The chrome or stainless steel Corvette exhaust on your vehicle is one of the parts that is most often overlooked in the cleaning process. Because exhausts are generally quite dirty as a result of their proper functioning, many people choose to leave them in this condition. Otherwise, other people oftentimes simply forget about them and fail to polish or sponge them down.
With a few simple tools and a few coats of chrome polish, which you can easily brush on to the exhaust system, you can keep your Corvette’s exhaust looking shiny, clean and new for months or even years after the vehicle was initially purchased and manufactured. Read on for a step by step guide on how to polish your Corvette’s exhaust.
Step 1 — Collect the Necessary Materials
You’ll need to gather the following materials in order to polish your Corvette’s exhaust:
-Chrome cleaning solution
-Stainless steel or chrome polish
-Very soft brush
-Sponges and a bucket of water
Step 2 — Clean and Prepare the Exhaust
Ensure that your vehicle has been off for several hours so that the exhaust and other systems are not still hot. Before you can polish and clean up your exhaust system’s chrome coating, you’ll first need to clean up any dirt and debris that may have collected on or around the mechanism. This is necessary to ensure that you don’t end up scratching the chrome polish or the chrome of the exhaust itself when you apply the polish, and it also helps the coats of polish to go on smoothly when you apply them. Use paper towels to remove any larger bits of debris that may have gathered, then sponge off the exterior of the exhaust pipe and system with water. Don’t worry particularly about debris inside of the exhaust pipe, but clear out any larger pieces if you’re able to.
For a more thorough cleaning, apply a small amount of the chrome cleaning solution to a sponge and wipe down the chrome exterior of the exhaust. Be sure to let the exhaust pipe dry completely before continuing.
Step 3 — Polish the Exhaust
Pour a very small amount of the chrome polish onto the soft brush. Using gentle and small strokes, rub the polish carefully into the exhaust in an even way. You want to ensure that all strokes and layers are even so that the exhaust ends up with a smooth, level appearance. Use a paper towel to clean up any excess chrome that may have become collected in one particular place on the exhaust pipe or another.
Allow an hour or so for the chrome polish to dry (or however long the instructions on the polish say to allow). You can repeat this process to add an extra coat if you wish. Generally, it’s advisable to plan on applying about two to three coats of polish onto the exterior of the chrome exhaust. However, you should gauge how the chrome looks after the polish has dried completely before beginning, as your preference may be for fewer or for more coats than this recommended amount.
When working with the cleaning solutions and the chrome polish, it’s a good idea to keep your Corvette in an open space where the air can move freely. These solutions are oftentimes toxic and can cause you injury or discomfort if you work with them in an enclosed space.
All of the necessary ingredients that you’ll need for this project are available at a hardware store or an auto body repair shop.