Fix scratches on navigation LCD display

Like many other fanatics, I had the problem of the anti-glare coating over my nav screen getting scratched over time. As we all know this coating is fairly weak and an accidental wipe with a moist towel while cleaning the dashboard is enough to damage it. Over time, my display had started to look something like this (picture taken from another thread):

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Being the obsessive fanatic that I am, this kept gnawing at me until I grabbed the problem by the horns and ventured out to fix it.

My original intention was to put an anti-glare film over the screen as it was, hoping that the blemishes would get masked. So I did my research and ordered me up a DayVue anti-glare screen protector from The film arrived and I put it on the display per the instructions but the scratches could still be seen. So I was back to square one. After doing more research, I managed to summon up the cojones to remove what was left of the coating on my screen. What I ended up doing is captured in this DIY and I am happy with the results.

What you need:

1. NuShield DayVue or other anti-glare screen protector
2. A few toothpicks
3. Small precision screw driver (I used the smallest in my kit – 1.4 mm)
4. Magic Scotch tape
5. Rewards card from your favorite shoe store (or random credit card)
6. Paper napkins or thin towel (not in picture)
7. Cup of water (not in picture)

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Step 1 – Remove old coating
I don’t have a picture of this part since I was busy holding my cojones together. All that you do is take a damp napkin or towel to your screen and gently scrub the remaining coating off. Make sure the napkin is just barely damp – no water should flow if you squeeze it – and don’t use gorilla force on the screen. You will see that the factory coating is very light and comes off with a few strokes over an area. You may want to wrap your 1.4 mm screw driver in the towel to get to the edges. 10-15 min later you should be done. Don’t be afraid to apply light pressure on the display, it’s fairly strong and you won’t break anything.

Step 2 – Prepare the screen
First, ensure that that screen is absolutely dry. Do several strokes with a dry napkin to get the moisture out. You want to make sure that there are no streaks, smudges or fingerprints either. When done, get ready to pull the lint out. I determined that there is only one way to do this, and that is through the power of Scotch tape. Mask your screen from end to end (picture below) and make sure you get the edges by pressing down with the credit card. If you leave any lint on the screen, you will see bubbles in the finished product that you can’t get out. So pay attention.

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Step 3 – Prepare the DayVue
DayVue comes with a preapplied adhesive on the screen side and masks on both sides. It does not leave anything behind when you peel it off, which is excellent for slow people like me who need to do it a few times before getting it right. Now is a good time to read through the included instructions. While handling DayVue, be careful to hold it by the edges and not let anything touch the adhesive side (including your fingers). If your first try does not go so well, peel off the film by prodding on a corner with a toothpick or 1.4 mm screwdriver. If you find lint on the sticky side of the DayVue, don’t panic. Lay it with sticky side up and put down strips of Scotch tape on it as you did above. The Scotch tape will pull out all the lint not disturb the adhesive. I did this 3-4 times without issues.

Step 4 – Install DayVue on screen
Follow the included instructions and use the ol’ credit card method. Peel off the mask 1/2″ off one edge of the DayVue, position it to your liking and slowly peel the rest of it as you smooth the other side with your credit card. Again I don’t have pictures of this step since I was on my fourth attempt and still not getting it right. Do something like this:

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If you have air bubbles (not lint) trapped underneath, it’s easy to work it to the edges with your fingers. If you are like me and like to get some breeze while working in the car, odds are you will end up with lint in which case you would need to remove the DayVue, lay it sticky side up and get the lint out with Scotch tape.

Your end result should look something like this. If you are happy with the result, you are done. Note, the small bubbles neat the bottom right and middle right were caused by me touching the adhesive accidentally during handling. Also, the bottom left edge was grabbed a few times, as is visible in the picture.

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Below are some pictures from my install in different lighting conditions and angles. Needless to say, I consider this a huge improvement from my scratchy screen. My display looks like new again, and has excellent clarity in bright sunlight. It does have a shiny finish to it, much like a BlackBerry display, and that is fine by me since it does not affect clarity at all.

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With the sun shining directly over the display. Notice how the pixels on the right edge not covered by the DayVue are nearly not visible.

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As I said, the the display has a shiny finish when turned off, like a cell phone. When on, you only see the display without any washout.

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With the display off:

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Source: sammk@e46fanatics

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