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After five years and 102,000 miles, my V's been startin' to show its age -- this despite routine detailing and mindful habits of ownership. The SoCal sun gets some of the blame, as likely do the region's pollutants. Happily, I'm finding that small (or relatively small) remedies can do much to maintain an older V's cosmetic vitality.

HEADLIGHT ENCLOSURES: Like those of most SoCal vehicles of a certain age, mine were surrendering their transparency to a yellow haze. Replacement enclosures generally run over $200 each, but I found new units on eBay for $75. Had to pull the V's grill, bumper and wheel well linings to install 'em, but the result is wholly worth it.

VINYL SPARE TIRE COVER: Mine was starting to crack, and no amount of Mother's (or the like) would keep it black for more than an afternoon. I ordered a new cover from H-and-A for $90, going with the 2nd-gen (non-logo) version that seems have a snugger, more tailored fit than the original.

EXTERIOR WINDOW SILLS: Given enough heat and sun exposure, the black finish on these begins to crack and chip away, exposing the metal underneath. 'Tis the easiest way to tell the garaged from non-garaged (like mine) V's in southern California. Though Majestic carries replacement sills, they seemed pricey to me (for what they are) and a likely chore to install. At the first hint of cracks, I masked off the areas around the sills and applied two spray coats of heat-resistant black satin barbeque paint. A year on, the finish is holding its own and looks good.

SHIFT KNOB (5-speed): Though the embossed shift pattern isn't something ya need, it's still a nice touch. Mine had largely worn away, along with much of the knob's faux-grain and faux-stitching. I ordered a new one from Majestic for $25. Looks great and "completes" the interior, the rest of which remains in excellent shape -- except for the...

FLOORMATS: The driver's mat was finally worn / warped / perma-filthed beyond daily tolerance, and it became worth it to me to buy a whole new set just to replace that one. As described here, finding a new set was challenge but not impossible. (Though H-and-A's site indicates no stock, spdrcr5 wisely advises giving Trevor a shout.) I'm holding off on installing 'em 'til I complete a current job that incurs about 150 miles a day, many of them in the Santa Clarita Valley -- Land o' Dust, Gravel & More Dust.

EXTERIOR PLASTICS: Though they've lost much of their original tone and luster, I've found that monthly applications of Mother's Back to Black are still sufficient to keep 'em chipper. If, like the spare tire cover, a piece should ever oxidize beyond help, new pieces are cheaply (or relatively so) available from Showcase or Majestic.

Though in truth I don't expect to keep this vehicle for more than another year or two, the money spent will yield a year or two of daily satisfactions -- and, hopefully, inspire its next owner to maintain it likewise.

 

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Just goes to show what keeping it garaged does to maintain the condition of your car. My V is also 5 years old but it is always garaged each night and always under cover during the day as much as possible. Plus I am very meticulous with the way I wash & wax it frequently. It's still pretty much in showroom condition!
 

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I went a different route on the side moldings and the pare tire on the back. I shaved them out, got tired of waxing around them.

Chris
 

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TheCrvster said:
I found other stuff for headlights.. saw another brand at the auto store to I googled headlight restoration and found this
http://www.mdwholesale.com/

Do not waste your money. Go spend $4.00 on Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish. Grab yourself a paper towel, scoop a dab and get to rubbin' in a circular motion. Keep rubbing it on the headlight for a minute or more...I usually do it for a good two or three minutes, then I wipe the compound off. Viola`. Clear headlights. Works beautifully!

Now, I'm not recommending anyone else do this...but...my sister drives a '95 Acura Integra LS (Auto) in Milano Red. Her passenger side light pods were badly faded/chalked in the base. And while I was clearing her headlights with the mag polish, I accidentally got some on the bad paint. When I wiped it off, I noticed it looked a lot better. So I started very gently massaging the compound on various parts of the car with the *horribly* faded paint. What did it do? Turned it nice and shiny red again! ...and then I waxed it with Mother's Caranuba Wax..


There's no shine like Mother's!
 
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