Spruce Up Your Car 5/12/14

Many new cars and SUVs come with dark plastic trim … that ends up looking dull and faded over time. And those shiny new cars usually end up with scratches, too. Consumer Reports’ Marc McEntee tested five plastic-trim restorers meant to keep your trim looking new. And three scratch repair kits. Marc McEntee, “They’re essentially paint pens that have clear coating in them, and they fill in the scratches.”

To test, panels were specially painted just like a new car is and lightly scratched. Then Marc applied each of the products as instructed. All three filled the scratches as promised and made them less noticeable … from this angle. But viewed from the side and they look more like a bad coat of clear nail polish. For the plastic-trim restorers, Marc used old, dull car panels. Each product was applied to a section and then the panels were put on the roof to face the elements.

Some didn’t last very long. The Meguiar’s Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer and the Mothers Back-to-Black looked completely faded by day 45. The Turtle Wax Premium Grade Trim Restorer looked faded by day 57. But these two stood out from the pack. The Wipe New for 18 dollars and the 15-dollar ReNu Finish still looked great after 70 days.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©201 4 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.