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      02-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #23
Z K
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The leather on the steering wheel is actually a different leather than the one on the seats. The seats scratch easily and is pretty delicate in the M3. The leather on the steering wheel is more durable.

The harder leather in the regular 3 series cars is much more durable than the M3's novillo as well.
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      02-27-2013, 05:00 PM   #24
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Here is the product I've ordered from Leather Master (via Leather Repair PRO), for those who might be interested in also trying it for a refinish.

http://www.leatherrepairpro.com/sofitopco25.html
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      02-27-2013, 05:02 PM   #25
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Here is a different top coat from Leather Master, just as an FYI:

http://www.leatherrepairpro.com/lefi25.html

This one needs a "hardener" mixed in with it, whereas Soft Finish does not.
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      02-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Thebigbus View Post
Here is the product I've ordered from Leather Master (via Leather Repair PRO), for those who might be interested in also trying it for a refinish.

http://www.leatherrepairpro.com/sofitopco25.html
I'd be glad to see how you liked the treatment. If it's anything like this example, I'll pick some up as well:

http://www.autogeek.net/about-leather-master.html
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      02-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
I do a weekly/bi-weekly wipe down of the wheel with Meguiar's Interior Quick Detailer. It cleans up the wheel, maintains the matte look/feel and gives some UV protection. Otherwise I just try not to drive with my hands dirty or oily. Oils from food and sweat settle into the leather and make it glossy.
I use to do this, but feel like there is some type of residue left over....which I didn't really notice until I tried a different cleaner. Was also able to pull more dirt off the steering wheel even after it was freshly cleaned with meguiars QID
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      02-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by eclipsisNA View Post
You are correct about Leatherique being oil-based, and oil-based products should never be used on BMW leather. Water-based products like Leather Masters are what need to be used.
Why?
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      02-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar View Post
Why?
Due to the fact that oils actually help break down the urethane coating on finished leathers.

A Lot of the "leather care" stuff out there for cars is not actually GOOD for the leather. In fact, it often just layers a big ol helping of oils over the finish, which make it slick; cause it to attract dirt and grime; and wears down the coating. But it sure does smell nice

That is why you supposedly can't actually "condition" the leather in 85% or so of auto leather. You can protect it, but not "condition" it, unless we're talking some exotics, or the King Ranch leather.

From what I've read via hours of researching this mysterious topic: The oils are too large to actually penetrate the top coat. The water-based products do. If the oil-based are penetrating, it's deleterious because it means they've worn through some of the top coat to "get to" the leather. Leather doesn't need re "oiling", but needs hydrating via water-based products

It makes sense. but, I'm no leather expert, so take all this with a dab of leather conditioner...or grain of salt

I've seen the results of some of the leatherique stuff, and it's impressive, but I have no idea what the consequences are to the topcoat and long term durability of the leather when used.

Leatherique DOES make water-based re-dye stuff, if I recall. The only issue is that their top coat is gloss, which looks bleh.

I really like the Leather Master stuff as it is really geared to the specific type of leather.
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      02-28-2013, 10:14 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebigbus View Post
Due to the fact that oils actually help break down the urethane coating on finished leathers.

A Lot of the "leather care" stuff out there for cars is not actually GOOD for the leather. In fact, it often just layers a big ol helping of oils over the finish, which make it slick; cause it to attract dirt and grime; and wears down the coating. But it sure does smell nice

That is why you supposedly can't actually "condition" the leather in 85% or so of auto leather. You can protect it, but not "condition" it, unless we're talking some exotics, or the King Ranch leather.

From what I've read via hours of researching this mysterious topic: The oils are too large to actually penetrate the top coat. The water-based products do. If the oil-based are penetrating, it's deleterious because it means they've worn through some of the top coat to "get to" the leather. Leather doesn't need re "oiling", but needs hydrating via water-based products

It makes sense. but, I'm no leather expert, so take all this with a dab of leather conditioner...or grain of salt

I've seen the results of some of the leatherique stuff, and it's impressive, but I have no idea what the consequences are to the topcoat and long term durability of the leather when used.

