applied over C4. ....which obviously hit home with me.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:21 PM   #18
Sjerzey05sti
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I have seen people post that they have used UTGP on top of other coatings with great results. I even tried it on a piece of faded carbon fiber and it worked great. I wanted to try C4 but since I still have so much of the UTGP left and it works so well I haven't ordered it yet.

My basic process now is to clean up the trip with some KAIO and then seal with UTGP. KAIO is a great polish on trim and when buffed wet will not stain.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:19 PM   #19
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ive seen some detailers use swissvax seal feed rubber treatment. it is pricey but swissvax is good quality
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #20
esteve
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I've got mixed results with the UTTGP. On my wife's Camry, the doors have these textured plastic trim pieces covering the b-pillar that tend to fade and discolor over time. UTTGP lasted barely a month and one car wash on them. That's not any better than 303 AP. At least 303 AP doesn't attract dust like UTTGP. UTTGP is also pretty streaky so it takes some experimenting to minimize it.

It probably depends a lot on the nature of the surface being treated. On hard, textured plastic it wears off quickly. On smooth trim pieces it seems to do a lot better but then again as Kean mentioned a wax/sealant works just fine on those.

I treated the usual problem areas on my STI with UTTGP and I can see it wearing off in some areas but overall it's holding up better.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:21 AM   #21
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteve View Post
I've got mixed results with the UTTGP. On my wife's Camry, the doors have these textured plastic trim pieces covering the b-pillar that tend to fade and discolor over time. UTTGP lasted barely a month and one car wash on them. That's not any better than 303 AP. At least 303 AP doesn't attract dust like UTTGP. UTTGP is also pretty streaky so it takes some experimenting to minimize it.

It probably depends a lot on the nature of the surface being treated. On hard, textured plastic it wears off quickly. On smooth trim pieces it seems to do a lot better but then again as Kean mentioned a wax/sealant works just fine on those.

I treated the usual problem areas on my STI with UTTGP and I can see it wearing off in some areas but overall it's holding up better.
I've had the same issue with other products myself. Seem to work great on some applications and not so well on others. Had the same problem with G/Techniq C4 on a couple of bits on my wife's Forester. ....worked great on just about everything on my '10 Challenger though.

I've been playing around with Wolfgang ETS lately and ran into similar issues. ....but when it works, it really seems to work.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:32 AM   #22
esteve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kean View Post
I've had the same issue with other products myself. Seem to work great on some applications and not so well on others. Had the same problem with G/Techniq C4 on a couple of bits on my wife's Forester. ....worked great on just about everything on my '10 Challenger though.

I've been playing around with Wolfgang ETS lately and ran into similar issues. ....but when it works, it really seems to work.
As always, thanks for your input. I'm beginning to think for certain trim pieces there's no substitute for regular TLC no matter what product you use. Textured plastics and softer plastics (almost porous-like) in particular seem to fall into that category, where the product tends to wash out the quickest.

By the same token, UTTGP seems to work best on trim that isn't really in need of any attention, if that makes sense. Those would be hard, shiny and smooth trim pieces that hold up to the elements pretty well. UTTGP will enhance those pieces and appear to be long-lasting but then again, almost anything will on those surfaces.

I have a bottle of Collinite 845 which I'll probably experiment with in the future. I'm not that impressed with UTTGP overall, especially considering how expensive it is.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #23
IAMDABROODWICH
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A friend and I put Wolf's Nano Sealant on his 2007 WRX TR trim, and it's awesome. It'll surely outlast all "normal" trim protectants.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:55 PM   #24
esteve
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I just wanted to add that another drawback of UTTGP is that it doesn't wash away evenly so it leaves spots all over, making the trim pieces look really ugly. I've noticed this on both of our cars, on smooth and textured surfaces.

UTTGP seems to be holding up better on the wiper arms, windshield cowl, and side mirror bases on my car but that's about it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:40 PM   #25
gpshumway
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I'll reiterate my positive experience with KSG. It's worked great for me on everything from the semi-rigid window seals at the base of my WRX side windows to the textured plastic cowl at the base of the windshield. I've also used it on the body cladding on my dad's Outback and on other cars. It's easy to apply without streaking and lasts tremendously long. Just don't glop it on too thick.
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