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Discussion Starter #1
I was out of the country for two months and loaned my car to a family member. They took the car to an automatic car wash, every two weeks. I am now back and the chrome trim that is around the windows, the front door, the back door and the small window at the rear has severe spots.

They are not water spots. They don’t just rub off. I did call Mercedes HQ for assistance. That was a wasted effort.

My questions were:

A) What is the trim made of? If I can determine that - maybe I can determine a fix.

I had done some research and finally bought, after conferring with others on this board, Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. 1. That did nothing and 2. On the package it says, If Black Residue doesn’t appear, STOP, it is not a polished metal. And, it didn’t appear!

I did call a local dealer and they said, rubbing compound - but I didn’t have a ‘good’ feeling about the answer. I felt that this might simply make the issue worse.

B) How do I resolve my issue?

This has to be a common issue and yet, I don’t see a lot on the internet. I do see some mention and the same frustrations that I have on this issue.

Any suggestions?
 

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Hi

The window surrounds are aluminium and they are difficult to make good but it’s not impossible. I had the exact same issue and found success by using 00000 grade steel wool and meguiars compound paint restorer then followed up by more compound polish using a yellow fine polishing pad on a hand held polishing machine. The polishing machine made all the difference but you have to be careful around the window rubber by taping it off preferably. Takes time but the results do come and these marks will come off to a shining finish. You will need to add surface protection afterwards such as metal polish or wax to prevent it from happening again and though -

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have my green tape (body shop tape) and meguiars (the lightest version) ready. I did try the meguiars - with no impact - did make the chrome look better - but didn’t take away the marks - I have read that the 0000 steel wool is an option - but you are the first I have found that understands my situation and has resolved it. Mercedes seems to deny that this is an issue.

The reason I want to talk is that I was getting ready to do a vinyl wrap for the trim. I would prefer that I get it corrected - as you mentioned.

I’m in Indiana.
 

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Hi again - I was happy to help after finding a similar problem on my GLC and becoming increasingly frustrated by failed attempts to correct the window trim - which spoiled what is a great looking car. It will take several hours work to get it looking decent using fine grade steel wool with the megs compound poliah first but the secret really is use of a high speed fine grade polishing pad - yellow or orange - afterwards with more of the meguiars compound polish. Be careful not to press too hard with the polishing machine - I have a small handheld cordless - as the window rubber will degrade and wear if exposed. And try to be patient - three to four goes and you’ll begin to see the trim returning back to almost a showroom condition shine as the ugly marks slowly disappear. Finish with your choice of metal polish with wax protection to stop it recurring. I’m not any kind of an expert but have found a solution that works on my GLC. I’m in UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Long Distance does not bother me — I have already ordered the steel wool, I have the tape that is used in body shops - Might double the layers for safety. A few questions — with the steel wool, will I see a difference immediately? For a .30 Meter section, how long should it take for the steel wool? (1 foot section in the US) Was your damage due to a car wash? You used the Meguiars compound w/ the steel wool? which Meguiars did you use? And thank you
 

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Hi

The steel wool on its own makes little difference but when used prior to machine polishing with a fine grade pad it seemed to get steady results. I tried and tested multiple polishes and metal polishes including autosol chrome polish and meguiars nxt all metal polish but nothing works on its own. The window trim is not chrome and there’s no black rub off on polishing cloths like id expected. The window trim is much harder aluminium it seems. The first section I tried using 0000 grade steel wool and meguiars ultimate compound followed by more compound and a yellow pad on machine poliaher came up better after each session. A 1 foot section may take three or four goes to get it back to good and took me around 15 mins That adds up to several hours all round the car. I finished off with meguiars nxt all metal polish and meguiars paint restorer to give it a protective waterproof coating. the stains on mine came with it after I bought it second hand - they looked like your pictures almost exactly and I assumed they were water marks/white rash corrosion. Hope this helps you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First, I want to thank you for your assistance. It was very refreshing to have your input.
Second, due to work, I am in Mexico at the moment; however, I plan on trying this on Sunday.

Step one, tape off a section. 2. Put on Meguiars Compound and then use the steel wool (0000) Will do this for about 90 seconds and then add the yellow pad. Using a battery operated drill.

If you have an email address, I can send you what I am using - my email is [email protected].

