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Your car’s exterior trim pieces add the final touches to its overall visual appeal, but sometimes the Sun, moisture, age, or damage caused in an accident can turn your car’s trim into an eyesore instead of an enhancement. We’ve compiled a list of basic information to help you with knowledge to keep your vehicle and its trim looking great.

Faded or Worn Plastic and Rubber

Most of today’s vehicles feature some black plastic trim, as opposed to the shiny chrome so prevalent in vintage cars. These plastics are cheaper to produce, add minimal additional weight. Unfortunately, they can also prove highly vulnerable to the elements, despite manufacturers’ best efforts to make them durable. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight can make plastic trim pieces fade, weaken, or become brittle over time. Water and oxygen can also contribute to the fading process, leaving the trim pieces looking dull and discolored. Preventative care can minimize wear and tear on both plastic and rubber trim parts. Periodic exterior detailing should include not just a thorough washing, but also the application of a dressing protectant specially formulated to protect these parts. you can get protectants that either increase shine or flatter a matte finish.

Deteriorated Chrome Trim

Chrome plating is still used in many vehicles, especially classic and luxury cars. Unfortunately, the layer of chromium that adds luster to metallic exterior trim pieces can experience numerous problems over time, from flaking and peeling to rust. Scratches in the chrome, extreme weather, saltwater exposure, or rust developing in the underlying metal can all contribute to this deterioration. The recommended fixes for chrome trim deterioration will depend on the nature of the damage. Flaking or peeling chrome trim may call for the careful application of a metal epoxy to the inner surface so that the technician can adhere the chrome layer back into place. A high grade of steel wool, carefully rubbed onto the chrome to prevent further damage, can often remove light rust. If rust or flaking has reached the point of no return, you may need to have the damaged chrome trim part replated. The cost of replating will vary according to the size of the piece. Your auto body technician can help you decide whether you should re-chrome the piece or simply replace it with a new one.

Loose, Broken, or Missing Trim Pieces

Exterior trim pieces such as badges and side moldings often come loose over time. This problem occurs when the adhesive tape underneath the pieces gets dirty and grows weak. If you haven’t lost the piece, you should be able to reattach it using a similar adhesive tape method. The technician will remove every remaining scarp of the old adhesive before re-taping the trim. Epoxies and other products can often mend small stress fractures in plastic parts relatively quickly and easily. Extensive damage may merit replacement of the part.

If your car’s exterior trim clearly needs some skilled professional help, or you are too busy to handle the fix or repair yourself, Steve’s Hometown Collision Center Automotive Super Sports can provide it. Contact us today to tell us about your problem.