Tech Article Title Author Date
Repairing Scratches to Onyx Interior Panels Michael "IronMike" Huoh 1999

Purpose:

Like all automobile interiors, the onyx interior of the Audi A4 is prone to scuffs and scratches. These blemishes, however, stand out on the onyx interior because they give a "whitish" appearance that contrasts the dark door panels, dash, and seats. These scuffs also tend to be difficult to wipe out. This FAQ provides a method to remove scuffs and scratches on the onyx interior that while cannot be removed with products such as Vinylex, Lexol leather conditioner, Meguiar's Vinyl Conditioner, or Armor All, can be blended out easily with a homemade solution.

Background:

I discovered this solution back in 1994 when I purchased a used BMW 325es. The black leather seats were dry, wrinkled, and discolored due to years of being parked outside under the sun. I purchased a bottle of Lexol leather conditioner and wiped down the seats. While the Lexol leather conditioner re-moisturized the leather, it did not restore any color to the seats. After trying many products unsuccessfully, I tried to restore the color using a bottle of shoe polish. The shoe polish dyed the seats black, but the color was too shiny and also rubbed off on clothing. For some strange reason, I decided to mix the Lexol leather conditioner and the shoe polish together. Oddly, the mixture blended into the seats and restored the natural color to the leather. The mixture absorbed into the leather and would not rub off on a white cloth or clothing. I used this solution for several years on my BMW, but forgot about it after purchasing my Audi A4. Several months ago, though, my friend ran his shoe over the door panel of my car and left a white scuff mark that couldn't be removed with several car care products. A week later the shoe polish/Lexol solution came to mind, and I tried it on the door panel. Amazingly, the polish blended the scuff right out. The color matched and the solution would not rub off onto a clean white cloth.

Procedure:

The solution is a mixture of Angelus Brand Leather Finishes Jet Black Leather Dye and Lexol Leather Conditioner. The Angelus Leather Dye is a shoe polish that can be purchased at shoe stores. The Lexol Leather Conditioner is a commonly used automotive product that can be purchased at most automotive products stores. These two products should be mixed in a 1:1 ratio. Mix the leather polish into the Lexol Leather Conditioner. At first, the solution will appear "chunky". Mix until the final solution has only a few solids and appears black. My original mixture back in 1994 was imprecise. I simply dumped a whole bottle of the leather dye into my remaining bottle of Lexol. I recently recreated the solution using one tablespoon of each ingredient and have gotten equal results to my original solution. After the solution is created, use a small amount on an inconspicuous area of your car interior to test for a color match. When first applied, the solution will appear darker than the onyx interior color, but when buffed it should blend into the onyx color and look identical. If you are satisfied with the color match, try the solution on a scuff. Apply the solution to the blemished area with a Q-Tip. Let the solution absorb into the area for a couple minutes, and then buff the area with a clean cloth. If the blemish is still noticeable, repeat the procedure while allowing extra time for the solution to set in. I have found that most blemishes on the dash and door panels can be blended out with one application, but scuffs on seat backs often take 5 applications or more. Always remember to wipe the area with a clean white cloth after application to make sure the solution has set and will not come off on clothing.

Caution:

  1. I have tried making the solution several times with shoe polishes other than Angelus Brand and each attempt has been unsuccessful. The mixtures with other shoe polishes tend to leave a greasy look or tend to come off on clothing.

  2. This solution has so far only been tested in my cars. Test the solution on an inconspicuous area first. The 1:1 ratio of the two ingredients can be adjusted to each individual's preference to achieve the best color match. The onyx interior color may vary slightly from car to car due to different amounts of exposure to the sun and also age.





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