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Guide: 2012 Ford Explorer – How to Removal the Side Molding

by | Dec 11, 2023 | How To

Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how to remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer. With step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to enhance your Ford’s aesthetics in no time.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Removing the side molding on a 2012 Ford Explorer can give your vehicle a sleek and modern look.
  • Before starting the removal process, gather the necessary tools, such as plastic scrapers, bug and tar remover, heat gun or hair dryer, rags, and body antenna plugs or body color tape.
  • Follow the step-by-step tutorial to safely remove the side molding, being cautious not to damage the trim or paint.
  • After removing the side molding, consider alternative options for trim, such as aftermarket body side moldings or custom decals.
  • Maintain the look of your 2012 Ford Explorer by regularly washing, waxing, and protecting the paint.

Tools needed for Side Molding Removal on 2012 Ford Explorer

If you’re ready to remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer and achieve a sleek, trimless look, you’ll need a few tools to get started. Here’s a list of the essential tools you’ll need for this DIY project:

  • Plastic Scrapers (dull ones are recommended): These will help you gently pry and remove the side molding without damaging the paint or trim.
  • Bug and Tar Remover: This product will help loosen the adhesive holding the side molding in place, making it easier to remove.
  • Heat Gun or Hair Dryer (optional): If the adhesive is stubborn, using heat can help soften it, making the removal process smoother.
  • Rags or Terry Cloths: These will come in handy for wiping away any residue or cleaning the surface after removing the side molding.
  • Body Antenna Plugs or Body Color Tape: Once the side molding is removed, you’ll want to cover up any holes left behind. These plugs or tape can provide a seamless finish.

Having these tools on hand will make the side molding removal process much easier and more efficient. Remember to take your time and follow the step-by-step tutorial in the next section for a successful DIY project.

Tool Description
Plastic Scrapers Dull scrapers to gently remove the side molding without causing damage.
Bug and Tar Remover Helps loosen the adhesive holding the side molding in place.
Heat Gun or Hair Dryer (optional) Provides heat to soften stubborn adhesive for easier removal.
Rags or Terry Cloths Used for wiping away residue and cleaning the surface.
Body Antenna Plugs or Body Color Tape Covers up holes left behind after side molding removal for a seamless finish.

With these tools in your arsenal, you’ll be well-prepared for the side molding removal process on your 2012 Ford Explorer. Let’s move on to the step-by-step tutorial in the next section to guide you through the process.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer is a straightforward process. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can achieve a sleek and trimless look for your vehicle. Here’s an easy method to remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer:

  1. Grip and rip the trim off: The side molding on your Ford Explorer is typically held in place by tape. Start by firmly gripping the trim and pulling it away from the vehicle. The tape should release easily, allowing you to remove the molding.
  2. Heat up the tape: If the tape is stubborn or adhesive, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm it up. This will make the tape more pliable and easier to remove. Use caution when using heat tools to avoid burning yourself or damaging the paint.
  3. Spray bug and tar remover: Once the tape is heated, spray it with bug and tar remover. This will help dissolve any sticky residue and make it easier to clean.
  4. Use a plastic scraper: Take a plastic scraper, preferably a dull one, and gently scrape off the warmed tape. Be careful not to scratch the paint as you remove the adhesive. Repeat this process for all the panels and tape on your Ford Explorer.
  5. Clean remaining residue: After removing the side molding and tape, there may be some sticky residue left on the vehicle’s surface. Use a rag or terry cloth to clean off any remaining adhesive. You can also use a mild cleaning solution if needed.
  6. Install plugs: If you prefer to cover up the holes left by the side molding, you can use body antenna plugs or body color tape. This will give your Ford Explorer a finished look after the removal.

Following these steps will help you successfully remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer. Remember to take your time and be gentle to avoid any damage to the trim or paint. With a little effort, you can achieve a sleek and modern appearance for your vehicle.

step-by-step tutorial for removing side molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Tools Needed Precautions
Plastic scrapers Be careful to avoid damaging trim or paint
Bug and tar remover Use caution when using heat tools
Heat gun or hair dryer (optional) Protect surrounding areas with rags or terry cloths
Rags or terry cloths
Body antenna plugs or body color tape

Tips for Removing Side Molding on a 2012 Ford Explorer

When it comes to removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure a safe and successful process. Whether you’re looking to enhance the aesthetics of your vehicle or simply need to replace the molding, these tips will help you get the job done.