I will keep you updated.
 

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I was out of the country for two months and loaned my car to a family member. They took the car to an automatic car wash, every two weeks. I am now back and the chrome trim that is around the windows, the front door, the back door and the small window at the rear has severe spots.

They are not water spots. They don’t just rub off. I did call Mercedes HQ for assistance. That was a wasted effort.

My questions were:

A) What is the trim made of? If I can determine that - maybe I can determine a fix.

I had done some research and finally bought, after conferring with others on this board, Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. 1. That did nothing and 2. On the package it says, If Black Residue doesn’t appear, STOP, it is not a polished metal. And, it didn’t appear!

I did call a local dealer and they said, rubbing compound - but I didn’t have a ‘good’ feeling about the answer. I felt that this might simply make the issue worse.

B) How do I resolve my issue?

This has to be a common issue and yet, I don’t see a lot on the internet. I do see some mention and the same frustrations that I have on this issue.

Any suggestions?
A few months back I purchased a 2017 GLC250 which had water-stained bright trim around the windows. I tried a range of things including vinegar, metal polishes and fine abrasives. Some made noticeable improvements when wet, but the stains were still there when the trim was dried. This made me think that spraying clear coat on the trim might work (after masking as necessary to avoid overspray). I did this, after cleaning the bright metal with very fine wet and dry paper (1000 grit), and it only took an hour or so. The result was very satisfactory. It remains to be seen how it stands up to normal wear and rear, but at least it will be easy to redo a
I was out of the country for two months and loaned my car to a family member. They took the car to an automatic car wash, every two weeks. I am now back and the chrome trim that is around the windows, the front door, the back door and the small window at the rear has severe spots.

They are not water spots. They don’t just rub off. I did call Mercedes HQ for assistance. That was a wasted effort.

My questions were:

A) What is the trim made of? If I can determine that - maybe I can determine a fix.

I had done some research and finally bought, after conferring with others on this board, Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. 1. That did nothing and 2. On the package it says, If Black Residue doesn’t appear, STOP, it is not a polished metal. And, it didn’t appear!

I did call a local dealer and they said, rubbing compound - but I didn’t have a ‘good’ feeling about the answer. I felt that this might simply make the issue worse.
I was out of the country for two months and loaned my car to a family member. They took the car to an automatic car wash, every two weeks. I am now back and the chrome trim that is around the windows, the front door, the back door and the small window at the rear has severe spots.

They are not water spots. They don’t just rub off. I did call Mercedes HQ for assistance. That was a wasted effort.

My questions were:

A) What is the trim made of? If I can determine that - maybe I can determine a fix.

I had done some research and finally bought, after conferring with others on this board, Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. 1. That did nothing and 2. On the package it says, If Black Residue doesn’t appear, STOP, it is not a polished metal. And, it didn’t appear!

I did call a local dealer and they said, rubbing compound - but I didn’t have a ‘good’ feeling about the answer. I felt that this might simply make the issue worse.

B) How do I resolve my issue?

This has to be a common issue and yet, I don’t see a lot on the internet. I do see some mention and the same frustrations that I have on this issue.

Any suggestions?
B) How do I resolve my issue?

This has to be a common issue and yet, I don’t see a lot on the internet. I do see some mention and the same frustrations that I have on this issue.

Any suggestions?
I was out of the country for two months and loaned my car to a family member. They took the car to an automatic car wash, every two weeks. I am now back and the chrome trim that is around the windows, the front door, the back door and the small window at the rear has severe spots.

They are not water spots. They don’t just rub off. I did call Mercedes HQ for assistance. That was a wasted effort.

My questions were:

A) What is the trim made of? If I can determine that - maybe I can determine a fix.

I had done some research and finally bought, after conferring with others on this board, Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. 1. That did nothing and 2. On the package it says, If Black Residue doesn’t appear, STOP, it is not a polished metal. And, it didn’t appear!

I did call a local dealer and they said, rubbing compound - but I didn’t have a ‘good’ feeling about the answer. I felt that this might simply make the issue worse.

B) How do I resolve my issue?

This has to be a common issue and yet, I don’t see a lot on the internet. I do see some mention and the same frustrations that I have on this issue.

