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Published Jul. 3, 2019

When you need to carry out some repairs or modifications to the interior or exterior of your car, there’s a good chance that you will need some automotive glue. You need the automotive adhesive that you buy to be strong and durable, but there is a huge range of products for you to choose from.

Plastic glue comes in all sorts of different forms. It may be in one bottle, it may come in two barrels that you mix together, or it may be adhesive tape. You need to think carefully about what you want the glue to do, where you will apply it, and how quickly you need it to set. To help you make the right choice, check out our guide to the best adhesive for plastic.

The Best Glue For Plastic Car Parts

An ideal glue for sticking plastic car parts, this product is incredibly tough because it sets into a silicone rubber. It’s a moldable glue, which makes it very easy to use straight out of the pack. It feels a little like kids play-dough – it’s that malleable! The bond is strong enough to hold 4.4 pounds.

Thanks to the advanced formulation, this silicone glue will bond permanently to just about any surface so you can use it on glass and ceramic as well as plastic. Overnight, it turns into a silicone rubber so it can be used for fixing, bonding and sealing. Once it has cured, it is waterproof and heat and cold resistant, which makes it perfect for automotive applications. It is also flexible and shock-resistant – it will even insulate against electric currents up to 24 volts.

Key Features
  • Moldable glue can be used out of the pack
  • Turns to silicone rubber overnight
  • Waterproof and heatproof
  • Ideal for plastics
Specification
  • Brand Sugru
  • Model I000467
  • Weight 2.08 ounces

This very popular plastic glue comes as liquid in a 20-gram clear bottle. It gives superior bonding power, it sets fasts, and it holds surfaces together. Because it is so strong, it is suitable for car parts as well as cameras and toys. Use it on wiper blades, O-rings and rubber seals.

This glue takes just seconds to set and will be completely transparent so you will not see it on the plastic parts of your car. It comes with a pinpoint nozzle for easy application, and it has a pin cap that is clog-free.

Key Features
  • Superior bonding power
  • Strong and durable hold
  • Dries transparent
  • Pinpoint nozzle for accurate application
Specification
  • Brand Loctite
  • Model 1365882
  • Weight 2.08 ounces

This tough glue is strong enough for automotive use on plastic car parts. It provides a permanent bond and can be used for gap-filling. The glue is resistant to solvents and dries clear so it will not be visible and is water-resistant.

If you are in a hurry, that is no problem because it sets in just five minutes but that is still enough time for you to reposition the car parts. It is supplied as two separate barrels with a syringe applicator. One barrel has a resin and the other has a hardener. The syringe provides an even coverage and there is a cap so you can keep it to use again.

Key Features
  • Glue provided in two barrels with syringe
  • Resistant to solvents and waterproof
  • Dries clear
  • Dries in five minutes
Specification
  • Brand Gorilla
  • Model 4200101
  • Weight 2.24 ounces

This product is a complete starter kit in a handy metal case that is perfect for bonding plastic parts on your car. Once it has cured, this product is totally waterproof and also resistant to heat. It dries completely clear and you can even sand it or paint it once it has hardened, which makes it perfect for external automotive use on plastic.

This non-toxic adhesive is not a glue – it is completely free from solvents. It is activated by UV light so the kit includes an LED UV tube which you put on with just a press of a button. The product bonds in seconds but will never dry up in its container. As well as plastic, it can be used on metal, PVC and steel and much more.

Key Features
  • Starter kit
  • Adhesive product with no solvents
  • Can be sanded and painted
  • Activated by UV light
Specification
  • Brand Bondic
  • Model CECOMINOD032561
  • Weight 4 ounces

If you are looking for a fast curing time and a long shelf life, this is the product you need for bonding plastic car parts. You only need small amounts and it will set in under 30 seconds. This adhesive is made from an industrial grade Cyanoacrylate (CA) formulation.

The flow is smooth and even and it delivers a medium viscosity with no mess. It’s useful for both large and delicate jobs.

Key Features
  • Fast curing
  • Long shelf life
  • Flows smoothly
  • Sets in under 30 seconds
Specification
  • Brand Glue Masters
  • Model CECOMINOD041817
  • Weight 4 ounces

Here’s a low-cost glue that comes in a handy bottle. There is a built-in applicator that makes it ideal for delicate jobs and small car parts.

You only need a small amount to make a strong bond. There is a cap to keep the bottle airtight so you can use it again in the future.

