Date registered: Oct 2008
Vehicle: 1985 380SE
Location: San Francisco
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You did wax the car after it got painted right? The only reason I can see that the diesel residue would "stick" is if the paint were bare and exposed to the elements. Otherwise yes, it's not all that unusual. My 240 had it when I first got it and it looked like a real mess back there. What I did was the usual wash with car soap, warm water and a good high quality mitt. I dried it, then followed with clay bar, cleaner wax, and 2 good coats of carnauba for final protection. You can also use a light polish (low abrasive content) but I find that the cleaner wax does just as good a job and is easier to work with especially when going around tight spaces like the tail light trims or the trunk lock. Polish is a pain when working by hand in those areas. My left rear tail light seemed to have some soot/residue on the inside so I cleaned that out as well.
Do not use degreaser. It strips the paint of its coat of wax and will actually oxidize the finish if left on there for too long. I've had that happen while using the stuff to wash the engine.
1982 240D - Daily rig
1985 380SE - Gone but not forgotten
1987 Vanagon - Sold
Looking for a 300SD, TD or TE
Last edited by 240_benz; 11-10-2011 at 10:04 AM.