Maybe you do need those stinking badges…

If it’s all about the patina for you, skip this short article.

However, as our cars age, the hood, trunk and wheel badges take more than their fair share of abuse. With these badges plentiful and within reach of Amazon Prime delivery, it only takes a few minutes to freshen up your car.

A great time to do this is when you’re about to do a little polishing or detailing. If your badges look somewhat to fairly ratty, just pull them off, and clean behind them. Not having a badge in place makes it much easier to polish said panel, and it looks so nice to lower that pristine badge back into place. Makes all your hard work that much more worth it. I’m sure at least once, you’ve decided to leave that badge in place, get out the detailers tape and just polish around it. Upon completion, that marginal hood badge looks a lot worse, any you have that pit in your stomach. Been there – I feel your pain.

If you aren’t collecting the worn badge currently in place, I’ve got a tip for you to remove that badge without damaging your paintwork trying to gently pry it out of its rubber grommets. Drill it out. Am I nuts? Probably. But here’s how to do it. Grab a 1/8” drill bit and very gently drill through the badge (and I mean gently) until you just feel it puncture the badge.

Take a coarse drywall screw, or whatever you happen to have around and (again) very gently screw it in the center, just enough to bite into the badge. A gentle tug with your favorite pliers will unseat it with no damage to the surrounding area. Extra credit: take a dollop of rubbing compound and hand rub the area behind the badge to make it extra shiny. Wax the entire hood after polishing and fix that shiny new badge in place.

Doesn’t that look fantastic?

Even if you’re not in the middle of detailing your car, this is a great incentive when you are knee deep in an engine swap, or suspension refresh. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh badge, or pair of door handles, or other new, inexpensive trim bit that gives you the mental willpower to keep going.

Life is short, sometimes it’s ok to eat dessert first.