Last post on May 07, 2003 at 7:24 PM
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Toyota 4Runner, Auto Body
#1 of 5 2003 4Runner Cladding
May 02, 2003 (12:09 pm)
Please recommed product to clean and protect cladding on 2003 4Runner. Toyota Canada and Toyota US will not recommend a product. One dealer says 'use a good vinyl cleaner' ........anoter dealer says 'don't wax it because the material is porous'.............. another dealer says............ we get a product bulk from Toyota but can't sell it retail. Any suggestions from owners ??
#2 of 5 Good Question
May 03, 2003 (9:18 pm)
I too was thinking of that today as I washed mine for the first time. Soap and water is the obvious answer for basic cleaing of the cladding, but I'm not sure about how to protect it. I wonder if Vinylx (from Lexol) would work? It would be kind of expenive though. I would also think that that a tar remover product would be safe on the plastic cladding, since the lower portions will definately pick up road grime.
I have used many car-care products from Griot's Garage in the last couple of years. I will drop them an email and see what they recommend and let you know.
#3 of 5 don't wax it!!!
May 04, 2003 (2:47 pm)
It has a texture molded into the cladding that will trap wax which will never come out. If you run your fingernails on it and can hear & feel texture, keep car wax away from it. If it's as smooth and glossy as the painted steel panels, it can be waxed.
As for protection, Vinylex or similar water-based protectants will work fine but they'll rinse off at the first wash or rainstorm. Don't use silicone-based "Tire Shine" products as they might attack the plastic and cause problems.
Use car wash soap and water to clean and an all purpose cleaner to remove nasty spots. Be careful with tar removers; I'd think flicking off the tar with your fingernails will do the trick just fine.
#4 of 5 cladding will pitt quickly
May 04, 2003 (8:05 pm)
I have a 03 sport in grey with the cladding and have about 9000 km s on it now. We do some of our driving on gravel and I thought the cladding would hide some of the rock chips. It seems to be a very soft plastic and pits very easily. The leading edge of the fender flare that is attached the the rear door is already very worn and the bottom 2 inches of the panels on the doors is also very worn. I would hate to think what this would look like if this part was painted. The running boards on the limited models protect these parts . Finding a protectant is too late now. I suspect I will be talking to Toyota at about 25000 kms to see if the have a replacement part that works better.
#5 of 5 Cladding Care
May 07, 2003 (7:24 pm)
Following is the response I received from the Griot's Garage folks with regard to caring for the vinyl cladding on the 4Runner.
Thank you for your e-mail and interest in Griot's Garage. Congratulations on your recent purchase. The new Toyota 4 Runners are great looking and performing pieces of machinery. The vast plastic panels on the outside of the vehicle do not require too much special care. The best thing to do is keep them clean and just wash them when you wash the rest of the vehicle. For a added layer of protection, a coat of our Vinyl and Rubber Dressing (#11169) can beautify and protect. This is a non-silicone based product that will add a low gloss to the plastic pieces. Check it out at the following weblink: http://www.griotsgarage.com/search.jsp?searchtext=11169 . I hope this information will be helpful. If you have any additional questions please feel free to call our Customer Service Department at (800) 345-5789 6am - 6pm M-F and 7am - 3:30pm Saturday PST. Thanks again for your e-mail and have a great day!