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What's the best glue for plastic car body parts?

My ever-reliable 96 Camry had part of its door handle break off in my hand the other day.

What’s the best kind of glue for hard plastic exterior car part?

I haven’t had good success with “super-glue” over the years, and am leaning towards using an epoxy.

I suspect you are going to end up replacing the handle. I doubt any glue will last long in that application.


While replacing the handle like Craig suggested is likely the best route to go, there is a glue I use for practically everything broken.

It’s called ‘Goop’. It comes in automotive or marine applications (in a squeeze type tube)

Being waterproof, it’s ideal for outdoor use. (actually better as this stuff gives off a very powerful odour until it dries)

I used it on a car I used to have where the moulding around the corner of the bumper was coming off.
I used alchohol to clean both areas and applied a substantial amount to each, waited a minute for the glue to get tacky then pushed the moulding into place, kept pressure on for a few minutes until it held.

Two years later it was still stuck on tight even after multiple drive through car washes.

Since then I’ve used this glue for all types of applications. (there are no restrictions as to the type of materials to be glued)

IF you want to try it on the door handle (***mind you, there are NO guarantees in this application):
First, (center) drill a 1/8" hole in both sections about 1/2" in depth.
(You need to make a pin now)

Second, cut a nail (I think a 2" finishing nail is of the right diameter) 1" long. (No head)

Apply glue into each drilled hole and the face of each section, insert the pin, align the handle and hold the 2 sections together until they stay.

Leave alone for about 24 hours so the glue really sets hard before use.

Remember, this glue needs fresh air ventilation, so work safely.

***Caution, this glue is flammable.

I’m not sure where you are located or which store you have that carries ‘Goop’, but up here in Ontario, Canada, it’s available at Canadian Tire.

I would try stores like Walmart or perhaps automotive stores.

While I have had good luck with high quality epoxies, I doubt if anything will hold on a part like a door handle.

Note: The superglue that is publicably available today is not the original strength. Too many people glued body parts together that they required the manufactures to dumb it down. Last I checked the good stuff was available, but you will not find it at your local K-Mart.

I second Roadrunner’s recommendation. Goop is one of those ‘best things since sliced bread’ products. I think everyone in Ontario owns a tube of it, or so it seems.

I have found a waterproof sealant at Wal-Mart that I like when I am doing a job where epoxy is difficult to use.

While I tend to agree any epoxies/glues is not going to withstand, the combination of epoxies and wrapping(with carbon fiber cloth) rarely works. Or, you may try ‘staple reinforcement’. Good luck and prepare for the worst.

it is called no more nails and it is suppose to bond everything you can get it at canadian tire

God bless Canadian Tire, eh?

Also, you might look at Gorilla Glue. Never used it, but it says on the package it’s good… and it has a picture of a gorilla… mmmm… endangered supper…

Joe Meehan’s right about super glue not being what it used to be, but if you can get the type of super glue that has a seperate bottle of “accelerator”, it works pretty good. You see, super glue is a type of anaerobic sealer- it only will harden in the absense of oxygen; and it also needs to be pressurized; these 2 things happen when you push the 2 broken pieces together. Problem occurs if the

break has jagged edges and you can’t push it back together just like it was before it was broken- the resulting gaps don’t pressurize the glue, and the unpressurized glue doesn’t harden. Epoxy type glues, not being in the anaerobic sealer catagory, don’t have this problem. Anyway, back to the accelerator- if you spray the accelerator onto the break right after you push the 2 pieces

together; (of course you’ve already applied the super glue to the broken edges); the accelerator will cause even the unpressurized glue to instantly harden, though you may need friend’s “third hand” to spray it on to the work. I’ve used this stuff on broken parts that I swore were beyond hope and it has worked admirably.

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please, please which glue would be used then for thick jagged plastic pieces? Thank you!!!

This tread is 11 year old.The OP must have figure it out by now.
In my case,II ended up replacing all the broken door handles in my Corolla. The problem is that aging plastic will get brittle as it age. I also tried to glue them but they broke again a few days later.

It depends on what type of plastic you are trying to glue together. Sportbike fairings and fenders are commonly made out of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). I have had excellent results by going to the plumbing dept. of Home Depot or Lowes and buying a can of Oatley All Purpose pipe cement and using it to glue the pieces back together. The product states "for PVC, CPVC, and ABS on the label.
Other plastic pipe cements are specifically for PVC but they too seem to work well, especially if the plastic you are gluing together is actually PVC (poly-vinyl-chloride).
I learned this trick while working for a TV repair shop and customers would bring in plastic radio and TV cabinets that had broken.

Is this the stuff?

I don’t know anything about Goop. I did use PVC plumbers cement on plexiglass and worked well. There are so many different plastics used that you kinda need to know what it is. I do know fiberglass didn’t work at all on a front header.

One comment though, instead of a nail, I use roll pins (some call them spring pins) as a reinforcement. Drill the correct size hole and press together.

Not only old but the person who revived it doesn’t even tell what plastic part they want to repair.

PVC plumber’s cement is essentially a solvent that dissolves the plastic it contacts and when the solvent evaporates off, it leaves the two plastic parts welded together. Plexiglass (acrylic) turns into goo if lacquer thinner or something similar contacts it and so it’s a good candidate for solvent welding.

Plastics that can’t be solvent welded include polyethylene and it’s cousins. HDPE (high density polyethylene) and PEX, (cross linked polyethylene).
Nylon, Polycarbonate.

HDPE can be welded with heat using a scrap piece as a filler rod. Just light the filler rod like a candle and drip the molten plastic onto the joint you want to weld.

Yep, two problems with gluing plastics. The first is trying to identify what it is. To non-engineers we don’t know the difference in the various plastics. I remember seeing a list of the various plastics in one of my factory service manuals and how to repair that particular plastic. They spent very little time though on telling you how to identify it. Actually though I’ve never been able to find that particular reference again.

The second problem is even if we know what kind of plastic it is, as a consumer trying to actually find product to use is a problem. What’s a pro plastic welder cost? And they don’t have this stuff at Hardware Hanks.

So I guess for me, bottom line is if you break something plastic, either pop rivet it or buy a new one.

A soldering gun is affordable. However, just like welding steel, it’s an art, practice on scrap until you get good at it.

Replacing the entire handle is the way to go. Replacement handles don’t cost that much. Last summer however I had to repair a problematic door lock, and to do that required removing the handle. In the process of re-installing the handle in the door I cracked a plastic fastener that attaches the lock cam to the rod which goes down to unlatch the actual lock. I fixed that problem with an epoxy glue called “JB Weld”, and it seems to be holding up nicely since. It’s important to allow JB Weld to cure at least 24 hours before applying any stress to the joint. I allowed 48 hours of curing, clamped. . Like I say, a year later, still working.