Any suggestions?
I tried various approaches to get rid of water stains in the bright Aluminium window surrounds of my 2017 GLC250, from vinegar to metal polishes to very fine wet and dry (1000 grit). Nothing worked well in the reasonable time I was willing to commit to the job. However, I noticed the stains were not visible while I was using wet abrasives (but reappeared when the trim was dried off). This made me think that spraying the trim with clear coat might work. So, after masking as necessary to avoid overspray, I used a can of clear coat I had previously purchased for alloy wheels. I am very satisfied with the result, with no stains obvious on the bright metal. It remains to be seen how well it stands up over time, but it will be easy to redo if and when necessary - it only took me an hour or so all up. Hope this helps.
First, I want to thank you for your assistance. It was very refreshing to have your input.
Second, due to work, I am in Mexico at the moment; however, I plan on trying this on Sunday.

Step one, tape off a section. 2. Put on Meguiars Compound and then use the steel wool (0000) Will do this for about 90 seconds and then add the yellow pad. Using a battery operated drill.

If you have an email address, I can send you what I am using - my email is [email protected].

I will keep you updated.
I spent an hour or so trying to remove water stains on window surrounds with various metal polishes and fine abrasives, but did not make a significant improvement. The stains were not visible while I was polishing and rubbing, but reappeared when I wiped off the products and buffed with a dry cloth. This led me to try spraying the bright metal with clear coat that I had left over after repairing some alloy wheels last year. (Of course, I masked as necessary to avoid overspray.) This only took an hour or so and worked surprisingly well, with stains no longer evident. It will be interesting to see how this stands up over time, but at least it will be easy to touch up if necessary. Hope this helps.
 

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A few months back I purchased a 2017 GLC250 which had water-stained bright trim around the windows. I tried a range of things including vinegar, metal polishes and fine abrasives. Some made noticeable improvements when wet, but the stains were still there when the trim was dried. This made me think that spraying clear coat on the trim might work (after masking as necessary to avoid overspray). I did this, after cleaning the bright metal with very fine wet and dry paper (1000 grit), and it only took an hour or so. The result was very satisfactory. It remains to be seen how it stands up to normal wear and rear, but at least it will be easy to redo a


I tried various approaches to get rid of water stains in the bright Aluminium window surrounds of my 2017 GLC250, from vinegar to metal polishes to very fine wet and dry (1000 grit). Nothing worked well in the reasonable time I was willing to commit to the job. However, I noticed the stains were not visible while I was using wet abrasives (but reappeared when the trim was dried off). This made me think that spraying the trim with clear coat might work. So, after masking as necessary to avoid overspray, I used a can of clear coat I had previously purchased for alloy wheels. I am very satisfied with the result, with no stains obvious on the bright metal. It remains to be seen how well it stands up over time, but it will be easy to redo if and when necessary - it only took me an hour or so all up. Hope this helps.

I spent an hour or so trying to remove water stains on window surrounds with various metal polishes and fine abrasives, but did not make a significant improvement. The stains were not visible while I was polishing and rubbing, but reappeared when I wiped off the products and buffed with a dry cloth. This led me to try spraying the bright metal with clear coat that I had left over after repairing some alloy wheels last year. (Of course, I masked as necessary to avoid overspray.) This only took an hour or so and worked surprisingly well, with stains no longer evident. It will be interesting to see how this stands up over time, but at least it will be easy to touch up if necessary. Hope this helps.
Apologies for multiple similar posts. It appeared I had lost drafts when my phone battery went flat, but they obviously were still around and were distributed when I pressed submit!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First attempt: I taped off a three inch section. Step One: I used 0000 Steel wool and wet sanded for about 30 seconds. (Didn’t seem to have any impact) Step Two: I used the below polish and a battery operated drill with the yellow pad for about sixty seconds.

The improvement was about 1% - but I suspect that I need to go to a polish that has a bit more ‘cutting’ power.

Any input?
 

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Hi there

You are having some progress at least albeit with slow results. I found the cutting capabilities of Meguiars ultimate compound worked best for with a yellow polishing pad but the main thing is to take it easy as being too aggressive might cause too much collateral damage to the surfaces. Also - on the areas where you have some progress - the surface may well come up better with a finishing product with the application of some wet polish (with a high speed pad ) or paint restorer or even WD 40 ? I
Hope you find a solution somehow and know the frustration this issue causes! Good luck
 

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Also - it might be worth investing in a proper DA car polishing machine with variable speed settings if you haven’t already got one? I’m not sure but it might make a big difference to the results you achieve. All the best !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First, the good news. Your suggestion does work. I.e.

