car hood with damaged paint - Precision Sign & Design

How To Keep Vinyl Vehicle Wrap From Peeling

Nowadays, using a vinyl car wrap and vehicle graphics is quite common for businesses, as well as flashy car owners. Indeed, they’re super practical and stylish, especially if expertly designed to enhance cars. However, your wrap’s professional appeal can still rapidly decline, especially if it is severely damaged or once it starts peeling.

car with peeled paint - Precision

What Causes Vinyl Wraps To Peel

Vinyl wrap film might start peeling for various reasons. The main culprits are usually the overabundance of rust, dents, or scratches on the car’s surface. Another factor could be scratches made by stone chips while driving. Though it is wear and tear-resistant, a vinyl-wrapped car will still take damage from debris on the road.

Careless cleaning during the pre-install phase can also make the vinyl peel or lift. If the installer doesn’t apply a thin clear coat of acrylic, the wrap surely won’t outlast the weather and other abuse that cars and trucks take.

Here at Precision, we see a common theme where vehicle wraps get damaged at a gas pump or electric charger station. However, carefully inserting the nozzles and taking them out can prevent damage. Once a crack or tear starts anywhere in the film, it spreads quickly like a wildfire.

How To Prevent Vinyl Wraps From Peeling

The ultimate goal of a vehicle wrap design is to produce a smooth, paint-like finish. Peeling can occur for a variety of reasons. The good news is that there are certain things you can do to stop your vinyl car wrap from peeling:

1. Hiring a Vinyl Car Wrap Professional

DIY is fun, but it’s always recommended to hire a reputable car wrap company when considering vinyl graphics. Experts will know what needs to be done to ensure the vinyl film will stick to the vehicle correctly and won’t peel off easily.


Washing a car with sponge


2. Properly Clean Your Car

Many professional decal installers will tell you to pre-clean the car and wash it again afterward. Cleaning the car before vinyl wrap installation ensures no debris, wax, or dirt remains on the paint.

Use a mild surface cleaner and completely dry the car’s surface. Doing this will significantly increase the car wrap’s chance to stay on the car longer and properly adhere in a neat way. Plus, the car’s paint job will not stick on the adhesive underneath.

Another thing to remember is to clean your car regularly. Keeping your car free of debris and road grime, salt and chemicals can have a significant impact on the longevity of the vehicle wraps. Take note that you don’t need to be an aggressive cleaner.

3. Utilize Premium Vinyl Wrap Material

Regarding vehicle wraps, it’s vital to remember that the price doesn’t usually equal quality. A vehicle wrap with higher-grade materials will last longer and adhere properly. On the other hand, expensive yet low-quality car wraps will be much more prone to peeling. Always hire a car wrap business who works with premium vinyl graphics materials.

4. Keep Away From The Sun

Your vinyl car wrap may fade or peel over time if exposed to the sun for an extended period. Although it’s really hard to avoid the sun while driving, park under trees or next to buildings for shade.

5. Take Care Of The Edges

Sometimes, the edges will start to lift. You can use a paper towel and a squeegee to re-install the edges and bring back the adhesive of the lifting edge. Also, apply an edge sealer to help in preserving the vinyl wraps. Edge sealers will shield your wrap from elements like moisture, dirt, and other chemicals that could reduce the adhesive’s longevity.


Car wrappers using squeegee to straighten vinyl foil


Vinyl Wrap FAQs

1. Which Cleaning Products Should You Use To Avoid Damaging Vinyl Car Wrap?

Avoid using solvents, degreasers, cleaning products with an oil base, or any other products with harsh chemicals. Use waterless wash products or warm, soapy water and a soft cloth when cleaning the car. Always look for a cleaning product that is safe for vinyl graphic wraps.

2. Can You Wash Your Vinyl Wrap In Car Wash Facilities?

Manual or automatic car washes frequently use water pressure levels too high for vinyl. If your car has been wrapped, it is recommended to hand wash the car. Additionally, a wrap’s durability will decrease if it is damaged by wax and age more quickly.

3. How Long Does A Car Wrap Last?

Car wraps usually last between five to seven years before they start to peel. But it can endure more years if it is installed and maintained properly.

Preserving Your Vinyl Car Wrap

Every year, more drivers favor vinyl wraps to preserve paint in cars. Though wraps are less expensive and could offer you a wider range of color options, vehicle wraps are not intended to be installed and left alone forever. Either way, your vehicle’s wrap needs routine cleaning and maintenance like anything else you cherish.