Key Features
  • Low cost plastic glue
  • Ideal for small jobs
  • Useful applicator for precision
  • Seals up so it can be used again
Specification
  • Brand Games Workshop
  • Model 99219999037
  • Weight 0.64 ounces

This is a super glue product that is designed not to run so it would be suitable for vertical plastic car parts. It is very tough once it dries and strong enough for automotive use. As well as plastic, it can be used on wood, metal or ceramic. The glue contains rubber particles so it resists impact and is very strong.

It sets within 30 seconds so you won’t have to worry about fiddling around with clamps. It comes with a cap that prevents the glue from drying out and allows you to use it again and again.

Key Features
  • Will not run so can be used on vertical surfaces
  • Contains rubber particles so it resists impact
  • Sets within 30 seconds
  • Supplied with a cap to prevent it from drying out
Specification
  • Brand Gorilla
  • Model 7700104
  • Weight 1.44 ounces

There are two parts to this urethane adhesive that will provide a strong and lasting repair for your plastic car parts, including carbon fiber composites and thermoplastics. Once it has set, it is highly durable and is designed to withstand extreme environments. The bond it creates is as strong as steel.

You simply mix it at a 1-1 ratio and it sets within 15 minutes. You can safely sand it after 30 minutes and it has a final tensile strength of 3770 PSI. You can use it as a gap filler and it is black in color when it dries.

Key Features
  • High performance urethane adhesive
  • Can be used on all types of plastic
  • Mix in a 1:1 ratio
  • Final tensile strength of 3770 PSI
Specification
  • Brand J-B Weld

Here we have a general, all-purpose glue that is of commercial grade so it is strong enough for automotive use. It is a clear liquid that bonds within seconds and works well on all plastics as well as on wood, rubber and metals as well as many other surfaces.

It dries to a tough finish that can withstand impacts, shock and vibrations so it can stand up to the forces exerted on plastic car parts. It will also withstand moisture and heat so it is safe in all weather.

Key Features
  • Commercial grade all-purpose glue
  • Suitable for all automotive plastic parts
  • Clear liquid glue
  • Dries rapidly
Specification
  • Brand Rhino Glue
  • Model RE1479

Here’s a fast-drying plastic glue that is just what you need when working on smaller plastic car parts. It dries very quickly and is suited well to ABS plastic.

Once dried, this automotive adhesive has an extremely strong hold. In the pack, there are two glue containers and four glue tips to give you precision application.

Key Features
  • Fast drying
  • Perfect for ABS plastic
  • Very strong hold
  • Rapid drying
Specification
  • Brand Testors
  • Model 3509C
  • Weight 2.4 ounces

This adhesive will effectively bond heavyweight automotive fabrics with a smooth non-porous surface such as metal or plastic. Because it is so strong, it can be used on trucks as well as cars. It is versatile enough to bond plastic to metal as well.

It is applied as an aerosol spray, which is very quick and easy but delivers a controlled and even layer to all surfaces. This adhesive dries in under an hour.

Key Features
  • Bonds heavyweight automotive fabrics
  • Can be used on trucks and cars
  • Applied as an aerosol
  • Dries within an hour
Specification
  • Brand 3M
  • Model 38808
  • Weight 1.2 pounds

This is a versatile glue that forms a permanent, waterproof bond. It can be used for repairing tears in vinyl, holes in car seats and floor mats and for repairing convertible tops as well as many other automotive applications.

It produces a powerful bond that will seal leaks in hoses. This glue will withstand vibrations so it is also suitable for screw connections. It is even as effective as silicone when it comes to protecting battery terminals against corrosion. You can use it for sealing windshields and headlights to keep out the rain. Inside your car, it can be used for insulating electrical wiring and sticking side molding strips into position.

Key Features
  • Forms a permanent and water-proof bond
  • Useful for sealing windshields
  • Seals hoses
  • Fixes floor mats and convertible tops
Specification
  • Brand Amazing GOOP
  • Model 160012
  • Weight 4.8 ounces

Specifically designed for automotive use, this 3M length of useful tape will bond plastic surfaces together.

There are no messy liquids that need to be mixed or that could run. You simply cut it to size, and there is no mess at all. It can be used for interior trim panels or body side moldings. If you press it firmly, it improves the bond strength.

Key Features
  • Adhesive tape
  • Ideal for automotive use
  • No mixing or running
  • Cut it to the desired length
Specification
  • Brand 3M

This is a two-part urethane adhesive that can be used to make strong repairs that will last. It can be used on many different surfaces, including carbon fiber composites and thermoplastics.