Be Gentle and Careful

First and foremost, it’s important to be gentle and careful when removing the side molding. The trim can be delicate, so avoid using excessive force that could potentially break it. Take your time and use a steady hand to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Focus on Small Sections

When heating up the tape to remove the molding, it’s best to focus on small sections at a time. This will make the removal process easier and reduce the risk of damaging the paint. Use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm up the tape, making it easier to remove without causing any harm.

Use a Plastic Scraper

To prevent scratching the paint, use a plastic scraper when removing the side molding. This will help gently lift the molding off without causing any damage. Be sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid any accidents or mishaps.

  • Be gentle and careful when removing the side molding
  • Focus on small sections to make removal easier
  • Use a plastic scraper to prevent scratching the paint

By following these tips, you can safely remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer and achieve the desired results. Remember to take your time, be cautious, and use the right tools for the job. With a little patience and effort, you’ll have a sleek and trimless look for your Ford Explorer.

Table: Tools and Equipment for Removing Side Molding

Tool Description
Plastic scraper A dull plastic scraper is recommended to safely remove the side molding without scratching the paint.
Bug and tar remover This product can help remove any adhesive residue left behind after taking off the side molding.
Heat gun or hair dryer Using heat can soften the tape and make it easier to remove the side molding.
Rags or terry cloths These are useful for cleaning the area after removing the molding and wiping away any residue.
Body antenna plugs or body color tape If you want to cover up the holes left behind by the removed side molding, these options can provide a clean finish.

Enhancing the Look of Your 2012 Ford Explorer

Removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer can significantly improve the aesthetics of your vehicle, giving it a sleek and modern appearance. By eliminating the trim, you create a trimless look that enhances the overall design and streamlines the visual appeal of your Explorer.

Without the side molding, your Ford Explorer exudes a more sophisticated and refined style, making it stand out on the road. The clean lines and smooth contours create a visually striking silhouette that sets your vehicle apart from others.

Improving the Look of Your 2012 Ford Explorer

Additionally, removing the side molding makes cleaning and waxing easier, as there are no trim pieces to navigate around. This simplifies the maintenance process and allows you to keep your Explorer looking its best with minimal effort.

Enhancing the look of your 2012 Ford Explorer by removing the side molding not only gives it a more modern and streamlined appearance but also adds a touch of uniqueness to your vehicle. Consider this modification to make your Explorer truly stand out on the road.

Precautions to Take When Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

When removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer, it is essential to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful process. By following these safety measures, you can avoid any damage to the trim or the paint of your vehicle.

Be gentle and careful:

Take your time and handle the side molding with care to prevent any accidental breakage. Applying too much force or being rough can cause the trim to snap or crack, leading to additional repair costs.

Use a heat gun or hair dryer cautiously:

If you choose to use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the tape adhesive, exercise caution to avoid burning yourself. Keep the heat at a reasonable distance from your hand and wear heat-resistant gloves if necessary.

Protect surrounding areas:

Before you begin the removal process, place rags or terry cloths around the side molding to safeguard the adjacent paintwork. This will prevent any accidental damage and ensure a clean and professional finish.

By taking these precautions, you can confidently remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer without any undesirable consequences. Remember to proceed with patience and care, and consult the user manual or seek professional advice if needed.

precautions to take when removing side molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Benefits of Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer can bring about several advantages:

  1. Aerodynamic Improvements: By eliminating the side molding, you can enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamics, potentially leading to better fuel efficiency. The smooth surface allows air to flow more efficiently along the vehicle’s body, reducing drag and increasing overall performance.
  2. Streamlined Appearance: The absence of side molding creates a sleek and modern look for your Ford Explorer. It gives the vehicle a trimless exterior, making it appear more stylish and visually appealing.
  3. Easier Maintenance: With the side molding removed, maintaining the cleanliness and aesthetics of your Ford Explorer becomes simpler. Without the trim pieces, cleaning and waxing the vehicle becomes a breeze as there are no crevices or edges to navigate around.

Overall, removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer can provide aesthetic enhancements, potential fuel efficiency improvements, and easier maintenance. However, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks and take necessary precautions to ensure a successful removal process.

