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Author Topic: what do you guys use to brighten up the alloy sidesteps ?  (Read 570 times)

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November 05, 2016, 04:23:06 PM


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what do you guys use to brighten up the alloy sidesteps ?
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:23:06 PM »
Hi again,

Was just finished polishing the X5 and thought it would be good to finish off the job by trying to bring some brightness back to the side-steps.
I tried a wee bit of solvol autosol, my old favourite from the biker days,..but it left a kinda grey smear on them.
I'd like to get a spray to use with a stiff brush or something just to lift the grime.
What do other members use to clean them up a bit ??
Virgin owner of X5 3.0 D 2003 ( getting to know her better now )(thinking of a long-term relationship now )( sadly  now divorced !! )( 4 years later...met the newer model and happy again )

November 05, 2016, 04:40:55 PM
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Re: what do you guys use to brighten up the alloy sidesteps ?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 04:40:55 PM »
I used alloy wheel cleaner, can't remember what the exact name was, worked a treat. Does yours have the plastic. Ungs in ? If so remove them before cleaning for best results

Wonder wheels, springs to mind 🤔
BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 05, 2017, 05:46:44 PM
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Re: what do you guys use to brighten up the alloy sidesteps ?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 05:46:44 PM »
Put this on another post recently so thought I would update it here.

Side steps cleaning - first pop out all the little black studs (off the top of my head there are 46 per side I think). Use a plastic trim remover or back/blunt edge of an old knife. Be careful not to split them or scratch. Take your time and you will get through them. They are pennies at a dealership and/or on eBay so get a few spare as they can split crack when removing (more prone to plotting or cracking when cold but the outside temp is perfect now for doing this job). Stick them in a bucket of warm/hot water with a heavy all purpose cleaner/degreasant and leave to soak.

Then you have  nice flat surface to set about cleaning. Autosol or similar metal polish works well, as does Wonder Wheels. With the wonder wheels follow the instruction and let it sit then agitate it then lit is sit some more. Scrub the stubborn stains/marks with a non scouring sponge pad.

Then rinse it all off and let dry. Then apply a regular wax or wheel wax or better still Gtechniq wheel armour. The gtechniq product will seal the metal. It is not cheap at about £20 for 15ml bottle, but 15ml will do a full set of wheels (including the innerside/barrel of the wheels), as well as the side steps and have some left over, but you will only have to apply once year, maybe even every two years.

Rinse off the black studs. Get some tyre dressing and apply onto a sponge and wipe each one as you pop them back in. Doing it before you pop them back in saves smearing it across the side steps, which can make them every slippy and can mark clothing too as you get in or out.

Hey presto - showroom condition.Takes no more than 30-40 mins each side. I can usually do the whole job both sides in an hour start to finish, and usually do it once year, usually pre-winter.