In the wake of Volkswagen's diesel scandal, that silver and red TDI badge has morphed from a mark of pride for owners to an embarrassment and eyesore. TDI drivers have taken to online forums to figure out what to do about the badges, and though it seems like most of them aren't going anywhere, a number of auto owners have plucked the letters from their car entirely.
Some claim to be embarrassed or ashamed to continue representing VW's lies, while others even fear vandalism. "You've got to remember, TDI owners are some of the most well-informed, nerdy, techy people out there. They know about their cars," says Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, a former racer and owner of the German Car Depot shop. "Most are more concerned about the performance losses than anything else, even the emissions," says Gelfand, who services in between 500 and 600 TDIs annually at his shop.
If you are considering debadging, we've got three simple steps to remove those letters with ease.
1) Hit it with a heat gun
Use a heat gun to loosen the adhesive that holds the badge to the car. "They're on there with foam-backed tape," says Gelfand. Pass over the badge back and forth at a safe distance, but proceed with caution; too hot and you'll damage the paint job.
2) Remove with a plastic tool or dental floss
"With a plastic tool, pry on it and it will come off slowly, but surely," says Gelfand. If the badge still doesn't want to come off, however, slip dental floss under its edge.
3) Clean off the adhesive
Easy-Off Oven cleaner is your best bet for getting off the remaining sticker, says Gelfand. Simply spray it on, and rub it into the adhesive left on the car. Gelfand also points out that Easy-Off won't melt the paint on the car. After using the spray, you should be left with a smooth surface, and without a TDI badge.