Ask The Editors: Plastic Lost its Luster

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Dear ATVC:

I’m tired of my ATV’s plastic looking dull and scratchy after just a few rides. I wash it with a power washer after every ride but wonder if I can do anything to make it look new?

It depends heavily upon the actual condition of your machine’s plastics of course (how badly they are damaged) but yes, there are definitely some measures at your disposal to freshen up dulled or scratched plastic.

Assuming there aren’t any deep scratches making the plastic rough to the touch, typically power washing, drying then spritzing with a shining agent like Armor-All will be enough.

Dark colored plastics (like the deep blue used by Yamaha) can develop white unsightly spots from normal wear and tear. Fortunately applying heat from either a heat gun or even a butane torch from a distance easily removes these. The key is to keep moving so as not to melt a hole through the plastic. Additionally, it is possible the plastic will be dull in the spots you’ve heated.

For situations where scratching or fading are beyond the scope of a spray-on protectant/ shiner, there are products like PC Racing’s Plastic Renew that work pretty well. Of course this is a bit of a process and usually involves sanding your plastic with wet fine-grit sandpaper and then applying multiple coats of an oily sealer.

If your plastic is damaged beyond the scope of this stuff, replacement with OEM or aftermarket fenders is about your only other option- but that aint cheap! As a bonus tip- consider coating your plastic with a spray-on protectant BEFORE riding for the first time to prevent scuffs and surface scratches and a good coat of WD-40 on the underside of your fenders can work wonders in preventing mud from caking up.

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