Leatherique DOES make water-based re-dye stuff, if I recall. The only issue is that their top coat is gloss, which looks bleh.

I really like the Leather Master stuff as it is really geared to the specific type of leather.
Have any sources on some of this research? I'm not trying to be a jackass, I'm genuinely interested. Since all the detailers here left, many people here don't post enough information, and just post biased reports on stuff THEY use and they automatically say "everything else is crap." I'd like to see more discussions here.

I've used Leatherique with excellent results and no issues, but then again, I constantly take care of my leather in between those treatments (once, maybe twice a year), and don't bring many outside contaminants in contact with the leather. It's always left a matte finish, if used according to the directions, and also no slick feeling from left behind oils.

If something does happen to get on my leather, it's quickly wiped off with a damp microfiber towel.
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      02-28-2013, 10:19 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar View Post
Have any sources on some of this research? I'm not trying to be a jackass, I'm genuinely interested. Since all the detailers here left, many people here don't post enough information, and just post biased reports on stuff THEY use and they automatically say "everything else is crap." I'd like to see more discussions here.

I've used Leatherique with excellent results and no issues, but then again, I constantly take care of my leather in between those treatments (once, maybe twice a year), and don't bring many outside contaminants in contact with the leather. It's always left a matte finish, if used according to the directions, and also no slick feeling from left behind oils.

If something does happen to get on my leather, it's quickly wiped off with a damp microfiber towel.
Honestly, like I said, it's just from doing "internet research". I'm quite OCD when it comes to learning stuff, so I've spent hours and hours googling for answers on this, and this seems to be the consensus for coated leather.

I did read on one message board..think it was Detailer's Domain...that Leatherique may no longer actually be oil-based, but is now water-based. I think the only way to find out would be to email them

If they have changed to water-based, then it makes sense that it's working so well now.

I, too, would love to see more discussions on this here, as there seems to be a TON of misinformation out there about leather care.

The main thing to remember is that almost all modern auto leather is coated, and THAT is why you're cleaning and what you're protecting. That is what gives the "matte" or "glossy" look, and gives the leather a certain feel as well, I believe.

This is why I'm trying so hard to restore my steering wheel back to factory look and feel....it needs that protection! I can tell when look closely at the steering wheel that there are tiny little pits present, probably contraction of the leather...who knows. All I know is that I hope the Leather Master Top Coat works some magic !
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      02-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebigbus View Post
Honestly, like I said, it's just from doing "internet research". I'm quite OCD when it comes to learning stuff, so I've spent hours and hours googling for answers on this, and this seems to be the consensus for coated leather.

I did read on one message board..think it was Detailer's Domain...that Leatherique may no longer actually be oil-based, but is now water-based. I think the only way to find out would be to email them

If they have changed to water-based, then it makes sense that it's working so well now.

I, too, would love to see more discussions on this here, as there seems to be a TON of misinformation out there about leather care.

The main thing to remember is that almost all modern auto leather is coated, and THAT is why you're cleaning and what you're protecting. That is what gives the "matte" or "glossy" look, and gives the leather a certain feel as well, I believe.

This is why I'm trying so hard to restore my steering wheel back to factory look and feel....it needs that protection! I can tell when look closely at the steering wheel that there are tiny little pits present, probably contraction of the leather...who knows. All I know is that I hope the Leather Master Top Coat works some magic !
The leatherique website says it has no oil fillers. I think the term they use, "rejuvenator oil" is what causes people to think it is a straight up oil.

http://www.leatherique.com/products.html
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      02-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar View Post
The leatherique website says it has no oil fillers. I think the term they use, "rejuvenator oil" is what causes people to think it is a straight up oil.

http://www.leatherique.com/products.html
Yeah, I think that may be right.

Here is a little discussion with a few leather experts from a few years ago that might be of some help: http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/...atherique.html
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      02-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar View Post
Why?
There's a lot of noise on this issue that clouds the facts that absolutely can be ascertained. The fact is that modern automotive leather has a protective polyurethane coating over the dyed hide. No one should be disputing this.

