Buffing out scratches on GPS ?

I have some scratches, (about a half inch long and a quarter inch wide) on the clear face plate of my GPS.

They are not deep

Does anyone know if they can be buffed out, and if so, how ?

Jack L

I tried with a cotton cloth
I did it for a long time while on a road trip. Didn’t help much, if at all. Garmin like yours, I think. I learned to not see the scratches anymore.

Haven’t done it, but would probably look into car headlight scratch removal kits.

Kinda depends on the plastic and/or

– Last Updated: Feb-11-12 3:30 PM EST –

any coating on it. Polycarbonate doesn't buff well. Try taking it to a watch repair that buffs crystals. Or you could try a little Novus 2 on a damp cotton rag and rub, rub, rub!

This should work.

If your fingernail catches on it
you probably cannot get it out and will make things worse over the whole screen for trying.

That headlight one is good but I would recommend to start with the compound first just to see if thats good enough if not, try 2000 then buff. Starting with 800 is pretty rough for clear plastic if a person has never done something like that before.

See if RainX helps.
Cheap fix.

Love the Rain-x
Just another worthless piece of advice given out on P-net.

Here we go…
First, why the negative attitude when well-intentioned people are simply trying to help others? OPs always have the option to accept or reject suggestions.

Second, as others have mentioned, buffing scratches out of glass or hard plastic can be tricky business. There is the possibility of hazing or clouding the surounding area, creating a problem that is worse than the original scratch. But, it would certainly be the optimal solution if done properly.

On the other hand, RainX might be a less than optimal solution, but a possibility nevertheless. RainX, and other similar solutions, simply fill in scratches and pits, at least diminishing the apparency of the scratch and also reducing glare caused by surface imperfections.

Maybe shoot an e-mail to Garmin
and ask what they recommend?

As I said above, it really depends on the type of plastic and whether or not there is any kind of coating on it. Novus 2 plastic polish is widely available in many hardware stores and will do a pretty good job on hard plastics, like Plexiglas, with some effort. A cotton wheel on a buffer charged with white compound is even better, but requires some experience. Deep scratches won’t come out without levelling the surrounding surface first, but polishing will help to restore some optical transparency… if the plastic can be polished.


I made that mistake on some swimming goggles 20 years ago.

3M headlight lens kit
go to NAPA, spend 16$ for the 3M headlight lens kit, designed for clearing fogged headlight lenses…IT WILL WORK.

Note: The kit will at first make the whole lens on the GPS look cloudy and you will go, “OH NO!”…but continue on with the process and the lens will become CRYSTAL clear…

Got doubts? do a friends headlight lenses first…satisfy yourself…then go at the GPS…

Rain-X Makes a Kit, too.
Rain-X also sells a headlight restoration kit, which if the reviews are to be believed, works as well as the 3M product.

I wonder if it makes a difference what the lens is made from–plastic or glass. I guess it won’t matter, since the restoration princibles are the same.

Jack, if you do like I did and put a nice big star crack in the screen, you won’t notice the little scratches. Save time and money!