Aluminium - Finish Running Boards

Jimpey

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ML 2011 350CDi, SL350 2003 3.7l
I have signed for the new (to me) ML Grand Edition today and was disappointed to find that the valeters have not sparked up the running boards or the plastic moulding which blends them into the bodywork.

The 'aluminium finish' is dis-coloured around all the rubber studs
The plastic moulding is almost white instead of black

Perhaps the rubber studs are removable in which case I can probably take a buffing wheel to the metal surface but if any broke or were lost I'm not sure if they would be replacable.

Hopefully the plastic can be restored with a commercial product, even if it needs several treatments.

Can anyone offer me advice about trying to remediate the finish please?

Jim
 

daveenty

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19 AMG Scoop
Hi Jim, and welcome. :)

I'd be trying a metal polish like Autosol on the metal, ideally in a discrete area first just to make sure.

As for the plastic trim, I always use 303 Aerospace as it cleans and leaves a matt finish. Good on most interior trim as well.

I can't visualise the rubber studs which you mention, though you'd be pleasantly surprised by what your local dealer can do on stuff like this.
 
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Jimpey

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Thanks for the welcome dave enty.

The car is MB approved used from a local dealer and it was their prep that has fallen short!

I was a little concerned that 'aluminium finish' might imply paint or powder coat rather than bare metal but I will try a small area with Solvol unless someone comes along who has a definitive method because they have done it before.

I would post a photo but the car is at wheel re-finishers just now.

I followed your link to the 303 stuff, is it significantly different from similar products from Autoglym (which I have and will try)? If so, I will buy some.

Jim
 

flowrider

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The running boards are a pain to keep looking good. I used Solvol Autosol on mine but i was never happy as the finish didn't last long.
 
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Jimpey

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ML 2011 350CDi, SL350 2003 3.7l
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Running boards are clean (ish)!

It turns out the 'alluminium finish' is either paint, powder coat or anodised so solvol autosol went nowhere. I found a recommendation on MB World for a product called Barkeepers Friend which is not American (which I expected) but made in UK and available from Amazon so I duly bought some. It's a bit like the old fashioned Vim or Ajax scouring powders that my mother used to use 50 years ago but also contains Oxalic acid. Anyway, a serious dose of scrubbing shifted most of the muck but there was still a fine line of discolouration around each rubber stud. A Youtube video has a chap scrubbing carefully round each one with an old toothbrush.....

I ducked my head underneath and found 5 screws are all that hold the trim plate and studs on. Wish I'd taken photos now but when removed the studs are all arranged on 3 sections of plastic grillage, in fact it appears to be all made from the same stuff.

I was then able to clean and polish with Tcut 3 in 1 silver and that took care of the remaining discolouration.

Took a bit of finagling too get everything lined up on re-assembly but the jobs a good'un:)

Now for the rest of the bright work....

Jim
 

Chrishazle

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S204 2008 C220CDI Elegance Estate Auto, 2008 R171 Facelift SLK280
There are 2 versions of Barkeepers Friend - the powder, which you found, and also a cream. We use the cream on our induction hob, the powder on draining board etc. Lakeland stock both types.
 

HaydnM

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W167 GLE 400
Couple of ways to clean the aluminium

1 / Mother’s metal polish, does contain a sealant
2/ clean with metal polish & seal with Gyeon Q2 Rim or carbon collective or gtechniq

Plastic parts - clean well & seal with Gyeon Trim, or carbon collective platinum Trim or gtechniq C4 trim

Just done mine on my GLS & thought the rear bumper looked good until I went over it, now it looks amazing

I used Gtechniq C4

Once you start you will find loads of black plastic trim to do
 

Frontstep

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Whatever your polish try using one of those magic eraser sponges
 

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