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Black Pillars

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Sep 2003, 12:46 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Omaha, Ne., USA.
Posts: 24
Default Black Pillars

Ok, whats the deal with my pillars and all the other ones I see on the street ? They are all discolored, what can be done to keep them from getting discolored and looking crappy.[8)]
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 24 Sep 2003, 01:11 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,319

from ...


Black Pillar (Appliques) Panels - Paint Discoloration

A number of PT owners have complained of water spotting, streaking and or discoloration on the black pillar panels located between the driver and passenger windows.

Some owners have successfully removed the spotting or streaking using the vinegar/water procedure mentioned in the preceding Water Spotting FAQ.

If the vinegar/water procedure fails to remove the spots or streaking completely try using a wax cleaner. Owners report that Mothers Liquid Wax Cleaner, 3M's One Step Cleaner Wax, Mopar Swirl Free Cleaner and Zaino Brothers Z-6 Ultra Clean "Gloss-Enhancer" are effective in removing spots and streaking on the pillars. (See the procedure in the TSB below.) If these products fail to remove the spotting or streaking, or if discoloration is the actual problem contact your local DC dealer. Under the current TSB they will clean, or if necessary, replace the black pillar panels.

Technical Service Bulletin Number: 232200

DATE: May 26, 2000


SUBJECT: B-Pillar and C-Pillar applique on doors have a brown haze or appear discolored.

OVERVIEW: This bulletin involves using a cleaner to remove the discoloration.

SYMPTOM CONDITION: The B-pillar applique used on the exterior of the front doors and the B & C pillar applique on the rear doors may have a brown haze or appear discolored. This is caused by contact with certain phosphates used in some types of car wash soap. The discoloration can also be described as having iridescent blue spots on the B-pillar and or C-pillar applique.

DIAGNOSIS: Visually inspect the B-pillar applique's on all 4 doors and the C-pillar applique on the rear doors, if the discoloration, brown haze or blue spots are found, perform the repair procedure.


Qty Part No. Description
1 050 17020AA Mopar Swirl Free Cleaner
NPN 3M Performance Wipe Cloth or Equivalent

REPAIR PROCEDURE: This repair is compatible with DC's mobile service program and does not require hoists or other full service facility special equipment.

1. The appliques must be cool and dry before beginning the repair procedure.

2. Apply a small amount (dime size) of the Mopar Swirl Free Cleaner to a clean and dry 3M High Performance Wipe Cloth or equivalent.

3. Starting at the top of the B-pillar applique, rub the cleaner into a small section of the B-pillar. Continue to rub until nearly dry. Clean the remainder of the B-pillar using the same process.

4. Allow the complete B-pillar applique to dry. Dry time is approximately 2 minutes.

5. Use a clean, dry 100% cotton towel and wipe off any remaining cleaner residue.

6. Repeat the procedure for the remaining B- pillar and C-pillar appliques as needed.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 24 Sep 2003, 10:55 pm
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oklahoma, USA.
Posts: 282

If you are talking about spots that will not come off when you use any kind of cleaner.
I had a real problem with mine last year.
I was even thinking about replacing them, until I bought some Maguires Gold wax.
I hand washed the car and was waxing trying to not wax the columns because I was afraid to put wax on top of these horrible looking spots.
I accidently dripped some Maguires Gold on the black spotted finish and when I wiped it off it was totally spotfree.
I mean it was completely clean. I used it on the columns and the problem was eleminated. Not to return again.
It has been about 9 months now and when I wax her down I make sure to include the columns and it shines like I always thought it should.
Give it a try.

[?]still waxin'
My Website is
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 25 Sep 2003, 04:11 am
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: May 2003
Location: chicago, il, USA.
Posts: 134

Cruisergeo is right, put some Meguiars Gold on the pillars. I did that the first time I waxed my PT and I have had no such problems since. Folks are always closin' her doors with those pillars and I guess the oil and sweat from their grimey little hands can really wreak havoc on them if it builds up. Stumbled across that "by accident" as well. I guess I didn't know any better, since it was the first time I waxed a car. Stupid me got white streaks on some of the rubber during that first wax. DOH!
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Old 25 Sep 2003, 11:20 am
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Hermon, Me, USA.
Posts: 233

FYI. If you use turbomangt's products you will not get the usual white streaks that you get with wax. Trust me, I couldn't believe what a great job it does. Absoultely nothing against Meguiars as I used it for years, but this works better for me.[8)]Oh yes, it does an awesome job on the black window trim.
Neil from Maine
2003 Patriot Blue PT Touring Edition
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 25 Sep 2003, 11:54 am
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,787

i had same problems used the zanio no more spots !!
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 28 Sep 2003, 04:32 pm
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: palm bay, fl, USA.
Posts: 121

oh well... to each is own... all I do is use windex on them when I do the windows and have not had a problem with any spots or discoloring...
ptcruizerman daniel
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 28 Sep 2003, 05:42 pm
Dedicated Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago, IL.
Posts: 2,667

Wow, I see allot of complicated methods here for repairing what should be a simple fix. As always, nothing beats preventative maintainance. Those pillars are painted and coated similar to what you finish is protected with. What I have seen happen is that people go through car washes, and as we all should know, car washes can have a strong solution of chemicals spray on your finish and they can and will discolor those pillars. Also, I still see poeple talking about waxing them. *Remember the best wax only lasts 30 days on your finish. How many of us really wax our cars every month? Put on a synthetic sealant on those pillars, then next time you go through the car wash, it will have a better chance of staying protected longer. Gary
2003 Turbo GT 5-speed/
Founder/ Chicagoland PT Cruiser Club
Contributing Editor,
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 28 Sep 2003, 05:50 pm
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Longview, WA, USA.
Posts: 569

I also think it has to do with the color. When the pillars are hot and the water dries on the hot surface, water spots will happen. It is the same as washing a black car in the sun and letting it air dry.

I keep mine perfect with a sealant (as Gary suggests) and I also wipe them down with detailing spray. Another thing I do is teach people how to close the door WITHOUT putting their fingerprints on the doors. I know this sounds picky but it helps.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 29 Sep 2003, 09:40 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Omaha, Ne., USA.
Posts: 24

[^]Thanks all, if I can't get them cleaned up with all of your fixes,then they can't be cleaned.
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