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Platinum BFuk Member
535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I've had my E46 330i Touring for a couple of months. It's a lovely car and I consider that I got it for a great price. Unfortunately the past owner was a smoker. The multifunction steering wheel has two halves....the top half is the black plastic part with the multi function buttons and the bottom half is in chrome. Both parts, but particularly the black plastic around the m/f buttons, have nasty looking 'crud' which I can only imagine is tar from holding and smoking a cigarette while driving.

I'm not sure if there is anyway that I can clean this off without damaging the wheel (the plastic in particular) and also without getting any cleaning agent into the multifunction buttons and breaking them. The alternative might be to get new 'covers' for this, but not sure how costly they are, how easy to remove, and if there is any danger of setting the airbag off? Checking real OEM it looks like the top half is actually a complete unit so I'm not sure if I would have to replace the whole 'multi-function' section and again the cost / risk / complexity in doing this?

Any advice gratefully received.


217 Posts
Most crud I've seen on steering wheels, indicator stalks etc has been nothing more than greasy dust, skin flakes etc.

Try hot water and washing up liquid with a new dish wash cloth first.
Then, with the absolute minimal amount of water try the old toothbrush/cotton bud/fingernail scrape.

It takes time but it's worth it.

If this fails, I'll show you some links to industrial cleaning stuff.
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