Where the issue gets hazy is when we try to figure out the chemistry behind the protective layer and how it should be treated. Some people say oil-based products work, others say water-based is the only way to go. For me, I came to the conclusion that water-based products made complete sense because polyurethane is a protective layer just like a clear coat on paint. It should be cleansed, not conditioned because nothing saturates the polyurethane or anything beneath it. If that's the case, you have to imagine where oil-based or water-based products will go once they sit on the polyurethane surface.

Water-based products will pull contaminates off of the polyurethane and leave nothing behind. Oil-based products like Leatherique will remove contaminates, but it will also dry against the polyurethane. You're essentially trading contaminates on the surface for oil. I know people go crazy for the "leather smell" that Leatherique gives, but normally treated leather shouldn't have any smell, let alone a "leather smell." Leather should be fragrance, contaminate, and oil free. Nothing between your rear-end and the polyurethane.

A simple way to test this notion is to put a drop of water or Leatherique Oil on your leather and see if it actually soaks into the leather. It won't. It'll sit there or evaporate.

My sister rides horses and her saddle isn't semi-aniline, and will actually soak up conditioners. For that application, Leatherique would do wonders, but for our cars, Leatherique won't do much of anything besides redistribute contaminates. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't exactly a great idea either. Why redistribute contaminates across the leather when you can completely pull them off onto a microfiber towel w/ a water-based cleaner?

Hope this helps bring some clarity to the issue.

EDIT: Wanted to clarify the notion that there is a big difference between an oil-based cleansing or conditioning agent and a "protection layer" like Leather Master Protection. A conditioning agent is meant to penetrate the leather and keep its fibers moisturized, whereas something like Leather Master Protection isn't meant to penetrate leather, but instead provide a secondary layer of protection above the polyurethane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebigbus View Post
Here is a little discussion with a few leather experts from a few years ago that might be of some help: http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/...atherique.html
That thread has some great information but also illustrates the amount of misinformation that is out there. You really don't need to be a specialist in leather cleaning to understand the fundamentals of how our leather is made and how it should be treated. This is my favorite quote from that thread and deserves repeating:

"Pigment coated leather (as in most cars) needs to be kept clean. It is dirt and body oils together with abrassion that break down the pigment coating and then will begin to deteriorate the leather itself so it is crucial to stop this from happening - this can be done with protectors and regular cleaning. If oils are used on pigment coated leather (these have a layer of pigment - paint- and a clear coat finish) they cannot be absorbed into the leather the same way that moisture can and so sit on the surface and will only serve to attract more dirt so having a detrimental affect."

Last edited by eclipsisNA; 02-28-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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      02-28-2013, 02:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsisNA View Post
There's a lot of noise on this issue that clouds the facts that absolutely can be ascertained. The fact is that modern automotive leather has a protective polyurethane coating over the dyed hide. No one should be disputing this.

Where the issue gets hazy is when we try to figure out the chemistry behind the protective layer and how it should be treated. Some people say oil-based products work, others say water-based is the only way to go. For me, I came to the conclusion that water-based products made complete sense because polyurethane is a protective layer just like a clear coat on paint. It should be cleansed, not conditioned because nothing saturates the polyurethane or anything beneath it. If that's the case, you have to imagine where oil-based or water-based products will go once they sit on the polyurethane surface.

Water-based products will pull contaminates off of the polyurethane and leave nothing behind. Oil-based products like Leatherique will remove contaminates, but it will also dry against the polyurethane. You're essentially trading contaminates on the surface for oil. I know people go crazy for the "leather smell" that Leatherique gives, but normally treated leather shouldn't have any smell, let alone a "leather smell." Leather should be fragrance, contaminate, and oil free. Nothing between your rear-end and the polyurethane.

A simple way to test this notion is to put a drop of water or Leatherique Oil on your leather and see if it actually soaks into the leather. It won't. It'll sit there or evaporate.

My sister rides horses and her saddle isn't semi-aniline, and will actually soak up conditioners. For that application, Leatherique would do wonders, but for our cars, Leatherique won't do much of anything besides redistribute contaminates. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't exactly a great idea either. Why redistribute contaminates across the leather when you can completely pull them off onto a microfiber towel w/ a water-based cleaner?

