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Old 08-02-2008, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 43
mellow_sparky is on a distinguished road
Running Board Stains

Well my wife made the error of taking the e70 through an automatic car wash. Whatever they use to clean the car caused the brushed aluminum running boards to become all stained (blotchy white).

I managed to get them pretty well cleaned up, but it's far from perfect. I first use some mineral spirits to really clean the metal. Then I used a compound called "White Off" -- it's used to clean stains off of glass and stainless steel. Finally I followed with some Zymol HD Cleanse (oxidized paint cleaner).

Like I said, with some elbow grease, I got them looking pretty good - the casual observer would think they look fine. However if you get down close, you can tell they have been stained.

Why doesn't BMW clear coat these darn things!?!?
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 17
SpaceGrey_Tifoso is on a distinguished road
Same problem on mine. Passenger side only toward the front. Not sure if the wife took it to a car wash during the winter after we took delivery or what.

Wasn't there a thread about this and it being an issue at delivery?
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 653
Brit6 is on a distinguished road
Mothers alum polish works really well, maybe think about a sealant and wax to top it off.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 84
DEETZ is on a distinguished road
I use mothers billet on my hre lip and p21s on my exhaust tips and other metal parts, try one of these, I dont know which one is better for this application. It might be the p21s
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 39
SpeedTriple is on a distinguished road
Could be etching from acid. Be careful of polishing, which could end up giving the running boards a bling-bling look...
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: gotham city
Posts: 1,269
chefwong is on a distinguished road
You can *try* a 3K wetsand but it's probably etched.

Bear in mind that car washes are not *mechanical washes* so the cleaners are very STRONG in order to get the dirt off...
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:57 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 847
autoque is on a distinguished road
Was it a brushless or touchless automatic car wash?
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 43
mellow_sparky is on a distinguished road
I'm pretty sure it was "brushless" but not "touchless".
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: new jersey
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elvism is on a distinguished road
i use wax and the deale rdetail guy told me to use CRC stray!!

it works really good!!!!!
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grecce
Posts: 2
Philippos is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by elvism
it works really good!!!!!
Hello !
I am from Europe (Greece) and I have the same problem in my new X5 (E70), after car wash store (no automatic). I try some chemical product but I didn’t make it.
Can you be more specific with the product you used to clean the “Running Board” ?
P.S. The problem is the “BMW” or Car wash ?
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