How to Restore Faded Plastic on an ATV

Get out there, get dirty, get a wash, repeat. There’s a reason your ATV can hold up to almost anything, but there’s also a reason the plastic coatings on your fender flares, bumpers, racks, and more are starting to fade. The High Lifter team spent decades in the industry, and we’ve learned a thing or two about restoring faded plastic on an ATV. 

There’s nothing wrong with a little mud on the fenders — it comes with the territory! What most riders don’t like to see is aged, worn, and mistreated ATVs.. Cleaning the more plastic parts of your vehicle is different than a simple soap and water rinse. Here’s the best guide to making your plastic ATV parts look like new.

Rinse the entire ATV before restoring plastic

The cleaner your ATV is at the start, the better the plastic restoration will go. Even if you can’t see it, dust, dirt, and grime particles are still there. If left there before restoration, you end up with a streaky finish on your plastic. 

PRO TIP: For an absolutely fool-proof finish, clean the ATV’s plastic with isopropyl alcohol and let dry.

Mix a 40/60 solution of boiled linseed oil and paint thinner

No, you don’t need to boil it yourself; it’s a process done by the manufacturer, and you can buy it that way. Mixed with paint thinner, this is the base of what restores the plastic on your ATV.

If you’re concerned about getting the mix right, there are pre-made cleaners that are designed to treat every part of your ATV while buffing, polishing and restoring the plastic. Check out X-Tream’s MX/ATV Wash

This product is more than just a “soap.” XTC MX / ATV Wash contains three essential ingredients: a washing compound used for cleaning, a wax compound used for polish on plastics and Mud Guard used as a shielding agent that allows mud and other debris to be easily removed. 

Apply polishing agent with a clean microfiber cloth

Using a light yet even coating across the cloth, rub small concentric circles across all of the plastic parts of your ATV. Be sure to take extra care coating the bottom areas of fender flares that are hard to reach. A lot of fading on ATV plastics starts with areas most riders don’t look at.

Add wax and protectant

The best way to stop the plastic on your ATV from fading is preventative care. Once you’re done restoring the plastic to its proper shine, maintaining it is crucial. There are dozens of waxes all across the web, but High Lifter supports X-Tream products because they’re made by riders just like us. Their mud guard can give you the all-over coating your ride needs to get dirty but not damaged. Get the best care for your ATV with X-Tream.  

Restoring ATV plastic with a heat gun

Many ATV riders have used a heat gun to give the plastic on their vehicle a new shine — but it comes with downsides. Although the top layer looks brand-new, the extreme heat erodes layers of plastic. Continuous use can make the plastic on your ATV increasingly more brittle and susceptible to breaks. 

Keep your ATV looking brand-new

With so many different parts and attachments on ATVs, it’s a miracle they stay clean at all (when you ride like we do!). Taking pride in the appearance of your ATV isn’t something to feel bad about and taking the right steps to care for and restore the ATV’s plastic is one way to show your dedication. If you’re in need of any supplies, replacement parts, or upgrades for your ATV, start with High Lifter, and we’ll show you why we’re the last site you’ll need for ATV enhancements. Shop with us today.