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    Thread: Cloudy chrome trim on buyback car

    1. 08-05-2019 10:12 PM #1
      So my ‘13 buyback is generally in top-notch shape, though I fear its cosmetic longevity after sitting in the California desert sun for who knows how long before auction. One issue I have not been able to resolve is the cloudy chrome window trim. Kinda water spotty looking but not really water spots. I’ve tried my usual automotive cleaners and polishes as well as Brasso. No dice. Has anyone experienced the same issue with their car and found a solution to it?

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    3. Member foxontherun's Avatar
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      08-06-2019 10:00 AM #2
      Haven't found a solution but my '13 is the same way

    4. Member Skycart's Avatar
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      08-06-2019 10:54 AM #3
      In for this.

      My buyback is the exact same way. I had some minor success using a Magic Eraser to get off some brownish water deposits/stains, but its still not shiny/clean and has lots of water spots

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    6. Junior Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      08-06-2019 11:40 AM #4
      Had the same problem on my old Bimmers. I'm pretty sure it is the same situation, which is the "chrome" trim is really polished and specially coated/plated aluminum so using chrome-related fixes won't work. AFAIK there are only three options:

      1. Wrap it with vinyl tape. It would be best to remove it so you can wrap past the exposed part so it is less likely to peel.

      2. Refinish it. Sand it down to bare metal but leave it a little rough, apply self-etching primer, paint it whatever color you like, and clear coat it or take it to a professional and have them reproduce the original coating/plating process. I highly recommend removing it first. Painting it in place risks your body paint and doesn't get paint around the edges of the trim, which will prompt peeling. Ask me how I know

      3. Replace it with either new or better looking used trim. If you switch to the black trim option, you won't have this problem again. You can find part numbers at parts.vw.com in the "body" section.

      Sadly, this problem sucks no matter how you address it
      Last edited by JaxPlanet; 08-06-2019 at 11:44 AM.

    7. Semi-n00b
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      08-06-2019 12:55 PM #5
      Same problem here, tried some metal polish and that took some of the oxidation out but the trim is still far from perfect. Going to try some 0000 steel wool next.

    8. Member filthwagen's Avatar
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      08-06-2019 02:45 PM #6
      I have a permanent solution that takes about 1-2 hours.


      First tape it off very well on both sides of the strips

      use 800 grit wet sandpaper and a bucket of soapy water and lightly sand the grossness off by hand.
      Take your time and keep cleaning the sand paper. Follow with a nice wax.


      Don't go any higher than 800 grit because it will look too shiny and lower looks to gritty 800 is really the sweet spot. This also works well for audi and tiguan roof rails.




      Before and after just lightly doing it without taping it off to just give you an idea of how easy it is.
      Last edited by filthwagen; 08-08-2019 at 08:48 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by mk-4-ever View Post
      I heard somewhere that it doesn't matter what you do to them, koni don't go low

    9. 08-06-2019 03:16 PM #7
      My 14 buyback has the same issue with stained chrome trim.

    10. Member quaudi's Avatar
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      08-06-2019 04:02 PM #8
      No matter what you do it will always come back. Even faster if you use the wet sand method unless you take the time to coat it. This has been an issue on all my VAG cars, Audi and VW. Wrap it in black 3M vinyl tape...lasts and looks better anyway.
      2004 .:R32 The Original Burble Cruiser
      2012 SportWagen S+ Manual
      2015 Jetta SE Tech Edition

    11. Member filthwagen's Avatar
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      08-08-2019 08:49 AM #9
      I will do a diy on my new 14 tdi I’ll keep you guys posted


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Quote Originally Posted by mk-4-ever View Post
      I heard somewhere that it doesn't matter what you do to them, koni don't go low

    12. 08-08-2019 04:20 PM #10
      Thanks for posting the photo, that's exactly what my trim looks like.

      I wonder what exactly the cloudiness is. Just oxidation? Is there a wax or sealer that would help prevent this (after removing it via the sanding method) short of actually applying a new clear coat?

      Has anyone tried a clay bar yet?
      Last edited by RedHotFuzz; 08-08-2019 at 04:27 PM.

    13. Member quaudi's Avatar
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      08-08-2019 08:37 PM #11
      Nothing works permanently, it will return. Don't know if a clear coat would solve it or not.
      2004 .:R32 The Original Burble Cruiser
      2012 SportWagen S+ Manual
      2015 Jetta SE Tech Edition

    14. 08-08-2019 08:40 PM #12
      Things I’ve tried thus far with no success:

      P21S paint cleanser
      Brasso
      Klasse All In One cleaner/protectant
      Nanoskin mitt (clay bar substitute)

      There has to be some magic cleaner out there that will remove this layer of whatever-it-is without resorting to sandpaper.

    15. Junior Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      08-08-2019 11:03 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
      There has to be some magic cleaner out there that will remove this layer of whatever-it-is without resorting to sandpaper.
      Again, I am pretty sure that, like my Bimmers, the "layer of whatever-it-is" is the result of "..an electrochemical process that converts the metal (aluminum in this case) surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish." Source: https://www.anodizing.org/page/what_is_anodizing

      Here's what a professional shop says about restoring it: https://www.advancedplating.com/site...aluminum-trim/

    16. 08-08-2019 11:09 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by JaxPlanet View Post
      Here's what a professional shop says about restoring it: https://www.advancedplating.com/site...aluminum-trim/
      Oof, I wouldn’t even want to know what that would cost. Maybe worth it for a ‘63 Stingray. Definitely not worth it for a ‘13 VW.

    17. 08-08-2019 11:33 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
      Thanks for posting the photo, that's exactly what my trim looks like.

      I wonder what exactly the cloudiness is. Just oxidation? Is there a wax or sealer that would help prevent this (after removing it via the sanding method) short of actually applying a new clear coat?

      Has anyone tried a clay bar yet?
      I tried clay bar, but didn't really help. I've just been using Mother's wax, and it looks marginally better than when I first bought the car.

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      08-14-2019 02:51 AM #16
      We had the same problem with our 2009 Jetta Sportwagen which we sold back to VW. But it was most of the pieces on the driver's side while the passenger side was not near as bad. I always thought the driver's side was an inferior batch. I never considered it serious even though it was unappealing.

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