Riding out on your snowmobile as you coast snowbanks and speed up and down snowy slopes is a fun time, but one that’s sure to put your ride through a fair amount of abuse. It’s only a matter of time before a stray piece of debris like a rock or just general wear and tear wears on your snowmobile and scratches its windshield up.
If you’re here, you’re probably wondering how to fix the scratches on your snowmobile windshield. Maybe you’re a bit of a perfectionist that feels bad about seeing damage as small as a scratch on your screen, or they’ve accumulated to a point where it’s hard to see through the windshield. Whatever the case may be, this article will teach you how to remove the scratches from your snowmobile windshield to get it looking almost as good as new!
Identifying Windshield Make
Snowmobile windshields usually come in polycarbonate, and acrylic. You’re not likely to see much glass windshields since, as scratch-resistant as they are, they aren’t quite as strong as these two materials. Both can be buffed and polished with the same methods, and don’t even necessarily need specialised tools or sandpapering! We’ve covered the same methods to polish windshields for UTVs, golf carts and even boats, and they all work great regardless of the vehicle. Often times, searching how to work the actual material works better than just searching for the vehicle as you’ll get more targeted guides.
Do make sure to read the following instructions before removing the scratch. Any mistakes might run the risk of damaging your windshield further. You could either ring up the manufacturers of your snowmobile, or do a quick search of the vehicle model to find out what the windshield is made of before polishing out your scratches.
Things to Take Note Of
Another thing to note is that you have to find out how deep your windshield scratches are. If they catch your fingernail as you brush past them, you may not be able to remove them yourself without specialised help.
Make sure to clean the windshield before starting work, and do so with soft clean cloths. Using the wrong cleaning materials is typically the most common offender that causes scratches to develop on snowmobile windshields, even if you’re using the right polishing fluid. Plenty of forums out there have snowmobile owners who’ve shared their own regrets over using stuff like paper towels that only worsened the damage, so take note and learn from their mistakes. Our recommended product to use is the E-Cloth Microfiber Polishing cloth doe to how soft it is; ideal for polishing. Getting packs of cloths is important especially since the following methods do make use of multi-step solvent applications
Removing Polycarbonate and Acrylic Scratches with Polishing Liquid
For this method, you’ll need Novus Plastic Clean & Shine, a solution made to polish out minor scratches on plastics. When you purchase it, make sure you get the full set of 3 numbered solutions as they need to be applied in a 3 step process. In fact, many snowmobile drivers praise it since the No. 1 Novus bottle even provides extra protection to avoid future scratches.
Polish aggressively first and foremost with Novus No. 3, then No. 2 to polish out the matte finish that gets left behind, then buff with No. 1. As always, use these chemicals in carefully measured and sparing amounts; they might mess up your snowmobile windshield even more if you aren’t careful.
Rolite Scratch Removal Solvent is another polishing solvent that’s good for plastic scratch removal. However, make sure that you read its instructions clearly. This particular solvent numbers its bottles according to the order they should be applied in; a whole lot more intuitive than Novus’s numbering oddly enough.
The following video shows the whole Novus polish application process if you need a visual guide:
And here’s a Rotlite video to show the difference in order to emphasise the exact process you need to follow!
Can You Use a Buffing Wheel to Remove Windshield Scratches?
Using a buffing wheel can make this go faster if you have a bench grinder, but isn’t entirely necessary! Plus, you run the risk of over buffing and even clouding up the polycarbonate due to it being a fair bit softer than acrylic.
But, if you’re really gonna go through the extra effort, it’s recommended that you buff out the snowmobile windshield first before any solvent application. Why’s that? The solvents work to do the following in sequence to remove your windshield scratches and imperfections:
- Wear down the surface plastic, sort of melting it to even out the surface of your windshield.
- Polish out the surface by smoothing out the plastic and make it look shiny and clear again.
- Apply a protective layer over the plastic.
Buffing after will interfere with the whole process and remove the protective layer that the final solution will leave. The protective layer is especially important as many other snowmobile owners have attested to how it keeps their vehicles looking pristine for up to a year. They’re great for saving the hull of your vehicle too, working just like protective wax.
The scratch removal process is a fairly simple process, but does require some level of care to prevent further damage. We hope this article has managed to help you with removing scratches from your snowmobile windshield! If you’re a little more experienced, you might find that this is a fairly similar maintenance process to waxing your snowmobile wholesale. Otherwise, we hope this at least introduces you to learning how to maintain and protect your vehicle from any further damage.
Have any tips or advice for removing snowmobile windshield scratches? Do share them to help a fellow snowmobile owner out!