Getting them clean is "numero uno". I use some kitchen scrub soap VERY GENTLY and then rinse well. I agree that there is no wonder cure that will bring them back to "as new". (Mine are dark grey by the way, not black). But I get the best result with "Armor All" vinyl/plastic care. It fades again, but it stays lustre for some weeks before I have to give them a new helping of the stuff, and it takes me less than five minutes.
A permanent black fix for crappy greyed out doorhandles
Buy a spray can of "Plastic primer" , a spray can of Satin black enamel, three rolls of economy masking tape, and get yesterdays newspaper from your bottom kitchen cupboard. Total cost should be less than $20 - wherever in the world you live.
Step 1: Mask off everything around the handle out to at least halfway up the windows and to the bottom of the doors. Your first layer of tape is detail covering EVERYTHING immediately surrounding the greyed out handles, and building protective layers out from there. DON"T SKIMP on covering up!. If it takes you less than 1 and1/2 hours on this step you are either a proffesional car painter - or you have not done it properly.
At this point, have a beer - you deserve it!.
Step 2: Find four small wedges that jam each handle half open. this will unlatch each door as you do it. This ensures when you paint each handle that the result is not visible when the handles are future used.
Step 3:Thoroughly wipe each handle with a solvent cleaner - doesn't matter what you use, get the crud off until each handle wipes clean.
Step 4: Spray each handle with at least three coats of the plastic primer. In hot weather the coats can be as soon as 10 minutes apart. These primer coats are VITALLY important as they provide a good adhesion surface from your handle to the topcoats that follow. Spray lightly - read the instructions, and avoid thick build-up and sagging.
Have another beer - you deserve this one too!
Step 5: Spray your first satin black coat before the plastic primer has fully cured - when it feels only VERY SLIGHTLY TACKY. This promotes best adhesion.
DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER BEER YET!
Because now you must slowly build up the paint layers. Take your time. You need to lightly topcoat spray each handle at least 5 times to achieve lasting beautiful looks. Depending on the ambient temperatures, the whole spraying process will take a minimum of two hours. Lightly sand out any sags or bugs between coats
Step 6:Have two beers - you don't want to be using the car until tomorrow anyway - and it will give time for the paint to cure.
Remove masking tape and wedges when paint has tacked off.
I used this process - it worked for me and 6 months later my handles still look superb - no chipping, flaking or peeling.
I have used Mother's Back to Black, got it from Autozone. It works very well but is not permanent. Keeps the handles looking nice for maybe 2 weeks, then you need to put more on. I like the way it smells though!
Well, I was just sharing a PERMANENT solution to grey crappy handles that worked fo me during a Summer Sunday afternoon. Stress free - nothing broken - no tech. knowledge needed such as : "how the hell you take the bloody handles off", and all materials available at your local hardware store for bugger all cost. Had some great CD's running in the car that made the afternoon even more pleasant! .
And it wasn't a pain in the arse way I did it - just took care and effort to achieve the best result.
PS: How the hell do you take the handles off?
Scrapings.. now please tell me where in the world a car can pass vehicle inspection with no bloody door handles. The guy is taking your winky for a wank
and has successfully sucked in you all.
Well done Scraping!!!
As long as there is an auxiliary switch most countries allow it, however California requires a physical switch on the outside VISIBLE SURFACE of the door. They say it's so they can pull you out of the car in an accident...like that makes a whole lot of sense...won't they have to break the window anyway to unlock the door?
Also, germany and japan don't allow it, i think...
There is a small black cap that you can take off, and then loosen the screw so you can wiggle the handle a little bit, that should give you enough space to unhook it, if not you may have to take of the interior door panel. Normally, you won't have to. I haven't done this in awhile, so if you need the exact instructions, tell me, and i'll check it.
A product called "Forever Black" works great. Was first introduced to it when looking to restore the rubber trim of a 911 whale-tail. This worked like a charm, made it look like new. At the time it was hard to find, not sure now.
Hi there....I just saw your question, relating to restoring door handles colour. I've heard Wurth's product, "Rubber Care", works wonders on all rubber and plastic trim, and claims to restore original colours back. I'm gonna try it on my 500's door handles later this week -- most likely mid-week -- and will let you know the result. (Mine are very faded/grey colour.) 
After owning several Audi and VW cars over the years the greying of my SEL's handles doesn't bother me all that much, at least they work. Anyone who has owned an older Audi, VW, or Porsche will know what I am talking about.
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