Benefits of Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Benefits of Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer
Aerodynamic Improvements
Streamlined Appearance
Easier Maintenance

Potential Drawbacks of Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

While removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer can have its benefits, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Before making the decision to remove the side molding, take into account the following factors:

  1. Risk of paint damage: Improper removal techniques or tools can lead to scratches or other damage to the paint on your Ford Explorer. It’s essential to follow the step-by-step instructions and use the recommended tools to minimize the risk of paint damage.
  2. Exposing the body to potential scratches and dings: Without the protective side molding, the exposed body panels of your Ford Explorer may be more susceptible to scratches and dings from everyday encounters with objects like shopping carts, car doors, and debris on the road.
  3. Possible decrease in resale value: Modifying the appearance of your vehicle, including removing the side molding, may not be well-received by potential buyers in the future. It’s essential to consider how this modification might impact the resale value of your 2012 Ford Explorer.

While these potential drawbacks exist, it’s important to weigh them against the benefits that removing the side molding can offer. Consider your personal preferences and priorities to make an informed decision about whether or not to remove the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer.

Table: Pros and Cons of Removing Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

Pros Cons
Improved aerodynamics Risk of paint damage
Enhanced visual appeal Exposing the body to potential scratches and dings
Easier maintenance Possible decrease in resale value

Keep in mind that the decision to remove the side molding is a personal one, and it’s important to carefully consider both the benefits and drawbacks to determine what is best for your 2012 Ford Explorer.

disadvantages of side molding removal on 2012 Ford Explorer

Replacements for Side Molding on 2012 Ford Explorer

After removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer, you may be considering alternative options to replace it and add a touch of style to your vehicle. There are a few options to consider that can help enhance the look of your Explorer. Here are some replacements for side molding on the 2012 Ford Explorer:

1. Aftermarket Body Side Moldings

One popular option is to install aftermarket body side moldings. These moldings are specifically designed to fit your Ford Explorer and come in a variety of styles and finishes. They are typically made from durable materials such as ABS plastic or stainless steel, ensuring longevity and protection for your vehicle.

2. Custom Decals

If you prefer a more customized look, you can opt for custom decals. These decals can be designed to match your personal style and preferences. Whether you want a subtle accent or a bold design, custom decals offer a unique way to add visual appeal to your Explorer.

3. Paint or Vinyl Wrap

Another option to consider is repainting or applying a vinyl wrap to the side panels of your Ford Explorer. This allows you to completely change the color or finish, giving your vehicle a fresh and updated appearance. It’s important to consult with a professional to ensure a high-quality and long-lasting result.

Replacement Option Pros Cons
Aftermarket Body Side Moldings Durable, variety of styles available Requires installation, may not match OEM look
Custom Decals Customizable, unique look May require professional installation for complex designs
Paint or Vinyl Wrap Complete customization, long-lasting Higher cost, professional installation recommended

When considering replacements for side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer, it’s important to choose an option that aligns with your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer a sleek and understated look or want to make a bold statement, there are options available to suit your needs. Remember to consult with professionals for installation and customization to ensure optimal results.

Maintaining the Look of Your 2012 Ford Explorer After Side Molding Removal

Once you have successfully removed the side molding from your 2012 Ford Explorer, it is important to take proper care of your vehicle’s appearance to maintain its sleek and modern look. Here are some tips on how to care for your Ford Explorer:

  • Regularly wash your vehicle to remove dirt, dust, and grime that can accumulate on the surface. Use a mild car wash soap and a soft sponge or cloth to avoid scratching the paint.
  • Apply a layer of wax every few months to protect the paint and add shine. Choose a wax specifically formulated for automotive use and follow the instructions on the packaging for best results.
  • Inspect your vehicle regularly for any scratches or chips. If you notice any damage, use touch-up paint to cover up the imperfections and prevent rusting.
  • Consider applying a paint protection film to vulnerable areas of your Ford Explorer, such as the front bumper and door edges. This transparent film acts as a shield against scratches and minor impacts.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your 2012 Ford Explorer looking its best even after removing the side molding. Remember to always use high-quality products and take care when performing any maintenance or detailing tasks to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Maintenance Tips Benefits
Regularly wash your vehicle Removes dirt and grime
Apply wax Protects paint and adds shine
Inspect for scratches and chips Prevents rusting
Apply paint protection film Protects against scratches and impacts

Frequently Asked Questions About Side Molding Removal on 2012 Ford Explorer

Curious about removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer? We’ve got you covered with answers to some commonly asked questions.

