Straight from the factory our new Chevy Volt was not well dressed, it really wasn’t! It came to us with bowties both front and back, but both of them were bicycle reflector gold. Not a good look and I know we can do better. So it was up to me…
Now as you see above we are now sporting a nice blue bowtie emblem on the Volt and I think it compliments the Blue Topaz Metallic color very nicely. Oh and there is a bonus too, the bowties are now reflective at night!
Here is a before and after comparison of the bowtie emblem on the tail end of the Volt. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course but I like it a lot better. Bit by bit we are getting closer to the well dressed Chevy Volt I’ve had in mind since we placed the order. All that’s left now is to add some tint to the glass, coming soon!
Here is a little sample of what the bowtie emblem looks like at night, lit up and reflective (normal next to illuminated). I like this touch on top of the color match, like icing on the cake!
If you are interested in just how I did this little modification, read on…
It was really simple to be honest. The material I used is 3M reflective vinyl material and it comes in a variety of different colors. It’s available in sheets and rolls of various sizes. I found a seller on eBay offering pieces of this blue reflective material in just the right size to fit the Chevy bowtie emblems on the Volt.
First step is to make sure the bowtie emblem is as clean as possible. The reflective vinyl material is adhesive backed so it will go on like a sticker. In order to assure a good bond you want the surface very clean. I used a lint free cloth moistened with 90% Isopropyl alcohol and wiped the emblem carefully. Using the 90% alcohol is better than the 70% variety because the latter can leave a very fine layer of residue.
Next it is a good idea to trim the reflective vinyl material to a size that is close to the dimensions of your bowtie. It helps to trim it to be at least a half inch to an inch wider and taller than the bowtie emblem to allow yourself a little room to work. With it trimmed to size you are ready to apply it to the bowtie emblem.
Starting at one end of the bowtie emblem, use a finger to carefully press the reflective vinyl material into place while pulling the backing away with the other hand. Take your time and smooth the material out pressing it firmly into place as you go. It can be lifted and replaced if necessary but it’s best to get it lined up correctly the first time. I had some extra pieces of material on hand just in case I needed one.
The Chevy emblem on the Volt is well suited for this modification. It has a narrow gap between the bicycle gold emblem and the chrome trim surrounding it. Using a hairdryer, you can heat up the vinyl material a bit. With the material warm (not melted), use a fingernail to press the vinyl material into that gap helping it to “wrap” around the edges of the emblem. This will help give a factory original appearance to the modification.
Once the material is smoothed out and fitted around the emblem it should look something like this. If you have bubbles, bumps, creases or folds in the material you should be able to lift it off carefully and replace it again. Or, you may be glad you have a spare piece or two to work with…
Now you can trim away the excess reflective vinyl material. Using a very sharp blade like a flat razor blade or an X-Acto knife (shown here), carefully follow the channel formed when you pressed the vinyl into the gap around the edge of your emblem, cutting the material as you go. Take your time and make as clean a cut as you can.
Now, starting at one corner pull the excess material away from the Chevy emblem. Pull gently and slowly watching for spots which are not fully cut as you go. Keep your sharp blade handy in case you may need to trim some small spots that were missed. The material should pull away rather easily leaving only your new reflective bowtie emblem behind!
And there you have it! There could be some tiny edges to clean up here and there. Your sharp blade will be useful for this. You may also want to press firmly around all of the edges to be sure the adhesive is well set and the edges wrap as much as you can manage.
Now my Volt is much better dressed!
Now, here is a look after dark. To each his (or her) own but I like it.