The Jeep Wrangler’s fenders and bumpers tend to fade away and look dull due to sun exposure or harsh winter weather. This guide will help you make them shiny again.By Bassem Girgis – November 12, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
The Jeep Wrangler is equipped with plastic fenders and bumpers, but for good reasons. The exterior components are designed to be easily removed and replaced. Since the Jeep is designed for off-roading, it’s designed to take quite a beating. This simple DIY will show you how you can make the plastic exterior components shiny again. However, this procedure will make them shiny for a few months at a time, but it is much cheaper than replacing them with brand new ones. You can always paint them any color you want, but this article will cover how to temporary bring them back to life. Read on to learn how you can brighten up your Jeep Wrangler’s fenders and bumpers.
Figure 1. Jeep Wrangler’s fender in progress.
- Heat gun
Step 1 – Clean components
The first step is to use a cleaner and try to clean it as much as you can. Sometimes the salts come off easily as you spray cleaner and wipe it off. Do this on all four fenders as well as both front and rear bumpers.
Figure 2. Clean the fenders and bumpers.
Step 2 – Use heat gun
After you’ve cleaned them as much as you can, use your heat can to restore them. This process is slow and time consuming, but the results are well worth it. Use your heat gun slowly and move along the fender; you will see the faded color change as you go over it, and don’t stay too long after it turns shiny. The heat gun produces roughly 1,000 degrees, so you don’t want to stay too long on one area, or you will end up melting the fender.
Figure 3. Use your heat gun slowly and steadily.
Step 3 – Use protective cleaner
This procedure doesn’t last forever, which means it will eventually fade again. Your best bet is to try to lengthen the shine for as long as you can. Most forum enthusiasts recommend a product called “303 Aerospace Protectant.” This product provides a layer that protects the components from UV radiation and salts. Simply spray it on your fenders and bumpers, then gently wipe it around.
Figure 4. Use fender protective product.