How To Debadge a Car Like a Pro
There are many car enthusiasts out there who choose to remove the badges on their car. For those who don’t...
There are many car enthusiasts out there who choose to remove the badges on their car. For those who don’t know, badges are the metal insignia located primarily at the back of the car, which tell you the make and model of the car as well as its brand. Some car owners do this to improve the appearance of their car by giving it a cleaner look. There are also those who do this to remove indications of their vehicle’s trim. Others simply want their ride to look different from the other cars on the street.
You may think that you need to go to an auto body shop to get rid of your car’s badges. As it turns out, you only need some common household items as well as a bit of time and effort. It’s pretty easy to get this done. For most vehicles, you’ll only need floss or a fishing line, and a thermos filled with some hot water. It would help if you use hot water, as this will help loosen the adhesive attaching the badges to the car. You could use other tools to make the process easier. We’ll talk more about these later.
How is the Badge Attached?
Start by figuring out how the badges are attached. This is a big factor in determining how you’ll go about removing them. Some are attached using a strong adhesive, while some have the added support of screws and rivets. If only adhesive was used, you won’t even notice that a badge was there in the first place after a good scrub and a fresh coat of wax. The process maybe a bit more complicated if screws and rivets are used, as removing them will leave visible holes behind. You may need to put filler and a bit of paint for a clean finish.
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You could usually figure out what was used to attach the insignia by looking at your car’s repair manual. If it’s not listed there, you could try your luck online and search for videos or articles on how to remove your particular car’s badges. Just be sure to put the year of manufacturing along with the model of your car, as the method of securing the badge may change on an annual basis. If possible, you could remove the trim from your vehicle’s interior. If there are clips passing through the car’s body, then chances are there also clips on its insignia.
Soften Up the Adhesive
Once you’ve determined how your car’s badges were attached, it is now time to start the removal process. It is easier to remove adhesive that has already been warmed up. To do this, get some steaming water – don’t use boiling water as this may damage the car’s paint – and apply it directly above the emblems. If you have one available, use a thermos to hold the water. This isn’t necessary, but it will help keep a constant temperature. It will also give you more freedom in handling the steaming water.
Pouring from above lets the hot water make direct contact with some of the adhesive, around the part where you’ll start prying the badge off. This will also warm up the rest of the glue to make it less sticky. Be careful when you’re working with hot water, as you might end up burning yourself. Wear some protective equipment if you can. This is an optional step, but using an adhesive remover will also help soften the glue used to attach the badges to your car’s body. Adhesive remover can also be used later to remove any leftover residue. You could also use a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive.
Removing the Badge
Now that the glue has been softened, let’s talk about how to separate the badges from the car. You have a couple of options on how to go around this. First, you could use a plastic wedge or scraper to get in between the car and its emblems. You’d want to go in on the badge from different angles. This will keep the badge in one piece. This method requires the least amount of force out of all the options we’ll provide. However, it is not likely that people will have a plastic wedge laying around the house, so they’ll most likely need to buy one. Make sure not to use a metal scraper, as you run the risk of permanently damaging your paint job if you do so.
Another way you can remove your car’s emblems is by sawing off the adhesive with some dental floss or plastic fishing wire. Start by placing the floss in between the car’s body and the badge you want to remove. Use a back and forth sawing motion to make your way through whatever it is that’s attaching the emblem to the car. This method requires a bit more elbow grease, but it also presents the least probability of you breaking the emblem you removed. Again, don’t use anything metal, like wires, to remove your car’s insignia.
If you don’t have dental floss, fishing line, or a plastic wedge, you could also use an old credit card to remove a car’s badges. Much like with the wedge, use the credit card to approach it from different angles. You should also make sure that the side with the numbers is facing outward, as these may scratch your paint. Once the emblem has been removed, put it somewhere far from things that could damage it. Who knows? You might change your mind one day and decide to put them back.
Cleaning and Waxing
Use a sponge with soap and water to wash the de-badged area. If there is still leftover adhesive residue after doing this, then a spraying of adhesive remover could help. Once all signs of the badge have been removed, allow the area to dry completely. Once the car has dried, apply a layer of wax in a circular motion. This will give the car a shine that will make it appear that no modification was made.
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Now you know how to remove badges from a car like how the professionals do it. If you follow these simple steps, the whole process will be fairly easy. There will also will be less risk of you damaging the finish of your car or the badge you want removed.