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Removing Scratches from X5 Bumper

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#1 Labshark


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:14 PM

Hi all,

It's been some time since I've posted. I've just come across a 2010 BMW X5 which has a plastic textured ABS front and rear bumper.

The front bumper has some scuff marks and the entire bumper is unpainted and in a stock "natural" textured plastic finish.

I've read that some have had luck with heating the bumpers to bring out the scratches, but I'm leery of this approach. Does anyone have any other ideas? Or, is the heating approach a good idea?

I imagine the only option is to replace the bumper or leave it as is. The scratches are on the minor side, but, I don't want to experiment unless a reasonable method is suggested.

So, does anyone have any ideas? I've smoothed the scratched with my finger nail (as my fingernail is softer than the bumper material, so I though it to be a safe move and it did help a great deal), but there are still some 1/4th of a millimeter scratches that are visible.

It's a pretty common vehicle, so I thought some of you might be able to help.

Thanks in advance!

#2 the_invisible


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:20 PM

There's really not much you could do. Many people simply sand down the entire plastic panel and respray the surface with some flat black paint while inducing some orange peel to bring the texture feel back.

The purpose of having these plastic panels is so that if you scratch it, you wouldn't have to repaint it. The plastic panels are placed at high traffic areas on your X5 to avoid costly repairs. They are meant to be scratched and not be repaired. There's no point of fixing it, in my opinion.

#3 Labshark


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:34 PM

Some varieties come with the panels painted to match the color of the vehicle. That's one option.

I agree they're place in high traffic areas, but unfortunately on late model X5s the high traffic areas are very noticeable when looking at the vehicle.

It came in with a basketball side sized patch of black paint from another vehicle, which I was able to remove. Amazingly it didn't penetrate the clear coat, whatsoever, and I was able to buff it out with the orbital. But, I hate working on these textured plastic materials.

It's the same texture garbage cans are made out of. Speaking of which, maybe I should practice on one, before the X5. I'm thinking the Heat Gun approach might be workable, otherwise I'm going to recommend the owner paint the front and rear to match the vehicle as is offered on the top-tier X5.

Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it.

Hmmm....any other ideas?

#4 the_invisible


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:47 PM

Yeah, the BMW paint are great in that the clear coat is extremely durable.

Painting the textured plastic is a good idea. It gives the car a premium look. But it also means higher repair costs in the future if it needs to be repaired.

Try the heat gun. If it doesn't work, you could always have it repainted to cover it :)

#5 Flashtime


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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:48 AM

Yes, painting it is a great idea. I've painted quite a few. And it makes future repairs,
either touching up, repairing/refinishing and polishing an option as opposed to nothing
or replacement (costly too).

#6 RickRack


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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:17 AM

There is a special coating for plastics that is probably your best option.

Check out the spoiler repair I did on this GT3:


Rick Nelson - Unique Car Care (owner) Boston MA

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Specializing in detailing, 3M and Xpel clear bra, window tinting, vinyl wraps, etc...

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