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The very top of my steering wheel is rough, where sun has damaged the plastic and eaten through to the cushion layer below. The common chemicals for automotive "uv protection" all warn against use on steering wheels as it may make them slippery, plus I don't really trust the claims of those vendors.

Short of a clunky steering wheel cover, how can I keep this damage from spreading?

Vehicle: 2007 VW Rabbit. It has a hard plastic steering wheel with a cushion feel, of similar look and feel to that of the dashboard. I don't know what plastic type it is.

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I find it a little disturbing that you're having this problem with a 2007 already. Might be a factory defect? My '91 Toyota that used to sit outside all the time never developed that problem... –  Brian Knoblauch Sep 12 '13 at 11:54
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The guy probably lives in Texas or somewhere on the equator where the sun hates you. –  Juann Strauss Sep 12 '13 at 13:39
    
Northern California, sun worshiping only. It's not explained by abuse. –  Bryce Sep 17 '13 at 3:07
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2 Answers

Put a towel or something over the steering wheel. This has the added benefit of preventing your hands from being fried to a golden brown. Better yet, get a sun visor for your car.

I would give silicone spray a try to smooth over the rough patch.

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This is with a sun visor generally in place while parked (or at least, since I've owned it). The spot on the steering wheel is already rough, I feel it when driving. The towel won't help that. –  Bryce Sep 17 '13 at 3:53
    
There's not much you can do to reverse it. Maybe give silicone spray a try. –  Juann Strauss Sep 17 '13 at 9:03
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Your only solution now is to buy a new one. The damage has been done and as you don't want a cover there isn't much you can do.

For next time try covering with a towel or a sunshade as has already been suggested.

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