You just bought a car, and you need the dealer sticker gone for some reason. Whatever your reason is, we’ll do you a solid and show you how to remove dealer sticker from car. According to Statista, U.S car dealerships spent a total of 8.19 billion dollars on advertising in 2021. Yet, these companies still try to run free advertising by sticking their brand decal on customers’ vehicles.
Well, there are some instances where the dealer may agree to some sort of compensation by rendering discounted service or free oil change. But if you aren’t getting paid, you are under no obligation to run free promotions for the dealership. Hence, you can always peel off the sticker anytime you feel like it. So, keep reading to learn how to.
How to Remove Dealer Sticker From Car Safely
Oftentimes, removing dealership decals, including CarMax stickers, from your vehicle isn’t as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is soften the adhesive for the sticker to come off. Using a heat gun or adhesive remover is by far the safest method to remove the dealer sticker.
While there are several other methods to remove car decals, we prefer these two because they are quite effective and significantly reduce the risk of scratching your vehicle’s clear coat.
Whichever method you intend to use, the first thing to do is clean the sticker area to get rid of dirt and grit that could scratch your clear coat when you start peeling off the sticker. Clean the sticker using liquid soap or any other mild product suitable for automotive paint.
Removing Dealer Sticker Using a Heat Gun
This option is perhaps the fastest way to remove dealership stickers. The idea is to generate enough heat to soften the sticker adhesive, allowing it to come off easily. A heat blower or hair dryer should do the trick.
To get started, you’ll need the following materials to remove the sticker
- A heat gun or hair dryer
- Liquid car soap
- A plastic razor blade or scraper
- A microfiber towel or a rag
Removing the Sticker from your car
After washing the sticker area and leaving it to dry, continue to soften the sticker adhesive using the heat gun. A regular hair dryer can also do the trick if you don’t have a heat blower.
Set the temperature to medium heat and heat up the dealership logo for a minute or two to dissolve the sticker adhesive. Remember to maintain a reasonable distance between the sticker and the heat source, as you risk damaging your paint job if the heat is overconcentrated.
Slowly peel off the dealership badging using the plastic razor blade or scraper. Continue the process until the sticker comes off. If the sticker isn’t coming off easily, reapply heat and repeat the process until it does.
All that is left now is to clean off the leftover adhesive. Wipe the adhesive remnant using the microfiber towel and soap.
Removing Dealer Sticker Without Heat
Using heat to remove dealer decals is not the only method. You can also apply adhesive removers to dissolve the glue, which allows the vinyl decals to come off effortlessly. Although this method may take longer than a heat gun, it will still get the job done.
Below are the materials you’ll need to remove the dealer sticker:
- Goo Gone or WD-40
- Paper tissue
- Plastic scraper or razor blade
- Soft microfiber towel or clean cloth
- Car soap
The Removal Process
Remember to prep the entire surface before you start. Soak your paper tissue with the solvent and place it on the sticker to dissolve the glue. After soaking for some minutes, take your plastic scrapper or razor blade and gently scrape off the sticker. Once the glue dissolves, you shouldn’t have difficulty scrapping off the sticker. Otherwise, you may have to soak the sticker again to dissolve the glue.
After the sticker is off, carefully rub off any residual adhesive with the microfiber cloth. Wash and rinse off the mounting surface with soap and water.
How to Remove Car Emblems and Badges Safely?
There are several reasons a driver may want a car emblem or badge off. Maybe for a clean, sleek look or to respray the vehicle. Regardless of the reason, your guess is as good as ours, and you might just have to remove the emblems or badges altogether.
Our guide will teach you how to remove car emblems and badges safely. Before starting, there are some key points:
- You should always avoid using any kind of razor blade during the process as it could cause minor scratches or paint damage.
- Unlike dealership logos, removing car emblems or badges is a tough task because they are usually glued on with tough adhesives. This also increases the chances of damaging the paint if you try to use brute force.
Having said that, you can start by cleaning the badge to eliminate all dirt and dead bugs hanging under that could mess up the paint when heat is applied. We have a detailed guide on how to remove dead bugs without damaging your paint job.
