C5 V6 2001. Sticky, sticky dash plastic
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Thread: C5 V6 2001. Sticky, sticky dash plastic

  1. #1
    kdd
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    Default C5 V6 2001. Sticky, sticky dash plastic

    I live in Central Qld so it is moderately hot most of the time. The car is garaged but it was left in the hot sun for 5 hours on one occasion and the left hand side of the dash went sticky and after that, it just kept spreading so now the whole dash is sticky. Nothing I or professional car detailers have tried, including really strong solvent will remove the stickiness. Citroen does not return my calls. Any ideas? On a C5 2001 or any other vehicle for that matter. I am desperate. Thanks.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I've seen this on a few cars other than CitroŽn/Peugeot. My thinking is it's one of two things.

    Either it's natural latex in the surface finish decomposing, or there is being created a chemical imbalance which "fuels" an ongoing process of decomposition, where the products of the polymer breakdown, continue the process (look up Pedigree Doll Disease for the textbook example). Not a good prospect either way.

    Is it the dash pad or the trim pieces around it which are sticky?

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Ouch. It's well out of warranty...

    It's hard to imagine that the car has never been very hot before in 13 years. Sounds like a broad time-dependent degradation issue that the heat set off - like our gear knob that just disintegrated at 19 years. I can only think of two things to do, one being to get it covered professionally and the other the old resort "insure and burn".

    We've had a similar matter lat month on two radios supposedly "water resistant". I found I could, with much elbow grease, wipe the stickiness off the painted steel cases. Solvents did not work at all, and of course on a car you'd hesitate to use serious thinners for example.

    Best wishes. Let's hope there are C5 folk with similar experience. Based on excellent results from phone calls regarding my Xantia, I'd try Continentals in Sydney.

    Quote Originally Posted by kdd View Post
    I live in Central Qld so it is moderately hot most of the time. The car is garaged but it was left in the hot sun for 5 hours on one occasion and the left hand side of the dash went sticky and after that, it just kept spreading so now the whole dash is sticky. Nothing I or professional car detailers have tried, including really strong solvent will remove the stickiness. Citroen does not return my calls. Any ideas? On a C5 2001 or any other vehicle for that matter. I am desperate. Thanks.
    JohnW

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    Fellow Frogger! BallinaOB's Avatar
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    Had a similar problem in my 2003 C5. On the lower part of the dash under the glove box and under the steering wheel to the right. Was living in Ballina at the time - warm and humid. Had success with first using Meguiars cloth and trim cleaner, leaving for a few days, then cleaned the areas again with Eucalyptus oil. When that was dry I sprayed and wiped in Meguiars Quik interior detailer. This cleared up the sticky feel of the vinyl. Never had the sticky vinyl again. Though, about six months later we moved to Bathurst - generally a much cooler and drier environment.
    A detailer in Ballina has success clearing up this sticky problem with car plastics and vinyl using 3M adhesive cleaner and solvent ( https://www.blackwoods.com.au/part/0...vent-700-350gm ). I have not used this method myself and would try it on a small (out of sight, if possible) area first.

    Good luck.
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    Had same problem, my 2003 started getting sticky at around 60,000 ks. Tried just about every fixer known to man, industrial and commercial, but the sticky always returned and attracted dog hair and fluff like you wouldn't believe, but it was never on the dash top itself, only on every piece of bone colored trim. I solved it by cleaning it with paint thinners and steel wool. Bugger of a job but the sticky has never returned. It yielded a grey plastic type of goop. You could see it rolling off under the steel wool. A warning though, do not put thinners on the softer plastics like heater vents and radio knobs or they will melt.
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    I've had two C5s with similar problems and found that worked best for me was bathroom cleaning paste called 'Gumption'. Wiping on and scrubbing a bit with a kitchen cloth then wiping off with a another wet cloth yielded dry unsticky plastics. That was a couple of years ago and plastics are still good now. In brisbane too so lots of heat and humidity here and yet plastics are still good. Good luck with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold78 View Post
    I've had two C5s with similar problems and found that worked best for me was bathroom cleaning paste called 'Gumption'. Wiping on and scrubbing a bit with a kitchen cloth then wiping off with a another wet cloth yielded dry unsticky plastics. That was a couple of years ago and plastics are still good now. In brisbane too so lots of heat and humidity here and yet plastics are still good. Good luck with it.
    Good show. I tried that, and borax, lots of other stuff and some bathroom cleaner the wife uses that will probably strip tiles of a wall. Never had much luck. Go for whatever suits you.

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    Metho and a steel scourer and lots of elbow grease worked for me. It doesn't feel as nice to touch anymore, but still better than the sticky death. I went through about 4 packs of steel scourers as the sticky grey stuff ruins the scourer pretty quick.

    MAKE SURE you put a mat on the floor first otherwise that sticky stuff will get caught in your carpet. Learnt that from experience

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    Quote Originally Posted by garethb View Post
    Metho and a steel scourer and lots of elbow grease worked for me. It doesn't feel as nice to touch anymore, but still better than the sticky death. I went through about 4 packs of steel scourers as the sticky grey stuff ruins the scourer pretty quick.

    MAKE SURE you put a mat on the floor first otherwise that sticky stuff will get caught in your carpet. Learnt that from experience
    Oh yeh.
    Wonder what the damn stuff is? Escargot custard perhaps?. Good to be rid of it anyway.

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    Had a look at ours today, same symptoms as above. . .

