BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Mar 2013
Vehicle: 2013 C250 Coupe
Location: Louisville, KY
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I started this thread a couple days ago. Other than the "wrap it" comment (thanks Kajtek1), I didn't get any advice about removing the chrome door handle inserts. I decided to go ahead and give it a try today, and I'm happy to say it worked out great. So I'm posting this reply to share my wisdom, in case anyone else decides to remove the inserts on their car.
First, as I stated in the original post, all respect to the people who have added the chrome door handle inserts to their cars. If bling is your thing, that's great. My C250 came with the inserts, and I just did not like the appearance. The door handles follow the body line, and the chrome strip on the top of the handle mimics the bright trim around the window glass. The indention around the door handle is sort of bulbous. It sweeps upwards towards the back. The chrome insert drew attention to the shape of the indention, and I just felt it ruined the body line. Anyway, that was my motivation for removing the inserts.
Supplies: Hairdryer, blue painter's tape, plastic drywall scraper, adhesive remover, mild compound/cleaner, wax.
1. Go ahead and pop the door latch, just so it's not constantly locking and unlocking every time you run your hand across the handle.
2. I used blue painter's tape to mask the door all around the insert, and the handle itself. That may not be 100% necessary, but an ounce of prevention...
3. The insert has two adhesive strips, one along the top edge and another along the bottom. the adhesive is like a thick, grey putty. Use a hairdryer on the outside of the chrome insert to heat up the adhesive to make it soft.
4. Insert a corner of the plastic scraper in the center of the top edge. (I first tried a corner of the insert, and then the bottom edge, but I had difficulty getting the scraper blade under the edge. I found the center of the top edge was the easiest place to get it started.)
5. Don't use the plastic scraper to pry on the insert. It is only needed to separate the adhesive. You don't even need to use a great deal of force. Hold the hairdryer close to the insert, and keep constant downward pressure with the scraper. You will feel the adhesive give way as the scrapper pushes though. Let the heat do the work.
6. Slowly work around the entire edge until the insert is free. After loosening the top edge, it was much easier to get the scraper started along the bottom edge.
7. Once the insert is free, open the door handle as wide as possible and wiggle it out. Push towards the front of the car first, then rotate it upwards, and pull towards the back. It comes out from the top, but you have to rotate it away from the door, and pull up on the rearward (wide) section first.
8. I was able to remove the bulk of the remaining adhesive by heating it with the hairdryer and pushing it into a ball with my finger. I used Prep All to remove the remaining adhesive.
9. I used some mild compound to clean and polish the entire area, then finished it with wax. It looks factory fresh, with no indication that there was ever anything stuck to the paint.
As suspected, the insert is not sealed all the way around. My car is brand new, but there was already quite a bit of dust and grit behind it. Fair warning, if you're removing the inserts on a car that's a couple years old, you may need to spend more time buffing the indention.
The inserts are plastic, so they didn't bend or deform. They came out clean. I'm going to hang on to the inserts in case the indention in the door gets scratched up over time. I could easily apply new adhesive and reinstall them, if necessary.