All you have to do is mix to chemicals together in a 1:1 ratio, and it will mix set solid in 15 minutes. If you need to sand it, you can do this after 30 minutes. Once it has set, it will have a tensile strength of 3770 PSI and gives a hard bond that is a tan color.

Key Features
  • Two-part urethane adhesive
  • Mix chemicals together in a 1:1 ratio
  • Sets solid in 15 minutes
  • Tensile strength of 3770 PSI
Specification
  • Brand J-B Weld
  • Model EMW1395220-X2
  • Weight 2.4 ounces

The useful feature of this glue system is that it has a shelf life of two years, and if you keep it refrigerated it will last for five years. It is a complete kit with everything you need to complete multiple repairs.  You will be able to use this over and over again because the bottles are designed to prevent clogging and drying up.

It is just right for automotive uses and can be used on all types of plastics, including polyethylene and polypropylene. This is a very versatile kit and suitable for any type of job. If you simply want to make a fast and simple repair on non-porous surfaces, you can use the thin glue. Whereas, you can use the polyfiller for filling, building and reinforcing to get a hard composite that can be sanded. It can even be drilled and painted, making it perfect for plastic car parts. The thicker glue in the kit is more like a  syrup consistency and will not drip. This gives you time to position plastic car parts. When you are ready, you can spray on the accelerator.

Key Features
  • Kit containing several adhesives for different jobs
  • Versatile and suits all tasks
  • Shelf life of up to five years
  • Can be sanded and painted
Specification
  • Brand GLUESMITH
  • Model 5864265138

Best Glue For Plastic Car Parts Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Buying a Glue For Plastic Car Parts

There are literally hundreds of glues for plastic car parts available. Therefore, it is easy to become confused and choosing the right product for your needs can be tricky. To get you up to speed quickly, check out our simple list of what you should consider when you are buying the glue.

  • How much do you need?

There are big gluing jobs and there are small gluing jobs! Think about the size of the plastic parts that you need to glue. Generally, adhesives are sold in quite small quantities so make sure that you have enough. You may need to get two packs to make sure that you have enough to finish the job.

  • How long do you need the shelf life to be?

It is likely that you will not use all of the glue in the bottle. Throwing it away is wasteful and expensive. Therefore, it makes sense to buy a glue that will last for some time so that you can use it again in the future. Some glues specify a shelf life and others will last longer if you refrigerate them. Most glues are at least supplied with a cap which stops them from drying out. The glues that are supplied as two chemicals that need to be mixed together tend to last longer because they don’t start to set until they are mixed.

  • The materials you want to stick together.

It is important that you make sure that the glue is suitable for the material that you want to stick. Remember that you may be sticking two different materials together and the glue must be compatible with both of them. The term ‘plastic’ is a generic term and there are many different types of plastic. Read the specifications supplied by the manufacturer.

  • Do you need to drill or sand it?

Sometimes, you need a glue to do more than simply stick things together. You may need it to act as a filler for plastic car parts. You may need to sand it, to drill into it or to paint it. Make sure that this is possible with the glue that you are purchasing.

  • Does it matter if it runs?

When you are working on a vertical car part, the last thing you need is runny glue. Perhaps some sticky tape or an adhesive that has a paste-like consistency would suit you better? Check out the description to see how runny the glue is.

  • How durable is it?

Glue that is used to fix plastic car parts needs to be durable. If it is being used on the exterior of the car, it must be resistant to water and must not break down when exposed to sunlight. It will also need to withstand the vibrations caused by traveling on a road surface and the engine running.

  • What color is it?

Color matching may be very important if you are using the glue on the exterior surface of your car or internally where it will be seen. Transparent bumper glue is excellent for this. Other glues set to a tan or black color and you may need to paint over them.

  • How long does it take to set?

Fast setting glue seems like a good idea. It helps you get on with the job quickly and this is important if you need to do other things like sand it. Some glue sets in around five minutes and can be sanded in 30 minutes. Other glue sets even faster. However, if you know that it is going to take you some time to correctly position a plastic car part, a slower setting glue may be more suitable. Some glues set very slowly but once you are happy with the position of the two surfaces, you can spray an accelerant to speed up the setting time and get the job done.

  • How strong is it?

This is an important consideration. All manufacturers claim that their glue is the strongest glue for plastic! It would not make sense for them to say that it was weak! However, others give a value for a specific weight or force that the glue can withstand. All glues will have a limit.