I tape off the area for which I am going to work. I clean the area. I then wet sand a section about 35CM with 0000 Sand Paper. I then clean again and apply the Ultimate Compound. I then use the Yellow Pad for about five minutes - Medium pressure. I wipe and apply the Ultimate again. And again. I work on this section for about an hour. About 15 applications of Ultimate Compound.

The bad news, I can see the improvement, but only about 40%. It seems that I need to ‘cut deeper’ into the aluminum. The issue I have is that I don’t know the material. If this was aluminum; then, could use Mothers and my rag would be black.


If this is all I have — I will dedicate a day to this work for the ‘improvement’.

What else did you try?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And, I want to reiterate. Thank you. Thank you. I was ready to have the trim wrapped. I was debating on Black or on a grey .. matching my exterior color.

You words, your assistance has made the world of difference.
 

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Wow - you really have some stubborn issues to deal with there - my issues didn’t need quite so many applications of the compound -mostly two or three with just a few areas needing extra effort where some of the marks refused to budge! I’m glad you are getting an improvement at least but I really don’t have any other suggestions other than patience and determination taking things carefully as you go! Pleasure to help you
 

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Thought I may as well jump in and add my 2 pence/2 cents worth ;)

I believe the trim you are battling with is, in fact, anodised aluminium. You say the problem manifested itself after repeated journeys through the automated car wash. I suspect these places use a product called TFR (traffic film remover) during the washing process to achieve an effective clean. It can be relatively aggressive corrosive stuff and I think what looks initially like calcium carbonate residue left by evaporated water spots, is actually an etching of the anodised surface. Now anodising is ridiculously hard as the electroplating process is used to protect a more vulnerable substrate from tarnish or corrosion. This is why you are having so much trouble polishing out the defects. Sustained effort will eventually succeed in breaking through the protective anodised coating and then the black residue which results in polishing raw aluminium will appear.

Polishing is merely an abrasive process whereby the deepest scratching removes the most material along with the defect and is then replaced by successive lighter scratches until until they cannot be seen by the eye thus giving the appearance of a mirror finish. So if you want to make more progress start with a coarser polish and finish with a finer one or use the same polish and vary the grade of the steel wool/foam pad to achieve the desired result. I would suggest trying this on the most inconspicuous test area because if you do break through the only way back will be a wrap job for the trim although a Night Pack conversion always looks totally boss on your colour of car.
 

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Too
Thought I may as well jump in and add my 2 pence/2 cents worth ;)

I believe the trim you are battling with is, in fact, anodised aluminium. You say the problem manifested itself after repeated journeys through the automated car wash. I suspect these places use a product called TFR (traffic film remover) during the washing process to achieve an effective clean. It can be relatively aggressive corrosive stuff and I think what looks initially like calcium carbonate residue left by evaporated water spots, is actually an etching of the anodised surface. Now anodising is ridiculously hard as the electroplating process is used to protect a more vulnerable substrate from tarnish or corrosion. This is why you are having so much trouble polishing out the defects. Sustained effort will eventually succeed in breaking through the protective anodised coating and then the black residue which results in polishing raw aluminium will appear.

Polishing is merely an abrasive process whereby the deepest scratching removes the most material along with the defect and is then replaced by successive lighter scratches until until they cannot be seen by the eye thus giving the appearance of a mirror finish. So if you want to make more progress start with a coarser polish and finish with a finer one or use the same polish and vary the grade of the steel wool/foam pad to achieve the desired result. I would suggest trying this on the most inconspicuous test area because if you do break through the only way back will be a wrap job for the trim although a Night Pack conversion always looks totally boss on your colour of car.
Thank you for your insights! It has been a brutal journey! The car only has 30,000 Miles - and is, otherwise, perfect. I have been able to polish a 10” section - but that took about two hours over a two day period. I’m considering the following:

a) Moving up to 00 Steel Wool and then polish.
b) The Night Package - having it wrapped to the Night Package. Where might I obtain more info on the Night Package?
 
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