Hope this helps bring some clarity to the issue.
Agree with the above 100%

Quote:
That thread has some great information but also illustrates the amount of misinformation that is out there. You really don't need to be a specialist in leather cleaning to understand the fundamentals of how our leather is made and how it should be treated.
No I definitely agree. Those guys (JudyB, TOGWT, Roger Koh, and a few others) go back and forth on all kinds of detailing forums. I've found JudyB and TOGWT's recs to be in line with what you're saying here, and it makes sense. The polyurethane coat is basically a clearcoat, and the leather underneath cannot be "conditioned" through it.

In my case, it seems, the actual leather is exposed, and is in need of top coat replacement.

I'm just confused now as to whether Leatherique may have changed their formulation to a water-based substance. I ASSUME it is oil-based, but I suppose the only way to truly know is to read the ingredients and/or contact the manufacturer. If it's oil-based, I say steer-clear.
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      02-28-2013, 03:08 PM   #36
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Please look at the instructions on how to properly use the Leatherique system. You don't use the rejuvenator oil to clean the leather. That's really what prestine clean is for, according to them. The oil is used first, then prestine clean is the clean up after the fact. I believe prestine clean is very similar, if not exactly the same as most of the leather masters stuff you guys enjoy.

Based on what you guys are saying, the rejuvenator oil would do nothing but sit on top of the coating. But to imply that it harms the leather and should be avoided is not exactly correct. If anything, it's an extra step that is not needed, essentially wasting your money. That I can get on board with.

EDIT: The last part I had doesn't apply, I found a few things about the coating after doing some research. So basically, we're debating an extra step that doesn't really seem necessary (if you're using the Leatherique approach as advertised that is). But yes, using an oil based "cleaner" alone is probably not the way to go.

Although this site is interesting: http://www.rodenleather.com/faqs.html#Protected-Aniline

It says not to use water or oils to clean semi-aniline leather.

Quote:
B) How to care for and clean Non-Pigmented Leathers (including Pure Aniline, Semi-Aniline Leathers).
Non-Pigmented Leathers are more difficult to care for and to clean. It is important to note that a Semi-Aniline Leather falls into this category even though it has a small amount of pigment in it. In general non-pigmented leather can be identified by the lack of a shiny and glossy surface, however this is not a foolproof method of identification. This type or leather tends to absorb oils and stains and develops a patina over time as the leather ages. If you get any type of food on it, get it off as best you can with a dry cloth, without wiping it into the leather, and then leave it alone! The spot should dissipate into the leather in a short time. Do not try to clean with water. Never use saddle soap, furniture polish, oil, varnish, ammonia, or cleaning solvents. For additional care at the time of purchase, and we do recommend this, especially for non-pigmented leathers, consider one of our Professional Cleaning Products.
I wonder why...?
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      02-28-2013, 04:11 PM   #37
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this is a quote from the leatherique site-
PLEASE NOTE that there is NO OIL in the Rejuvinator Oil that name is from the 1960's when people EXPECTED an OIL for their Leather. Hence the name change to LEATHER REJUVINATOR

i have used leatherique with great results.
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      02-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar View Post
It says not to use water or oils to clean semi-aniline leather.

I wonder why...?
Because they have a product to sell:

Quote:
For additional care at the time of purchase, and we do recommend this, especially for non-pigmented leathers, consider one of our Professional Cleaning Products.
Which oddly enough is a water based cleaner, that actually looks like a repackaging of Leather Master Soft and Protection: http://www.rodenleather.com/cleaning...-cleaning.html



vs.


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      02-28-2013, 05:49 PM   #39
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Ever consider re-wrapping it with the folks at Redlinegoods? I've seen them successfully rewrap aftermarket wheels and also an OEM lotus wheel....
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      03-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsisNA View Post
There's a lot of noise on this issue that clouds the facts that absolutely can be ascertained. The fact is that modern automotive leather has a protective polyurethane coating over the dyed hide. No one should be disputing this.

