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2013 Outback 2.5 Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Living in California without a garage, and the car gets a lot of hot sun. I feel it's important to treat the black plastic - rocker panels, black on bumpers, roof rail housings, etc. - to protect from UV and oxidation.

Have any of you found a successful way of treating? I've been using Meguires Ultimate Black, which is supposed to be streak-free in the rain. What a mess! I've applied it very sparingly, and and give it a firm final near-dry buff without additional liquid to remove any excess, but whitish runs are everywhere with it after it rains. Further, if I use it on the roof rail housing, it drips down onto the paint leaving unsightly residue, doing it again and again in the rain, whether or not I've reapplied it.

Has anyone come across something that protects well, looks good on, and doesn't make a mess? Long time ago I used a clear product by Turtle Wax called Clear Guard. Seemed to have seen similar looking clear products in the store - wondering if something like that might be my answer.

Thanks! Jefferson
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i sport package
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30 Posts
Cool! Thanks for the info.

Does this stuff "darkens" the plastic as well? :confused:
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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847 Posts
Use a treatment that has a dye, or the effect won't last very long. I have used Griot's Bumper and Trim Reconditioner for many years and _highly_ recommend it. It will cover very light amounts of wax, and returns the plastic to deep deep black. If there is a lot of wax present it's best to first remove it with a solvent like bug and tar remover. I apply the treatment heavily, let it sit five minutes, then buff lightly with a rag to remove any excess. It won't run later.

Bumper & Trim Reconditioner, 8 Ounces - Griot's Garage

It helps to use a wax that doesn't leave lots of residue behind, which makes white streaks on the black trim parts. But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

Griot's Interior Cleaner, tire treatment and clay bars are also very good. I buy their stuff in the largest size possible for a little price break - they are expensive, but worth it. I've tried their waxes and polishes and they are good, but they require WAY too much effort for me. I don't like any product that leaves my sweat stains behind on the car......

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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'13 OB, Black, SAP
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X4 (303 is great stuff) , I also use Ultima Interior Proectant, and Ultima Tire and Trim Gaurd for the exterior
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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The dye may be fine for already-faded parts. The OP has a 2013, if treated with 303 a few times a year they shouldn't need the dye for many years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can't locate X2, X3, or X4 for comparison. Do you guys have a fuller product name or a link you could put up?

The 303 Products Aerospace Protectant looks interesting. I notice Griot offers a rubber cleaner to clean off old protectants before treating. It's expensive. Anyone know of a cheaper product good at stripping off the Meguires crud?

Car is only 4 months old. Don't need the 'reconditioning' aspects of a product, should that make a difference in the recommendations given. Not sure a product with dye is needed.

How well does the 'permanent' dye in Griots wash off if paint if it ends up sitting there a few days or more.

Glad to hear there apparently are some good products out there.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Can't locate X2, X3, or X4 for comparison. Do you guys have a fuller product name or a link you could put up?
I believe they mean x 2,3,4 as in "times" 2,3,4 etc. Reiterating that 303 is good stuff ;)

I've heard alot about it on alot of forums. I need to break down and get some myself.
 

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I have not used the product I am going to recommend on black trim, but I have used it on the gray plastic trim on my Avalanche and I can tell you it returns the plastic to like-new condition. I treated all of the cladding 2 years ago and only now need to retreat the horizontal surfaces of the bed panels. The product's name is Refinish Restorer. It's pretty expensive, but one can will treat a cladded Avalanche (2 light coats) at least 5 times. Google it, buy it, try it, and I guarantee you will love it!
 

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2016 Outback Ltd 2.5 eyesight Nav push button Hole in roof, Lapis Blue
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303 aerospace protectant x6 or what ever were up to, it's the best! it's clear but after it's on a few days latter you will notice more of the original color returning, I use it on the headlight and tail lights as well it does help with UV and should keep the lens from weathering as fast.

again USE 303 aerospace protectant !!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So X2, X3, X4 - all mentioned here - are not product names, but VERSIONS of the 303 Aerospace Protectant? I got confused, tried looking for these as a product name. I can't see on the package of 303 shown where it was X? (X-something).

Is this stuff available in auto or auto paint stores, or pretty much just online?

Still trying to figure out what to clean the old gunk off with first.

Thanks all! Jeff
 

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The X2, X3, X4 means the person agrees with the suggestion, incrementing for each successive post. We're all suggesting the same product, 303 aerospace protectant. The nice thing about 303 is that it's also useful for the interior.

I'd suggest a protective application (303 is this), not a restorative product unless you need to restore the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
LOL - Ahh, I get it now. I thought WTF? One guy likes one X-something, the next guy likes another, the next guy likes another...

Looks like West Marine nearby and a couple auto parts stores around here carry the brand.

Still wondering what to clean the old crud off with. Used Windex, then Lysol Bath Spray last week - out of despiration, but it has some chlorine in it - not great on plastics. I have isopropyl alchohol 91%, but seems it would be very drying.
 

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What kind of crud? The plastics on my 2011 don't seem to hold on to wax like other textured plastics I've had on vehicles.
 

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What kind of crud? The plastics on my 2011 don't seem to hold on to wax like other textured plastics I've had on vehicles.
I think that the properties (non hazing) of the newer products has more to do with staying clean than the quality of the plastics.
 

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I'm going to agree with the group above... Aerospace 303 is the way to go. I just applied it last weekend to all exterior plastic parts and under the hood. When applied regularly it does wonders to minimize fading. Don't forget to do your wiper arms and the cabin air intake cover under the hood - they'll fade quick and look like junk.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What kind of crud? The plastics on my 2011 don't seem to hold on to wax like other textured plastics I've had on vehicles.
By "crud" I mean removing the old product (Meguires Ultimate Black) and whitish water streaking, so that it is not underlying when I apply the new product. Otherwise, I'm likely to continue having problems. I need to strip it down to the plastic.
 
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