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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Best trim lube



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      06-11-2009, 02:45 AM   #1
Pierre_za
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Best trim lube

Hi all,
Lubricating creaking & squeeking plastics: especially my dash 'silver' trim is quite creaky, partly because of the clips of the air vents but also of the trim rubbing on the dash. What's the best fix? For the trim-to-dash I was thinking of lining the top and bottom with felt, but it may be too thick since it's a tight fit. Maybe lubing it up?
For the vent clips I experimented on the small trim piece at the driver side using KY jelly since it's easier to remove and it helped, but not 100% even before it dried.
Teflon lube isn't readily available in my country, but I'm wary of using silicone grease for either of the applications as I've heard bad stuff about it eating into plastics.
I'm actually considering simply epoxying the vents to the trim as I've no intention of ever replacing either, but that's one huge risk...
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      06-11-2009, 03:25 AM   #2
VanM3Lover
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I have this creaky sound too, I wonder how likely is the dealer going to replace it when I take it in.
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      06-11-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
Pierre_za
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Well, I spent the whole day fixing my trim&cluster rattle. I managed to get some teflon-based lube, as well as thin adhesive weatherstripping (similar to felt but spungy). Best is to start with the small vent piece at the driver seat side to get a feel for it. Here's what I did:
- remove the trim & disconnect the wires (there's a DIY guide for it)
- clean the trim and the mounting in the dash, mine had some grime and dust
- spray the inside of the trim at all the clips and joints properly. Let it sink in, clean it up and repeat. Do the hinges and joints of the vent fins too, they can be creaky.
- the vents will probably have some "play" between them and the trim, fix them tighter by stuffing some folded cardboard inbetween
- clean the whole thing properly, especially the top part that will rub against the dash
- apply a layer of wax at the bottom of the dash
- apply wax to the rivets
- cut a length of felt tape of about 3mm wide, and stick it on the edge of the top of the trim. Let it go round the corners too
- reconnect the wires and wedge the whole thing back. The felt strip will be visible but if done properly it doesn't look DIY. Clean everything up. Stick some foam in the parts of the trim that aren't damped yet.

The trim creaks far less now than it did before when pressed on. It also sounds more dead when knocked. Naturally there's a little smell when the AC is on, but if you let as little as possible lube get into the vent itself it's not much.

I did the same with the gauge cluster. Drop the steering wheel, remove, clean everything, lube up the clips where the two parts of the cluster meet, line some parts of it with felt and lube up the area where it will make contact in the dash with wax. Overkill to use both damping and lubrication, but it did the trick. It has much less creaks now when pushed against, still have to do a driving test to see how it sounds on the road.

Loosening the boards below the steering column and glovebox a bit to spray some lube on all the plastic-on-plastic parts and screwholes also helps.

Next up: glovebox and cupholder...
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      06-11-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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Dinner out and a little foreplay and your trim won't need any lube.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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      06-11-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre_za View Post
Hi all,
Lubricating creaking & squeeking plastics: especially my dash 'silver' trim is quite creaky, partly because of the clips of the air vents but also of the trim rubbing on the dash. What's the best fix? For the trim-to-dash I was thinking of lining the top and bottom with felt, but it may be too thick since it's a tight fit. Maybe lubing it up?
For the vent clips I experimented on the small trim piece at the driver side using KY jelly since it's easier to remove and it helped, but not 100% even before it dried.
Teflon lube isn't readily available in my country, but I'm wary of using silicone grease for either of the applications as I've heard bad stuff about it eating into plastics.
I'm actually considering simply epoxying the vents to the trim as I've no intention of ever replacing either, but that's one huge risk...
For trim, use this. It was developed by NASA!
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      06-11-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
Pierre_za
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Ahh I knew the KY reference was going to draw some comments
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      06-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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silicon paste..
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