Atenza GJ / Mazda 6

ATENZA: How to restore faded plastic parts (rear wiper)

Hard plastic parts tend to fade and get dull and flat colouring after being exposed to too much UV-rays out in the sun.
A while ago i saw this interesting youtube video, on how they restore faded plastic parts with fire / heat. I’m not an expert, but my assumtion is that the surface basically melts because of the heat and the molecules realign so it looks like fresh out of the mold again.

Now a few days ago i looked at my Daily driver and saw this:

The rear wiper plastic cover clearly had seen it’s best days, so i thought this was the perfect piece to give it a try. If i mess it up completely, i could buy a replacement for cheap.
So off i went. Instead of a flame i took a regular hot air gun at roughly 600°C (max temp). I thought i better attack it with max heat, but as short as possible, to not heat the entire piece too much and avoid warping or other deformation. Basically what you would to with a good steak. You want to only grill it a max temperature, as short as possible, so the surface gets “caramelized” while the inside is still bloody raw 🙂

While i was a bit scared that i’ll mess it up, it worked suprizingly well. within one minute or so it looked lke this. I let it cool down and made another round, just to ensure it lasts. You can immediately see, where the surface start to change, then move the gun away asap and don’t heat further. you really only want to heat the surface of those thin plastic pieces (the football stadium chairs in the video clearly are thicker and can handle more heat!).

While at it and the pieces still warm, i thought why not give it an extra treatment with this plastic refurbish balm? Not sure how useful this is, but yeah, why not – right?

here we go. this is the result:

And this after installation (it’s a clip on piece, no tools required to remove or re-install). Now as you can see, the difference is huge and now the wiper arm was too bright.

You can clearlly see the arm itself is a different material (it looks like some kind of composite). where it won’t work. so i only gave it a gentle-warm-up and treated it with the plastic refurbishment balm.
And here we go. before and the final result. Quite happy for a 10minute backyard-engineering job. And i finally got to prove myself that refurbishment of plastic pieces with heat actually DOES work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *