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Old 11-15-2019, 05:33 PM
isstatu1 isstatu1 is offline
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Polishing Exhaust Tips

So my exhaust tips are a little dark on the bottom from all of the exhaust on my 2010 750li. Can I just wet sand the tips with 2000 grit sand paper, or is there some other method that I should be doing?
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:55 PM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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Try using the wheel cleaner in a can that looks like white steel wool. You could use a Brillo pad.
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:26 PM
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Have you considered using a fine metal polish like Blue Magic 400 or Happich Semichrome or is the staining just too significant?
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:14 AM
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Using any kind of steel wool can leave dissimilar metal embedded in the metal of the exhaust tip, causing accelerated corrosion.

Anytime you're polishing something, you should start with the mildest product and then work up in strength until something works. I got most of my corrosion of with, oddly, Meguiar's Swill Remover. But, it came back in a few weeks.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:13 AM
isstatu1 isstatu1 is offline
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I'll try the soft products first, thanks! The staining isn't significant, but I just don't want to do more damage than help.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:47 AM
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use steel wool, its a ss tip but the water from your exhaust leaves carbon on it. Brillo pad w soap on it will work best. Ive used it on every exhaust ive had including corsa borla,and factory tips.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:32 PM
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As mentioned already, start with the mildest abrasive/cleaner first. P21S polishing soap worked well for me, starting with a toothbrush, then a scouring pad, then a Mr. Clean melamine sponge (it's like a very fine sandpaper). Avoid steel wool unless you really cannot get the carbon off.

I would also recommend taking the tips off the car so you have more working room and don't need to worry about scratching the paint. Pull the diffuser off and there are three screws holding the tips onto the bumper.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:01 PM
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It's not carbon on the tips, it's corrosion. The BMW rep's seem to be telling the dealerships it's carbon and that the solution is to "clean" them with steel wool. They did that with my car. Two weeks later it was back, and they replaced the tips.

The early direct injection engines (e.g. N55) do put out a lot of soot. But, if it was "baked on carbon" it'd be inside the exhaust pipe, not just on the bottom of the lip of the exhaust tips. The soot inside my exhaust cleans right off (with Remington gun oil). Frau Putzer's second-generation direct injection "B46" engine produces almost no soot. You can look up the exhaust pipe and see bare metal in there. The tips are fine, too.

I worked with equipment made out of stainless steel that got dunked in the ocean. The devices had stainless steel caps with O-rings. The tech's would pry the old O-rings off with metal screwdrivers. That'd leave dissimilar metal pieces embedded in the stainless steel caps and they'd start corroding. I made the techs start using hard plastic screwdrivers (electronics "tweaking tools") and that solved our corrosion problem.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:07 PM
isstatu1 isstatu1 is offline
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Tried various cleaners and it's not coming off. It feels like it's corrosion rather than soot. In my audi the tips were smooth and the build up would clean off with some degreaser and a soft sponge. I guess I'll try the steel wool next, I'm sure I have some Brillo under kitchen sink. What are the tips made out of? Chrome? Could they be recoated with chrome?
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