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Fix for rear apron scratches

Njbrandon

Member
Jun 22, 2020
36
14
NJ
Is there any type of product to remove light scratches in the rear apron? Trying to avoid replacing the whole thing.
43602E24-89E0-4DDF-AD72-306CB6AB9D45.jpeg
 

Mike_TV

Member
Apr 29, 2020
575
435
Chicagoland
I don't think so because of the way the plastic is textured any attempt to "buff it out" or smooth the scratches down will make it look different than the rest of the undamaged part.
 
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Nov 23, 2020
102
115
Chicago
Those look pretty light. Just get some clearcoat scratch filler (Consumer Reports says all the big-name ones are about the same) and give it a go; despite what the "As Seen On TV" commercials might promise, the scratch filler won't magically make the scratches disappear, but it'll hopefully take the edge off of them and make them bother you a bit less.

Just avoid any scratch repair kits that involve polishing compound or sandpaper - as @Mike_TV said, that'll change the texture of the plastic and make that entire spot stand out.
 

Njbrandon

Member
Jun 22, 2020
36
14
NJ
I can try that. I can’t feel the scratches they are very minor on the surface, but noticeable. Not sure what could have caused it. Something brushed up against it. Does Tesla make any type of touch-up paint to match? I have some plastidip so I was thinking of taping off one of the small scratches and hitting it with a very light coat to see if it darkened.
 

blgN8

Member
Sep 4, 2020
33
50
Minnesota
Typically, for that kind of thing, I use Rubbing compound, then Polish, then Cleaner Wax.. on 3-4" foam disk on drill. Learned from a Pro. Works great.

Last summer I had a very good experience with Meguire's Ultimate Polish (G19220) on dark Toyota bumper. Some rubbing compound had gotten on the gritty dark plastic bumper. Figured it would be there for years. The Meguiar's Ultimate Polish took it right out.

Polish goes on wet and you wipe / buff out while it's still wet.

I suggest you start with the polish and see if it works. ..and some pads. Links below.

https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G19...eywords=maguires+polish&qid=1610468108&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/GOH-DODD-Pol...=4"+foam+polishing+pads&qid=1610468341&sr=8-3
 
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N1L CO2

Member
Jul 10, 2020
413
264
OC, CA
That's bare plastic I am afraid. Since there is not another layer of paint/clearcoat, it can't really be buffed out. And if you use too much force, it will just make it look worse. You could ponder getting it painted in body-color. But then again, that might be cost-prohibitive too depending on how much the replacement part costs.
 
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Nov 23, 2020
102
115
Chicago
That's bare plastic I am afraid. Since there is not another layer of paint/clearcoat, it can't really be buffed out. And if you use too much force, it will just make it look worse. You could ponder getting it painted in body-color. But then again, that might be cost-prohibitive too depending on how much the replacement part costs.
Oh, man, I didn't even realize that was the lower bumper trim down by the hitch cover. From the pic, I thought it was something painted MSM. Yeah, not a lot you can do about scratches there, unfortunately.
 
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N1L CO2

Member
Jul 10, 2020
413
264
OC, CA
They said it’s $520 for a new one installed
Damn, that's a lot of coin. I've had some luck with plastic trim restorer (Back-to-Black) in the past to lessen the visible damage. There are quite a few versions but I think they all yield about the same result. You can get'em at Amazon for like $10. Not too expensive to try to see if it helps. Plus, you can use in on other bare plastic panels on the Y. :)
 
Nov 23, 2020
102
115
Chicago
Damn, that's a lot of coin. I've had some luck with plastic trim restorer (Back-to-Black) in the past to lessen the visible damage. There are quite a few versions but I think they all yield about the same result. You can get'em at Amazon for like $10. Not too expensive to try to see if it helps. Plus, you can use in on other bare plastic panels on the Y. :)
Would you have to apply it to the entire panel so the one spot doesn't look extra dark & blotchy, or does it do a pretty good job of blending with surrounding areas?
 

blgN8

Member
Sep 4, 2020
33
50
Minnesota
That's bare plastic I am afraid. Since there is not another layer of paint/clearcoat, it can't really be buffed out. ...

Respectfully.. I don't agree. You may be correct. I would definitely try the Meguire's Ultimate Polish first. Cheap and easy to find out for sure. I feel really good with this suggestion. I suspect 90% of what we see in photo is detrius on bumper and not damage to bumper. I suspect buffing with foam pad and Meguire's Ultimate Polish will improve drastically.. if not make it nearly unnoticeable.

... or just ignore and spend >$500 and replace.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,746
1,730
USA
Respectfully.. I don't agree. You may be correct. I would definitely try the Meguire's Ultimate Polish first. Cheap and easy to find out for sure. I feel really good with this suggestion. I suspect 90% of what we see in photo is detrius on bumper and not damage to bumper. I suspect buffing with foam pad and Meguire's Ultimate Polish will improve drastically.. if not make it nearly unnoticeable.

... or just ignore and spend >$500 and replace.
fully agree with this post.

Worst case, if it doesnt work? Can still sand out the scratches/smooth them out, and for that part? Can easily be resprayed by a body shop for probably less than $200 total. Alternatively, mask off rest of car well, smooth out the marks yourself, and on a warm sunny day with no wind, spray that part with rattle can paint. Cost will be less than $10 and worst case if you mess it up? Can still be fixed perfectly by a body shop for way less than buying new.
 

E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
146
116
Vancouver
Mine had a very large scuff when new. I just waxed it by hand with whatever cheap wax I had kicking around and it disappeared until you wash it a couple times then slowly comes back. Wax it again and it disappears again for a while. Worth a try to see if it’s good enough for you.
 

Njbrandon

Member
Jun 22, 2020
36
14
NJ
Thanks for the replies I will try polishing it. There’s no scratch when I rub my finger on it so it’s just a surface issue. It faded a little when I wiped it with a rag and detailer spray. Sucks on a 2 week old car.
 

gundarx

Member
Feb 5, 2020
254
401
Renton, WA
@Njbrandon you mention no actual scratch; to me that looks like wax/polish residue.. before going the polish route which can permanently alter the texture, use a toothbrush in multiple directions with peanut butter and that should remove most of this residue. If you’d want something better: https://www.mckees37.com/wax-remover.html

if you want to condition/restore the trim and rest of your car’s rubber/vinyl trim, I recommend Solution Finish (black); it’s a permanent dye which will bring back the desired black look and can mask and blend imperfections; you can also apply trim ceramic coating on top of that if desired and keep that look for a really long time.
 

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