Skip to Content

How to Remove Vinyl Top on Car?

How to Remove Vinyl Top on Car?

Vinyl tops on cars are removable by dissolving the adhesive material with commercial thinners and heat. In addition, detachment of mounting screws, washers, and clips promotes quick removal.

How to Remove Vinyl Top on Car? You can remove the vinyl tops on a car by detaching the metallic clips from the windshield and read window, removing the screws and washers, loosening the tucked material, dissolving the glue with heat; using a power washer, chemical solvents, thinner and sandblasting.

You can sandblast the rust or crack it with pressure and heat. The removal of damaged material is necessary for maximum coverage and cooling.

What is the vinyl top on a car?

Vinyl tops wrap the roofs of cars and protect them from sunlight, rain, and other environmental effects. In addition, they protect the frame from UV rays and keep it stable for a long time.

They have variable shades, and you can purchase them according to your choice. In the 1920s, the makers launched them in the automotive industry.

They are the traditional covering sheets that repel rain droplets and keep travelers safe. In addition, it replicates the moveable tops due to easy removals. 

Due to constant sunlight exposure, they crack and change the appearance of roofs. Also, the damaged wraps reduce the appeal of the vehicle. In such circumstances, people remove them from their car roofs.

How do you remove the vinyl top on the car?

Several people remove cracked and faded vinyl tops from their vehicles. I have explained a stepwise guide to remove it. 

Detach the clips

Access the clips around the windshield of the vehicle. These metallic clips hold the material in one position.

They tuck the sheet inside the open areas. Attach a flathead screwdriver on its side. Then, pull it outwards and extract it from the surface.

Collect them in a polythene bag for further use. The availability of compatible clips reduces the procedure cost and consumes less time. 

Remove the washers and screws

Access the visible screws and attached washers under the removed clip area. Then, use a screwdriver, adjust it on the mounted screws, rotate them counterclockwise and pull.

Detach the tucked sheet from the surface manually. Then, gently move it backward and fold the sheet. In case of broken pieces, collect them in a container.

During the procedure, protect the windshield from smashing and cracks. Next, repeat the method for the rear window and loosen the tucked wrap from enclosed areas. 

Apply natural or artificial heat

For their removal, stabilize the vehicle on stable ground under direct sunlight. The sun provides natural heat to melt the adhesive material.

Adjust the hair dryer near the surface and blow the hot air. It melts the glue and detaches the material from the surface.

With heat, it loses the attachment points. Cut the edges with a sharp tool, hold them, and gently pull them from the surface. 

Utilize power washer and chemicals

Use a power washer with a specific nozzle. It uses pressurized steam that can blast the wrap into smaller pieces.

The high temperature and excessive pressure remove the glue. Use a small spade to scrape the vinyl from the roof. Then, collect the broken pieces in a plastic bucket. 

A chemical stripper is a high-quality gel that dissolves the polymer sheets and cleans the underneath area. Apply it over the surface and leave for 10 to 15 minutes.

It breaks the wrap into smaller pieces, and you can wipe them off manually. Acetone can dissolve the glue, and you can pull the sheet from the roof.

Take acetone in a bucket and spread it over the surface. It dissolves the adhesive material within 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe and clean the surface with a fiber-free cloth or a bristle-free brush. 

Sandblast the rust

A few vinyl sheets have rust due to the accumulation of moisture. However, rusting can damage the frame of the vehicle.

In this procedure, break and grind the glue into tiny pieces. Clear the surrounding rust particles with a disc grinder.

Then, use the sandblasting technique to remove the corrosion from the metallic parts. Propel pressurized abrasive particles through an air compressor.

Allow them to project the surface with high velocity, break the corrosion and clear the grains. Also, take off the chrome to make the rust visible. It prevents further accommodation of corrosion over the metallic surface. 

Use thinner or a solvent

Use commercial solvents to dissolve the glue under the wrapping material. Take the thinner into a plastic container, soak the rags in it for a few minutes, and spread them over the glue.

It softens the adhesive material, and you can scrape off the sheet with a sharp knife or blade. Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose. Through suction, pull the vinyl from the top surface.

Why do people remove the vinyl top on a car?

The constant sunlight exposure can damage their overall appearance and cooling effect. As a result, several people park their vehicles under the shade of trees.

The low-end branches of trees scratch them. The brushing of sharp branches results in patching and holes. The sunrays penetrate these open areas.

Due to old age, their edges start peeling. In addition, the dimming of standard colors leads to their displacement. 

The road dirt, smaller stones, and debris alter the color and appearance of these wraps. Also, fluctuating weather cracks the soft material.

People change them to improve the appearance of their vehicle roofs. With replacement, they maximize the cooling and protection of the interior.

Cracked and old vinyl tops loosen from their attachment points. In addition, due to lost screws and attachment clips, they cannot provide maximum coverage.

In such circumstances, people detach them from the roofs. Then, they swap them with new, high-quality tops to protect the frame from rusting, fading, and other damage. 

How long does it take to remove the vinyl top on a car?

On a mid-size car, you can remove it in around 5 to 7 hours with available tools and chemical solvents. However, the procedure is time-consuming for an incorrectly adjusted and maintained wrapping sheet.

For their removal, an expert takes around 39 to 42 hours. A non-skilled person can consume around one week to remove them from a mid-sized car. 

How long does a vinyl wrap last on cars?

They have a maximum lifespan of around 3.4 to 4.2 years. However, with adequate cleaning and maintenance, they can last for five years.

Under shade parking and less sunlight exposure keep them safe from fading and unnecessary cracks. 

However, lack of maintenance reduces their standard life expectancy. In such circumstances, they can last for around 1.5 to 2.5 years.

Related Articles:

Is it easy to steal a Tesla Model 3?

How to Disable Horn When Locking Car?