Where the issue gets hazy is when we try to figure out the chemistry behind the protective layer and how it should be treated. Some people say oil-based products work, others say water-based is the only way to go. For me, I came to the conclusion that water-based products made complete sense because polyurethane is a protective layer just like a clear coat on paint. It should be cleansed, not conditioned because nothing saturates the polyurethane or anything beneath it. If that's the case, you have to imagine where oil-based or water-based products will go once they sit on the polyurethane surface.

Water-based products will pull contaminates off of the polyurethane and leave nothing behind. Oil-based products like Leatherique will remove contaminates, but it will also dry against the polyurethane. You're essentially trading contaminates on the surface for oil. I know people go crazy for the "leather smell" that Leatherique gives, but normally treated leather shouldn't have any smell, let alone a "leather smell." Leather should be fragrance, contaminate, and oil free. Nothing between your rear-end and the polyurethane.

A simple way to test this notion is to put a drop of water or Leatherique Oil on your leather and see if it actually soaks into the leather. It won't. It'll sit there or evaporate.

My sister rides horses and her saddle isn't semi-aniline, and will actually soak up conditioners. For that application, Leatherique would do wonders, but for our cars, Leatherique won't do much of anything besides redistribute contaminates. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't exactly a great idea either. Why redistribute contaminates across the leather when you can completely pull them off onto a microfiber towel w/ a water-based cleaner?

Hope this helps bring some clarity to the issue.

EDIT: Wanted to clarify the notion that there is a big difference between an oil-based cleansing or conditioning agent and a "protection layer" like Leather Master Protection. A conditioning agent is meant to penetrate the leather and keep its fibers moisturized, whereas something like Leather Master Protection isn't meant to penetrate leather, but instead provide a secondary layer of protection above the polyurethane.



That thread has some great information but also illustrates the amount of misinformation that is out there. You really don't need to be a specialist in leather cleaning to understand the fundamentals of how our leather is made and how it should be treated. This is my favorite quote from that thread and deserves repeating:

"Pigment coated leather (as in most cars) needs to be kept clean. It is dirt and body oils together with abrassion that break down the pigment coating and then will begin to deteriorate the leather itself so it is crucial to stop this from happening - this can be done with protectors and regular cleaning. If oils are used on pigment coated leather (these have a layer of pigment - paint- and a clear coat finish) they cannot be absorbed into the leather the same way that moisture can and so sit on the surface and will only serve to attract more dirt so having a detrimental affect."
I more than appreciate your insight, eclipsisNA. The Leather Master line has a good price point and the stuff is well worth trying out. I'm going to order some. Never hurts to have more than one product.
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      03-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #41
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Just FYI, i got my "soft finish matte" in the mail from LM. Tried it on an old computer chair (not leather, but wanted to see what the finish looked/felt like). It looked nice and matte, and felt "dry".

Of note, apparently the "Soft Finish" is a nitrocellulose lacquer, not polyurethane, so it's noted to be softer than the newer topcoats, but may not stand the test of time like the polyurethane ones.

I still think I'm gonna give it a try. If it doesn't work, I can probably always strip it off, or just wait a while and eventually get a new wheel. At this point I'm willing to try anything within reason.

Will post my results in a few days if I can get around to doing it...am on call all weekend, so we'll see how that goes :-D
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      03-05-2013, 03:56 AM   #42
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I've used this from day one and its been great. Seats and steering wheel still has the matte look after 4 years of daily driving.

http://www.spinneybeck.com/shop/prod...ProductID=1800

Its actually from a furniture manufacturer and it's not cheap but I have no reason to look for another product as this has been good to me for many years.
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      03-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #43
Bubbles
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I had this same issue and used leatherique to bring back the matte finish. Work perfectly.
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      03-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #44
Thebigbus
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Just a update. I tried the Leather Master "Soft Finish" on a part of the wheel. It was "dry" to touch, but not semi stuff like oem, and it didn't look oem. It also came off quite easily, so it seems it never really adhered well to the leather.

I can definitely tell that the top coat is worn away, both by looking and by feeling, and also noting color transfer when cleaning.

At this point, I'll just live with it until I can afford a new (or lightly used" oem wheel). Really blows that the top coat can wear away like that...
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