By on September 14, 2015


(photo courtesy:

My apologies if this comes off as a pimpatorial for Faurecia, but this question deserved to go unedited. – SM

Bryan writes:

My 300 Luxury Series has wood interior accents that shine like cabinetry with a little Liquid Gold. Worried that I might be harming them, I tried to determine the correct product for that wood. Little did I know that the wood is paper-thin and bonded to a substrate in a molding process that uses resin and compression. Faurecia SA is Chrysler’s interior supplier, and they make interiors for many other companies too (see their Pinterest page).

They did the Citroen DS as well as the Chrysler 200 and 300. The wood forming process is called Ligneos, which applies thin wood veneers to a fiber-based substrate called Lignoflex. made by a company called Ligotock (now a subsidiary of Faurecia).

This link is pure interior eye candy.  The variety of woods are stunning in this Google images result. A nice article on automotive interiors is here. I still haven’t found the safest way to make my Ligneos wood veneers shine.

But I’m fascinated how Faurecia makes some of the world’s most amazing interiors!

Sajeev answers:

Now that I know this company exists, I’m fascinated too!

That said, use whatever wood care product you wish. It’s still a veneer covered in urethane or another protective coating. If you mess it up (not likely) decent replacement parts are cheap and easy to procure on eBay, LKQ, model-specific forums and even Craigslist. Faurecia’s craftsmanship may be fantastic, but it’s still a mass-produced product for a mass-market vehicle.

I’d also recommend tinting the windows, using a reflective windshield shade and anything else you can do to protect the interior from the harmful rays of the sun.

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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19 Comments on “Piston Slap: Faurecia’s Liquid Gold?...”

  • avatar

    I’m actually surprised the 300 has wood at all. This is a pretty normal process these days unless you’re shopping a Bentley. I don’t use cleaner, just a damp cloth, but I do recommend you ensure you use a soft cloth. You can scratch the veneer.

  • avatar

    I do not care for the rough look on the wood on the console surround there. It’s not the “open pore Ikea Scandinavian” stuff like Volvo uses, more the “this is a bookshelf from 1988” type.

    I just use the regular Meguiars Ultimate Interior Protectant right over the wood when I’m doing the rest of the dash. Protects it from elements and gives a nice sheen, without being high gloss like the late 90’s Jag look.

  • avatar

    No reason to treat it any differently than you would veneered furniture. Murphy’s Oil Soap should be more than adequate.

  • avatar

    Being in the vacuum veneer business myself I’ll second the Murphy’s Oil Soap. I’m assuming there’s a finish on the veneer so you’re not actually cleaning the wood just the finish. There’s open wood pore finishes which look more natural but the wood pores collect dirt, you hopefully have the pores filled, so just clean it without scratching.

  • avatar

    This company makes cool stuff.

    And I half expect to see Barbarella strapped into this one…

  • avatar

    I would caution against using Liquid Gold, or any other liquid product for that matter. The surest way to damage veneer trim in cars is to allow any moisture to get under the clear coat. The fastest way this happens is on the thin side edge of the veneer, where liquid can collect between it and the surrounding trim and is difficult to remove. It can slowly wick underneath the clear coat and cause discoloration and delamination issues. With solid wood, this is not an issue and Liquid Gold, lemon oil, or any other liquid treatment is just fine. But veneers in cars or furniture should never have these products used unless enormous care is exercised to avoid the side edges of the veneer panels.

    I have always used ordinary brown paste floor wax on my cars. Some of my cars are from the 1960’s and still have beautiful wood veneers. The paste wax can be applied to go down along the sides of the veneers forming a protective moisture barrier around the edges. And the brown wax gives a lovely sheen when buffed that is resistant to fingerprints.

  • avatar

    For some reason this makes me think of a thread I saw on the Lexus forums about softening up leather seats with coco butter…

  • avatar

    The TV tells me that Liquid Gold is Velveeta shells and cheese. Why someone would want to put that on wood veneer is beyond me.

  • avatar

    As a 300 SRT owner, let me just say that the wood accents in these cars look terrible. I’m not happy with the carbon-fiber appearance inlays either because they can peel when the temperature remains hot. I’d prefer it if these were screwed in and if piano black wood trim such as that found on the W221 were available.

  • avatar

    My 2015 Genesis has real solid wood trim, crafted in Italy. It has an open-pore non-glossy finish that I occasionally wipe with a damp cloth. My shiny interior trim is real aluminum, rather than plastic. To me, these things make a difference in perceived quality.

    • 0 avatar

      That wood is a veneer bonded to either a metal or fiber based substrate. If it wasn’t, it would crack and fall off like my 1984 Continental interior did. There is no such thing as a solid wood interior for any OEM. Durability wouldn’t exist.

      (This is according to an interior trim engineer educating me why everything is a ‘crappy’ laminate. I definitely ate some crow after I dished out my insults.)

      • 0 avatar

        I never understood why the thinnest wood veneer is so important to “luxury”

        • 0 avatar

          It’s thicker than the paint. What does thickness have to do with it anyway? There is plenty of fake stuff to worry about; fake muffler noise, fake dual exhausts, fake gps that’s just printed on a fake screen (ok, I made that one up. I think).

  • avatar

    I don’t like interior cleaning products, in general. I find they leave greasy films and sheens I don’t want, and I’m very skeptical those films and sheens are actually protecting anything. I use very soft and damp (but not soaking wet, to avoid leaving moisture behind) cloths to clean most of the interior. For the leather, which wants to stay clean above all else, I’ll use leather soap to clean, but then “rinse” with a couple applications of damp cloth to make sure the soap isn’t left behind. Almost all car leather is urethane-coated, so trying to “condition” it doesn’t accomplish much.

    This process has both my baby-mobile Forester and my seven-year-old Lexus looking on the inside like they just rolled off the showroom floor. Except, of course, for all the scratches on the Forester’s ridiculously cheap glossy plastic trim bits. The only way to avoid scratching up Subaru plastic trim is to never get in the car.

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