E320 Black Anodized Trim - Faded with Bare Aluminium - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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E320 Black Anodized Trim - Faded with Bare Aluminium


I own a carwash and I had a customer come in today and show me an issue he was having on his 2003 E200 (see pictures).

He went to his dealership and they told him my carwash caused the problem.

I have read other posts on this forum about "Discoloration" but this is FAR beyond that... We are looking at BARE aluminum in the pictures

We have seen a similar issue with a 2004 BMW X5 but in that case BMW was aware of the situation and had a service advisory.

Any help/feedback on this situation would be appreciated.


Geoff Baker
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 03:03 PM
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If the customer is trying to make a claim against you I don't believe it is valid. All of these older cars (1980's/90's/early 2000's) have a thin anodized coating that seems to wear quicker than intended. The metal beneath probably has a slight bronze-ish tint in the light? Perhaps yes, they should have issued a service advisory as BMW did, but that doesn't remove the liability out of the hands of Mercedes-Benz. My car is faded a bit too, and I'm sure it is from washing over and over again, but does Mercedes expect it's owners to simply not wash their cars? If you search the forums for topics similar to this you will see it is a well documented occurrence and can maybe help the owner feel a little better that he's not the only one with this issue, and also to salvage your relationship with him. Also, he should wax this section to slow the process down a bit, or use something like "Forever Black" to restore the finish or simply paint so it stays black for good. Most people just let it go and you will see this on many cars now that you are aware of it.
You did nothing wrong and this happens to all older MB's.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 03:14 PM
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Agreeing with DirectLA. Mine has started to fade too, but as you stated that is pretty extreme. In my experience, the black trim turns purplish first (as far as mine has gotten). Then I have seen photos where it has progressed to look like bronze as shown in your photos and previously mentioned. The detail people at my dealer say the only real fix is to buy new trim pieces. I think wax might be too little too late for this poor chap. I've been doing that sparingly but I don't know how long, or how well, that will protect it. MB owners are better off to handwash their cars, at least the ones with the crummy trim. Simply put, it rubs off.

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Last edited by Musikmann; 09-19-2009 at 03:18 PM.
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