Q: Is it difficult to remove the side molding on a 2012 Ford Explorer?

A: Removing the side molding on a 2012 Ford Explorer is a relatively simple process that can be completed with the right tools and instructions. By following a step-by-step tutorial, you can confidently tackle this DIY project.

Q: Will removing the side molding damage the paint on my Ford Explorer?

A: When done properly, removing the side molding should not damage the paint on your 2012 Ford Explorer. It’s important to be gentle and use plastic scrapers to prevent scratching. Taking precautions and using the appropriate tools will help ensure a smooth removal process without any paint damage.

Q: Can removing the side molding affect the resale value of my Ford Explorer?

A: While removing the side molding can enhance the appearance of your 2012 Ford Explorer, it’s important to consider that some buyers may prefer the original trim. If the modification is not well-received by potential buyers, it could potentially affect the resale value. However, if done neatly and with care, the removal of side molding should not significantly impact the value of your vehicle.

Question Answer
Is it difficult to remove the side molding on a 2012 Ford Explorer? Removing the side molding is a relatively simple process that can be completed with the right tools and instructions.
Will removing the side molding damage the paint on my Ford Explorer? When done properly, removing the side molding should not damage the paint on your 2012 Ford Explorer. Take precautions and use plastic scrapers to prevent scratching.
Can removing the side molding affect the resale value of my Ford Explorer? While it can enhance the appearance, some buyers may prefer the original trim. If not well-received, it could potentially affect the resale value.

Now that you have answers to these frequently asked questions, you can make an informed decision about removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer. Remember to follow the proper steps, take precautions, and maintain your vehicle’s appearance to ensure the best results.

Conclusion

Removing the side molding on your 2012 Ford Explorer is a simple and effective way to enhance the appearance of your vehicle. By following the step-by-step tutorial and using the recommended tools, you can achieve a sleek and trimless look that gives your Ford Explorer a modern and streamlined appearance.

While there are potential benefits to removing the side molding, such as improved aerodynamics and easier maintenance, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Take proper precautions to avoid damaging the trim or the paint, and be mindful of the risk of exposing the body to scratches and dings.

After you’ve successfully removed the side molding, it’s crucial to maintain the look of your 2012 Ford Explorer. Regularly wash and wax the vehicle, use touch-up paint for any scratches or chips, and consider applying a paint protection film to vulnerable areas. By taking these steps, you can keep your Ford Explorer looking its best for years to come.

FAQ

What tools do I need to remove the side molding on my 2012 Ford Explorer?

You will need plastic scrapers, bug and tar remover, a heat gun or hair dryer (optional), rags or terry cloths, and body antenna plugs or body color tape to cover up the holes.

How do I remove the side molding on my 2012 Ford Explorer?

Follow these steps: grip and rip the trim off, heat up the tape and spray it with bug and tar remover, use a plastic scraper to remove the tape, repeat for all the panels, clean the remaining sticky residue, and install the plugs in the rear doors.

What should I be careful of when removing the side molding?

Be careful when gripping and ripping the trim to avoid breaking it, concentrate on a small section when heating up the tape to make removal easier, use a plastic scraper to prevent scratching the paint, remove all the panels and tape from each door before moving on to the next one, and use a garden hose to thoroughly rinse off the door after removing the molding.

What are the benefits of removing the side molding on my 2012 Ford Explorer?

The benefits include improved aerodynamics, enhanced visual appeal, and easier maintenance.

What are the potential drawbacks of removing the side molding on my 2012 Ford Explorer?

The potential drawbacks include the risk of paint damage, exposing the body to potential scratches and dings, and a possible decrease in resale value if the modification is not well-received by buyers.

What can I use as replacements for the side molding on my 2012 Ford Explorer?

Alternative options include aftermarket body side moldings or custom decals.

How should I maintain the look of my 2012 Ford Explorer after removing the side molding?

Regularly wash and wax the vehicle, use touch-up paint for any scratches or chips, and apply a paint protection film to vulnerable areas.