Sticky Repair

I recently picked up a ’06 Gransport. Everything is pretty mint on it except for the interior is starting to turn sticky. This is common on many cars of this era (Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.) due to the soft-touch coatings the manufacturers used at the time.

There doesn’t seem to be any clear cause/preventitive measure. Some of said it’s due to heat, humidity, oils on your hand, etc. but it simply seem inevitable.

I looked at a lot of options for corrections, and what others were trying and decided to try something a bit different.

The first piece I decided to try was the center windshield vent.  I received a quote from a commercial outfit that would refurbish this part for a mere $350 USD. This didn’t seem like a great value.

I started by trying to scrub it with goo-gone and although it got rid of some of the stickiness, it left a lot of scratches and some lighter splotches of discoloration. It looked better but wasn’t great. 

Instead, I started by cleaning the part with a all-purpose cleaner. I used simple green in this case on a microfiber cloth and rinsed the part with water thoroughly after.

After washing and drying, I applied several layers of black Plasti Dip. This is a rubberized coating in a spray can for around $20.

Before coating the part, remove the mechanism (four small screws) and the thumb knob.  The thumb knob has no coating so can be left as is.  I applied four thing coats of the Plasti Dip, spaced around 30-40 minutes apart.  Once the 4 coats were applied, let it dry a full 12 hours before handling.

Unfortunately this stage of coating removed the existing markings (open/closed vent) on the part. 

To solve that bit, I used a CriCut machine (small vinyl cutter) to cut out the shapes.

Originally I was planning to make them negatives to use as a mask. However, since the Plasti Dip left a bit of a textured surface I was worried I’d just end up with a bunch of bleed. I simply printed two circles, one hollow. The middle stripe was used for helping with alignment.

The completed pattern was ready to be transferred to the finished part.

Finally reassembly back into the car. If I were to do it again, I would probably reprint the markings smaller.

Since doing this, I’ve also gone through the process recoating the 4 air duct vents and the headlamp selector switch. So far the coating is holding up well and still retains the factory look/feel of the surfaces.

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