    Best result for me was using Sugar Soap straight from the container, looks and feels new again

    Cheers
    Chris
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    Fellow Frogger! k eeles's Avatar
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    Default French plastics????

    Same here.
    And the 406 is just falling to pieces bit by plastic bit. Reminds me of my Simca Aronde of many years ago. Degradation by design I think. If I rub mine down with the cat will I have fur lined C5.......and a bald cat.
    My C5 also spits the dummy with its ABS system, irregularly. Lights up the dash like a Christmas tree.
    cheers Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by k eeles View Post
    Same here.
    And the 406 is just falling to pieces bit by plastic bit. Reminds me of my Simca Aronde of many years ago. Degradation by design I think. If I rub mine down with the cat will I have fur lined C5.......and a bald cat.
    My C5 also spits the dummy with its ABS system, irregularly. Lights up the dash like a Christmas tree.
    cheers Kevin
    I wonder what is going on? Our 306 and the Xantia are fine, both being 1995-6 but kept almost entirely out of the sun except when driving or that odd occasion. Perth is less humid than much of the east coast I suppose.

    I remember the plastic fantastic that was the Aronde interior - good cars though.

    Greenblood's thinking of Sugar Soap sounds very smart - wonderful stuff. I must try it on the sticky radio cover!
    JohnW

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    Go to coles or woolies, buy a tub of Gumption. Scrub well 2-3 times and the prob is solved on the hard plastic. I have a 2005 hdi and this cured it. Brisbane based so heat here also applies. Cannot give you the solution to the softer plastics round the airvents yet but working on it.

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    When I said that paint thinners melts the grey plastic I was quite wrong, sad as it may be,it does happen. I removed the air vents, and washed them with thinners, goop came right off no problem. Worked so well I did the radio knobs as well. Wasn't game to try it before. Seems to be something thicky and sticky from deep space I reckon, but there's still a chance it's french custard. But it was better than the missus sitting in the car and scraping it off with a fingernail of her own. Women can do terrible things to motor cars with their rings and fingernails and stuff.

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    The sticky stuff is 'Soft feel' a paint application which you find on some mobile phone covers etc. It is designed to make a hard finish plastic feel slick like it's made of silicone rubber. We (at HP calculators) experimented with it a few years ago but it's not stable. Finger acid and UV radiation age it prematurely and turns it into goop. Guess what door handles and car interiors have UV and finger acid... good choice what?
    Any strong abrasive, even your finger nail will take it off once it's started to break down. If you use thinners of any decent strength you are liable to weaken the plastic substrate (hydrocarbon leaching) so go easy particularly on knobs or parts which require a bit of mechanical strength.

    SF
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I want to thank the people who said to use abrasive pastes like Gumption. Have had some great success today with Supercrap hand cleaner (the green one) and grey Scotchbrite (actually, Mirlon, but essentially the same stuff).

    The cleanest, fastest result with least substrate trauma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    The sticky stuff is 'Soft feel' a paint application which you find on some mobile phone covers etc. It is designed to make a hard finish plastic feel slick like it's made of silicone rubber. We (at HP calculators) experimented with it a few years ago but it's not stable. Finger acid and UV radiation age it prematurely and turns it into goop. Guess what door handles and car interiors have UV and finger acid... good choice what?
    Any strong abrasive, even your finger nail will take it off once it's started to break down. If you use thinners of any decent strength you are liable to weaken the plastic substrate (hydrocarbon leaching) so go easy particularly on knobs or parts which require a bit of mechanical strength.

    SF
    Interesting, good to remember, avoid anything with soft feel plastic.
    But it seems doubtful if lacquer thinners would damage the automotive plastic substrate, after all, the stuff can be, and very often is painted without any affect on it's longevity. I could be wrong tho.
    I used GP thinners and OOO grade steel wool on the C5, the stuff vapors off pretty quick. For me the results were excellent.
    Now on the other hand, every Alfa I ever owned had plastic everything, which became sticky and crumbled to dust in successive order at the mere mention of going for a drive. And they were never touched by any chemical cleaners whilst in my care. Just cheaply made rubbish I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shanadoo View Post
    Interesting, good to remember, avoid anything with soft feel plastic.
    But it seems doubtful if lacquer thinners would damage the automotive plastic substrate, after all, the stuff can be, and very often is painted without any affect on it's longevity. I could be wrong tho.
    I used GP thinners and OOO grade steel wool on the C5, the stuff vapors off pretty quick. For me the results were excellent.
    Now on the other hand, every Alfa I ever owned had plastic everything, which became sticky and crumbled to dust in successive order at the mere mention of going for a drive. And they were never touched by any chemical cleaners whilst in my care. Just cheaply made rubbish I reckon.
    Car interior plastic parts are usually a mixture of plastics depending on what function is being performed. For high quality surface finishes ABS is typical but it is limited in terms of structural strength Where high loads are experienced yet ABS hard surface finish is still important then the plastic is usually an alloy of ABS and Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is the material which is vulnerable to thinners. In some cases it can crumble to a sugary residue, so go easy.

    SF
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    Car interior plastic parts are usually a mixture of plastics depending on what function is being performed. For high quality surface finishes ABS is typical but it is limited in terms of structural strength Where high loads are experienced yet ABS hard surface finish is still important then the plastic is usually an alloy of ABS and Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is the material which is vulnerable to thinners. In some cases it can crumble to a sugary residue, so go easy.

    SF
    Yeh that last bit sounds like an Alfa. However, we can all bow to the knowledgeable master ScotFrog and take care in removing this goop, although age will probably prevent me from remembering any of it. Cheers.

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