Repair broken plastic by epoxy

Application of Car Glue

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using automotive adhesive. The first step is to ensure that you have the right glue for the job. You will need to make sure that the two surfaces are clean and dry and do not have any old adhesive or debris on them – this will affect the strength of the bond.

Sometimes, you have to mix two chemicals together to form the adhesive but at other times you just apply it to one or both surfaces with an applicator. The thickness that you use will be specified in the instructions. Sometimes, you have the option of spraying on an accelerant to speed up the setting time.  Now you just have the challenge of holding the plastic car part in place whilst the adhesive sets. Of course, you could just sit and hold it but if the setting time is 30 minutes, this could become tiresome. A more practical option would be to use a clamp or some tape but make sure that these do not cause a mark on the car part.

Different Types of Car Adhesives

Your main options here are a permanent or a semi-permanent glue. The one you choose will depend on the type of job that you are carrying out.

If you are carrying out repairs to car trims or bumpers, you will need a strong permanent car glue that can withstand heat, vibrations and moisture. This type of glue is built to last.  It will be very difficult to get it off again if you change your mind. You could end up causing damage to your car.

For temporary jobs, you would do better to choose a semi-permanent automotive glue. One option for this is a double-sided tape. This type of product will form a strong bond and it can withstand the outdoor elements. However, you can also remove it when you need to and it does not leave a messy residue.

Adhesives in the automotive industry can also be categorized as plastic epoxy adhesives and anaerobic adhesives. Epoxy adhesives are very strong and durable and can bond materials together even if they are nothing like each other. The main ingredient in this type of glue is Epichlorohydrin. It forms a very hard layer when it sets and is highly resistant to heat, cold and water.

Anaerobic adhesives contain monomers. These are suited to bonding to metals. Therefore, they are commonly used to seal and tighten fasteners or gaskets. Another common application is in bonding electrical components. Anaerobic adhesives are resistant to chemicals including fuels and oils.

When you read the product description for adhesives, you may come across some other terms which describe the chemicals that have been used in the manufacture of the glue. These include acrylics, urethane, elastomer and silicone.

How To Remove Adhesive Residue

Not all jobs go according to plan and you may end up having to remove adhesive from plastic car parts. Also, it is important that you remove old adhesive before you make s new join because it will weaken the bond.

There are several ways in which you can do this. The method you choose will depend on how much adhesive needs to be removed, the surface that it needs to be removed from and what tools/materials you have at your disposal. Most glues will provide some information about how they can be removed. It is always wise to patch test a small area when you are using a chemical to remove adhesive as it can cause texture and color changes on plastic.

  • Cutting with a knife: You may be able to trim old car glue with a sharp knife – a craft knife is ideal. You have to be very careful not to damage delicate surfaces. Scraping very carefully with a blunt knife, spatula or old debit card can also be very effective but you need to watch the surface underneath.
  • White spirit or methylated spirit: This can be used on some materials such as glass but could damage plastic so take great care.
  • Upholstery cleaner: If there is adhesive on your car seats or carpets, you may be able to remove it with upholstery cleaner.
  • Special cleaning fluid: This may be provided to remove a particular type of adhesive or sealant.
  • Moisturizer or vegetable oil: You can do this by soaking a cloth in the oil and dabbing the glue. Allow it to soak in and then wipe the old car glue firmly with a clean cloth.
  • Make-up wipes: These can be a very quick and convenient solution to break down weaker glues and wipe away the residue in one action. Use the wipe to gently dab the glue patch in a circular action.
  • Vinegar: This can be highly effective at removing stubborn car trim adhesive from plastic surfaces. Soak the area generously with vinegar and then wipe it off.

Windscreen repair

Our Top Pick

Our top pick of the best glue for automotive plastic is tough because it sets into a silicone rubber. It is also moldable and can be used straight out of the pack. When set, it will hold 4.4 pounds.

The silicone will bond permanently to just about any surface so you can use it on glass and ceramic as well as plastic. Overnight it turns into a silicon rubber so it can be used for fixing, bonding and sealing. It is waterproof and heat- and cold-resistant which makes it perfect for automotive applications. It is also flexible, shock-resistant – it will even insulate against electric currents up to 24 volts.

Sources:

  1. Plastic Glues – HowStuffWorks
  2. What Types of Glue Will Stick Metal to Plastic? – Hunker

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