Now, heat up the emblem to soften the adhesive holding it. You can always use a hair dryer or heat gun. Once you’ve cooked the badge, get a bit of dental floss or fishing line and go through the adhesive with it in a sawing motion.
After that is done, all that is left is to clean the adhesive left behind, which can be a little tricky to remove. Apply more heat again and scrape off the remaining adhesive using a plastic scraper or your hand. Be careful when using your hand, as the surface would be hot.
Getting the badge off is relatively easy but having it look perfect afterward takes a few more steps. To remove the remaining glue, clean the spot using an adhesive remover and a microfiber towel. The final step required to get the spot all shiny is to polish it. By polishing the affected areas, any marks or scratches will be removed.
Why Do Dealerships Put Stickers on Cars?
Now that you’ve learned how to remove dealer sticker from car, you must be wondering why dealerships leave their sticker on new vehicles. There answer is simple – free advertising. With car dealerships in the U.S spending billions of dollars on advertisements yearly, stickers are a great way to promote their brand at no cost. And to be honest, who gives up on free promotion?
Research has also shown that repetition is a great way to make an audience remember your brand. And typically, it takes an average of 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand. With the number of CarMax stickers hanging on various vehicles, there is a high possibility that prospecting buyers would think of CarMax when searching for a used car.
Interestingly, car stickers have been used for advertisements since the 1940s. The earliest reports were from the tourism industry, where resorts and amusement parks attached their bumper stickers to guest vehicles for free exposure. By 1952, car stickers were used for political advertising, and shortly after, other industries, including car dealerships, jumped on the trend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you ask the dealership to remove the sticker?
Yes, you can tell the dealership to remove any advertising on your vehicle. Usually, dealers try to run free promos on customers’ vehicles by attaching their stickers or license plate holder. While some people might think it is rude to ask, you are within your rights to ask for the sticker to be taken off if you dislike them.
However, if you forgot to ask or didn’t see the sticker until after leaving the dealership, it is something you can remove yourself.
Does Goo Gone harm car paint?
No, Goo Gone doesn’t harm your car paint. Goo Gone is an oil-based cleaning solution designed to dissolve stubborn adhesives. And it is mild and suitable for automotive use. Once you use the solution, rinse it off from your vehicle with hot soapy water.
What is the easiest way to remove car badges?
The easiest and fastest way to remove car badges or emblems is to use a heat gun. However, you can also use an adhesive remover if you don’t have a heat gun or hair dryer. The aim is to dissolve the adhesive underneath so you can easily remove the badge.
The only downside is that the process would take longer than it would if you used a heat gun. Nonetheless, it is still a viable option than trying to force off the emblem or using a screwdriver or knife, which could damage your vehicle paint.
To start, you would need the following materials:
- An adhesive remover — Goo Gone or 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner
- Dental floss or fishing line
- Plastic scraper
- Microfiber cloth or non-abrasive towel
Start by cleaning the badge with soap and water to eliminate all the dirt that could scratch the paint job during the removal process. Then proceed to spray the adhesive remover around the badge. You want to spray enough onto the badge to get the solvent behind the badge to release the adhesive. Leave the solvent for ten to fifteen minutes to dissolve the adhesive.
After waiting for fifteen minutes, pick your fishing line or dental floss. Run it through the badge adhesive in a sawing motion to remove the badge. If you feel too much resistance while running the line through the badge, spray some more solvent again and leave for a couple of minutes to sit.
Try again, and you should be able to remove the badge this time. Now it’s time to remove the adhesive residue. Spray on the solvent and leave it for a while to weaken the adhesive residue before trying to scrape it off using the plastic scraper or by hand.
Repeat the process until the residue comes off. What you’ll have left are uneven markings which you can proceed to polish. You can also check out our guide on how to remove stains from car paint.
Dealerships have long discovered that car stickers are a great way to promote their business. And they’ve used the medium to increase their brand awareness and consequently swell their sales.
Besides the fact that you are under no obligation to leave the dealership decal on your vehicle if you aren’t being compensated in some way, not everyone is okay with turning their new car into a moving billboard.
Well, our detailed guide will walk you through how to remove dealer sticker from car. While we were at it, we also included the process of safely removing car badges and emblems.