As a car enthusiast who cherishes the new cars I am fortunate enough to buy, I despise dealership stickers like the one shown in the image above. Dealers apply these advertisements to your car without asking permission as if they have a right to do so. It is rude and unethical, and I can’t stand for a dealer advertisement to be on my own car. So, I have them removed or take them off myself. Here’s how.
Let the Pros Remove Your Dealer Advertising Sticker
The simplest and most risk-free way to get the dealer sticker off the back of your car is to turn to a local detailing professional. Detailers are experienced in doing such work. They have the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to remove the dealer sticker from your vehicle with very little risk.
I turned to Village Detail in Metro Boston for help. I had never before done any business with this professional detailer, and I have no personal connection to the owner of the business. The shop is located next to a car wash I like, and while there, I stopped in and asked about having the sticker taken off. "I can have it done in under 30 minutes,” said technician Joel. “I just have to finish up something I’ve started.” Joel suggested I get the wash done and come back. When I returned a few minutes later, he began the work. I’m a worrier, so I asked him, “What are the chances of paint damage?” Joel replied, “Zero if I do it.” That was exactly the type of confidence I was looking for.
How Professionals Remove Dealer Stickers From Your Car
Joel began with a professional heat gun. This was no “hair dryer.” It was fully adjustable for heat, airflow, and nozzle focus. Joel carefully applied heat while frequently taking the temp using a finger. When he was sure the glue under the sticker was softened, he used a plastic razor/scraper tool to lift the edge of the sticker. He then worked the heat gun and scraper, gently lifting the sticker off.
Once the sticker was off, a lot of tacky glue remained. Joel then used a solvent and a microfiber cloth to carefully remove the glue. After he was done, Joel cleaned the area and then applied a liquid wax to restore a protective film to the clear coat. In total, he worked for approximately three minutes on the job.
The job complete, I asked Joel how much I owed. He replied, “No charge, thanks for stopping in. Maybe we can help you with some other work in the future.” This was unexpected and very much appreciated. I insisted he take a tip for his time. Indeed, I do have some work I need done on another vehicle, and I will surely be coming back to this professional shop for all my future detailing needs.
The DIY Approach To Removing Stickers From a Car
Before we begin, let me state that I do not suggest the DIY approach to removing dealership stickers. There is a risk of paint damage, and it is just not worth it to me. However, I do know how to do it, having done it on some old beaters I have owned. Here are the steps.
Park your car so the sticker faces the sun. Let it be warmed by the sun for a few hours. Once it is warm, use high-quality dental floss of the Teflon tape style and place the floss so that it can get under one end of the sticker. Work the floss back and forth and try to remove the sticker slowly and in one piece. If it comes off easily, you are golden. If not, turn to the pros.
Once the sticker is off, apply some Goo Be Gone or similar product to remove the remaining glue. Polish with a cleaner wax when finished.
It would be ideal if we could ask dealers not to apply such stickers in the first place, but some have them applied to the cars as soon as they arrive via transport truck. If the dealer will remove the sticker, that is absolutely the best approach. However, as you can see, there is no need to live with a dealer sticker on your vehicle. Having it removed is very low cost, very low risk, and if you are brave, you can try the job yourself.
One Note: The brand stickers, for example the Ford sticker shown in the image, often have posts that penetrate the vehicle's body. These methods will not remove such brand stickers.
Images By John Goreham.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.