Car signs have gained popularity because of the high potential for customization and overall low cost. It’s important to take good care of the car signage you order, though, or what started out as an inexpensive purchase can quickly become costly, especially if you have to order a replacement sign. Here are instructions for taking care of your car signs-by following these guidelines, your signage will last for years to come!
- Car Magnets
Before Installing: Car magnets are often shipped rolled in a tube, which protects the product and reduces the cost of shipping. After you’ve received the magnets, flatten them on a broad metal surface (such as a refrigerator) for at least 24 hours before applying them to your vehicle. Clean the vehicle thoroughly and allow it to dry. Apply the magnet to a flat, smooth metal surface-if the magnet is placed over a crease or piece of door trim, it creates an air pocket, which can cause the magnet to fly off the vehicle.
After Installing: When you remove your magnetic sign from your vehicle, store it in a flat, dry place to ensure that it will not warp over time. If the magnet is warped or bent it will likely come off the vehicle. You can re-roll the magnets and place them back into the shipping tube, but roll them with the graphics facing outward, and flatten them again before applying to your vehicle. Also, make sure the vehicle is clean before reapplying the magnet.
- Car Decals
Before Installing: Thoroughly clean your vehicle and let it dry. Don’t wax the vehicle right before you install your decal as this will prevent the vinyl from adhering to the vehicle’s body. Measure the area where you would like to install your car decal, and apply it slowly and carefully so that you do not wrinkle the graphic. If you need to reposition the decal, use a low-heat source such as a blow dryer to loosen the adhesive for gentle removal-always use a squeegee when applying to ensure smoothness. If bubbles are present, use the end of a pin or thumbtack to gently pop the bubble and flatten with your fingers.
After Installing: Clean your vehicle weekly to ensure that dirt or grime does not build up around the edges of the decal. You can go through a car wash, but don’t scrub the car graphic directly as this might scratch the decal. If you are waxing the vehicle after installing your decal, wax around the area to which the decal is applied.
- Car Window Decals
Before Installing: Clean your vehicle’s window completely and allow it to dry. Measure to find the center point of your window so that you install the car window decal in the correct location. Apply the decal slowly and carefully so that you do not wrinkle the graphic, removing small portions of the protective backing as you go.
After Installing: Clean and dry your window as much as possible to prevent buildup from collecting in the perforations of the window graphic and restricting your visibility, not to mention deteriorating the material. Car window decals can be used with a rear windshield wiper, but only when absolutely necessary, just to be on the safe side. Keep the graphic out of direct sunlight as much as possible to ensure your decal will not fade.
These tips should prolong the life of your car signs. If you still have questions or concerns, it’s best to contact your sign retailer. Online sign companies generally offer FAQ sections that provide this information, or you can call your local sign shop for help.
Robert Kinder works as a Production Manager for a local sign company in Dallas, Texas. He has worked in the sign printing industry for over 15 years providing printing and installation for local small businesses and large corporate customers. Robert enjoys passing along his trade secrets and knowledge to help others better understand their signage and their needs. His extensive knowledge about the sign industry and hands-on experience make him an expert on everything signs.
As a veteran sign expert, Robert has extensive knowledge in car signs and retail signs. In his articles he covers tips for sign design, techniques for proper sign installation, common signage questions, and the different material choices for car decals, car window decals, and magnetic signs for businesses.