Cleaning chrome exhaust tips - Buick Enclave Online Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

Since the original thread on this topic has had no activity in two years, it was suggested that I start a new one.

First off, I confess to being lazy about cleaning the carbon buildup off my 2014 E's exhaust outlets. Had a lot of stuff going on. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. My outlets, of course, are the trapezoidal shape that exit through the lower bumper. I've hit them lightly a couple of times after car washes. But that stuff bakes on like lava rock, so I never made much progress. Today I decided to tackle them, and I had to go through multiple steps to cut through the buildup.

I first tried straight ammonia, becuase that seems to be the primary ingredient in most metal polishes. That didn't take me far, so I broke out my trusty Meguires Gold Class All Metal Restorer. That took off a good bit of the crud, but not enough fast enough. I then grabbed a non-scratch kitchen scrubber that I had trashed the night before. That also wasn't very effective (I think it was just too worn out). So I tried some #0000 steel wool and a synthetic fine sanding pad. Lubed both with water, and saw a bit more progress. I kept using the sanding pad until most of the crud was gone. In hindsight, I shouldn't have done that, because it or the steel wool left some very fine scratches in the chrome. Unfortunately, they aren't visible in the photos. I did my best to clean that up with some Turtle Wax red rubbing compound, followed by some Turtle Wax white polishing compound. Last step was to finish it off with more of the Meguires.

The final verdict is that they at least look presentable again, although I'm gonna have to go back with additional rubbing and polishing compound treatments to get rid of more of the fine scratches. I'm thinking if I'm diligent about using the Meguires after every car wash, along with a relatively new non-scratch kitchen scrubber, I can prevent the heavy carbon buildup that I fought with today. Hope this helps other E owners.

Math is such a simple, linear science. Why do so many make it so difficult?<br /><br />'14 Enclave / Leather Group<br />White Opal / Cocoa<br />Bose 10 / Nav<br />Moonroof<br />Hit-the-Road<br /><br />Luvvit!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 09:13 PM
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

Kleen King- stainless steel pot cleaner-- I use that.

2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.
Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.
2013 Equinox 3.6L - 60,000
2010 Traverse 3.6L- 128,000
2003 Trailblazer 4.2L-180,000
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 09:34 AM
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

Never dull

1998 Torch Red Corvette 2011 Silver Ice Equinox LTZ 2015 White Diamond Enclave Premium
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 11:45 AM
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

A judicious use of oven cleaner applied with a rag to the outlets. It's baked on carbon just like some ovens. Even better would be to use painter's tape, mask off the bumper area so you could spray it on. Followup with some stainless steel scrubber. Never use an item like a steel wool pad as it leaves small microscopic steel fibers that will begin rusting sooner or later, then you'll have some rusty exhaust outlets

Rex<br />09 Red Jewel CXL Enclave Traded for KR Ford Expedition May 27, 2012<br />My other car is 2006 Cadillac XLR
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 01:22 PM
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

What the 3 posts above me said

I have used Nevr-Dull for years and had great experience with it on all types of chrome (including bumpers and wheels).

2009 CXL, White Diamond Tricoat, Cashmere, with absolutely everything except AWD, "re"-contented with some 2008 features ...<br />(traded November 2015 for a new Silverado but still love Enclaves and this forum!)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 07:39 PM
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

The traverse tips must be radically different. I can literally use a wet finger to clean them no problem. Mine are dual exhaust and round.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Re: Cleaning chrome exhaust tips

Old timer motorcycle riders have been using never dull and superfine chrome polish cleaner which comes in tubes at your auto supply store. We used it to take the bluing off the pipes and polish all the mega chrome on the bikes. Just purchased a 2014 Enclave with 67000 miles of neglect on the tips and came out like new after cleaning.
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