How to Debadge a Car
There are many, many ways that you can go about personalizing your car to fit your tastes and to show off your personality. There are badges, stickers, magnets, and other trinkets that you can add to your car. However, some people want to make sure that the badge of the car isn’t there anymore. If you have never de-badged a car before, you might be at a complete loss as to what you should do next. While you can certainly bring the car into the mechanic to get it removed, it is always less expensive and easier to get it done yourself. Thankfully, most badges can be removed with relative ease, as long as you have the materials and you know what you are doing.
Determining How the Badge Is Attached
First things first, you are going to need to make sure that you know how the badge is attached to the car. After all, you really can’t go about an effective removal if you aren’t sure where to start. Generally, car manufacturers will use one of two ways to attach a badge to the car, and it is incredibly easy to distinguish the two from each other. Some car manufacturers will use a very strong adhesive to essentially glue the badge to the car. These are the easiest types of badge to remove, and depending on how well you remove the adhesive, it will leave little to no damage to the car itself. You can generally tell if the manufacturers used adhesive or not, as there will be nothing else obviously keeping the badge attached to the car.
Speaking of which, the other type of method that car manufacturers use to attach badges to their cars include screws and rivets. These are pretty obvious to spot, as you will be looking for either a screw or rivet. Unfortunately, while they are quite easy to remove, assuming that you have the tools to get the job done, they will damage your car. You can usually fix up this damage with a filler and some paint to cover up the hole, but some people might not think that removing the badge is worth exposing a hole in the car.
Preparing the Adhesive
If your car’s badge is attached through a strong adhesive, you are going to want to make sure that you soften up the adhesive first. Not only does this make it much easier to remove the badge and to clean the adhesive, but it also helps to protect the car’s paint. The main way you are going to want to do this is by pouring hot water over the emblem to soften the adhesive up. You can use a thermos to hold the water in to make things easier for yourself. When you are heating up the water, make sure that the water is only steaming, as boiling water can damage the paint around the emblem, which is only going to make more work for you. Always use protective gear when you can so that you can minimize the risk of hurting yourself. From here, you will promptly want to move on to removing the badge so that you do not give the adhesive time to re-harden, or you will have to repeat this step again.
Removing the Badge
You are going to have three methods that you can choose from, based on what aspects are the most important to you. If you want to use as little force as possible, but don’t mind purchasing an object to get the job done, then you can go with using a plastic wedge. If you want to make sure that you don’t break the emblem at all, then you can consider using plastic fishing wire or dental floss to “saw” the adhesive away. If it doesn’t really matter to you and you don’t mind running the risk of breaking the emblem, you can always use your credit card as a wedge, so long as the numbers are facing outwards.
For the plastic wedge, the process is fairly straightforward. You will want to use the wedge or scraper to get between the car and the badge that you are trying to remove. Working from all different angles, you will want to apply as much force as you feel comfortable with to dislodge the badge from the adhesive. Remember that too much force can mean that the badge will break, rendering it useless. Also keep in mind that a metal scraper will only damage your paint job, and nobody wants this to happen.
Similarly, you can use a credit card to do the same thing. You can apply the same procedure of wedging it between the car and the badge, working from different angles, and applying as much force as you or your card can take. With this method, you won’t have to purchase anything new, and you won’t have to worry as much about damaging the paint on your car. If you really want to play things on the safe side, you can make sure that the numbers of the card face outward. Just be mindful that too much pressure on too-hard adhesive can break your card or the emblem.
Finally, there is the method using floss or fishing wire to saw the emblem away. As the name might suggest, with this method, you will wedge the string between the car and the badge and begin doing a sawing motion with the string. This takes some amount of effort and dedication, as it can take some time to work through all the adhesive. However, when all is said and done, this is the safest way to remove your badge. Just remember not to use metal wires, as these can and will damage your paint.