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  1. #1

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    Tacky plastic coating?

    I know I am going to have a difficult time trying to describe this, so please bear with me. I have a 2002 Accord coupe. The center of the airbag cover in the center of the steering wheel has come to feel "tacky". I am able to run my fingernail across it and scratch some off. It has become very soft. I know it is a sort of paint/coating they put on the plastic in the car, but I don`t know what it is in order to repair it.

    This has happened before to the center console between the seats. I removed all the old paint/coating and re-sprayed it with trim black paint. It came out great, however it seems more plasticky now, and lacks the "rubbery thickness" that was originally on it.

    I hope somebody knows the feel of this paint/coating that I am talking of, and even better knows what it is and how to get it.

    As always, any help is appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    BMW does the same thing. Try 91 percent alcohol to remove it.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    BMW does the same thing. Try 91 percent alcohol to remove it.
    Some interior bits of the A8 are like that too.

    What Mike said.

    I`ve also used GG Rubber Prep when some real cleaning power was needed, but I was awfully careful/gentle about it lest I find the (presumably limited) extent of the pigment on such surfaces. I just maintain with Cockpit Premium on a low-lint MF, which works OK as long as I`ve diminished the tackiness enough.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    3D Total is an excellent and mild cleaner. I`ve used it on my leather steering wheel to remove grease left there by a careless mechanic. Took it right off, left no residue or tackiness. No damage to the leather.

    I don`t think it`s still in production and I don`t know what 3D replaced it with,(or even if they did).
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  5. #5
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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    What causes the tackiness? I’ve seen it in several cars. Is it just deterioration?
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  6. #6
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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    BMW does the same thing. Try 91 percent alcohol to remove it.
    Just to clarify - does the alcohol just remove the tacky feeling, or the soft touch finish itself?
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  7. #7

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    I would be very carefull to paint that part of the steering wheel. And would contact a verified mechanic that is working with air-bags. The texture in the plastic is meant to be perforerated so the air-bag can get through it if activated. So it could be that you need to change the whole center console in the steering wheel with the air-bag unit in it. It`s also important to not saturate the parts where you have air-bags units and other protections that is activated in a collision. There are alot of them in newer cars all around the doors and the seats and other places. It`s just to be safe that I would seek up a mechanic and see what they say is needed. There is alot of power when a air-bag is activated and there is explosives that is engage it. You never know when you need them to work properly. But it`s safest to look it up. Clean it up as good as you can with damp mf towel and a mild APC or interior cleaner. But don`t peel anything off is what I would do. And look it up and take it from there.

    /Tony
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  8. #8

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneheadlite View Post
    Just to clarify - does the alcohol just remove the tacky feeling, or the soft touch finish itself?
    Explicit Statement: I am not trying to speak for Mike or to horn in on something directed towards him and I look forward to what *he* has to say in response to that Q.

    That said, IME it does remove a little bit of the Soft Touch Finish and you need to be a bit careful to know when to say "when". It`s like using IPA to clean other rubber(ized) stuff, you`re trying to remove the compromised (often oxidized) material to get down to "good" material. The "tacky feeling" is the material once it`s deteriorated.

    Or at least that`s how it seems to me with the Audis. I vaguely recall doing the same stuff on the M3s but they never needed it in a big way and it never made a big impression on me back then.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Alcohol removed in the spot I tried but took a long time. It smeared around for a while before it finally lifted. I will not try goof off as I am afraid it is too harsh, but I want to try Goo Gone. I know brake fluid will work also but It may be too messy.

    I find it hard to believe that somebody doesn`t make a soft-feel, soft touch paint in a rattle can or something. I can only find services that will do it for you, or buy, mix and spray your own for hundreds of dollars...

  10. #10

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Yes happens to the radio and climate knobs in German cars too.

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    What causes the tackiness? I’ve seen it in several cars. Is it just deterioration?

  11. #11

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    It`s a sprayed on ~rubberish~ coating. It`s usually on the bits and or the interior console, inside the cupholder. It just breaks down over time...

    Once it does, most just remove said piece, remove said coating, and just plasti-dip it to refresh the piece
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  12. #12

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    It`s a sprayed on ~rubberish~ coating. It`s usually on the bits and or the interior console, inside the cupholder. It just breaks down over time...

    Once it does, most just remove said piece, remove said coating, and just plasti-dip it to refresh the piece
    Plasti-dip....alright, I was thinking something along the lines of Dupli Color removable wrap, which is a similar product, but was afraid it might fill in the small grain details, and maybe peel or "roll" off in time, but Its worth a shot. Thanks!

  13. #13

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Some people wrap it as well - really depends on the piece.

    Hell, I`ve had this occur on year 2 of ownership on some cars. The dealer replacement // co-incidentally , did not have said coating on it. It really is a mixed bag.

    Personally, I see for some items they use this coating to give it a bit more tactile feel....
    But`s it pretty concensual this stuff does break down, looks like crap, and in some areas like a center console, breaking it down to replace with new or refurbish is such a PITA
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  14. #14

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Corvettes have the same issue. Goof Off and time will fix it

  15. #15

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    Re: Tacky plastic coating?

    Are you guys stripping it off, down to the underlying plastic?

    Some other soft-touch areas have worn away on the A8 and V8, we just ignore it and consider it patina.

 

 
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