I was washing my four wheeler the other day and seen fine scratches all over the fenders and wondered how I could remove them safely and effectively, so here is what I found out.
How to remove scratches from ATV plastics? In order to remove scratches from your plastics, you will need a heat gun. If you plan to remove all of the scratches from all of your plastics, then, you will need to first remove your plastics to prevent the heat gun from damaging the paint or materials of other objects that may get in the way. First, clean the plastic with rubbing alcohol. Then, turn the heat gun on high and slowly remove the scratches by applying the heat in a circular motion while moving the gun up and down, side to side, etc. DO NOT apply heat directly to one spot. Keep the heat gun moving. This will prevent melting your plastics.
If you are interested in removing all of those annoying fine scratches from your ATV’s plastics, I have more information on this topic below.
How To Restore ATV Plastics With A Heat Gun?
Using a heat gun to restore your plastics is a great option. The heat gun will remove all of the fine scratches, some of the deeper scratches and can also remove some of the faded areas caused by your plastic getting bent or damaged by the sun. Here are the steps to removing scratches with a heat gun.
- Clean your ATV’s plastics with a shop towel and some rubbing alcohol. This will remove any oils and dirt from the surface of the plastic to ensure that the heat gun will do its job properly.
- I recommend doing small sections at a time, no larger than 10” x 10”. So figure out your first area and make sure you will not burn any surrounding materials.
- Turn your heat gun on high and position it approximately 1” away from your plastics. Begin applying heat in a circular motion while moving up and down or side to side. DO NOT apply heat directly to one spot.
- Once the scratches go away, immediately remove the heat and move on.
- Shine the plastics with Armol All to protect them and give them some shine.
Why use a heat gun over sanding and buffing?
I prefer a heat gun over sanding and buffing because it is just faster and less costly to get near the same results. Also, when you sand your plastics, you have to ensure you are using the proper grit sand paper and then you have to buff out all of the new scratches you just added. Not to mention, the cost of a descent buffer.
At the end of the day, this is an ATV we are talking about. Scratches are just inevitable on the trials and especially mudding.
How to restore faded ATV plastics?
When I first got my Yamaha Big Bear 400, the previous owner had it sitting in the weather for years. The plastics were faded and scratched. At the time, I did not know what I was doing so I took some gritty sand paper and some WD-40 and began sanding. Let me tell you… those plastics got so scratched up, it was unreal. It was only a small section but, on the other hand, the WD-40 ended up fixing most of the faded areas. It surprised me.
Along with applying WD-40 with a wrag, you can also remove faded areas with a heat gun using the same procedure for removing scratches.
Will a heat gun remove deep scratches on my ATV’s plastics?
I do not recommend trying to remove deep scratches with a heat gun. In order to remove a deeper scratch or gouge, the heat gun would end up causing more damage to your plastics than just a deep scratch.
If you have an older ATV like mine and do not care if the plastics get damaged anymore than they already are, give it a shot. Just make sure you keep your gun moving and allow the surface to heat up evenly.
What causes those fine scratches on your ATV plastics and how to prevent them?
If you have ever owned a brand new ATV, I bet there was probably a scratch or two already on the machine before it even had its first owner. Scratches blow my mind some times. Just makes you wonder, “How did that happen?”… “There’s no way.”
Most scratches come from getting on and off your four wheeler. You throw your leg around and your boot barely touches the plastic. Boom, some type of scratch or scuff. Especially if the plastic has mud and dirt on it when your boot hits it. Your boot pushes the dirt across your plastics creating those beautiful scratches. I cringe whenever someone writes on a dirty vehicle with their finger. Nooooo!!!!! Scratches everywhere!!
The best way to prevent scratches is to not touch your plastics at all whenever they are dirty and too pressure wash your ATV before hand washing to ensure you are not sliding dirt across your plastics with your wash wrag.