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    Peeling Steering Wheel Trim

    Greetings, all--

    Haven't done much posting to RoadFly lately, and when I do it's almost always in the E39 Forum. But we also have a 2007 E83, purchased as a CPO 18 months ago.

    I know the peeling steering wheel trim issue has come up before with opinions varying from "This is totally unacceptable in a car in this price range!" to "Get over it!". Without adding to that debate, I wanted to write about the problem I had and what I did about it.

    We had the peeling problem on the finish of the steering wheel trim at the bottom outside corners. This is NOT covered by the CPO warrantee, though some dealers may cover it as an accomodation to some customers. My dealer wanted $340 (!!) to do the repair. No, thank you.

    The problem can be solved in at least a couple of ways by any reasonably competent DIYer:

    The first step is to remove the trim pieces from the steering wheel. This is difficult if you are unprepaired. The trim pieces are held on by two Torx screws on each side. These are reached in deep recesses in the back of the steering wheel. The fasteners use a T-10 driver, and the right tool is a thin T-10 driver that is long enough to reach the screw head without the handle bottoming on the back of the steering wheel. Once you have this, the rest is fairly easy as long as you keep the driver tip properly seated. The screws are captive, so don't expect them to come out. You'll know you're on the right track when the trim piece gets looser as you proceed. Once both screws are loose on one of the trim pieces, it can be wiggled free (carefully). It comes out with the switch button assembly, which is held onto the trim with two more identical T-10 screws. Remove these screws. It is not necessary to remove the cable from the switch assembly, but you must carefully orient the assembly to get access to the two screws. Easier done than said.

    Repeat with the other side. You should now have two trim pieces in your hands. Repair paths now diverge:

    You can simply replace the trim pieces with new ones from your favorite supplier. New ones cost about $60 - $70 each. They may be improved over the original pieces. Or maybe not, and the new ones will peel, too. Reinstallation, as they say, is the reverse of removal.

    I took the second path and refinished the trim pieces I removed. This is a little more work, but is cheaper. First I removed the remaining rubbery finish by rubbing it with my fingers. This took a while, but wasn't hard to do. Then I scuffed up the shiny surface underneath with a Scotchbrite pad. Don't be too aggressive here. You just want to dull the finish, not score it. I then applied a coat of Krylon plastic primer. Any brand of plastic primer should be OK; just telling you what I did. When that was dry, I applied several coats of SEM black trim paint that I had left over from repainting the A-pillar trim on my 540. Any automotive black trim paint should be OK, but you might want to spray a test piece first to make sure you like the result. The usual caveats apply: a few light coats are better than one or two heavy ones, and be sure to be patient and allow plenty of time for drying.

    I then reinstalled the original, refinished trim by reattaching the switch button assemblies and screwing the whole works back to the steering wheel after carefully working it into place.

    The result? Looks pretty good, though not identical to the original finish. For this reason, I wouldn't recommend refinishing, say, the hatch cover on the dashboard, which is surrounded by more rubbery trim and would look different. The painted finish has just a little more sheen and a slightly different feel from the original. Durability? Don't know yet, but we've driven a few thousand miles since this repair, including a trip from Boston to Florida,
    and it stll looks like new.

    I hope this information will be of help to some of you with the peeling trim problem.

    Best,
    Anson
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 74.1.165.89


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    Peeling BMW steering wheel.

    I too agree that a car of this quality suffers this problem. I too had this occur with my BMW m sport and decided to sort the problem myself at no cost. As per this thread I too decided to remove the peeling trim. However top tip, usea hair dryer to heat the peeling material as.it makes.it a lot easier to remove and use a rubbing motion as it perks easier rather than using your nails. Do not use anything that will.scratch the plastic beneath..just be patient and the peel will come away. If you take care and polish the plastic below you wont need to respray although this is personal preference. I'm happy with the slightly shiny effect and no need to worry about future problems occurring. This cam be done without removing the trim too but a little more awkward. I hope this information is of use to you. Thx, James.

    Haven't done much posting to RoadFly lately, and when I do it's almost always in the E39 Forum. But we also have a 2007 E83, purchased as a CPO 18 months ago.

    I know the peeling steering wheel trim issue has come up before with opinions varying from "This is totally unacceptable in a car in this price range!" to "Get over it!". Without adding to that debate, I wanted to write about the problem I had and what I did about it.

    We had the peeling problem on the finish of the steering wheel trim at the bottom outside corners. This is NOT covered by the CPO warrantee, though some dealers may cover it as an accomodation to some customers. My dealer wanted $340 (!!) to do the repair. No, thank you.

    The problem can be solved in at least a couple of ways by any reasonably competent DIYer:

    The first step is to remove the trim pieces from the steering wheel. This is difficult if you are unprepaired. The trim pieces are held on by two Torx screws on each side. These are reached in deep recesses in the back of the steering wheel. The fasteners use a T-10 driver, and the right tool is a thin T-10 driver that is long enough to reach the screw head without the handle bottoming on the back of the steering wheel. Once you have this, the rest is fairly easy as long as you keep the driver tip properly seated. The screws are captive, so don't expect them to come out. You'll know you're on the right track when the trim piece gets looser as you proceed. Once both screws are loose on one of the trim pieces, it can be wiggled free (carefully). It comes out with the switch button assembly, which is held onto the trim with two more identical T-10 screws. Remove these screws. It is not necessary to remove the cable from the switch assembly, but you must carefully orient the assembly to get access to the two screws. Easier done than said.

    Repeat with the other side. You should now have two trim pieces in your hands. Repair paths now diverge:

    You can simply replace the trim pieces with new ones from your favorite supplier. New ones cost about $60 - $70 each. They may be improved over the original pieces. Or maybe not, and the new ones will peel, too. Reinstallation, as they say, is the reverse of removal.

    I took the second path and refinished the trim pieces I removed. This is a little more work, but is cheaper. First I removed the remaining rubbery finish by rubbing it with my fingers. This took a while, but wasn't hard to do. Then I scuffed up the shiny surface underneath with a Scotchbrite pad. Don't be too aggressive here. You just want to dull the finish, not score it. I then applied a coat of Krylon plastic primer. Any brand of plastic primer should be OK; just telling you what I did. When that was dry, I applied several coats of SEM black trim paint that I had left over from repainting the A-pillar trim on my 540. Any automotive black trim paint should be OK, but you might want to spray a test piece first to make sure you like the result. The usual caveats apply: a few light coats are better than one or two heavy ones, and be sure to be patient and allow plenty of time for drying.

    I then reinstalled the original, refinished trim by reattaching the switch button assemblies and screwing the whole works back to the steering wheel after carefully working it into place.

    The result? Looks pretty good, though not identical to the original finish. For this reason, I wouldn't recommend refinishing, say, the hatch cover on the dashboard, which is surrounded by more rubbery trim and would look different. The painted finish has just a little more sheen and a slightly different feel from the original. Durability? Don't know yet, but we've driven a few thousand miles since this repair, including a trip from Boston to Florida,
    and it stll looks like new.

    I hope this information will be of help to some of you with the peeling trim problem.

    Best,
    Anson[/QUOTE]
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 212.183.128.121

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