Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Need Solid Tips on Removing CA HOV Stickers

djlott

Member
Jul 25, 2018
130
150
Livermore, CA
There are many things that I do not regret in life. Getting married, having kids, purchasing a multi-coat red Tesla Model S 75D. These are all major milestones in my life that I have no regrets over.

I do however have one colossal regret in my life. I put those hideous white CA HOV stickers directly on the paint of my car. :( Yes it was dumb, I know. You can shame me if you want but I'd prefer help instead...or sympathy.

I need some solid tips on what to do next. I have the newer red stickers and need to get them on the car before Jan 1st. Yes I WILL BE USING a paint protection adhesive like I should have done the first time but first things first. I need to get the old ones removed.

Removing CA HOV stickers can't be a new thing but I'm not going to try and be a hero if the DIY is too hazardous to my paint. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations on where I can go to get these removed in Nor Cal Bay Area? I've called a few detailers and while plenty have put ON the HOV stickers (over adhesives), I can't seem to find any with experience removing them.
 

BinaryField

Member
Sep 21, 2017
296
624
Earth
I don't have any advice, but I just came to add to the complaints about the California HOV stickers. I don't understand why they were so aggressive about the adhesive. I've seen many older Teslas whose owners tried to remove the stickers and left the horrible anti-tamper patterns behind. The California stickers suck.
 

djlott

Member
Jul 25, 2018
130
150
Livermore, CA
You can try calling Joe T. at OCDetailing in Fremont:

OCDetailing - Bay Area Coating & Clear Bra Specialist

He has the most experience with Teslas in NoCA, going back to 2012. I began to go to him in 2013 when he was a 1 man shop in Orinda. He does all of my paint correction and coatings.

Thanks @JPP. Unfortunately OCDetailing doesn't perform the service. I've reached out to DoubleTake in Fremont but so far, no one has actually removed any of these.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,791
8,626
Seattle area, WA
I don't have any advice, but I just came to add to the complaints about the California HOV stickers. I don't understand why they were so aggressive about the adhesive.
Could it be to prevent them being stolen? I bet if you could get them off easily they have some decent black market value.
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,962
7,585
Chicago, IL
I don't understand why a detailer won't help take it off if they will help with the aftermath of you doing it yourself and it going poorly....?
 

djlott

Member
Jul 25, 2018
130
150
Livermore, CA

Disclaimer: no affiliation and never tried or know anyone who tried this, but seems like a decent option worth trying.

Thanks for the vid. I had seen this before but couldn't find any others. But this is one of the reasons that I thought there would be other detailers out there that could do this.
 

BinaryField

Member
Sep 21, 2017
296
624
Earth
Could it be to prevent them being stolen? I bet if you could get them off easily they have some decent black market value.

That's a good point. I've had stuff like registration year stickers stolen from my vehicle in the past. On the other hand, it doesn't stop people like us from putting it on top of a sheet of plastic anyway. I guess that the DMV assumes that most people don't do that.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,791
8,626
Seattle area, WA
That's a good point. I've had stuff like registration year stickers stolen from my vehicle in the past. On the other hand, it doesn't stop people like us from putting it on top of a sheet of plastic anyway. I guess that the DMV assumes that most people don't do that.
Probably most people dont do that, which means thieves assume people don't do that, so they don't bother trying. A secondary effect is that if there are no thieves successfully making money at stealing these, then there is no "advertising" for other thieves motivating them to do the same.

Ps) I have heard of Prius entire bumpers being stolen for the stickers a few years back.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: BinaryField

philgrocks

Member
May 26, 2014
61
38
Silicon Valley, CA
Use a hairdryer or heat gun on low setting to preheat it, and then slowly peel. One you get an edge lifted, get some goo gone in there to eat up the adhesive, and to have some lubrication. You can also use an old credit card or gift card to get behind the sticker while pulling. Good luck.

I just went thru this process.

Warming is helpful, but just keep it warm and not very hot, you can burn the paint and that will make it much worse.


Here is what I did, I think warming the sticker first would have helped to minimize the work. But I didn't do that ;-)

1) I removed the sticker starting at one end and pulling slowly off. This left the void residue.
2) I then applied a liberal amount of goo gone to a microfibre cloth and began lightly rubbing it on the residue. At the same time I used a hair dryer set to low to warm the area.
3) After a few minutes I began to focus on one side. Continued to keep the cloth wet with goo gone.
4) As the residue was removed I would change to a new section of the cloth, I didn't want the residue to become an abrasive and scratch the paint.
5) I kept up this process working further and further until all of the residue was removed.
6) Lastly I got a new cloth and washed the area with "Dawn" mixed with water to remove the last of the goo gone.
7) Rinsed the area and applied a new layer of your favorite car sealer / wax / etc.

I thru out the microfibre cloths that I used. Not worth the risk of what would happen in the wash.

The whole process to remove the 3 stickers took about an hour. So take your time, and you will give them off.
 

Muzzman1

Member
Feb 8, 2014
814
1,583
Los Angeles
Here's exactly what I did with complete success.
Peeled the sticker off, it left the void residue.
Got Goo Gone and liberally soaked it. Covered it with saran wrap to soak the glue for about 1 hour. Reapplied goo gone a couple times during the hour.
I got an old credit card and scraped away the residue. It took quite a bit of scraping.
No microscrathes were left behind.

I advise putting a towel down on the ground below the location as the goo gone drips and will stain the concrete
 

aroundlsu

Member
Nov 15, 2018
29
80
New Orleans
I just took the stickers off my CPO S85. There were 3 stickers and it took 30-45 minutes per sticker. I got a scraper with a plastic tip, a hair dryer, and goo gone. By heating the sticker up and slowly peeling it away with the scraper I was able to get everything but the "void" residue off in one piece. Then I put the hair dryer away and soaked the void residue in the goo gone. After letting it soak I started lightly scraping away, reapplying goo gone every few minutes. After about 30 minutes of light scraping there was absolutely no evidence a sticker ever existed.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: djlott

Buster1

Member
Oct 13, 2016
582
276
Ft Worth
WD-40 works about as well as goo gone, and shouldn’t affect the paint or clearcoat. I’ve used it many times over the years on many cars to remove stubborn road grime, gum, tar, etc.
 

calmondo

Member
Feb 3, 2017
11
16
Southern California
Rather than use the four white stickers supplied by the DMV, I just applied a small one to the bottom right of the rear bumper. Much less obtrusive and hopefully satisfies the letter of the law and calm any following CHP officer. So far, no problems. I keep the two large stickers in the glove box if called upon to "produce the product". IMHO, four decals on the car is overkill.

Now I intend to place the new RED decal over the current WHITE one, much as the annual year sticker on the license plate. Easier then trying to peel off the old white decal. This method is mentioned on the decal placement instructions.

NOTE: License plate reflects my grading scale as a retired teacher. I thought it was clever, family not so much.

upload_2018-12-9_9-31-3.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: NeverFollow

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top