2006 Z4 dash cleaning questions. [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

2006 Z4 dash cleaning questions.

Living Dead
07-13-2011, 11:12 AM
I've had my 2006 Z4 for 2 years now and have a question about cleaning the dash and aluminum trim.

I discovered this forum a couple of weeks ago and I feel the onset of some serious OCD car detailing setting in:eek:. I recently tried claying the paint and was impressed by the results, now I have an uncontrollable urge to buy a buffing machine:rofl:. I hope my wife doesn't find my increasing stash of tried and discarded cleaning products hidden at the back of the garage:yikes:.

First the dashboard: I've tried cleaning it first with a micro fiber cloth which made things worse since the dash material is so rough it just tore the fibers out which I was able to remove with the brush att. on my vc next I tried a sponge but the dash tore it apart too since the surface is like 80 grit sandpape:mad:r. After cleaning again with the vc I tried to apply protectant with a sponge with very light pressure, this stopped the sponge from falling apart but now the dash is very blotchy:mad: since it is almost impossible to distribute the protectant evenly. What cleaner and proctant should be used and what kind of applicator should I use?:dunno: Is there a protectant that doesn't evaproate and fog up the windows over time? I've had this problem in the past with armourall products and the resulting film is a PITA to get off the windows.

Secondly the aluminum trim: I cleaned it using windex and I was surprised at how much dirt came off and how nice it looks:thumbup:, the only problem now is that there are some nicks & acratches that are very visible now that it is clean. How do I remove these without ruining the brushed effect of the surrounding material?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

07-13-2011, 02:34 PM
Great looking car. There are a LOT of opinions re: cleaning & ocnditioning interiors....just wait. With that said: I am very careful with what I use, and now for over 40 years had been a Megs guy and other various prods. But in last few years slowly switched over the Griot's line & NOPE not attached to them in any way.

BUT have the same issues you have. The Interior Cleaner works wonders, is totally safe, even for the leather cleaning. It is better than Windex, as no amonia or by prods. It is already diluted and well priced for 35 oz. I use it throughout whole interior...dirt gone and no residue. I just got back from a 3 day trip instructing at Blackhawk Farms for race school and the roadster had a patina of gritties inside--painful indeed, and top was down for both 300 miles of road. I first vacuumed thoroughly & that helps first...don't spread dust or grit around. Very key for the aluminum. Then the G's Interior cleaner..usually sprayed first on high quality microfibers and then applied. Grit gone. Especially in the "lined" or grooved aluminum sport trim on this 08 Z4si. Re: scratches?? Yikes, you have a problem there...someone may be able to help recco a hiding process--I just do not know. :( Perhaps a nice topical of somesort will reduce the light being caught by the scratches. I don't have the issue, so have not gone that route.

Now the dash. It is the pebble type preferred by BMW for safety issues and is not intended to be shiny. BUT it collected all kinds of fine, almost unseen dusty grit. Vacuumed again with brush, and cleaned with Int.Cleaner. Popped up smooth and clean. Then I used [again the Griot's Viny&Rubber dressing--but any good product will work...303, or Megs Interior Low Shine] and used a fine porous blue sponge that G's has available. California Cover sells them as well. You could get the foam thingies from Megs at AutoZone and they work nice as well. Secret for me anyway, is application to the sponge...NOT the dash or the products do not get that even look even with sponging. Seems to really adhere where is sprayed and can't get the even look. Apply to sponge first...and then wipe evenly, and then cross hatch pattern and then I go back with a circle pattern. Perfect...the vinyl is conditioned, but NOT shiny. :thumbup: Just like the uber-engineers decided it should be when they got together over beer one day and said, "ya, those amis do not NEED shiney dashes.."

Hope this helps some..but vacuum first...and then apply product. Oh,BTW...I did same for carpets and seats and behind the seats -- everything came up clean. Then applied leather conditioner. Bests on your clean up.

