View Full Version : Scratched gps plexiglass.

07-11-2006, 01:17 PM
I put a nice scratch onto my Garmin RINO 130 gps plexi window and when I showed it to the guy at the gps repair shop he said I had to change the unit completely but then he recommended using a very fine sandpaper, specially made for plastics, and to softly work the scratch out. He said it would almost completely disappear. I picked up some 600 paper (aluminum oxide) and a small piece of lexan plexiglass for a trial run.

Does anybody have any experience with this?

07-11-2006, 01:53 PM
Why bother to fix it? Is it really that bad?

My dog "retrieved" my Garmin GPS when it was brand new five (?) years ago and spider cracked the face. It's never bothered me and works just fine. I just live with it -- and try very hard not to let it get wet or damp.

07-11-2006, 02:45 PM
Speaking as a former optician who's license expired, I would suggest browsing for suppliers who make scratch removal products. I'm sure the chemical engineers(and Doug Paul) will readily refute their effectiveness, but a "quick fix," from time to time, might do the job.
Gimme a break--I don't refute everything... :)

Actually, I have no direct experience with scratches on my GPS--I use a case to protect it. (I suggest that people use custom cases and/or PDA screen protector (clear sheet plastic with an adhesive back) to prevent this.)

I do have an adequate supply of scratches on my (plastic lens) glasses and watch face (forgot to take it off before rock climbing...). I have not attempted to remove these scratches...

There is a significant amount of discussion on this topic on the usnet newsgroups sci.geo.satellite-nav, alt.satellite.gps, and alt.satellite.gps.garmin.
Following are some snippets that I have saved (I haven't tried any of them, so use at your own risk.):

You can try stuff from Meguiar's:

http://www.meguiars.com/estore/product_list.cfm?sectionname=Professional%20(Mirro r%20Glaze%20Brand)%3EClear%20Plastic%20Care&sectionID=34101

I have used the following two products with nice results. The first removes scratches, the second polishes/protects.


use with this polish


I've polished out scratches in several Garmin units using a product called "Flitz".

For years now I have been using the final polishing compound used by optical lens manufactures. You can usually get it for free if you bring in a small pill bottle to lens grinding company. Another is the jewelery polishing cloth (two sided one red other lite brown) Most jewelery stores have them.

I gave up on screen protectors in favor of using Flitz or Mirror Glaze to polish out occasional scratches.

I also recall someone suggesting toothpaste.

I would test these suggestions on a piece of similar plastic and then on a corner of the screen before tackling the scratches. And if the scratch is deep, consider either living with it or replacement through Garmin.

The usnet groups can be found at these links--go to them and search on "scratch". You will get plenty of hits.


07-11-2006, 04:51 PM
I called Garmin and sent my unit back to them for repair.

My complaint was not of a scratched display (however the display had a nice scratch on it) but a broken pin on the interface for the power cable. Map60cs.

When I received the unit back from Garmin, they had replaced the screen.

Give 'em a buzz. ;)

07-11-2006, 08:22 PM
for future reference, I have removed scratches from my iPod screen with red jewlers rouge or Gorams silver polish -- both worked.

If you have a Dremel with a cotton wheel, it does it faster. Take care to keep it moving because it can heat up and melt plastic.


Garry G.
07-12-2006, 12:28 PM
You can go to a local auto parts store. Most of them have a product made for plastic headlamp lenses. It takes a headlamp lens that has been badly scratched and sandblasted and makes it look like new. If you want I'll try to find the exact name of the product, I think it will work good on your GPS lens.

07-12-2006, 02:06 PM
There is a three step polish which does the job. It is made by Novus and works on plexiglas and polycarbonates. If you google it it can be bought from many souces. Looks like this: