Trick to protect buttons from peeling

PurpleHaze

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Thread starter #1
I have a method of protecting the easy to scratch steering wheel and home link buttons from peeling due to finger nails. I used 3M clear automotive paint protective tape to cover the buttons where they are used the most over the lighted icons. I purchased a roll of 4in 3M tape from Amazon and it goes pretty clear so not too noticeable. You just have to cut sections small enough to just cover the icons on the buttons where you press them often. I only use the tape on the track selection buttons and the home link button I use.

I have done this because the steering wheels buttons are very easy to scratch. I purchased a new steering wheel from Ebay about 6months ago and one of the track selection buttons I use a lot is already starting to peel slightly on the up arrow. So I just covered it with the tape to stop it from getting worst and on the other buttons I used often before they peel also.

I purchased a new steering wheel from the same vendor on Ebay for $65 dollars again, but I will just swap out the controls. However, I will cover the buttons with 3m tape before I install the wheel controls in the car.

The 3M tape method is not perfect, but it beats having peeling control buttons in my opinion.

Here is where I buy my steering wheel for my 2014 Lacrosse.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-2015-...ash=item36179cbdb4:g:IQgAAOSwa-dWn94E&vxp=mtr

Pic of the tape covering the track buttons, the top button is the one that is starting to peel.


Tape covering the Home link button I use.

 
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2006 Lacrosse CX
#2
For first generation LaCrosse owners, the radio on/off knob and the tuning buttons always seem to scratch very easily, leaving ugly yellow/green marks where the paint has peeled off.

I went on ebay and searched for vinyl radio buttons. Couldn't find any for a LaCrosse, but could find them for an Enclave. They cost about $6 and were very easy to trim trim to size to fit the buttons on my car. Basically, you just cut them to size, peel them off the backing, and stick them on (they're self-adhesive), a little heat from a hair dryer stops them from peeling if you think they haven't completely stuck.
 

SD73

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#3
I've never thought of looking for stickers. I often wondered if anyone made that soft sort of clear rubber that could be used as a cover/protectant but before I did I found a decent set of buttons at the junk yard. However, I just looked on eBay and it turns out someone is selling custom ones for 1st Gen LaCrosses. https://www.ebay.com/itm/2005-2009-...ash=item3d45ddcdd9:g:ZxoAAOSw3ydVltzW&vxp=mtr I'd be interested in hearing how these work if any of you decide to step up.
 

HotZ28

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#5
"I have a method of protecting the easy to scratch steering wheel and home link buttons from peeling due to finger nails."

Would it not be somewhat cheaper and easier to keep your fingernails cut & trimmed with a file, rather causing damage to the steering wheel buttons? I never touch my wheel buttons with a fingernail & only my finger 'skin' (not fingernails) to operate the steering wheel buttons, or any other controls and they still look like new after 22-yrs!
 

PurpleHaze

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Thread starter #6
"I have a method of protecting the easy to scratch steering wheel and home link buttons from peeling due to finger nails."

Would it not be somewhat cheaper and easier to keep your fingernails cut & trimmed with a file, rather causing damage to the steering wheel buttons? I never touch my wheel buttons with a fingernail & only my finger 'skin' (not fingernails) to operate the steering wheel buttons, or any other controls and they still look like new after 22-yrs!
LOL. If only it was so easy!!!:)

I would find it very hard for me to tell my wife to cut her nails and "careful" touching the control buttons every time she drives the car. Hell, I do not always take time to ensure that I my nails are always perfectly trimmed and that I only touch the buttons with my finger tips.

The problem is not finger nail length, it is the fact that GM uses some very cheap paint over the control buttons that do not hold up to repeated "normal" use. By "normal" use I mean not having to baby the controls. I can understand the buttons peeling after 6-8 years of use, but GM buttons start peeling sooner than that especially most of the truck and SUV buttons.

The roll of 3M clear automotive body paint protective tape method only cost me $10, so I can use my buttons using my fingernails if I want to, so I feel that the 3M tape method is easier than trying to touch my buttons certain way and obsessing with finger nail length.

Post a picture of your "perfect" looking original control buttons please.;)

Note: Your 1996 has different buttons than the crappy painted buttons on the 2002 and newer models. My 2006 Caddy buttons peels easy as well.

The best way to protect the buttons is not to use them at all, however I use my track up button a lot to skip songs on the digital streaming radio channels.:D
 
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2006 Lacrosse CX
#7
Irony of ironies. After being all proud of my $6 vinyl sticker trick, the CD player has now started skipping (badly). Oh well, a trip to Crutchfield for my birthday this year, I guess!

Crutchfield's solution to keeping the dash looking pretty after removing the manufacturer installed radio and replacing it with a traditional radio seems to be a replacement panel, with a space cut out for the new radio and a little storage space below it. So, at that point, no more worn Buick buttons to have to try to disguise, I guess.
 

BIG ROCCO

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#8
This is not a problem I have had, but what would you think about masking off the surrounding area and applying a coat (or multiple coats?) of clear lacquer to the buttons?

Also, have you tried cleaning the CD lens? They sell discs made for that, for example:

https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/132237/Allsop-Lens-Cleaner/
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PurpleHaze

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Thread starter #9
Here is the 3M vinyl paint protector I used from Amazon. I actually purchased the 2in roll not 4in roll. It goes on pretty clear, however I did not really measure out the material or prep the buttons so my job is not the best.
https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Scotch...58069&sr=1-7&keywords=3m+paint+protector&th=1

I will take my time on the the replacement steering wheel buttons so that the job looks better, however even my crappy job is nearly invisible unless highlighted by a bright light like a camera flash.
 

Blu05

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#10
I've noticed this too with my car where the paint has peeled off the radio buttons. I was thinking maybe cover them with some stickers OR if i was picky enough buy another radio out of one at the salvage yard! But for now not a big deal! :)
 

Fcar1953

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#11
The solution to the problem is to keep the nails off the buttons. Using the finger on the button not the nail. Tell the wife, You can keep your nails as long as you like just keep them off the buttons. Get the rules straight or get a bigger stick. Joking aside. It just takes a little effort it keep the nails off the buttons. My Traverse was 8 years old when i traded it and all the buttons were perfect.
 

PurpleHaze

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Thread starter #12
The solution to the problem is to keep the nails off the buttons. Using the finger on the button not the nail. Tell the wife, You can keep your nails as long as you like just keep them off the buttons. Get the rules straight or get a bigger stick. Joking aside. It just takes a little effort it keep the nails off the buttons. My Traverse was 8 years old when i traded it and all the buttons were perfect.
LOL. If it was just that simple. The button paint sucks plain and simple. Yes, careful touching the buttons every time they are used will probably keep them looking fresh. However, a person should not have to worry about how they are touching control buttons just to get them last about a couple years.

My wife 2011 Lexus RX350 buttons look brand new and she drives that a lot more than my Buick. The Buick buttons are cheap, plain and simple which peels easy with use.

You advice is sound, but it does not change the fact that GM button paint is trash. However, I have found a solution that works that do not require me or my wife to "baby" control button use.:)

I like my 2014 Lacrosse, but it does have some cheap ass control buttons.

Note: Your Traverse is not a Lacrosse, so button quality maybe be different due to model and year. GM probably cut corners on the Buick to save money in 2014. However, I do see a lot of 2010 GM models with some very bad peeling AC buttons , so your old car was rare.
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