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  1. #1
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    Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    Hello,

    I've just joined for this one question. I had a neighbor detail my car and he smudged up my gauge covers. How do I restore/repair them? Are they too far gone?

    Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair-img-2777-3-jpg

    Thank you,

    -Mark

  2. #2
    Super Member Coatingsarecrack's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    I dust it with a detail factory ultra soft brush then wipe with a glass cleaner and soft MF towel


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Super Member Rsurfer's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    You can try a plastic polish, but it's a task that few can accomplish.

  4. #4
    Super Member oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    Good grief. Any idea what they used on it?

    I believe Eldorado2K has used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish of all things, but a quick search and I can't locate a thread to confirm. Hopefully he'll chime in.

    I'm with Rsurfer - polishing that plastic can be done but it's going to be tough. It looks like it has both etching from whatever liquid they used plus scratches from wiping.


    In the future, I've had really good luck doing an initial very soft dusting with a deep pile microfiber towel (to pick up any grit), then using an Interior Detailer (I like the Griot's one) and a small suede towel like you get with eyeglasses or for wiping phone screens. Easy to get into the corners and is nice and gentle.

    Hope you can save your cluster!

  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    Quote Originally Posted by visorakmark View Post
    Hello,

    I've just joined for this one question. I had a neighbor detail my car and he smudged up my gauge covers. How do I restore/repair them? Are they too far gone?

    Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair-img-2777-3-jpg

    Thank you,

    -Mark

    Here's your picture,




    The problem with undoing unnecessary damage is,

    1. The location makes it difficult to hand polish and in most cases working by machine is even more difficult.

    2. Plastic technology is changing but no matter what type of plastic you're working on it's at least as difficult if not more to work on plastic as it is clearcoat paints.



    See pictures here and most IMPORTANT - what Lawrence has to say at the bottom of the second picture.


    Cluster plastic



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  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    Here's something I posted in a different thread,

    Polishing Clear Plastic Speedometer/Gauge Cover


    Post #2

    Check out this thread, in it I think I point out the issues surrounding working defects out of small or confined areas... it has to do with your ability to move your hand...

    How to Remove Hair line scratches on Wood Trim?


    I know most people are scanners so read closely, lots of in-depth info...



    And from post #4 - this was my 1975 Jimmy, I removed the instrument cluster and worked on by hand.


    Quote Originally Posted by s-slinn3 View Post

    Okay, thats awesome! I think I have the technique down, but I am still a little confused as to what products I need to get or what will help so that I can completely remove the very fine swirls/hazing?
    Anytime you're working by hand, or in case like this a finger or two pushing down on some kind of "material" it's really hard to create perfection. That's why all true pros MACHINE polish paint, not rub them out by hand. Same principal. Your hand, or fingers cannot duplicate what a machine can do.

    I've buffed out plastic gages on dashes of cars using foam pads I've made myself, it can be complicated to get the foam to the plastic because the steering wheel is in the way as are the levers on the column. Radio faces are also hard to get perfect.

    The best thing to do is never scratch these areas in the first place.

    With my old Chevy truck I can remove the dash cover and then remove all the plastic and polish and then put it back together again. You normally can't do with with "new" cars and truck, it's too complicated, that's why I don't buy "new" cars and trucks, like the old stuff better.





    The Jimmy not only came with a auto-shifting steering column for the swap but also with a nice set of late model gages to replace the old and worn out gages in the truck right now.

    Before - Current gages















    One little crack in the plastic cover





    Process - PlastX Applied by Hand







    After






    PlastX is made just for plastic, I would try it first and finish out with foam.


    Here's an article about the problem with your fingers, it's about paint but the same principals apply...

    Fingermarks





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  7. #7
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    I appreciate the replies all. Would I be better off figuring out how to remove the plastic from my car and just buying a replacement? It's a 2013 Honda Fit. Probably not hard to find a replacement I imagine?

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  9. #8
    Super Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Plastic Gauge Cover sctrach and smudge repair

    Quote Originally Posted by oneheadlite View Post

    I believe Eldorado2K has used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish of all things, but a quick search and I can't locate a thread to confirm. Hopefully he'll chime in.
    That’s right. Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish is my go to product everytime I need to polish the clear plastic gauge clusters.




    Just use a bit on a microfiber or foam applicator or you can even use a microfiber towel. Polish by hand, it doesn’t take too much. Turn to a clean side of the towel for the final buff.

    Based on the picture it looks very possible.

  10. Thanks Desertnate thanked for this post

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