Preparing Your Vehicle for a Vehicle Wrap

washing car
Here at City Signs, we specialize in the design, manufacture, and installation of vehicle wraps, essentially making the process of getting a vehicle wrap on your vehicle a cinch for you. A lot goes into getting your vehicle wrap to look as clean and attractive as possible, including a great deal of prep on your vehicle. Here is a look at the typical steps involved in preparing a car, van, truck, or other vehicle to receive a custom vehicle wrap.

First, wash.

A good first step in preparing your vehicle to receive a vehicle wrap is to give it a good wash. A vehicle wrap specialist will typically ask you to take it through a thorough car wash before taking it in. A good wash is important not only for removing dirt and grime, but also for removing any wax that may have been applied to your car. Wax compromises a wrap’s ability to stick to your car, so it’s important to remove even the slightest trace of wax that may be left. This means that you need to be sure not to select any special post-wash wax treatments if you’re going through an automatic car wash.

Follow up with detailed cleaning.

A good wash is definitely a great start, but chances are that there is still some grease or dirt residue caught in the contours and grooves of your vehicle. The purpose of this step is to focus in on any problem spots with stronger chemicals and scrubbing as appropriate. Areas that often need extra attention are the front and back bumpers, exhaust pipe, back quarter panels, and where the wheel wells meet the front doors.

Allow the vehicle to dry fully.

One common mistake that people make before wrap installation is not allowing the vehicle to dry fully. The drying process can take up to 24 hours, so it’s important to plan accordingly. And if a car has been painted recently, it’s important to allow a full 30 days for the curing process to complete before installing a wrap.

Remove accessories.

Removing the covers for headlights and rear lights is typically best before attempting to install a wrap, as the overall look will be much cleaner once these covers are reinstalled. The same applies to mirrors—removing them beforehand will make the finished look much cleaner, and it will speed up the installation process as well. Though it’s possible to work around just about anything when installing a wrap, other accessories that may be removed for the installation process include racks, bed liners, and emblems.