07-13-2011, 02:36 PM
Hm. If you share with us the product you used, someone might be able to tell you something about it. Some would say only to use water based protectants. Then if you don't like it, wipe it off, and if it's stubborn (and you haven't waited too many hours), try a water/alcohol mix.

However, the water based stuff will evaporate over time (if it takes a while). In your case, maybe that's a good thing, however, not a bad thing.

Also while we always seem to be using MF this and MF that, I always have different terry cloth and T shirt materials available to me. Perhaps test the dry (without any product) application material on the surface to get an idea if it will distribute the product well?

The key to distributing product evenly is not to spray it directly to the panel/whatever, but into the towel/pad. Yeah, some spray bottles are more difficult to adjust than others as well.

For the interior, my favorite MF to use is some super duper ultra soft and plush towel. I have no idea where I got it from; I've bought from too many places.

For a "buffer" as you say, the only way to start is with a DA RO. Dual Action Random Orbital. Amazon had a sale last week on the Griot's, for one day I think it was, at only $80. I am actually glad I was too late to see it, because I'm not $80 poorer at this moment. I already have two orbitals!

07-13-2011, 06:38 PM
i have a 2007 z4 and have the same issues!

the aluminum trim is like butter. would love it if there was a way to touch up the little scratches.

will give the dash cleaning method a try this weekend.

07-14-2011, 04:26 AM

Periodically clean using Iz einszett 'Plastik-Reiniger' an intensive, non-corrosive, non-acidic two-phase deep cleaner for urethane covered upholstery and vinyl trim, that removes grime build-up thoroughly and effortlessly, these chemicals restore the original texture, tactile feel and resiliency or Sonax Dashboard Cleaner are both Silicon-free

(Silicon oil formulations are build-up type products which accelerate heat damage) interior cleaners for all vinyl / plastic parts reliably prevent electrostatic charges creating a dust repellent surface. The white residue sometimes found on a vinyl dashboard is the plastizers out gassing, use a cleaner as above

And then apply a suitable matte type dressing (G Techniq C4 Trim Restorer or Iz Cockpit Premium) to ensure that there is no reflection on the windshield, thus reducing visibility.
Alternate with a UVR protection (303 Space Protectant or Optimum Protectant Plus) especially to the dash and any other surface that is subjected to sunlight on a regular basis. Note that there are no surface cleaners in these products

The white residue sometimes found on a vinyl dashboard is the plastizers out gassing, use a cleaner as above

Aluminium Trim

Wipe with a damp micro fibre towel to remove dust and then use Klasse AIO to clean. To remove fine surface scratches use Menzerna Polishing Cream, as this is a non-abrasive polish I suggest you use a 100% cotton terry weave towel

Living Dead
07-14-2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the suggestions:thumbup: I can't wait to get started this weekend since the blotchy dash is getting to me. It appears I will have to expand my shopping trips to specialty shops and the internet as I don't think my local Auto Barn carries some of the products mentioned.

When I first started driving in 1982 the only cars I could afford were not in great shape and Armor All products and Turtle Wax were cheap and easy to use and made such a big difference I never thought to try anything else since they also worked well on my first new car a 1989 Mustang GT and then my 2003 Altima. It appears that the materials inside my BMW will require a bigger investment of time and better quality products to get the same results I had in my previous cars.

I had not thought of spraying the applicator rather than the dash that is a great suggestion and should put an end to the blotches:thumbup:. I usually vacuum first but since the MF and sponges has been shredding on the dash I've been having to vacuum after as well. Maybe some quality applicator pads will work better.

Although I've been using Turtle Wax Ice products for the exterior of my Z4 and have been satisfied with the results until I discovered this forum. Now the swirl marks that didn't bother me before I now find irritating. I will be investing in a DA RO (a buffer as I referred to previously in my ignorance). The picture in my signature was taken last October before my finding this forum just after I put on the winter tires . I think any rational person would say it looks great as is but I feel my rationality slipping:loco:.