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Interior plastic parts getting soft, gummy, sticky?

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This is a 98 OBS. The driver's side grab handle and plastic trim below the window has gotten softer and sticky over the years. Last night I left the windows down and it was a bit humid, it was all extremely gummy this morning. Wiping with a dry rag looked like it was just tearing up the material so I left it alone and will leave it open in the sun all day today which should dry it out/harden it back up.

 

This has been getting progressively worse over the years. Anyone have a way to fix or stop this?

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I have seen this with some cars and not others. Usually dticky shifter knowbs.

 

I have seen soft and gummy door uppers. maybe someone wheo uses lotion a lot and rests thatir arm can cause this. OR whatever you get on your hands is getting in your car. just a thought.

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I can't think of anything that would have caused it, I guess body oils, but I don't ride with my arm on the window or anything.

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since it is not going to get any better on it's own and since the most likely solution is to replace it, i would wash is with some kind of cleaner. it may help.

 

worst case you have to replace it sooner.

 

the only ''ruined'' panel i've seen was dry and brittle.

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I have had luck with sticky shift knobs with a citrused based cleaner like orange glo or similar. Billy Mays would demonstrate if he were still around.

 

If i have a really nasty car, i will take the parts out and wash them in the sink

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I used to see this fairly often. Oil causes it. Oil from your skin or from lotion. Mix it with heat and it breaks down the vinyl on an almost molecular level. If you catch it early you can sometimes clean it with a mild degreaser and prevent further damage, but the texture of the vinyl (the top layer) is usually already lost by that point so it will just be a smooth spot on the door panel. Better than goo though.

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Thanks all for your input. Ironically, I traded the Suby in the day after I made this post. It has been a great car, still ran great even with 180K miles on it, and hasn't needed any maintenance. I think it was getting fragile though, I felt like everything was on the brink.

 

Anyways, so long, and thanks for all the help through the years.

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Anyways, so long, and thanks for all the help through the years.

 

 

So I'm guessing the new one wasn't a Subaru. :rolleyes:

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So I'm guessing the new one wasn't a Subaru. :rolleyes:

 

dosnt sound like it. myself thats the only thing i would trade mine in for. is another subaru. these cars are very hard to stop.

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