Condition Your Engine’s Plastic Back To Black
Over time the plastic on your car is going to get pretty dull. You'll notice fading, splotching, and discoloration of everything from plastic trim to rubber tubing, but when was the last time you checked under the hood? Due to high heat and the area's infrequent cleaning, the plastic and rubber in your engine compartment is probably in need of a revival. Take a look and read on to find out how you can bring your engine bay back to life.
Why does fading and cracking occur?
Your engine bay is hot. Heat makes plastic and rubber dry out, fracture, and eventually fade to a different shade of grey. As time continues, these problems get worse; wire casings, tubing, and plastic panels begin to degrade and can lose their integrity completely. There's not much you can do about the heat, but the easiest way to prevent the problem is through conditioning. A quality conditioner brings out the best in plastic or rubber, leaving the surface supple and full of life. Tip: Never use a “dressing.” These products just cover up problems and don’t tackle the issues covered above. A premium conditioner, on the other hand, provides nutrients that resurface and prevent the plastic, vinyl, or rubber from becoming brittle and dry. Here's how…
Refresh and Protect
Before you start to work near your engine, be sure the car has had time to cool down. Plastic, tubes, and covered wires can and will be hot unless you let the area cool down. Once it's cooled you'll be able to start the process, which starts with cleaning and degreasing any dirty surfaces. Next, you'll want to grab a quality plastic conditioner. Using a foam applicator and/or a parts brush (for tight spaces), lightly apply the conditioner on any plastic, composite, or rubber surfaces. Some engines are covered completely by plastic paneling (ie. if you own an Acura or Honda), in this case you will want to remove these panels and apply the conditioner so that you can get to the rest of the plastic/rubber beneath.
Allow the conditioner to be absorbed by the plastic or rubber. You should notice immediate darkening, but if it dries up quickly that means you need to apply again. Repeating this process as necessary will help to keep these surfaces from future cracks and fading. Not only will your engine bay look great, but it'll stay that way if you keep up with it. Do yourself and your car a favor and check under your hood today.